Observations on Theology, Culture and the Hosier family

Friday, 14 August 2009

PATRIOT OR TRAITOR?

The top story on the BBC website at the moment is this one titled, NHS attack by MEP 'unpatriotic'

The fact that the NHS has become part of the political argument in the USA about health care has created a furore, and it is the hottest of hot political potatoes on this side of the pond. I personally feel there are good arguments to be made both for the NHS as it currently stands and against how it currently stands. I think there should be space for this debate, and not the immediate terror that strikes British politicians when one of them dares to break ranks and question health care orthodoxy.

Above all, it strikes me as bizarre when an MEP is described as being 'unpatriotic' for criticizing the NHS in another country. Someone who is unpatriotic is unconcerned about their nations well being and reputation, which is clearly (whatever you think of him) not the case with Daniel Hannan MEP. It could be described as unpatriotic to undermine a key institution of government, such as the House of Commons - oh whoops, quite a few MPs who have been doing that...! But unpatriotic to criticize a health care system? I don't think so.

I tend to stick by the old adage, that sacred cows should be slaughtered, and talking about the NHS has become one of those cows. There seems to be the same kind of entrenched defensiveness of the NHS that there once was of the Established Church. And I do not think that is patriotic, but undemocratic and blinkered. Let's have the debate. At the least, it would make politics more interesting if the main parties actually disagreed on something important.

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