The Samovar

October 17, 2007, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

This is an interesting article (long) about Gordon Brown’s transition from socialist to neoliberal:

“The distribution of income in Britain has now become so unequal that it is beginning to resemble a Third World country”, wrote Gordon Brown in his 1989 indictment of Thatcherism, Where There Is Greed. He complained that since 1979 “an extraordinary transfer of resources, from poor to rich, has taken place”. Indeed, so great had the level of inequality become that it was “difficult to argue that there remains even a common interest between the top 1 percent to whom Mrs Thatcher has given so much, and the rest of the nation”.

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Learning from the US

I talked briefly about Michael Moore’s film Sicko in a previous entry. Since then I’ve come across two articles (here and here) talking about how elements of the American system will be coming to the UK. I have a question about the second one though. John McDonnell, writing about the Labour party conference, states:

While warm words of praise were bestowed on the NHS and public servants, outside in the real world we learned that in order to save the budgets of some primary care trusts, Bupa was to vet whether patients should or should not receive the treatment recommended by their consultants. Bupa will be paid from the savings made by preventing operations.

Anyone got a reference for this? Sounds like exactly the sort of perverse incentive scheme that Moore highlighted in Sicko.