Monday, 1 May 2017

The Republican, Translated

Yesterday, I went for a little Sunday drive with Mrs P. First port of call was to a little patisserie in Sandbanks which had recently been featured on television. The tables were packed and the shelves low on products. Perhaps because it had recently been featured on television. So we went into a coffee shop a few doors down instead. Second port of call, appropriately, was a little marina. Mrs P and I would love a little boat. But the cheapest we saw was half the price of our house. So this probably won’t happen.

Third port of call was Waitrose to do a little bit of shopping to top up the fridge for the week ahead. For a Sunday afternoon, a rainy Sunday at that, the roads were surprisingly busy. Something must have happened ahead, although we never did find out what. I know that there was a ‘something’ because the traffic came to a complete standstill. And then an ambulance came through, sirens and lights announcing its approach.

How does an ambulance make its way through the clogged tarmac arteries of our road network? Well it’s quite simple really. On my side of the road, all the cars moved over to the kerb. On the other side of the road, all of the cars went up on the pavement. It was such a fluid movement that had a drone filmed it from above it must have resembled an automotive version of the parting of the Red Sea.

The ambulance did not even need to slow down. Poetry in motion, it was. This is how it works in Britain and many other places in the world. Everyone participates. Rich or poor, Ferrari or Fiat, McLaren or Mini, Porsche or Peugeot. Everyone contributes to this modern marvel of social etiquette regardless of their political outlook, gender, religion, race or age. Indeed, what with the poor fuel economy and high servicing costs of Bentleys, Mercs and Audis, the rich contribute several times more than the poor, financially speaking.

We all contribute and participate in this system for a couple of simple reasons. Firstly, because if we don’t all participate, then it doesn’t work properly for anyone. Whilst the ambulance might not be coming for us today, it might be tomorrow. And we all want to be assured that if it does come for us, it’ll get there and get there quickly.

Secondly, because it is socially unacceptable to be the one who won’t budge and thus blocks the road. You’d be a motoring pariah. An object of contempt. Deplorable. Scum. Except in the United States. Where one would be called a Republican*. I find it amazing that some people wear this badge with pride. In the United Kingdom, if health policy continues in the same direction as it is currently going, one will be called a Conservative.

The entire health care system effectively works, or fails, on the same principle as I’ve described above for the ambulance service. It’s why a single payer health system works better than the alternatives. Don’t kid yourself otherwise. The alternatives are nothing more than word spells, cast on the populous by modern day political and media witch doctors. Trump’s American Heathcare Act is just such a word spell.

* Did I just say Republicans are all scum?! Ouch. Well, some are, I imagine. As is the case on all sides of the political spectrum. But don’t take it personally. I’m making a point based on a principle, not an individual.