We can be a lot of things – angry, fearful, frustrated, pessimistic, even happy, for the dyed-in-the-wool Tories who think this is somehow a good thing. But ashamed? No way in hell.
There’s a blog post here which starts with the writer telling us he’s just turned 64, and going on to end with the assertion that we should all be ashamed at what has been done to the NHS. Seriously? Jesus wept!
I recently (well, OK, last October), turned 67 – big deal – and I take very great exception to the idea that we should all be ashamed. It was not done by me, or for me, or on my behalf, nor did I want it – wherein lies my shame?
I, along with many others, devoted hours to participating in almost all the online attempts to contact the peers and MPs and urge them to kill the bill. In the end vested interests and pure, unadulterated lies and dishonesty won the day. Why the hell should I be ashamed? I worked my seriously ill nuts off, late into the night on several occasions, I have nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of.
Why, indeed, should any of us feel ashamed? It was out of our control from Thursday 6 May 2010. We didn’t do this, a government without a mandate, based on lies and facilitated by a power-mad and gutless buffoon and his joke of a party, Clegg, whose leader, Cameron, blatantly lied about his intentions towards the NHS, just as he lied about disability benefit fraud, Housing Benefit, and pretty much everything else that came out of his mouth. Bastard couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it.
I am not ashamed by what’s happening, I’m bloody furious. Scared, too, because it might well mean that I die sooner than I should (and believe me, that’s already too soon), through lack of care and medication; nor will I be alone. The suggestion that I, and others, should be ashamed implies that this most mendacious and duplicitous of governments is somehow under our control, and that we could somehow have changed the course of events. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s very easy to criticise, to say we all should have done something, but I can’t help but note that the writer is rather lacking in ideas as to what we should have done. Or could do now.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that the average citizen of this benighted isle could have done, or can do, that is legal (and precious little that isn’t come to that, short of dropping a tactical nuke on the Palace of Westminster while both houses were in session – and then you couldn’t be sure of getting the worst of them).
Look how well student demos against uni fees worked out. Or any of the demos last year. Immensely laudable though they were in intent, they accomplished little or nothing. They didn’t even bring the plight of the sick and disabled into the public arena. Not because they didn’t try hard enough – I don’t see how they could have done more than they did, but because most of the media paid no heed, except to occasionally broadcast or publish lies (make that frequently for the BBC, Mail and Torygraph), both during and for long after.
Short of armed insurrection I fail to see what we can do, and even that won’t work because it sort of falls to pieces on the “armed” bit, since successive governments have disarmed honest citizens while leaving gangs, criminals and the occasional psychopath (some of whom wear navy-blue uniforms), armed to the teeth.
In any case, the biggest villains, the core of our elected dictatorship, Cameron, Duncan Smith, Osborne, Lansley and Grayling – and their prime facilitator, Clegg, without whom none of this would, or could, have happened, are, even when they’re plotting the demolition of what little is left of the Welfare State, the most well-protected people in the country besides the Queen, perhaps even more so.
So what, Mr. 64-year-old- blogger, should we have done, could we have done, that would have prevented Cameron opening up the NHS to his carpet-bagger cronies? I really would love to know.
I do know you seem to feel we should have taken to the streets en mass, which would have accomplished nothing but a few broken heads – ask Alfie Meadows how he feels about the idea – and a whole bunch of people arrested on trumped-up charges (remember Fortnum and Mason?). But, as I said, that has already proven futile, through no lack on the part of the organisers or participants. They were simply ignored, because this government, at least for the next 3 years, cares nothing about the opinions of the people.
What good would repetition do?
And I agree, there is apathy, but it’s largely of the “Well, what the hell can I do then?” variety, the answer to which is bugger all. We could have taken to the streets in our hundreds of thousands, and the NHS Bill would STILL have been passed. And if you honestly feel that is not the case, well, I fear you’re misguided.
Note for the hard of thinking – this is not incitement to insurrection, or nuking Parliament (come on, don’t be absurd!), it’s perfectly legitimate speculation as to what we could have, can, or cannot do – OK? Note too that any opinions expressed in the comments are, as always, those of the writers, and not mine.