There has been quite a bit in the news recently about the subject of morality. A Conservative MP recently said that it is morally wrong to pay a plumber in cash in order to avoid having to pay taxes on a job of work done. As this follows on from David Cameron’s condemnation of comedian Jimmy Carr’s tax-avoidance schemes for being immoral, the press (or at least my press, i.e. The Guardian and The BBC) has been having a bit of a morality soul search see: morality soul search
I often find myself as the token lefty in a crowd of people with more right-wing views than my own and being the ‘ornery, argumentative git that I am, I do get myself into the odd spat. These discussions often move on to the subject of taxation and its merits or lack thereof. As I am not actually very good at putting forward a cogent argument and often end up blustering, I scramble for any weapon I can lay my hands on. One of the most low-down and dastardly barbs I have in my arsenal is to point out that AJ is alive thanks to taxation. I know, it is a bit unfair as it does tend to stop people in their tracks. But it is, however, true. If it were not for a well-funded, free at the point of access NHS, AJ might well not have made it. I do get private health insurance through work but all they could offer was cash and some fringe benefits, AJ’s treatment came from the NHS and cost a lot. One father, who I met on the ward, had done some basic calculations and estimated that his daughter’s treatment had probably cost £1M. That is an awful lot of money but isn’t it a sign of a civilised society that we are prepared to support the most needy, the weakest? And isn’t that then a definition of morality? As my friend Max quoted in a conversation around a similar subject regarding AJ
From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.
Karl Marx… I had to ask who said it. As Max is fond of reminding me, she had a bit more socialism in her upbringing than I did. Marx is making a bit of a comeback these days, capitalism does seem to be eating itself.
Right, I had better stop myself there, this is turning into a rant. I started this blog a few days ago and my gust of self-righteousness seems to have abated a little. I should probably say something about AJ as this is supposed to be her blog. The truth is that there is little to tell. She does seem to be stuck at where she has been for a while now – still no significant movement in her right hand and no balance. But she is as happy as she has ever been and incredibly fun to be around. We went off for a weekend away to be with a group of friends who through a convoluted web of people are friends of both Fo’s and mine since we were very young kids. Of the eight adult in the house, we were godparents to one child or another bar one and that was Rob who we have only known for 25 odd years, so is a bit of an interloper. AJ spent the weekend being passed around from child to child for cuddles and tickles.
So here is a photo of AJ and my goddaughter Lila, who lives in Vietnam and I do not see nearly enough of.
AJ is going to have another round of tests to see what is going on and whether there are any other treatments that might help. We have been talking about looking into alternative therapies, which I have always been quite sceptical of but there is probably some psychological respite for oneself in trying to do something and if it is not harmful, that would at least be some comfort. But having seen her unhappy, having her happy means the world. And the world seems pretty good the way it is right now. Right enough so that I can fret about the usual things in life – work’s a bit stressful, Otto takes an age to do anything because he has to deal with hordes of assorted battle droids/daleks/dementors as he goes, England are getting clobbered by South Africa in the cricket and politicians are an immoral bunch of gits… But AJ’s happy. Oh and the Olympics. Cynical old me, very much enjoying it all. I have always been massively scathing about ceremonies and avoid them like the plague. But we has our Scottish Baxter cousins down for the weekend and all sat down to watch the opening ceremony and I thought it was amazing. The whole NHS section with Great Ormond Street really did mean a lot to me. Admittedly I did start snoring round about the time Azerbaijan made their entrance and Cousin Patrick and I had made a fair start on the whiskies.
And to tie this post up nicely: a photo of very dubious morality… Check out what Fo and AJ are reading these days!
Oh and I am going to chuck in a photo of godmother Amber (AJ) and godmother Beanie (Otto) because I love the photo and them!