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Dominic Cummings says Tory MPs 'don't care about the NHS'

(44 Posts)
GagaJo Fri 03-Apr-20 00:16:39

I thought about putting this in the Corona Virus forum, because this is why the underfunded NHS is not providing PPE, enough nurses, beds, ventilators. This is why there will be thousands of deaths of people that could have been saved.
Because at the very root of it all, the Tories don't want to fund the NHS. From the mouth of the man who controls the PM himself.

Hetty58 Fri 03-Apr-20 01:14:48

Exactly, and straight from the horse's mouth! It deserves it's own thread for discussion in the Corona Virus section, don't you think?

BradfordLass73 Fri 03-Apr-20 04:19:08

Hasn't it always been the case that those from a richer, more privileged background, traditionally think that the grassroots is where the worms are?

One of the reasons Keir Hardy started The Scotish Labour Party was because he saw that working class families had no representation.

M0nica Fri 03-Apr-20 08:18:08

Bradfordlass I think that is a gross calumny of the many many people from comfortable backgrounds who have always been concerned about those less well off than them. All the main social reformers from Elizabeth Fry to William Wilberforce and Mrs Pankhurst came from well-off backgrounds and that tradition continues still.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:37:54

I am thrilled that Hancock is writing off NHS debt that it has built up as a result of enforced Tory austerity.

Now all we want to ensure this never happens again is a form of dedicated tax that gives us the type of health care we all want and clearly need.

A dedicated health tax administered by an independent body and written into law which prevents various government from interfering into something they are patently not qualified to do will ensure our NHS a future.

With regards to Cummings. Of course we all know of his weird world view and the fact that there are numerous Tories who would get rid of the NHS at the stroke of a pen. That was and is always a danger, but if there is one thing to come out of this whole ghastly covid business, is how having the type of healthcare system we have compared to say the USA is that we can move our resources around as is seen fit including staff.
We have all seen the mayor or NYC begging for help for the different health care providers in his city from health care providers in other parts of the USA. Hundreds of nurses carrying “patients before profit” signs. No sign of nationwide coordination between the health providers, and the poor dying in the streets.

Thank god we don’t have that sort of system.

Cummings and his ilk must never prevail.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:39:57

monica I take your point, but I do think we have moved beyond such a paternalistic world view.

MaizieD Fri 03-Apr-20 10:29:14

Now all we want to ensure this never happens again is a form of dedicated tax that gives us the type of health care we all want and clearly need.

I don't think so, Wwmk2. The primary, and most important reason being that taxation doesn't fund spending. The minute you believe that it does you are ripe to be manipulated by all the lies which justified 'austerity'.

The secondary reason is that the NHS would be dependent on a sum which would fluctuate according to how many people were being taxed and what their incomes were.

Another one which strikes me is that, knowing how very uncaring people can be about their fellow citizens, I think it would generate a belief that taxpayers had more 'rights' to healthcare than non-taxpayers and that after that, it should only go to non taxpayers who 'deserve' it. Look how vile some people can be about folk on benefits...

With regard to my first point here's Richard Murphy:

First, it assumes that the government spends other people’s money. It doesn’t. It spends its own. That’s because it actually creates all money at the end of the day (even that put into circulation by private banks is done under government licence). And because it creates all money there is technically no limit on the amount it can produce if it so wants

Second, this means that the assumption that the government behaves like a household with regard to debt is just wrong. Households can’t create their own money out of thin air to repay their debts but governments with their own currency and central bank (as the UK has) can do just that. £435 billion of quantitative easing since 2009 proves this and yet everyone pretends that this has not happened, which is ludicrous. The fact is that governments and households are not the same at all because households may be constrained by the need to repay debt but governments are not.

Third, so long as the creation of government debt keeps pace with inflation and it does not overheat the economy by trying to create more than full employment then government debt is not a problem any more than having money in your pocket is a problem. And that’s unsurprising because the money in your pocket is government debt. And all UK government debt is just a giant savings account for those who want an ultra-safe place to deposit their money, and what’s wrong with that?

P.S. I quote from Murphy because I read his blog regularly and he makes explanations quite easy to understand. There are plenty of other people who are saying the same thing about government money creation and debt.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 11:19:44

maizie ok put very simply I accept your premise, that government creates money “pump primes” the economy in the form of Q/E in order to stimulate what is a stagnating economy. That unsurprisingly, given the enormous economic crises that will be facing us once this virus is defeated, is exactly what the Tories have done. (With gritted teeth I am sure?)

However, I am arguing about something different.

What I am saying is that in my opinion, the NHS needs to be removed to an arms length from any future government. That it needs an identifiable (dedicated) form of funding (call it tax or subscription etc).

We need a national conversation as to what we want our health service to do and decide on the level of funding it will need.

In my opinion, as long as any government can make day to day decisions regarding its running there will be continual crises done the line. It needs to be run by an independent non-profit making body (charity) but the legal requirements etc are set and decided by government. In effect the government will keep an overall eye but simply not able to interfere on any basis.

M0nica Fri 03-Apr-20 11:30:46

Whitewavemark2 Of course we have, but given that many people right across society are involved in helping others and supporting progressive causes and when you look at the rise in the socio demographic level of Labour Party MPs, it only illustrates what a gross calumny the original statement was.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 11:41:03

By the original statement I assume you meant Cummings and not bl73?

So if I understand what you are saying.

That many people right across the U.K. are helping across society.

Yes absolutely, but we, as a society, came to the conclusion post WW11 that charity and philanthropy whilst to be commended and which play an important part in the glue of society, was not the answer to things like the health of the nation.

I am unclear what the socio demographic level of the Labour Party has to do with anything?

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 11:57:57

monica I think on re-reading your post, you did in fact mean the post by bradfordlass was a gross calumny.

However, given the sort of statement emanating from individuals like Cummings and his cronies, why on Earth are you surprised that people don’t come to those sort of conclusion?

MaizieD Fri 03-Apr-20 12:06:41

What I am saying is that in my opinion, the NHS needs to be removed to an arms length from any future government. That it needs an identifiable (dedicated) form of funding (call it tax or subscription etc).

My point is that if you call it 'tax', or 'subscription' the assumption is that 'the public' (or, the 'taxpaying public') get the impression that they are paying for the service. Giving rise to the problems noted.

I think it's time that we had a rethink about the function of government. Is it to care for and protect all the citizens of the country being governed or is it for forwarding the interests of a particular section?

I don't see anything in the original statement that makes it a 'calumny'. MOnica. The tories have been hell bent on shrinking the state and privatising everything for 4 decades now. Nor do I see the relevance to this of 'many people right across society are involved in helping others and supporting progressive causes'. They, poor s-ds, however worthwhile their involvement, seem to me to be propping up a corrupt regime which has no interest at all in social justice or caring for our citizens.

trisher Fri 03-Apr-20 12:08:34

We could add to what Cummings said the clip of Tory MPs cheering when they voted down a pay rise for the public service employees who are now keeping our country running. I never understand why people don't realise that Tory policy still is to create a "small state"with little taxation and public services cut to the minimum. The only time they do express support for these services is when an election is due, or when there is no where else to turn like today.
I do wonder the carnage of WW2 brought socialism to the fore and made people aware of what was needed. Could this virus do the same for the 21st century?

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 12:20:52

maizie if you take away the ability for government to manage the funding and for the users of the system to pay into a huge trust fund or whatever, then we do indeed see the monies “paying” for the system.

We would of course need to agree over those unable to pay for whatever reason. The government could be required to pay into the trust accordingly.

My biggest concern is to take it out if governments hands and for it to be entirely run by the nation.

M0nica Fri 03-Apr-20 13:30:26

WW Cummings and cronies are but a very small self selected bunch. The fact that one person, or a small coterie in a group of millions makes an unacceptable comment, is no evidence that the millions share those views any more than the person stupid enough to think that can be taken to be typical of any broad social group they can be included in.

I referred to the socio demographic profile of the Labour Party, because now many,, if not most of its MPs come from the professional classes and I presume they are there because of their commitment to those who did not have the opportunities and priviliges they had, which proves yet again the prejudice shown by Bradfordlass in her sweeping generalisation.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 13:37:58

monica absolutely right, but unfortunately Cummings et al are running the country.

bradfordlass ( where are you bradfordlass) was saying exactly what so many people think, but I think that it a little harsh to accuse her of calumny. You sound as if you have taken it personally!!

trisher Fri 03-Apr-20 13:40:27

M0nica it doesn't matter who says something if it is true, and it is true. There are not "millions" of MPs, and Tory MPs have consistently attacked the NHS such as when they voted down pay rises for nurses. If you wish to show that the Tories do support the NHS post something they have done to improve or support it.
Labour MPs have always supported it. Their demographic doesn't matter.

growstuff Fri 03-Apr-20 13:48:27

Isn't the fact that Cummings and cronies make up a small self selected bunch the whole point, given the influence that they are exerting on government policy? Cummings was the mastermind behind the psychological LeaveEU campaign because he knows how to manipulate public opinion.

It's ironic that he pushes the argument about unelected, out of touch elites, when he belongs to the very same group. Combined with his views on eugenics and survival of the fittest, I find it a tad concerning.

The Labour Party, or at least those who think that there is still some kind of noble working class, has become increasingly irrelevant. The argument about the NHS is about whether people believe in a health service which provides first class healthcare for everybody. That, of course, means that those who can afford it pay more through taxation, even if they don't make more use of it. When the NHS was first set up, there were people who objected because they knew they'd have to pay more than others … and there still are. Over the last ten years, it appears to have been government policy not to provide a good healthcare service for all.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 13:48:44

trish I agree with your post. Good points

M0nica Fri 03-Apr-20 13:49:05

trisher you are taking my posts from the very narrow remit they started with - a grossly calumnous statement by bradfordlass into party political matters, which are irrelevant to my posts to date.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 03-Apr-20 13:50:59

grow that is why I think day to day decisions needs taking out of government hands, and put into an overseeing independent body.

growstuff Fri 03-Apr-20 13:51:11

I think it goes much deeper than pay rises for nurses. Nearly all public service workers have seen their pay fall in real terms over the last ten years. Ideologically, Tories don't believe in public services for the good of all. Sadly, I think an increasing number of the public don't either.

growstuff Fri 03-Apr-20 13:57:42

I disagree that it's a narrow remit. It's symptomatic of a trend in society. Why should people pay for the NHS when they have private health insurance or can afford to pay for an operation, while others have to wait years? Why should people care about schools, when they can afford to send their children to private school? Why should people care about libraries, SureStart centres and leisure centres, when they don't use them? Why should people invest in council housing, when they can afford a mortgage? I could continue. It's a reversal of the public ideology in the late nineteenth century and after WW2.

GagaJo Fri 03-Apr-20 14:12:19

Great post, growstuff.

Obviously, they're rhetorical questions. Because we should all want to live in a society where everyone is cared for. But as you show, plenty of people ONLY care about themselves.

This virus doesn't discriminate though. As much as I NEVER want anyone to die from something as horrible as this, I hope enough of the elite are affected to wake up and realise that we either all care for each other OR we all go down together.

Grany Fri 03-Apr-20 14:17:11

Why is the government dragging its feet so badly on the provision of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to NHS workers? Do the Tories have some psychotic desire to watch us all die of the coronavirus?

The NHS procurement chief Alan Hoskins, whose tweet on Sunday, which has since been deleted, said: “What a day, no gowns NHS Supply Chain. Rang every number escalated to NHS England, just got message back — no stock, can’t help, can send you a PPE pack. Losing the will to live, god help us all.”

It’s possible that the tweet was deleted under duress, as it seems doctors have been warned not to make any comments about shortages on social media, as well as avoiding talking to journalists, and NHS England has taken over media operations for many hospitals and health trusts in order to ensure that they all stay “on message”.

Some doctors claimed managers had threatened their careers if they breathed a word of how bad the situation really was:

This part is grimly amusing: “NHS England confirmed it was controlling media communications, which it said was part of its national emergency incident planning to ensure the public received “clear and consistent information”. Notice that nothing is said about that information being factually accurate!

But why aren’t NHS workers getting the protective equipment they need?

It’s a good question, considering the manufacturers have been desperate to provide it, but haven’t been able to even start making them until the government put in an order – and the government did nothing but stall for a prolonged period of time:

Fashion and textile firms said they could have begun making gowns and masks for frontline workers on March 19.

The government, meanwhile, has been insisting that everything is all right – creating something of a credibility gap:

Trade group Make It British said factories had been receiving calls from individual hospitals, begging them to send anything they could provide.

A spokesperson said she believes the government does not have the expertise it needs to source the products from UK firms because it is so used to importing goods from overseas.

So This Writer would suggest that the government has been hiding the fact in order to prevent embarrassment for ministers.

And that leads me to the big question:

Which is more important – saving lives or saving Tory ministers’ blushes?