FOR a portrayal in miniature of the repulsive, tragic lunacy in which capitalist society ensnares humankind, you would be hard put to it to outdo the Mandy Allwood saga.
Wonder-working science transforms an infertile woman into a marvel of fecundity. For reasons of her own, by accident or design, she ignores medical advice and becomes pregnant. not with one, but with eight embryos.
She cannot possibly deliver any of her embryos alive. So her doctors tell her. For any of them to survive, six will have to be aborted. She doesn't listen to the medics. She listens instead to some inner voice of megalomaniac super-motherhood and to a tabloid editor crackling a chequebook and offering her large sums of money. Or maybe just to the editor: for Mandy immediately hooks herself and her eight doomed embryos into the bourgeois publicity machine, acquiring a "publicist", Max Clifford, and an exclusive contract with the News of the World.
The medics insist that all the embryos will die if she does not abort six of them. Yes, but the News of the World tells her that there is a sliding scale of payment – more money for more embryos retained in her womb. Reduce the pregnancy to twins? There would then not be anything remarkable, or lucrative
Whatever went on in Mandy Allwood's head, the prospect of big sums of money cannot but have influenced her decision to ignore the doctors. Amidst vast ballyhoo, she has five months of pregnancy and then what the doctors say is inevitable, inevitably happens: she loses all eight embryos.
Mandy Allwood was, quite properly, entitled to Health Service care. The Tory News of the World, is an enemy of the National Health Service and a champion of private medicine. About it did not offer to pay for the large medical costs of monitoring the circus they had set up. This freak show was run for private profit at public expense.
The poor foolish woman is now said to be "distraught". It is understandable. Are her ringmasters at the News of the World distraught? Is Max Clifford, her pimping publicist, distraught? They will cry all the way to the bank!
Ms Allwood is a heroine to the anti-abortionists, the misnamed "Life" people. Resolutely resisting abortion and championing "life", she is, they think, what their cause is all about.
They don't notice that their cause is here reduced to plain idiocy, with eight dead embryos, where two might possibly have developed and lived if Ms Allwood been guided by her doctors and not by the News of the World. Championship of "life" here quickly turned into the lucre-fueled pursuit of death.
Here we have wonderful medical science combined with the miraculous technology of modern communications combined to provide a repulsive, NHS funded freak show with an audience of tens of millions. And, no doubt, one very costly in human terms, for Mandy Allwood.
This TV-age freak-show is as morally indefensible as the exhibition of afflicted and economically helpless people was at 19th century carnivals.
A mad, repulsive world we live in! A world where people are manipulated, used, exploited, and hook themselves into freak shows, for money. A capitalist world.
Workers Liberty 35