Tag Archives: Kate Andrews

If the NHS is to be transformed, it shouldn’t be into insurance-based trash

The standard technique of privatisation: we’ve had years of defunding (don’t let Steve Barclay’s lies convince you otherwise) and things aren’t working. Now the agitators are trying to make you angry, and you should be – at them.

It had to happen: the NHS turned 75 so the insurance scammers and privatisation propogators have leapt up to demand that it can’t last much longer and needs to change – words that ignore the fact that they wouldn’t be able to say this if 13 years of Tory de-funding and privatisation hadn’t already changed it for the worse.

And they haven’t been subtle about it, which is a good thing because it allows us to see comments like the following:

Let’s have a case study: Kate Andrews, currently of The Spectator but formerly of think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute and Republicans Overseas UK. You can see what these organisations want to do to the NHS here:

She was on the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday (July 6, 2023), because the BBC gives her a lot of hot air time. She’s also on Politics Live whenever she can manage it. You can see what she had to say in the clip below.

But it isn’t just her words that create trouble for the health service; it’s what she enables other people to say – like Bella Wallersteiner here. Phil Gould provides an opposing voice:

(And let’s remember that the model for the NHS is insurance-based: National Insurance.)

Let’s remember, Ms Andrews speak with forked tongue. The following is an imperfect comparison but it makes the point: in 2017 she was peddling what we now know to be snake oil – a claim that Brexit would make the UK richer. We all know, now, that this was patently untrue.

And now she is saying the NHS is not the wonderful creation that UK citizens mythologise it as being:

Maybe it’s not the envy of the world any more – but that is clearly due to the constant Tory tinkering to make it vulnerable to privatisation.

Go back to the Hector Wetherell McNeill tweet above:

There is an interesting summary table of an international comparative performance of health systems produced by the Commonwealth Fund from 2014, on page 44.

This clearly shows the UK’s nationalised NHS to be the world leader on the basis of most criteria.

The US private system comes out as being one of the worst and costing almost 1.45x that of UK.

It is clear that the UK system placed the US system along with the US med corporations and insurance companies in an embarrassing position so there was a need to undermine the UK system to have any chance for their marketing success.

The Conservative government clearly made this their mission by under-funding the service over the last 13 years so as to create the “case” for privatisation.

And then people like Ms Andrews turn up to put that “case” to the public.

Bearing all the above in mind, one is led to agree with Dale Vince, who was also on that edition of Question Time:

(If only it were true that social media gives a voice to everybody. It used to – but then the firms running the main platforms introduced aggressive algorithms to push posts by anybody who could not afford their advertising rates down people’s newsfeeds so they couldn’t be seen. If you’re wondering where Vox Political has been until you saw this article, it hasn’t gone anywhere – you were just denied the chance to read it.)

Rishi Sunak wants you to believe that he has a plan to restore the NHS – but just listen to the analysis of Sunak’s work (and that of the Tory governments since 2010) by Sir Michael Marmot, who has led research groups on health inequalities for nearly 50 years:

Experience tells us that Sir Michael is probably right. After all, this is a Tory government that (we’re told) issued tens of billions of pounds worth of Covid-19-related health contracts to their personal friends who were incapable of honouring those contracts – and then claimed the cost was part of the NHS annual budget.

So tens of billions of pounds was paid out to Tory friends and donors – and absolutely nothing was gained as a result:

The contracts were issued via the so-called “VIP lane” that was later declared illegal:

Why hasn’t all this money been recovered and put to better use?

Carol Vorderman says she could go on, and so could This Writer.

With the record of Sunak’s government laid bare for all to see, it is clear that “sharks” like Kate Andrews are not presenting their case fairly and therefore they should be ignored.

The NHS is not failing because its founding principles don’t work; it is failing because the Tories are deliberately forcing it to fail.

Oh, and they don’t care if your relatives have suffered needlessly or died as a result of their ideologically-motivated selfishness.

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