Tens of thousands of Britons have marched in London demanding more money for the National Health Service, BBC reported. There is still no official estimate of how many people have marched, but organizers say at least 250,000 people took part.
The NHS is in crisis and protesters demand more funds and more medical staff. These are, quite possibly, the biggest and most important protests Britain has seen in years.
The President of the United States Donald Trump, however, seems to have completely misinterpreted them. Deliberately or not, one of President Trump’s latest tweets might show how misinformed about British politics he is or pretends to be.
One of Donald Trump’s biggest and most important campaign promises was the repeal of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), a somewhat controversial federal law intended to improve access to health insurance for U.S. citizens. Thereby, leaving his stance on medical care open to speculation.
While Donald Trump may not be the first American politician to criticize Obamacare, or rather the Democratic Party’s efforts related to health insurance, his criticism appears to have caused more controversy now more than ever. Donald Trump’s NHS tweet has been retweeted, commented upon and liked hundreds of thousands of times.
The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
The British “U system,” as President Trump puts it, might be “going broke,” but not because it is inherently flawed, but because the British Conservative party is ruining it, critics argue.
One of the most vocal critics is the British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn, in fact, responded to Trump’s tweet.
“Wrong. People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right.”
Wrong. People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right. https://t.co/Pmo2xYSqZh— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 5, 2018
Ideologically, Corbyn and Trump seem like polar opposites. Donald Trump is allegedly inconsistent, and while critics characterize the POTUS as a right-wing populist, many of his political viewpoints resemble those of a Democrat. Trump was a Republican, he was a Democrat, and he was an Independent. Pro-war and anti-war, flexible and inconsistent. Politico described his positions as “eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory.”
Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, is a democratic socialist. According to his profile, as published on BBC, he is anti-war and supports non-interventionism. Corbyn proposes re-nationalization of public utilities and the railways and has been an anti-war and anti-nuclear campaigner since his youth.
Initially a Eurosceptic, Corbyn has, in the BBC‘s words, been “accused of mounting a half-hearted campaign to keep Britain in the EU and of not appearing to care too much that his side had lost.”
Corbyn is not the only Labour Party politician to criticize Trump’s recent tweet. Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, did the same.
Labour will take no lessons from Donald Trump who wants to deny healthcare to millions in America with a system that checks your purse before it checks your pulse. pic.twitter.com/zEQCNpJkQJ— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) February 5, 2018
Is health care a human right? According to the World Health Organization, “the right to health is one of a set of internationally agreed human rights standards, and is inseparable or ‘indivisible’ from these other rights.”