The enemy has another face

Cllr John Butcher, Conservative, Surrey County Councillor

Meet Councillor John Butcher, a Conservative member of Surrey County Council and the latest little Hitler to emerge from the cesspit which the health fascists inhabit.

Cllr Butcher believes that if you live in Surrey and you fall ill with something which could be related to smoking, drinking, drug use or excessive weight you should be treated as a second class citizen by the NHS – pushed to the back of the queue in favour of the ‘more virtuous’.

Such a policy would, he believes, encourage people who fall into the ‘unworthy’ camp out of the county, reducing the burden on Surrey NHS.

If the NHS in Surrey were to be run on the basis that patients with self-inflicted morbidity (mainly – smoking, alcohol, narcotics, obesity) and injury (dangerous activities) are, following due warning, placed in a much slower-moving queue for healthcare than ‘other’ patients, this would encourage the self-inflicted to move away from Surrey, to areas where there is no differentiation between patients on the grounds of their contribution towards their condition.

“And it would deter the self-inflicted from coming to live in Surrey. Over time, that would result in the healthcare for the ‘other’ patients in Surrey being significantly better than the average national level for all patients, as the resources deployed to the self-inflicted would be very much reduced.

“Eventually the self-inflicted patients would end up living in ‘equality’ areas that are dominated by politicians who pander to their needs, thus driving more ‘other’ patients out of those areas, as healthcare there will be badly affected by the over-dominance of the self-inflicted.

“Eventually the country will be sharply divided into two types of area: the ‘equality’ ones, where the self-inflicted unhealthy are treated the same as all patients, and the ‘others’, such as, hopefully, Surrey.

“Average life expectancy will be substantially lower (by, say, 20 years) in the ‘equality’ areas.”

A few thoughts immediately spring to mind:

  1. As a general rule, the older people are, the more use they tend to make of the NHS as their bodies break down. The biggest of these costs will be cancers and dementia/Alzheimer’s.
  2. By dying at younger age, heavy smokers, drinkers, drug users and the terminally obese usually end up being net contributors to the system via taxes paid.
  3. Those who can afford private healthcare – or who have it via their employer – will use this to bypass the NHS bureaucracy and thus avoid the slow-queue. Get enough people doing this and private healthcare in Surrey will become a growth market.

With this in mind, I’m not sure Cllr Butcher will get quite the result he was looking for when he started his spleen vent.

But wait, there is more. Given the opportunity to defend his lunacy, he makes the most of it and plants his other foot right in next to the first one.

Firstly, he doesn’t think his proposals should apply to the addicted:

I need to make it clear that, under my proposals, a condition would not be regarded as ‘self-inflicted’ if the patient is unable to prevent the condition, as is the case with an addict, even if he or she was able to have done that before addiction set in.

Which rather leaves those of us who enjoy our vices in moderate-to-heavy doses but don’t need them as a crutch squarely in the firing line…

Still, he isn’t finished yet:

3 Alcohol and narcotics abuse also need to be tackled with other policies, that are aimed at prevention and discouragement. There is, generally in society, an amazing level of toleration of such abuse, especially by persons in positions of public responsibility and influence. If sports can ban performance-enhancing drug use, then entertainment etc. should ban narcotics and alcohol abuse. By setting a firm example from the top, the message will soon get around that such abuse is unacceptable – with enormous benefits to society.

3.1 Everyone in, or aspiring to, a position of public responsibility and everyone in a position to influence the public, including entertainers etc, should be asked to sign a voluntary pledge not to take illegal narcotics or consume excessive alcohol, or drive when so affected.

3.2 Anyone who fails to sign that pledge, or who signs it and breaches it, should be excluded from positions of public responsibility and influence. All public organisations, included regulated broadcasters etc, should agree to impose this exclusion.

3.3 There would be a Trust to manage this pledge and to determine breaches, with a right of appeal. The costs of running it would be funded by fees from signatories, donations from philanthropists and a grant from the government – the grant being greatly exceeded by the savings in cost to the Exchequer, due to the substantial reduction in such abuse that will follow.

*boggles*

Sports ban performance-enhancing drugs because they create an unequal playing field, elevating one person above another not because of skill or stamina but because of chemical engineering. I’m not sure how you can think that narcotics and alcohol* consumption would be in any way performance-enhancing in fields which are not directly competitive.

He calls his proposal of a pledge to not overdo it a voluntary one, yet in the very next paragraph says that anyone who doesn’t sign it or who breaches it should be penalised by being banned from ‘positions of public responsibility and influence’. Obviously some policing this ‘voluntary’ pledge will be necessary so he proposes that this can be done by the formation of an organisation funded by theft, aka compulsory subscriptions, taxpayer money and ‘charitable’ donations. He doesn’t mention who the big white chief of this new quango should be but I’m willing I’d bet he’d have his eye on it should such a monstrosity ever come to pass.

In conclusion I can only assume that John Butcher is a brainwashed, non-smoking teetotaller who has never had a day of fun in his whole life which is why he appears to take so much pleasure in being a tediously boring and self-righteous control freak who, quite frankly, should just piss off and leave us all alone.

* Though there are no doubt a number of sportsmen and women out there who will claim that they play better after a drink or three. :)

16 Comments

  1. Tim Carpenter says:

    Butcher is one of those people who cannot tell the difference between “can” and “should”.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Sadly a not uncommon problem where politicians are involved – especially when dealing with personal hobby horses.

  2. Good piece on a bad egg.

    No doubt he will live to 115 and cost us (or our kids) a small fortune in healthcare.

    As you say, we who dare to focus on quality of life rather than quantity, will spare our children the financial hardship of caring for us in our dotage.

    I disremember the exact figures, (published in a Dutch study) but the life-time care costs look something like this:

    Smokers-£185,000

    Obese-£205,000

    The “healthy”-£225,000

    We save the country a fortune whilst contributing the most in taxes.

    CR.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      If it is the one I was thinking of, my passing familiarity with it comes from Timmy mentioning it.

  3. JuliaM says:

    “In conclusion I can only assume that John Butcher is a brainwashed, non-smoking teetotaller who has never had a day of fun in his whole life …”

    Oh, I suspect, for him, this IS fun…

  4. WitteringsfromWitney says:

    Why not just shoot the bastard and thus save on his healthcare costs later in his life……….

  5. Jess says:

    I had to read that twice. Wow, I’ve met some screwed up politiicians, but he sets a new bar. If he was in Africa somewhere Westminster would be arranging a regime change for less,

    I had to double read leaving the *county* to check it wasn’t *country* – it made me chuckle, back to when I was a spotty teenager and a tory MP wrote to me saying “If you don’t like it in the UK, leave”, with a handwritten margin note, “if you can find anywhere to take you”, in response to my writing and suggesting he should butt out of criticising South Africa over Mandela, and deal with the UKs problems as he was elected to do. Not a happy bunny, didn’t like uppity proles. 30 years later, I could have published the letter and gone viral with it, but in those days no Internet!

  6. c777 says:

    Why do they always look like wingnuts?

  7. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    So let’s see:

    – Caught the clap? ~ self-inflicted, no condom, so no meds for you
    – But your gay and its AIDS ~ ah well can’t discriminate against gay people so meds ahoy
    – Take illegal drugs ~ not your fault (in some way) treatment program
    – But legally smoke or drink ~ SINNER
    – Need IVF ~ self-inflicted because you waited until you could afford a child and should instead have gotten knocked-up by a random passer by at your time of maximal fertility, seventeen
    – Trash your knees while exercising ~ self-inflicted so no treatment, but wait, that’s good behaviour, but it’s self-inflicted, but good, but self-inflicted……

    I kinda have this mantal image of him going into a feedback loop, steam coming out of his ears and then some kind of shutdown.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      I’ve hearsay* that the NHS has certainly been known to put (non-serious) sporting injuries at the back of the queue because they consider them self-inflicted.

      As for the shutdown, would that be of the exploding head type?

      * Dad attacked his knee with a stanley knife one Saturday afternoon. After being told by neighbour (nurse) to go to A&E he found himself being processed a lot quicker than the sporting injuries crowd. Was allegedly told that they are deliberately classified as low priority.

  8. Winston Smith says:

    I thought our Debs said that all smokers were addicts, so they’re OK then. I am sure that Big Alcohol Control think the same about drinkers (one sip and you’re hooked), so they get to the front as well.

    Isn’t all food, especially Big Macs and Big Sugars, highly addictive?

    Just askin’.

    Winston Smith

  9. Carps says:

    Yeah, well even if he had a point it would help if obesity was actually a health problem and not just yet another “everybody-knows-it-is” truism like climate alarmism, binge-drinking etc.

    http://www.itsafamilything.co.uk/the-obesity-paradox.html

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      “Children of healthy/overweight women have lower risk indicators rather than those of stick insects?” Well knock me down with a feather, we’ve rediscovered something our ancestors took as common sense! *bangs head against wall*