Tag Archives: money

Immigration in the UK

I’m not anti-immigration, but it’s just not right. Put the pitch forks back on there black, white letter stamped pegs, douse the petrol fuelled taps of anger, it is to do with them being different from us and that should be championed. Allowed to grow just like every other prosperous nation has been before.

In a country where the average waiting time to see a GP is over a week, a health service thats over worked and underpaid. A Police force thats under a daily barrage of cuts, political warfare and glacial culture divides the needs of such desperate people can not be effectively met. We can’t even meet the needs of our own people.

Mental health waiting times are dangerously long, people coming from such terrifying conditions are going to have mental health problems and we don’t have the capacity to deal with it effectively. Housing is either too expensive or not available due to costs. This leaves many with little option but exploitation and potential squaller, all the while our ex serviceman and mentally ill wonder the cold streets searching for a place to sleep.There is a good reason they tell you to put your mask on first during the pre-flight safety briefing!

The why for many is clear, the how is murky, full of misdirection and fear; the reasons have become irrelevant though. Conservative cuts have severed many public service veins and the only option now is well orchestrated political surgery, we seem to be lacking in decent political ‘surgeons’ lately.

Years of tradition and heritage are being eaten away by megalomaniacal extremists and morally deficient dictators. Stories and methods of practice are being forcibly removed with every death, diesel fuel induced stupor and mental scarring that each person is being assaulted with. Art, sculptures, scriptures, legends and myths are being resigned to ashen dust because the need to survives greater than the need for education. The only thing for many to hold onto is faith, faith in their god, faith that the west will help and faith that somewhere over the water the grass is greener. Worrying is when their beliefs are bastardised by psychopathic interpreters of holy text, people who will speak of a utopian land, rich with spoils from noble conquests all preached from their pulpits of rubble.

We do a disservice to our children and grandchildren if we bury these different values and cultures under a mountain of dirt carved by daisy cutters, we are taking away their chances to share difference and open their minds to change. That leads to certain negative behaviours becoming entrenched, the marginalised will learn what it is to be hated and hate in return, whilst the idealised indigenous learn what is to offer indifference instead of compassion. Safety in numbers becomes an easy tool for survival and sections of the country become secularised breeding grounds for ill prescribed rhetoric and dangerous action.

This should be a damning wake up call to western politicians who wax lyrical about moral values and shared responsibility. Those words are now cheap, unavailable and inconsistent with reality. It didn’t have to be that way, but lack of clear exit strategies and support for countries left violated by governments and extremists alike, waging proxy wars has made it so. One day the belittled children of today will have to pick up the pieces and doggedly glue the world they once felt safe in back together, knowing that some cracks will never go back like before, some cracks will always leak and some handles will never hold a full pitcher again.

You can’t blame people for wanting to come to a land that destroyed theirs, if it has the power to ravage their life then it must be doing more than surviving, it must be edging ever closer to the utopia they were promised. A country with enough time and money to spare time they can make vast arsenals of weapons capable immeasurable damage, these countries will be safe from ever having to bear witness to atrocities like they have seen, at least for a while. Weary feet can rest, curious minds can wonder, creative hands can make and fractured families can work again to be whole.

If only it were that simple, they have to endure a new set of challenges, technology, methods and customs so alien its a life of chalk and cheese. They aren’t welcomed or honoured like invited guests. Help is hard to come by and they’re increasingly cast aside by a privileged few. Treated as parasites and likened to rats by nature as well as living conditions. A natural reaction is to revert back into survival thinking, they aren’t going to prosper and “pay their way”, it’s like offering to save a drowning person and throwing them a brick. People will still want to come though as it doesn’t matter how green the other sides grass is, if yours is all but gone.

Each £22,000 Pave Way and £105,000 Brimstone missile is £127,000 that could have gone into rebuilding rather than destroying, defending rather than obliterating and educating rather than diminishing. These weapons have their place but the time of ‘throwing rocks’ from a distance is finite, negotiation and planned assistance are in prominent need, not chronic ‘parti pri’ peacemakers with money on their minds and cyclonite in their pockets.

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Medicine for the ‘Immoral’

 

Can we decide who should and who shouldn’t receive a costly treatment based on their life choices?

I recently launched myself headlong into a debate about whether the PRep drug should be rolled out. A debate centred around NHS Englands decision to turn its back on the obligation to provide PRep to people who feel they may be at risk of contracting HIV. The murky water that lashed against the shores of sanity seemed to be sullied with discussions of morality and justification. The argument was predominantly broken into two categories; those that felt condoms were enough of a barrier and by choosing not to use them the risk is a burden they must shoulder. The others questioned whether it was right to deny those most at risk a safety net and whether it was right to hold back treatment of HIV because of perceived promiscuity.

I foolishly entered the debate feeling as though anyone in the ‘for’ camp had pitched their tent high on the moral slope, safe from the rising tide of archaic judgment and persecutory rip tides. Peering down into the gloom of archetypal people throwing moral missiles at unyielding, light footed knights of justice and equality. My only argument at first being that the high court ruling was not an outright support of gay men, but in fact support for anyone who was at risk from contracting HIV.

The next stage of my ‘gallantry’ is where it began to unravel. I charged head long at a gentlemen for his outright objection to supplying a costly drug when “Avastil” is underfunded and unavailable on the NHS. My arrogance was to believe that the ol’ boy had deep rooted anti-homosexual, anti-promiscuity theories that were ingrained from a life of attending church every Sunday like a righteous soldier of faith. I have long held the belief that people can harbour atrocious prejudices if they tell the good lord that they repent for kicking the dog on Friday because ‘er’ in doors’ hadn’t gotten dinner ready on time.

I had judged all of this from one simple sentence questioning whether the NHS could afford an expensive drug and what would be sacrificed.

I questioned the gentleman on his conviction that it was right to refuse the drug based on a theory that they were to blame for their ‘hedonistic’ lifestyle. To try and justify the cost over the saving of a life to me seemed as though a finite numeric value was being placed on the heads of red blooded people capable of good and bad in equal measure. I replied with many well meaning and forceful counters to these arguments, cutting through the injustice with a sword of salvation for the under represented.

This went on for a bit with many others chiming in to offer different tangents as to why this person could have so much courage of conviction when talking about who is more deserving. It was at this point I felt I was being a shit, this guy was so strongly holding onto his opinion that I had to justify why I had the right to tell him was wrong. I began to ‘pull my punches’ and re-write my counters several times, omitting personal jibes and character assassinations, replacing them instead with alternative perspectives and justifications outside of moral notions. Others rightly questioned whether all people that sacrifice their bodies to aggressive illnesses should be excluded also, the answer of course was not needed as it’s already happening and will do so for the foreseeable future.

I couldn’t wrap my liberal sensibilities around the idea that one person is more deserving than another simply because they have lived a life of “thou shalt not”. Could it really be so simple? Could we really ‘play god’ because someone has been good in a relative sense? It just didn’t make sense, a good person inevitably has bad traits so how can mere mortals decide who has the right to medicine based on moral judgments? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” as it goes. He cast his stone I threw my intentionally noble, but actually inconsiderate boulder back.

I suddenly realised that what he was talking about was an emotional thought process. To know the name of a drug and its effects is one thing, but to be able to use that name so abruptly and flippantly can only come from experience. To ask the question of whether its right to deny one party for the appeasement of the other could come from bitter experience not deep seated prejudices as I had arrogantly assumed. I swiftly attempted to make amends by raising my thoughts on his experiences without brazenly casting aspersions, I had after all cast more than my fair share already. A small ping and a red square appeared, a simple like, nothing pretentious just a like. My apology had been received, whether it had been accepted I don’t know nor do I wish too, for as long as I don’t know I can’t absolve myself from the judgment I had cast on a person I didn’t know. I was instantly humbled and there I wish to stay for I am human, fallible, flawed and ultimately in-perfect just like everybody else.

I did ask one thing to the gentlemen, a favour I didn’t deserve but I had to deliver in the hope of easing the trouble for all concerned. How it was received again I don’t know. I asked him not to be angry with the humanly flawed people for whom the debate was aimed at, not to be so heavily focused on who is more deserving of relief, but to be more focused on who is eating more than their fair share of the preverbal pie, for they are the real hedonists.

Can we decide who gets respite based on their life choices? That was my question, futile, simplistic and greyer than a British summer. Ultimately a rhetoric question, ‘we’ don’t get to decide.

The decision will not be made under a veneer of moral debate, nor will it be made on whether the ends can justify the means. It will be made based on a series of numbers, to dull for easily bored minds it will be plotted into block coloured bars so as to make the numbers more palatable, the higher the number on the y axis the more likely it will be rolled out. While we naively debate lifestyle over injustice they will debate net versus gross, we will share experienced stories based on first person perspective, they will share a golf cart on Thursday at four, we will pontificate whilst they propagate. We spend more time fighting each other in a Facebook Thunder Dome, desperately trying to re-take control of our destiny than we do holding our erroneous emancipators to account.

When did the placement of a decimal point hold the key to salvations we all deserve? Money makes money, it doesn’t make the holder judge, jury and executioner. We are not inanimate secondary colours filling cascading rectangles on a bar graph, we are people, committed to making mistakes and learning from them, muddling our way through life trying to balance what is right and what is rewarding, sadly they don’t always symbiotically travel.