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The NHS Party

In News, Parties on April 23, 2012 by dadge Tagged:

I just heard about the plans for an NHS Party, and within a few minutes I’ve already had a run-in with its founder, Clive Peedell. Why, you might ask, have I taken against his idea so strongly?

1. What happens if the party gets into power anywhere? What’s the point of that? Can you imagine a council or a country run by the NHS Party? The idea is preposterous. Richard Taylor did a good job as an Independent, raising awreness and support for NHS issues in north Worcestershire and at Westminster, but voters soon saw that there wasn’t much point putting his supporters on the borough council.

2. There is a difference between a political party (with a manifesto) and a (single-issue) pressure group, and I think it’s a good idea to maintain that separation. UKIP sounds like a single-issue organisation, so what are they doing having policies on tax and pensions?

3. Political parties cost money – where will it come from? From overpaid health professionals? From overpaid pharmaceutical companies? From poor saps who are scaremongered into supporting it? From middle-class saps who treat the NHS like a religion? Wherever it comes from, past experience suggests that fringe parties are a good way of wasting the money of everyone involved.

4. Where is the NHS Party going to stand? Will it stand in Labour seats? What would be the point of that? It might syphon votes off Labour and let the Tories in. Will it stand in Tory seats? What would be the point of that? It might split the anti-Tory vote and keep the Tories in.

5. The existence of an NHS Party will certainly ensure that health is a big topic at the general election, but, duh, it would be anyway. It’ll be unbearable if there’s less time for other topics to be debated. 

6. I do support the NHS but the NHS is a very problematic institution. Every week I read about or hear about something that is wrong with it or has gone wrong with it, and yet we are pushed to sympathise with the institution as if it was one of its own patients.

I don’t agree with many of the changes the government is pushing through but changes are needed, and I don’t believe that the existence of an NHS Party will improve the necessary debate; instead the polarisation of opinions will become further entrenched.

I’m being pragmatic here. I’m for improving our democracy, and when we finally get PR, some of my arguments against the NHS Party are nullified. However, like it or not, while we still have FPTP, really the best way to campaign for your vision of the NHS is within the Tory or Labour Party.

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2 Responses to “The NHS Party”

  1. So how is UKIP’s platform more limited than the Tories or Labour or Liberal Democrats (who ‘borrowed’ and watered down UKIPs income tax allowance policy and claimed it for their own) or the Greens?

    Sounds to me like someone has decided to slag off a party they know nothing about because they’ve heard their elders say nasty things about them…

    Tut tut tut……

    • Naming no names, I asked a UKIP personage whether they might take action on a certain EU-related issue and the reply I got was (approximately) “We’re only interested in getting out of the EU, not doing any actual EU politics.” My (silent) reply was “Stuff you then.” But you have a point, so I’ll amend that bit of the article.

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