Watching the news of Trump’s inauguration yesterday, the unmistakable message was that he was not a popular choice for President. Empty bleachers lining the route to the Capital, and more people massed to protest against his inauguration than to cheer him in, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people who voted for Trump did so with a sense of mischief and have woken up to where their mischief has led. Or maybe his supporters simply had no interest in traveling to Washington. I do find it strange that a sizable rally could not be constructed, even artificially, to project an image of Trump popularity, no matter how false. Maybe whipping up a few 100,000 people in support isn’t so easy, even if you pay them.
The key thing for Americans is that, whether you voted for him or not, you’re stuck with him for at least one term, all eventualities permitting. You can be as mad as you like about it but there’s nothing you can do. It’s a feeling any person in Britain who wants to keep the NHS as a national health service, and not a PLC, shares. The Tories are in power and there is no check on what they do. New Labour really got the privatisation ball rolling under Blair with their expansion of Tory Private Finance Initiatives which are crippling the NHS and, for an initial investment of £11.8billion, British taxpayers will pay back over an estimated £300billion. And, signing up taxpayers to PFIs did not end once the danger was known, the Tories in coalition signed even more. Nobody stopped them.
The privatisation of the NHS does not end with PFIs of course, the services of the NHS were carved up into respective departments and those where profits could be gleaned have been, and continue to be, offered out to private contractors like Virgin Care, who move the money offshore to avoid tax. Presumably, like rail services, areas of the NHS where profits cannot be gleaned are offered out with large taxpayer subsidies to compensate private contractors for taking them over.
But the privatisation of the NHS is, unsurprisingly, littered with companies with links to the Tories and the drip feed of Tory NHS privatisation. Since 2014 the Tories have opened the tap on privatisation:
With over £27billion in contracts given out to privateers.
We know all this, we object to all this, yet we are unable to stop them or hold them accountable.
But it is likely that the next general election will be fought on the grounds of Britain leaving the EU, not giving away the NHS, and there’s a very good chance that the Tories could win again if they maintain their anti EU voter base. Why? Because there are enough people who will turn out to vote against foreigners coming to this country and enough of them don’t care about the other issues. Not that there weren’t other people voting for leaving the EU. Plenty anti Tory voters voted to leave, with a view that they could get rid of one overbearing undemocratic institution and then tackle the Tories next. Not sure what their plan is if leaving the EU becomes the issue around which the Tories shore up government for the next eight to thirteen years. What a state. America, you have our sympathies. Likely you’ll own our NHS soon too.