Rogers Rants; by columnist Kevin Rogers: Making us all pay for what should be free

1984: The Battle of Orgreave
1984: The Battle of Orgreave

It seems that the principal arbiter of public policy these days is the behaviour of idiots. Particularly when we are heading towards being fleeced.

This week doctors have been asked through some questionnaire or other whether they think people should be asked to pay for treatment when they turn up at a hospital casualty department.

And of course a good proportion of them agreed it was a jolly good idea.

On the surface it appears the reason for this casual dismantling of the NHS free at the point of use is that certain people are turning up at hospitals with headaches, hangovers and feeling a bit rough.

The idiots are abusing the system because it is free and if we charged them a tenner it would deter them and allow proper poorly people to be treated promptly, so the theory goes.

But of course the proper poorly people who might be skint, who have paid into the NHS all their lives wouldn’t be deterred as well would they? Oh no of course they wouldn’t...

The elderly, people who may have suffered a stroke, folks like that. Folks like you.

And it seems when someone wants to destroy a little bit of a treasured national institution or think of some way to make the little people pay more through their nose to keep the system afloat, they invoke the idiot policy.

Like the back-of-a cig-packet idea to put up alcohol prices for everybody because some idiots drink far too much.

The lowest common denominator idea is brought into play yet again when deciding that the 0.5 per cent of people who are benefit scroungers will determine that anyone who is claiming benefits however disabled or terminally ill with cancer, will have to go through ridiculous bullying procedures, taking their homes off them and driving them to despair.

Isn’t it funny how these policies are thought up by people who will benefit financially from them, or their mates in some industry or other.

The problem with the Big Idiot Idea is that those who turn up in the wards nursing hangovers, the alcoholics who deprive their kids of clothes and the miniscule proportion of people abusing the benefit system won’t suffer at all. Because it’s not them who are daft.

It’s us.

After 30 years it has been revealed that Arthur Scargill was right when he warned that the Government of the day was planning to close 75 pits.

And they were planning to bring the troops into South Yorkshire if the balance of the Miner’s Strike had not turned in their favour.

So it appears the destruction of South Yorkshire communities and the Dearne in particular had been meticulously planned for years in advance.

And the miners were called the Enemy Within.