09 June 2008
Left & right: same questions, different answers
A friend of mine many years ago remarked that the one thing that left and right have in common is that we ask the same questions. We may arrive at different answers, but the questions are the same. Let's take the case of National Health Service inefficiency as a case in point: what can we do to prevent British health care from sinking under the waves?
The Devil's Kitchen is a libertarian blog which helped break the story of a woman who was dying of cancer and who was then refused treatment on the NHS because she had the temerity to buy medication that was not available on that service. Linda O’Boyle, who has since died, was told by the magnificently named Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that “A patient can choose whether to continue with the treatment available under the NHS or opt to go privately for a different treatment regime. It is explained to the patient that they can either have their treatment under the NHS or privately, but not both in parallel.”
The problem that the NHS has is not due to a lack of funding. It is that much of the funds go to pay for a large, bureaucratic management structure that leaches resources out of the body.
The Devil's Kitchen has a solution to this, which is to privatise the NHS and allow people to choose their insurance providers for themselves. The Exile's view is that we need to return the NHS to its original management structure and lose the weight of parasitic managers who currently infest the establishment. Whichever strategy is adopted, the parasites would find themselves being kicked arse over tit onto the street, and left to roll home.
Capitalism is about the bottom line, and socialism seeks to ensure that the producers of wealth are also its main consumers. Neither aims to provide employment for deadwood, so I venture to suggest that the Devil's Kitchen and The Exile would both be quite happy if large numbers of two-legged, pen-pushing, parasitic leaches had salt pored over them.
As I said at the beginning, the conclusions that we reach are different, but the questions are pretty much the same.
Maybe we should all start working together?