Jim Sillars: ‘No’ vote means privatised NHS

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If Scots were aware of what has happened to the National Health Service in England, Dr Philippa Whitford’s warning that a No vote would lead eventually to its destruction in Scotland would cause a switch from No to Yes.

Dr Whitman is a consultant. She, as has Professor Allyson Pollock of Queen Mary University of London, has been tracking the dismemberment of the NHS down there since the passing of the Health & Social Care Act 2012, which the latter describes as “repealing the legal foundations of the NHS in England”.

Previous to this act, the government had a duty to provide or secure a comprehensive health service. The act repealed that duty. It also enabled private companies to enter public health services in a big way, making profits, while it blurred the “boundaries between free healthcare and chargeable health and social care”.

As Prof Pollock notes, “NHS hospitals and services are being sold off or incorporated, land and buildings being turned over to bankers and equity investors. Virgin landed a £630 million contract. RBS, Serco and Carillion, to name but a few, are raking in billions in taxpayer funds for leasing out and part-operating PFI hospitals, community clinics and GP surgeries that we once owned.”

A private company now runs an NHS hospital. US private medical companies are now involved in the privatisation process, such as HCA and United Health. HCA is in a joint venture with University College Hospital London, where it provides cancer treatment, but only for those who can pay.

I have been tracking the English editions of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, which have been engaged in a consistent attack on the founding principle of the NHS – that it is free at the point of use to all.

In a major piece on July 11, under the headline “Our national religion doesn’t have a prayer,” Jeremy Warner, of the Telegraph told his readers: “Britain can’t afford the ever-expanding NHS – it must charge for some services or do less.”

But you may say, isn’t the NHS here under the control of the Scottish Parliament making our NHS safe? Yes, but if we vote No, and Austerity II kicks in, as it will after next year’s Westminster election with its £25bn of further cuts, the pressure will be on our MSPs.

The present Scottish budget is set by Westminster, and it has been cut. Even with the new powers offered if we say No, 60 per cent of budgets will be decided by Westminster.

As it privatises the English NHS, Westminster governments will start to question how our NHS is run. As the money is cut from Westminster, the reply to complaints from the Scottish Government will be to follow them down the private road. Pressure will be on our MSPs to comply.

Remember, who pays the piper ultimately calls all the tunes.

Whether report

Some scientists cite computer models of climate as ‘evidence.’ Foolish claim. Climate science is in its infancy, so it is impossible to feed into a computer what they do not know, and it is what is not known that is vital, missing evidence.

Islay malt blesses the navy’s white elephant

ARE you over that feeling of pride you were supposed to get when the Islay malt splashed on the bow of the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier?

A great deal of tosh was talked and written about it. The reality is, as has been spelled out in articles by military specialists, a “one aircraft carrier fleet” is not so much powerful, but vulnerable. Sink or seriously damage it, and there is no navy.

Vulnerability and lack of operating capacity are features of our new carrier. Because the navy could not afford the extra £2 billion for a launch and arrester system for the F35C aircraft for the carrier, they have been forced to buy the F35B type, which will not be delivered until 2020.

These aircraft do not have the kind of long distance flight time and carry a smaller payload of munitions than the F35C. There is also the problem that a single carrier cannot be at sea for the whole year.

Then there is the security issue. A carrier is guarded by a screen of frigates and destroyers. As radar on a ship cannot see beyond the horizon, and as missiles are likely to be fired from over the horizon, the carrier is vulnerable without high flying maritime aircraft like the Nimrod, which can warn of missile attacks. It is, however, now out of service without a replacement. Britannia rules the waves again? Forget it. The carrier is a white elephant.

Margo Mobile on the move

MY thanks to those already supporting the Margo Mobile. She so wanted to take part in this campaign. Now she is involved. The internet link is: http://MargoMobile.com.