Letter to a Lord

I wrote to every Liberal peer, asking them to stop the progress of the NHS bill. I got a form reply from Lord Thomas, which is too long to appear here – write to him at THOMASM@parliament.uk and I’m sure he’ll send you the same message. In short, the last government were bad, the NHS is going to be fine, the media are lying, and private suppliers are lovely and cuddly.

So I have written the following to him:

Dear Lord Thomas,

Thank you for your reply, but you seem to be missing a few vital points:

  1.  Just because the last government did things wrong, does not mean you have the right to do even worse things. Blaming Labour is a terrible, feeble argument, and you know it.
  2. You claim that the central pillars of the NHS will be safe. But we – the British people – don’t want pillars: we want the full structure. When the wind blows, a few pillars aren’t going to help. And for all of us, at some stage the wind will blow. I’m sure that doesn’t affect a man with Your Lordship’s deep pockets, but it affects the rest of us.
  3. You can’t blame the media, and assume that the electorate is too stupid to read the bill or understand the issue. Whitewashing us will not do. We know what this bill means, and we DO NOT WANT IT.
  4. The NHS does not belong to you. It belongs to me. It belongs to my mother, and my neighbours. It belongs to the people of Britain. And we do not want this. We didn’t vote for it, because it appeared in NO manifesto and does not appear in the Coalition Agreement. It’s anti-democratic.
  5. And finally, it’s asset-stripping. If a private supplier wishes to offer services in this country, they may do so. No law prevents it. So why do you have to give them – free of charge – the assets and skills of the NHS, built up at vast expense over many generations? If they want to have those assets, make them pay for it. That’s what a competitive marketplace is supposed to do. But don’t give away our assets for nothing, and call it capitalism. It’s theft, sir! And you’re not just sealing money – think of the lives already donated to the NHS. Think of the people (like me) who have risked it all to take part in drug trials to help the NHS to cure the next generation. I am risking my life right now to participate in a trial of a new cancer treatment, and I am NOT doing it so a private supplier can make a quick buck. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing for my country, and for the next generation.

You, sir, have NO RIGHT to take away the NHS. And to offer such a mealy-mouthed excuse is, frankly, shameful.

I hope you will read this message and look into your conscience for the right thing to do.


Russell Jones


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