Home > News > Articles & speeches > “Wake up and smell the coffee!”

The many different magazines in our newsagents cater for every possible interest.

One title especially makes me laugh. This is the magazine called The Oldie. There is nothing like telling it as it is, I suppose.

The Oldie seems to appeal to those advanced in years of all political persuasion. There are as many crusty old sticklers for the old ways as there are ageing hippies who look back fondly at the so-called Swinging Sixties.

That is why the first article in this year’s March Oldie brought me up sharply. It is headed “The Death of the NHS”. It is prompted by the Tory-led Government’s Health and Social Care Bill. Fortunately, for us in Wales with a Labour-led Assembly, we are not planning to go down that route. But it reminds us how important it is to re-elect a strong Labour Assembly in May.

The Oldie sums it up starkly. “Make no mistake: the NHS is to be abolished in all but name. Taxpayers’ money will be handed over to large corporations who will run our services on US lines, largely for the profit of their shareholders.”

Most of the coverage stresses the beefed-up role that the GP will have in this reorganisation.

This is a clever part of the hard sell.

Most of us respect and trust our own doctor.

In fact, these changes will divert the doctors from their prime responsibility which is their duty of care to the patient. The article ends by saying that if we do not succeed in stopping this bill “the consequences will be catastrophic for us all”. As David Cameron might put it: “Wake up and smell the coffee!”