Saturday, 2 July 2011

A plaudit and postscripts

If for nothing else, one has to give Mr Cameron and his government credit for tackling some of the hottest potatoes that have been cooking for decades, like the pensions problem, the benefit system and the social care time-bomb, and of course end of life care. You may not agree with their exact approach to dealing with the financial crisis (I don't think I do), but without doubt they haven't ducked the task of deficit reduction. Of course commissioning reports isn't the same as tackling the problems. I suppose the acid test will be the extent to which they act on the various reports they've received. Will they follow them up as rigorously as they've laid in to cutting public expenditure? There is naturally a lot of political debate ahead, but I honestly hope that, while he listens, Mr Cameron isn't persuaded to let the grass grow up around these issues yet again.

I'm sad to learn that the Witney Town Council has not allowed the charity LIFE to hold a rally to celebrate its 40th anniversary in the Leys. There's been a bit of a hoo-ha about it, as you can discover in the delightfully reactionary Archbishop Cranmer's blog.

In what I hope will be my last word on Terry Pratchett's BBC programme about "Dingitas", I was a bit shocked to be alerted on Facebook to a news item in the Daily Mail. I did describe the programme as "creative" in the Guardian, but I hadn't realised just how creative it had been. The death of the young man with MS, Andrew Colgan, wasn't shown. What we did see was Sir Terry and his assistant back at their hotel playing Elgar's Nimrod variation and toasting him at the moment of his dying. In What the BBC didn't reveal his brother tells how his dying took 90 rather than the usual 20 minutes to take place.
"My mother cuddled him for the first 40 minutes but she was advised to let him go because knowing she was there may have caused him to cling to life. She did so with tears in her eyes."  The implication would seem to be that either Sir Terry was toasting his brave demise prematurely, or that the filming was - well - creative. Whichever, the BBC were, let's say, selective with the truth, as the impression was given of a normal Dignitas "dignified" death.

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