The NHS, Labours greatest achievement is turning 60, massive congratulations are in order, something to be proud of. ‘From cradle to grave, treatment free at the point of delivery’ it’s a towering achievement and it is a constant source of pride.
My earliest memory of the NHS was taking a bus to the hospital wrapped in towels with my dad about 55 years ago, to the old Royal Alexandra on Neilston Road. I had run out of control through a hedge and fell and skidded face first along a black gravel path, arms face and legs were black with red seeping through everywhere, not a pretty sight.
They stitched me up and spent ages taking the gravel out of my face and legs etc. I remember vaguely asking him on the bus back “how much did that cost” and even at that age I detected great pride in his voice and manner when he said “ nothing, we own it” with great emphasis on the ‘we’
What a time that must have been for his generation having fought a war and returned to great austerity, to realize that working people could achieve something like that, as well as living in a huge 3 bed roomed council house with a back and front garden. We had come from a flat shared by two families in the town centre to Glenburn which to us was a wonderland.
He was a staunch Labour voter all his life as are all of his family now and no wonder, it saddens me that some people have forgotten what Labour created in those days.
All of my children were born in NHS hospitals and treated at one time or another in them as were me and my wife, we are for ever in the debt of the people who work in the health system, and those who created it, we must be vigilant and never let it be destroyed. There are those like me who revere it and regard as a socialist achievement to rival anything in the world and there are those who look at it and salivate at the thought of the money that they could make from it, they are mainly sitting across from Gordon Brown at question time.
Let’s remember what life was like for our parents and grand parents before 1948 and ensure that the Tories and others never take us back to those days.