Monday, September 17, 2018

In praise of the NHS

It's heartening that everywhere you look, musicians and artists seem to be paying tribute to the NHS: Gruff Rhys' 'No Profit In Pain' single; the majority of the first programme in Grayson Perry's excellent new documentary series Rites Of Passage, which focused on childbirth and a neonatal unit; Alison Moyet on Twitter, praising the treatment she recently received after breaking her arm.

Perhaps the most heartfelt ode, though, has come from Joe Talbot. The Idles frontman has more reason than most to value the NHS, having been treated for club feet as a child, gone through the pain of miscarriage with his partner (who is herself a nurse) and experienced the care and compassion given to both his mum and stepdad before they died.

Describing the NHS as "a sustained practice of human kindness and good will", he argues that we should remember the guiding principle behind its creation: "that all humans were born and die equal and that human welfare is a right". A fundamental tenet, you'd hope, but (it's worth stressing) one that those pushing for privatisation are happy to reject.

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