Tip: if you want to be credible, avoid claiming the NHS is a Nazi/Communist plot

There are times when it’s difficult to get a handle on where a pressure group is coming from. Do they have sensible ideas (even if you disagree with them)? Are they based on good evidence and research? Is there an intelligent debate to be had?

On other occasions it’s just that little bit simpler.

Say you wanted to reform British healthcare. Fair enough – you’d be hard-put to find anyone who thought it was perfect.

So you and your colleagues, full of reforming zeal, get together for a bit of brainstorming.

“How shall we get our message across, and persuade the British people that we’re right?”
“No – too boring.”
“Reasoned argument?”
“No – too difficult.”
“Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s tell everyone the Nazis and the Communists thought the NHS was really cool. That’ll make people think it’s terrible and convince them we’re right.”
“You know – that might just work. After all, everyone knows Hitler was a bad man, and Stalin killed even more people than Adolph did. Actually, it can’t fail.”

(Head over to Liberal Conspiracy to find out exactly who might have been at that brainstorming session and how many nurses are in Nurses for Reform).

And so, I imagine, a genius plan by Nurses For Reform was hatched.

Sir William Beveridge, told the Daily Telegraph in November 1942 that his proposals would take Britain “…half-way to Moscow”.

More significantly, after the Second World War two papers marked ‘secret’ and providing a detailed commentary on Beveridge’s plan were found in Hitler’s Berlin bunker. One ordered that publicity should be avoided but, if mentioned, the report should be used as “…obvious proof that our enemies are taking over national-socialist ideas”.

Genius. Sheer genius. So Hitler may have approved of the NHS – but who else did?

Step forward Conservative Prime Ministers like Churchill, Macmillan and Thatcher, all of whom chose to keep it. How about the very doctors who were so opposed to it at the start and changed their minds? Or the millions of people who’ve benefitted from it, and continue to benefit from it, every day. Or the vast, overwhelming majority of current NHS staff? Or politicians of every mainstream political party.

Nope, what would they know? Let’s focus on some half-baked Nazi/Communist idea to show our intellectual heavyweight status.

Well, I’d like to thank Nurses For Reform – rarely does a pressure group signal so clearly and succinctly that it really isn’t worth any more of our attention.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Unfortunately it seems to be getting the ear of the Conservative Party. The fact that such a lame pressure group is working with a moral-free bunch of free market Nazis (that’s an ironic self-Godwin right there) is deeply concerning…

  • I think there’s a distinct difference between the existence of the word “socialist” in the name of a political party and the policies they pursue. It’s a bit like the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Liberal Democrats, or something…

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