After the events at Manchester and Westminster, it seemed the majority of the focus, whilst naturally on those involved, also praised the actions of the NHS, with the emergency response teams’ efficiency amongst the most notable traits highlighted. Yet, one of the key debates during the recent election seemed to surround the service, with the two mainstream parties, and other influencers, seemingly possessing contrasting ideologies on its future. Amongst these is Stephen Hawking, and considering he has consistently vocalised his support for Labour, he seems to naturally have linked intrinsic values of the party to his speech, and thus may have ensured his words take precedence; in the current climate, this party seems to be striving to alter particular Government stances in order to create a more tolerant Britain, and therefore his support of the service may gain increased credibility as more people resonate with his declaration.
The NHS’s conception occurred in 1948, signalling the beginning of the plan to provide a service accessible to all, and provided for via national taxes. This seemed to be its overarching aim, yet with the inception during the aftermath of the allied victory a few years prior, it may have been challenging to implement the service. Yet, this seemed to be a challenge relished by those involved, and across the following decades further innovation seemed to be showcased in order to continue its accessibility, whilst ensuring it remained complimentary, and with the NHS currently amongst the most efficient health services in the world, and consistently ranking at a high level in a smorgasbord of aspects, it seems to have achieved its original goals.
As a recognised physicist, who has published a wide array of books which have played a substantial role in shaping public views on the creation of humanity, and on a broader spectrum space itself, Hawking may possess various traits enabling him to have a valid opinion on the NHS. Amongst these may be his understanding of treatments provided by the service, and as such may have been aiming to resonate with the population by drawing upon personal experiences. By vocalising the manner in which the doctors prolonged his capabilities, and ultimately his life, it may enable others to similarly link their experiences with the service, and considering his speech was also made publicly, perhaps in order to ensure his words might be received by a larger array of people, his speech gain increased significance.
Whilst Hawking’s status as an established scientist may have contributed to his already rapidly expanding influence, speeches from politicians may claim more relevance, with the views of these leaders underpinning their overall ideologies surrounding economic policy. Both the Conservative and Labour Party may be striving to showcase their parliamentary credentials in attaining support due to their opinions of the service, and this may pay dividends in their quests to consolidate their power; as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt represents the Tory Party, implementing a successful system, in which proficiency may be achieved, may cement both his and Theresa May’s position, whilst for the Labour Party achieving the same feat may enhance their quest for Number 10. As the necessity for NHS support seems to be intensifying due to both the funding predicament and doctors’ working hours, both parties’ involvement may lead to a wider breadth of people understanding, and forming an opinion on, the predicament, in turn leading to a more balanced and representative public response.
Whilst the debate itself may currently be ongoing, Hawking’s influence may ensure the continuation of the NHS’ tenure, which may also benefit Hawking himself, as in showcasing his desire to achieve societal equality, he may attain improved support for personal projects. Yet, with Jeremy Hunt utilising Twitter to showcase his capabilities as an influencer for the service, it seems both sides may be aiming to productively impact the situation, and in turn the public themselves. Therefore, whilst Hunt and Hawking seem to have contrasting opinions currently, they seem to be striving for the same goal, and with the service’s credentials seemingly proven via their response to Westminster and Manchester, showcasing unity may lead to these efforts becoming replicated by others.
How may Hawking’s involvement in the cause influence politicians to extend the NHS’ tenure?