Nudge, nudge; wink, wink!


When we, the people of these Islands, decide to elect a Government, we also expect them to reflect our own thoughts and wishes. If the majority lean towards the Left, a Labour majority will and has taken power. If the reverse, a lean to the Right with a Conservative Government will emerge. In either choice, a definite pattern is expected, and of course usually happens. Labour is for more State control of everything, the Conservatives espoused greater freedom for the individual. Obviously, with such an intricate item as national politics, one cannot deliver a pithy short-form judgement in just a few words, but one has to try.

We now have a European-style animal in the bull-pit of Westminster, with a Coalition Government in power, and for some, including this writer, it is the same as a camel, which may be described as a horse designed by a committee. The sharp focus of Conservatism has been blunted, some would say damaged, by the woolly leftism of the Liberal Democrats, who now weild an authority out of all proportion to their backing within Parliament, or even within the wider world of the electorate. With all due respect to Lib-Dem supporters, their type of politics, of a belief that all who govern should be given the benefit of the doubt at all times, of a ‘bent’ towards consensus and accomodation. Their apparatchiks, such as Jenny Tonge, the big-mouthed and vociferous supporter of all things Palestinian for example, are left-leaning to the point where most Labour activists would flinch from even hearing, never mind supporting, those ideals.

But, one also must accept, the Coalition is in power; it has ridden out the storm over tuition fees, albeit with abstentions and loose-hipped Vince Cable well to the fore, giving a pretty good imitation of Pontius Pilate having a really bad day. But they already have their own stock of bad habits, these Con-Dems. They would like to tell us that we should, in their own version of the ‘Good Life’, all give more to Charity, but daren’t adopt the Labour model; which is to tell us what they are going to do with our money, and then do it! So they want to ‘nudge’ us to donate, whenever we use a cash or credit card, or at an ATM. They want the credit card companies and big banks to ‘nudge’ us, to remind us that there are poor starving children in Ethiopia, or in any other part of the African continent, so our consciences will boost the incomes of Charities.

Then they would like to accomodate the medical vultures who infest the transplant industry here in Britain, those who wish to switch to a system whereby they would not even wait to swoop upon an accident or emergency patient until the A&E Resident has even decided that there is no hope of recovery from trauma or illness. They will be moving to a system of ‘Implied consent ‘ because the question has no space for disagreement. The two ‘allowed replies’ on the driving licence application form will be either ‘Yes, I will sign up to be a donor’ or ‘I do not want to answer this question now’. So even if you vehemently disagree with the ‘consent question’, there is simply no way you can get your objection noted and recorded. If you are lying on some A&E slab, with either your brains or guts leaking all over, one of the afore-mentioned vultures will come around, state that as you simply had avoided answering the ‘donation question’, you could be deemed to have replied in the affirmative at a later date; and ‘can he have the eyes and heart now, as we have two prospective transplant patients in theatre right now’!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favour of transplants as such, but am even more strongly in favour of the ‘donation’ idea. A donation is a gift, from the owner to the recipient, and there should be no sign or evidence of any intermediary. No government or medical intervention should take the place of that word ‘Donor’, because what is freely given is a gift, what is taken by virtue of regulation or decree is a tax or an impost, and as such is wrong!

I have personally seen the medical vultures in operation, whilst in South Africa. I had transported the grieving parents of a child, gravely injured in an accident, to the hospital. There they were told, sympathetically enough, of their son’s condition and prognosis, which was fatal. But there was a second medic in the queue to speak with this couple, and all he was asking that the parents sign the various forms which he held on a clip-board. He was very persistent in his requests, but rather vague as to the ends built in to the forms. Being a very interested observer, and also being both hard-headed and willing to speak out, I took this young white-coated clown to one side, and asked, yes asked would be a good word, what he wished of my friends. Very reluctantly, he showed me the forms, which of course were a series of consents for tissue and organ removal from their dying son.
I made him, and his Administrator, very aware what would happen if the mortal remains of my friends’ son were not released for burial as complete as possible, as they were in no state to give cogent thought to having their son’s body plundered in the name of medical excellence and study.

To donate is good, if you are so inclined; anything else is theft!

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