In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Sunday, 15 January 2017

DISMANTLE PIECE

It's a don't know whether to laugh or cry world as we stumble on wondering what the next news bulletin will bring. Whoever and whatever is the cause of the confusion, worry and fear in the world, the influencers, the persuaders have us all dangling like panicking puppets on strings. Confusion, worry and fear are just some of the ingredients in a casserole of chaos that tastes yummy to decision-makers in the upper echelons, egged on by their stirring spin and nudge teams.

In the U.K. just about everything is up for dismantling or changing or abolishing. The National Health Service is being allowed to die an undignified death as its body parts are being hived off to private companies. A man called Jeremy Hunt is in charge but he turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the truth. He is content for him and us to wake up to a daily NHS story of doom and gloom, giving his thumbs up to the Grim Reaper and enjoying his ambition to kill this version of a health service. Crisis, what crisis? His supportive political colleagues recite the Government's well-rehearsed answers to questions but these are answers to different questions and the original questions are left gasping for someone to take an honest interest. There is much smuggery about, being wily and articulate and good looking and sounding on the TV and radio. But these hapless, headless chickens seem to spend more time filling in expense forms than they do on making sure sick people get well. It's about budgets. It's about money, as well as politically motivated ambitions to dismantle an institution and flog the lucrative bits of it. The American philosopher (and many other things) Noam Chomsky puts this kind of thinking well: 

"The standard technique of privatisation: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

Not everyone agrees with Chomsky's outpourings, but he has a way with words, phrases and clear thinking.

In a short number of years, there will not be a National Health Service. The dismantlers will rejoice and say that private companies will have unburdened the State and the taxpayer, ignoring the rather obvious point that we will all have to produce our credit cards before being treated in a hospital. We'll get our operations and treatments only if we can afford it. If you ain't got the money, just go away, wither and die somewhere out of sight.

No one, as far as I can see, reports the great work being done day in, day out, night in, night out by dedicated hospital employees of whatever stripe. 'Twas ever thus, of course, bad news hogs the headlines. Good news is a tailpiece.

And then there's the BBC being measured for a strait-jacket to impose restrictive State controls and Press strangulation to render its freedom a thing of the past. Appalling. The dismantlers appear to be winning gradually. They enjoy the public's apathy. It's a gift. Protesting on Twitter and writing blogs is like pissing in the wind and farting against thunder. Apart from election campaigns, we are, as I said on a post recently, saps. Once they've got our vote, we can sod off. That's demockracy.

Oh, and enjoy the pageantry of the U.S. President's inauguration on Friday. I'll miss it. I'll be in B&Q buying a handcart and then at the travel agents purchasing a one-way ticket to hell.


Happy days! I'm off to decide whether to laugh or cry.

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