More deaths from NHS neglect and the quango that let it happen

James Delingpole has written a great (and highly sarcastic) piece about the latest NHS deaths-by-neglect, and the failure of the CQC quango to even notice. He says quite ludidly: ‘if the NHS is the envy of the world, the world must be bonkers’. Here is one article about the original story. In brief, the Care Quality Commission, yet another public entity created by New Labour many years ago at UK taxpayer’s expense, wasn’t all that interested in care and quality, not enough to prevent the deaths of a thousand patients through neglect (and subsequently lying about the number of inspections it actually carried out).

Now, it would be all too easy to point the finger (yet again) at this atrocious socialist monster and at how it’s failed. I’m not going to use the deaths of innocent people just to make a rather obvious political point. But I want to reiterate two things:

1. Would this have happened in a private healthcare institution, or to re-phrase: is the NHS actually needed for the vast majority of people? I firmly say: no. The fact that the State has prevented this vital market from being left to evolve and grow naturally to a lucrative, efficient and safe one (just like…you know, almost every market which is left free), means that healthcare costs constantly rise (the opposite of what tends to happen in free markets), service and quality declines (the opposite of what tends to happen in free markets), rationing occurs and service becomes scarce (the opposite of…you know). Private healthcare is NOT so expensive because it’s meant for the rich, it’s expensive precisely because the government has consistently backed this loser and kept all but the most bespoke and expensive competition down. This beast is simply not allowed to fail. Like a race horse with two broken legs, the NHS doesn’t need a bandage, it needs a bullet between the eyes.

To answer my own question: would people ever be neglected in a private hospital? Of course I can’t say no. But would private hospitals and overseeing bodies get away with such gross neglect of their customers for so long, and then have their leaders retire on lucrative pensions? Just now, the government is debating whether to introduce criminal penalties for “reckless” bankers. But reckless heads of quangos are allowed to retire peacefully and rich. Why are the public not stamping up and down and threatening to boycott (somehow) funding the NHS? (It’s not the same thing, but council tax would be a good place to start.) When you think of the ridiculous (or non-existent) things some idiots in this country riot about, just when there is really good reason to cause a (peaceful) fuss and make our voices heard….nothing.

2. And this is the real point: no free-market supporter, no capitalist, would EVER claim that neglect would never happen in our system. No capitalist has ever claimed that our system would provide perfect cheap universal healthcare to everyone. No capitalist has ever made that famous promise of “no child left behind”. Why? Because those promises are unreal. No one can promise that, because the world simply doesn’t work that way. It’s like promising that it won’t get cold (actually that’s the sort of promise the Met Office would make), or promising clueless voters that under no circumstances can we allow this Bank Holiday to be blighted with rain. That’s because free-market supporters are in touch with reality. It’s called rationality. The world cannot be different just because you’d like it to be. (This is the single biggest reason why egalitarianism is evil.) Not even with a blank cheque and the nation’s funds behind you can this be done. The NHS fails, like socialism fails, because it simply cannot work. You cannot have a system based on supply and demand that doesn’t obey the laws of supply and demand.

But, as I said two years ago, after everything that has happened, after the evidence of history, after the countless deaths through neglect and malpractice under the NHS, after the pathetic waiting lists, the shoddy service, the terrible quality, bored unincentivised doctors and nurses, regulation after regulation, a national debt in the hundreds of millions, careless and evil commissions failing to do their job, and some more deaths, the Left will not be budged! It will still say: if we get rid of the NHS (or greatly reduce its scope) think of all the people who will die or not be able to afford healthcare.

And what exactly has your system given us?! See the NHS section of my A-Z links page; we are talking tens of thousands of avoidable deaths. Over the decades it’s probably a lot more than that. In the 21st century, old people are burning books in the back garden to keep warm because they can’t afford to pay the bills, or just dying in dirty hospitals. Babies are dying from neglect, but the Left still has the sheer bald-faced arrogance to blame private businesses and free markets for the world’s woes, and scream that we cannot possibly abandon “the envy of the world” and let our babies, mothers, fathers, friends, parents and the elderly alone to die. Err…and what exactly do they think is happening under their system now?! It’s like a Soviet commisar declaring that capitalism is evil because it cannot feed the starving people of the country. And that is why it is incredible arrogance, because none of these deaths ever, ever, makes the Left question its ideology, or even wonder if there is maybe some little flaw with its system. The answers it always proposes? More tax (of course), more regulation, more ‘reforms’, or another quango like the CQC.

In my opinion, most quangos are inherently open to inefficiency and corruption, incompetence and carelessness for three simple reasons: they are not directly answerable to their customers. They are not directly subject to the laws of supply and demand. They are financed by the State. I leave it to you to consider whether this maybe, in some tiny way, just might create a conflict of interest where objectivity is concerned.

tl;dr – the NHS yet again kills more people, a government quango yet again fails to spot it. National insurance will continue (and rise). The very thing that doesn’t exist and which will cure the healthcare industry, a free-market, will be avoided on the grounds that it can’t possibly care for everyone, everywhere, all the time, instantly and freely. And since socialised medicine can and does (!!) we cannot abandon it.

Online gaming debate plus stupidity equals fascism

 Just when I think that nothing can further lower my opinion of certain campaign groups, something like this comes along and demonstrates just how clueless some people really are; the same people who are otherwise clever enough to form an activist group, lobby support, publicise their ideals and call on the government to initiate even more force against innocent citizens who, it is felt, have violated the campaigners’ righteous standards for decency.

To summarise: in Vietnam a 15 year old boy who’s addicted to online gaming lured a 7 year old girl to the woods, where he beat her to death with a rock and robbed her to fund his “addiction”.

The most obvious question that no one seems to be asking is: where are the little psychopath’s parents? Another good question is: how many hundreds of millions of people around the world also play online and don’t feel the need to murder? Furthermore: what kind of a warped and psychotic mind treats murder as casually as shoplifting, and who seriously thinks such an individual would not end up acting violently sooner or later anyway?

The idea of violent games producing violent behaviour is a bogus argument in the first place in that it begs the question. That is: do violent games produce violent behaviour, or do violent people enjoy those sorts of games? And why do the enormous majority of gamers act responsibly and peacefully regardless of game content?

Elizabeth Woolley lost her son to suicide, apparently because of his addiction to online games. She says “Until governments around the world recognise it’s a problem, it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse in terms of murders and crimes caused by excessive and obsessive online game play”. With all due respect to Elizabeth’s loss, I assert that she is talking total and utter tripe. Speaking as someone who, by any standards, was addicted to an MMO for two and a half years, if you choose to kill yourself over an online game (for whatever reason) you have far worse problems than mere addiction. You are either an idiot, or have deep emotional issues and probably psychosis. Why is no one mentioning this nasty fact? Why is no one talking about mental health problems? Why is no one asking where the parents are as their children live online and then kill themselves or others?

A human being that consciously chooses to end their own life has either reached such depths of despair or hopelessness that there is no way out, or is suffering terrible depression or emotional devastation, or perhaps chronic agony, or loneliness. It is not a decision that one reaches lightly. Now consider the mental state of the person who decides to kill themselves over a computer game…and then tell me “it’s all the game’s fault.” Blaming a computer game for suicide is stupid. Yes, some mentally ill people have blamed their behaviour on songs, TV shows, movies and games – that’s why we call them mentally ill. Surprise!…emotionally disturbed and psychotic people do weird things!

To correct Miss Woolley’s statement above, I’d alter one word. Just one: ‘Until [parents] around the world recognise it’s a problem, it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse in terms of murders and crimes caused by excessive and obsessive online game play.’

She continues: “It’s exactly like drugs or alcohol – once people get addicted, they feel they have to have it. There are always certain people who will get addicted to a drug, and in gaming we estimate it’s about 20% to 30% of people.” Well you see, it’s NOT exactly like drugs or alcohol at all. In those cases there is a physical dependency which cannot just be broken. In the case of some drugs, immediate cessations can even cause death. Online gaming addiction is purely psychological, if that. Adults are responsible for taking care of their own physical and mental health. Parents are responsible for taking care of their child’s physical and mental health. If your child kills himself or goes off and murders another child and you think it’s because of an online game, instead of asking Big Brother to step in and pass more fascist laws, maybe you should be asking yourself what YOU could have done better. Did you know how much time your son played online? Do you know what he was playing? How did he get the game in the first place? Who was paying for it? Did you investigate the content? Did you set limits on his time? Did you make him do chores and other activities? Were you always there for him? Did you make him feel secure and loved at home so that he wouldn’t want to escape into a fantasy world?

No, let’s not bother with personal responsibility. It’s 2011, let’s get with the times. This is how we do things nowadays: ‘Dear Government, could you pass a law dictating to game creators and the 99.9999% of their customers who CHOOSE to make and purchase certain types of games for their own private recreation, what they can and can’t produce and enjoy?’

The worrying thing is not just that this is yet another call for fascism, made blindly and stupidly by those who might otherwise have good intentions, but the sheer idiocy of the position and the total denial of parental responsibility which, if it was better, could arguably prevent a lot of social and criminal problems in the first place. This is the worrying thing; not the ever-increasing slide towards fascism around the world, but the millions of idiots who brainlessly offer up their freedom and their minds to such a cause. And in doing so, offer everyone else’s up too.

Childcare benefits – robbing Peter to pay Paul

This news report made me want to comment on childcare expenses and government support. One mother says “I’d like to see more help from the government to reward people who want to work.” The problem with this is not just that the government isn’t a limitless bank account to give handouts to those in need, but that the government’s only source of real money comes from taxpayers; from people who do already work. How is the government donating more money to working parents with children “rewarding people who want to work” when that money will necessarily come from people who also are working and want to work, but don’t have children? In what universe does this pass as logical?

This is simply taking from non-parent workers and giving to parent workers. If this is “rewarding” working parents, then it is penalising non-parent workers. But why? And what business does the government have in “rewarding” any private citizen for their personal and family decisions? I already know the socialist answer that will be given: society has a vested interest in children; we have a duty, an obligation, an interest in “our” children, and that justifies passing on childcare costs to total strangers. Of course, like all socialist notions, this is pure nonsense. No one has an automatic vested interest in an unspecified undefined unlimited mass of potentials. If I have an automatic unchosen “interest” in other peoples’ children (any and all in the same country as me; no children in particular but all of them in general), and this interest must be realised by me paying for their living expenses, I necessarily cannot have an interest in deciding where my own money will go; my interests must be sacrificed to theirs on demand. And if you accept the principle that your own choices should be negated and your own property can and should be used to provide for other peoples’ children, you concede that what property and choices remain to you are entirely conditional and temporary, until another voice shouts and another group stamps their feet, petitioning government to dip into your earnings once again.

Look at the sheer number of charities that exist. Look at the extraordinary funds that are given in charity every year. Private citizens do not struggle to support causes that they consider worthy. But if they can’t, or won’t – that is not then a license to demand money, least of all by force (which is precisely what government power is.)

The facts are: parents are responsible for their own children, and no one is responsible for other peoples’ children; (the government should intervene in incidents of neglect and mistreatment). Hardly anyone actually disagrees with this, yet they still usually accept as a given that childcare should be part-financed by the state. But it is parents’ responsibility to decide whether or not to bring children into this world, and part of that consideration must be whether they can afford to. If hard times arise, one is always free to appeal to the goodwill and generosity of others. But to presume the non-existence of such goodwill and then compensate for this alleged lack of goodwill by demanding money for your children by force, is an ugly contradiction; it is one of the most bad-willed acts one could commit. How can one claim to care about the welfare of children (again, none in particular but all of them in general) yet not care for the rights of adults?

Another fact is that if it wasn’t for socialised healthcare, paper money, mass inflation, recession, ever-increasing taxation, ridiculous public sector spending and EU bailouts and fees, every single citizen would enjoy far more wealth and financial options; all living expenses would be dramatically eased, including childcare. It’s the government’s fault that times are so tough; do not mindlessly appeal to its excessive power to once again meddle in our private affairs. It has no business there. It should get out and stay out.