Thursday 11 December 2014

Statin Island

So, nearly half the UK population is on prescription medications - and, in a related development, Microbial Apocalypse looms, as a result of reckless overuse of antibiotics. How very strange all this would have seemed to the founders of the National Health Service, who genuinely believed that, once the NHS was up and running, it wouldn't be needed for long, as an increasingly healthy population had less and less need for medication. Similarly, the welfare state was expected to more or less wither on the vine as rising prosperity lifted almost everybody out of poverty.
 In practice, the huge initial surge of demand for spectacles, false teeth and uterine prolapse correction very nearly sank the NHS as soon as it was launched. And, with demand remaining infinitely elastic and the service continuing to appear 'free', the result is what we see today - an increasingly unhealthy (or, rather, differently unhealthy) population scoffing astonishing amounts of medication, much of which is probably useless or even harmful. It was never meant to be like this when those starry-eyed idealists were building the postwar New Jerusalem. Never underestimate the delusions of idealists.


  1. But at least those starry-eyed idealists were optimists and held out the promise of a better world. Today's warn of one catastrophe after another. I wonder whether funding agencies asked to support research in the battle against things like the Microbial Apocalypse ever ask why anybody should bother if we're all going to burn from climate change, run out of resources and starve from over-population.

    I'm starting to suspect humans simply can't abide peace and prosperity for too long before despair and nihilism born of boredom set in.

  2. I fear you may be right Peter - but the despair and nihilism are often no more than a pose, and perhaps equally delusional. Incidentally, if the climate alarmists really believed that stuff, would the massive 'carbon footprint' of their 'climate summits' grow hugely each time they get together?