Friday, March 21, 2008
New Labour's Corporate State
Many thanks to Charlie Marks for finding this truly shocking story from The Independent.
Shake-up of hospitals will open door to McDonald’s sponsorship
by Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Firms such as McDonald’s and Virgin could be allowed to sponsor NHS hospital wards under radical plans announced by the Government to allow sponsorship of health services and create a new era of open competition between hospitals.
Private companies will be allowed to create some “brand awareness” such as a logo on hospital property but they would not be allowed to gain a “commercial advantage”, meaning a firm such as Durex would not be allowed to sponsor a sexual health unit, but it could sponsor another type of clinic or a hospital department.
The plans announced by Ben Bradshaw, the Health minister, came as part of a drive to give NHS patients more choice over the private or NHS hospitals in which they are treated.
Patients are to be allowed a choice of hospitals across England from 1 April, including private hospitals that are NHS approved. At the moment, the choice is limited to local providers but the NHS will be able to “shop” for health care across the country.
As Charlie points out- this nonsense won't be happening in Scotland or Wales, but it can happen here, in England, because we don't have a Parliament (I'll be posting on the issue shortly).
One further point. The Minister responsible for this appalling scheme, the shamelessly hypocritical New Labour cipher Ben Bradshaw, was one of the most obsessive critics of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Bradshaw repeatedly- and ludicrously- referred to the democratically-elected Socialist government of Slobodan Milosevic as 'fascist'. Yet, the main feature of fascism is the very close association between corporations and the state. Another is the pursual of an aggressive foreign policy. And a third feature is the belief in the right of a self-constituted elite to rule. By that measure, it's the New Labour government in Britain which better deserves the 'f' word, than Milosevic's unequivocally left-wing and anti-big business administration in Belgrade.