Gordon Brown should mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS this year by turning its birthday on July 5 into an extra annual bank holiday, a leading Labour thinktank will urge today.Turning our mode of health delivery into some sort of secular religion is to make it impossible to argue for reform. It says something that the Fabians can't think of any more appropriate day to celebrate this country, the Act of Union for example would be a far more worthy event to celebrate but I suspect that the authors of this report would regard celebrating the actual nation state to be rather jingoistic, so therefore we should all celebrate an act of socialism instead. The 1970s Labour government did a similar thing by making May Day a bank holiday.
The Fabian Society will say the prime minister has long dreamed of establishing a "British day" to celebrate nationhood. The most appropriate date would be on the anniversary of the health service - an institution which appeals equally to people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The NHS is no longer a British institution anyway, with essentially different organisations existing in each of the four parts of the country, with the health service in Scotland run by Scots, in Wales by the Welsh, in Northern Ireland by the Northern Irish and in England by the ..... Scots again. Although we do have the privilege of paying for all four services. This situation has given cause for concern by patients groups:
Joyce Robins of Patient Concern said the differences were "breeding envy".
"Patients are increasingly looking across national borders and wondering why they are not getting the care others are getting.
"I am not sure that is good for the NHS."
This is that blind NHS worship again, her role is supposed to be looking out for what is best for patients instead she appears to view patients as something that exist to serve the NHS.
If the government do decide to designate July 5th as a national day then they can, I suppose, but why not consider a different rationale for the date:
- The birthday of Cecil Rhodes, I don't think much of Rhodes, but this would enrage the race baiters.
- The signing of the Auld Alliance where the Scots and French plotted to shaft the English, this would also resonate with Gordon Brown's recent signing of the EU not-a-constitution.
- My birthday, a truly momentous event worthy of celebration.