Follow David on Twitter.
I was never going to enjoy the Olympics, being as it is a taxpayer funded circus; I am the original Olympic grinch, boring fellow Sixth Formers back in 2005 about the cost, the growing deficit, and of course taxes. Yet what I wasn't expecting was an Opening Ceremony that I still remember in utter disbelief, a social worker's history of Britain, one thousand years of history dumbed down into a leftist narrative - peasant ruritania swept away by top hatted industrialists and their satanic mills before being vanquished by pop music - with at the centre a paganistic fire ceremony, the Fire God's name ablaze across the ground: NHS. It was bizarre, wasn't it?
Of course, as befits a "national religion" that in those moments assumed national idol status, any criticism is deemed heretical. To comment that the NHS worship was inappropriate, that such a feature was left-wing and quasi-Soviet in character, to dare suggest that the NHS isn't the "envy of the world", is to invite and incite the angry mob, pitchforks and flaming Olympic torches in hand. To have anything but undying love for the NHS, anything but unqualified praise and admiration, is to be "unpatriotic" and "insulting to the NHS staff".
Now you could put this reaction down to the leftwards leanings of Twitter users, from whom I received that feedback, yet the disease of delusion seems to be nationwide and epidemic in scale. Earlier this year the Commonwealth Fund researched the healthcare systems of developed nations to create an empirical structure for international comparison, which is the sort of research we should pay attention to but don't, and the results were overwhelming; on every subjective measure, across the board, Britain's NHS annihilated the competition. Us Brits were the most satisfied, the most confident, the most whole heartedly content with our healthcare, anywhere in the world, bar none; indeed if the NHS were any more popular we'd be trying to marry it, at severe risk of teenage girls standing in screaming mobs outside A&E, and having chart music songs about it. Even the Prime Minister, a late convert to Twitter, recently tweeted #welovethenhs, and the next Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted "NHS, annual Christmas present to the UK. #thanks4NHS."