A mad world, my masters May 30, 2007Posted by franklittle in Bioethics, Culture, European Politics, Film and Television, Freedom of speech, media, Media and Journalism, Medical Issues, Television Shows.
I have stolen the title for this post from the BBC’s John Simpson who used it for one of the volumes of his auto-biography though in fairness, he stole it from the playwright Thomas Middleton. Note also, the absence of ellipses.
It was the phrase that popped into my head when I heard about the new Dutch TV show to air on the first of June where a terminally ill 37 year old woman will choose from one of three candidates for a kidney transplant with the aid of text messages from the viewing public.
Entitled ‘The Big Donor Show’ it has justifiably drawn harsh criticism from Dutch political parties, the medical community, donor organisations and even the EU Commission has thrown it’s two cents into the pot.
Bizarrely, the defence from the programme makers at BNN that it will stimulate discussion about the problems of organ donation where 40,000 people are on waiting lists across the EU with 15-30% of them expected to die while waiting, can claim to have some validity.
In what is either a gigantic coincidence or a direct response to the show, the EU Observer reports that the EU Health Commissioner has unveiled a set of proposals to ‘promote donations from living donors’ and to crate an EU-wide organ donor card.
All very worthy, but the programme still leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.
In further EU related news, there might be some interest in the latest wheeze from the boys and girls in the EU Commission to tighten their grip and extend their propaganda for a neo-liberal federal European state. The Commission is next month to announce plans to fund political foundations on an EU level that will be attached to European Parliament groupings. This is, they say, to ‘spice up’ political discourse.
While I’m all for more debate, and better informed at that, about European issues, I’ve generally seen the EU Commission more as the source of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Worth noting as well that since the funding will be based on the number of MEPs in each Group, it means the EU Commission has found a way to channel yet more money to the slavishly pro-EU Constitution Groups like the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the ‘Socialists’.
As Tobey Maguire might have observed, my Spidey sense is tingling.