“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”  – is one of the famous quotes from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) captured it all in one word today: “unverschämt”. They referred to, of course, the Greek government who had decided to remember the Germans of their debts to the Greek people. Hhhhmmmm, I thought, what a brilliant word to describe the attitude of someone claiming what is really theirs.

I felt an urge to be “unverschämt” myself. Ask for what is really mine, for what is ours. Of course, there is no question that we all need a functioning economy, that people need to work, and that, in many cases, it is companies who create these jobs – but they don’t do this for charity. They do it  for profit. However, people’s welfare, and especially that of those most in need, has to be the priority of any decent society.

So I am asking for a working health system, one that does not force people to move out of the country to get rehab abroad. Several families are already or in the process of brining their children to Germany where they will receive treatment that is not available in Ireland. They are paying for this themselves. Despite legislation that guarantees people living in Ireland treatment abroad if it is not available in their own country.

I am beginning to think that asking for what is ours, the right to a health system worth its name, being “unverschämt”, is what we all should be. Talk ‘Tacheles’. Talk straight. Call Rumpelstilzchen by his name.