Doodles

The margins of all my lecture notes used to be full of doodles, usually faces. I wonder whether this is inherited – my mother often used to draw faces on random envelopes and other scraps of paper. You could tell if she had had a long chat on the phone, usually with my uncle, by the number of drawings she made. (Their chats tended to consist of him holding forth at length and her occasional ‘yes’, ‘of course’, ‘aha’, to let him know she was still there, sitting in the chilly hall where the phone lived. This was in the days when you answered the phone by reeling off the number: ‘Pontefract-two-double-five-four’.)

The same habit still resurfaces whenever I find myself at a meeting or something, listening, with a pen and a piece of paper to hand.

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Save the NHS

Today there is a march happening in London in support of the National Health Service. To my shame, I am not there.

But to express my solidarity with the marchers, here’s a post I put on facebook the other day:

If the NHS is ‘unsustainable’ while a privatised version would be ‘sustainable’, what does that imply? That people are more willing to pay for their own care via private insurance than for everyone’s care via higher national insurance or taxes (and probably to pay more overall, as private systems have to generate profit as well as cover costs)? – or rather that the current privatising government is populated and backed by people who would be reaping those profits?
If we as a country really ‘can’t afford’ the NHS, we wouldn’t be able to afford a private healthcare system either, unless of course the hidden factor is that in the private system some people just get left out altogether. But that ignores the social and human costs of not treating people – costs which the NHS was designed to avoid.

What we make we can break – but why must we?

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