EU and Labour could privative NHS

Here in Mr Healey’s latest fretting over UKIP we have a meme that needs challenging. It is the idea that only the Labour Party wants to, and will, maintain our NHS. It is encapsulated in Mr Healey’s final paragraph when he states “Labour would…stop the pri

IN reply to John Healey MP (UKIP a disaster for town, February 14).

Firstly, the NHS has already been partly privatised via the Private Finance Initiative(PFI). This process was started in 1993 by the Tories and seen by Labour straight away as a back door form of privatisation, indeed Harriet Harman MP called it such in the House of Commons in December 1993. Labour had a chance to stop this privatisation after its election victory in 1997 but instead chose to  adopt the policy wholesale to the point that Alan Johnson (Health Secretary) stated in January 2009: “PFI's have always been the NHS’ Plan A for building new hospitals…there was never a Plan B” — no stopping that privatisation then Mr Healey!

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Secondly, we have the possible role of our real government, the European Union. Royal Mail went private after a series of EU diktats culminating in directive 2008/06/EC that opened up postal services to the market and British Rail succumbed as a result of EU directive 91/440. Despite much protestation from Labour over these privatisations they would have had to do exactly the same, a direct result of our MPs out-sourcing power and sovereignty to Brussels over the last 40 years. So if the EU decide that the NHS should be sold off to the private sector then there would be nothing you, I or indeed Mr Healey and a future Labour government could do about it.

Thirdly, I know what you are thinking, surely our EU masters do not have such plans for the NHS? Well, I can offer no crumbs of comfort  for in the current trade talks between the EU and the USA it seems that the Americans may well want Europe to be opened up to its private healthcare companies as part of the deal.

If this is the case then all the EU would have to do is issue a regulation or directive and that would be that, the NHS would go the same way as British Rail and the Royal Mail.

So you see Mr Healey I have no confidence in your assertion that Labour would stop a privatisation of the NHS. Your track record via PFI is poor and if the Commissioners in Brussels wish such a sell off to take place then you would have to damn well do as you are told, just like previous governments. You could be faced with a situation Mr Healey where the two things you most cherish politically, the Labour Party and the European Union, between them bring about the full privatisation of the NHS. Oh the irony, eh John!

Rob Sanderson, Low Golden Smithies, Swinton