The NHS reforms are an insult to democracy….
The Guardian carried an interesting story on its front page this morning. It basically said that GP’s were spending as little time as a day a week with their patients because they were busy preparing for the NHS Bill to complete its voyage onto the statute books. Of course, this is a total scandal, it shows how deeply flawed the reforms are and how patient care is already suffering and it doesn’t even mention the pots of cash already being spent on these reforms which have no doubt, in part, necessitated the various ‘bailouts’ of the NHS that have been chronicled in the press.
However, there is an even bigger scandal lurking under the surface and that is the complete usurption of democracy by this unelected government. This Bill isn’t law, it has yet to receive Parliamentary let alone royal assent, yet it is already being enacted. What is more it is being enacted in a way to carefully pave the way for arguing it is a necessity. Witness Andrew Lansley saying in the same paper that the NHS will ‘collapse’ without reform. In actual fact, it is already groaning under the weight of Mr Lansley’s stupid and downright ignorant ideologically driven reforms.
The NHS Bill is not just killing the NHS, it is subverting our democracy. Whether it be in refusing to publish the risk register or casually dismissing the ‘Drop the Bill’ e-petition or instituting reforms not yet even approved this government is driving a coach and horses through our democratic process. Still, what more can we expect from this unelected oligarchy, a gaggle of vested interests asset-stripping the state and the nation in the interests of its cartel of wealthy backers?
This, apart from anything else, is a fundamental reason why we need to continue opposing this bill and pushing the government on this; to remind them it is us who rule, not them who borrow authority to act in our name. Furthermore, Labour, as the Party of democratic socialism, needs to be continually making these points and exposing the scandalous, anti-democratic, actions of the privileged governing elite which is acting not for the people but entirely for itself and its backers.