Monday, October 29, 2007

A British Take on Moore's Take on British Health

We pretty consistently ignore media mogul Michael Moore, since life is too short to waste time on political propaganda for profit. But our SWNIDish eye was drawn to the London Times column by one Minette Marin roundly criticizing Moore's Sicko for its hugely distorted, falsely positive take on the British National Health Service.

Marin details the various failures of the NHS, most of them failures that are worsening with time, which go unmentioned in Moore's latest film. Then she ends with this:

By ignoring these problems, and similar ones in France’s even more generous and expensive health service, Moore is lying about the answer to that question. I wonder whether the grotesquely fat film-maker is aware of the delicious irony that in our state-run system, the government and the NHS have been having serious public discussion about the necessity of refusing to treat people who are extremely obese.

One can only wonder why Sicko is so dishonestly biased. It must be partly down to Moore’s personal vainglory; he has cast himself as a high priest of righteous indignation, the people’s prophet, and he has an almost religious following. He’s a sort of docu-evangelist, dressed like a parody of the American man of the people, with jutting jaw, infantile questions and aggressively aligned baseball cap.

However, behind the pleasures of righteous indignation for him and his audience, there is something more sinister. There’s money in indignation, big money. It is just one of the many extreme sensations that are lucrative for journalists to whip up, along with prurience, disgust and envy. Michael Moore is not Mr Valiant-for-truth. He is Mr Worldly-wiseman, laughing behind his hand at all the gawping suckers in Vanity Fair. Don’t go to his show.


PS/SWIND said...

I liked Moore's first movie. But you can tell with each one that has been made after he was "discovered" that he is more about indoctrination than investigation. It's sad, because I would really like to see something that displays a balanced pro/con look at state sponsored vs. private health systems.

Bryan D said...

Nice. I like the Bunyan reference, although I think the author would have been better served to reference "Then, fancies, fly away/ He'll fear not what men say."

You might want to check out this blog entry where I detail a very specific and tragic example of the failure of British NHS. From what I've observed it has probably gone down hill since you were here. Here's a url if you care to read.


Anonymous said...

We have our problems in US healthcare, but I can tell you that government ain't the solution.

Chris said...

I recently read a column in the New Yorker that stated, nationalized healthcare wouldn't be so bad. It would be just like and expansion of Medicare and the (I am not joking) VA system. And who wouldn't want that?

Basically, we currently have a two tiered system. (The poor have medicaid, and county hospitals) What those pushing national healthcare want is to put all of us on the lower tier.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

In my experience there are not in the whole world two institutions more similar than British NHS hospitals and American VA hospitals.

Chris said...

That right there is reason enough NOT to emulate the British System.