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NHS Fighting Imaginary Bogeymen In 2080

April 13, 2020

By Paul Homewood

When the dust has finally settled, all countries will have to take a hard look at how the coronavirus has been tackled.

At home, one target will inevitably be the Public Health England quango, set up in 2013 to replace another quango. As Dan Hannan pointed out in last weeks Telegraph:

So much for the idea that reforming the quango state was a side issue or distraction. In a crisis, the inertia of our executive agencies can become lethal. Consider Public Health England (PHE). In theory, that vast bureaucracy exists for precisely such an emergency as the present one. It has more than 200 executives on six-figure salaries, some of them earning more than the Prime Minister. For years, its busybody officials have hectored us about pizza and fizzy drinks. Yet the moment a real public health threat comes along, they prove useless.

In fact this bureaucratic inertia is arguably worse then he suggests. All the way across our medical establishment, time and money has been wasted fighting climate change instead of the real enemy out there.

We can maybe start with PHE’s predecessor, the Health Protection Agency, which published the 242 page long Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012 report. It was full of the usual scare stories about extreme weather, new diseases, air pollution and the rest, all based on a nonsensical 5C warming by 2080. However it did admit that more people die from cold, and that in a warmer climate more lives would be saved than lost.

Needless to say, PHE accepted the report lock, stock and barrel, which still stands as its official policy.

The NHS itself has, of course, been obsessed with climate change for a long time. Back in 2009, for instance, it wholeheartedly endorsed a Lancet report, “Managing the health effects of climate change”, which talked about food shortages, heat waves and increased threat of tropical diseases such as malaria.

As we have subsequently discovered, subsequent similar Lancet reports on climate change have been highly politicised, largely based on highly questionable assumptions, omission of inconvenient facts and outright errors.

Both the NHS and PHE jointly fund something called the Sustainable Development Unit. Its vision is:

A sustainable health and care system that works within the available environmental and social resources protecting and improving health now and for future generations. This means working to reduce carbon emissions, minimising waste & pollution, making the best use of scarce resources, building resilience to a changing climate and nurturing community strengths and assets.’

Well, it would, wouldn’t it!

Back in 2009, it announced a Carbon Reduction Strategy for the NHS:

The NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England (CRS) sets an ambition for the NHS to help drive change towards a low carbon society. The strategy shows the scale of reduction in carbon required for the NHS to meet its legal targets set out in the Climate Change Act. It also recommends key actions for the NHS to become a leading sustainable and low carbon organisation.
Keeping track of the NHS carbon footprint indicates how the NHS is progressing in reducing emissions. The SDU regularly updates the NHS carbon footprint to see how we are doing. A list of documents demonstrating progress and giving guidance on how to improve sustainability and reduce carbon can be found on our
NHS Carbon Footprint page.

The Strategy has since been updated, and the NHS are currently working to the 2014-20 Plan:

The Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health, Public Health and Social Care System 2014-2020 (gateway No 01011) was launched in January 2014. It describes the vision for a sustainable health and care system by reducing carbon emissions, protecting natural resources, preparing communities for extreme weather events and promoting healthy lifestyles and environments. 


It is not only the bureaucrats who have a warped sense of priorities. The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change was formed in 2016, bringing together doctors, nurses and other health professionals to advocate for responses to climate change that protect and promote public health. According to them:

The climate emergency is a health emergency, and through the #GreenerNHS campaign NHS England acknowledges this.

The NHS, which currently accounts for around 5% of total UK carbon emissions, has committed to achieving ‘net-zero’ as soon as possible. This year a target date will be announced, alongside a plan for how to get there. To support this world-leading commitment to ending the health sector’s contribution to climate change, a ‘call for evidence’ has been launched.

The doctors’ trade union, the BMA, is a founding member of the Alliance. It still absurdly claims that “climate change pose significant threats to public health”, and continues to use its lobbying power to pressurise the NHS into carbon reductions. Inevitably this results in huge amounts of money being wasted.

The World Health Organisation has many questions to answer about its role in covering up the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China. But according to them “Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.

Naturally, like all bureaucratic heavy organisations, they have a STRATEGY!


We must also not forget that higher energy costs imposed by the Climate Change Act costs the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds every year, money which could be used for medical purposes.


And talking of the NHS, it may seem incredible today, but on Jan 25th this year, just at the time when COVID-19 was spreading around the world, the NHS Chief was announcing plans to “step up action to tackle the climate health emergency”:



You really could not make it up!

Perhaps instead of wasting money fighting imaginary bogeymen in sixty years time, the medical establishment might have concentrated on today’s very real enemies.

  1. Simon Kelly permalink
    April 13, 2020 11:59 am

    I once did some consulting at a northern city council. The waste, idleness, unaccountability and misguided priorities that I encountered was truly frightening. As a taxpayer, I could have easily got very angry at what I saw.

    Unfortunately, I fear that the culture of adding more and more overpaid state officials to protect us from ourselves and imaginary problems will only get worse after this CCP Virus fiasco.

    • April 13, 2020 12:22 pm

      You’re absolutely right Simon. These people live in a different world, overpaid yet usually with no relevant qualifications. When was a minister ever required to have any real knowledge of his portfolio? They have no experience of, and regularly deny, the adverse health effects of windfarms so they continue to build them in order to protect us from the health effects of climate change. The former are real and proven for humans and animals, the latter are imaginary.

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 13, 2020 2:22 pm

      “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” ― Ronald Reagan

      • April 14, 2020 2:32 pm

        Mr. Reagan also said, “If a member of the government comes to you and says, “I am from the Government to help you, turn tail and run like hell”.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      April 13, 2020 2:59 pm

      It’s not just the UK – in South Africa, we have a saying: “In the Civil Service, a job is something you HAVE – not something you DO!”.

  2. bobn permalink
    April 13, 2020 12:12 pm

    At least Covid 19 has ensured the ‘climate assembly uk’ is not meeting up to plan the further destruction of livelihoods and the economy. A silver lining!

    • JimW permalink
      April 13, 2020 12:26 pm

      Doesn’t need to, its already been done.

  3. JimW permalink
    April 13, 2020 12:25 pm

    Its very clear to anyone with half a brain that is willing to use it that Germany’s devolved health service, with local accountability is proving to be several times more effective than a centralised system.
    The covid-19 so-called pandemic is localised, it appears as hot spots in certain areas and leaves others relatively untouched. Germany’s localised system allows resources to be brought to bear quickly where its required. In the UK , both government and the NHS are approaching it as if its the same everywhere and trying to apply national solutions to local problems. It is far less effective or efficient.
    The NHS should be renamed the National Covid Service, because other life threatening illnesses are being ignored and patients left to hang. Its a disgrace.
    Yet if I post such comments in say the Times I am haranged from dawn to dusk as an idiot, etc etc.
    I have some sympathy with people, who are subject to relentless propoganda.
    But to run the whole country to manage the rate of flesh going through the NHS machine is insane.

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      April 13, 2020 12:38 pm

      Good Heavens Jim, you are talking about a sacred cow, that is the envy of the world man.

      I have said on many occasions in the last few years, that I would willingly live my life over again – fantastic parents, a wife out of the top grade, and great kids and grandkids.

      If I was offered to live the next 80 years – no thank you. I just worry for my family.

  4. richardw permalink
    April 13, 2020 12:27 pm

    My impression is that all quangos have a similarly zealotous mindset that has little to do with their core function. This is a real danger to democracy in our country, as their activities are largely outside democratic and parliamentary control.

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      April 13, 2020 12:45 pm

      Agenda 21 and Common Purpose – what is known as the Deep State.

      The EU with its unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats was meant to be a dry run for the globalists to do the same through the UN.

      Many current events including the way the Pandemic has been driven as well climate hysteria are all part of the same movement. It has been in train 50 years – it is a long game.

      The only question is how many current politicians are useful idiots, or part of the movement.

      Good luck out there.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        April 13, 2020 1:50 pm

        “The only question is how many current politicians are useful idiots, or part of the movement”

        I note that Sir John Redwood is questioning the lockdown policy:

        A glimmer of hope?

      • Steve permalink
        April 13, 2020 8:09 pm

        Redwood allows reference to Common Purpose on his blog. He’s s good’un and that’s why they ignore him. You can bet that few of the political doctors will not be wearing inadequate masks and suits doing their best to save the herd.

    • April 14, 2020 2:37 pm

      Wonderful comment richardw, we could certaily dump at least 50% of all so called “civil servants, like locusts they will rape a field clean in minutes.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 13, 2020 1:07 pm

    The climate change movement is the real virus in society that we need to disinfect.

  6. ianprsy permalink
    April 13, 2020 1:23 pm

    The news on COVID-19 includes breathless reports on things like PPE, quoting enormous numbers. I’m wondering when the consequences of the massive increase in procurement and use of such materiel on disposal systems will dawn on the authorities, not to mention the carbon footprint thereof.

  7. JANET BRADY permalink
    April 13, 2020 1:26 pm

    Green party, green on ouside scarlet red on inside!!

    • tom0mason permalink
      April 14, 2020 3:27 pm

      I would venture to say they are not scarlet red but more blood red on the inside, infected as they are with the Fabian mentality of an ordered world of over-sized governments, with state run euthanasia, abortion, and many forms of so called ‘mercy killing’.
      In their world humans are apart from nature and not as part of nature.

    • John Cullen permalink
      April 14, 2020 6:36 pm

      Hello Janet,
      Many commentators note the similarity between the policies promoted, on the one hand, in the name of ‘climate justice’ and/or ‘fighting climate change’ and, on the other hand, in the name of socialism. For example, the right-wing journalist and blogger James Delingpole has authored a book entitled ‘Watermelons’ [Ref .1] under the thesis that many climate-related policies are green on the outside but, under the surface, are socialist red.

      I believe, however, that the association of green and red in this context is somewhat superficial since it fails to include the capitalist rent-seekers [Note 1] whose expensive and unsustainable renewable technologies [Ref. 2] are at the heart of the green offering. This green-capitalist alliance is perhaps better characterised as being a variant of corporatism which I term corporate climatism.

      Corporatism [defined in e.g. Ref. 4], which comes in many variants, is the policy of managing an organisation, for example, a country such that various interest groups having a common interest are brought together to devise policy/legislation. In the case of a state all interest groups need to be adequately represented if the policy outcomes are to be equitable. If, however, significant stake holders are excluded then the policy outcome is likely to be inequitable.

      In the case of corporate climatism it seems that, depending upon the country in question, various key stake holders such as domestic, commercial and industrial energy consumers have been excluded from policy making because the governmental process has been captured by lobbying in favour of the green and rent-seeking interests. Various arguments have been advanced to justify the favouritism shown to the green-capitalist alliance. For example, post-normal science [Ref. 5] has been used to claim that climate action is existentially urgent and that, besides, “the science is settled”, as trumpeted by gold standard, world-renowned, peer-reviewed experts. Unfortunately, however, the arguments deployed by the alarmists often amount to little more than ad hominem attacks on their opponents which, to me, suggest weaknesses rather than strengths in the rent-seekers’ arguments.

      1. Rent-seeking points to the capture of the governmental process [Note 2] through secretive lobbying [Ref. 3] and thus highlights a weakness in society’s democratic framework that will need to be addressed as part of the repair and healing process.
      2. It seems that much of the mainstream media in the West has also been captured in this process – but that is another story.

      1. J. Delingpole, ‘Watermelons’, Publius Books, 2011 / Biteback Publishing, 2012.
      3. T. Cave and A. Rowell, ‘A Quiet Word – lobbying, crony capitalism and broken politics in Britain’, Vintage, 2015.
      5. Mike Hulme, ‘Why We Disagree About Climate Change’, Cambridge, 2009, especially pages 78 – 79 and 340 – 341.


  8. Ariane permalink
    April 13, 2020 1:29 pm

    Quangos are supremely anti-democratic. They are like little UN institutions whose staff earn huge salaries, with enormous prestige, resources to use for publicising issues in ways they want (brainwashing the public) and no accountability whatsoever. The Climate Change Committee is another example.

    • April 14, 2020 2:42 pm

      Very good critique of quangos, totally useless as shown by the example of PPE!

  9. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 13, 2020 2:09 pm

    A week or so ago I wrote to the DT complaining of the fact that no-one seems to blame the NHS Execs for poorly planning the management of this pandemic, but that the PM and Health Sec are always targeted. They didn’t print that letter but, hey-ho, maybe I was not alone, for in today’s edition, this:

    “SIR – How come if anything goes wrong with the NHS it is the Government’s fault?

    For years the NHS has had delegated procurement authority, and established massive, highly paid procurement teams. Is it not the responsibility of these teams to have contingency plans in place when there are shortages of key materials, such as personal protective equipment?

    Michael Willis

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 14, 2020 1:55 pm

      I’m working up the courage, in the midst of all the NHS worship, to point out to the DT or the Tines that COVID deaths are still only around the level of deaths the NHS causes each year.

  10. April 13, 2020 4:51 pm

    These interwoven quangos, committees, agencies, departments and organisations just grow and grow like the weed convolvulus. The entire system is in urgent need of reform but I fear it is going to be a long wait until we get a government with good sense and foresight which actually works for the people who elect it.

  11. john cooknell permalink
    April 13, 2020 8:35 pm

    No we have a health emergency we can see what Clinical Commissioning Groups do, absolutely nothing!

  12. john cooknell permalink
    April 13, 2020 9:26 pm

    This is not unprecedented. The last time this happened in 1918 the same protocols were followed, pubs, schools, offices, factories, places of worship, meeting houses all shut.

    The 2nd wave of the virus killed more than the first, by the time the 3rd wave got going herd immunity had developed so it disappeared.

    200,000 people in UK died.

  13. Mack permalink
    April 13, 2020 11:19 pm

    A couple of points to add to the enlightened comments above.

    First off, I can’t remember where the following quote originated, but the saying, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’, is normally a cue for any sentient human being to run a mile in the opposite direction of the orator, either at the peril of having one’s wallet dipped or life shortened.

    In a similar vein, any politician in the modern era who claims, with great authority, that they are merely following the ‘science’ or the ‘advice of the experts’, is clearly no student of, even, very recent history. It seems that the current UK government didn’t even google the name of a certain Professor Ferguson from Imperial College before slavishly following his team’s advice based on modelled figures. A professor who, apparently, has a bit of form for the imprecision of his modelling. Mad cows and millions of healthy executed livestock come to mind. If the government had, indeed, been aware of his previous ‘form’ one wonders what bright spark within the regime recommended crashing the economy to deal with, what looks like, in bald numerical fatality terns, a bad flu season. Just as well we’re not relying on figures generated by such experts to protect ourselves from man made global warming otherwise we’d all definitely be doomed. Oh, hang on a minute…

  14. tom0mason permalink
    April 14, 2020 3:55 pm

    And once again that foolish idea shows itself — sustaining or sustainability. Can we all afford to keep the NHS going at the rate it consumes the national wealth today?
    Is it about time some rational thinking were put into this enterprise.
    Why should the you or I have to pay for someone to have tattoos removed? Why should you or I pay for what is nothing more than cosmetic surgery, or when such procedure go wrong? Why should you or I pay for the gender reassignment? Should the NHS be providing abortion facilities? Can not and should not these procedure be done by private means only?

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