The Lost Boys
The situation facing Europe's old and young illustrate the difficulties of a welfare state in collapse. First the old. Britain's establishment has been wracked not only by the pedophilia scandal at the BBC but by scandalous performance of the the National Health Service. The NHS, which its creators boasted would be the 'envy of the world', has been found to have been responsible for up to 40,000 preventable deaths under the helm of Sir David Nicholson, a former member of the Communist Party of Britain. "He was no ordinary revolutionary. He was on the hardline, so-called ‘Tankie’ wing of the party which backed the Kremlin using military action to crush dissident uprisings" -- before he acquired a taste for young wives, first class travel and honors.
The stories of the pathetic deaths of the elderly under his care -- 1,200 in one hospital alone -- have scandalized the British public, especially when it emerged he spent 15 million pounds in taxpayer money to gag and prosecute whistleblowers -- often doctors and administrators who could not stomach his policies.
The public money spent on stopping NHS staff from speaking out is almost equivalent to the salaries of around 750 nurses.
The figures were revealed after a two year battle by Conservative MP Steve Barclay, who eventually obtained them after tabling a number of Parliamentary Questions.
The figures show a total of £14.7m of taxpayers’ money was spent on almost 600 compromise agreements, most of which included gagging clauses to silence whistleblowers.
In reality it is the NHS, not James Bond, who has the real government license to kill. Cruelty to the old has become the new normal. It is now as acceptable as that other once unthinkable thing: infanticide. Now it is nothing, just move along. The highest priority of the system is to keep up appearances.
When incompetent doctors amputate limbs unnecessarily or kill patients in horrifying numbers the critics are simply silenced and the Doctor Deaths left to practice their trade -- to this day -- unmolested. The taxpayer pays for his own noose.
Yet even after the damning reports described a mayhem that would put a major Great War battle to shame, the British political establishment, including the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the Labor party continued to support "Sir" David, presumably because he knew where the bodies were buried, both figuratively and literally. Sir David Nicholson is unconcerned; he's not even remorseful. Both the Guardian and the Telegraph -- on opposite sides of the political spectrum -- registered their disgust. But it is to no avail: the former Communist who boasts of his "passion" for the job will Bury You.
The European Youth will remain outside the Death Pathways for some time yet. But they will spend the time waiting for their turn at affordable, caring and passionate medicine in poverty and hopelessness. With the exception of Germany youth unemployment in Europe is over 20%. "A full 62% of young Greeks are out of work, 55% of young Spaniards don’t have jobs, and 38.7% of young Italians aren’t employed."
A whole generation is finished. Like their counterparts a hundred years ago, the European young are being sent to their professional death in millions. The carnage at both ends of the age spectrum -- with the old being killed off and the young's professional lives essentially buried -- is a sign that the welfare state, the future on offer to "Julia" and Sandra Fluke, is now an empty box.
The guys who voted for Hope and Change voted for nothing. The cupboard is bare. Everything that is left in the dying system is being spent to provide a luxurious lifestyle for people like Sir David Nicholson.
It's broke. Bust. Finished. It's not true, as Mayor Bloomberg confidently says that government, unlike ordinary people, doesn't have to pay their debts.
“We are spending money we don’t have,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “It’s not like your household. In your household, people are saying, ‘Oh, you can’t spend money you don’t have.’ That is true for your household because nobody is going to lend you an infinite amount of money. When it comes to the United States federal government, people do seem willing to lend us an infinite amount of money. … Our debt is so big and so many people own it that it’s preposterous to think that they would stop selling us more. It’s the old story: If you owe the bank $50,000, you got a problem. If you owe the bank $50 million, they got a problem. And that’s a problem for the lenders. They can’t stop lending us more money.”
It's not true any more than it was true that machine gun bullets wouldn't kill you at the Somme if you went over the top kicking a soccer ball, as some did.
And who is the they who can't stop lending Bloomberg's government money? Is it the guys who make food, coal, iron, goods, services or stand watch on a wall in exchange for printed paper with Lew's signature on it? Why do they have to keep doing it? Because Bloomberg can't believe they'll stop; because that's the way its always been in the past? The establishment genuinely thinks the music will keep playing. And they won't believe it will stop until it actually does.
The current elite has abused, as very few elites have abused in the past, the power of trust. They've taken legitimacy built by generations of competence and used it to paper over mediocrity and madness. The trust they had to squander was immense; and they squandered it.
When the crash happens the disillusionment will be tremendous. It won't be the kind of disillusion that loses elections or topples a government. It will the kind of disgust that pulls down a civilization. The kind that pulls Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Obama's world down so low it will be a hundred years before the survivors can even reflect on it objectively. F. Scott Fitzgerald in Tender is the Night understood the immensity of the tragedy in terms of his own era. The leaders of his world had squandered more than the lives of a generation. They had destroyed love, truth, faith and home.
This land here cost twenty lives a foot that summer.
See that little stream — we could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk to it — a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind. And another empire walked very slowly backward a few inches a day, leaving the dead like a million bloody rugs. No Europeans will ever do that again in this generation.
This western-front business couldn’t be done again, not for a long time. The young men think they could do it but they couldn’t. They could fight the first Marne again but not this. This took religion and years of plenty and tremendous sureties and the exact relation that existed between the classes. The Russians and Italians weren’t any good on this front. You had to have a whole-souled sentimental equipment going back further than you could remember. You had to remember Christmas, and postcards of the Crown Prince and his fiancée, and little cafés in Valence and beer gardens in Unter den Linden and weddings at the mairie, and going to the Derby, and your grandfather’s whiskers.
Neither Bloomberg nor Obama will ever understand how much they squandered -- and for so little.