There has been a lot of cyber noise about that human pole vault crash mat in Ipswich. The Sun have been working the room, too.
The general consensus is that he is irresponsible and should be allowed to suffer/starve/rot because the rest of us are paying for him.
However, there are two types of people saying it ... and there is a distinct contrast, between consistency and hypocrisy, depending on where the proponent's theoretical starting point lies.
Take an odious worm like the National Obesity Forum's Tam Fry, for example. On a BBC radio phone-in yesterday, he was advocating his fake charity's policy that such people should be made to pay for their treatment.
What he is saying is that if you overeat, you should pay for related healthcare or "accept the consequences", said consequences being, of course, that you either cough up a barrowload of money ... or die.
Hmmm, sounds familiar. Hold on, it'll come to me in a minute. Uh-huh, got it. It was the same line taken in June by a fellow Director of the National Obesity Forum, one Jane "They'll Just Have To Die" DeVille-Almond.
The message from these nasty eugenicists is that unapproved lifestyle choices should not be tolerated by the majority of 'responsible' users of the NHS. Yet they are basing their entire reasoning on an actuarial theory that costs borne by the NHS, which are as a direct result of personal choices, should not be included in the category of 'free at the point of delivery'. They have decided which substances or practices are to be demonised and are inferring that the NHS spend on treating smokers/drinkers/obesity is a theft from the public purse.
In short, they are playing on the public's jealousy that someone else is getting more for their money than the average Joe does.
The fact that, with regard to 'unhealthy' lifestyles, this is demonstrably untrue, is immaterial as it is what the public believe after an avalanche of righteous fear-peddling.
Fry (another bloody prissy meddling Jock! Why are we no longer surprised?) is very consistent in his approach to this policy. There are no exceptions. He includes himself as a possible for falling foul of this, for he likes a drink, but as he drinks 'responsibly' he appears 100% certain that it will never happen to him (besides, he can afford it as the state pays him a fortune for peddling this shit). He is not merely talking about egregious examples like the East Anglian barrage balloon either - a 12 stone nurse who received treatment for breast cancer was equally informed that she should have paid for her chemotherapy.
If the criteria is set at such an incredibly low level, there will be a hell of a lot of people paying for what they always believed to be a 'free' service. After all, the vast majority will have paid heftily for it in good faith.
How many greasy spoons up and down the country have been host to the ranting of fry-up guzzling workers, poring over their copy of the currant bun, and venting their spleen at the Ipswich blubber-butt? how many gaggles of slightly overweight Mums, at primary school gates, have been bemoaning their taxes being wasted by this man, before toddling off to Weight Watchers classes? How many of them also smoke, how many drink above recommended unitary limits? How many have been opining that his ilk should be made to pay for his treatment, blissfully unaware that should such a policy be implemented, they too would be made to empty their paltry savings?
Presumably, all such people believe that the bar should be set at the level at which they find objectionable ... that is, anyone visibly larger than them, or who drinks more than them, or who smokes 'too much'. They are all right of course, they are only a bit tubby, they get pissed at weekends but hey, doesn't everyone? And if they smoke, it's not a lot really and they honestly want to give up, so they will be fine.
But if the public trust the proscriptive types in the NHS to tackle only what the public deem as the worst excesses, they are going to be in for a very nasty surprise.
Once the bills begin to be slapped into their hands at the local A&E, they might not #welovethenhs so much anymore. They may then see that it is a system which was sold as being entirely free, which has been paid for through their taxes, but for which extra payment is now being pursued.
It won't be viewed as so bloody perfect then. And how long before the outcry begins to be able to opt out of national insurance payments if this is going to be the case. Why not? If smokers, drinkers and the obese are going to have to take out insurance policies to cover crippling financial penalties (which is an obvious consequence), then why not be allowed to give the private operator all of the business? Why should we be forced by law to pay for a service which only affords the user limited use based on what is deemed correct behaviour and what is not?
Which, funnily enough, is exactly where I stand on the issue. There is a need for a universal health service, but it should be on a voucher system which covers every citizen with a necessary health care. You can choose where you spend your government vouchers, but if you want a higher level of care, you should be prepared (and able) to pay for it.
You see, I can say that he is a fat fucker and I don't want him to be treated on the NHS, but that's because I have always said that the NHS is a thieving organisation which wants us to pay sackloads of cash and then deny our use of it by any means possible. But I don't say that, because while we have an NHS which is designed to treat everyone no matter their lifestyle, he is as deserving as anyone else.
If Tam Fry wants that to change, he must either push for a seismic overhaul in the way healthcare is provided in the UK or shut the fuck up. Tam, of course, doesn't want that at all. Tam wants to keep the NHS exactly as it is, but just make people he doesn't like pay more for it. That's because Tam is himself a hideously pompous drain on the NHS, and deserves to have his intestines removed violently by a psychotic, genetically-enlarged woodpecker.
However, anyone who joined in the #welovethenhs bullshit earlier this year, but simultaneously wants this guy to be allowed to die, is hypocritical and stupid. You either love a warts-and-all health service which treats everyone regardless of illness or means ... or you don't. You can't have it both ways.