It is my observation — contrary to popular opinion over here — that America does not have a higher proportion of dullards than any other country, just that said dullards grab the microphone with greater passion than do their IQ-challenged European peers.
American thickos are vocal. In Britain they stay at home and watch ITV3.
Witness the terrifying idiocy of the American health care debate. You may know by now that the Brits are seething over the stupid and outrageous (cf. Stephen Hawking) characterisation of the NHS. It’s unfortunate really, as our passionate defence of nationalised healthcare can blind us to its problems, just as the Town Hall wackos with their silly straw men are oblivious to the moral embarrassment that is the American system and the rationing that already exists within it.
Anyway, it’s right to herald a triumph in NHS care, so here it is.
We recently went on vacation with my parents to Wales. My mum fell ill with a cold which she began to worry might be flu and thus H1N1. Despite being away from her home GP, care was easy to find. First, she rang the NHS flu line. Because she is on other medication, they had her speak to a local doctor over the phone. He then prescribed Tamiflu and told her to collect it — with an authorisation number — at a nearby pharmacy. Job done. Cost to her? Nothing. Time from first call to pills? Less than one hour.
Now, of course there is a cost and it’s called taxation, but then again, given that the NHS spends half as much per person as the American system but gets roughly comparable and sometimes better results, I’m inclined to say that it represents value for money. We could swap anecdotes all day, but in this case (and in a majority of cases since the NHS has received the funding it needs in the last decade or so — kudos to Blair and Brown), the system works and we are proud of it.