We have a “moral duty” not to run around saving lives
Delegates to the Conservative party conference in October 2015 will have the chance to debate the abolition of state-funded fire and ambulance services. And in an unexpected twist, it seems likely that the proposal will be supported by Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has already indicated that he believes this to be a “moral issue”.
The motion, to be moved by one-time parliamentary candidate Major Des Astor (retd) on behalf of Little Wittering Conservative Association recognises that support for the emergency services is based on the best of motives. However, it notes that spending large sums on rescuing people in crisis is not an effective use of resources and in many instances could be “wasteful” and “inappropriate”.
Worse, according to Major Astor: “if people know that someone is going to bail them out when they have a heart attack, or their house catches fire, they might be inclined to be less careful with their own health and safety.”
Surprise encouragement for the Wittering position came from Prime Minister, David Cameron, who said: “Anyone who has seen pictures of people in hospital could not help but be moved and, as a father, and, I hope, future owner of a bijou holiday home in Cornwall, I have been deeply moved by stories of landlords who have been near bankrupted by house fires. And homeowners, obviously.
“Britain is a moral nation and we will always fulfil our moral responsibilities.
“However, we have, too, a moral duty not to waste taxpayers’ money on well-meaning, but essentially old-fashioned and sentimental projects, like saving the lives of people who have failed to take adequate precautions in the first place.”
Footnote: Ambulance pic is based on “Emergency Ambulance Southampton England 2008” by Carlesmari – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.
The fire engine is from Australia and the image is understood to be out of copyright and in the public domain.