Anaesthetist

Album: The Mindsweep (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Enter Shikari tackling what they see as the Conservative government's privatization of the free healthcare provided in the UK by the National Health Service. Speaking about the track, frontman Rou Reynolds said: "We seem to have reached a stage of such capitalistic fervor, that we believe it acceptable to punish people for ill health."

    "By charging for healthcare we act as if illness is nothing but one's own problem, but what is the purpose and advantage of 'civilization' if it is not helping the most vulnerable within society? The lottery of birth can offer us a wealth of bad luck when it comes to our health and the safety nets are being pulled in as the desire to boost profit overtakes the desire to help people."
  • Enter Shikari debuted the song live during their shows at the 2014 Reading and Leeds Festivals.
  • In 1938 the New Zealand Social Security Act provided a pioneering state medical service. Stimulated by its success the British economist and civil servant William Beveridge published his report proposing a full welfare state for Britain. The post war Labour government took heed of this and in 1948 they created a public funded healthcare system, the National Health Service as part of their new welfare state. The aim of the founders of the NHS was that the state should care for its citizens "from the cradle to the grave."

    By 2013 the NHS was employing 371,777 qualified nursing staff and 147,087 doctors. With an ever-expanding elderly population, many fear that without reform it is heading for a financial crisis. Some argue the privatization of the NHS is the answer, whilst others believe an additional taxation to raise funds would resolve the issue. As well as Enter Shikari, the topic is addressed by several other bands such as Maximo Park.
  • The protest song won Best Single at the 2015 Kerrang! Awards.

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