The past few months have seen that the NHS bill has been thrown into the limelight. Primarily as the left are far better at creativity and marketing. There has been very few people that have actually read and studied the Bill, even those who have claim to read it have only read snippets. The fact is that the whole bill is a technical bill and can’t be condensed into a slogan. However the left have been spouting that the ‘NHS will be privatised’, the problem is that people have read that there will be competition involved.
Competition has really been trialled in many areas. In York the Leeds PCT took over the mental health team as it could run the services better than the current standards. The private sector have been involved in public sector health for many many years. GP surgeries are small businesses and not public sector, the supplies used are not public sector and must be bought from pharmaceutical companies as well as operations by the private sector. Labour at the turn of the century decided to implement competition and choice into the NHS. This was brought in at a time when the focus was on lowering waiting times. Which the goal was ultimately reached with standards being improved due to competition which Alan Milburn brought in.
So we now have a situation where the left and specifically unions and Labour are complaining that privatisation is being brought into the NHS, but the fact is it has already been brought in by the previous Government with good results. The only problem during this period was the huge increase in spending with the NHS over the 13 years of Labour. Problems can’t be solved by throwing money at it, as it has ended up with more admin staff than anything else, you create an IT system that costs £12.4 Billion and still had to be scrapped. However it looks good on the electoral campaign to be said that you were spending on the NHS, even if it wasn’t targeted on front line staff and services that were successful.
The bill can’t be condensed into a slogan. The benefits reform was an easy one with everyone stating the same line of £26,000 for those who don’t work. As the general public thought even that was too favourable. The media got behind it, shocked that people were receiving huge sums from the state for not working. The general consensus was that not working shouldn’t be rewarded. The left famously created the slogan ‘Maggie, Maggie, Milk Snatcher’ the irony of this was the fact it had nothing to do with Margaret Thatcher and was started by Harold Wilson in cutting it from Secondary Schools, Thatcher reduced it to 7 year olds. Since then Tony Blair further reduced it. Even thought Thatcher was not in favour of such a move. So it should have been ‘Harry Harry, Milk Snatcher’. The problem is that the right prefer to debate with facts and the left like a catchy slogan and rile people up by throwing in lies.
It is a shame that we have come down to a dumbed down society that prefer to digest a catchy slogan or headline over reading a detailed report. The simple fact is most people haven’t read the bill and it can’t be condensed into a short phrase. Maybe the right need to dumb down so that they can compete with Labour who are claiming the NHS is being sold off. Using facts does not seem to work.