Whoops! - There go my scruples
02 March 2018 | or 'A crisis of conscience'.
So, having spurned the blandishments of the Spanish ortho I was left with two options – Get it done on the health service in Jersey or go private in Jersey. This, given my working class heritage and left wing Guardianista credentials should have been cut and dried. I had spent my life proclaiming to anyone who’d listen (and many more who wouldn’t) that private medicine was a betrayal of the NHS and a stain on the memories of Nye Bevan and Clem Atlee; a form of class oppression whereby the rich and influential used their power, wealth and influence to jump the queue and ride roughshod over the deserving, powerless, downtrodden poor. For the sake of consistency if nothing else I should have stood shoulder to shoulder with the proletariat and taken my place in the queue.
Well, yeah, but...
It would have been sooo inconvenient and difficult, Dahling. It’s our way of life, you see – it makes things so much more complicated than they are for the common herd. Had we gone through the Jersey Health Service it would have taken an absolute minimum of six months and an endless series of appointments at spectacularly inconvenient intervals. We would have had to write off an entire summer’s cruising while twiddling our thumbs and kicking our heels waiting for the next appointment. Either that or flown back and forth between Jersey and the boat with metronomic and expensive tedium. On top of that, all those flights would have ended up costing us as much, if not more, than one set of flights and getting it done privately.
When principle crashes up against self interest, something has to give.
And in my case it was principle.
I got hold of the contact details of the upper limb and trauma specialist in Jersey and emailed his secretary. Within the space of a few emails we had arranged consultations and a surgery date convenient to all.
I could have made excuses such as that by going private I was helping to ease the financial strain on the overstretched public services, or helping to keep highly skilled and experienced consultants in the underpaid public sector, but that would have been too embarrassingly self-serving and hypocritical even for me.
So I’m just going to put up my hands and ‘fess up. To steal the immortal words of Bill Clinton, I did it because I could. I did it because I happened to be in the rare and fortunate position of being able to lay my hands on five grand without reducing myself to penury and consigning my extended family to a life of Dickensian squalor.
Full, gory details of the procedure have been delayed. To be posted after a suitable period of penance.
“Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.”
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)