Delingpole: No, I Won’t Clap ‘Our NHS’

People walk past graffiti street art, praising the workers of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) and other Key workers, in Sheffield, northern England on May 14, 2020, following an easing of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week eased stay-at-home measures in England, recommending …
Getty Images

Though I’m never exactly sure what I’m going to be doing at 8pm on a Thursday evening – Drinking gin? Rolling a cigarette? Looking for owls or bats or swallows? – there’s one thing I know for certain that I shan’t be doing.

Every Thursday evening, without fail, for the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic, I have very carefully avoided participating in the deranged, sinister and near-compulsory practice of standing outside my house and clapping ‘Our NHS’.

I say ‘near-compulsory’ because I know that in towns and cities entire streets come out for their ritual applause, like clockwork, every Thursday night. Neighbours quickly notice if you don’t participate. It marks you down as a dangerous ingrate who deserves to be shunned. The fact that you don’t care about the NHS or the heroism of its workers means you really don’t deserve to be treated by the NHS should you ever fall ill, as you thoroughly deserve to do for being such an ungrateful bastard.

While I am full of respect for those doctors and nurses who are working hard and sometimes risking their lives by exposing themselves to the powerful viral load which could trigger a particularly bad bout of Covid-19, I still don’t think people should be clapped for doing their job – especially in a climate like the one now where even to have a job is a privilege rather cause for special sympathy.

Even less so do I believe that any applause should be directed towards the useless bureaucrats who suck up so much of the healthcare budget. Most of the National Health Service is a giant, sclerotic, wasteful bureaucracy and I’m certainly not going to clap that.

There are two main reasons, though, why I’m not going to join in the ritual applause for the NHS.

The first is this one:

That, in case you can’t read it, is a recruitment ad for one of the thousands of non-jobs in the NHS the taxpayer has to support.

In this case, a hospital in North East England is offering a salary of up to £44,000 a year, plus benefits, for an ‘exciting new post’ designed to ‘fully integrate sustainability’ into a Newcastle hospital and ‘fast-track the delivery of low-carbon sustainable healthcare services.’

Not a single life will be saved as a result of this non-job. Not a single health outcome improved. Yet still, whether we like it or not, British taxpayers are forced to pay for this nonsense. The system urgently needs reform, not unquestioning adoration.

And the second reason is that I am not subject to the Chinese or North Korean regimes.

Having everyone clap the NHS puts this creaky, socialistic healthcare system on a pedestal not dissimilar to the one occupied by Communist dictators like Kim Jong Un or President Xi of China. This puts it beyond criticism, and therefore any reasonable hope of improvement. This is a bad thing.

More worryingly, this outbreak of clapping appears to be a direct copy of a practice initially instituted in Wuhan, China.

Here is an example of state-coerced clapping, dancing and rooftop chants in China.

Here we are copying it in the UK

It is not British. Ritual, compulsory applause is what Commie regimes from Stalin’s Soviet Union to Castro’s Cuba to Xi’s China do.

In the free West, we are better than this.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.