I was recently in a town in Eng-er-land and saw this poster on the window of the local council building…
The question I have is about who is actually making a mistake here?
Are/were the Tories plans to destroy the NHS a mistake? For the public they certainly were. For the Conservative Party and its leaders friends, I’m not so sure.
I think the mistake being made might well be to assume that the Conservative Party (or at least those at the top driving these things) genuinely want ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’.
They may want the best for their friends in high places and genuinely believe they are helping people, but that is not the same thing.
Also, they may want the best for the lobbyists that wine and dine them, and with whom they spend much more of their time than they do with members of the public.
I once spent half an evening with former MSP Rosie Kane in a pub in the south side of Glasgow and she told me that once she got in people like Coca-Cola were all over her. She said she was thinking “Don’t you even bother to read what party people come from?”.
Lesser-known is that those same lobbyists also spend a lot of time lobbying top civil servants directly and in this way can influence even the advice that ministers and MPs get from their officials.
Returning to the poster, I am sure that Tory plans have made the NHS worse and will make it worse yet. However, the mistake might be to think that they were ever designed to do anything else, or that they have any inclination to seriously listen to the objections of the public.