The appearance of Daniel Hannan, a British Conservative MEP (Member of the European Parliament) slagging off our National Health Service on Fox News (where else?) has certainly caused a stir here. So he 'wouldn't wish (our NHS) on anyone', would he? Well, he can afford to buy his own private health care. The vast majority of us can't and (you know what?) I wouldn't change the present system for the world, just the same as, I believe, over 90% of the British population! Knowing that one has the safety blanket of pretty good or very good care should one need it, no matter what one's income and resources are, even if they're nil, is a great comforting thought ever-present in the background. Of course there are particular areas of the health service which can be improved. There always will be. But I've got no complaints at all about the services I've received throughout my life - and I don't think anyone I know, including those who've been in hospital, somewhere I've never been myself (touch wood), would hold a different view. I heard it said by American commentators that here one has a doctor assigned to one and one has to make do with whomever one is given. That's news to me. I can apply to be registered with any doctor I wish and, when granted one, I can change to another without giving any reason.
I always feel reluctant to pontificate and criticise on the political systems of other democratic countries when, heaven knows, we have so many faults of our own, though I was at first bemused at seeing the nature of the campaigning against Obama on this issue but it really has turned distasteful and nasty now - even distressing. Portraying the man as Hitler is just so ridiculously OTT. But then the word 'socialist' is uttered by these same people with the same repugnance as they say 'paedophile' . It strikes me sometimes that even being 'liberal' is akin to being a rapist. Oh, and by the way, the said Mr Hannan has been rapidly slapped down and (alas, too tamely) dismissed as an 'eccentric' not only by our Conservative Party leader who re-asserts that the National Health Service here is his 'number one priority' but by an array of seniors from that very same party - as well, of course, by any number of government ministers and prominent spokesmen from our own socialist (at least in name. I wish it was more so) Labour government. Okay, now that I've got that off my chest let's move on!
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