We live in a seriously screwed up country.
We say, hey! Politicians! Stop being puppets and say what you really think! Then, if we find a politician stupid enough to listen we lynch them for it. Hell, you can be lynched for being seen to agree with someone speaking their mind these days.
If the subject matter is the NHS then the politician is doubly cursed. Any criticism of the NHS is a sign that you don’t love your country, that you’re obviously a foaming right wing nut job that’s into eugenics and laughing at people dying of cancer because they’re too lazy to get a job to pay for their medical bills.
Yep. That’s the kind of screwed up country we live in.
Liberal Conspiracy, for example, have exploded into what can only be described as an outpouring of pure bile, mixing nationalism and socialism and extreme hostility towards anyone who dares even mention the NHS in anything other than reverent, respectful tones. In the most overtly nationalistic thing I’ve seen from the mainstream British Left since “British Jobs for British Workers”, the author condemns Dan Hannan (who is, at the end of the day, just an MEP) as a ‘A national disgrace’ for the crime of bring critical about the NHS to foreigners! Oh my frickin’ Lord!
UPDATE: It’s been highlighted that I’m probably overly sensitive to nationalism, even ‘good’ nationalism. There’s no ‘good’ nationalism.
The problem, as always, is that when politicians do speak their minds, there’s opportunist scumbags waiting for a nice easy straw man to torch to death.
Here’s a news flash – to improve the quality of politics it needs all parties to take their fingers off the triggers and start behaving like sane rational adults – and let people speak, let them be heard and let the actual arguments do the talking.
Sure it’ll mean sacrifice – after all, rhetoric is so much easier than winning a real argument. Sure it’ll be difficult to get used to – but don’t complain about brainless, moronic robot politicians if you’re the first in line with the cudgels whenever one opens their mouth.