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Independents' Day

America has been drafted in to save the NHS

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‘We’re gunna save da mudaf***ing NHS’, declares the United States of America.

America, famous for world peace, intelligent foreign policy and its fair and equitable healthcare system has been drafted in to sort out the NHS.

We spoke to Hank Studbuckle, a pumped up physician associate from Minnesota. ‘Y’all got yourselves a fine commie system over there folks. But if my name ain’t Hank Studbuckle Junior y’all better start prayin’ to baby Jesus ‘cos for fifty grand a year I’m a comin’ over to work in your fine NHS…yeeee haaaaa, yes I am.’

He then dropped his trousers, revealing star spangled underpants, and let off a couple of shot gun rounds, narrowly missing the brim of his own hat. Once the gun smoke had cleared there was a very long and very awkward silence.

A government spokesperson said: ‘I don’t know why the GPs in this country are so surprised. All we’ve done is create lots of internal domestic problems by meddling with things we know nothing about thereby spreading fear and moral panic amongst the public. Does this sound familiar?

On the positive side America will help us through it all. God bless America!’

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh

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Readers' comments (17)

  • Bring it on! we've been reduced to an american offshore colony anyway

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  • US and A!!!

    Committed to world peace, with the biggest single defence budget known to man!!!

    And the biggest overseas defence sales ledger than any other country!!!!

    What is it they defend by the way????

    Oh yes.......... their defence budget and their overseas defence sales portfolio!!!

    Better to upset them....... get them to bomb us and then they will invest billions of dollars in a massive rebuild programme. We can become UK51 following Hawaii 50!

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  • Vinci Ho

    What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you

    The trade negotiations are an assault on democracy. I would vote against them except… hang on a minute, I can’t
    By LEE WILLIAMS, The Independent
    Tuesday 07 October 2014
    Have you heard about TTIP? If your answer is no, don’t get too worried; you’re not meant to have.
    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.”
    Since before TTIP negotiations began last February, the process has been secretive and undemocratic. This secrecy is on-going, with nearly all information on negotiations coming from leaked documents and Freedom of Information requests.

    But worryingly, the covert nature of the talks may well be the least of our problems. Here are six other reasons why we should be scared of TTIP, very scared indeed:
    1 The NHS
    Public services, especially the NHS, are in the firing line. One of the main aims of TTIP is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies. This could essentially mean the privatisation of the NHS.
    The European Commission has claimed that public services will be kept out of TTIP. However, according to the Huffington Post, the UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston has admitted that talks about the NHS were still on the table.
    2 Food and environmental safety
    TTIP’s ‘regulatory convergence’ agenda will seek to bring EU standards on food safety and the environment closer to those of the US. But US regulations are much less strict, with 70 per cent of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets now containing genetically modified ingredients. By contrast, the EU allows virtually no GM foods. The US also has far laxer restrictions on the use of pesticides. It also uses growth hormones in its beef which are restricted in Europe due to links to cancer. US farmers have tried to have these restrictions lifted repeatedly in the past through the World Trade Organisation and it is likely that they will use TTIP to do so again.
    The same goes for the environment, where the EU’s REACH regulations are far tougher on potentially toxic substances. In Europe a company has to prove a substance is safe before it can be used; in the US the opposite is true: any substance can be used until it is proven unsafe. As an example, the EU currently bans 1,200 substances from use in cosmetics; the US just 12.
    3 Banking regulations
    TTIP cuts both ways. The UK, under the influence of the all-powerful City of London, is thought to be seeking a loosening of US banking regulations. America’s financial rules are tougher than ours. They were put into place after the financial crisis to directly curb the powers of bankers and avoid a similar crisis happening again. TTIP, it is feared, will remove those restrictions, effectively handing all those powers back to the bankers.
    4 Privacy
    Remember ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)? It was thrown out by a massive majority in the European Parliament in 2012 after a huge public backlash against what was rightly seen as an attack on individual privacy where internet service providers would be required to monitor people’s online activity. Well, it’s feared that TTIP could be bringing back ACTA’s central elements, proving that if the democratic approach doesn’t work, there’s always the back door. An easing of data privacy laws and a restriction of public access to pharmaceutical companies’ clinical trials are also thought to be on the cards.
    5 Jobs
    The EU has admitted that TTIP will probably cause unemployment as jobs switch to the US, where labour standards and trade union rights are lower. It has even advised EU members to draw on European support funds to compensate for the expected unemployment.
    Examples from other similar bi-lateral trade agreements around the world support the case for job losses. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico caused the loss of one million US jobs over 12 years, instead of the hundreds of thousands of extra that were promised.
    6 Democracy
    TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments.
    ISDSs are already in place in other bi-lateral trade agreements around the world and have led to such injustices as in Germany where Swedish energy company Vattenfall is suing the German government for billions of dollars over its decision to phase out nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Here we see a public health policy put into place by a democratically elected government being threatened by an energy giant because of a potential loss of profit. Nothing could be more cynically anti-democratic.
    There are around 500 similar cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment and they are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”

    So I don’t know about you, but I’m scared. I would vote against TTIP, except… hang on a minute… I can’t. Like you, I have no say whatsoever in whether TTIP goes through or not. All I can do is tell as many people about it as possible, as I hope, will you. We may be forced to accept an attack on democracy but we can at least fight against the conspiracy of silence.

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  • Love it (wipes tears of laughter from eyes), particularly the snappy comment.... 'All we’ve done is create lots of internal domestic problems by meddling with things we know nothing about thereby spreading fear and moral panic amongst the public'.

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  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha

    Born on the 1 April every year , and the contract will run April 1 to April 1 ...... Cunning ploy all notice no Years !!
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha

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  • Vinci Ho- you are right to mention the potential disaster of TTIP here- this will be American corporations all over us... God bless America? God help us...

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  • the real wrecking ball is our new ceo fresh from learning his trade at united health...

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