A Sunday morning spent in Saint James Hospital ophthalmology unit was proving to be a somewhat eye opening experience (sorry!). My initial resistance proved futile as my inner voyeur took over and I listened in to the tales of woe from assorted idiots.
First up was a plasterer who had sealant in his eye “it happens all the time to plasterer’s but I’ll never wear goggles”. He’d struck up a rapport with a woman who had decided that the best thing to do for a bleeding eye was to get on a plane to Spain. She was incredulous that this had made her eye worse, but had decided against treatment and waited until she had returned home.
Eventually the conversation turned to the NHS, more specifically, the problems with funding the NHS. “Idiots like you two” I almost cried out. But no, it’s those immigrants you see! At this point I could stay silent no longer, much to the chagrin of my wife. “What about those immigrants that work in the NHS?” I queried. Well those types of immigrants are OK, but the rest cost us too much was the consensus. “Actually, the problem of health tourism is much exaggerated and isn’t really an issue at all. Do you actually think people will spend hundreds of pounds to travel here rather than just using that money for treatment in their own country?” Silence! I thought that the woman’s other eye was going to start bleeding.
After a sustained period of silence I began to feel a little smug. I’ve educated these people. I’ve overcome the red top propaganda. Alas, the pair of ignoramuses again lamented the cost of immigrants to the NHS, albeit in a much quieter fashion this time. I was not to be deterred. “Do you realise that immigrants are actually net tax contributors to the UK economy?” More silence until the calamity plasterer pipes up with “it wasn’t always that way”. “Wasn’t it? Do you have any evidence to back that statement up?” More silence until the Manuel of the plastering world was called in to see the doctor.
He left grinning 15 minutes later, giving the thumbs up that stating that his eye was “alright”. The doctor who had saved his eye sight was an immigrant, an irony that I suspect was lost on our hapless white van man.
The entire morning left me somewhat depressed. I had long suspected that the majority of the British public were idiots, now I had some confirmation of that. This is why I fear that we will Brexit. It is far easier for an idiot to blame a foreigner for all their woes, rather than look at their own stupidity. None so blind as those that won’t see.