Monday 5 February 2018

Why I rejoice at Donald Trump tweeting about the NHS

Every so often, the law of unintended consequences delivers a result so powerful that one has to wonder if a higher power really has decided to stick their oar in. At such moments, I fall to my knees and say "thank you Lord". Now I know a goodly, if not Godly proportion of my readers are atheists and so will not react in the same way, but today I had one such moment.

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NHS March last Saturday
At the weekend, there was a march for the NHS, which was largely ignored by the press and the media. It is safe to say that if I did not have a healthy smattering of leftie friends on my Facebook friends list I may have completely missed the fact that the march was happening at all. However a huge number of people had participated. Ironiocally, my own plans to participate were scuppered by my nephew having a suspected aneurysm, and having to spend the weekend undergoing tests courtesy of the overstretched NHS services in Barnet general. So although I did not participate, I was very much with them in spirit ( I am pleased to report that my nephew is OK, following a CAT scan, an Angiograph and a Lumbar Puncture and associated tests).

As you can see, a huge number of people turned up. However, if you read the main stream press or watched the main stream news there was hardly a mention.  In short, it appeared to many of us that there was a press and media conspiracy to completely ignore the whole thing. I have to confess that I was rather preoccupied so didn't really give it much thought, despite various texts from friends asking what I thought was going on and how such a huge event could be missing from our news bulletins. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that a heartless government has brow beaten our media to such an extent that complete non stories dominate the front pages, whilst a huge display of support for our health service doesnt even warrant a by-line.

To be honest, I found the whole thing so completely demoralising, combined with a pretty awful weekend, that I decided to have a day off from blogging. But the good Lord clearly had other ideas and a quick check of twitter revealed something that half a million concerned British taxpayers could not achieve. In short the NHS march was suddenly all over the media. Was this because the media had awoken feeling shamed by the lack of respect shown to the half million? No, it was because the darling of the right wing press, the Leader of The Free World, Donald J. Trump had decided that he'd do Theresa May's struggling government a big favour and stick a knife between her shoulder blades.

He issued the following tweet.

Trumps intervention ensured a media storm followed. All of a sudden, the NHS march is the top global story.  Trump has his reasons for sticking the knife in. None are anything to do with the fact that the NHS is something that the British people value and care about above all others in our list of political issues. Deranged Brexiteers recognised this and used a massive porkie that the NHS would get an extra £350 million a week to buy the referendum.

Trumps malign plan to use the massive march for more resources for the NHS to try and make the case for the broken American system, offers complete vindication of what pro NHS campaigners have been saying. No British Conservatives can argue that they care about the NHS. They have allowed it to be underfunded to such an extent that even the US president sees it as having a funding crisis. Donald Trump is no friend to the British left, but he has dropped an atomic bomb on the claims of the Tory Party to be a party that cares for the NHS.

However much you may hate Donald Trump and his free market policies, he is telling the truth. The NHS is going broke. I would disagree with his claim that it is not working, although it is getting stretched to breaking point. It may well be that if the government of Theresa May lasts its full term, the damage will be terminal.

Whatever you think, the Tories have been exposed. Trump may be a malicious street fighter, who is prepared to stab friends like Theresa May in the back to win his own little battle in the USA. But for all of us, we surely must use this opportunity to ensure that the British public are left in no doubt that Donald Trump has told a pretty stark truth that the mainstream media in the UK did not want us to hear. For that I will be eternally grateful to him, much as I despise what he stands for and why he did it.

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