Friday, May 05, 2006

Bonkers Time Op-Ed

Jamie Whyte writes a breathtaking piece of crap in his Times Column today. He proposes privatising healthcare and education and forcing people to pay for it all. It's the usual Tory rant questioning why we should have to pay for other people's healthcare and education. I tell you why Jamie, because we live in a society. What is it about community spirit and the desire to want to help other people out that so enrages the tiny little minds of Conservative thinkers?

To suggest that by making all schools charge fees this will help the poor is laughable. Schools, if this model were adapted, would inevitably try and charge the highest fees possible to attract the wealthiest pupils and the wealthiest schools would attract the best teachers. What then happens to people earning £10K a year? They will only be able to afford the worst schools with the worst teachers. How the hell can this be of benefit to them? People like Whyte like to bang on about choice but if someone has no money what choice do they have? None, they simply send their child to where they can afford it - what other option would they have? Ah, yes I'm sure the nice, caring, compassionate private sector will be more than willing to offer a top class, low cost alternative to those people living in poverty.

His use of the tired example about the NHS also doesn't stand up to scrutiny, choice quote:

' Jack smokes, drinks and overeats. Jill does not. Jack’s behaviour means he consumes more healthcare than Jill. It would be unfair if healthcare cost Jack and Jill the same. Yet this injustice is precisely what the NHS guarantees.'

No it doesn't by the very nature of the taxation system. If you smoke and drink lots then you are paying far more tax than someone who doesn't (assuming both earn the same wage) - therefore your contribution is larger to the NHS.

Sure, privatising both spheres would increase quality for those who can afford it but what about for those who can't? Just looking at the US experience regarding healthcare shows what a terrible mess it would be. The Government runs the NHS and Education and therefore it's answerable to the general public not a small group of shareholders. What's good for the private sector is not always good for the public - you may call it 'Marxist' Jamie but I'd call it 'Commonsense'.

1 comment:

RealEyesRealise said...

Perhaps if tax from cigs and booze did end up directly in the NHS's coffers then you'd have a point. However, the currently method of funding of the NHS, N.I., is unfair, along with the rest of the ridiculous mess that is the British tax system. I'll always be against privatisation of the health care system, but there are some genuine grievances for people who contribute more than their fair share to support people who do not have to take responsibility for their actions.