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Twitter Reacts to Jeremy Corbyn Revealing How the Tories Are Planning to Sell the NHS to Trump

By Petr Knava | Social Media | November 27, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | November 27, 2019 |


corbyn-nhs-trump-header.jpg

Ahead of Britain’s General Election on December 12th, a massive event on the campaign took place earlier today as Jeremy Corbyn hosted a surprise press conference revealing a 451-page secret dossier which details how the Conservative government under Boris Johnson are—and have been—involved in talks with America’s Trump administration about how to organise a potential trade deal between the two countries in the event of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and how—crucially—the country’s public healthcare provider, the National Health Service (NHS), would be on the table in any negotiations. This follows an exchange between Corbyn and Johnson at the first leaders’ debate in which Corbyn produced a shorter, heavily redacted version of the dossier and accused Johnson of conspiring to sell off the NHS, to which Johnson responded with vigorous, aggressive denial, claiming that under the Tories the NHS would never be part of any negotiations—a denial now revealed to be a barefaced, typically Johnson-ian lie.

None of this will be news to anyone who has been following the accelerated privatisation of the NHS since 2012 when the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government passed the Health And Social Care Act that abolished the duty care of the government to provide healthcare for the population and opened up even more areas of the NHS for private providers to pillage. As I have written before:

So while many have wanted to privatise NHS, few have felt bold enough to do so. Thatcher herself balked at the idea, even as she eviscerated the state and reshaped the country in the image of private enterprise. Tony Blair’s New Labour—a party once called Thatcher’s ‘greatest achievement’ by the Iron Lady herself—would implement a disastrous set of reforms called Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) that would introduce market mechanisms into areas of the NHS, among many other places. Thus would the rot of private enterprise slither into the NHS.

Then, in 2012, an emboldened Tory party passed the Health and Social Care Act, effectively signing the death warrant of the NHS as we knew it. Despite pledging ‘no more top-down reorganisations of the NHS’ in their manifesto, the Tory Health and Social Care Act would prove to be one of the most sweeping bits of legislation ever to impact the NHS, opening all areas of it up to private providers and mandating expensive and lengthy contract tendering procedures. The Act has been an unmitigated catastrophe for the NHS, which—alongside the brutal and unrelenting budget cuts designed to make privatisation more palatable by worsening services—has brought it to its knees.

Nevertheless, despite the Tories’ aims for the NHS being taken as read by people privy to these details, the majority of the population remain relatively in the dark about these plans—by design, of course, as the mainstream media has studiously avoided sounding the alarm for as long as it could, despite mounting piles of evidence. Thus, Corbyn’s explosive press conference does now stand as near enough the single biggest bombshell dropped this election cycle, with huge potential to influence vast swathes of voters. The NHS is by far the most treasured institution in the country and something that the public is united on more than anything else—as the responses to Trump’s previous attacks on it showed. In practical terms the revelation is truly ground shaking, and could be a huge blow against Johnson’s election campaign. It’s perhaps no surprise then to see that Britain’s heavily right-wing media has responded with denial, obfuscation, minimisation, and distraction. In the face of such capitalist wagon circling it is again heartening to see some sanity on Twitter:

Just to be clear, that’s the BBC’s top political journalist—and ostensibly the voice of clear, unbiased reporting—re-tweeting Piers Morgan attacking the Labour press conference. She later deleted the re-tweet.

Brexit or no, this has always been the Tories’ endgame for the NHS. The fact that the public is only now fully waking up to it is a testament to the woeful state of the British media. Their reaction this latest news reinforces their status as not just not fit for purpose, but as agents actively working overdrive to damage the social fabric of the country and the lives of the vast majority of the people living in it.




Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Getty Images


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