I’m not sure there’s all that much value in reposting stuff, especially one’s own. It may too easily, and fairly, be judged as self-serving. But maybe, occasionally, bearing witness to one’s thoughts in another place can be useful, fruitful – even productive. An example today, when in a few short tweets I tried to nail exactly what Cameron & Co have been up to all this time:
Cameron & Co’s crusade is basically this – the full monetisation of life (ie teach a generation it cannot depend on anything but money).
No matter many in their search for money will fail to acquire the levels of wealth necessary to live in dignity. Dignity is not the aim.
Nor is humanity, nor is social awareness, nor even self-awareness. Just money, money, money and more money. The ultimate insurance policy.
Unfortunately, the system is gamed against an equitable distribution of this chimera. So as insurance for the masses, it’s pretty rubbish.
Which is why we invented the welfare state. To bring the socialising security of vast wealth to the less moneyed.
Now, for the wealthy, it’s not enough to count their difference in pounds & pence. Now they must measure it in terms of health & its access.
Too many of the poor were living too well with welfare. What does privilege do when it sees its differences tumble? Re-establish them!
Not out of a sense of justice or merit, tho’. Out of a sense of sheer spite and cruelty. That’s what’s happening here. I despair.
The consequences will be terrible – “tremendas” as the Spanish would say. And I mention the Spanish for a very good reason. As my previous post suggested, Cameron & Co have just announced “migrants” will be charged for A&E (accident and emergency services at hospitals). The rationale runs as follows (the bold is mine and will be discussed in a minute):
No one will be turned away from an A&E department in an emergency, but there will be a bill to pay afterwards for patients from overseas. Other changes include extending charging for prescriptions to people from overseas, and requiring them to pay higher charges for services that are subsidised for patients entitled to NHS care, such as optical and dental services.
Health minister Lord Howe said: “Having a universal health service free at the point of use rightly makes us the envy of the world, but we must make sure the system is fair to the hardworking British taxpayers who fund it.
Patients from overseas, eh? Well. My wife and children all have Spanish nationality, although they’ve been resident in England since 2003. Would my wife and children be liable for such payments? It’s not clear to me they wouldn’t. But then here’s the massive Catch-22: because my wife and children, Spanish citizens remember, have been living in England for so long, they can only access the Spanish equivalent of our NHS because they have had, to date, access to the English NHS itself – and as a consequence carry with them wherever they go the health card issued by that institution.
They are not as you might have assumed, and as a matter of birthright, allowed to use the state health services of their own country without being charged, unless they have this English documentation.
So what, then, will happen when the English start charging my family to access A&E in England? Does this mean that in their very own country they will also be obliged to pay for services other Spaniards living in Spain over the past decade do not/will not have to? And if this is the case, what’ll happen to all the English expats living in Spain who currently have access to Spanish services and can only use the English NHS because of their affiliation to the Spanish social security system? Will they end up similarly orphaned from their own places of birth?
These are, of course, bureaucratic entanglements which people of goodwill and good faith may be inclined to go that extra mile (or kilometre) in order to iron out to the satisfaction of the more humane amongst us. And I’d like to think this might be the case. But I don’t believe it will be, for two very good reasons. First, the series of tweets I was minded to post this morning, alongside the conclusions they encourage one to reach. I think they are ineludible; am fearful they are undeniable. Second, from the same Guardian article I linked to above, this slight and unassuming paragraph sandwiched in between the two I’ve already quoted from:
GP and nurse consultations will remain free, which the government believes will reduce risks to public health such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.
This, for me, is the most revolting part of it all. As I suggested in my previous post, the merry band of Cameron & Co is looking to create the oxymoron of a democratic state of first- and second-class citizens. The classes – let’s call them “castes”, because immobility between states of existence is also clearly one of the objectives – will be defined in two ways:
- in terms of the money they bring to the country – this is clear from recent moves to fast-track the “globalising” wealthy (weird how they don’t get termed “migrants”, isn’t it?), alongside other merciless attempts to ensure that border security and immigration task forces do everything to frighten off the less moneyed “foreigners”;
- in terms of the money they may cost the country, particularly in times of extreme personal distress – this is clear from the unassuming but weasel-like sentence I’ve just asked you to read. For when the government informs us that GP and nurse consultations will remain free for public health reasons, what it’s really saying is that if someone falls ill and needs A&E and is not contagious or dangerous for “real” English people, they can bloody well pay for the honour of being patched together. But if through alien infirmity their foreignness threatens our homegrown, true-blue and “hardworking” English gene stock (see the response from Lord Howe I highlighted in bold before), then we might just throw them the crumbs of what’s left of our decency and give them some free health support – though not out of a broader and more humane understanding of their needs and existences. Rather, out of a fear of what they might infect us with if left to their own scrounging and poverty-ridden devices.
So now do you comprehend my revulsion?
I hope so. For this isn’t just an attack on multicultural realities. This is a prioritising of a rank notion of monocultural rights above all others. The Catch-22 which impales us on our citizenship and residency statuses is, I fear, deliberate, evil and long in its planning.
I’d really like to put a stop to the implications of all the above. And whilst it hurts me to say it, the only truly democratic and noble way to do it is to slog, hard and long, to get rid of Cameron & Co from all remaining vestiges of power.
That they are intelligent, highly competent and very clever at sustaining their gameplan, I have no doubt.
But this doesn’t mean in any way we have ever deserved their inhumanity.
Time to fight back? Well, yes. Of course.
In the light of all the above, that time is clearly now.
Care to join the battle? Then write, inform yourself, communicate, persuade and organise – from today to the very last gasp of general election pain. Only then, even if we lose, can we say it wasn’t for want of trying.
And neither will anyone be able to ask anything more of anyone else – of me, you or any good soul who chooses to fight in a political siege of such monumental proportions.