Casualties of 'Casualty'
Casualties of 'Casualty'
Last year the television programme 'Casualty' celebrated 30 years on screen and its writer gave celebratory interviews admitting that it had been created as propaganda on behalf of the NHS at a time when popular and political support for restoration of a system free from State control was rising, and it appeared possible to dismantle the socialist 'post-War settlement' in its entirety. There had been several earlier programmes, both British and imported, with health care settings, but 'Casualty' was never just going to be about tales of hospital life, it was always intended to have a political edge to it, defending the system and calling for increased funding for it. It is entirely typical of the BBC as a large, publicly funded State body, to broadcast on behalf of other large, publicly funded State bodies; it is institutionally statist because only people who support institutions of its type would work for one.
NHS socialised medicine
Of course, 'Casualty' was far from being alone in acting to rally support for the NHS; socialised medicine is a subject which illustrates perfectly the ability of the media taken together to form a narrowing aperture through which the world must be viewed. Some options are within the scope of vision, others are not merely unacceptable but invisible. When it comes to the NHS, the arguments against it have been entirely excluded from public discourse and the alternatives have been left undiscussed. The public has been given to understand that the alternative to the NHS is people dropping dead in the streets, and politicians have been given to understand that public worship of the system is such that to question its virtues would be a career-ending act of folly. The result of this stereopticon effect, to borrow Weaver's word, is, as we all know, that the NHS has become firmly entrenched, and abolition is almost literally unthinkable – it is never mentioned so the thought of it never occurs to most people. We are trapped.
The truth concerning the NHS is that it is a poisonously destructive system radically incompatible with the principles of Christian civilisation; it is implicitly condemned by the teaching of the Church, and should not receive the support of any Catholic. It made our country what it is today – drunken, dissolute, godless, promiscuous, and too beaten down and brainwashed to do anything about it – and its abolition is the sine qua non for the moral, social, psychological and spiritual regeneration of the nation.
The condition of our country is essentially due to a collective failure to develop to psychological maturity; there are no adults around, only grown-up children. It is simply impossible to build or maintain a society that is decent, moral and stable with one hand whilst using the other to tear up personal, family and social responsibility by the roots; and that is precisely what socialised medicine does. It infantilises people, reducing them to a dependency that stunts the growth of the moral faculties as the scope for the exercise of virtue is radically reduced in favour of a subhuman functionality. The Tablet's editor, Douglas Woodruff, saw a clear analogy between Britain under the NHS and a life of slavery as he condemned the replacement of 'the tradition of effective voluntary co-operation' “by the compulsory orders of a highly organised and paternal state, determined to see that all the hands on the plantation are humanely cared for, so that they may be able to do their work”.
The dire condition of our country can be remedied only by a reconstruction having due regard to the cause of the damage in the light of Church teaching i.e. we must tear down the structures of sin and build anew from first principles. To begin with, we must reject socialism absolutely and unequivocally; the Church condemns it as incompatible with Christianity because it is materialistic in its philosophy and inhuman in practice (cf. Quadragesima Anno 111ff.). The materialism of socialist institutions is fundamentally opposed to the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity; they propose always a technological solution to every social question, marginalising religious institutions and attempting to limit their activity solely to worship. The attempt to replace charity with a bureaucratic framework of rights and entitlements amounts to an attempt to exclude the God Who is love from public life, and to strip away the intermediate institutions that should stand between people and the State. “Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate the human as such” (Deus Caritas Est 28). “In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live “by bread alone” (Matthew IV 4, cf. Deuteronomy VIII 3) – a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human” (ibid.). The specifically human consists precisely in our relationship to and with the Creator in Whose image we are made and the socialist institutions fracture that relationship, leaving people unable to conceive of faith and hope in anything other than intellectual terms rather than in terms of confident trust in a divine providence which they receive daily.
Socialists hate the divine deeply and instinctively
Furthermore, the human life is one that is ordinarily lived in community, and lived through a variety of institutional communities; the first of which, in the order of nature, is of course the family into which the individual is born (cf. Summa II-IIae.10). It is the invariable practice of socialism to attack these communities because it is fundamentally opposed to the bond of love underlying them and binding them together; the social responsibility expressed in charitable action is a participation in the divine, and the socialists hate the divine deeply and instinctively because in their hearts they know that their materialist beliefs are empty and meaningless, they cannot withstand the light of truth, so they fly from the face of God Who is the very truth. The socialists have always intended to destroy all true communities, and to leave the individual naked and defenceless before the State, wholly dependent and utterly servile. The Fabian socialists in power after the War pledged themselves to achieve by democracy and bureaucracy, step by step, all the effects of a revolution; their Government was led by the man who had sent the Brigada Clement Attlee to do battle in his name as part of the Red horde fighting for a Spanish Republic whose persecution of the Church mirrored the imperial Rome of Nero, Diocletian or Severus in its atrocities.
The totalitarian 'cradle to grave' claims of the socialist State begin at birth when the NHS claims the child for the Government, issuing him or her with a number, and demanding rights of access in cases where a child has been born outside one of its facilities. The mother will, incidentally, receive stern advice to use birth control in future. Even in the case of a healthy child there is a good deal of fussing about and creating unnecessary records by way of an assertion of ownership and responsibility on the part of the State. Where there is any weakness in a marriage this assumption of responsibility by the State will very often allow a couple to feel that they may part without difficulty, and without harm to the child. Such weaknesses are, in any case, made more common by the psychological immaturity induced by socialism as the adolescent mindset does not encompass permanence, stability or commitment.
Under the NHS the decision as to whether an unhealthy child is treated - is made and imposed upon the family. Re Charlie Gard, Ashya King and Charlotte Wyatt.
Where the child is unhealthy, the claim of the State is more explicit. A socialised system is always a utilitarian system in which efficiency and value for money are everything and the State employee takes precedence over the member of the public. The individual is made in the image of God and is, therefore, of infinite worth as an end in him or herself, and should never be treated as having a merely instrumental value. From this it follows that the care of the sick must be a work infused with supernatural charity, undertaken for the love of God seen in His created image, and ideally performed by religious or those under their direction. Under the NHS the decision as to whether an unhealthy child is treated and what treatment he or she might receive, is made by those employed within the system and imposed upon the family; if they dissent from the decision, legal action may be taken to remove parental responsibility and prevent the family's removing the child to a private, charitable hospital or from leaving the jurisdiction of the British courts. Most such cases do not reach the courts, and those that do are generally subject to reporting restrictions, so we only know a handful of names such as those of Charlie Gard, Ashya King and Charlotte Wyatt.
Later in childhood the claim of the State over and against the parental responsibility derived from natural law is maintained through the legal fiction that the rights of the child are opposed to those of their parents. This notion is invariably applied to promote an anti-life agenda as the NHS works in partnership with State schools to subvert the morality of youth, giving explicit sexual instruction where parents have opted not to have it imparted by teachers, distributing or arranging various forms of artificial birth control and taking girls for lunchtime abortions. The Gillick (contraception) and Axon (abortion) legal cases established that parents need not be informed. In recent years the number of girls under the age of 16 placed on long-term contraception has been increased to seven or eight thousand a year as they often fail to take the daily pill.
A contraceptive society is an exploitative and a violent society.
By Prayer Crusader St Philip Howard