Just after 6am, I heard the bin men coming down our road emptying those big bins left in front of the houses on our street, one by one, into their huge truck.
It made me think.
What would we say, how would we react if one day, the bin men with their huge truck didn’t show up. For whatever reason: maybe one of them was sick, the other went on holidays, and a third had decided he could not do these early hours anymore for personal reasons.
What would we say if we went to the airport to catch a flight and were told the flight had, unfortunately, been cancelled because the pilot had not shown up that morning but texted in that he had had a bad night and couldn’t possibly come to work?
What would we say if busses did not run on Saturdays and Sundays because although drivers had been hired to cover the weekend shifts had given their notice that from now on they could only do weekday shifts?
What would we say if any of the essential services we so much depend on every day, such as public transport, police, ambulance, hospitals, gas and water emergency, were not available one day because some individual staff were not available – for whatever reason?
There’d be war on the streets.
Yet, any of the above has happened to Pádraig. The service provider and the service commissioner allow agreed shifts to remain uncovered.
It seems that what is right and what is wrong is often determined by the number of people who shout. You can be ignored, left behind, and abandoned – as long as you are the lonely voice in the desert no-one is going to hear or listen to you, never mind care about your needs.
Today, Cystic Fibrosis sufferers and their families celebrated because the Government and Simon Harris in particular had succeeded in agreeing a deal with drug manufacturer Vertex that will give them access to vital drugs, such as Orkambi and Kalydeco. The women (!) who had led the campaign that ultimately led to this deal were on today’s RTÉ Radio One Ray d’Arcy show. They went out of their way to thank Ray and other presenters, among them Joe Duffy and Claire Byrne, for their support which made this groundbreaking deal possible. – It seems that health policies are determined by media pressure and that nobody sees anything wrong with that. You have the media on your side, the sick will get what they need. You don’t have the media on your side, you can ‘safely’ be abandoned, your children can be made a ward of court, and necessary treatment can be denied.
I think there’s something fundamentally wrong with this line of thinking. Wouldn’t you agree?
(However, I hear you thinking – if that is what it takes???!!!)