Saturday, 4 March 2017

Wave that shroud

The evidence of priming studies suggests that reminding people of their mortality increases the appeal of authoritarian ideas, which may become reassuring in the context of the terror of death.

Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011)

From the BBC

Tens of thousands of people - including NHS workers, campaigners and union representatives - have marched in London to protest against "yet more austerity" in the health service.

Protesters on the #OurNHS march wanted to draw attention to plans which could see hospital services in nearly two-thirds of England cut back.

Union leaders say many NHS services "are on their knees".

The Department of Health says it is investing an extra £4bn in the NHS.

I have no strong views about the NHS, our experiences have been both good and not so good, but the latest bout of shroud-waving reminds one of how tiresomely self-righteous NHS supporters can be.

They may have a point and they may not, but surely many neutral observers will never know because they have heard it all before and the will to check these things evaporated years ago.

I see Corbyn addressed the faithful too. He would.


Sam Vega said...

Like you, I don't have particularly strong views on the NHS. And if I did have, they wouldn't be much use to anyone else, because they would be likely to be forged in times of exceptional crisis that are uniquely mine. My strong views would reflect the fact that the NHS saved me or a loved one, or let me down badly.

It's probably not all that bad a way of organising health care, but many countries seem to do as well or better with different systems. Corbyn and co. get involved by confusing means and ends. The NHS is a means to better health, but left-wing politicians tend to see it as an end in itself. Pump it full of money, keep reorganising it, keep talking about it, keep the show on the road...

Michael said...

Good point Sam...

" left-wing politicians tend to see it as an end in itself. Pump it full of money, keep reorganising it, keep talking about it, keep the show on the road...".

What I can't understand, is that if left-wingers always want to blame 'management' for failure, then why don't they go for the endless streams of drivel coming from the incompetent piled-up tiers of NHS managing hierarchies?

It doesn't take too much to see the costs of keeping all those bean-counters and paper-clip collectors, and compare them with the actual people who do the proper medical work.

Anonymous said...

You don't know what you've got till its gone.

The British are very good at getting a quart out of a pint pot. The Treasury has relied on this for years, NHS funding has been starved of nearly 2Bn/year for years and years compared with our European neighbours. A mostly good organisation is always on the end of a Treasury Rob Peter To Pay Paul game. When the screaming gets too bad the names of Peter and Paul get changed around a bit until next time. The unions and the workers do their bit too - only to be expected and managed.

So I am glad there are protests and the claim of £4Bn is a drop in the ocean of neglect. As for Corbyn - who cares about him. As you say the shroud waving and Treasury chicanery have been going on for years and years, but we should not get too bored by it - it affects us.

James Higham said...

The manner of these people undoes any good they may have been advocating.

wiggiatlarge said...

My recent experiences did indeed show the good and the bad within the NHS and a short story could and indeed has been written on those events.
What is becoming ever more obvious is twofold firstly many working within the NHS believe their opinions on how it should be run are over and above everyone else s regardless of who pays their wages, they know best, end off.
Secondly those people use the "privatisation" meme as a reason to stop all changes and believe lack of money is the sole reason for any failings.

What is obvious is that the model by which the NHS operates is a one off no one else in the world goes this route of financial support, hooray say those entrenched in the current model, this is how it should be, just keep pumping in more money as and when asked for and valhalla is possible.
Off course the biggest obstacle to any change is fear by all political parties that change will lose elections, no one wants to be the party "that wrecked" the NHS as that is how they believe it will be seen, so there is an impasse and they fiddle around the edges whilst the problem grows and grows.
And just to show how fearful political parties are even in this enlightened age of ever admitting that something they are responsible for could possibly have the side effect of overloading the NHS they refuse to ever discuss the effects of immigration, legal, and even less illegal that the sheer numbers of have on the system, the infrastructure isn't there nor the staff and importing more staff does not legitimise immigration on such a scale it merely shows it for the ponzi scheme it is.
It will change, it has to, how that will happen is a guess at this moment in time, but an insurance based third way as elsewhere makes some sense, if only for the fact it does give real choice in the countries that adopt that format and choice is something sadly lacking in the NHS, as a recent survey showed that 84% feel change (they don't specify what change ?) is needed in the NHS and outside of the serried ranks of placard carrying activists there is a sign that change would be accepted by a lot more people than previously thought possible.

A K Haart said...

Sam - yes it is an end in itself for the political left. The risk of being let down badly is probably too high but not as high as anecdote seems to suggest.

Scrobs - I see waste on a regular basis, but whether sorting it out would make a significant difference I can't tell. The whole edifice it too complex.

Roger - I tend to ignore the claimed shortfall numbers and treat it all as funding theatre. We have the theatre because that's how a relatively inexpensive service is kept relatively inexpensive.

James - some are good, but the bad ones can be dreadful and are remembered. Had an example recently.

Wiggia - I sometimes wonder if private dentistry is changing minds. Other private functions too such as chiropody may slowly shift attitudes.