Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Telling lies

Whilst I was off-line reading my day old copy of the Guardian, the dishonest and blatant lies being told about the NHS by the American right in an attempt to derail Obama's health reforms, produced a combination of outrage and a sense of 'what on earth are they going on about?'. Of course, this farrago of nonsense would not have been complete without the ubiquitous and illiterate use of the adjective 'Orwellian' to attack the plans, when Orwell himself both supported the Labour government and its introduction of universal state health care.

So will they win? Is health care dead? That depends on political will. Some encouragement for Obama comes from Joe Bageant's entertaining and bitterly angry book about redneck society, Deer Hunting with Jesus. Bageant writes about working class life in Winchester, Virginia, a home town he left physically and intellectually. It is a flawed account but doesn't fall into the apologist trap of saying that there might be a rational basis for prejudice. Instead he argues that there is a huge, systemic failure of education that, conveniently for the powerful, weds the working class to doctrines that are tailor made for its vicious exploitation. But even inside the Rapture-ready, Bible-bashing, Republican-voting heartlands, people can spot their real interests.

Bageant interviews Dottie, 59 years old, 300 lbs, started work at 13, married at 15 and now incapable of working, but can still belt out Patsy Kline covers in clubs and bars. He writes,
Although it might seem that my people use the voting booth as an instrument of self-flagellation, the truth is that Dottie would vote for any candidate - black, white, crippled, blind or crazy - who she thought would actually help her. I know because I have asked her if she would vote for a candidate who wanted a national health care program. "Vote for him? I'd go down on him!" Voter approval does not get much stronger than that.
The support is there if Obama has the courage to face down the corporate terrorists and the media poison merchants with their British collaborators. His actions could define his presidency. Though if he wins, I suggest that he gives Dottie a miss.


Anonymous said...

But it is more than Dan Hannan. There is Stephen Glover, Tim Worstall, and any number of British blogs that are not sure copying NHS is the way to go.

You are correct in saying that the American right is going nuts on this issue, but so is the British Left. 40 Million uninsured? No ER care for the poor? None of this is true.

Anton Deque said...

In the unlikely case "Anonymous" returns to his vomit, I will repeat what I wrote to an earlier thread on the N.H.S.:

My partner is now in rude health and active in her seventh decade thanks entirely, as in 'completely and uttterly', due to the N.H.S. Her treatment had it been in a country with out an 'Orwellian' socialist – thank God! Socialist! – health service* would have rendered her a) bankrupt and more than likely, b) dead.

I have myself received lightning speed treatment for possible cancer.

The "British Left" did not start this debate. If everything in the U.S.A.'s healthcare provision is fine why are people turning up at public meetings with guns?

I do not know where you live but fight your battles there and if you support a system which defines a persons health by their income so be it. Try having a revolution.

*In fact there are many such systems and countries from Norway to Spain have good ones I am told. Why the N.H.S. should have been be picked out is in itself an interesting question. The links between the British Right and Murdoch's empire of disinformation and reactionary opinion forming are worth exploring.

Anonymous said...

Anton -- I really don't know what got you going. I said only two things: That the American right has gone nuts when it discusses the NHS. I assume you agree. And that the British Left is likewise going nuts when it discusses the American system. Is that what got you angry? Well, I'm right, you're wrong. The number of uninsured in America is not 40 million. If you go to ER you are treated immediately. Only afterwards are you asked for insurance, and they usually work with you to see if Medicaid will pay.

And we have a public option. It's called Medicare.