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Started by mingmong on Sep 19, 2021 9:00:28 AM
Which is more desirable: a Conservative government enacting left-wing policies or a Labour admin governing from the Right?

Thought experiment. Which of these two options, assuming they were exactly these things, would get your vote?

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mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 09:09:11 (#1 of 107)

Imagine, for a moment, the Tories (under Johnson or his successor) raise taxes progressively and fund a massive infrastructural and skills renewal, leading the world into a post-carbon renewable future. "Levelling up" becomes a practical reality: income gaps close, and Britain becomes on the most socially-mobile nations in Europe. The NHS receives European-levels of funding, and a pragmatic program of government and community control of assets for other public services is initiated.

Meanwhile, Labour - now reduced to its Blairite rump - merges with the Orange Book liberals and seeks fight the Tories from the Right: promising to lower taxes, shrink the state and unleash innovation. The Blairite programme of "modernisation" of the public services (including the NHS) is revived, with the more explicit understanding that "reform" and "modernisation" in almost all cases will mean privatisation

Which of these two parties would get your vote?

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 09:22:35 (#2 of 107)

For me, its all about the policies. So in this scenario the left-wing Tories would get my vote.

It would be a little more complicated if these economically-left wing Tories also presented themselves as aggressively socially conservative: anti-immigration, culture-wars stuff. Under that scenario they would not get my vote; but neither would I vote for a centre-right just because it presented itself as pro-diversity etc. My vote would go to a third party.

Ginmonkey - 19 Sep 2021 09:44:19 (#3 of 107)

Off topic slightly but I think for the NHS to receive "European" levels of funding there might have to be some adoption of features of their health services. Which seems a bit of a third rail issue here.

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 09:47:32 (#4 of 107)

I think for the NHS to receive "European" levels of funding there might have to be some adoption of features of their health services.

Would there? Aren't we always being told that Blair raised NHS payment to European levels without changing the principle of payment through general taxation

donttellhimpike - 19 Sep 2021 09:47:53 (#5 of 107)

A Conservative government enacting left wing/progressive policies. It's all about who is making life better for people, the tribal/identity stuff can GTFO.

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 09:48:18 (#6 of 107)

It's all about who is making life better for people, the tribal/identity stuff can GTFO.

This.

Ginmonkey - 19 Sep 2021 09:49:51 (#7 of 107)

#4 I don't think he was right and in any case things have moved on in 20 years. More and more medical advances means the NHS is expected to offer expensive treatments. Also the baby boom generation, who were late thirties to late fifties when Blair was elected are now late fifties to late seventies and are really beginning to test the NHS.

The NHS is amazing at picking up the pieces when things are bad - treating people and getting them back on their feet. We are proundly lucky to live in a country where a serious illness or accident does not mean financial disater.

However It is pretty terrible at prevention or offering a day to day service the fits with the lifestyle of anyone but the retired or most ill. There is a lot of denial at how much private healthcare a lot of middle class people use to plug those gaps and while poorer people just live with low level shit stuff.

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 09:54:17 (#8 of 107)

I should add, of course, that Johnson's Conservatives are still some way off proving that "levelling up" is anything more than cynical rhetoric.

But there is a degree of New Labour-style manoeuvring going on which makes it possible to conceive of this change of position.

I am instinctively reluctant to vote Conservative under any circumstances, but Labour are currently being forced into a position where they must either position themselves to the Right or the Left of this nominally more centrist Tory government, so the scenario is not completely inconceivable.

darkhorse - 19 Sep 2021 09:56:23 (#9 of 107)

If my auntie was a man I'd call her my uncle, but that counterfactual doesn't tell you anything much about me, my auntie (or any uncle I might also have).

angelico - 19 Sep 2021 09:58:39 (#10 of 107)

Healthcare funding per capita by the government is substantially lower in the UK than in germanay, france etc. Details here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunit
y/healthandsocialcare/healthcaresystem/articles/how
doesukhealthcarespendingcomparewithothercountries/2
019-08-29


That's gross funding by the gov. Doesn't say anything about what the funds do or whether they are supplemented by private insurance - which I guesss is what you were getting at gin?

The point is that if the NHS was funded to the same level, we would have more and it would be better. Perhaps. I'm having occasional nightmares about the re-organisation, constant nightmares about staffing levels and clinicians simply giving up, and regular deep depressions about the changing culture of the system.

darkhorse - 19 Sep 2021 09:58:49 (#11 of 107)

If shit was renamed sugar and vice versa, I'd put shit in my tea and avoid stepping in dogsugar.

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 10:00:44 (#12 of 107)

#9 that assumes the political identity and positioning of both main parties is as immutable as the sex of your relatives

This is simply not the case.

It is a comforting but childish nostrum to assume that there is some fundamental essence of villainy about the Conservatives, and an unchangeable decency about the Labour movement, albeit sometimes concealed behind a rough exterior.

What the last 30 years have shown is that the parties are not defined by any essential ideology. Merely by times they exist in and circumstances that confront them and the strategic decisions they make in response to those choices

darkhorse - 19 Sep 2021 10:03:22 (#13 of 107)

It is a comforting but childish nostrum to assume that there is some fundamental essence of villainy about the Conservatives



Well, yes, I agree. If they were really nice with nice policies I'd vote for them immediately.

I've never voted conservative, but none of that was because I have any particular dislike for the words "conservative", "party" or "the".

Ginmonkey - 19 Sep 2021 10:06:23 (#14 of 107)

#10 to a certain extent yes. But also the issue is whether the funding model is right for modern times - life and expectations are very different now.

My point is we pretty much have the private insurance supplement but it is very unequal. I have accessed some very good preventative care and dental care privately (either because it is not offered on the NHS or it would take ages and tons of bureaucracy to get it) via an employer provided healthcare plan.

It happens all the time and no one really acknowleges it. I'm not talking about private rooms and operations but pretty basic preventative healthcare that is almost impossible to get on the NHS.

angelico - 19 Sep 2021 10:08:58 (#15 of 107)

But might be if we had the funding levels of Germany, for example?

UK public spend per cap: £2989

Germany: £4432

Quite a hike.

mingmong - 19 Sep 2021 10:11:37 (#16 of 107)

An audit of NHS funding under the Blair government, from the Kings Fund

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&a
mp;esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiF8
5aM1YrzAhWNOsAKHe4OCMEQFnoECAYQAw&url=https%3A%
2F%2Fwww.kingsfund.org.uk%2Fsites%2Ffiles%2Fkf%2Ffi
eld%2Ffield_publication_file%2Findependent-audit-nhs-under-labour-1997%25E2%2580%25932005-sunday-times-march-2005.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0fUqL73viZ7g7QObjq8ySk


And an academic paper published in 2007

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC18717
52/

Ginmonkey - 19 Sep 2021 10:14:05 (#17 of 107)

Germans have to take out compulsary heath insurance don't they?

That was my contention. We need to not just look at the level of funding but also the model and how services are delivered. Most European heath systems are not just funded out of general taxation.

angelico - 19 Sep 2021 10:16:32 (#18 of 107)

Germans have to take out compulsary heath insurance don't they?

Yes they do, but that's independent of the public funding issue. They simply spend more than we do on health. Why not start with something like that before we have to think about insurance-drivem models?

NightInTGeorgia - 19 Sep 2021 10:19:39 (#19 of 107)

that assumes the political identity and positioning of both main parties is as immutable as the sex of your relatives

======> Trans thread

Ginmonkey - 19 Sep 2021 10:24:14 (#20 of 107)

But surely the compulsary insurance contributes to the increased funding?

For me it comes down to whether we as a country are prepared to pay the increased taxes for the NHS to deliver an all singing all dancing free at the point of use health system that matches what other countries have or do we accept it can't do everything free at the point of use and introduce an insurance/co pay element for the additional stuff? My argument is it happens already but it is very unequal with people like me who have employer funded private health care getting much better treatment than those who don't.

So our stubborn refusal to look at any other funding models is actually creating more inequality.

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