Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system


9:00 am - January 25th 2010

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contribution by Zarathustra

Nurses for Reform have been featured on Liberal Conspiracy before. They’re a campaigning group with links to the libertarian Adam Smith Institute and ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation think-tanks.

Last month they met with David Cameron to discuss their ideas, which included wholesale privatisation of the NHS, the scrapping of national pay agreements for health workers and nurses being given brands like consumer products.

The idea of competing brands of nurses (None of yer manky Tesco nurses working in our hospital. We only use Sainsburys nurses) might sound daft, but this weekend Nurses For Reform crossed the line from silly to downright offensive.

Their leading spokesperspon has been strongly implying the NHS was created along Nazi principles.

The claim was made by Dr Helen Evans, NFR’s leading spokesperson and a health fellow at the Adam Smith Institute.

On the NFR’s blog she pointed to a spoof video of the film Downfall, subtitled to make it appear that Hitler was endorsing Obama’s health reforms. She then added:

The problem is that for those who know their history this is all too close to the knuckle. For in Britain the architect of the National Health Service, Sir William Beveridge, told the Daily Telegraph in November 1942 that his proposals would take Britain “…half-way to Moscow”.

More significantly, after the Second World War two papers marked ‘secret’ and providing a detailed commentary on Beveridge’s plan were found in Hitler’s Berlin bunker. One ordered that publicity should be avoided but, if mentioned, the report should be used as “…obvious proof that our enemies are taking over national-socialist ideas”.

The other report offered a Nazi assessment of the plan as being no ‘botch-up’. The national socialist analyst wrote that the NHS would be “…a consistent system… of remarkable simplicity…superior to the current German social insurance in almost all point”.

Designed to take Britain half way to Moscow and simultaneously admired by Hitler’s inner coterie, socialised medicine and the Fabian welfare state has a particularly unsavory heritage. It is this history that makes the above film a comedy of human tragedy and one deeply rooted in the darker recesses of coercion.

This appears to be an attempt to import the “socialised healthcare = Nazism” rhetoric of the US Tea Baggers into British political discourse.

I’m an NHS employee myself. If the NHS is based on Nazi principles, what does that supposedly make me? An SS stormtrooper?

Or perhaps Dr Evans feels that I’m merely made to go along with their ideology, so maybe I’m comparable to a Wehrmacht conscript? This sort of Reductio ad Hitlerum language is an insult to the many dedicated staff of the NHS.

If it was just some fringe group making these statements, then it wouldn’t really matter. But these people are directly advising the man who may well be our next prime minister.

If David Cameron wants to show that he’s serious about defending the NHS, he might want to make a start by disowning this bunch of wingnuts.

—————-
Zarathustra is a nurse working in child and adolescent mental health services. He edits the Mental Nurse blog.

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Reader comments


Godwins Law should apply to political party debate much in the same way it already applies to internet debate. Cameron shouldn’t be allowed to merely disown them, he should be questioned seriously on his judgement in talking to them in the first place.

After WWII, many of Germany’s leading scientists escaped trial and prosecution by working for the NASA space programme.

This means that the Moon Landings were based on Nazi technology and the benefits of “Nazi principles”.

Presumably the moon landings were therefore evil?

The NHS must be based on Nazi principles, because that’s why it’s busy non-voluntarily euthenising the mentally ill, the elderly and those of ethnic minorities, whilst shoving 6 million Jews into gas chambers.

Suddenly it all makes so much sense.

That and the fact we’re all so very much less free in the UK because we pay taxes to a state that offers people care at the point of need rather than abandoning them to market forces and the fact of millions of uninsured Americans. Oh woe must be us, with our horrible lack of freedoms but our free healthcare.

Won’t somebody bring on the Libertopia?

It is also quite amusing, if you click on this link to the ‘Nurses for Reform’ web site:

http://nursesforreform.com/

You will see a well known logo.

They must be pretty desperate to publicise themselves if they see that as worth placing that on their ‘home page’!

Ha ha ha ha, no, seriously, please don’t stop, this is great.

Liberal Conspiracy gets wind of one meeting – yes, one meeting – with one group of lobbyists, and now we’re being told that they are his ‘advisers’. On whose authority do you have this information, hmmm? Has he met them twice yet, which I would assume that he’d do if they were actually, you know, advising him?

How many people do you think David Cameron and Andrew Lansley have met over the past four years about the NHS with regard to discussing possible reforms? Has Cameron publicly endorsed any of this lot’s ideas?

Honestly, what a pointless article. Politicians are supposed to meet people and listen to ideas from across the political spectrum. I wonder what your response would have been if Cameron had had a meeting with a left-of-centre pressure group about NHS reform – would they too be his ‘advisers’?

It’s a strange phenomenon that when Communism started to disappear, US winnuttery started to see the Communist menace everywhere. Currently their paranoia is the imminent threat of a Socialist World Government. However, they do not just have communism to deal with now but there are Nazis everywhere. The Tea-Partiers who are the militant wing of wingnuttery spent all last summer trying to portray Obama as a Nazi. Obama is a Nazi who is going to euthanize their granny and stick them in a concentration camp resonates because they see Nazis everywhere. Especially if Faux Snooze mentions Nazis.

Over the last year or so I have noticed the fruitier elements on the UK right acting like an echo chamber picking up talking points from US wingnuttery and applying them here. They have not quite reached the conspiracy laden paranoia but that is where they are heading. I suspect this article is just trying to tap into the same narrative that has poisoned US politics.

Excuses, excuses LFAT, yet another right-whinger who comes here solely to go LOOK OVER THERE or WHATABOUT or THEY DID IT TOO. Pathetic.

I think you’d only need one meeting with these cretins to see that their opinion on matters of healthcare matters nought.

Meanwhile the NFR website banner shows photos of aryan nurses…

Reducto ad hilitorium

The idea of competing brands of nurses (None of yer manky Tesco nurses working in our hospital. We only use Sainsburys nurses) might sound daft…

…or it might sound positively obscene if you imagine that M&S voice-over…

PS: re. I wonder what your response would have been if Cameron had had a meeting with a left-of-centre pressure group about NHS reform – would they too be his ‘advisers’? – anyone remember Cameron’s political flirtation with Polly Toynbee?

Credit for first implementing a national insurance scheme for personal healthcare costs goes not to Britain for creating the NHS in 1948 but to Count Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of the German Empire.

“The Health Insurance bill . . was passed in 1883. The program was considered the least important from Bismarck’s point of view, and the least politically troublesome. The program was established to provide health care for the largest segment of the German workers. The health service was established on a local basis, with the cost divided between employers and the employed. The employers contributed 1/3rd, while the workers contributed 2/3rds . The minimum payments for medical treatment and Sick Pay for up to 13 weeks were legally fixed.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck

Whatever else, Count Bismarck had no socialist inclinations whatever. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For a comparison between a Bismarckian national insurance scheme for healthcare and Beveridge’s scheme for the NHS in Britain, try:

Bismarck or Beveridge: a beauty contest between dinosaurs
Jouke van der Zee and Madelon W Kroneman
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6963-7-94.pdf

Centrally negotiated pay agreements means that hospitals and other supply units can’t respond to local labour market conditions.

LSE researchers predicted that the ensuing difficulty of recruiting and retaining nursing staff in regions with strong labour markets would have worse medical outcomes than regions with weak labour markets where it is easier to recruit and retain nurses. And that is what they found:

“Hospitals in the north gain from a more stable pool of nurses. Southern ones have to lean on temporary agency nurses, who can be paid more but tend to be less experienced, less familiar with the hospital and less productive. Do southern patients suffer as a result?

“The economists look at the proportion of patients aged 55 or more, admitted to hospital after a heart attack, who die within 30 days. They find a strong link between this ratio and local private-sector wages. The higher the private wage, making it harder to get good nurses in the NHS, the higher the death rate: to be precise, if the private wage is 10% higher in one area than another, the death rate is 4-5% higher.” (subscription barrier)
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_TDVGGRSS

The original LSE research is posted here:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/ERD/pressAndInformationOffice/PDF/CanPayRegulationKilll.pdf

“This appears to be an attempt to import the “socialised healthcare = Nazism” rhetoric of the US Tea Baggers into British political discourse.”

It is? Amaaazing!

Me, I read it as follows:

“The other report offered a Nazi assessment of the plan as being no ‘botch-up’. The national socialist analyst wrote that the NHS would be “…a consistent system… of remarkable simplicity…superior to the current German social insurance in almost all point”.”

Bloke who was a national scoialist looked at the NHS and thought it was a good idea, better than the system they had. Given that the NHS is indeed socialist (if not national in quite the same way that the name describes) this doesn’t really surprise me really.

But then clearly I’m biased as I’m at the (clasiically liberal please, not libertarian) ASI myself.

13. astateofdenmark

Scrolling past lots of twitter links is quite tedious, any chance of a layout change?

#4 LFAT

I suggest that you read the Tory health policy documents – I have.

Bold as brass in their policy document for public health is:

To encourage a new market in innovative public health solutions is opened up in every part of the country, we will require local public health directors to ensure that an increasing proportion of contracts are awarded to providers from the private and voluntary sectors.

That is privatisation of public health provision (£3 billion of the NHS budget). But read it again Mr Tory and tell me if you approve of privatisation that does not have open tendering? “we will require … an increasing proportion of contracts” is not the case of awarding a contract to the best candidate, it is a political decision to reject any NHS providers.

The fact is, David Cameron has no commitment to NHS providers, he may be committed to the ring fence (although I would doubt this too – the “emergency budget” will specifically remove the “ring fence”) but he has shown no commitment to NHS providers. All the Tory health policy documents, and the so-called “draft manifesto” are littered with the phrase “new providers”. The point is that David Cameron intends to implement the NFR plan in two stages: Stage one is privatisation of healthcare and the creation of a health market of “new suppliers” and stage 2 (possibly for a second Cameron term) is to reform finances to make it mostly insurance based.

I do wish Tories would read their own party’s policy documents, then they would realise why the rest of us are scared about the election of President Cameron.

I know Helen Evans personally and she is an employee of the NHS and has been for about 20 years. I’m sure she would not describer herself as the equivalent of ‘An SS stormtrooper?’ so that’s a ludicrous hyperbole.

It is right that Cameron consults experts on all sides of the debate. As one of the leading experts on heath care in the UK I would be more worried were she not consulted. I’m sure Cameron is consulting experts from the other side of the spectrum as well.

Storm. Teacup.

It is a fact that the mindsets of the early-mid twentieth century produced both some very unpleasant ideas (i.e. compulsorary sterilisation) and some very good ones (free at the point of use healthcare). Nor were these good and bad things limited to good and bad regimes. Indeed, the Nazis in 1941 did extend free healthcare to the retired and to those who would otherwise lose it due to increased wages, so were in this sense moving closer to the NHS model.

But none of this is the point. The point here is the incredibly wierd idea held by some commentators that the principle behind the NHS (free healthcare at the point of use) means that any challenge to the current structure of the NHS is evil, and therefore those threatening the structure must be attacked. Not debated with, just attacked.

None of these attacks (aimed rather widely as a wild swipe at pro-market forces groups within the NHS and the Conservatives) has suggested how to improve the NHS. Because despite the best efforts of its staff, and the concerns of its patients, it is clearly not delivering as well as it could. It is not sufficient to criticise; do you have anything positive to say?

I’m sick and tired Watchman of you being an apologist for bad ideas and constructing strawmen (whilst saying, paradoxialy, that there is nothing to see here) that show how little you understand what is happening here, or to just distract from the issue at hand which is: Cameron meeting with people that have some pretty bizarre and destructive ideas about the NHS.

Simple as that.

Dr Helen Evans is quoting extensively from a 2004 paper written by Tim Evans , her husband and former lobbyist for the Independent Healthcare Assocation.

The paper, co written with Stephen Pollard , is here

http://www.cne.org/pub_pdf/2004_09_00_uk_health.pdf

in 2004 I rang Tim Evans and asked him if he was trying to suggest there was something Nazi about the NHS, and as I recall he told me he certainly was was trying to show there was something a bit fascistic , or authoritarian about the NHS. (The original paper was published by the Centre for a New Europe and paid for by Axa healthcare )

Watchman, I do have something to say.

I have no problem with anyone suggesting reform of the NHS. Where I do have a problem is when those wanting the reform start making comparisons with the Nazis, and with the platforms they choose to make their calls.

At the end of last week, the increasingly eccentric Glenn Beck, “star” of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) compared “progressives” to the regimes of Stalin and Hitler. The inference is that the latter controlled every aspect of peoples’ lives, and so anyone who approves of “Big Government”, which in the world of Beck means Liberals, is in step with 1930s Russia, or the Third Reich.

Many across the political spectrum may respond to Beck and his kind with derision, but there are Fox viewers in the US who believe this drivel, and when the Nazi comparison makes its way to the UK, folks here are bound to be wary. But, so what? Well, when darling of the Libertarian Right Dan, Dan the Oratory Man wanted to sound off about the NHS, he could have called for a debate in the pages of the UK press, or on TV here, but did not.

No, Hanann went on Froth Central – he appeared with both Beck and Sean Hannity – and issued a forthright denunciation. His appearance on Hannity implicitly endorsed a characteristically slanted and pre-judged segment, where before Hanann was consulted, Hannity said [IIRC] “let’s see what socialised medicine is like in Canada and England … *doesn’t look pretty*” [my emphasis].

It is when those advocating reform use the US Shockosphere as their pulpit that I have concerns. Moreover, it’s no coincidence that the behaviour of such media outlets is where Libertarian and Right leaning commentators in the UK have developed a blind spot. When Sunny Hundal referenced my post about the recent behaviour of the odious Rush Limbaugh, those commenters were in typical “non story … he didn’t mean it … doesn’t read that way to me” mode.

It is touching to see that those who typically speak in favour of waiving the impartiality rule have the trust of Dr Frankenstein in the beast they would bring to life. And it would be to Young Dave’s eternal credit if he were to disassociate himself and the Tory Party from such ideas, and from any group digging up the Third Reich in order to frighten its target audience.

There, that’s better. I’ll just go and get the kettle on.

Daniel,

As you say, “Cameron meeting with people that have some pretty bizarre and destructive ideas about the NHS”.

Well, regardless of the fact that you regard the ideas as bizarre and destructive (I note no argument to support this point), the ideas are about the NHS, so my point stands. This is about approachs to the NHS, and if you are interested in this it would be a good idea to get a range of ideas. Including some that may be just plain stupid on examination (I do not know whether these are, as I have not examined them).

So Mr Cameron meets with people with different opinion from himself (probably) and Daniel Hoffman-Gill (definetly). Hardly a major issue.

One of said people makes a wierd post noting that the NHS was very vaguely connected to Communism and Nazism. Perhaps unfortunate in the climate of NHS veneration that is being promoted by posts such as the one above, but nothing to do with Mr Cameron, as he met said person before this was said. And notably, this did not challenge the idea of universal free at the point of use healthcare (approved of by both Communists and Nazis, which does not make it wrong) so does not really challenge the idea of the NHS, just how it operates.

I can’t see anything major here. Are you telling Mr Brown, or Mr Clegg, or Mr Galloway or whoever has not met some people with strange views and discussed issues with them. I would hope they have: close-mindedness is a terrible thing in a political leader (choose your own favourite example here).

The argument regarding the bizarre and destructive ideas is evidenced in the post itself and articulately put by Tim Fenton, I thought that was self-evident?

As for approaches to the NHS, not all ideas are equal merit and should be treated as such, Cameron clearly gives a fair weighting to this group which reflects badly upon him…I mean, this all seems pretty clear in the post itself to me so it is odd I am having to repeat it again for you.

You then try to justify the use of the terms ascribed by these cretins to the NHS by invoking the myth of NHS veneration.

And yes, you keep saying you can’t see anything major here but many of us can so do us all a favour and once you’ve made your point that it’s all a storm in a teacup, bugger off!

Tim,

I understand your concerns, but I think that associating these views with Glenn Beck’s is an unsubstantiated leap. Beck is the sort of moronic idiot (actually probably quite bright, but his TV persona is anyway) who use Nazi as a slur because he can’t be bothered to make a proper argument.

If Solomon is correct, which I have no reason to doubt, that the Evans are married, then there is clearly an agenda of promoting the current NHS setup as rather totalitarian (not actually one of the faults I would have identified), but then again we knew that anyway. The actual facts are unfortunately not wrong, it is just the presentation that is irritating. But there is a long way from arguing for a less authoriatarian NHS to agreeing with Glenn Beck. It is possible to support the principle of the NHS without agreeing with the current setup, which is what Dan Hannan has as his stated position (read his blog if you doubt this; just try to avoid the comments which are of very poor quality), and which appears to be the Evans’ point of view also. Indeed, it would be quite peverse, to turn the question around, to argue that government, not the doctor or patient, should be in charge of sorting out an illness or condition. But the tone of all replies on here has been to believe that wanting to change the NHS would be the same as wanting to abolish it. Which is either misunderstanding (please note even in the US Glenn Beck is at the edge of the political spectrum), lazy thinking or just plain misrepresentation. To attack people for suggesting improvements to something is odd.

Please note, I am happy to agree the use of the Nazi (and Communist) comparisons was a bit odd, but I think this is either misunderstanding, lazy thinking or just plain misrepresentation. It is no better to try to defend an idea by claiming that all those who oppose the current implementation system for that idea are trying to destroy the idea itself than it is to try and attack the system (not the idea) by noting its (basically non-existant) connections to some of humanity’s more evil regimes.

“Where I do have a problem is when those wanting the reform start making comparisons with the Nazis,”

You must have had a problem with this for a very long time then. Hayek published The Road to Serfdom in 1944 didn’t he? And he explicity made the connection between the NHS and authoritariansim?

Daniel,

I hadn’t read Tim’s excellent response when I was composing my response to you. It did at least engage with the issues, even if as I have just said, I think the equation with Fox New’s finest (a title as good as the Daily Mail’s most perceptive I think) is not accurate.

But if you are happier to tell me to bugger off, rather than engage (i.e. why is NHS veneration a myth – I thought I coined the term then (albeit not a difficult term to come up with)?), feel free. But my aim is to challenge and debate, not to allow people to reinforce their own prejudices by reading only what they think. Clearly yours is not to do so?

W:

You are ducking, I made my stance clear in 21, simple as that.

Daniel,

I am ducking what? Your views aren’t clear – do you regard the current NHS as the best possible, or would you say some change is needed?

Let me set this out simply. It is strange and wrong to associate the NHS with Nazis or Communists although there is common ideological ground underlying the NHS foundation and those regimes (unsurprisingly – they are contemporary and all had socialist elements), which is irrelevant.

But to attack anyone trying to change the NHS for the better, and committed to the idea of free at the point of delivery healthcare, just because they are suggesting change without setting out clear objections (as Tim F and Soloman kindly did) is not debating or setting out a position. It is trying to close down debate.

W:

I made myself clear in 21, you say I am not clear, which is fine by you but I’m not going to repeat myself, this thread is not about what I think about the NHS, it is about the fact that some idiots comparing it to some kind of Nazi idea is not helpful at best and criminal at worst.

You also suffer from bad maths here by taking their suggestions as ‘anyone trying to change the NHS for the better’ which I certainly do not agree with or see that these goons are doing that.

23
Hayek was first a socialist before he became a classical liberal, but that aside, Lloyd George introduced the first national insurance system in 1911 and he was not a socialist.
More surprisingly, Winston Churchill, also a proponent of free-markets, campaigned in the 1945 election’ agreeing with the whole of Beveridges’ model for the welfare state.
Associating the NHS with nazism is quite bizarre by any standards.

From their own site they are advocating that the NHS should be modelled on the US current system – which to even the most blind of blind Tories is seen as a fucked up system.

From evidence out there the NHS is far, far, far more efficient than anything in the US – and cost a damn-sight less.

If one or both of the opposing political parties cannot exploit the sheer idiocy of the Tory campaign then they really are fools. The vast majority of the UK public are happy with the NHS. Does it need some reform? Possibly, but if Cameron and Osborne bring in insurance based healthcare they will not last even one parliament.

This is all because Cameron feels he is a shoe in for PM. Fuck NuLab – but if the LibDems had the balls they could exploit things like this for the whole run-up to election day.

23
I would also like to add that the staff of the NHS are there on a voluntary basis, there are other private alternatives for all jobs and grades within it, how can being employed by the NHS be compared to serfdom?

#16

“But none of this is the point. The point here is the incredibly wierd idea held by some commentators that the principle behind the NHS (free healthcare at the point of use) means that any challenge to the current structure of the NHS is evil, and therefore those threatening the structure must be attacked. Not debated with, just attacked.”

The people who are weird are those that say “as long as iot is free at the point of delivery, who cares who provides it?” We do care who provides it, especially since there has been 60 years of public investment in the NHS so if the current Cameron plan is successful the work will be simply handed over to “new suppliers” and the public investment (and all those assets) will be wasted. By all means suggest ways to improve NHS providers, but it is lazy and wasteful to say “just hand the contracts to the private sector”, which is what Cameron is suggesting.

19. Tim Fenton

I agree, and further, when Hannan went on the Glenn Beck, Beck presented figures that were totally untrue (and IMO deliberately misleading) about the NHS. Hannan agreed with the incorrect figures which either meant that he was too dim to check them or he was trying to mislead himself. Anyway I made a youtube video explaining the figures, where they came from and a suggestion of why Beck was trying to mislead.

Excellent video Richard – why didn’t you send us that link or email it to me earlier!?!

Sara Scarlett @15

I know Helen Evans personally and she is an employee of the NHS and has been for about 20 years. I’m sure she would not describer herself as the equivalent of ‘An SS stormtrooper?’ so that’s a ludicrous hyperbole.

And strongly implying that the NHS is founded on Nazi principles isn’t ludicrous hyperbole? Helen Evans brought Godwin’s Law into it, not me.

<eMIt is right that Cameron consults experts on all sides of the debate. As one of the leading experts on heath care in the UK I would be more worried were she not consulted.

“One of the leading experts on health care in the UK”????????? You are joking, aren’t you? Seriously? If that’s the case, how come none us had heard of her before NFR came along?

Many great points made here, I apologize if I repeat or overlap.

The one and only meeting between the private-led reform group and the Conservative Party is a confirmation of suspicions, based on the inherent belief in the free-market throughout society, that runs through all Tory policies and politicians.

I hope it does create debate, I hope it reignites the whole ‘who runs the health service’ question, and I hope that the Tory party are honest about the upcoming election manifesto.

The one problem they have is convincing the public that they themselves believe in the NHS, if they manage that, the private health sector is going to be rubbing its hands with glee at the upcoming billions of freebies they will ‘become providers’ of.

Cameron has to lie about his true inclinations. He then has to lie about all the mini-privatizations we will no doubt start to see, and this reform group is just lobbying for sections to pick off.

Brownshirts love projecting.

All Brownshirts need an enemy.

Anything by The Heritage Foundation should be ignored. It is a far Right wing group that is funded by millionaires and billionaires for the soul purpose of pushing policies, that, will benefit said millionaires billionaires.

They are actively trying to destroy the state health systems in both Canada and the UK so that their masters can benefit from a sell off. But again it shows that call me Dave is a dangerous Right wing radical who is a liar.

@28: ” Winston Churchill, also a proponent of free-markets”

” . . After the Whitsun recess in 1904 [Winston Churchill] crossed the floor to sit as a member of the Liberal Party. As a Liberal, he continued to campaign for free trade. . . ”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

Churchill, as President of the Board of Trade, introduced the Trade Boards Act of 1909 – the Boards were constituted to fix minimum pay rates for timework and piecework in specific industries, hardly a prescription for unbridled “free markets”.

I regularly check in to Liberal Conspiracy to try and ensure that I’m always looking at different sides of the argument but every time I come here it just reinforces my libertarian beliefs. I really am trying my best to get a balanced political view.

Well… I’ll keep reading your blog. Perhaps one day I’ll understand the LC philosophy.

I must’ve seen about 10 different variations of this Downfall subtitling. It’s getting a little tedious. There must be other films to parody.

38
Churchill had a habit of changing his mind, but he was strongly influenced by Hayek’s (1944) ‘ Road to Serfdom’
In ‘On Appeasement, Leftist, Islam and Socialism’ he stated “If you destroy a free-market, you create a black market” Doesn’t sound like he was arguing against free markets.

Last month they met with David Cameron to discuss their ideas, which included wholesale privatisation of the NHS, the scrapping of national pay agreements for health workers and nurses being given brands like consumer products.

And you have not given one single argument against any of them. Which tends to make me suspect that you don’t have any such arguments.

You certainly have not mentioned any alternative ways of saving money.

For at least the next decade government in this country is going to consist almost entirely of tax rises and spending cuts, and the more I see of this site, the harder I find it to believe that anyone on the left cares about the consequences of that. They just want to be able to say that they care.

If they genuinely cared, they would want to find ways to SAVE MONEY.

“the scrapping of national pay agreements for health workers”

I’d skipped over that first time around. Now that really is a good idea.

For national pay rates kills patients. Getting rid of them would be a good thing.

Latest bit of comedy from the NFR blog:

http://www.nursesforreformblog.com/2010/01/27/now-lets-not-be-nhs-nazi-link-deniers-%e2%80%93-or-tories/

Dr Helen Evans reposts a couple of samples from the comments thread, which she describes as “so good I have decided to reproduce them here”.

These include the lovely quote “One last thought. Harold Shipman. Clearly, this was an extreme individual, but his attitude towards patients was entirely logical, once one accepted the notion that it is not the patient to control healthcare provision or objectives.”

I’m starting to wonder now whether Helen Evans is a kind of libertarian version of Anjem Choudhary, deliberately saying the most outrageous thing possible in order to court attention, or whether she actually believes this rubbish. Personally I’m not sure which is more pitiful.

I’m starting to wonder now whether Helen Evans is a kind of libertarian version of Anjem Choudhary

It’s the Ann Coulter school of political debate, isn’t it? Irritate everyone in the world until they agree with you.

You could equally (and equally idiotically) argue that Shipman embodies the free-market approach to medicine, by ruthlessly pursuing his own interests to the exclusion of all other considerations. As for his patients, caveat emptor, dear boy.

ad – easy way to save money in the NHS – junk the PFI and PPP which Brown forced it to use, despite it not being any use. Then make sure that there’s no pointless pay inflation, especially for massively well paid already consultants.
I’m just a random man in the street when it comes to the NHS, so I’m sure those at the sharp end know where the money can be saved.

As for Hitler and socialism, it is better to think of NAzi Germany as forming a nationalism based dictatorship, which despite the name socialist, used as a cover for a while and never fully discarded, was more right wing than left. For example the restrictions on the rights of labour and the destruction of unions and leftists, the regimenting of the family and encouragement of births by people of the correct ‘race’.

“was more right wing than left”

I really wish people would drop this over-simplified left-right view of politics and think about politics more in terms of both social and economic freedoms. The whole thing just makes so much more sense that way.

Indeed Kevin. In that sense Hitler’s mob were restrictive on all fronts, and therefore neither conservative nor socialist nor libertarian nor communist. But somehow that doesn’t stop people equating socialism with national socialism.

Yes I agree. They were both socially and economically restrictive and as such we could say that they are the polar opposite of liberatarian but quite possibly containing elements of neo-con (for want of a better term for social restrictive but laissez-fair capitalist) and socialist ideology.

Where I don’t think the NFR article helps is to go feet first in to ‘reductio ad hitlerum’. It’s not very constructive to go down the route: Nazism contained socialist elements, Nazis were evil therefore socialists are evil. I don’t think that helps anyone.

Well, Hitler did make good motorways.

Therefore, everyone who builds roads in the UK is a Nazi.

Try these assessments of National Socialism by independent American academics::

“The Nazi Party leaders were savvy enough to realise that pure racial anti-semitism would not set the party apart from the pack of racist, anti-semitic, and ultranationalist groups that abounded in post-1918 Germany. Instead, I would suggest, the Nazi success can be attributed largely to the economic proposals found in the party’s programs, which in an uncanny fashion integrated elements of 18th and 19th century nationalist-etatist philosophy with Keynesian economics. Nationalist etatism is an ideology that rejects economic liberalism and promotes the right of the state to intervene in all spheres of life including the economy.”
Source: W Brustein: The Logic of Evil – The Social Origins of the Nazi Party 1925-33 (Yale UP, 1996), p.51

“In the long run, the Nazis aimed essentially at an economic system which would be an alternative to capitalism and communism, supporting neither a laissez-faire attitude nor total planning.” [ Hardach: The Political Economy of Germany in the Twentieth Century; University of California Press (1980), p 66 ] They introduced administrative controls over investment through licensing and direct allocation of raw materials. But their brand of socialism emphasised central control over economic activity rather than public ownership of firms. Instead of dispossessing private owners, the Nazis severely circumscribed the scope within which the nominal owners could make choices by currency controls, taxes on profits and direct allocation measures of the state.”
Source: Peter Temin: Lessons from the Great Depression – The Lionel Robbins Lectures for 1989 (MIT Press, 1989) p.117. The author was a professor at the MIT.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. CathElliott

    RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  2. Andy Dowland

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  3. Ellie Gellard

    DISGUSTING RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  4. Ian Fellows

    RT @pickledpolitics: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  5. thabet

    The New Tory Party RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  6. John Prescott

    Cameron has lousy judgement RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  7. Milena Buyum

    RT @pickledpolitics Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  8. Robin Green

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  9. Mike Power

    "what does that supposedly make me? An SS stormtrooper?" http://bit.ly/8UX03M Oh, grow up, you stupid twat! Pathetic piece in LibCon.

  10. Bella

    Another example of poor judgement by Cameron as his advisors compare NHS to nazi system http://bit.ly/8ETGeT

  11. JamieSW

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares #NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  12. MyDavidCameron

    RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  13. Kerry McCarthy

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  14. Ian Segar

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  15. John Hart

    RT @pickledpolitics: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  16. Colin Hall

    Shameful – DC must disown them..RT @pickledpolitics Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  17. Fiona Graham

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  18. Paul Maxwell

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  19. Kevin Maguire

    They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannan @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  20. Chris Paul

    RT @Kevin_Maguire: They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannan @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  21. Ellie Gellard

    RT @Kevin_Maguire: They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannan @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  22. Teresa

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  23. Andrew Nix

    'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz RT @mydavidcameron:

  24. tracey lambert

    RT @Kevin_Maguire: They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannan @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  25. Julia Hutchinson

    RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  26. dave byrne

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  27. mikekatz

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  28. sunny hundal

    Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  29. Matt Dawson

    RT: @pickledpolitics: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz #welovetheNHS

  30. Andy1120

    RT @pickledpolitics Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  31. sunny hundal

    @johnprescott John, seen this? 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  32. Michael Bater

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  33. Gareth Allen

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  34. lee james brown

    Same old Tories > RT @pickledpolitics: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  35. Liberal Conspiracy

    Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  36. Michael Bater

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  37. Marcia Bowie

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  38. Dave Cole

    RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  39. paulstpancras

    RT @BevaniteEllie: DISGUSTING RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to â??Naziâ?? system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  40. tom pearson

    RT @noirfilmnoir: RT @pickledpolitics: Campaigners advising Cameron compare NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  41. tommyhawkins

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  42. Lawrie Morgan-Klein

    RT @clawsfour: Another example of poor judgement by Cameron as his advisors compare NHS to nazi system http://bit.ly/8ETGeT

  43. Kevin Maguire

    @pickledpolitics They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannam http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  44. Jackie Crossley

    THE TORIES NEVER CHANGE – RT @johnprescott @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compare NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  45. Adam Highway

    Campaigners advising Cameron compare NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz (via all sorts!)

  46. hannahnicklin

    We have to call Godwin's law on the GE already? RT @KerryMP 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  47. George Allwell

    Liberal Conspiracy » Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  48. Daniel Selwood

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  49. charlie whelan

    RT @Kevin_Maguire: They Hate the NHS – barmier than even Daniel Hannan @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/66iE3s

  50. absintherobette

    godwinning the nhs http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  51. Natacha Kennedy

    RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz (via @CathElliott)

  52. John James

    RT @natachakennedy: RT @libcon Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz (via @CathElliott)

  53. John Murphy

    Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://is.gd/6Zcgz – hmmm..judge a man by the company he keeps?

  54. Liberal Conspiracy » Where are all the ‘Nurses’ for Reform?

    […] morning’s guest post by Zarathustra, of the excellent Mental Nurse blog, flagged up the existence of a right-wing […]

  55. Kat Dadswell

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @pickledpolitics 'Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system' http://is.gd/6Zcgz

  56. Charlotte Santry

    NfR director defended by hubbie, ahh. RT @libcon: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  57. StopTheRight

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  58. Martyn Deedes

    RT @libcon: Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4PYGl6

  59. Jackie Crossley

    RT @libcon Campaigners advising Cameron compare NHS to “Nazi” system http://bit.ly/4OVUGq <<– I'm a nurse, and PROUD to work for the NHS.

  60. andrew

    Liberal Conspiracy » Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron …: Nurses for Reform have been featured on Liberal … http://bit.ly/d86KEE

  61. Lauren Gore

    Yup. http://is.gd/aROZG MT @Uncucumbered: Crazies outside screaming Nazi? Do they teach home-schoolers Nazis are known for their #hc? #P2

  62. Simmone

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/01/25/exclusive-campaigners-advising-cameron-compares-nhs-to-nazi-system/

  63. Kaiser Of Crisps

    @d_williams_ Dr Helen Evans beat her to it with actual Godwin's Law by explicitly claiming NHS follows a Nazi model http://t.co/6C2SBW8Y





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