Prospective Prime Minister Liz Truss is a Board member of an obscure pro-privatisation think tank that wants to scrap the National Health Service and replace it with an insurance-style system.
Truss, who is currently odds on to take over from Boris Johnson as Prime Minister in just a few weeks time, is listed as being on the Board of Parliamentary Supporters to 1828 – a little-known hard-right think tank.
1828 states that its mission is to “make the positive case for free markets, free speech and free people” and to “champion freedom and make the case for free markets and limited government”.
Truss sits on 1828’s Board of Parliamentary Supporters alongside fellow Tory MPs Crispin Blunt, Nusrat Ghani, Rachel Maclean, Julian Knight and Lee Rowley.
In addition, 1828’s Advisory Board includes a vast array of extreme hard-right figures, including climate sceptics such as Matt Ridley, who recently wrote an article for Spiked magazine declaring that climate change is actually a good thing.
And, in 2019, the founders of 1828, Jack Powell and Matt Gillow, co-authored “The Neoliberal Manifesto: a Freer and more prosperous Britain” – a document which slams the NHS’s record as “deplorable”.
The manifesto then goes on to call for the NHS to be abolished and replaced with an “social health insurance system” similar to that which currently exists in Switzerland, before adding:
“[Brits] must accept that sometimes even a country’s most cherished institutions [the NHS] have an expiration date“.
However, what the document fails to mention is that in Switzerland, every single citizen is legally mandated to pay for private health insurance, and those who can’t afford it are often forced to simply go without.
Moreover, the Swiss healthcare system has long been ranked as the second most expensive on the planet – second only to the United States – costing roughly $8,000 per citizen every year.
In 2020, Truss descibed the 1828 Think Tank as a “huge part of what’s happening on the right of politics, where a lot of new ideas are coming to fruition“, adding:
“There will always be a need to fight for the forces of freedom – and that’s exactly what 1828 exists to do.”
Truss is currently leading Rishi Sunak by sizeable margins in every Tory leadership poll – and, barring a miraculous late slip up, she will become Prime Minister on September 5th.