Gail's Gab: "We have to fight hard to keep a publicly owned healthcare system that searches for your pulse not your wallet."

I don't claim to be the brain of Britain but I think I can spot a pig in a poke idea when I hear it.

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It often amazes me how out of touch many politicians are with everyday reality. A big wig Lord was bumping his gums on BBC News on Monday suggesting we should all be paying more to fund the NHS.

We should all be paying a £10 per month 'membership' charge which would be collected alongside council tax. Apparently this guy used to be a health minister under Tony Blair's government.

Well I have news for the esteemed Lord. Hard-working people already pay an NHS membership fee. It's called income tax and national insurance.

We all know the health service is not perfect but it is a precious resource nonetheless. There will always be terrible stories about poor standards of care. They are unacceptable and should be addressed with more nursing and care staff and less managers and bean counters.

But when you consider the millions of treatments every single day performed by the NHS you realise the sad tales of poor care are the exceptions to the rule not the norm. We have to fight hard to keep a publicly owned healthcare system that searches for your pulse not your wallet when you are unfortunate enough to need care.

The Lord Warner guy says there is a funding black hole and that's why everyone should pay more in addition to income tax and national insurance. Well before we go down that road what about closing the unelected House of Lords and saving millions on expenses and allowances?

What about getting the big businesses like Starbucks and Amazon and others to actually pay the taxes they are supposed to on their massive profits?

And given the fact Scottish CND have a demonstration against Trident nuclear weapons in Glasgow's George Square at 11am this Saturday, what about scrapping these immoral weapons and spending more instead on employing more doctors, nurses and ancillary staff within the NHS?

The last time I attended a demonstration against Trident, I carried a small placard which read 'Hospitals Not Bombs'. If Lord Warner really wants to find more money for the NHS he should be supporting unilateral nuclear disarmament not suggesting more taxes for ordinary folks.

As our recently departed friend Tony Benn often said, 'If we have enough money to kill people we have enough money to help people'.

Mother's Day con

In the league of loving and supportive mothers, I am in the top division. My mother is not just my mother, she is also my best friend. I adore her and am so fortunate to see and talk with her nearly every day.

Maybe that's why I am for dumping the 'Mother's Day' con into the commercialised bin where it belongs. We are emotionally blackmailed by adverts to buy over-priced flowers, cards and other gifts when the truth is every day should be 'Mother's Day'.

And spare a thought for those who have lost their mums. It just becomes another painful reminder advertised for weeks that they must endure. Far better than a card or box of chocolates one day of the year would be a regular phone call, visit or letter to your mum. Hugging them and telling them how much you love them regularly is worth a million cards.

I'm for scrapping 'Mother's Day'. Instead try and contact your mum every day or at least every week. They are so precious but often we take them for granted. Don't. Appreciate them every day you can.

Health

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