I have arthritis more or less everywhere: I had my knee replaced at the age of 46 (I was the surgeons second youngest ever. Woohoo). After a short stay in hospital recently, I have now been diagnosed as having diverticulosis too which is metaphorically and literally a bummer. In the last several weeks I have been obliged to avail myself of quite a lot of the NHS, and with dodgy joints and a crappy colon I don’t suppose I’ve seen the last of my local hospitals. Sigh.
I am happy to say that because I live in the UK, all of this lovely treatment has cost me nothing, nada, not a penny. In the States I might well be have been looking at bills I simply couldn’t pay with financial costs to all of my family. I am grateful for the NHS.
In the past I’ve had a full grant for a university education, claimed unemployment benefits, child benefit, maternity allowance and at some point in the future I’ll probably get a pension too. This is because I am lucky to live in a country where people have argued for fairly radical changes in government policy, have been elected to parliament and put them into practice. The NHS, benefits, maternity payments and even pensions have not been popular with the monied classes and the establishment. At all.
My sons are beneficiaries of free child healthcare, publicly funded education, council sports facilities, local libraries and much, much more. The Tories are working quite hard to make it very hard for councils to fund anything and I rather suspect that if they had their way, only the lucky few would make use of further education. It would only be for the elite as it was in the past.
Dickensian Britain was a vile place for the vast majority, but we have seen seismic change brought about by lefties, unions, awkward buggers and people unprepared to compromise with those in power. People have fought, angrily protested, thrown themselves in front of horses, ended up in prison and deprived themselves of food to bring about change for the better. Pickets, marches, strikes and shouted arguments have transformed the lives of the majority of UK citizens.
But now are told that we shouldn’t elect Jeremy Corbyn because he’s too ‘radical’ and nobody will vote for him. We are asked to support one of three alternative candidates who will not rock the boat, frighten the horses, or worry the establishment.