Jeremy Corbyn talks of re-nationalising the NHS and is met with silence in Britain’s media and the general public are left scratching their heads as to why we would need to renationalise the NHS when it hasn’t been privatised.
Since its inception in the 1940s, when Labour fought for and introduced the National Health Service, the British taxpayer has invested £trillions into the service. Decades upon decades of investment have been banked to secure health provision for all, free at the point of use; investment not matched by the private sector, nor even contributed to by the private sector. In the 1990s, under John Major, the Tories introduced Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs), which were tragically embraced by New Labour, and continued with under the Tory/Lib Dem coalition. PFIs have invested around £11billion into structural elements of the NHS and are expected to yield their investors around £300billion in returns over their lifetimes. PFIs are strangling the life out of the NHS but are only a small part of why Jeremy Corbyn calls for the re-nationalisation of the NHS.
The £trillions in investment by British taxpayers into the NHS, over decades, has funded the development of services which are being systematically carved up and given away to the private sector.
Services that have cost taxpayers £100millions are being given away at a fraction of their value and turned over for quick profits by ‘investment capitalists’ with connections to government ministers.
Deals like Bain Capital’s do not represent shrewd business acumen on their part, companies like Bain are buying slices of the NHS without paying for the enormous investment by British taxpayers and then flipping those services on to buyers who pay them somewhere close to the value of the service including a proportion of the investment, paid by British taxpayers, that it would have required to develop the service. British taxpayers have invested extraordinary amounts of money into services and those massive investments are being ‘cashed in’ by privateers, and British politicians are facilitating this trade and profiting from it. It really is that simple. When Jeremy Corbyn talks of re-nationalising the NHS he is talking about putting an end to this larceny.
Like transport, like gas and electric provision, the Royal Mail and all the other services that British taxpayers have invested £trillions in, the NHS is being asset-stripped by the Tories, as they were by ‘New Labour’ before them and Thatcher before them. Just as those other services have declined and do not serve the public, so the NHS has also been thrust into decline. The myth of privatisation is one of corporate theft facilitated by corrupted politics. Labour, under Corbyn, is seeking to turn that tide.