To deepest Norfolk today for a prison visit, and a reminder of how wondrous are capitalism and free markets. My (“ehem”) acquaintance was transferred to HMP Turnip a couple of weeks ago, so I was curious about the regime.
Me: What’s the food like?
Him: Absolute sh*t. Lunch today was two slices of bread and a bit of spam.
Me: Not even butter?
Him: Haven’t seen any since I got here.
Me: Can you buy extra food?
Him: You can make a grocery order, but I’m only allowed to spend 15 quid a week, so if I buy food I can’t make any phone calls. I did order a tin of sardines last week though when I got too hungry.
Me: It must have felt like a feast.
Him: Dunno, it’s not here yet. I was told it might be here on Friday.
That’s government provision. Even when free markets provide all the tins of sardines we can handle, it still takes almost two weeks for the state to deliver. Well that’s also how the NHS operates. Twenty minutes after driving away from the nick I passed a Sainsburys. I could have had dozens of tins of sardines in a minute, but that’s the market in operation.
Instead of allowing such markets to flourish in health care, and thus provide us with a cornucopia of afforable treatments, we stick to being fed crappy health care by prison guards in white coats … eventually.