Tuesday 11 August 2015

Sometimes you have to laugh

I think in my lifetime we shall see a partial privatisation of the NHS. It will be along the lines of what already exists with specialist private hospitals taking up more work from the NHS with much more involvement from private health insurers. There will be a base level of NHS provision but the natural drift spells an end to the universalism we were brought up with.

The left are gong to bitch and moan about this. But really you can't have open borders and a non discriminatory welfare policy that applies to all EU citizens without either rationing or removing entitlements. There was never a way to have our cake and eat it. Course, the left have never been big on adult choices and unintended consequences, but what we have seen under this government is effectively the removal of certain entitlements and benefits from everyone in order to redress the injustice of EU citizen entitlements. It's actually ironic that it was EU membership that finally brought down the sword on Britain's bloated welfare system and brought about NHS privatisation.

In this, the left should recall that the EU debate and open borders was taken off the table for discussion for over a decade. Now it's given us that "neoliberal" society they so hate, their chickens have indeed come home to roost. Along with the unintended consequences Agency Workers Directive giving us an unprecedented workforce dynamism, one just has to laugh. Then on the other hand, the right have called the EU a "socialist" project, but the material effect is anything but, making us even more like America than before - and what the left thought was it's progressive wet dream has turned out to be the exact opposite by their own estimations.

By all the usual measures on which we evaluate the EU, there has been a polar reversal. Watching each side muddle through their own respective hypocrisies during the referendum promises to be hugely amusing. The left are now arguing against corporatism while the right are seemingly opposed to the very measures that have given them their holy grails - welfare reform and NHS privatisation.

If it sounds like I'm making a case for EU membership, I'm not. I still think there are better mechanisms to achieve the political ends we seek, but you can't help but sit back and enjoy the delicious irony of it all.

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