Tag Archives: Profit

NHS Is Not A Business QED!

As my regular readers will know I benefitted from the wonderful services of the NHS last year and Guys hospital in particular. Having never been in hospital in my 69 years it was a whole new experience. One that made a huge impact upon all of my senses.

The incredible man who operated on me was one of this country’s leading surgeons and only in conversations with his registrars later did I find out that to become a surgeon requires 15 years of study and application . . . Yes 15 years!! I had previously respected lawyers and accountants who took 5 to 7 years to qualify but this type of work elevates surgeons into a whole different professional category.

During both of my stays I came to recognise that I was in a world removed from the ‘dog eat dog’ outside world. It was a world in which people (the staff), put other people (the patients) first and genuinely cared about their welfare. Nothing was ever too much trouble and relief from pain and anxiety was paramount.

I did, however, experience something unpleasant and that had to do with money, not care. One night a fellow patient fell out of bed trying to reach his water jug. The ‘agency’ nurse came and looked through the curtains, turned and walked away! The duty nurse was as shocked as I was and screamed at the offending nurse, whilst immediately going to the assistance of the struggling and bemused patient.

This was an ‘in my face’ example of how our NHS cannot be turned into a business. This was not the only example I saw during my time at Guys, which demonstrated the quintessential uniqueness of our NHS. That the employed staff cared and the non-vocational staff cared less. This caring is not confined to the nursing staff but is apparent right up to the top echelons of medical practice, as the following makes clear.

Three years ago my doctor sent me for investigation and after scans a consultant confirmed I would need a replacement hip “but could I hold on for another three years until I was 70?” I was told I was better off anyway, with my own hip and I took this advice at face value.

What a fool! Three years on and now I will also need a knee replacement, as that extra time suggested by the consultant has resulted in additional damage beyond my hip.

With the benefit of hindsight, I am now convinced his advice, on delaying the surgery, meant a saving on his budget for that year and has resulted in greater expense now. Short termism is not just a practice of the financial and political markets!

My wonderful surgeon at Guys (who is ‘observing’ my recovery over the next 2 years), has had hip surgery and so knows what I am going through. Quite out of the blue at our last meeting, when he learned I had now been recommended for hip surgery, volunteered to have my bones scanned to identify the extent of the deterioration.

By doing this he could reduce the time taken to actually get me into surgery when my case came up for action. ‘Care’ was the overriding factor that prompted him to get involved.

Our world beating NHS is only as good as the people who are a part of it. Those people are irreplaceable and not interested in turning this service into a business. Profit and bonuses, or any other form of financial incentive, would not in any way improve the deep caring attitude of the staff who come to this type of vocational work, no matter what level they practice at.

Vocational work has never been associated with profit . . . to everyone, except politicians and corporations that is a given. It is an attitude of mind that sends people into Care and Education that contrasts dramatically with neoliberal thinking and the lust for profit.

However, it is now becoming obvious that our current breed of politician is incapable of such thinking. The cult of neoliberalism is endemic within our Tory party in particular, as increasing privatisation is evidence to. Are they not proud of what successive governments have achieved and as a result, how revered our health service is across the globe?!!

As with the EU, I am fast coming to the conclusion that there is little point in fighting the political establishment for change. They lack ethics and integrity, having now become servants of neoliberal beliefs and will simply not listen.

Indeed, they are now applying odious political tactics to the NHS, to undermine its credibility and further their corporate masters aim of pimping profits from this venerable service, destroying it and its essential caring ethos in the process.

Applying democratic principles of demonstration and protest to a political body that no longer operates such principles can only mean one thing. If we are to bring Society back from the brink of neoliberal catastrophe we must also focus on regime change. And we have to start planning now.

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Fracking . . . Debt and Loss of Morality

As Neoliberalism accelerates across the globe I can find no better example of its depravity than in the corporate destruction of this Planet and Society through the abuse that is Fracking.

Fracking is the essence of Neoliberal short termism, as it seeks to make profits now by destroying the land that feeds and waters us. It has no concern for the future. Democracy is under attack from so many directions in this 21st century but no more so that with the development of this dirty and poisonous business.

There is not an aspect of Society that is not abused and can best be summarised in this defining paragraph by Chris Hedges in 18 October issue of Truthdig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/death_by_fracking_20151018

“The activists are waging a war against a corporate state that is deaf and blind to the rights of its citizens and the imperative to protect the ecosystem. The corporate state, largely to pacify citizens being frog-marched to their own execution, passes environmental laws and regulations that, at best, slow the ongoing environmental destruction. Corporations, which routinely ignore even these tepid restrictions, largely write the laws and legislation designed to regulate their activity. They rewrite them or overturn them as the focus of their exploitation changes. They turn public hearings on local environmental issues into choreographed charades or shut them down if activists succeed in muscling their way into the room to demand a voice. They dominate the national message through a pliable and bankrupt corporate media and slick public relations. Elected officials are little more than corporate employees, dependent on industry money to stay in office and, when they retire from “public service,” salivating for jobs in the industry. Environmental reform has become a joke on the public. And the Big Green environmental groups are complicit because they rely on donors, at times from the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries; they are silent about the reality of corporate power, largely ineffectual, and part of the fiction of the democratic process.”

It is significant that in North America the first man to wage war on Fracking was a Christian preacher named Wiebo Ludwig. Branded as an ‘ecoterrorist’ for his actions against oil and gas barons activities – bizarre given the destruction they are wreaking upon our Planet – he came to realise the real problem at the heart of this rape of the land.

Whilst governments were seen to be passing legislation to supposedly control and regulate this industry, much of the legislation was written by the oil and gas companies, was weak and full of loopholes, allowing the continued desecration of land and communities. Ludwig’s Christian beliefs quickly showed him that Fracking is boosting an environment that is totally lacking in any moral values.

Society supports corporate activity with roads and travel infrastructures, as well as health and benefits services for the employees and in return those same corporations minimise their contribution to this support by avoiding taxes and sending profits abroad.

Because of this lack of contribution to Society, Fracking offers cash strapped governments another (potentially vast) source of income, which is only available at equally vast cost to the country, in the destruction of farm land and food production as well as the waterways that nourish that same farmland and food production.

We are entering an era of reducing water resources across the globe and taking this life sustaining commodity for profit and placing it above the sustenance of human life is a sure indication of how morally bankrupt our political leaders have become. Instead of confronting our water shortage challenges they are adding to them by the encouragement of Fracking to pay off debt.

Society has been allowed to degenerate into an abyss of immorality where financial values dominate and debt is the leverage by which governments are now controlled in the endless lust for profit growth. Since time immemorial debt has lacked any form of morality by the lender and creates immense power through fear and obligation.

Governments bow to the demands of corporate masters because of the money politicians need to get into power. And they can only remain in power provided they continue to accede to the dictates of their corporate masters.

Fracking must be one of the most odious of these financial arrangements, whereby the power electors have given to politicians to manage Society and its environment is blithely ignored.

This lacking in morality is most evident here, in my opinion, threatening the very foundations of democracy. Government continue to ignore the wishes of the people against the growing evidence of the irreparable damage Fracking is causing.

People demonstrate and sign petitions that are witness to a misbegotten belief that they are dealing with honourable people in government. Sadly, that is no longer the case, as time and environmental destruction demonstrate.

The problem of Fracking is but a symptom, albeit a powerful one, of a decadence that can now only be remedied by new leadership. New leadership who recognise the loss of integrity within government and have a desire for a clean sweep across the board.

LET’S STOP DEMONSTRATING TO THE CORRUPT AND START DEMONSTRATING FOR THE NEW.

If we keep shouting, they will come!

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes