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Friday, 08 May 2020

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I can remember my Grandparents mumbled about Britain tossing Mr Churchill out for years after the fact. My Grandfather wondered aloud how to confront Soviet Socialists when Britain put them in power at home. He was annoyed.

Whitewall:

Yes, my parents were the same. They saw Churchill's removal as some massive act of ingratitude and foolishness, and a source of national shame.

Whitewall, Churchill declined a knighthood. He said I could not receive the Order of the Garter from my sovereign when I received the order of the boot from his people.
The people voted him in again during October 1951 same year I was born. Tens of thousands of troops who were natural Tories like my father voted in the Labour Government simply because they wanted social change and the eradication of poverty. It had nothing to do with socialist totalitarianism. My father was better fed and housed during his five years in the Middle East. It was a shock to him when he returned home to the old tenement house with the outside toilet, the wife and four children.

Glesga,

Good heavens man, stop making sense. The conventional wisdom here is that the NHS = Medicare = Stalinism = Nazism = Marxism.

Bob, our NHS was intended to be for looking after the sick and maternity for our mothers. However it has become a service for men who want tits and women who require a willy and so on. It pays out billions in compensation because of mistakes. It is a giant elephant that has lost its moral compass.

By then the very worst effects of post-war austerity were beginning to abate and the Tories were able to take full advantage. Socialism, red in tooth and claw, was no longer the, er, 'Peoples' Choice' and thus the Labour party was wise enough to limit their socialistic ambitions.

You're joking, right?

The only thing the Tories took advantage of post-war was socialism until 1979.

And the only thing the Labour party took advantage of was socialism until 1997.

And since 2016 both have reverted to type again so that now we have only have blue, red, and yellow socialists on the ballot paper.

SoD

It pays out billions in compensation because of mistakes. It is a giant elephant that has lost its moral compass.

Nice one Glezza! Saves me having to make a comment - ooops, I just did! Well might as well finish the job ...

Bob, the NHS just killed a lot of people who should have survived given the resources granted it. 10's of thousands. The NHS and Social Services were routinely starving and dehydrating 10,000 elderly and vulnerable people to death for years, let alone the other medical negligence killings.

What part of NHS = Stalinism = Nazism = Marxism don't you understand?

SoD

Good article by Charles Moore, outlines and joins several themes: dangers of Covid Socialism, the Don's Posse against China.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/08/like-war-covid-19-dream-socialists-boris-has-lead-us-safety/amp/

Naughty, but here's the full Monty ...


"This is your victory,” Winston Churchill told the cheering crowds in Whitehall, 75 years ago yesterday. “No – it’s yours,” they shouted back. They meant it. Yet on July 26 1945, the people decisively threw out Churchill and his Conservatives and voted for the socialism of Clement Attlee’s Labour Party. They meant that, too.

Total war is good for socialism. Its demands seem to overwhelm all normal considerations of liberty, privacy, property and diversity. It provides a seductive, but false model for the ensuing peace: let us all work together, all do what we’re told. Let the heroes beat their swords into ploughshares and distribute the resulting harvest to all. It is seductive because it purports to reward everyone equally for sacrifice. It is false because it assumes the benign agency of an ever-mightier state.

Churchill saw this. He was influenced by F A Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom, published the previous year. It attacked the sort of central economic planning to which the war had given rise in Britain. It argued, as its title suggested, that such planning led not only to poverty, but also to servitude. This was why, Hayek thought, both Nazis (an abbreviation, remember, for National Socialists) and Communists loved central planning. It was their road to power and thus the people’s road to serfdom.

In the 1945 election campaign, Churchill took up Hayek’s theme. He broadcast that “No socialist government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.”

The reaction was, rightly, angry. Any implied comparison between the Gestapo and the thoroughly decent Mr Attlee who, as Churchill’s coalition deputy, had been in charge of the home front, seemed insulting and absurd. Churchill’s words contributed to his party’s defeat.

The following year, Churchill addressed comparable concerns in the different milieu of foreign policy. In a speech at Fulton, Missouri, he made famous a phrase he had already used privately: “An iron curtain has descended across the Continent [of Europe]”. Communist parties, controlled from Moscow, were taking power in eastern Europe and removing “true democracy”, he said. The curtain cast a shadow on the shared victory: “I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines.” The West had to prevent it.

As with his Gestapo remarks, Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech incurred disapproval. Many still saw the Soviet Union as a great ally. Partially shielded from the truth about Stalin’s mass murders, they believed in sanitised versions of Communist doctrines. A leading article in The Times rebuked Churchill and praised “the development of economic and social planning” in the Soviet Union. In Britain and the US – let alone in Moscow – he was denounced as a warmonger. He did not mind unduly, since the same had happened when he opposed appeasing Hitler in the Thirties. The phrase “Iron Curtain” accurately defined the coming Cold War.

Three quarters of a century later, it is worth bearing in mind two things. The first is that Churchill was essentially right. The economic and ideological tendency of socialism is totalitarian. It therefore threatens liberty, prosperity and peace. The second is that this message can be delivered in the wrong way. It is the task of anti-socialist politicians to overcome this.

The Covid-19 crisis is the medical equivalent of total war, so it is a dream for socialists. To defeat the virus, liberty is curtailed, collective action is exalted, vast sums of public money are expended and the Government takes over almost everything. The role of heroic workers, peasants and soldiers which was the staple of Communist propaganda is taken by NHS workers.

As in 1945, the policy is presided over by a Conservative prime minister, although he is an eloquent opponent of socialism. Also as in that era, the West is threatened by a massive eastern power which, until recently, many had come to regard as friendly. Whereas the Soviet Union exported deadly ideology to the wider world, the Chinese Communist Party, through incompetence and cover-up, has exported deadly disease. In her VE Day broadcast last night, the Queen said that those who laid down their lives “died so we could live as free people in a world of free nations”. Despite the defeat of Nazism, their global aim was not fully achieved then, and it is not fully achieved now.

So what should Boris Johnson – and other non-socialist leaders in the West – do? During the lockdown, I have received many messages from readers, friends, thinkers, economists etc, warning of the measures’ dire effects on people’s freedom and livelihoods, and protesting about totalitarianism. I sympathise, but I worry about painting ourselves into a corner like Churchill with his Gestapo remark.

Yes, the measures have been draconian. Yes, the costs are terrifying. Yes, there may be other ways of dealing with the virus, but we should all – even the experts – admit that the fundamental problem is lack of definite knowledge. Given that we still do not really know how the virus works, surely political leaders have had little choice.

At the margins, we can debate: was it necessary, for example, to close garden centres? But if you look, as politicians must, to the safety of all citizens, you must err on the side of over-protection. Covid-19 is an emergency. In an emergency, you have to protect people without knowing all the facts. (Think of how police cordon off an area where a shot has been fired: it often looks over-zealous, but they cannot know whether more shots will come.) With our crowded population and (socialist) model of over-centralised health care, ministers would have run uncontrollable practical and political risks if they had followed the more relaxed Swedish model. If the rush of cases had overwhelmed the hospitals, the Government would not have survived, or have deserved to.

In a major emergency, only government has the power to command. The trick of socialism, so well observed by George Orwell, is to pretend that emergency is a permanent state of being so that government must run everything forever. The duty of believers in liberty is to prove that it isn’t and it mustn’t, not to impede a proper emergency response. The biggest test of Boris will be not how we went into this situation but how he will lead us out of it.

As for the China question, it is, broadly, this. Will its leaders emerge shamed by the terrible effects of their secrecy and selfishness upon the world? Or will they manage to re-present China as a society which advances prosperity by a high level of social and political control – including the direct electronic surveillance of virtually everyone – and thus abolishes the need for freedom? We should not be surprised to find, in the West, quite a few fellow travellers for this second possibility.

In his Iron Curtain speech, Churchill was as internationalist as anyone could want (he called for UN air squadrons), but he was realistic about who did care about freedom and who did not. The international order could have an “overwhelming assurance of security” only if “the population of the English-speaking Commonwealth be added to that of the United States”. China’s rise confirms that.

SoD

Well, that got a response.

Glesga,

I agree the NHS's centrally planned system is not the best for a national healthcare system. Central planning leads to laziness and cronyism. The NHS dates from a time that central planning had not yet been fully discredited. However, it's not the worst system in the world. It ranks as the 18th best (see below).

SoD,

Right. The NHS is staffed by cold blooded murderers. So is the US system:

"An estimated 161,250 preventable deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals, a decline from three years ago, according to a new analysis from the Leapfrog Group."

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/safety-quality/161000-avoidable-deaths-occur-hospitals-annually-leapfrog-group-finds

The difference is that we have to pay twice as much to be murdered in a hospital, and somewhere around 60 million Americans have no health coverage at all and die at home or in an emergency room. (It's hard to find a current number of uninsured because of the surge in unemployment, so 60 million is a guess that's probably low.) There's no agreement on why there's been a decrease in avoidable deaths that I could find.

Ranking world healthcare systems has apparently become big business. I'm amazed at how many studies have been commissioned by, for example, Cigna; a huge private provider. I also didn't want to use WHO figures because the WHO wouldn't be credible in these here parts for obvious reasons. So here's World Population Review's ranking:

https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/best-healthcare-in-the-world/

They put the UK in 18th place and the US in 37th.

What you're peddling is called the "Nirvana fallacy". You're comparing the NHS to a theoretical perfect system that doesn't exist.

Loz, my maw had to take my three brothers and sister to the shelters when the sirens started. They eventually took their chances and stayed at home. My Maw had to queue for food as well as working in a munitions factory. There was no food/wine home deliveries. The coalmen dumped the coal in the close and the wummin had to lug it up the stairs. There was no NHS. There was an old woman called Lizzie Wallace who lived in the dunnie close and she took an old penny per month during a pregnancy and delivered the babies at home. That was life and the only time my maw ever moaned was when my da came home drunk.

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