We can't let the precious NHS die from neglect
PUBLISHED: 18:01 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:01 11 January 2018
Horror stories seem to be emerging on an almost daily basis about the problems facing the National Health Service. The latest of these was that of the elderly woman who requested an ambulance because she was suffering from chest pains - but by the time paramedics arrived, some three hours later, the poor woman was dead and incapable of being resuscitated.
On top of all this are the cancellations and postponements of thousands of operations, plus regular reports about horrendously long waits by patients attending A&E departments.
None of this is the fault of the NHS, which is horribly overworked. The Prime Minister has announced more money for the NHS, but one-off boosters are not enough. Something extra has to be done to ensure the Service is not automatically subject to these grave crises at “peak periods”, usually around Christmas and the New Year.
I can see no other way than to go straight to the pockets of the taxpayer and increase the National Insurance payments. The NHS is the most precious thing we’ve got, and it cannot be allowed to wither and die. Its creation is probably the greatest domestic political achievement since the war. And suggestions that the Tories would want to let the NHS - the envy of the world - run down and disappear are, of course, bunkum.
I can think of nothing more likely to lose an election than to lose the NHS.
Once again, it seems, there is one law for Members of Parliament and another for the rest of us.
A leaked draft report is suggesting, among other things, that sex-pest MPs could be let off simply so long as they apologise for their actions. This “privilege” does not seem available to the rest of us.
You could powerfully argue that this could be a charter for sexual harassment if all you had to do to get away with it was to say “sorry”. We can only trust that when this draft document officially appears in its final form, this easy get-out for our legislators will have been excised.
This is all too reminiscent of the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009, where those who flagrantly spent taxpayers’ money for their own personal benefit, sometimes by blatant lying to the authorities, escaped punishment simply by waving a fat cheque at TV cameras, accompanied by a promise to repay their ill-gotten gains.
Those outside Westminster have never enjoyed such an escape clause.
It now looks as though serious consideration is being given in Washington to President Donald Trump’s state of mental health.
Even by his own spectacularly bizarre standards, it certainly seems a little odd, to put it at its mildest, to describe yourself as a “stable genius”.
One is forced to wonder more and more how this character managed to win his way into the White House. Admittedly, the Democrats put up a pretty feeble candidate in Hillary Clinton.
He is the man who leads the free world - but Americans (and others) must be teetering with increasing nervousness at his often rash ations and bellicose comments.
Perhaps the explosive new book, Fire And Fury, which is selling like hot cakes in America, will serve at least to calm him down. Let us hope so.