Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Opponents of US version of the NHS are seriously demented

Posted on August 9th 2009 | Leave a comment

I could have added ‘corrupt’, or ‘bought and paid for by private health corps’, but that practically goes without saying in American politics today. The latest bolus of batshit craziness comes from that paragon of lowbrow gruntertainment, Sarah Palin. This excerpt came from a CNN report:

“”And who will suffer the most when they ration care?” she wrote. “The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Hot damn, of course! That’s what Obama has been planning all along! I bet he sat down with his advisors one day and said, ‘Y`know, we really need to do something evil, just to make sure Amurrica knows that we can outdo the Bushes at anything…I know! – lets put together a healthcare reform package which rations out treatment and sticks Downs Syndrome sufferers at the end of the queue! Yeah, I can already see our poll ratings rocketing….’

Which is what Palin and the rest of the knuckledragging rightwingers believe, or rather have been stoked and pumped and urged and blanket-hysterialised by Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the rest to believe. I look and I listen to the frenzied mania over national health provision and I thank god-or-whoevers-in-charge that I live here in Great Britain. Thank god that after WW2 the electorate had the innate rational, good sense to do away with private health, that the Attlee government persisted with enacting the provisions of the Beveridge Report. Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia page:


In the aftermath of the Second World War, Clement Attlee’s Labour government created the National Health Service, based on the proposals of the Beveridge Report [1], prepared in 1942. A White Paper was published in 1943 and was followed by considerable debate and resistance, organised by the British Medical Association, with the final BMA ballot in May 1948 showing GPs and hospital doctors in England against the new service.[1] The structure of the NHS in England and Wales was established by the National Health Service Act 1946 (1946 Act) with the new arrangements launched on 5 July 1948. This was driven by health and housing minister Aneurin Bevan. The founding principles of the NHS called for its funding out of general taxation and not through national insurance.

Services would henceforth be provided by the same doctors and the same hospitals, but:

services were provided free at the point of use;
services were financed from central taxation;
everyone was eligible for care (even people temporarily resident or visiting the country).


The NHS is a collective decision, a collective recognition that someone living down the road that you dont even know has the right to free hospital treatment. The right to be cured, the right to be helped, the right to succour. The enemies of Single-Payer in the USA do not want those rights for ordinary Americans. Deluded, clutching their Stalinist fantasies about ‘socialised medecine’ to their chests, these people are the enemies of the poor and the sick, nothing less. Sure, no system is perfect – we regularly hear stories about failures in care under the NHS, but the stories that come out of America detailing the pain and suffering and heartbreaking anguish inflicted on those with no money, or those whose health insurer decide to frak with their lives just to make a buck, makes my blood boil.

And if Obama’s reforms fail? Well, when Gore was cheated out of the presidency I was sure that there would be uprisings, same with Kerry. But, de nada, nothing, zip. And so it probably will be with this – I hope that Americans will not meekly allow the wealthy and their demonic corporations to kick them back down into the gutter. We`ll see.

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Humanitys Fire Interim Report: A Whole Lotta Typing Goin' On

Posted on July 13th 2009 | 2 Comments so far

Almost finished the Great Type-Up (wonder what that is in spanish – El Grande Keybasheria, mebbe?). Then once its been through the Mighty Spellcheck, copies shall email-wing their way to my editor, my agents, and sundry other close and trusted compatriots. As is usual when I’ve just finished a book, I have absolutely no idea if its, um, any good. Shocking admission, I know, but all I can see is this looming Chomolungma of words which need anothers eyes to make sense of it. Gary Gibson has also recently finished a book and pointed out that ideally we would put the MS away for 6 months and come back to it with fresher eyes. Sadly, the exigencies of contract and publishing schedules mean that we have to be extra-vigilant and perceptive, and creative with our mistake-correcting.

In other news, I can’t help notice that our prime minister, Gordon Brown, has been over in Afghanistan (a stricken nation that we’ve made still more tragic), parrotting the Bush line of ‘we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to find them at home’. What an utterly idiotic, even insulting assertion. Right, so if we pull up sticks and bring our troops home, they’re going to come after us; but if we stay in Afghanistan, bombing wedding parties, killing innocents in Afghanistan and Pakistan, then they won’t come after us. Who the hell writes Brown’s speeches – the Chuckle Brothers?

Yesterday I was looking in at the website, theyworkforyou.com, which is an independent group keeping tabs on what MPs speak on and vote on in the House of Commons. And it struck me that what we really could do with as well was a site called theyworkforthem.com, detailing all of our MPs business interests, gifts accepted, directorships held etc. That might be an eye-opener.


Interesting thing about WordPress blogs is that you get lots of stats associated with visits and posts etc, and one of these stats is the search terms used by net users to get to your blog. And today some typed into some search engine ‘Humanitys Fire how many book in the…’ which is all it put out. So, for those of you interested in knowing, the books I`m writing at the moment – Seeds of Earth, The Orphaned Worlds, and The Ascendant Stars – comprise the Humanity’s Fire Trilogy, but I will definitely be writing further books (and stories) in that universe and they’ll be Humanity’s Fire novels (or stories), bit like what Banksie does with the Culture. I mean, the HF background has plenty of potential, and there are a lot of corners that I want to explore in the years ahead, you betcha!

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