Friday, April 13, 2007

Double meaning

What greater tragedy can there be than is presented by the spectacle of a child whose life prospects and hopes are smashed at the very outset of its existence?

Those words are attributed to Winston Churchill in a little book of quotes I was given. When Churchill uttered them, three-quarters of a century ago, he was referring to children being... orphaned. The plight of the children thus left behind touched that great man deeply, although it was only the prosperity of their future lives that was in jeopardy.

Fast forward to our better-medicated, more enlightened times. We have gotten quite a bit better at smashing the life prospects of children, haven't we? We don't even wait for them to be born now, Winston. I can't imagine what you'd say to that.