The sale of NHS blood plasma services is another example of the cowardly state

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As Polly Toynbee has noted this morning:

The symbolism runs deep into the veins of the NHS. The government on Thursday sold off the NHS-owned company supplying safe blood plasma on which thousands depend. It was sold to a US private equity firm with a reputation for aggressive asset-stripping. Bain Capital owns Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts and much else. Its predatory history dogged Bain's founder, Mitt Romney, throughout the US election.

After contamination by brain disease variant CJD, sourcing plasma from UK donors was banned in 1999, so the NHS purchased its own supplier — PRUK — to regulate quality and safety itself. Campaigners fought to stop a sell-off to a profit-hungry business beyond NHS control. Alarming footnote: I rang the Department of Health press office to find out more, but instead of returning my call I was outsourced — I got a call from Bain's PR company instead.

Not only has an essential service been sold - without good reason - but even the justification for it has been sold.

Such is the nature of the cowardly state.

We need the courageous alternative.