Sunday, 24 January 2010

Our National Health Service

We were brought up on it.

We love it.

And we depend on it.

It's a lot more sophisticated now.

These pictures come from People at Work : The Nurse from The Ladybird Book series,
another of our national treasures.   By Vera  Southgate MA, B Com and J Havenhand with illustrations by John Berry.  Pub. Wills & Hepworth Ltd. Loughborough 1963


  1. Hurrah for the NHS. And for Ladybird books! I'd have been dead without the former, and dead bored without the latter.

  2. oh jolly good. I totally agree the way you so succinctly you put it. Thank you.

  3. xoxo- we are so - pissy over here.

  4. Interesting post considering the very odd attitude being expressed in the US about universal healthcare. Am I missing something? Sadly the recent senatorial defeat for the Demsa means the end of that venture.

  5. To get a good grasp of the reasons for resistance to health care reform in the US, you have to go back to Thorsten Veblen, or maybe a little further, to Mark Twain. The American people are always happy to receive something in return for their taxes, but they don't want anyone else to have anything. It makes the crafting of relief policy fairly tricky, because the politician has to convince everyone there's a group that will not be rewarded for their "idleness".It's why the "moral theory of disease" has never been seriously questioned here until recently, even inside the practicing medical community.
    Twain and Veblen are more succinct. The US is filled with morons that the cheapest carny prostitute can play like a violin. The stupidity has reached flood stage.

  6. Anonymous is, in this case, rurritable. I can't seem to post with my wordpress ID.

  7. Crikey, Anonymous, I didn't dare hope I'd get a response as trenchant as that. Thank you. My reading of Thorsten Veblen was never extensive but I'll go back to him. And Mark Twain.

    la and columnist - does all have to be lost by the election of that piece of beefcake? I hope not.

  8. rurritable, I haven't changed any of my settings as far as I know. Your wordpress ID normally comes up. This would be a shame.. sign yourself in under Anon until we can get this resolved. Please explain the Mark Twain reference.

  9. Rose: The twainquote that comes most readily to mind
    ...we are all beggars, each in is own way. One beggar is too proud to beg for pennies, but will beg for an introduction into society; another does not care for society, but he wants a postmastership; another will inviegle a lawyer into conversation and then sponge on him for free advice. The man who wouldn't do any of these things will beg for the Presidency. Each admires his own dignity and greatly guards it, but in his opinion the others haven't any. Mendicancy is a matter of taste and temperament, no doubt.
    - Mark Twain, a Biography
    I'm also thinking of the chapter in Huck Finn where a town is duped by a couple of con men: the old story of people willing themselves into being easily fleeced. It's sort of a black comedy take on Veblen's critique of conspicuous consumption.

  10. I like Twain's take on mendicancy. I should say, in being smug about our National Health Service, we are a nation used to the idea of being taken care of by the State. I think we tend to forget that the United States was built on that admirable frontier spirit of self-reliance which is presumably precious to your culture and may die hard.

    At the same time we find it hard to see how an apparently Christian load of politicians can allow the lame, the halt, those one-sandwich- short-of-a-picnic and the ones whose business fail through the actions of bankers to fall through the net? Am I being simple minded here?

  11. No, it's not you. It's the legacy of Reagan idolatry here. We're being hamstrung by a rump party that's the moral equivalent of badly tonsured Fuller Brush salesmen. They preach a cruel mixture of prosperity theology and unreconstructed segregationism. When they're not fluffing dictators like Charles Taylor to profit from the blood diamond trade, they're flying off to the Dominican Republic to screw minors. They'd make Elagabalus wince.

  12. Well thank you rurritable, for the insight. Perhaps things aren't explained well enough, despite the good communicator who resides in the White House. And there does appear to be a lot of uninformed opinion, (including my own, obviously, about why such a condition exists).

  13. Yes, hurrah etc.

    But *is* it much more sophisticated now? Or as clean and tidy?

    And the nurses don't look like that anymore. Probably never did.

  14. Certainly not as clean and tidy and smelling of ether. What's happened to matron? oooh.


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