Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

MODERN TIMES: The Dinosaur Column

In Dinosaur, Uncategorized on May 5, 2018 at 9:35 pm

dinosaurNHS? Not Out of Our Pocket!

I’m sure that most folk accept the fact that when the National Health Service was first put before Parliament, (as a major component of Beveridge’s plan for a welfare state) the Tories were not in favour. The official line was “it may be a nice idea but we just can’t afford it.”

But in fact a large proportion of the Tory voting public, along with the leadership of the party, were bitterly opposed to the creation of what they saw as a “nanny state”. A recent letter in the Western Daily Press reminded me of some of the false rumours that were spread at the time in a vain attempt to discredit the NHS and the whole notion of the welfare state.

I remember some of the accusations myself, though I was only a fledgling dinosaur at the time. Attlee was accused of being a “Socialist thief” The right-wing press ran stories (such as the claim that NHS patients carried away car loads of cotton wool. Or one that I dimly remember, patients hoarding loads of false teeth supplied by NHS dentists. Such “fake news” was spread to indicate how profligate the new born Health Service was.

There was also the argument that “no-one values what he/she doesn’t pay for” (that was a favourite amongst comfortably well-off Tory voters). Indeed, the NHS, it was said, was “undermining the moral fibre of the nation”. The letter in the Western Daily Press goes on to suggest that such views reflect President Ronald Reagan’s famous words, “the poor deserve to be poor” (and also, perhaps, helps us to understand why those in the USA who vote Republican are so bitterly opposed to anything even approaching what could be seen as a national health service.

Adverts on the box

I’ve always had a somewhat mixed attitude towards the adverts shown on telly. Some just float over my head, or give me the opportunity to get up and make a cuppa tea – or maybe to check my emails on my new-fangled computer. But some really annoy me.

Take a couple, for example. One’s for some estate agent called “Purple Bricks” (why I don’t know). It consists of some hapless individual being shouted at and generally humiliated because he didn’t know that Purple Bricks was a “proper” estate agent – it just didn’t charge commission.

It’s really designed to show the nasty, bullying and humiliating side of people’s nature. I’d like to know why doesn’t the hapless victim respond with the question, “how do they make their money then?” That might shut up the bullies!

The other one is the government “information” ads. Particularly the one that calls on us to “switch” today (presumably they’re talking about our energy suppliers). But why should we? What if we’re reasonably happy with what we’ve already got? Or should we just get caught in an endless cycle of switching? It just doesn’t make sense.

What happened to the old adverts we used to snooze through? The jingles, about happy motoring? The vacuum cleaners that swept as they beat as they cleaned? Ah, happy, innocent days!

Footnote:

So Theresa May has decided that our new UK passports won’t be printed in in the UK – but in France where it’s cheaper. Quelle Horror! Naturally enough papers like the Mail and the Express are livid.But where, I’d like to know, are May’s principles? If she’s serious about leaving the EU, surely the jobs should go to a British firm? Or am I missing something? Personally I’m a “remainer” but having said that, what about the jobs in Britain that are being threatened?

Dinosaur. Grrrr.

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