Odds and Ends
8 5, 11:08pm
Yes, the NHS has certainly been and still is chronically underfunded for decades of mainly right-wing British governments - that's certainly the main reason for the NHS's problem.
Britain certainly has both the wealth and the medical knowledge to operate a first class universal healthcare service if it chose to allocate resources to that end, but that hasn't been a true priority for decades.
Instead many short-sighted cost saving measures intended to finances ever more tax cuts has lead to a situation where the NHS can't attract staff because their wages and working conditions are shit, and too few new nurses and midwifes and doctors and every other type of personal is even being trained in Britain - because few people obviously want to take huge student loans for jobs they know pay shit anyway.
And with working conditions only deteriorating because of understaffing and underfunding, too many of the people with the training to actually do the jobs are also leaving.
Which in turn has lead to a situation where the NHS for years have been forced to rely in part on foreign staff to fill at least some of their many vacancies.
So yes, the very reason the NHS even needs foreign staff to begin with is entirely the fault of Britain's own domestic policies going back decades.
But now the NHS's ability to attract such foreign personal has certainly been dealt a heavy blow by Brexit - there is no doubt about that.
Now I know that you're a pro-Brexiter yourself, and I guess you have a hard time accepting Brexit could in any way be a bad thing - but the hard data is completely obvious on this point.
A record number of foreign medical personnel is leaving Britain and fewer then ever is seeking to come and work in Britain:
At the same time as the May-government is following policies that actively bars foreign medical personnel from coming to Britain:
Now whether these destructive policies are only a result of right-wing economic ideology and the nationalist element of them is just pandering to the Ukip vote I don't think anyone but May knows for sure.
But I'll note that May's refusal to even allow in highly qualified foreign doctors, desperately needed by the NHS, was defended by her official spokesman by citing the "national interest".
So the official rhetoric coming from the May-government is certainly based on stupid nationalist arguments, anyway.
Regarding "contempt for EU citizens in Britain" (as well as UK citizens in the EU), the only one who's shown that is clearly the May-government.
The EU has, ever since the pro-Brexit camp won the referendum almost two years ago, offered to resolve that issue completely by offering to keep all rights for all UK citizens living in the EU exactly the same as now - even after Britain leaves the EU.
On the condition that Britain offers the same for all EU citizens living in the UK.
This would have resolved the issue completely and left no one in uncertainty as to what the future rules will be - as the rules would stay exactly the same as they are now.
But the May-government flatly refused such an agreement - despite opposition from even it's own back-benchers, business and industry leaders, NGO's and others who have cautioned that refusing to offer certainly to these people are badly hurting Britain's ability to retain and attract foreign talent.
But since Brexit left Britain with a very weak hand in the exit negotiations with the EU, the May-government chose to keep the EU nationals (and conversely the UK nationals in the EU) in limbo to retain them as one of their few bargaining chips in the negotiations:
The offer was always there from the EU to resolve the issue by a simple reciprocal agreement - we keep your citizens who wish to remain in the EU if you keep ours that wish to remain in the UK, with the exact same rights as today.
But no, the May-government always rejected that in the hopes of squeezing out further concessions from the EU by in some way linking this issue to some other.
In the end it seems like the May-government has now been forced to concede to the EU's original proposal (possibly gaining some concessions elsewhere, but I've not seen that reported) - but the almost two years of dithering on the issue and the May-governments hostile treatment of other people they suddenly deem to be "foreigners" (see the Windrush Scandal for more on this:
) has certainly not improved Britain's reputation on this issue.
Nor does the refusal to this day to accept even highly skilled and desperately needed foreign doctors by citing the "national interest".
So I'll stand by my rejection of "incredibly shortsighted and stupid nationalist policies that only hurt the nations that adopt them" as that's actually the motivation given by the May-government themselves.
But as I noted - that may of course just be pandering to the Ukip vote of stupid nationalists.
May herself may very well be following these policies mainly because of an ideological wish to reform Britain into a neoliberal paradise of low taxes and for-profit healthcare à la the US.