“The worst thing a UK government has done to its people in my lifetime”

Marcus Chown explains why, in the European elections, he is standing for the National Health Action Party in London.

Marcus Chown
6 May 2014
nhap candidates.jpg

Marcus Chown with fellow NHAP Euro candidates Rufus Hound, Louise Irvine Chidi Ejimofo

I’m a science writer. I usually write about the big bang and parallel universes black holes. But I was born in the NHS, my wife is an NHS nurse and I can see that the NHS is rapidly disappearing down a black hole.

The NHS is one of the fairest, most efficient and cost-effective healthcare systems in the world. Countless international studies show it is one of the the best for patients. Yet the Health & Social Care Act of March 2012 effectively abolishes the NHS.

No politician would dare get rid of our NHS in one go – which is why David Cameron is removing it gradually, while pretending that he isn’t. No one gave him permission to dismantle our NHS. In fact, he has no democratic mandate whatsoever since he concealed his intentions from the public at the last election – even promising that there would be “no top-down re-organisation of the NHS”. Immediately after the election he embarked on a reorganisation “so big you can see it from outer space”, in the words of then NHS boss David Nicholson.

One in four MPs and Lords who voted through the NHS bill stood to benefit financially. Cameron’s NHS Act is nothing more than a huge scam for transferring public money from patients to the shareholders of private health companies.

Cameron has already removed the government’s “duty to secure” healthcare for you and your family, something which has existed since 1948. He has also absolved the health minister of any responsibility for your health. He can simply say: “Nothing to do with me. It’s the market.” As Oliver Letwin, MP, allegedly said: “The NHS will not exist within 5 years of a Conservative government.”

The NHS unites us. It employs every colour and creed. It stands for kindness and fairness and compassion. It makes us proud to be British.

The lives of 60 million men, women and children depend on the NHS. Very likely you were born in a hospital. You get your vaccinations at school from nurses from the NHS. The NHS fixes you if you have an accident. It looks after you if you are ill. And it is there when you die.

The dismantling of the NHS under a smokescreen of lies is the worst thing a UK government has done to its people in my lifetime. Without doubt, it will cause increased deaths and unnecessary suffering.

I have never, ever wanted to be a politician. But some things are worth fighting for. And one of those things is our precious NHS. 

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Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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