The NHS, Brexit and Privatisation

My son turns 18 this year. Back in 2001 he underwent brain surgery at the hands of one of the best surgeons in the world who saved his life (1.). This was on the NHS. Paediatric neurosurgeon Conor Malucci is still working miracles at Alder Hey, Liverpool, as this week’s programme ‘Hospital’ on BBC2 revealed (2.). One of the main strategies of the Tory government is extreme privatisation, that’s what those who want a hard Breixt are praying for as they will profit. As David Lammy clearly outlined in the Commons this week, Brexit is the zenith of neo-liberalism. It can mean a trade deal with the US so private American companies can take over the NHS. This threatens the lives of children like my son. Teresa May’s husband was already involved in investments in the privatisation of prisons, before making money from tax avoidance (3.). This is her long term plan. So what, believers in capitalism will say. Let the free market dictate, as if it is a god, surely the survival of the fittest is best? But aren’t we more civilised than this, and isn’t being for the many the very definition of humanity? This week on BBC2 we saw the reasons why Brexit and capitalism for public services does not work. On the programme ‘Hospital’ the NHS in Liverpool is dealing with the fall out of the collapse of the company Carillion. Half built hospitals mean doctors and nurses are having to cope with an outdated hospital that floods, sporadic electricity, operations being cancelled, people not being treated, dying unnecessarily. Whether you want to argue that the evils of outsourcing are not evils, and Gordon Brown is to blame for lax financial laws, the fact is, as with the banks, bailing out private companies is a way of transferring public assets, the assets of the many, into the hands of the few. Nationalisation, far from being a blast from the past, is a sensible way forward. Yes Corbyn has failed over Brexit, scared his working class base would vote against him. But Labour are the party defending the NHS and workers’ rights most fully, and this includes saving the lives of children.


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