On my mind

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - With Gra­ham Davies Fol­low Gra­ham on Twit­[email protected]

CAR­I­CA­TURES are usu­ally fun and the Pres­i­dent of the USA comes pre-pack­aged. He of­fers the satirist enough fake tan, cru­di­ties, in­ept­ness and coif­fured quiff for a life­time of hu­mour. Throw in a few chlo­ri­nated chick­ens and a ram­pant Twit­ter ac­count and it’s a colum­nist’s par­adise.

Yet, like the fairly in­nocu­ous baby blimp which has more hot air in it than cut­ting edge in­vec­tive, the Pres­i­dent has pompously bounced through a state visit in which he in­sulted the Mayor of London, in­ter­fered in the de­bate about the next prime min­is­ter and, to the hor­ror of any­one in­ter­ested in af­ford­able health care for all, floated the possibilit­y of the NHS be­ing in­cluded in any fu­ture trade deals with the UK.

It is with great pride that we in Wales can boast of Aneurin Be­van, the prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect of the NHS. A vi­brant Val­leys ac­tivism, union­ism and po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment saw him emerge as an MP and a bril­liant Min­is­ter of Health, de­spite the many in­sults, in­clud­ing “a Bollinger Bol­she­vik and ritzy Robe­spierre”.

It was a bit­ter fight for so­cial jus­tice against what he called the “or­gan­ised spivvery” of the time.

It’s not enough to mock Trump with a blimp. Now we need to vig­or­ously pro­tect a badly-wounded NHS from the threat of be­ing sav­aged and dis­mem­bered by the sur­gi­cal skills of multi­na­tion­als and a US phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try whose eye­sight is good enough to see a juicy, lu­cra­tive as­set from across the At­lantic.

Amer­ica has no un­der­stand­ing of Aneurin Be­van’s prin­ci­ple for the NHS of en­sur­ing the well­be­ing of peo­ple as a right ir­re­spec­tive of their so­cial and eco­nomic sta­tus.

Their in­ef­fec­tive health care sys­tem is tainted by the ide­ol­ogy of pri­vati­sa­tion, a profit mo­ti­vated ap­proach shared by some in this coun­try. It only works if you can afford it.

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