On my mind
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.