What things matter?
Some thoughts on Brexit, Trump, the Impeachment, Poll meddling, and the UK’s NHS
(The UK “National Health Service”)
My Dad, late in his seventies, just spent a week in NHS hospital with pneumonia.
Thank god he is back home today with partner and is getting well again.
But the first few days of his stay were a worrying time.
On each day I visited, I overheard valiant nurses proudly explaining the hours they’d worked over those few days, amongst one another, and with patients.
14 hours per day seems a typical minimum worth talking about.
All looked pretty exhausted to me.
My Dad also described how a nurse had explained to him that even the amount of cleaning fluid they used to clean the floor was closely monitored to ensure no-one was exceeding it.
In the news of the past few days we hear also of a four year old baby being treated for pneumonia on the floor of another NHS hospital, with what appears to be just his clothes and a blanket for a bed.
I just hope the little fluid that would have been allowed to clean that floor also, was enough to protect that baby from further infection.
It is tragically laughable that it is still argued by some, that privatisation has not already affected the NHS for the worse.
Anyone who says such things obviously has no need for it, nor any perceived future need for it themselves.
Which means they are not only financially wealthy, but so much so that they are confident they, nor anyone they care about, will ever need to worry about running out of money in the remainder of their lives, even if they wind up in expensive private medical care.
Or maybe they are suicidal, or they just don’t know, hence the main reason for my writing here.
We hear much of the work carried out in the NHS is already carried out under contract to private companies, the cheapest bidders of course.
If that doesn’t mean privatisation, I don’t know what does.
I think the NHS matters, more than anything else considered to be for the public good.
And it absolutely is suffering from privatisation. Badly.
Brexit, Trump, and the NHS
We hear Mr Trump proclaiming he personally had not even thought about the prospect of “Buying” the NHS, during initial discussions of UK/US post-Brexit trade deals.
We hear also Boris claiming the NHS is “Off the Table”, in those discussions.
The problem is that the NHS work already carried out under contract to the cheapest private bidders has to be part of any free-trade deals.
If U.S. contractors were excluded from bidding for those posts, it would not be a fair trade deal. Would it?
After that, things will get very complicated for any future UK Government wishing to take the NHS back into public ownership, because any large business entity experiencing a hit to profits as a result of Government intervention will then be looking to sue that Government, as is already happening in the U.S.
So we should not be under any illusions, the NHS absolutely is on the table.
Personally, I don’t care much one way or the other about Brexit, Trump, or any of their political adversaries.
We are all humans united by things far stronger than any formal political Union.
But I do care about the NHS.
The Trump Impeachment
We watch videos of Mr Biden boasting of himself getting official investigations of his son’s business in Ukraine removed by threat of withholding U.S. funds.
Then we see the outcome of the Impeachment process is Mr Trump being accused of being guilty of the same, because maybe he used a similar tactic to get the investigations back on again.
Who cares? We all know that all parties play exactly the same “Games”.
When our foreign policies affect other countries, we should not be surprised or outraged if their political powers have an active interest in influencing ours, including poll results.
In fact, it would probably be fair to allow all people of the world, to vote on all governments of the world, would it not?
Will a change in the U.S. Government from one party to the other make any difference to the future of the NHS?
Will a change in the UK government from one party to the other make any difference to the future of the NHS?
There are enough business interests in any party, necessarily funded by business, to be sure the NHS continues to go private, either way, until something comes along that really will make a difference.
What will make a difference?
Pretty soon, all of us, rich and poor, will see that we are actually living in a closed box economy, which structurally drives us to seek to profit from one another.
Nation against nation, Race against race, Brother against sister.
As long as our expanding population depends on extracting energy from the Earth to convert to wealth, we have to practice that closed, cannibalistic economy, whilst polluting the Earth.
Yet we have the technology to capture the energy of the sun all around the unused lands of our equator.
That will give us an unlimited source of energy and wealth, from outside Earth.
No more need for a closed economy.
No more need to profit from one another.
That single, unlimited source of clean energy and wealth for all of humanity, will be put to use by humanity truly united, for the first time in our history, towards the bigger projects we aspire to, from expansion of services such as the NHS to cover the whole world, and on to space travel.
To non-systems Engineers, all of this sounds hopelessly simplistic and Utopian.
And that is the problem.
It is the only possible future of humanity.
If we continue to ignore this, there is no future.
Nothing can live in a closed box forever.