Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Hancock pulls the plug on the National Health Service

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LISTENING to Matt Hancock speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, I was surprised to hear him announce the end of the NHS. I was even more surprised by the apparent lack of response from the assembly and subsequently from the NHS establishment or the mainstream media. A peep from Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition would have been reassuring.

Perhaps our honourable representatives were numbed by Hancock’s lacklustre presence or overwhelmed by the jumble of words that tumbled, Biden-like, from his mouth, causing them to miss one of the most important statements ever uttered in that place.

This is what he said in response to a weaselly question from his Conservative colleague Dr Liam Fox about whether people now being hospitalised with Covid-19 had been too young to get the vaccine, or whether they had chosen not to have it:

‘I think that there is a material difference between the state’s responsibility to offer the vaccine to all adults . . . and the duty that we have, when somebody has not been offered the vaccine, is greater than the duty we have when we have offered a vaccine but somebody has chosen not to take it up. And there is a material difference between those two situations.’ 

There it is: the new criterion for treatment in the NHS – Covid-19 vaccination status.

Lest the message be misconstrued, the Right Honourable Dame Andrea Leadsom removed her mask and provided clarification:

‘May I just take what our Right Hon Friend Dr Fox said one step further? If I choose not to have, say, a yellow fever jab when I am going to a place that suffers yellow fever, the government of the United Kingdom take no interest whatever in my illness status. When my Right Hon Friend the Secretary of State says that he has less of a duty, surely what he means is that he has no duty at all. It is for people to take up the vaccine.’

Hancock went on: ‘There is a challenge, should there be an overwhelming demand on the NHS that would impact on others. And of course with a communicable disease, there is an impact on others in terms of spreading the disease so we do have to have an eye to that.’

No one could deny that the NHS is ripe for reform, but has Matt Hancock, recently described by Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg as ‘the brilliant, the one and only successful genius who has been running health over the last 15 months’, decided unilaterally to dispense with Aneurin Bevan’s ‘great and novel undertaking’? More likely is that this is but another step in the path to the Great Reset: ‘Save the NHS for the compliant only’.   

Let us remember that when the NHS was brought into being in July 1948, its purpose was to provide universal, comprehensive and free health care, based on clinical need. This ideal of providing a quality service for all, regardless of ability to pay, has been shaken by the NHS’s bizarre self-insulating response to Covid-19 and its persistent lack of moral integrity in dutifully obeying orders. It has capitulated into being a de facto Covid-19 service, to the exclusion of all else.

Now we are being told that the future of medicine in the UK will be a vaccine apartheid, with those who have had the jab worthy of treatment, and those who have not, for whatever reason, put to the back of the queue or worse, left to their own devices. This is triage in extremis, and a path well-trodden by eugenicistsand war criminals.

We should not be misled into thinking this could never happen here: who could have foreseen the diktats meted out by a ‘Conservative’ government? It is only a small step between the current denial of access to the unvaccinated to public places, sports events and travel (which appears to have public support) and their progressive scapegoating and exclusion from other public realms, including medicine.

If previously legally protected rights are arbitrarily withdrawn from them, where and when will it stop? Who is to judge? Matthew Hancock or Boris Johnson?

Looking at our politicians’ posturing, virtue-signalling, collective rantings about ‘the science’ and faux declarations of ‘there is no alternative,’ I am reminded increasingly of Hannah Arendt’s description of Adolf Eichmann in Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963). Arendt found Eichmann to be an ordinary, rather bland bureaucrat; ‘shallow and clueless’, a ‘joiner’ who was ‘terrifyingly normal’. He seemingly acted without any motive other than to advance his career. On his execution, she concluded:

‘It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us – the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.’

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Kate Dunlop
Kate Dunlop is a mediator.

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