Skip to comments.Britain’s NHS: No Fun and Games (Why on earth was the NHS celebrated in the London Olympics?)
Posted on 07/30/2012 9:46:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The International Olympic Committee decided not to include in the opening ceremony a moment of silence to honor the eleven Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian gunmen during the 1972 games in Munich. That move drew the ire of NBCs Bob Costas. During Fridays ceremony, he commented that, although a private moment of silence was held before a mere 100 people this week at the Athletes Village, for many, tonight, with the world watching, is the true time and place to remember those who were lost and how and why they died.
Instead, the Olympic ceremony featured a weird, politically correct extravaganza by film director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). It was hailed by the sports website The Roar with the headline London 2012: Most political Olympics opening ceremony since Berlin 1936. The 1936 games, of course, were an infamous propaganda exercise for Adolf Hitler.
For The Roars Spiro Zanos, the political message at London was that Britain could recover its greatness and become Great Britain once again if . . . [it] re-embraced the radical politics that unleashed the industrial revolution and the welfare state. . . . If this means having the most political opening ceremony since the Berlin Olympics in 1936, then so be it. The state-worship so ably skewered by Jonah Goldberg in Liberal Fascism is alive and well.
The Boyle ceremony got underway with images of a bucolic Britain being swept away by a cigar-chomping elite that builds satanic mills filled with oppressed workers as steeplejacks hang from the towering chimneys. Later, 600 doctors and patients recruited from National Health Service hospitals were featured in a bizarre tribute to socialized medicine, with children bouncing up and down on 320 hospital beds arrayed in front of a giant Franken-baby wrapped in bandages. Villains from British childrens literature, ranging from Cruella de Vil to Lord Voldemort, sweep in on the children, in an apparent reference to conservative forces seeking to reform the tottering NHS. The 15-minute sequence ended with a series of red lights triumphantly spelling out NHS.
Left-wingers were thrilled. Brilliant that we got a socialist to do the opening ceremony, tweeted Alastair Campbell, former communications chief for the Labour party. Boyle denied he was promoting a political agenda. The sensibility of the show is very personal, he told reporters. We had no agenda other than . . . values that we feel are true. At a news conference beforehand, he explained that one of the reasons he put the NHS in the show is that everyone is aware of how important NHS is to everybody in the country. One of the core values of our society is that it doesnt matter who you are, you will get treated the same in terms of health care.
Can anyone seriously believe that? Sundays British papers report that a study by the research firm Lloyds TSB Premier Banking found that nearly two-thirds of Britons earning more than $78,700 a year have taken out private health insurance because they dont trust the NHS. A survey by the British health-care organization Bupa found that two-thirds of its customers cited the risk of infection from superbugs as a top reason for buying private insurance. Shaun Matisonn, the chief executive of PruHealth, says that patients today are sophisticated consumers of health care. They research the treatments they want, but cannot always get them through the NHS.
Horror stories about the NHS abound. A 2007 survey of almost 1,000 physicians by Doctors Magazine found that two-thirds said they had been told by their local NHS trust not to prescribe certain drugs, and one in five doctors knew patients who had suffered as a result of treatment rationing. The study cited one physician who characterized the NHS as a lottery. A new study this year by GP magazine supports that conclusion. Through Freedom of Information Act records, it found that 90 percent of NHS trusts were rationing care.
Rick Dewsbury of the Daily Mail was aghast at the worship of the NHS during Fridays Olympic ceremony. The columnist noted the sheer hypocrisy of the spectacle, as the majority of the athletes taking part in the Games will have access to the most expensive cutting-edge private treatment available in the world for even the slightest graze on their bodies.
Dewsbury recounted the 2009 case of Kane Gorny, a 22-year-old NHS patient. Gorny was admitted to the hospital for a hip replacement. A series of hospital employees refused his request for a glass of water and failed to give him diabetes medication. He went so far as to call the emergency operator for help. When the police arrived, nurses assured them that Gorny was confused and needed no outside help. A day later, he was dead of dehydration. The official inquest into his death was published this month. It found that neglect by hospital staff a cascade of individual failures contributed to his death. Heres hoping that not everyone is treated the same in Britains NHS hospitals.
In Britain, we have seen what could be our future, and its not a pretty sight.
John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.
The explicit inclusion of the NHS was pretty nauseating.
They should have kept it about the Great Ormond Street Hospital (which is a children’s hospital - hence the fairly impressive sequence about classic children’s literature).
The whole operation (not just the opening ceremony) seems like one long push for ObamaCare. These ads can't be cheap -- where is this money coming from? Why do people need to be told that health care is a good thing??
It just seems bizarre.
He must have missed CND also - for Nuclear Disarmament. Near the Peace sign.
Maybe they should have gotten someone who was intelligent to do the opening ceremonies.
It was done so in a very stylized manner to feed directly to the people of the US the glories and wonders of Obama Care.
No doubt, pushed on Danny Boyle with the arm twisting of Zero, Moochelle, Valerie Jarrett, or an associated thug or goon.
Just my two cents.
I kept on thinking of the N.I.C.E*
*National Institute for Coordinated Experimentation
from “That Hideous Strength” by C.S. Lewis.
NHS doesn’t seem to have far to go to get there.
Boyle seems to have been gung-ho on the idea. We can blame him - and whomever picked him - for the NHS cr*p.
Still, I liked the Industrial Revolution sequence.
The WORST opening ceremony EVER! It sucked and was over flowing with the politically correct hyperbolic socialist agenda.
I couldn’t take it anymore, after seeing the Broadway style “volunteers” acting out how the elites watched and ruled over all the oppressed people doing all the work and then with all the nationalized healthcare BS....
I wanted to barf...but instead just changed the channel. Typical British BS. Just proving WHY we left that country to begin with.
The UK owes me a headache pill and a sleeping pill.
Truly bizarre. And like all socialist "art," truly ugly.
I thought it was weird. Even if NHS is a wonderful service, which it is not, I think it’s weird.
The opening ceremonies were a reminder of incompatibilities that still exist. Now we know why our George was compelled to challenge their George in 1775.
The NHS section of the opening ceremonies was clearly aimed at America. A shot over the bow, until Mary Poppins descended.
We have shared much culturally, before and since; but the NHS thing was a political taunt.
So like, when are the Germans actually going to win a medal?
Golds coming up, horsies and rowing.
Oh I’m sure they’ll be in the top 5 before it’s over, still shocking to see them with nothing so far.
I read somewhere a few months ago that these were going to be the “diversity” games (you know, the way every Olympics chooses a “theme”), so I already knew not to bother watching.
There have been some posts here at FR joking about how they could just give everybody a medal, in keeping with leftist ideas of “social justice”. Well, it seems that it’s almost not a joke. Some guy who has only been rowing for about 3 months (a “person of color” from a land-locked nation, of course) was allowed to have a place in one of the rowing events. He placed last, of course. I don’t know if they’re correct, but people were pizzed that he apparently was given a place over competitors who would have been realistic contenders, though low ranked. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true just as related.
Cry for Great Britain. After all their glory is gone this is what they are left to showcase, National Health service, children’s story tellers and punk rockers.
The Communist Chinese had a much better opening ceremony at the last Olympics. At least one could make sense of their spectacular crowd numbers and marvel at their precision.
Boyle’s commercial for Socialism was ham-handed and disorganized. The only two small bright spots were the Queen and Mr. Bean.
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