Opinion Carol Hunt

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Making a virtue of inflicting pain on the most vulnerable

Those who make and influence the rules remain protected from economic reality.

To people who selflessly give their time to collect for charity the attitudes of certain top people in Rehab is incomprehensible
To people who selflessly give their time to collect for charity the attitudes of certain top people in Rehab is incomprehensible
Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt

The phrase "moral turpitude" has been rattling around my brain all week and, try as I might, I can't get rid of it. It turned up originally in the context of poor Nigella Lawson's embarrassing episode at Heathrow airport, when it transpired that her visa for entry to the US was being denied on the grounds of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude, according to the Merriman dictionary, is "an act or behaviour that gravely violates the moral sentiment or accepted moral standards of the community" – and some US official had decided that Nigella's admission of drug taking last year came under that definition.

So, you'll understand why as I sat watching the continuing drama that is PAC vs Rehab, I thought to myself, "Well now, if ever there was an Irish example of moral turpitude, this is it". Because the central complaint against Angela and Frank and all the others who were part of the, "Because We're Worth It" brigade, is that, while they did not not do anything unlawful, they most certainly have acted in a way that "violates the accepted moral standards of the community".

To those of us who have spent our last fiver on Rehab scratch cards or hours in the rain jiggling buckets in front of hard-pressed shoppers with little spare cash; to those who struggle daily trying to care for the most vulnerable in our society in the face of myriad cuts to that sector; to those who believe that disability or age shouldn't make you a second-class citizen with few or no rights, the attitudes of certain top members of the Rehab Group (and CRC before it) are incomprehensible.

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