The Curmudgeon


Monday, February 15, 2016

Blood Parasites

Haemophiliacs who were accidentally infected with HIV or hepatitis thirty years ago could be the next group of scroungers to get a kicking from the Department of Workfare and Privation. The British Government has never accepted responsibility for the disaster, which occurred when the NHS was forced to buy blood on the free market; but successive administrations have paid the victims discretionary compensation which the Conservatives have now decided would be better off helping with Google's unpaid tax bill. Indeed, it seems unlikely that many of our present lords and masters even know what haemophilia is: doubtless Michael Gove connects it vaguely with the Russian Revolution of 1789, but the word is far too long for the likes of Jeremy C Hunt and the brilliant Duncan Smith, who most likely regard HIV and hepatitis as the well-earned wages of such victimless sinners as drug addicts and homosexuals. The Bullingdons all know, at any rate, that serious illnesses left to the free market tend to be a self-solving problem; after all, Britain's Head Boy has already said he's sorry, which is a far more economically sustainable way of dealing with the matter than paying out good money to keep people alive and sponging; and a minister for NHS privatisation has proclaimed, apparently with a straight face, that no amount of money could make up for the pain and distress of not having been deprived of compensation for thirty years. Nevertheless, the pretexts for the cuts make the usual brave effort to convince despite their terminal tiredness: a more accessible and equitable system of support, better value for the taxpayer, a less confusing system; just like all those other roaring successes from rail privatisation to the Health and Social Care Act. Whatever the new rules turn out to be, the Department of Doctor-dumping has proclaimed that the DWP will not be administering them; which presumably means the bleeder-bashing will be outsourced to the boot-boys at ATOS, who can incentivise the victims to sell their blood on the free market instead of sitting at home dripping all over the alarm clock.


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