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Peter Hitchens Slams Healthcare for “Secret Elite”

Posted on June 26 2010 8:00 am
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and polemicist. His works have been posted on numerous sites from The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). He blogs at Positively Churchillian.
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It was my first week in London. My employer instructed me to sign up for “free healthcare,” if there is such a thing. Thankfully, the paperwork was easy because I carried a European Union passport, but I had to visit my local “clinic,” if that’s the right word. (It looked more like a shabby chic Edwardian flat.) The doctor was nice enough but her broken English was hard to follow. The next year, I visited a friend in a grotty hospital, and was equally unimpressed. His room was crowded, noisy and outdated. Still, on the plus side, visiting the year 1974, while we were in fact living in 2004, was quite an experience.

Welcome to socialism. But spare a thought for Peter Hitchens (brother of the celebrated atheist Christopher). In his latest book, The Rage Against God, he writes honestly about his experiences under militant egalitarianism. Page 82:

Soviet citizens all knew life was like this. They knew the daily drudgery of finding anything decent to eat. They all knew the sugar had disappeared from the shops because the official anti-alcohol campaign had impelled millions to make their own vodka in the bathtub. They knew that if they wanted anesthetics at the dentist, or antibiotics at the hospital, or co-operation from their child’s teacher, or a holiday by the sea, they would need to bribe someone to get them.

As a working journalist, in the Soviet Union, Peter Hitchens also understood too that socialism isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re a communist leader. Page 82 again:  

While most struggled to survive, a secret elite enjoyed great privileges – special living spaces, special hospitals with Western drugs and equipment, special schools in which their children were well taught in English, special waiting rooms in stations and airports, and special lanes (one ran down the middle of the street on which I lived) along with the Politburo’s giant armored limousines roared at 90 miles an hour, shouldering aside anyone who dared get in the way.

Red Russia was in short, “one of the most unequal societies on earth.” And the UK? It isn’t the worst place in the world for healthcare, but that’s because it isn’t the most socialistic. Nor is it the best place in the world, because it is the foe of free markets, or the friend of dirty sheets.

London’s just-good-enough ethos is ubiquitous. It delivers glossy brochures and dirty sheets, but England’s limousine leftists (like international elites) always look after themselves.


Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.

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