The Father of Conservatism

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Herein lies the Ghost in the political machine of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. Much like Max Weber arguing with the Ghost of Marx, this blog seeks to make relevant and where appropriate support or reject Burke's 'Reflections' against the backdrop of the disastrous New Labour experiment.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

NHS Debate - In defense of Dan Hannan

A fully functioning NHS in an idealised world is an excellent project and a highly commendable act; however in our fallen world such an aspiration isn’t as clear cut. The American strategy on healthcare is proving to be a hotbed of political consternation on both sides of the Atlantic, not just the political divide!

I can see why the US do not want to see any form of socialised healthcare. It simply isn’t in their constitutional DNA. The view that the State should have any control on the very personal issue of health is a very persuasive philosophical standpoint. However there are always extremes that can be taken too far; the recent debate over the right to die highlights the ethical complications of a legal and political basis for state controlled medical treatment.

On the other hand, I fully agree that the premise that universal health care for all is one that is moral and true. To be able to walk into a hospital or a GPs office and receive treatment without handing over your cash is something everyone should have the right to do. The trickier questions rears its head when people who abuse these privileged - for instance people who are obese or drink too much, or even to an extent the growly population of elderly people placing an economic burden on the rest of the population.

My problem is with the abuse Daniel Hannan is getting, especially from that twat Andy Burnham, who said that Dan is unpatriotic; this is completely uncalled for and utter twaddle. To say Daniel isn’t pro-British is like saying Cricket isn’t a national pastime.

He has single-handedly stood up for the British people against the EU and it’s bureaucratic tentacles, while offering us an alternative vision of parliamentary affairs in his 12 Stage Plan. His patriotism is even reflected in his speeches and the literature he reads - he has a full grasp Shakespeare that he often quotes at lengths during all occasions.

To say that not supporting the NHS’s current state of disarray as unpatriotic implies that the NHS is to make it appear as a part of our British identity and woven into our social fabric. Yes, it is important, but it is hardly the 3 lions on the shirt or the Lord Nelson of the current era. It has become absurdly bureaucratic, while in turn completely unmanageable.

Touching on more personal matters for a moment, the basic human instinct to do whatever it takes to look after your children/spouse/parents when they're sick is hugely important to this debate as it highlights perfectly the lengths people are prepared to go private (or in essence pay over the odds) instead of using the NHS.

It's not immoral or wrong to want our own flesh and blood to live or to get better sooner, if that means paying to be on a shorter waiting list or better care at BUPA then so be it. Yes, the NHS should exist as universal care, but in an unequal life people will go to great depths to ensure personal and family safety it is in our genes to think so.

What we need is the social conditions to save for a rainy day when it comes to healthcare. From an early age if we were encouraged to put money into our own personal health fund knowing realistically that we will need it as we grow old, then when the time comes one has money to spare in order to go private.

The Government could even provide a pension style healthcare system where they pay for example 20% upon your retirement and throughout your own life you stump up the other 80%. If this money was ring-fenced solely for people's health it may well prove money well invested.

The thought now of having a fund for my healthcare, to use when I get older is a comforting idea and one that almost all could experience.

Again, focusing once more on Mr. Hannan's defense, it does appear that people on the Left are playing the man and not the ball or rather a bucket full of ad hominems directed squarely at Daniel. Just because the Left shut down every debate by labelling the smallest dissenter of the NHS as a neo-con bone head doesn't mean the view on offer shouldn't be weighed and viewed like any other argument.

Furthermore, his decision not to tow the party line should be noted as a positive thing (see Paul Goodman on this issue) and Cameron fell into the trap of going all lovie dovie on the NHS again. It needs reform in a drastic way and the only course of action is to tackle the NHS fat controllers head on like Maggie did with the miners. Why should they get paid more than the nurses or the doctors? The system is run like the USSR.

One final point that needs to be cleared up is the mythical gospel that the NHS is in the sole clutches of the Labour Party and they are the ones to defend it. Referring back to an old press cutting from the Telegraph last year I read that William Beveridge, the principle architect of the duly named Beveridge Report was adopted last by the Labour Party and that many on the hard Left showed vehement condemnation of anything resembling the NHS – some claimed it to be 'semi-fascist.

They saw universal welfare as standing in the way of class warfare and thus the end of capitalism. Other socialists derided as the social ambulance scheme – it appeared that they didn't actually care for the proletariat and not for the first time either!

What is also of note is how Beveridge himself wanted a welfare society not a welfare STATE, he sent a two page letter condemning such an idea. His view was that the State should be used as a last resort because it often spent irresponsible and acted to whatever voters demanded to stay in power.

I shall end the post with Beveridges own words: “While there are somethings the State should do, there are many more which should be done in other self-help and by voluntary helping of citizens by another.” Hmmm isn't that pragmatic conservatism?

1 comment:

Daniel1979 said...

I agree. Labour is still prepared to smear with unfounded lies (Hannan is unpatriatic).. unfortunately there are still people out there that listen to what the Government says without question.

Dan the man has also been fantastic in highlighting what the EU has been upto.

The attempts to close down a debate before it has really gotten started here is an admission in itself that the NHS will not stand up to the ensuing scrutiny that would follow.