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Thursday, 04 January 2018

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Duffers quite correct, and the zeitgeist is not in our favour, however simple mathematics is catching up with the socialists, and the solution is actually quite simple.

Rather like has been done with schools you simply legislate for free hospitals to be set up which can provide services under contract to health authorities. By definition they will be competing against each other as well as the stalin sector.

It has already been demonstrated in the UK that a privately-run hospital (I forget the name of the place) is very competitive costs wise.

Phase II is to legislate the selling of selceted hospitals in particular areas to either companies of specially set up trusts (including say workers' cooperatives)

Phase III is to sell or close all remaining state owned facilities.

Couldn't be easier, and should be done before the next GE (oops, my natural optimism getting the better of me there...)

Good timing, DD. I normally have little contact with the NHS but this morning my noble stoicism in suffering a chest infection dating from the end of November finally cracked. My wife called in to the Health Centre and arranged for them to call me back (I'm in bed with unimaginable suffering, you understand...) After several hours, a nice Irishman phoned. He asked what my symptoms were. He hummed and tapped his pen. He asked whether I had any underlying medical condition. He asked whether I wanted an appointment to see him. I stifled the urge to reply that No, a nice telephone chat with an Irishman normally did the trick for me, and said that I thought that might be a good idea. He seemed quite surprised, but genially offered me a slot tomorrow. It turns out he is a Practice Nurse.

Something tells me I'm going to turn up, and he's going to tell me to drink fluids and stay warm, and that there's a lot of it about. I'm also coming round to the view that there is an awful lot of unproductive labour tied up in our glorious NHS. Of course, there is no chance of any of the current politicians fixing anything, because unstinting financial support for the current NHS is a sign of patriotism and morality. I'm not sure which is worse: pretending you can help and then having to apologise (May) or borrowing billions we don't have so the can gets kicked down the road again (Corbyn).

If only someone had warned the government about the death spiral of socialized medicine.

Whyaxye, don't 'sneeze' at that chest infection. We lost a friend 3 days before Christmas because of an unattended chest problem. She was 71.

I really don't know how the EU didn't intervene while we were members, or now, seeing as we still are.

It's a human rights issue and a competition / monopolies issue.

Restricting people to one health care provider in return for their tax take should be made illegal - immediately.

The £2200 per annum per person currently spent on the NHS should be open for the individual to spend on any health care provider in the world that can meet the Service Level Agreement of the NHS for the money (the "what you get for the tax you pay" list of treatments that NICE produces), with the proviso that no medical history is asked for.

Each provider will do an actuarial job on it to establish the cost profile of the averagely healthy Brit given NICE's SLA.

If global providers can do it at less than £2200 and offer change back to attract customers, let them do it. Shouldn't be difficult given the low efficiency and productivity of the NHS.

With thousands of health care businesses all weeding out the dead-wood and reshaping ludicrous processes so as to compete with each other, the market would quickly tune up the supply-side.

And it'd still be free at the point of usage, because if you couldn't be bothered to choose a health care provider, one would be automatically allocated to you randomly from the pool of competitors.

Please God, let this happen before I'm under the clay. Just this one thing out of the slurry of uselessness this country has foisted on itself since 1945.

SoD

SoD, does the EU regard healthcare as a "human rights" issue?

The best answer to healthcare seems to be a hybrid system. Over here we have the highest costs in the world for both care and prescription drugs. Our system works better than Britain's, but will eventually bankrupt the country if costs aren't controlled:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capita

Canada, where I visit at least yearly, consistently rates near the top for efficiency and outcomes. Their system is less privatized than ours and would seem to be near the happy medium. Every ten years or so they gripe about tax hikes to keep up with expansion, but overall are happy since services are also improved. I've yet to meet the Canadian who would trade systems with the US. My wife and I buy some of our more expensive drugs from Canadian pharmacies and save 30-70%.

Whiters,

No, but when it routinely starves and dehydrates elderly and vulnerable folks to death in their thousands, it should.

So I'm actually criticizing the EU, in case you hadn't noticed!

SoD

SoD,
I see. Sounds like the EU is a sadistic bunch. Bureaucrats eventually get that way.

Since last July I have had both eyes done for cataracts and an umbilical hernia operation all courtesy of the Spanish NHS. The last one was done in a private hospital due to a backlog in the public system but the tab was picked up for me. All the attention was top notch.

There is a very easy solution to health care,education and pensions. You ban all government personnel, especially politicians and all local government officials and all civil servants of any description and there immediate families who are on the public payroll from all parts of the private sector. When they can only use public facilities with no favouritism allowed you will then see vast improvements in all sectors.

I had a minor corrective procedure following very successful cataract operations on both eyes. They were paid for by the NHS but carried out at a private hospital. I opted to go private for the last procedure because I liked the better surroundings and attitude of the staff but am still waiting for a bill from the hospital for the use of their facilities six months ago, despite a request from me for an invoice. I have paid the consultant who also took his time in paying in my cheques.

"I really don't know how the EU didn't intervene while we were members, or now, seeing as we still are."

I'll tell you Sod. It's because they have never done anything to protect people from the folly of their own governments.

So I'm afraid it does rather destroy your usual argument for bending the knee to bruscles.

Apart from freedom of movement, the ECJ, rules and regs to stop anti-competitive state subsidy (NHS excepted), health and safety, prudent state fiscal rules, obligatory competitive tendering for govt contracts, preservation of the principle of separation of powers, what has the EU ever done for us to protect us from the negligence and malice of our own states?

SoD

If you import a third of a million new people every year, then all bits of our national infrastructure will be in trouble. Health, education, transport, housing, energy - they are all under strain. Let's just stop doing it for, say, 5 years, and see how we get on. (UKIP policy about ten years ago, I believe).

You'll remember the final piece to complete the jigsaw of the single market was to have been services.

While the single market was near complete in products / goods, there was much to do for services.

And the NHS would then have come under the spotlight.

Why can't I go to Prague and have my cancer treatment like that poorly little boy whose father dodged the clutches of the NHS and brutal state police like a refugee or asylum seeker? Why can't I have my hips and cataracts done in Spain where the service is better and you come away with change in your pocket compared to the NHS?

At last, the Brits, like an abused wife who always returns to her violent husband, would have been helped to ditch the bastard NHS by an external agency.

But no, it's not to be. The NHS will see us all under the clay, that's for sure now.

SoD

Don’t worry, the solution is already here! “Push doctor!”. You know how when you’re not feeling well, you log onto Wiki and it tells you that you have bubonic plague with a dash of TB? Well now you can fill your symptoms in over an App on your phone and a qualified medical person tells you that you have a cold, and you need bed and warm fluids. Of course, we trust that they *are* a qualified medical person. I mean, I’m sure you talk to them and everything and there’s no way that at some point, some of the process won’t be automated. And more of it won’t become automated as time goes on, to the point where you probably won’t need to speak to a doctor at all. And if one or two people snuff it because they were misdiagnosed, well, that’s probably a better record than the current NHS, don’t you think? And who would your family sue? There’s probably some small print which says if you agree to take the treatment, on your own head be it.
If the medical profession can’t get themselves into gear and stop telling people how to live healthily (by recommending diets designed to make you sick and fat) then they need to fall apart, since what they are doing now is firefighting and treating an epidemic that they helped create. They need to ditch bariatric surgery, that would help enormously. I haven’t seen science in the medical community for a while now, they are, next to religion, the only institution where feelings and anecdotal evidence are more important than actual facts. I know a great many people who ignore medical advice because they will live longer and enjoy a far better quality of life than they would in following the “Eat well” plate. If I could pay privately and not have money taken off me to fund this creaking institution (which was an excellent idea, but it’s lost its way) then that is what I would do.

Exercise often, do weight training for seniors, join a yoga for seniors program, learn deep breathing techniques and proper stretching for older adults. I have not felt this well in over a decade!

Ear, ear! It's good to hear someone talk about the taboo of privatisation rather than just screaming for more cash and less Tories

SoD - you remind me of a completely wasted evening arguing about the Big bang theory with a bunch of Jehova's Witnesses!

Anyway glad you're happy.

Well Mayfly, my experiences with my GP suggest things are fairly well automated already. I talk to him, he types, his computer writes back, he tells me what it says. I wait till I get home and then ask Google to tell what the hell he was on about.

"If you import a third of a million new people every year, then all bits of our national infrastructure will be in trouble. Health, education, transport, housing, energy - they are all under strain."

That's utter bollocks.

I've worked for many hi-tech companies in the IT sector whose turnover doubled or more year on year, and they took it in their stride. More than that, they welcomed it because it bolstered their earnings and job security.

Only the state sector thinks and works in the opposite, completely illogical, direction: More people equals more work - conveniently forgetting that more people also means more resources.

The very people you decry for coming here are the ones providing the new staffing for the health, education, transport, housing, and energy industries.

The state sector just doesn't want the hassle of extra change, reform, and re-organisation required to deliver more services from more resources. Why? Because being a monopoly there is no sense of needing to work smarter to earn more, because the monopoly and unionization extorts more earnings from the rest of the country (rail fare rises, anyone?). And there's no need for a sense of job security as well, for the same reasons.

When you spout those illogical, half-baked, Daily Mail, Express, Sun, DT falsities you only give sustenance to the authoritarian left, and prolong the abusive institutions they have spawned since 1945.

That's why I say: when you look at the Nolan chart, you are so far down the authoritarian right (bottom right triangle, down at the pointy bit in the middle) you are actually squeezed up against the authoritarian left (bottom left triangle, down at the pointy bit in the middle) ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart

Your false evidences cranky ideas, and daft arguments are not distinguishable from Jezza Corbyn's. And they sustain and develop Corbyn's power-base in Blighty.

The only restraint on this madness has now been removed from the constitutional landscape of Blighty.

A left-right authoritarian socialist death camp beckons.

That's Blighty's future now.

SoD

SoD,

The Nolan chart is an oversimplification. Right wing authoritarianism (RWA) has been studied in detail since WWII. You're correct that the far left and right overlap in some areas (they're actually not many), but the authoritarian personality is a characteristic of the right. In fact, it virtually is the right. Try a search for "right wing authority" and "left wing authority" and note the difference.

If you look at the Wikipedia article I linked you'll see that Britain spends a smaller percentage of its GDP on healthcare than the other advanced nations on the graph. As we commonly say over here, "You get what you pay for."

Corbyn would probably not be good for Britain. However, y'all are in a similar position to us, having had the opposing party largely discredit itself. As a yank it's hard to imagine an anachronism like Corbyn being elected, but most Americans had a hard time believing Trump could be elected. Globalization, despite its good points, is making many insecure and leading to bizarre politics.

Bob,

Blighty spends above the OECD average per that chart.

Here's a correlation: -

Other countries - whether they spend more or less per capita than Blighty - don't routinely starve their elderly and vulnerable people to death in their thousands, and close down their healthcare systems for a month when a bit of flu goes round.

Other countries all operate a different healthcare system from that of the NHS model (laughingly, psychotically, referred to as the "the envy of the world" by its admirers).

Can you derive a theory from that correlation?

SoD

I've searched for right wing authoritarianism and left wing authoritarianism, and I can't find much to differentiate the two, particularly the outcomes of each.

I did find much that describes, theorizes, and demonstrates the conflation of ideology and outcomes of left and right wing authoritarianism. Here's an example ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_fascism

And the old chestnut, the horseshoe theory, which is really a dumbed down version of Nolan's chart. Just put two arrow heads on the horseshoes ends, drop it onto Nolan's chart. There you have the direction of the Brit hoi-poloi and D&N gaffer and commentariat (yours truly accepted) on Nolan's chart from 1945-1979 (Thatcher elected) and 2016+: from middle top, to bottom centre, via left and right ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_theory

What is needed is ...

Oh, forget it, there's no use in saying "what is needed is ...". We had what we needed by proxy of an external agency. The country left that agency in order NOT to implement Libertarianism, so there's no point in a Libertarian like me elucidating "what is needed".

It's over for me.

Tomorrow belongs to you ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Mg6Gfh9Co

SoD

SoD,

You know better than to compare relative costs and absolute costs. As an advanced country, Britain is getting by on the cheap.

The claim the NHS is starving people doesn't completely represent the case:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/two-patients-die-starvation-thirst-each-day-nhs-hospitals-uk-care-homes-statistics-office-national-a7517171.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38554077

Take my word for it that aged care in America is also notoriously negligent. My own father was denied adequate care at his life's end because nurses and aids quit the facility he was in en masse when a rival with better working conditions opened, your "free market" in action. It would not have been practical, or probably possible, to move him on short notice. The obvious difference is that we pay dearly for poor services.

SoD,

Near the beginning of the article you link:

"Categorizations such as left-wing fascism provide shorthand labels, but they lack any universally understood or agreed meaning and in common parlance may be used as a pejorative for any left-wing political position, or where unusual (or contradictory) hybrid political positions are perceived."

There is a large body of work on RWA. That left wing authoritarianism exists at all is controversial.

Maybe I'm blind, but believe this song applies much better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRD_gIoVOmY

Look, even this daft old right-wing bat has thrown her lot in with the "I've never run so much as a whelk-stall, but I know how to run an entire industry through my diktat" mob ...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/06/health-service-really-must-stay-nationalised-need-do/

You can tell from her scarcely disguised delight when she says, "If politicians are too cowardly to contemplate breaking out of the perverse limitations of the tax-funded model, ..." and then delivers a tirade of "how to run a health care service" diktats based on the tax-funded model, that she's been gagging to stick her oar in and tell us how it should be done.

Jeremy Corbyn has two E grades at A-level, and has never run so much as a whelk-stall in his entire life. He reckons he knows too.

Farage was a spivvy city broker. He reckons he knows too.

Michael Gove, I don't even know what Gove has ever done, but he knows too.

What I do know is when you ask people who HAVE actually done something, the Gates, Sugars, and Bransons of this world, whether they could run an industry from the top down under their diktat better (more efficient, more productive) than the industry would run as a competitive market, they all say no. Without the competition - fear and greed, aspiration and achievement, call it what you will, as their driver, they never could have achieved what they did when they were players who succeeded in competitive markets.

But now the people you have given carte blanche to "own and operate the means of production and distribution", as Arthur Scargill used to call it, are the very E-grade, zero experience, losers you wouldn't put in charge of a whelk-stall.

And there's nothing to stop them.

SoD

"That left wing authoritarianism exists at all is controversial."

Jeez Bob, here's 120 million reasons why left wing authoritarianism exists ...

http://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2006/05/a_belated_happy.html

Is there such thing as a "left-wing holocaust denier" to match the right-wing equivalent, I wonder?

We need a generalization for your condition, Bob.

My first Wiki entry perhaps, seeing as they're a bit skint these days from all the begging messages I've been getting of late? Maybe I could help out.

SoD

SoD,

You're resorting to citing the blog you often criticize as evidence? FoD should be proud.

"That left wing authoritarianism exists at all is controversial."
Not a problem when the left wing will eventually come to its real home- Totalitarianism. That is a step beyond President "Pen and Phone".

Whitewall,

Executive overreach didn't begin with Obama. Remember the War Powers Resolution of 1973? How about resistance to the Louisiana Purchase? Our government's division of powers has been effective, though there's always friction between the branches.

Bob,
Pile enough overreach on top of overreach and eventually we have only the power of the Administrative State. This State is almost un-removable but small attempts are being made now. Thus the noisy hell fire in DC.

SoD,

I don't want to end being a wise guy. The topic is one that most Americans and Europeans probably see differently. This might interest you:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science/article/similarities-and-differences-between-leftwing-and-rightwing-radicals/C46411F0228745583D2EB8E91A19D881

A lot of this argument comes down to parsing terms. Some political scientists and psychologists see any oppressive regime as authoritarian and therefore right wing, regardless of political goals. The linked article makes a case that, even though their goals are nothing alike, the far left and far right can both be authoritarian. Interestingly, the authors claim their insights are from "intuitive" observations. That is a red flag for scientists.

The first interpretation is more compelling because, for example, the Soviet Union and its related movements claimed to further egalitarianism, a leftist goal. However, Stalinism and the USSR, in reality, had no interest in equality. In fact, quite the opposite. I wouldn't deny the evil done in the name of social equality or socialism, but deny the legitimacy of the claim. It strikes me as similar to religious groups claiming they have to kill people to save them.

"Interestingly, the authors claim their insights are from "intuitive" observations. That is a red flag for scientists."

If only it were, Bob. When I find science still relying on 'science' from years ago which has never been proven properly and has (in limitation) been shown to be false, I can't believe scientists still rely on facts.

Taking a basic premise "If you eat less than you expend, you lose weight". Science tells us this is correct. In fact, I get "It's not Rocket Science" thrown at me all the time. If we look at The Minnesota experiment", it clearly demonstrates that this is not the case. If we look at the continuing success of Weight Watchers, the Cambridge Diet etc., we know that this is not correct. However, I bet you 9 out of 10 doctors will go to "Reset" mode with their overweight patients and tell them that they need to "Eat less and move more".

As for "More than two genders".....this is not science!!!! This is "Feelings dictating reality"!!!

Mayfly,

You're right in that I should have written "That is a red flag for most scientists." You can always find some with pet beliefs, opinions outside their training, or with radical theories. That's why the main thrust is for researchers to compare notes until a consensus, based on hard and reproducible evidence, is found. This can take a long time, but problems are eventually resolved. The Science of physics is still verifying some of Einstein's work from over 100 years ago. Gravitational waves were directly measured for the first time just last year. I agree human nutrition seems to be one of the most unstable areas of research though.

There are people born with the genitalia of both genders or neither. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_hermaphroditism ). Some change their equipment by choice. While there are generally only two genders, there are a wide range of sexual identities. I have no idea how much emotion plays a part.

Mayfly,
"As for "More than two genders".....this is not science!!!! This is "Feelings dictating reality". Feelings become identity and identity becomes politicized. Once politicized, feeling have become policy in spite of science. Even bastardizing political science in the process.

Bob, I feel that nutrition, being something that humans cannot do without, deserves a great deal more attention than that which it is being given at present. I see general health declining to the point where children will not outlive their parents, and the medical profession simply insisting that it's due to people not following the diets they prescribe. I think we need a revolution to come sooner rather than later, but it's exhausting to push against popular opinion.

I appreciate that there are people born with both genders (but we still say born with male and female genitalia) and some born with neither (without male or female genitalia) but sex is not a social construct. There's a great video by "Suit Yourself" where he is in conversation with a lesbian and insists that she would find him attractive if he were to state he were a woman. "No, really, if I say I am a woman, you must see me as a woman".

Whitewall - yes indeed! Feelings in politics - I was looking at the Golden Globes and the grey unisex uniforms of the rich and famous, and I thought this is a shut down of feelings in response to people's feelings. I just....I can't even enact the labour. The picture totally depressed me.

I see the James Danmore article has been publicised, and a shameful read that is. Let's give the jobs to the marginalised, and never award achievement or hard work or even basic intelligence.

Mayfly,

I agree about nutrition. In my old age I've become allergic to many foods. Here in the US food production is treated like any other business and marketing takes precedence over nutrition. Nearly everything contains additives to make products look more attractive and uniform. For example if I eat bread my joints ache. I suspect the additive bromine, which is there only to give the tops of breads and the like a golden brown color. I can buy expensive organic bread, but have just given it up and haven't had the problem since. My doctor told me the medical community is seeing more of this condition that mimics arthritis. You probably know that sugar added to almost everything has created an epidemic of type II diabetes, even in children. It's more reason to be skeptical of "free markets".

Sex has been politicized for as long as I can remember. It's an interesting topic for most and that probably won't change soon.

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