CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Are there funds to back up PM’s support for the NHS?

01 December, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May

EITHER there is a strong libertarian streak at No 10 Downing Street or Mrs May’s political minders lack a sense of history.

We cannot help but wonder who chose the James Wigg Practice in Kentish Town for a high-powered visit by Mrs May on Thursday?

The practice was effectively founded in the post-war years by GP supporters of the National Health Service, many of them members of the Socialist Medical Association, and to this day, we would assume. medical practitioners at the Kentish Town would consider themselves to be part of that tradition.

As for health clinics, the idea took root in south London in the 1930s, again inspired by early supporters of a national health service, with, perhaps, a glance at the early clinics set up in the Soviet Union. In south London the clinic also gave advice on diets and provided a swimming pool, a revolutionary concept at the time.

The James Wigg practice, as well as a similar practice in the neighbouring street, will only function successfully if it is well funded. Mrs May, who is a diabetic patient, is hopefully aware of the need for a well-funded NHS.

She seems to be promising to set up similar clinics elsewhere. They are the future of the NHS but need to cosseted and consistently funded. Can this be done under the government’s austerity programme?

People power

THE newly rejuvenated Labour Party has split itself in two in the borough on a thorny question that could be said to go to the heart of the meaning of democracy, as witnessed by the rancorous meetings in Swiss Cottage and St Pancras in the past week.

Should the key sovereign body that leads the party locally, known as the General Committee, be elected by a general body of members or by delegates?

The “old guard” appear to be effectively against what could be described as “people power” and prefer to stick to the prevailing system of “delegate power” which, in turn, arose from the Leninist concept of “democratic centralism”, responsible for the present hierarchical structure of decision-making in the party.

But new technology has changed the speed and spread of communication. In today’s world young people, faced with seemingly abstruse rules and regulations that go back to the 1920s, may lamentably leave politics to the “politicians” – and abandon ship.

This week the “politicians” won the debate.

But at what cost?

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