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Samizdata quote of the day – the state is not your friend, NHS edition

That the NHS has been able to avoid reckoning with its own catastrophic failure owes a great deal to how it has become sanctified in modern Britain. To the fact that it is treated and used by our cultural and political establishment as something close to a state religion. We’re not meant to challenge it. We’re meant to worship it. We’re not meant to question it. We’re meant to give ‘thanks’ to it, as we did during the early stages of the Covid pandemic.

Tim Black

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – the state is not your friend, NHS edition

  • bobby b

    “We’re not meant to challenge it. We’re meant to worship it. We’re not meant to question it. We’re meant to give ‘thanks’ to it . . .”

    Sounds like 1920 Russia, talking about The Party.

    But y’all aren’t in full revolution yet – the NHS is only the nose of the camel of the full socialism struggle – and so the NHS gets all of that love that would normally go to The Party itself.

  • John

    Other than the state-mandated saucepan banging the same could be said about the bbc.

    Still at least the bbc didn’t endlessly troll us with tik-toks of dancing nurses while operations, treatments and consultations (all that no longer essential healthcare stuff) were postponed indefinitely in order to protect and preserve the envy of the world – a system which the world has conspicuously never attempted to copy.

    The Benny Hill Show used to do that better anyway and his nurses were way better looking.

  • Mr Ed

    Excuse me, that the NHS GC, it is a holder of the George Cross, the UK’s highest civilian award for gallantry, like Malta (although it looks to me as if Malta was ‘in the face of the enemy’ and so eligible for the Victoria Cross (technically though only individuals get the latter) and the RUC.

    Of course the antics of the NHS with its cancer survival rates, patient-beating, er World-beating maternity care and waste merits this medal, yes the daily courage is comparable to Flight-Lieutenant John Quinton, the man who gave away his only parachute, just when he needed it most.

    A simple metric for the decline of the UK under Queen Elizabeth is to compare John Quinton’s award of the George Cross, the first conferred by QE2, with the last George Cross she awarded, to the NHS.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – as you know during Covid the state declared that cancer screening was “non urgent” (people are now dying because of that decision), but that abortion, rather than cancer, was “urgent medical care” and would carry on.

    “I might have cancer” – go away, this is Lockdown you are not supposed to be moving about. “I want to kill a baby” – come right on in.

    No wonder Muslims, and others, think the modern West is in the grip of an insane death cult. That it is the modern (modern) West, NOT Islam, that is the insane death cult.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – as you know it was the Soviet Union in the 1920s, not the United Kingdom in the late 1940s that was “first in the world” with a nation-wide government health service (contrary to the education system and media – and, no, the NHS was nothing to with “a Welsh mining village” or “the Fraternal Association of the Great Western Railway” these were NOT the inspiration for it – the Soviet system was).

    Presently three principle arguments are presented in relation to the NHS:

    “America – the obscene costs of health care” – as if American health care had obscene costs before the government started to intervene with its endless subsidies and regulations (the causes of the obscene costs).

    “Cuts – the problems of the NHS are due to cuts in funding” – a direct lie as funding for the NHS (like other public services – James Melville on Twitter-X please note) has been massively increased, not “cut”.


    “The Tories – the evil Tories are undermining the NHS with their evil Toryness” (this is presented as a real argument).

    One would think that after five years of a Labour government this final argument would collapse – but that would be to forget the censorship that is to come, which will be far more extreme than the censorship that already exists.

    One does not have to go into the weird language of Herbert Marcuse and the other “Woke” (“Critical Theory” “Intersectional” – whatever you want to call it) Marxist philosophers – it is clear even in crude works such as Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” (a work close to the heart of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama).

    Saul Alinsky did not produce reasoned arguments against conservatives and libertarians – Alinsky hated reason, what Saul Alinsky said was that political issues were to be personalised – attack the person, rather than the argument (go for the man – not the ball).

    Screaming students trying to shout down conservatives did not start last week – they go back to the 1960s. to the followers of Saul Alinsky and others.

    Scream that your opponents are racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes (whatever – it does not matter) then no one will listen to them on the NHS or anything else – because your opponents will be silenced (“cancelled” in modern language).

    And it is easy to do – “government spending is too high” – you RACIST! you know that public spending often goes to persons-of-colour that is why you want to cut it, you want to starve them to death, you Nazi swine! Sound silly? Get a couple of thousand people to scream this (actually they would just scream “Nazi!” “Fascist!” “Racist!”) and try and tear any conservative speaking to pieces (literally) and it is no longer silly – it is scary.

    Call the police?

    The police, like all public services (and corporations) will be taught that conservative speech is “repressive” as it “harms” “marginalised and oppressed” people, and that to tolerate conservative speech (on the NHS – or anything else) is “Repressive Tolerance” (Herbert Marcuse).

    This is what is so different about the modern left.

    Labour Prime Ministers such as Clement Atlee and Harold Wilson were brought up in a basically liberal (old sense of the word “liberal”) society – it would not have occurred to them to try and “cancel” their political opponents, to have mobs shout them down, have them fired from their jobs, or have them dragged off to prison for “racism” (or “transphobia” – or whatever).

    The modern left have rejected Freedom of Speech – and the modern left dominate the institutions, including (it is emerging) the courts.

  • APL

    bobby b: “… the NHS is only the nose of the camel …”

    No dispute. It was I that wanted the NHS dismantled in 2020 when the government was using it as a Trojan to destroy the UK economy.

    Anyway, perhaps Matthew 7:3 is in order here. Denninger has made a very good case that the primary problem in the US economy is the Political – Medical complex, which is bleeding the US economy white.

  • NickM

    I shall not even attempt to catalogue the many and varied failures of the NHS.

    OK, just one. It’s IT systems are dreadful. This is a stupendous waste of money and a cause of much inefficiency.

    But back to the OP. The NHS (and the BBC) are untouchable.

    It is more socially acceptable to be a nonce than suggest the NHS isn’t the “Envy of The World”. This ingrained attitude means nothing can change and is probably the single most bizarre thing about the UK.

  • That only holds true, NickM, until you’re unfortunate enough to have direct experience of it. Then you find that friends, relatives and work colleagues will regale you with their experiences too, and the assumption it’s universally revered falls down.

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