Establishment of the NHS by Aneurin Bevan

There is a good documentary on this on youtube. It is probably the greatest social achievement of the twentieth century and was made in the teeth of bitter opposition by the British Medical Association and Churchill’s tory opposition. It is terminally evil of rich doctors to refuse to help very poor patients as they did in those days. Tens or hundreds of thousands died of curable disease. Aneurin Bevan was often subjected to the trolling attacks of his era, personal abuse, ethnic abuse and so on, and insults from his enemy Churchill. What is the point of fighting a war for Churchill if he let half the population die of curable disease? He impeded Bevan at every step, purely out of personal animosity. As so often with Churchill he let his judgement go to the dogs and Lloyd George would have reined him in sharply. His fellow coal miners Jim Griffiths and Tudor Watkins helped in the establishment of the NHS. We in Wales should ask ourselves whether we want to be governed by people like that. Far right tories, sick with ideology, who are prepared to destroy the NHS and put us back into poverty and squalor, to reintroduce diseases, malnutrition and misery while they themselves maintain a comfortable distance. Let there be no further delusion, the only way in which Wales can safeguard its humane and enlightened society is complete independence. There would be little or no defence expenditure, so everything could be poured into the creation of employment, health and social security, and above all education. Everyone in Wales should be educated in both languages, everyone in Wales must help the language survive, and create conditions for its survival – language nests or Broydd Iaith. The NHS started in Tredegar with a Council worker’s health service. For two old pennies a week they could get all kinds of medical treatment. There were 240 old pennies to the pound. So the Assembly should fight for more powers, in particular complete powers over taxation and the welfare state, which was essentially founded by David Lloyd George and Aneurin Bevan. The infinitely remote, far right tories are imposing needless hardship on the poorest sections of the community, and I would not be surprised to see a general strike before long. We see disabled people being forced to protest in the streets. This time a general strike cannot be crushed by the use of the military, and workers can no longer be forced back to work at gunpoint. Churchill was responsible for this in South Wales, were working conditions were atrocious, and that has never been forgotten. A few years ago all the Councils in Wales voted for banning the nuclear bomb in Wales, and the Assembly should press for a ban on nuclear power stations, re open the coal industry with emissions scrubbed clean of CO2 and methane, and use coal for a variety of exportable petrochemicals and polymeric products. It should start a water turbine industry and demolish all wind turbines

Arglwydd Glyn Tawe a Gw^yr


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