Thursday 15 April 2021

Rediscovering their core principles


For at least ten years, the Conservatives in the Senedd have been telling us that a policy of issuing free prescriptions is wrong in principle, because it means that a millionaire can go to the doctor and get a prescription for paracetamol instead of just picking up a packet for a few pence at the local supermarket. As far as I know, they’ve never been able to identify a single millionaire who would prefer to telephone the surgery, make an appointment, travel to the surgery, spend an hour or so in the waiting room, collect the prescription, and then travel to a pharmacy to obtain said paracetamol rather than just pick up a packet at a supermarket, but it’s always been about the principle. The fact that millionaires don’t do it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be banned from doing it – poorer people with more serious requirements who would also be hit by prescription charges are just so much collateral damage.

This week, however, we find that free prescriptions is not such a bad thing after all; the same people are now in favour of retaining free prescriptions. The cynical amongst us might think that this is just some sort of electoral ploy – after ten years of plugging a highly unpopular policy, they’ve suddenly realised, with an election pending, that it might be losing them more votes amongst those who benefit from the policy than it gains them from those who don’t. There is, though, an alternative possibility: the performance of the UK government during the pandemic has reminded them that one of the core ‘principles’ of the Conservative Party is actually to stuff as much public money as they can into the pockets of the richest in society. Seen from this perspective, they might just be eliminating one small inconsistency in their thinking.

1 comment:

dafis said...

It is now amply evident that this new "caring" UK Tory government has hijacked that NHS care mantra and turned it into the sickest joke ever. Pals, cronies, buddies and donors of all kinds just piling in with offerings that NHS purchasing authorities find irresistible. Of course most of these deals pay little or no attention to the established Q.A standards and performance metrics. It's just about rendering the invoices and collecting the cash. Good job old Rishi had plenty more cash and credits printed so that all those old friends could have a snout in the trough.