Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The culture of callousness

It is common knowledge that the measure of a civilised society is given by the way in which it cares for its weakest members. Judged by that measure, I’m afraid, today’s Britain would not score very high - the sympathetic activities of our so-called social-democratic regime being more declamatory than real.

A culture of callousness seems instead to have pervaded Britain, the latest and most shocking example of which being the disgraceful treatment of the soldiers wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As if possessed by some ungodly avarice, the government has adopted the moral philosophy of the money-changers, and has now the audacity to take those wounded in war to Court, for the purpose of minimising their injury compensations.
Taking from the most deserving and giving to the least - this is what the squandering of public money on frivolous schemes and dubious contracts, rather than paying for the state’s most basic obligations, equates to.
The whole charade of leaving the MOD to handle competing financial obligations on a fixed, limited, budget is just an unseemly subterfuge; the government could very well set up a separate, special, fund to settle the claims of the military and avoid this ugly and ungenerous quarrel.

Also nowadays there appears to be a stigma attached to any search for compensation – as if all those seeking to obtain financial redress for their losses were some kind of system spongers or benefit cheats.
The so-called ‘culture of compensation’ that many within the British Establishment often decry is, in fact, the normal application of the law; it is not charity.
The right to compensation represents one of the principal checks and balances that society has created so as to ensure that its weakest members have some protection against the might of the strong.
What is more, the prospect of litigation can make both governments and private employers much more careful when dealing with human lives.
Our government should be able to recognize these factors and strike a fair balance between ethics and their various financial priorities.

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