Gerry Adams’ ‘health tourism’ raises more questions than it answers…

4 views

So Gerry Adams is getting to that stage of life where health becomes an issue. Early sixties can be a tough time for men, and in the last few months, he’s had two minor procedures. What makes both news is that neither of them were conducted in the Republic, and they raise more questions than answers.

For instance, as Fiach Kelly reports:

The party says Mr Adams, who insists he only takes home the average industrial wage of €33,000, paid for the procedure out of his own pocket. A spokesman said Mr Adams had been advised the procedure was best carried out in New York. When asked if the procedure could not be carried out by the HSE or the National Health Service (NHS) in the North, a spokesman for Mr Adams said: “That’s a matter for Gerry and not for me.”

Now this happened in the summertime, several months before Mr Adams went north to get a procedure on his eyes (which led later to some risible remarks in another place). Mr Adams took the trouble to clarify the matter of whether he could (as a resident of the Republic) avail of NHS treatment in a couple of questions to the Dail:

694. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if patients making E112 applications are being refused due to a lack of funds to pay for treatment abroad.

695. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if he will instruct the Health Service Executive treatment abroad scheme office to accept statements from consultants in hospitals here that state clearly that an applicants required treatment is not available here. [52828/12]

The Minister’s answer was pretty unequivocal:

Applications to the scheme are only accepted on the basis of referral from an Irish based consultant and not self referrals, referral from a G.P. or by way of a consultant/hospital outside the state requesting the return of a patient. Patients must be clinically assessed prior to referral and application to the HSE TAS for treatment abroad. [Emphasis added]

So, we might then presume that if Mr Adams was able to access NHS treatment through a GP referral the GP in question must have been in the north, which would suggest that either Mr Adams is still domiciled in Northern Ireland, or the waiting list for his eye condition is over 18 months old.

It’s not something neither Mr Adams or the party seems keen to talk about.

Which brings us back to his laser surgery for a prostate problem in New York. Any patient in Louth would end up being referred for a procedure in either the Beaumont or Mater Hospitals in Dublin. It’s not clear what the waiting time is, but in Northern Ireland there is effectively no waiting list.

What we’re told is that Friends of Sinn Fein in the US paid for his trip to New York (they cannot send money ‘home’ in any case), on party business they say. That he had the procedure and paid for it out of his own pocket. And that he stayed with friends in Manhattan for the length of his recovery.

It ought to be noted that prostate conditions are as common and serious a concern in men’s health as breast cancer is amongst women. But the issue here is one of policy. It’s part of Sinn Fein’s platform that

Public money is being used to subsidize private sector residential beds. The policy of the last government and of this is to encourage the privatisation of the health service…

Except that in the states health care costs are notoriously high (which is one of the problems President Obama has been trying to tackle with his health care reforms). One recent survey put it at twice the rate of the UK:

The U.S. spent about $7,000 per capita in 2008 on health care. Peer countries, like Japan and the U.K., spend about half that amount and achieve equally good results, as measured, for example, by life expectancy at birth.

Todd Hixon writing in Forbes magazine last March offered several explanations, but most notably this one that the high costs in the US…

…are driven by both higher per-procedure rates paid by both public and private payers, and larger proportion of higher-paying private payers in the U.S.

Quite. It would be useful to know if there were mitigating circumstances to this. Why forgo the opportunity to have NHS treatment in Belfast almost as a matter of course, and chose to pay for a US procedure.

In the absence of any clarification from either Mr Adams or his party, it is hardly a ringing endorsement of the public health care systems on either side of the border.

Update: Ed Moloney is reporting on his blog that having rung a local clinic in NYC they put the price of the operation… (ie, the normal cost of such a procedure would be to anyone in his type of situation, i.e. a foreigner with no local health insurance) At $30,000

, , , , ,

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    Mick it may not be a “ringing endorsement of the public health care systems on either side of the border” but that’s really not your point with this blog though is it? What you are doing here is speculating on a private health matter in order to get Sluggers favourite target back in the cross-hairs.

    What you don’t seem to have considered is that the trip was planned before the procedure, which would indicate to any neutral observer that some sort of medical issue arose while he was already out there. A procedure such as that would normally be covered by ones travel insurance and even if it wasn’t, being a well published author Gerry is bound to have a few pound squirrelled away despite his AIW take home pay.

    The desperate Gerry Blogs on Slugger exemplified by this and the Liam Adams back-catalogue are not only extremely crass and distasteful but are also an gross intrusion of privacy.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s precisely why I questioned the party’s reluctance to be open on the matter, and asked for some openness on the matter.

    There’s simply no excuse for not answering a direct question. SF would not stand for it, so why should anyone else?

    The Liam Adams issue is another case completely, and a rather grave one at that. It’s one I would rather was left aside until after his trial.

  • sonofstrongbow

    For some it seems there is a desire for a North Korean approach to any questioning of the Dear Leader.

    It would indeed be a strange type of democracy where politicians, or indeed other public figures, who apparently act in a manner in their private lives that flies in the face of their public stance can’t be questioned.

    Just think no more embarrassing questions on tax affairs, expenses etc outside the privacy of the Zil limousine. Not so much ‘let them eat cake’ as stop their mouths with it.

  • Kevsterino

    Given the title of the thread, I looked for questions raised by his “health tourism”. I know I’m getting old and all that, but these eyes saw not a single question raised by his undergoing this procedure while in New York. I mean, he has the money and over here that means he can pick where he gets it done.

    What are these questions raised?

  • keano10

    Ok. I am up for a bit of balanced criticism from any quarter but I wont be taking any of it whatsoever from the SDLP.

    Gerry is’nt complying with the SDLP’s “social values” barks Conall McDevitt. And what values are those exactly Conall?

    For years in the city if Belfast, the SDLP has been nothing more or less than a middle class party attracting the vast majority of support from the leady suburbs of Affluent South Belfast. If you want to check out private health care then you will find plenty of it among the well-to-do Stoops within Malone, Stranmillis and Balmoral.

    The whole idea of SDLP being a Left of Centre party steeped in social equality has been nothing but a joke for years. Thats why they have been obliterated in West Belfast and North Belfast is beginning to eradicate them as well.

    Mr Adams is free to defend his actions in whatever way he wants but I’m not going to gave Conall McDevitt acting like some sort of “right-on” champion of the masses.

    Dont even get me started on SDLP expenses at Westminster over the years.

    Even so, I’m glad that Conall is giving quotes to a paper from a juirisdiction in which his party has never even fielded a candidate. That would be a bit too “radical” though would’nt it…

  • 6crealist

    I can’t stand the man, but his prostate problems are nobody’s business.

    Smells a bit like fair gaming, as defined in Slugger’s glossary.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    I can’t agree with my party colleague Conall McDevitt on this. Those of us of a certain age will remember that Dennis Healey walked out of an interview with Adam Boulton on breakfast TV.
    Healey took exception to a question about his wife getting “private treatment” rather than relying on the NHS. Quite properly in my view….and possibly Conall would agree with me….Healey walked out of the interview.
    It is wrong to make political capital or simply mischief from an individuals health issue.

  • Ní Dhuibhir

    There isn’t any clear enough issue here to make Adams’ prostate a point of debate. (What a horrible thought!)

    We don’t know enough to draw any conclusions at all, because quite rightly, our politicians’ medical records are not in the public domain.

    I can imagine – with as much blind speculation as the post above – lots of reasons why someone with his profile might prefer to attend hospital outside NI. There are plenty of political issues to raise without this sort of thing.

  • David Crookes

    Please can we have a law against using the innocent word LEAFY to work up class hatred?

    Even the #flegs people haven’t declared war on trees.

  • Granni Trixie

    I think that it is not on to discuss the health issues of any politician though I do see the case that is being made.

    What I think is of more interest is the nugget about Adams staying in Manhattan as a few years ago (prior to his move to Louth) I heard a rumour that he had infact a flat in Manhattan where he spent a lot of time.
    I suspect there is a further story to unfold about the Manhattan connection.

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    “I suspect there is a further story to unfold about the Manhattan connection.”

    Yeah, yeah…

    I guess Joseph Smith and his Steakhouse restaurant is just a cover to wash Gerry’s millions.

  • Trapattoni

    A person’s health is and should remain a private matter.

  • Alias

    Some folks believe in killing others for their ‘principles’ but don’t believe in dying for them themselves – or even living uncomfortably with them. Brian Keenan, a leading Shinner who managed to convince the sheep that he was a hard-line Marxist, didn’t have any problem availing of private medical care either.

  • USA

    I have no doubt SF are true to their word regarding the “average industrial wage”. I’m sure Adams has additional income from book sales. Seeking private medical insurance is not a crime.

  • DC

    Prostate politics…

  • Mick Fealty

    Maybe I should have bullet pointed the politics just to make it obvious. But here’s a number of non health related points worthy of further highlighting:

    1, My understanding is that Adams has a private income stream, that does not come from the party. That has to be the case, otherwise, how does he come by $30k on what he claims is a $40k ‘income’?

    In fact so far as the state is concerned Mr Adams earns €92k, just the same as every other TD. If he didn’t then SIPO would not have passed SF with a clean bill of health over party donations.

    2, Where does Mr Adams live? And how many houses does he own or rent? The GP referral suggests he has a domicile in the north, in addition, presumably to the house in Louth and the holiday home in Donegal.

    3, Did Mr Adams use his written questions on behalf of a constituent, or on behalf of himself? Scrub that question, it’s another of those silly ones that we’re not supposed to ask. But honestly? Who ever heard the like of it?

    I agree Mr Adams health is nobody’s business of anyone’s but his own. Yet the party chose to alert people to both the eye condition and the treatment location at the bottom of a press release about abortion at the end of November, and then complained when anyone asked them about it.

    There is an issue about hypocrisy on policy, just like there was with Diane Abbott over where she sent her kids to school. But at least we had some idea what she earned and that she could actually afford to send them there.

    This is just the same old, same old issue of probity and truth…

  • Neil

    My understanding is that Adams has a private income stream, that does not come from the party. That has to be the case, otherwise, how does he come by $30k on what he claims is a $40k ‘income’?

    I would imagine you are correct.

    Where does Mr Adams live? And how many houses does he own or rent? The GP referral suggests he has a domicile in the north, in addition, presumably to the house in Louth and the holiday home in Donegal.

    You give me Naomi’s/Peter’s/Anyone prominent’s address (or addresses, we know Peter once had a nice gaffe in Florida) and I’ll endeavor to give you Gerry’s. Might not be too clever to post it on this thread, we know Nelson McCauseland got in hot water over a similar maneuver on his blog. Don’t recall reading a post about it round these parts though.

    Did Mr Adams use his written questions on behalf of a constituent, or on behalf of himself? Scrub that question

    If as a politician one stumbles across an anomaly that has affected you, and by extension is certain to affect other citizens, should one not mention it? Do you think MPs for example don’t have experiences in their everyday life that then leads to a question in Westminster? Of course not, that would be daft.

    Having read Maloney’s piece we now can assume that he had a choice: either have the Prostate removed (in Ireland) or go to the US. I know what I’d have done.

    There is an issue about hypocrisy on policy, just like there was with Diane Abbott over where she sent her kids to school. But at least we had some idea what she earned and that she could actually afford to send them there.

    I was unaware that it was SF policy that given the choice of going private abroad or having your prostate removed (a fairly life long debilitating operation) one should on principle sacrifice your sex life and ability to live life without a nappy.

    To the second, his private income remains private so you know what Diane earned from parliament on the year she sent her kids to school but what you would in effect be asking her is not her current income but her comprehensive financial history. And you’d be told, politely speaking, where to get off having the cheek to ask.

    As to whether he can afford it or not, keep an eye out for bailiffs chasing him. If there are none, then he can afford it. Simple.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick
    ” My understanding is that Adams has a private income stream”

    I am shocked.

  • Mark

    Great post Neil …..

    So on Slugger tonight we have a link to Ed Maloney’s Broken Elbow where he is discussing the pros and cons of Gerry Adam’s sex life and poking fun at his manhood ……. still it beats those fuc?in flags .

  • MALCOLMX

    There may well be a variety of reasons as to why Gerry Adams choose to go to the US for treatment however his health is just that,his health and not the business of slugger or the media for that matter.

    Given that Marie Drumm, Vice-President of Sinn Fein was assasinated in the Mater Hospital while lying is a hospital bed is maybe one reason why Mr Adams choose not to undergo the operation here, another may well be that he wanted the best treatment available to ensure the best possible outcome for his health but to use someones health for cheap political point scoring is just sad.

  • sonofstrongbow

    So after countless posts by nationalists about the mental health and capabilities of some of the ‘leaders’ of the flag protests they’ve now come over all coy about commentary on an individual’s health; and ‘poking fun’ fun at people is suddenly out of bounds.

    That’s the thing about sheep I suppose. No matter the circumstances they are compelled to baa along with the flock.

  • Mick Fealty

    Malcolm, follow the Mater link?

  • MALCOLMX

    I was alluding to possible security concerns of undergoing an operation and having to spend a period of time in hospital, not saying thats the reason he choose to go to the US for the operation but its one possibility.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Meanwhile large numbers of Adams the Marxist, former electorate in west Belfast can only dream of exclusive private health care in the USA and a spell of recuperation in an swish Manhattan apartment.

    This brings to mind Animal Farm. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”!

    Oink oink

  • Kevsterino

    If Mr. Adams’ prostate gland and the choices he made for the treatment of same deserve a thread, it does appear to reveal a need to think and talk about something other than the implosion of political loyalism (and by extension, unionism).

    Which, do you think, will have more impact on Northern Ireland’s future? Gerry’s prostate or the inability of the authorities to restore law and order across Northern Ireland?

  • Toastedpuffin

    A few choice snippets from Sinn Fein’s healthcare policy, for your delight and edification:

    “Sinn Féin’s goal is to create a United Ireland based on social justice, equality and democratic accountability, where health is not determined by wealth – nor by place of residence, gender or any other social status”

    “In an era of unprecedented wealth and healthcare spending, the continued inequalities in health and in access to healthcare are an indictment on successive administrations, North and South.”

    Policy objective:

    “To reverse the privatisation of the health services and
    ancillary services, and to end private provision of
    essential care.”

    And SF identify a problem in the “six counties” (wherever that is):

    “Creeping privatisation of healthcare, as a result of
    British policy, which will steadily undermine existing
    equality of access in the system.”

    Then this gem under “interim policy proposals:

    “Resistance to privatisation of healthcare, including
    opposition to the British Government’s proposed
    division between commissioners and providers of
    healthcare.”

    Under the lofty heading “Privatisation of Healthcare is Wrong”:

    “The experience of privatised healthcare in other jurisdictions also demonstrates that it does not save the state money, but instead increases inequality of access.”

    Of special relevance here:

    “…despite this higher cost it is estimated that 43 million Americans still lack access to either public or private healthcare. In fact most American advocates of privatised healthcare have now abandoned
    claims of cost-savings, and instead base their arguments
    around the right to choice in health.”

    Interestingly, and perhaps offering hope for those of us not blessed with the best of health, the self-congratulatory preamble to SF’s documnent states:

    “As a party committed to cherishing all the children of the nation equally, Sinn Féin believes addressing these inequalities requires a radical republican approach underpinned by rights-based governance”

    … so I’m assuming the funds made available to the Dear Leader for his specialist treatment in the USA will also be made available to all the “children of Ireland”.

    Watch this space!

  • Gopher

    The commitment to wealth distribution on SF website could someone explain to me how that will work?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Toastedpuffin,

    That’s some deft wielding of the scalpel. Henceforth I will accord you the honorific title ‘Doctor’ Toastedpuffin.

  • Mick Fealty

    Try to focus people!!

    Malc, this is the Mater on Dublin’s North Circular, not the Crumlin Road. I don’t think security in the sense you suggest is an issue.

  • Toastedpuffin

    sos:

    Thank you, but that’s small comfort to a fella who at any moment could be cherished by an Irish Republican. I’m going to have to tap into that fund that SF have on the go for the Children of Ireland to get my uncontrollable shuddering fixed by thon specialist in, um, now where was it… Dubai I think.

  • DC

    Maybe he just wanted privacy re going to New York?

    However, i guess that could be kind of anti-Irish as why do you need to run away from being treated by an Irish doctor or such likes in an Irish-run hospital esp as his Ireland is supposed to be the best thing in his life.

  • SDLP supporter

    Keano10 ( 5.52pm) needs to wind his neck in. I am an SDLP activist who lives in Balmoral/South Belfast. There was a party meeting tonight and I did an admittedly unscientific straw poll. Precisely none of them had private health insurance. So, I challenge Keano 10 to stand up his assertion that there is “plenty of private health care” among “well-to-do” SDLP voters in South Belfast. He made the assertion, now let him up back it up,

    I challenge K10 to point out any policy or action of the SDLP which is inconsistent with its social democratic principles. The idea that a lot of people cast their votes on the basis of policies is highly suspect. James Connolly had radical socialist policies and in any election he stood in in Dublin working class areas, he received a very small vote. I know Sinn Feiners who are distinctly right-wing in their views, elevating their vision of Mother Ireland above all other considerations.

    As for K10 not getting started on SDLP expenses at Westminster, Sinn Fein maxed out their Westminster expenses and didn’t even turn up. Sinn Fein posture in their abstentionism as better Irishmen than great people like Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt.

    As for Gerry Adams being in possible danger getting treatment in a public ward in a Belfast hospital, Maire Drumm was indeed foully murdered in October 1976. Sinn Fein’s military wing violated the sanctity of the hospital ward (and the class room) on numerous occasions in order to murder people and, indeed, a Provo gun gang tried to murder Nigel Dodds when he was visited his severely disabled son (who subsequently died). All of these acts were despicable.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s the Mater in DUBLIN!! The HSE does not do routine referrals to the Belfast Trust!!!

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Also a member of SDLP and on principle I would not have private health insurance. I might also add that Mrs Fitzjames Horse……….who never misses a good picket line….would cause me great injury, using her assortment of Unison placards.
    Having said that, Conall was extremely unwise to issue a press statement on this……..a private issue.
    The simple fact is……….that Life is Life…………and if forced into making a decision of whether to pay for treatment to relieve the pain of a loved one, I might well find myself compromising.
    That is not hypocrisy.
    Conall will like me be an admirer of Denis Healey who walked out of an interview with Adam Boulton when the latter raised the matter of Healeys wife going private for treatment.
    He did absolutely the right thing.
    Nobody would call Healey a hypocrite and he is as compliant with socialist and SDLP values as Conall and me.
    The thing is that several times a year we all support charities which are a back up to the health service…indeed the charities are often doing work that the NHS SHOULD (if better funded) be doing.
    The answer is better services.

  • MALCOLMX

    Im aware of the different Mater hospitals however the point was possible security concerns in Belfast but its only a suggestion but my original point is still the same, his life, his health, his choice and not a matter for political point scoring from McDevitt or FG

  • Toastedpuffin

    “if forced into making a decision of whether to pay for treatment to relieve the pain of a loved one”

    Especially when the loved one is oneself, eh? The example you give isn’t quite the same thing. When a party leader is pushing out policies describing private treatment as “wrong”, then availing of a particularly expensive version of said treatment, then yes it is certainly is hypocrisy.

    Cherishing all the children of Ireland equally? Uh-huh.

  • Neil

    Unless, as Ed suggests the treatment is unavailable either locally or on the NHS. Then it’s a choice: sign up to never having sex again (an image I apologise for referencing twice in one evening) and wearing a nappy; or pay and get accused of hypocrisy by Unionist internet types.

    Personally I’d safeguard the old prostate, and i say that as a person with medical through work who has used the NHS regularly through sheer forgetfulness (keep forgetting I have medical).

  • Toastedpuffin

    Ah, those goddam “unionist internet types”, cuss their Orange feet on the holy soil of Mother Oirland! It’s “Huns In the Mist” time again, I suppose. *sigh*

    I’ve no probs with oul Gezza taking care of his apparatus, but if he’s going to put in before the Children of Ireland (I know, sorry, but you know what I mean), then resign as leader. That would show some intergrity at least. As a result he’s demonstrated he has none (now there’s a surprise!), and made an absolute laughing stock of his party manifesto.

    All good then, I suppose!

  • babyface finlayson

    Like fitzjameshorse1745, I do not think it necessarily hypocritical to want and campaign for a better health service,while still availing of the best you can for yourself or your family.
    I know myself when it may be a matter of life or death for someone you care about, you do not dwell too long on the question of socialist principle.
    I wonder who would act differently?
    I am not suggesting this was the case for Gerry Adams as I believe BPH is not life threatening and there are treatment options.
    Just trying to widen the discussion a bit.

  • SK

    It’s interesting to see the shinners embroiled in a scandal that involves them preserving a life rather than them taking one.

  • Neil

    Ah, those goddam “unionist internet types”, cuss their Orange feet on the holy soil of Mother Oirland! It’s “Huns In the Mist” time again, I suppose. *sigh*

    Very amusing. Not anything I’ve said but still 10/10 for taking a three word comment and spinning it into a paragraph of bullshit harvested from the paranoia section of your brain.

  • sonofstrongbow

    ‘Boxer was puzzled. Looking up at the gable end at RPG Avenue he could recognise the bold lettering there that read ‘No Private Heath Care’ but he couldn’t remember the other words written below. Had ‘unless you can afford it’ always been there?

    He thought about it some more but there was still something at the back of his mind that made him feel something had changed.

    No matter he said to himself. Besides Alex and Gerry and some of the other pigs had told him to put the ladders that were propped against the wall and the paint pots sitting beside them back in the barn. He’d better do that. He liked to please the pigs.’

    With apologies to G Orwell esq.

  • malairt

    SoS – that would deserve a plus 1 if this site did that sort of thing.

    If SF hadn’t published the fact that Mr. Adams was having treatment I would have said wholeheartedly that it was none of our business where his health treatment was sourced. But they did and the context (leader of a very socialist party goes private) makes it very worthy of comment.

    So

    It’s the same all over – socialist or egalitarian principles fly out of the window when it seriously affects you personally and exposes the hypocrisy rampant in politics – not just in NI.

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    Gerry responds:
    http://leargas.blogspot.ie/2013/01/my-health-matters-are-my-business.html

    Some extracts below:

    At the beginning of 2013 news of hospital treatment I received in New York last July broke following the filing of my itinerary for 2012 by Friends of Sinn Féin with the Justice Department in the USA.

    This process is part of our obligations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. So I always knew that news of my treatment would become public. However my health matters are my business. They are personal and private. Just as they are for all citizens…

    As part of a revamping of the organisation a new Board was appointed last year and July was an opportunity to meet them and discuss the ongoing work of the peace process as well as Sinn Féin’s plans to launch a campaign for a border poll in early 2013…

    While in New York I had a medical consultation. I was told that treatment was necessary and overdue. My doctor in Ireland also advised that I should proceed with the treatment I required…

    I am for a public health service in Ireland that meets the health needs of citizens. That is for a cradle to the grave universal public health service which delivers top class treatment to everyone.

    If anyone wishes to use private health care to address a medical issue that is a matter for them, provided the taxpayer does not pick up the tab. What Sinn Féin is opposed to is the private health care business being subsidised from the public purse and the ongoing privatisation of hospital and other public services.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Ulick, that’s very useful…

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    Seeking private medical insurance is not a crime.

    It is according to SF, just as long as they aren’t Gerry Adams it seems.

  • Reader

    Ulick: What Sinn Féin is opposed to is the private health care business being subsidised from the public purse and the ongoing privatisation of hospital and other public services.
    They go a bit further than that:
    http://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2009/HealthDocument2006.pdf
    Containing: “Based on the evidence of best practice in other countries and our fundamental commitment to equality of access to care, we have concluded that private provision of essential healthcare for profit is wrong and universal public provision is not only realistic and preferable, but essential for an Ireland of Equals.”

  • Alias

    Gerry Adams is simply re-writing his party’s policy to suit his own circumstances. Also, the issue isn’t Mr Adams’ private health issues (that is red herring): it is whether or not he practices what he preaches.

  • mr x

    Denis Healey’s autobiography made it clear he gave the working-class a wide berth except at election time. He rather liked Bad Godesberg in Germany which shows him as a man of taste. Jim Callaghan had a farm in Sussex which in the days of 98% tax rates shows a fine business brain.

  • mr x

    In fact it’s hard to find a leader of the Labour Party since Gaitskill who hasn’t enjoyed the fruits of business. Even that saint Gordon Brown was very friendly with a close business associate of Robert Maxwell who was no saint at all.

  • DC

    Gerry Adams is simply re-writing his party’s policy to suit his own circumstances. Also, the issue isn’t Mr Adams’ private health issues (that is red herring): it is whether or not he practices what he preaches.

    Let’s face it, what Mick is hinting at is that Adams is a hypocrite.

    I reckon he did it for privacy reasons and not to pay to get better treatment, even still he took an option that his party would deny to others.

  • Mick Fealty

    Look, we can all have opinions on the matter, but it seems to me that the Indo yesterday expressed the political problem with it..

    Gerry in the Indo

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    I wonder will he end his days in the US?

  • Granni Trixie

    .time …..in his Manhattan flat?

    No one took it up but the point I wished to raise through mentioning if he had a Manhatton flat was:where does he find the time to be in NI or Ireland?

  • Alias

    The party hacks should be asking themselves what exactly is the purpose of living on an average industrial wage (supposedly) while the party leader enjoys access to funds that allows him to spend tens of thousands flying off to a private health care clinic in America to help him to be pee properly. Let’s face it, even multi-millionaires couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money just to jump a queue on a trivial medical procedure.

    If the purpose is to help the hacks to understand what life is like for average income earners, then why is the same purpose not applicable to hacks’ leader?

    It looks like its real purpose is to pay for Mr Adams private helicopter travel around Ireland so that he doesn’t have to discover what life is like for road users. Their leader is making utter fools out of them.

  • LizHar

    There’s a law in the US that precludes the release of any patient health information except to those specifically designated by the patient. So who violated Adam’s HIPAA rights? Adams should absolutely sue them because his health information is his business and NONE OF YOURS, regardless of your cheap shots at him. Further, that “Slugger”, Ed Maloney, et al would promote this information is quite possibly a violation of that same law.

  • Mick Fealty

    Liz,

    The law is no different in Ireland or the UK. All the information above is in the public domain or merely indicative costing. No patient confidentiality has been breached.