Going Back To Bevan

I’m not going to go into this in depth.  For one, I might be the only one reading and it’s familiar ground…

On the Attlee landslide after the Second World War, despite a rebuilding programme where we stood shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world in pulling ourselves out of global austerity – now that sounds a bit familiar – he went ahead with his promises.

Social reform ahead of Churchill’s ill-conceived campaign on personality meant Clement Attlee got in with a free hand and proceeded to nationalise industry and utility, build houses and reform services.  He kept inflation low, unemployment was practically non-existent (labour shortages were frequently a problem) and legislation for secondary education becoming a right was ensured.

There weren’t materials to build houses but where they could, they did.  This Ministry was under the auspices of Aneurin Bevan and in the time they had, he still built over 1 million houses and rehoused millions as a result.  The nonpareil provision they made, though, is what should be the pride of every citizen on this country – the National Health Service.

You are born in this country, you die in this country and from cradle to grave, you have access to universal health care free at point of use and according to need.  It’s a simple concept – Bevan himself indicated that “no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means”.

That today is under threat.  Bevan created the NHS in 1948.  He resigned a ministry in 1951 when charges were introduced for prescriptions as it violated that principle.  That’s 3 years.  It has taken 60 years (yes, 60 years) for the successive inferior showers to dismantle what he wrought.

Why so long?  Because it’s right.  It’s just.  It’s fair.  And it’s ours.  It isn’t a political football, it’s a matter much more important than that; it’s life and death.  However, for the power-hungry people-hating politico, it is as Bevan states:

A free health service is pure Socialism and as such it is opposed to the hedonism of capitalist society

As a millionaire in the Cabinet, having sold off everything this country has and seeing the only source of further finance as the Soylent Green of the electorate who doesn’t want them, it’s up for grabs.

We have to stop them.  The only way to do that is to go back to the purity of the original idea, the 1948 beginnings.

We need another Bevan.


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