As we all know, Lord Snooty and his Pals are deeply committed to our national security and the nation’s health.Â Â Yet their latest whizzo scheme has raised eyebrows in some quarters.Â Â Â It turns out that the Department of Health has decided to sell the state owned NHS plasma supplier Plasma Resources UK toÂ a private American firm co-founded by Mitt Romney.
This has certainly taken the ‘special relationship’ to a new phase.Â Â I mean the family silver is one thing, but the nation’s blood?Â Â Good God man, are there no limits?
Not with the Coalition there aren’t.Â According to the Independent, the Department of Health bypassed ‘ several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake’ in PRUK to Bain Capital, in a deal worth Â£230m deal.
This decision has not gone unnoticed.Â Â Former Health Minister David Owen, who in 1975 set out to make the UK self-sufficient in blood and blood products, has asked Lord Snooty to rescind the decision on the grounds that ‘ the world plasma supply line has been in the past contaminated and I fear it will almost certainly continue to be contaminated.
Lucy Reynolds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has also criticized the decision, arguing:
‘Plasma supplies have a long record of being operated on a not for profit basis, using voluntary donors where all the necessary checks take place. The difference with a commercial firm is that they will want to have as many donors as possible and be looking to secure large profits first and foremost.Â This amounts to the government abandoning UK blood products users to the tender mercies of the cheapest supplier.’
Goodness,Â what cynics there are in the world.Â Â Would our government really do something like that?Â I mean sell off an essential national resource to the cheapest supplier – and an American company at that – just in order to ‘secure large profits first and foremost’, even if it meant enhancing the risk of the nation becoming infected with contaminated blood?
You know the answer readers.Â Â Â After all, this is a government whose sole purpose is to dismantle state-owned resources and turn them to a profit, whatever the risks and whatever the consequences.Â Â It’s in their blood, so to speak.Â Â Forensics, after hours surgeries, schools, forensics, the probation service, rubbish collection, the Royal Mail, you name it. Â It’s the deficit innit?Â Â It’s the crisis.
Even the courts are up for grabs, with that oily corporate lickspittle Chris Grayling considering plans in which ‘court buildings and staff could be taken out of state control and run by private companies… Funding would come from bigger fees from wealthy litigants and from the private sector, with hedge funds encouraged to invest.’
You bet they would.Â And the result could be a situation in which a company like G4S or Serco carries out forensic investigations into crimes, and also runs the courts where criminals are tried, and the prisons where they are sent, and the probation service that rehabilitates them afterwards.
So there is nothing at all surprising about handing over the nation’s plasma to Mitt Romney.Â Â It’s all part of the Great British Car Boot Sale – access for plutocrats and corporations only.
The Great British Public is not invited. Â Its role is to attend turn up at the sideshow, to accept ‘austerity’ with a wistful smile and stiff-upper-lip Britishness, and whitter on about the Bulgarians and migrants who are taking our jobs and national identity and the benefit scroungers who are damaging our way of life and burdening the taxpayer, and wait for the Royal Baby.
And when it’s all over,Â all the resources that we thought we owned or had a stake in will be gone.Â Â Â And the politicians who helped make this happen will have moved on to the House of Lords or the corporate sector that they worked so hard for.
They can’t help themselves.Â It’s in their blood.