a reply to: angelchemuel
That man, personifies, exemplifies, epitomises the very core of the values of the Labour movement. Unlike the Eton mess which sits at the top of
party politics on virtually all relevant sides these days, this gentleman HAS experienced poverty, IS representing his people as he stands there at
that podium. You may not be able to trust the word of a Member of Parliament, and you might not be able to trust the word of a Minister for This, or a
Secretary of That, or their opposite number on the opposition side of the House, but you can damned well see that this man speaks a truth which cannot
be subverted by fine words, or complicated mathematical formulae.
He has lived through things in peace, that many today have not experienced in times of war. He was part of the generation which laid the groundwork
for the NHS, a generation in which the Labour party was truly a party for and by the people, representative of its working majority, representative of
those who bore the greatest burdens, who were most harrowed by the mechanism by which the country operated at the time.
It is a great shame that Mr Harry Smith has had to live to see an age in which the NHS has started to backslide into privatisation, to see an age
where the Labour Party itself has been infested by Eton educated rich kids, rather than staying true to its working mans roots, to see an age where
the very people that the Labour Party were supposed to represent, are left voiceless and unrepresented by the policies, and the Parliamentarians of
that party. His thoughts on the importance of the NHS remaining utterly nationalised echo my own. He reminds me quite a lot of my grandfather
actually, who was also a vocal, and energetic supporter of Labour values in his community.
From his perspective, he does not want to watch the mistakes of years gone by, repeated, with regard to the horrific implications of health provision
which only assists those who can pay through the nose for it. From my perspective as a relatively young person (29), I do not want to see these things
repeated either. I do not want to see the NHS privatised, I do not want to see the needy turned away because they have nothing to pay for their
treatment with, to see suffering through poverty of that scale and depth ever again visited upon the people. But also, I want to keep business out of
the NHS, because this generation owes it to those which came before, to do better, and to do that we must first ensure that we do not do worse, that
we do not unlearn the lessons of the past, which we learned through the pain and suffering of the long dead.
Mr Harry Smith reminds us here, that the NHS is not some structure which appeared out of no where, but a thing which was created out of suffering, to
ease pain, to prevent needless death, to do protect the vulnerable and the sick, and to be available to all people, without exception, no matter their
lack of wealth. I believe we owe it to those who trod these streets, these mountain paths, these dew sodden downs, and these foggy moors before us, to
ensure that the legacy they left us is made best use of, made stronger, not weaker, made more independent from the private sector, not more reliant
upon it, and made more powerful in its ability to cure sickness of every kind, to diagnose and treat more and more ailments.
We owe those who came before us at least that much.