Pillar to Post by Craig Westcott
I want to thank Prince Harry.
His public tantrum been surprisingly entertaining and a sweet, but guilty diversion from the harsh realities of war in Ukraine, inflation, the collapse of the health care system, etcetera, etcetera.
It’s helped people like me realize something; that there’s an even bigger idiot walking around the planet than me. And what a consolation that is.
We’ve all made, okay most of us have made, terrible mistakes in life. We’ve failed to see things the way they really are because we’re too busy feeling sorry for ourselves, or nursing grievances, that in the big scheme of things don’t amount to anything really important. Worse, we’ve hurt others, especially people we care about and who care about us, because of some misperceived, or overblown slight.
To see it played out though on the international stage involving the most famous family in the world amounts to a real time, real life soap opera, complete with the commercials (for Netflix and Harry’s publisher). And that is the real hook of soap operas, isn’t it? To see in others, through overdramatic dialogue and preposterous plots, our own foibles.
What’s happening with the Royal family, though is real life.
Harry’s grievances against his family look self-centered, paranoid, and possibly delusional. But who among hasn’t been just as silly at some point? Lucky for us, our nitwittery isn’t the grist and chaff of the international press and social media mill.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the works of them, millionaires and billionaires though they are. Laughter aside, it’s disturbing to see a man of Harry’s age, now 38, to be walking around so broken and lost, living with all that blown-out-of proportion hurt playing out inside his head. And anyone who is a parent and has a heart can’t but feel sorry for Charles. It’s a terrible, lonely, despairing thing to be estranged from a child, especially one who is so obviously suffering and living in a cruel, self-imposed exile that you can’t find a way to fix.
Charles may not have been a Ward Cleaver, or Buffy and Jody’s Uncle Bill, but surely he wasn’t so bad a dad as to deserve this public pummeling from his son. Life can be tough. Nobody’s perfect. Cliches yes, but true.
One hopes Harry somehow manages to finally grow up and realize his silliness and seek forgiveness from his family. Like the Biblical parable of the prodigal son, a father will forgive just about anything, and I suspect Charles will too. I just hope Harry doesn’t leave it too late. It will be worse for him, much worse, if he doesn’t mature until after Charles is gone.
Our political columnist, Ivan Morgan delves into the problems of public health care in his column below.
More and more I am moving to the view that we need two systems in Canada, a private as well as a public one.
According to the statistics, we have more doctors and nurses employed in this country than ever before. And we’re spending more money on public healthcare than ever before. But the results are becoming less and less acceptable.
By contrast, if you look at the little bit of private health care that already exists here – eye clinics, dentists’ offices and skin care salons – they seem to run like Swiss watches. You don’t have to sit around for five or eight hours in a waiting room to see an optometrist.
I listen to the BBC everyday. Across the pond, the public health care system in Great Britain is in even worse shape than the one here in Canada. Emergency room waiting times are longer, ambulances are not available to take calls, nurses are constantly threatening to go on strike. One group of British doctors estimated recently that hundreds of people are dying each week because they can’t access health care in time.
Taxpayer-subsidized public health care is breaking down. It’s too big, costly and bureaucrat. There’s an old saying that the government couldn’t run a cathouse. That’s probably true. No, almost certainly true.
I was talking with a nurse this past weekend who told me that if someone vomits or sprays feces across the floor in a hospital room or bathroom, they are obligated to clean it up so that the housekeeping staff doesn’t have to. Does that make sense? It only makes sense because the housekeeping staff are members of NAPE and NAPE is more powerful than the nurses union. Just one example of how cocked up it gets when government is left to administer health care and some unions have too much clout.
If doctors, especially general practitioners, had to treat their patients like customers, and were depending on them directly to get paid, like they did before health care was taken over by government in the 1960s, there would be far fewer people without a family doctor. Waiting times would be a lot shorter. The local emergency room wouldn’t look like a zoo with the animals run amok.
Yes, private health care has its faults. But I’m no longer sure it is a worse alternative than public health care.