http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/article.aspx? … =149170236
In light of slanderous and libelous rubbish being spouted by fantasists and spin merchants in the USA, it appears that I am not the only one taking exception to the lies being force fed to the American public about our national health service.
Even our conservatives have chosen to back the NHS over its traditional 'republican' allies. I guess that the Reagan-Thatcher type relationship of yesteryear is unlikely to appear again (thank god).
Good on David Cameron and Gordon Brown for speaking out about this. Same to our national newspapers.
The Conservatives have never wanted to get rid of the NHS, even during the Thatcher / Regan love-in. Luckily.
I know, but thats exactly my point. They have wanted to privatise everything, and in fact they did privatise everything, but the NHS was untouchable. Even the conservatives - who have traditionally been staunch allies of the American Republicans - have seen the NHS as far too important to touch. In fact, David Cameron's late child had frequently used the NHS.
That's great news. I think that the over-reaction of the talk-radio / FOX News crowd will wear thin and most Americans will see through it. But I believe it will help, if those in Britian and other European countries get the truth out.
Ronald Regan did so much harm to our country when he began the dismantling of our government and created a generation who hates government and loves big industry.
It's going to be a slog to set things right.
But it has to happen. America has a soft underbelly. The way it treats it's poor. You pay for it upfront or you pay for it in hundreds of ways, including social consequence that skyrocket social security.
Yes it has to happen. That's why I've decided to post these things tonight. I really don't want to be political on hubpages. But I don't want the world to think that the majority of Americans are against this. The majority voted for Obama, and we can't lose our way.
In 1973 after Massachusetts was the only state to vote for McGovern over Nixon, I proudly put a "Don't Blame Me, I'm from Massachusetts" bumper sticker on my car, and drove all over the country. I got quite a few tickets, while driving the speed limit.
Feel like it's 1973 again.
Hubpages are great, but it would be nice to be on the evening news as well!
It is on the evening news. Obama was out west fighting for his plan and complaining that the news coverage was highlighting the angry mobs too much and that they don't speak for most Americans.
Lots of us are part of groups that are fighting for this. I really do think that the right overstepped itself and most Americans will come down on the right side.
I first stood for election at the age of 24 (and won) and I've been fighting for stuff ever since. But it has been a lonely fight since 1980.
What the article fails to mention is that Obama (more specifically, his plan) is facing opposition from individuals who are not associated with any groups, who are in some cases Democrats, and who just don't want the government involving itself in health-care to that degree.
What it is also doesn't mention is that not everyone from the UK is all that thrilled with the health-care system.
I think it's great if most people in the UK are happy with their system. It is of no consequence to me, however, because that's not where I live. I don't happen to like the lights my neighbors have along their driveway, but they apparently do. It's fine. They don't have to defend them to me. To each his own.
The article does not relate in any way to Obama or any American political party, so why should it mention this? This relates 100% to our political leaders (the two most powerful men in our country) and the largest tabloid newspaper defending the BRITISH health system against American propoganda. Brown and Cameron are not involving themselves in Americas arguments, they are defending the NHS.
Why should it mention that not everybody is happy with the NHS? I can guarentee that least 95% of people are. In our country the political parties are democratically elected on the basis of their policies and manifesto's. Gordon Brown is the current prime minister, David Cameron is almost certain to be the next. Brown wouldnt be the prime minister if he tried to scrap the NHS and Cameron would not become the prime minister if he planned to scrap the NHS. That can mean nothing other than that the UK loves its NHS.
I don't think that you quite realise how much the NHS means to people in the UK, if there was any talk of the NHS ever being scrapped, the UK would see its biggest riots in history. The world would probably see its biggest riots in history.
Us being happy with the NHS is quite rightly, as you say, not particularly relevant to you. What IS relevant to you is that you see first hand how the British are being directly effected by your countries petty and childish propoganda battles.
This is about the British trying to defends itself, not to become embroiled in your politics. We have enough issues in our own country to care about what happens in America, the ONLY reason that I have posted on this subject is because America is trying to make an example of Britain as a failed system - naturally I am going to defend that as inaccurate, and so it seems are the two most important political figures in our country.
The article refers to Obama:
" U.S. President Barack Obama is fighting to push through a healthcare bill that would rein in costs, constrain insurance companies and expand health coverage to most of the 46 million Americans who are now uninsured.
But he is facing stiff opposition from Republican and conservative groups, supported by vocal talk show hosts, who are seeking to create a sense of widespread outrage about healthcare reform and are using criticism of the NHS to stoke their campaign."
I happen to think that if it is going to refer to Obama and the "stiff opposition" he's up against that it should include all sources of that "stiff opposition". That would be good journalism.
As far as "propaganda battles" go, I don't engage in them and never have; so I won't comment on that. You have your right to defend your country and your health-care plan, just as I do mine. I don't need to understand how much the NHS means to people there. It's all fine. What works for your country is great and a separate thing from what is likely to work here. I'm actually concerned that there may be riots in the US because so many people are so upset about what they fear will happen to the health-care system, and the government, they value as much as you value your NHS.
I'm being completely honest here when I say this, but the only people I, personally, have heard saying bad things about the NHS have been people who live in the UK. So, by all means, kick in your side of things. That's your right. Your post, however, has followed a lot of other ones in which people from other countries have worked very hard to point out how "horrible" health-care in the US is; and those of us who have first-hand experience to see otherwise - like you - are ready to defend it.
As someone who doesn't ever make comments about the NHS, and who doesn't pay attention when someone shows up on television from the UK to start talking about it; posts on here that defend the NHS appear to have come from out of the blue and in the form of attacks on the present US health-care system.
You will see that the source is 'MSN news', thats an American business.... so any slur on the quality of journalism is at the expense of America. The last line is the key, this is all the British politicians are concerned about "using criticism of the NHS to stoke their campaign."
"posts on here that defend the NHS appear to have come from out of the blue." - I can assure you that my involvement in this debate has come about 100% as a result of criticism and lies about the British health service, which I felt the need to defend. I could not care less about Americas internal policy, so hopefully that clears that up.
I think the news article Ryan posted does accurately portray the situation here in the U.S. The protesters who are shouting people down at the town halls ARE by and large organized by corporate lobbying groups. That's been well documented.
I do think right now a large group of Americans in the middle and even on the left have reservations and questions that are not helped by all the extreme rhetoric and shouting. This is not a simple issue, and framing it as yes or no, socialism or freedom, my America or commie America--doing that obscures finer points and prevents people from addressing their specific concerns. People in Europe and Britain and Canada are offended by the corporate-funded right wing rhetoric for their own reasons, not the least of which is that their health care system works and they're sick of it being bashed, but also because many of them remember the Nazis, the real Nazis, and they are insulted by the tone and content of American hate speech, as well they should be.
I have concerns about health reform that aren't being addressed because of these reactionary right wingers. Honestly I'm so sick of them. People who live outside the U.S. think we have all gone mad.
I don't think that you have all gone mad, we have enough of our own idiots creeping back into society. I have met so many fantastic and intelligent American people - its a shame that they are nothing but minions!
I do despair at the massive divides within your society however, and I have no idea how such rifts will ever be healed.
I guess that I am most afraid that similar divides will appear in the UK in time, but for now it is good to see that our politicians have the good of the people at heart for certain issues. They are poles apart in some things, but they are united in others... never seems to be the case in America - its more of a power hunt, they fight for power and not for the good of a nation. Thats just my perception of US politics at the moment.
Often I wonder whether or not the USA would be a happier place as 51 seperate independant states. You would be a lot less powerful as a complete entity - which I believe is a major source of your paranoia and outlook on the world as a whole. There are a lot of states with a large democratic majority, and a lot of states with a large republican majority.... as a whole country I just cannot see how you could unite as one at least in identity.
Those 51 states could retain a free market, much like the EU, meaning that you could trade and travel freely with eachother. Everybody refers to the UK or 'Britain', but I am English, and people from Scotland are 'Scottish'.
Americans can remain American, but they also be Floridians or something...
Maybe that is a crazy way of looking at it.
Source, please. Show us how the protesters (read, Americans) are "by and large" organized by any corporate group.
Democrats *never* shout anyone down or, heaven forbid, lobby for anything. Clean as the driven snow, they are.
I'm still unclear as to why we give a fig what Brits think of us. Any American who adjusts their behavior based on the opinions of European bloggers needs to get a second job.
And that is the problem sir. Many Americans do not care whether or not they upset people; the British would be careful not to upset people. Thank you for placing further emphasis on my point. It always seems to be Republicans. The best prime minister that you have had in my lifetime is Bill Clinton, hopefully he will be beaten by Obama.
Actually Clinton was president, and Obama is president, but who really cares to learn about other country political system if it is wrong anyway.
It's no problem. I'm interested in your opinion if you can back it up with facts and present it logically. Beyond that, I honestly don't care if you like me or not. I don't even know you beyond an avatar and a few forum postings.
Do you care if I like you? If I don't like you, will you change your political affiliation to placate me? Doubtful.
It's a big world; don't fret over a nameless white guy in Middle America (me). You have more important issues in your life.
I dont care about whether or not you like me, but I would care if you made up some pretty horrendous lies about me in the public domain to tarnish my reputation and put my integrity in doubt. A nameless guy in Middle America does not bother me, but one of the worlds most well known politicians (eg. Palin) does.
I haven't made up any lies about you, so I'm in the clear there.
Rest assured that Sarah Palin has no interest in libeling you as an individual. She is a politician and she will spout whatever her handlers tell her she needs to say in order to get elected. Don't take it personally.
No you havent made up any lies about me. But this thread is about lies from various parties in the USA against the workings of the British health care system. Please try and keep that in context. I am not anti-American, I am pro-British. I am defending a great thing about my country just like you would defend yours.
Ryan I dont agree with you that the British would be careful to not upset people. Thats b/s to me, but youre entitled to your opinion.
Incidently I was raised under a Commonwealth Flag and I am grateful for some things ,but behind the scenes Britain too has things to be ashamed of. Do the history. its never as black and white as a person may think.
It is afterall why the United States wanted Independance...
There are large groups in New Zealand who want it too ,not because we are Anti-British ,but mainly because having a head of state who lives in another country just no longer works for an Independant and self-supporting country.
I don't know how far back in history you want to go, I know that we have upset a lot of people in the past, but diplomatically I dont see British politicians making up vicious lies about New Zealand or America. I cant see how distant history is going to help my specific debate, although I will just say one thing.... I don't blame you for not wanting to retain your so called 'head of state', not least because they no longer serve any purpose even in their own country except as a means of tourism revenue. Trust me, there are many people in the UK that cant see the point of them too. All you would really be losing is small part of your flag, you would need to change your coins and possibly stamps, and hey presto... nothing really changes. So I agree... having the Queen of Britain as the head of state of Australia/New Zealand has been pointless for at least 100 years
In the meantime, this thread is probably going way off topic
I have been waiting for a time to use that image for at least 3 days!
No shit but I guess that happens when contraversial statements are made.
I actually cannot think of a single reason why New Zealand or Australia would want to keep our queen as the head of state.... but the Australians voted to keep her (well, she won marginally). Could you explain why they would want to do so? Maybe they just cant think of anything to do with the other side of their coins
Would you care to comment on the 6.5 million people who were upset when you Brits handed Hong Kong back to communist China?
Hong-Kong belonged to China, we gave back what was rightfully theres. Nothing wrong with doing whats right. Hong Kong is doing just fine without us, as are many other Chinese provinces.
They are doing fine, but when the changeover took place, no one could leave the island; passports were revoked by the Chinese government. Unless you had a lot of money, you were stuck there. And no one could have predicted what effect the changeover would have. Looking back, in a macro sense it worked out pretty well.
As for the point about British criticism of the NHS, I cannot speak for all British people, so you are entitled to judge that by your own merits. There is going to criticism about all organisations, I would not have a problem with this criticism long as it was true and honest. Personally I have only seen huge amounts of praise and togetherness by the British people in relation to the NHS, including - as the link shows - the complete opposites of our political system and all major newspapers (who also cater for varied political groups). But again, opinions are not my issue, it is dishonesty and unfounded statements which damage the reputation of our nation for political gain.
If you would like to hear my personal opinion about the NHS, then all you need to know is that I was born 6 weeks premature with a hole in my lung and after 4 weeks plugged to a machine weighing 2 pounds... I was released into the world and became a healthy adult. That is all that you need to hear about my opinion of the NHS, except perhaps that my grandfather has been kept alive for the past 5 years by the NHS and still smiles and laughs every day. I could never have a bad word to say about it, neither could any of my family or close friends. Empathy is contagious.
My problem is not with criticism about the NHS, people are entitled to this opinion. My major problem is with the lies and dishonesty. If any individual was to lie in such a manner they could be sued for lible/slander. There is no problem with people pointing out possible shortfallings or genuine problems with such a system, but that seems to be the problem.... they can't find any, so they have to habitually lie.
In the past few days I have seen REPUBLICANS say that the NHS does not perform heart surgery on over 59's because it is too expensive (I know a 63 year old that has just had an emergency triple bypass), I have seen that our health service ruins our economy (we spend 8% of our gdp on healthcare, you spend 16%, meaning that we have 8% to spend on more enjoyable thing I guess), I have seen that people are allowed to die if things get too expensive (that is also completely untrue, everybody gets treatment, the only drugs that we cannot afford are those that the USA want to charge $25 per tablet for... we stock these after a 5 year period when we are permitted to produce these ourselves at 15cents - 25 cents per tablet), we apparently live for less time (this is also untrue), we have a third world health system (we have the 18th best in the world, a lot higher than yours).... I could go on for quite some time.
We even had some idiot saying that the British would have let Stephen Hawkings die... when it is us that have kept him alive for christ sake, although I am sure that you have seen this one.
If REPUBLICANS stop the lies (all other minor fractions are irrelevant and unreported) then I will stop the defence.
Ryan, I think you put your finger on something very important that doesn't get addressed in a direct way here, if at all, and that is the fact that although the North 'won' the Civil War in the U.S., the war never really ended. What we are a seeing now in these town halls has a strong racial and secessionist undercurrent, and in fact several political leaders from (mostly) southern states have threatened secession in recent months, most notably Rick Perry of Texas. Sarah Palin's husband Todd was active in an Alaskan secessionist group before she took office as governor, and there is indeed a horrible cultural divide in America that persists despite Obama's election.
The way I read it, about a third of Americans want free enterprise and property valued above all else and government to be very, very small. Another third want a social safety net similar to what we see in most European countries and want free enterprise as it is currently expressed in the corporate model MUCH more heavily regulated. The other third drifts back and forth between camps depending on the concern of the hour. You factor in the desire of many on the right to have a kind of theocracy which works Christianity right into the framework of what government we do have and you get a very combustible division indeed.
I personally think America could come apart over this issue. I think it's that big. If Obama doesn't get this reform package through, the economy will almost certainly fall off another cliff, because we can't sustain the health care system as it currently exists (it's barely a system at this point, it's a profit sucking mess) and it is making us noncompetitive on the world stage. It's hurting us. So he fails, the economy tanks again, and who knows who comes to power next, but for sure it won't be pretty. The Republican party understands this. All they care about is getting back in power. It's not even about health care for them, it's about ruining Obama so they can win in 2012.
The "Let's do something, anything" mentality that you espouse will put another 17% of the economy under government control. I am baffled as to how a government that can't get water bottles to Katrina victims could possibly run a health insurance and a health care system (two different industries). Don't suggest that having a different president will have any impact. The culture of federal bureaucracy never changes. They go to work each day dedicated to protecting their jobs and improving their budget. Trusting them with our health is an exercise in futility.
The government that couldn't get water bottles to Katrina victims was a Republican government.
A little refresher in the American Political System for you;
When we elect a new president, he isn't charged with expunging every bureaucrat in Washington. Obama did pick a new person to run FEMA (you probably have no idea what that involves) but the majority of the employees in the department are holdovers from the previous administration.
A little truth about the Katrina misinformation campaign for you;
By law, FEMA cannot enter a disaster area until they are requested to do so by the state government. It's part of "states rights" as laid out in the US constitution. FEMA resources were staged in an outlying area well in advance of Katrina making landfall. The governor of Louisiana, a Democrat, did not request FEMA assistance until the plight of NOLA citizens was revealed by the media. The media then used the opportunity to blame George Bush.
The mayor of NOLA, also a Democrat, had buses in place to evacuate his citizens, but for whatever reason did not deploy them. In the mayor's defense, NOLA issued evacuation warnings well in advance of Katrina.
Ok thats fair enough. I am not the type of person to claim that he knows everything about everything, so.....I know absolutely nothing about the specifics of Hurricane Katrina.... I will just have to take your word for it. I admit to being amazed at how slow the response to Katrina was, but I have never attempted to find out why. I guess the most important thing for you guys is that if there is another natural disaster in the USA, a system is in place to ensure that they respond quicker. It was a tragedy of course, so I am a little reluctant to turn the loss of life into a political debate - im sure that people all over American have learnt a little from the events of those times and fingers crossed it will be the last tragedy of that scale in the USA for a long time.
One gentle correction; it wasn't actually a natural disaster. The levy failed *after* Katrina blew through. Subsequent flooding caused the disaster. The levies were under built because local politicians squandered federal monies.
I remember vividly the relief we all felt in the few quiet hours between the hurricane and the levy breach. We honestly thought NOLA was 'safe' and had avoided the major damage predicted by the news media.
SO why do you reckon America's government is so much worse than everyone else's? After all, every other Western country has some form of universal health care.
it's been interesting to watch all the national chatter about how low the repubs have been driven into the ground during the last two elections, how the grand old party is no more, how the dems are the new dynasty. in reality, americans have a very short attention span. the dems, with arguably more power at their hands than they've had in the last 40 years now find themselves, thanks in part to a gross failure of leadership, trying to hold down an angry dog. as pgrundy writes, america is in a highly combustible period in its history, not seen since the racist days of the 1960's. the repubs, shameless in their desire to regain control, will play any card to win their hand.
it's funny to mention slick rick perry, who, in all his enlightened intellect, now compares the mexcio-u.s. border to the gaza strip. this diminished mentality seems to be a prerequisite in order to be an american politician, regardless the size of the fence being straddled.
many factors are involved in america's current slide into oblivion. none more important than the simple fact that we have a sad and sordid history of electing and anointing and appointing officials into leadership positions who contain few leadership skills. history does indeed repeat itself and america , thanks to a short attention span, will soon find out just how painful that experience can be.
Thanks for writing that Pam , I found it very helpful. I have only been in the U.S for 6 months and as an outsider ,thats how it looks to me ( some of it) bickering an squabbling, positioning for power.
One thing that is good is that its open ,not always pretty, but transparent never the less.
Propaganda is not a new thing and certainly not unique to the States...as far as the OP, nationalistic I guess ,as there are so many variables on both sides of the ocean.
One thing that puzzled me to hear here in the South was the comment
"The South Will Rise Again" now dont mean to piss you Southerners off, but the 'again' has this Kiwi confused..lol
I love living here in the USA..sure its got some problems, almost like a woman in labor..gimme the nitrate dammit
But Ohhhhh...one day soon we will all be saying this
Awwwww...isnt she Adorable
It is absolutely an exercise in positioning for power. I want the power over me. The US federal government has no constitutional mandate to provide health care. That power is not granted to Washington.
If Liberals want socialized medicine, they are welcome to proceed through proper channels and submit a constitutional amendment. Beyond that, they have no case.
nicomp, thanks for coming by and illustrating what totally off-topic partisan rancor looks like.
ryan, i know little about you other than your professed age, of which i strongly doubt. you write with a wisdom and knowledge far beyond your years. stay strong.
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