Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Football, Finance and the NHS
As everything else in the this benighted land, we keep doing the same thing, over and over again with the same blind faith, that it might be different, this time. But it never is ! The finances of football, finance itself, and most of our state institutions, which now includes the bulk of our Banks, stumble on, now under the tutelage of the Lib-Con's (an apt naming, I think). As we are now "all in this together", it is expected that our input to Cameron's dream of a responsible society, will render us complicit in the in the vast swage of cuts and austerity that will now be my retirement birthright.
Like the FA, and all the Premiershits (to steal an acronym from 'Private Eye'), the country has been in the grip of politicians who have wedded themselves to various organisations, hell bent on feathering their own nest at the expense of us, the taxpayer, the football fan, the service user. We have been used as the money pit for the New Labour experiment, Thatcherism, Blair and Majors, personal agenda of sacrificing British lives in far flung places at the behest of Presidents called Bush, and the wonder of PFI and Independent Sector Treatment Centres. And that's the short list !
Under the sainted Margaret, we endured the 'privatisation' of services such as parts of the NHS, all of the Railways, Buses and some of the Prisons. Blair then assumed the mantle with a relish unexpected of a 'social democrat', and went even further with ID cards, parts of the Immigration Service, the fiasco of the NHS IT system, then the UK Border Agency. The only profit seen from this has been the vast sums paid to the large Accountants, Management Consultants and the now privatised Service Providers to the infrastructure of the UK. The Consultants, the Facilities Managers and unbelievably, the bodyguards for civil servants, senior soldiers and politicians in War zones reaped vast rewards. Despite the fact, that we have more than enough men with guns, in the pay of the state (and I should know), we have to pay a whole lot more 'mercenaries' (sic), to protect people and even convoys in foreign climes. We in fact, as a populace, seem to pay at least twice or more times for almost everything that politicians commit us to finance. Or we pay considerably more, than that which should be the 'going rate', for so much, such as ships, tanks, aircraft, firearms, IT services, computer software and so on, and on, and........
As for Medicine and Health care; we allow the private sector to cherry pick the easy bits, that is if anything can be called such,if you are a patient. ISTC's have had contracts to perform routine procedures and treatments at inflated prices which, then they did not undertake even though the bill had been paid. Partly due to administrative incompetence of the PCT's and others who commissioned the work in the first place and because these centres then failed in the delivery of those tasks or worse, they bodged the job and the NHS then had to put it right. Worse still, these' medicine factories' actually killed people sent to them and the NHS paid the damages to the bereft relatives.
Doctors who operate in the NHS as small businessmen (and women), have fared pretty well from the taxpayer as well. We have paid them handsomely to undertake 'so called' preventative measures, by monitoring patients for diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, hypertension, and then invoking protocols usually requiring drug interventions to modify the findings of any tests. Payments are made, usually based on the results achieved. But, these results have been shown not to be sufficiently productive as to keep said patients out of A&E when their symptoms exacerbate. Not really value for money then ? Treating symptoms is not the way to cut health costs as we all probably know but that is what we get. So the system eats money, and patients get sicker. Non insulin dependent diabetes sufferers become insulin dependent, non insulin diabetics ! What a misnomer and what a travesty ! Lets keep telling them to do the wrong things such as eating a balanced diet of one third carbohydrates which acerbates their condition by raising their blood glucose and pressurises the pancreas to secrete more insulin, which then further exhausts it, makes them fat which in turn increases insulin resistance. So lets just keep doing the same, and by some miracle it will all work out !
The Bankers (or should that be a W?) have the politicians in their pocket, because they ultimately control the system that provides the finance for everything, despite the vast sums we gave them. Politicians always want the blessing of International Finance so they will give them the austerity package they want. Once they have reached a certain level of remuneration it will not substantially effect any of their lifestyles and there will be little in the way of retribution for the Sir Humphrey's of this world, for forgoing a few notional perks to give the people the impression they 'are in this with us all'. All the International Accountants that are relied upon by politicians will now make money out of studies they will undertake to see where savings in the cost of the state can be made, despite the fact that they were complicit in the lack of any due diligence in the Banking fiasco, we are all now paying for.
The FA will no doubt find themselves a new England manager, probably at even more money, to preside over the bunch of over paid, uninspired Premier League players we have in any team, and we will wave the flag for them at the next International tournament with hope in our hearts but despair in our souls. The words 'we was robbed' springs to our lips but has a greater connotation than would normally be the case. Successive Governments have used us for their own ends, and those of their friends for most of my life time. We have been pawns in various social experiments for decades of succeeding Governments, footing the bill in the belief that this time it will be different. That the LibCon's will be the catalyst for a change from this is a pretty forlorn hope. That we will pay for it is a certainty.