The second or so attempt of U.S. drugs colossus Pfizer for control of British drugs giant- and one of the basis of the British economy- Astrazeneca ought to be ringing alarm bells up and down the land.
And it would, if we all weren't so busy being driven into a frenzy by Ukip and others over Brussels. And being played by George Osborne's green- shoots- with- dead -roots "recovery" in what the magnificent Paul O'Grady calls "Sheriff-of-Nottingham" Britain.
The other foreign entity we'd better be scared of is - as ever- Uncle Sam. This time around it's the encroachment of U.S. "Big Pharma", the term used to describe mega companies like Pfizer which are quite simply the legal drug equivalent of the "military/ industrial complex".
Like many mega U.S. companies (Apple, etc.) Pfizer (creator of Viaga, amongst other drugs) keeps its squillion dollars in profit offshore, out of reach of the American tax system.
Perfectly legal. But at a time when schools, the crumbling U.S infrastructure, and U.S. jobs could use a boost from private wealth investment, Pfizer looks across the Atlantic to loads of opportunity as a result of the Tories' slicing and dicing of the National Health Service.
Of course the Conservatives are crowing about The Big Bid: @Freeman_George - going live on #WATO to discuss Pfizer bid for Astra Zeneca and global success of UK #LifeScience sector - but why wouldn't they? This fits right into their small state game plan. It's part of their crusade to get us to believe that the Labour Party alone is responsible for the world -wide, North, South, East and West great recession. They're grooming us for the next round of Big Society cuts- 20 billion quid of them- under the slogan that means absolutely nothing: #longrangeplan
Part of this "long rang plan" is to become more like the U.S.
Anyone who's spent any time in America knows that if something happens, you're patched up asap and out in the street if you don't have medical insurance. This brutal reality is coupled by a plethora of commercials: for pills; medicines; drugs; doctors. The typical American medicine cabinet is stuffed to bursting with remedies.
Big Pharma has helped to make America into a nation of hypochondriacs shackled with a "health system " that works ok if you have a job providing health insurance coverage whose premiums can rise at the whim of the provider. Without notification.
But if you don't have a job and/or health insurance, then the "land of the free" becomes a region fit for "Doctors Without Borders".
Health care is the reason why people take any old kind of work. They need that all-important health insurance number.
One of my relatives, after having a near-fatal heart attack while on holiday in Germany, kept reciting his insurance number until they put him under anaesthetic. The doctors were appalled.
Right now I'm involved with the 8th Circle of Dante's Inferno, otherwise known as Chicago's Cook County Probate Court and its representative on earth, the GAL-(Guardian Ad Litem).
Like the "Inferno", you're led by these two entities into various descending circles of hell. It's an excellent way for the children of the elderly, in particular, to learn what indignity, incompetence, and the waste of enormous amounts of time and cash are really all about.
The American system of "pro se" - the right to appear in court without a lawyer and be given the same time and respect as someone lawyered up -is continuously used by people in Probate. Some of these "vexatious litigants" clearly have mental issues, but the system doesn't recognise this, so you'd better learn how to be an expert. And an activist.
Learn so that you can protect those you love... and yourself, too.
The U.S. is the land where its president has to fight tooth and nail to get a law passed that would make it possible for all people to have decent care -a law that most of us in the UK and Europe would go: "what's the big deal?"
In other words, America, for the poor and the working poor has not been a great model. But it can be. Because it is beginning to adopt-through law- what we are losing-the ethos that health care-the best possible-should be available-free at the point of delivery-for everyone who needs it.
Look, of course the NHS needs reform. Corruption, where it appears, must be rooted out. No one argues against that.
And no, I don't have any answers. But I know is this: we must protect what's left of the NHS.
Protect it against the encroachment of hedge funds; cease selling our medical data to private companies so that they can make products to sell back to us; and stop Big Pharma becoming even bigger here.
It is the dismantling of this great and unique institution, with barely a peep from broadcasters and the mainstream media, that is this great nation's undoubted clear and present danger.
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