I'm conscious that some of the people reading this seem to be from from America. It surprises me you'd be interested but you're very welcome. This weeks Panorama TV programme about poverty in America made me think how fortunate we are here.
I'm conscious there's a big health care and welfare debate over there and I'd just like to make the point that I'm not against the NHS generally - my son would never have survived without it, beyond a baby. Health and social services here, in the main, work. The issues I raise in this blog are about the failings any system will have - particularly big systems - and getting them put right. Many of these deficiencies are a result of current policies to move closer to the privatized, American model.
I'm a major backer of the NHS and social services and want it improved not cut back. Under a privatized system, even if my son had survived (unlikely), we would have been bankrupt long ago, and I wouldn't be able to afford a computer or internet access, so wouldn't be speaking here.
Health and welfare in Britain are a bit like the BBC. They do get things wrong but we'd be lost without them. If the 'Big Society' means anything at all, it's already here with everyone (almost) committed to making sure everyone has a decent chance in life - the NHS and social services are a major part of this.