Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:27 AM
[NOTE: Efforts to implement healthcare reform in my mother country of the Turks and Caicos Islands have become so contentious that they make similar efforts in the US seem positively harmonious. Today's commentary is a follow-up to Monday's, in which I called for a national boycott of a new National Health Insurance Plan (NHIP) as a means of forcing our British caretaker government to redress flaws in it that pose unconscionable and unsustainable burdens on local residents.]
I understand that Douglas Parnell, the newly elected leader of the PDM, is still pleading for a referendum to resolve the burgeoning crisis over the NHIP. I respect his initiative; but I’m afraid it is hopelessly misguided.
First of all, through press releases as well as numerous acts of commission (and omission), our British caretakers (the FCO) and Interhealth Canada have already made it painfully clear that they intend to implement this NHIP … public opinion be damned!
Perhaps our friends who initiated online petitions to help resolve this crisis can explain to Mr Parnell how little public opinion matters to these folks.
Then, alas, there’s his logical fallacy of decrying the British for running a Cuban-style dictatorship on the one hand, whilst crying for them to hold a referendum to further his political initiative on the other. Indeed, you’d think Mr Parnell would be instructed by the fact that the Castro brothers have never held a single referendum against their declared interests during their 50-year rule.
Though, to be fair, his logical fallacy is actually surpassed by that being exhibited by Interhealth Canada. For its managers seem to think that the best way to foster corporate good will in TCI is to act as if they’ve been contracted to build an Iranian-style nuclear reactor instead of a Canadian-style healthcare system.
Frankly, given all of the above, it seems elementary that the national boycott I called for on Monday offers the only hope we have of forcing the FCO and Interhealth Canada to show any regard for our concerns.
And there is a way that Mr Parnell and others – who are vying for the reins of power when the term of this Interim Government ends – can help: They can encourage local employers to appreciate that their long-term commercial and patriotic interests would be far better served by helping us execute this boycott (as delineated in my original commentary on Monday) than by doing the corporate bidding of Interhealth Canada.
That said, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that some TCIslanders actually support the implementation of this NHIP. In fact, it is well documented that a few have a pecuniary interest in seeing it done.
I understand that Robert Hall, the new (putative) leader of the PNP, is the most notable supporter. But I do not see how impugning the character and patriotism of those who do not support this NHIP advances his cause.
For example, I am reliably informed that Mr Hall used his radio programme on Monday to challenge my call for this boycott. And I gather that the essence of fulminations can be summed up as follows: Anthony should go fly a kite because he’s no real TCIslander and has no business even commenting on the NHIP.
Accordingly, I shall suffice only to note that Mr Hall seems to think the best way to emulate Michael Misick as premier is by parroting his political rhetoric, including his antic diatribes about the birthright of TCIslanders, like me, who do not reside in the TCI.
But considering where that provincial he’s-not-one-of-us nonsense got our former (disgraced and soon to be indicted) premier, Mr Hall would be wise to change his campaign strategy.
In the meantime, I think he would serve his listeners far better by commenting on the things I say instead of propagating ignorant and unsustainable claims about my right to say them.
With that, I appeal to all of our political, economic, social and religious leaders of good faith to help us mobilize this boycott based on the categorical imperative that together we shall stand, but divided we shall surely fall.
A boycott to reform health care in TCI