Brits defend their much-criticized nationalized health care

The worst thing you can do to the British media is repeat their own horror stories about the NHS, the socialist medical system. It's like a stranger criticizing your crazy uncle.    The family can do it all day long, but don't let outsiders say a word. The family defends its own.

The trouble with this sudden British love for the much-abused NHS is that Americans are now trying to understand the truth about socialized health care -- and the standard horror stories in the British media make the NHS sound pretty unattractive.  Americans still have the possibility of opting out. The Brits are stuck with their awful uncle.

I once angered an acquaintance over there when I made the mistake of asking about a heroic statue of Oliver Cromwell that towers next to the Houses of Parliament. Didn't Cromwell carry on a reign of terror? Wasn't he the Puritan version of Stalin? Why would Parliament be graced with a statue of the Witch-finder General?  (I said it more politely).

But I wasn't prepared for the explosion. Apparently I had stepped on some very painful toes. Cromwell was a god-awful villain, but he was British, and I had criticized Crazy Uncle.

Touchy is what my Brit friends are. And that's not even talking about my Real IRA buddy over in Dublin, who talks about "demolition teams" to take down the hated symbols of British imperialism, or the Welshman who exploded when I mentioned the fascinating history of Wales. Amazingly touchy.

I suspect that my friends over there feel pained about the decline of Britain. They see it. They talk about it privately, in the family. But they can't stop it, because the Socialist Ruling Class is now locked in far beyond electoral recall. So it just hurts, like having a child on drugs who can't be helped. The result is hypersensitivity to criticism.

I'm sorry to see it. In their heyday the British -- they called themselves English or Scots or Welsh or even Irish at that time -- had a terrific sense of humor. All the funniest lines came from wonderful British wits and writers. It went right along with immense pride (and justified pride, very often) in their country and its achievements.

Now we are in a time of painful decline, marked by bitter criticism of a glorious and civilizing past, when Britain expanded the frontier of human decency, tolerance, and good governance around the world. The British Empire was an unprecedented civilizing achievement; nothing like it has been seen since the Roman Empire, and Rome was far more cruel and violent. Today, the country has been deeply undermined by the Socialist Ruling Class, who have cynically imported hundreds of thousands of back-country Pakistanis who reliably vote Labour. The media constantly accuse whites of being racists -- a standard intimidation tactic we know here as well -- so that a kind of self-hatred has been drummed into young people.

In fact, historically it was Britain that did more to end slavery and a slew of bloody tyrannies than any other power in world history. Sometimes the blessings of civilization came as a side-effect of the imperial urge; but British imperialism was the most tolerant kind. America is of course a lucky offspring of 18th century British thought, long before Karl Marx became a BBC icon. The American Revolution came at exactly the right time.

That is why English is still so widely spoken in India and Pakistan, and why those countries keep competing in cricket. The habits of the Raj may be dead in the British Isles, but they are enthusiastically endorsed by millions of people in South-East Asia. Those people are right.  They've seen the Mughuls and the Maharajas and the jihadis, and then the Brits. They know perfectly well which one they would choose.

So the National Health Service is a mess. That's what all the British papers keep saying --  unless they think Americans are watching. Then they suddenly defend their Uncle. Well, you can't have it both ways.

I would like to see an open invitation for Brits to use American medical care. Let's have an exchange in both directions, and see who prefers which system.  Americans, like the liberals who idolize socialized medicine, could enlist in the NHS, using insurance dollars, and Brits could get NHS vouchers for American medical services. Trade expands wealth.

Trading medical services with Britain (and Canada) would be a lot better idea than ObamaCare. For one thing, it would not be coercive. For another, the United States would not have to create a socialized health care monopoly from scratch.

Let's give people a chance to choose.  No need to argue or get defensive.

Just leave it all to a Scot named Adam Smith.
The worst thing you can do to the British media is repeat their own horror stories about the NHS, the socialist medical system. It's like a stranger criticizing your crazy uncle.    The family can do it all day long, but don't let outsiders say a word. The family defends its own.

The trouble with this sudden British love for the much-abused NHS is that Americans are now trying to understand the truth about socialized health care -- and the standard horror stories in the British media make the NHS sound pretty unattractive.  Americans still have the possibility of opting out. The Brits are stuck with their awful uncle.

I once angered an acquaintance over there when I made the mistake of asking about a heroic statue of Oliver Cromwell that towers next to the Houses of Parliament. Didn't Cromwell carry on a reign of terror? Wasn't he the Puritan version of Stalin? Why would Parliament be graced with a statue of the Witch-finder General?  (I said it more politely).

But I wasn't prepared for the explosion. Apparently I had stepped on some very painful toes. Cromwell was a god-awful villain, but he was British, and I had criticized Crazy Uncle.

Touchy is what my Brit friends are. And that's not even talking about my Real IRA buddy over in Dublin, who talks about "demolition teams" to take down the hated symbols of British imperialism, or the Welshman who exploded when I mentioned the fascinating history of Wales. Amazingly touchy.

I suspect that my friends over there feel pained about the decline of Britain. They see it. They talk about it privately, in the family. But they can't stop it, because the Socialist Ruling Class is now locked in far beyond electoral recall. So it just hurts, like having a child on drugs who can't be helped. The result is hypersensitivity to criticism.

I'm sorry to see it. In their heyday the British -- they called themselves English or Scots or Welsh or even Irish at that time -- had a terrific sense of humor. All the funniest lines came from wonderful British wits and writers. It went right along with immense pride (and justified pride, very often) in their country and its achievements.

Now we are in a time of painful decline, marked by bitter criticism of a glorious and civilizing past, when Britain expanded the frontier of human decency, tolerance, and good governance around the world. The British Empire was an unprecedented civilizing achievement; nothing like it has been seen since the Roman Empire, and Rome was far more cruel and violent. Today, the country has been deeply undermined by the Socialist Ruling Class, who have cynically imported hundreds of thousands of back-country Pakistanis who reliably vote Labour. The media constantly accuse whites of being racists -- a standard intimidation tactic we know here as well -- so that a kind of self-hatred has been drummed into young people.

In fact, historically it was Britain that did more to end slavery and a slew of bloody tyrannies than any other power in world history. Sometimes the blessings of civilization came as a side-effect of the imperial urge; but British imperialism was the most tolerant kind. America is of course a lucky offspring of 18th century British thought, long before Karl Marx became a BBC icon. The American Revolution came at exactly the right time.

That is why English is still so widely spoken in India and Pakistan, and why those countries keep competing in cricket. The habits of the Raj may be dead in the British Isles, but they are enthusiastically endorsed by millions of people in South-East Asia. Those people are right.  They've seen the Mughuls and the Maharajas and the jihadis, and then the Brits. They know perfectly well which one they would choose.

So the National Health Service is a mess. That's what all the British papers keep saying --  unless they think Americans are watching. Then they suddenly defend their Uncle. Well, you can't have it both ways.

I would like to see an open invitation for Brits to use American medical care. Let's have an exchange in both directions, and see who prefers which system.  Americans, like the liberals who idolize socialized medicine, could enlist in the NHS, using insurance dollars, and Brits could get NHS vouchers for American medical services. Trade expands wealth.

Trading medical services with Britain (and Canada) would be a lot better idea than ObamaCare. For one thing, it would not be coercive. For another, the United States would not have to create a socialized health care monopoly from scratch.

Let's give people a chance to choose.  No need to argue or get defensive.

Just leave it all to a Scot named Adam Smith.