One needs to be a little bit careful, methinks, to take a story such as this:
‘Heartless’ council threaten to take Violet, 100, to court on Christmas Eve over £9,000 nursing home fees
… at face value. As one reader said, this sounds fishy as there are mechanisms for the aged, even in our increasingly heartless society. With all that offspring, grandchildren etc., where are they? Why aren’t they chipping in to save her? It also sounds as if someone signed something and now comes the comeback.
Having said all that, we’ve seen it is not beyond councils and utilities companies to demand the last pound of flesh at heartless moments, e.g. just before Christmas.
I’ve two comments. Firstly, there is a new element in councils these days, seen first with the “wheelie-bin crime” and prosecuting an old lady for planting flowers in a garden bed at a road junction and this new element is called Common Purpose. Cressida Dick, Julia Middleton. Cold, heartless people going by what they calculate is the letter of the law.
The second thing is that this is a form of evil. You remember Hannah Arendt’s comment about the banality of evil – well this is it. Not pantomime evil, with the monster in a black cape with red lining, carrying a pitchfork but the faceless bureaucrats of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Nothing personal in this but you’re about to be tortured to death.
To me, this is true evil – people hiding behind their keyboards in an office and snuffing a person’s life out over threepence halfpenny. And it’s not even dealing with a person, a human being. It’s dealing with a roll number with a human name – she hasn’t paid, take her to caught. Type in the details, press Enter and there’s the demand sent out, along with the hundreds of other demands as council attempts to get in maximum cash just before the Christmas sign-off.
The question, to me, was just who chose the days leading up to Christmas as a good time to extort something out of people? Sure they have to pay for what they use by why demand it right now, in his week before Christmas? Could it be that Christmas is an irrelevance to a computer and to Them above?