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Worth repeating


This was once St George's Hospital, entirely built and paid for by generous private individuals to be a public clinic and teaching hospital. The building was sold off by the NHS and is now the luxury Lanesborough Hotel in London.

Roger Scruton points out that almost the entire social order of Britain arose from private initiatives -

Schools, colleges and universities; municipalities, hospitals, theatres; festivals and even the army regiments, all tell the same story: some public-spirited amateur, raising funds, setting out principles, acquiring premises, and then bequeathing his [or her] achievement to trustees or to the Crown. . . It is the way of people who are at home, and who refuse to be bossed about by those whom they regard as outsiders. Their attitude to officialdom reflected their conviction that, if something needs doing, then the person to do it is you.

The vision and support of the individual Brits who built St George's created a place where Henry Gray, the anatomist, John Hunter, the father of modern surgery, Edward Jenner, who introduced vaccination for smallpox, and Thomas Spencer Wells, a pioneer in abdominal surgery, worked.

Did the British people get everything right? No. Is there a role for the government? Yes. Is it the role its prima donnas want you to pay for? We doubt it.

Under both Labour and Conservative governments the state has developed a gross appetite for devouring the good that was created and managed for centuries by British citizens. It wants them under its control. It has a ravenous need to dominate them. Because its need has nothing to do with love, and surprisingly little to do with common sense, it ruins what it touches, and people pay. . .

Willfully, carelessly, and meanly the state makes British people think they can do nothing by themselves, nothing without the state dictating, ordering, interfering, arresting, fining, and taxing. . .

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