Tuesday, July 10, 2018

THE NHS IS SEVENTY (weekly poem)

The National Health Service was born on the 5/7/1948.

The NHS is Seventy,
It has survived this long;
Despite the Government's attempt,
To run it ‘for a song’.

To those believing that reforms,
Can't be put in reverse;
The NHS appears to have,
An everlasting curse.

All Governments have screwed it for,
A slice of extra cash; (1)
A policy that's been described,
As one of burn and slash.

It's the cash cow of all cash cows,
To be robbed every year; (2)
As this free service for the plebs,
Will always be too dear.

The private health firms hover now,
Like vultures on the prey;
Abetted by the Government,
And others in their pay.

Perhaps it's time to swallow now,
The present bitter pill; (3)
That there are folks who can't afford,
The cost of being ill.

(1) 23/4/1951. Health Minister, Aneurin Bevan,
resigned when his own Labour Government
reduced the NHS budget to fund re-armament.

(2) Following the Labour Government’s defeat, the Tories
introduced prescription charges at one shilling in 1952
when 60 shillings (£3) was the average weekly wage.

(3) In 2007, 800,000 people could not afford the charges.

© Richard Layton

1 comment:

Trevor Goodger-Hill said...

Not to make a comparison between poems, but this must be one of Richard Layton's best.

Perhaps I am prejudiced to the name "Layton", since it is also worn by a famous Canadian poet, Irving Layton, who wrote in prose one of my favourite quotes:

"The house that Jack built, they own."