If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 7 November 2011


I don't think I know what this word means any more.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but the dictionary definition seems about right:
Progressive, adj.
1. Moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods
So, there's the basic notion of change, and the implication that the change is towards something better. I can agree with that.

So what the heck are they talking about here?
The Welsh government says it plans to have a new law in place for presumed consent of organ donation by 2015.

The legislation would require people to opt out of donating their organs when they die, rather than opting in by signing the donor register.
Interesting that the BBC has now started referring to the Welsh Government (originally conceived as the Welsh Assembly) in the same way that it transmuted the Scottish Parliament to the Scottish Government a few years ago. No agenda there, by any chance? No? OK, back to the topic:
A spokesperson said: "We believe we should be progressive on this issue and follow the example of those countries with excellent records on organ donation, where an opt-out system is a key element.
That wasn't coincidence, either. Roy Thomas of the Kidney Wales Foundation said this:
"I believe the Welsh government has got this absolutely right and are progressive. Indeed I think the rest of the UK will follow."
We heard it all at the last election, with Gordon Brown's talk of a 'progressive consensus', by which he meant 'anyone who isn't a Tory'. But what does this new use of the word mean? The idea is to assume that people will give their organs for transplant after their death, unless they specifically state that they do not so wish. The State is assuming ownership of your body, or at the very least assuming you will agree with it, and its priorities and projects, unless you tell it otherwise.

That's progressive? It's change, certainly, but whether that change is towards something better is a moot point. What's better for you may not be better for me, but under the 'progressive' banner, the person who uses the word is the person who knows best.

In simpler days, it used to mean listening to Yes rather than the Bay City Rollers. How times change.


  1. It's one of those irregular verbs:

    I am progressive
    You are reactionary
    He is a dinosaur

    Or, in an obituary

    He was an original thinker

  2. I like that! It reminds me of one my Dad used to say:

    I am firm
    Thou art obstinate
    He is a pig-headed fool.

  3. There appears to be a misunderstanding of the difference between progressive and proactive.


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