I, Lindsey Stone of Plymouth hereby agree to sell baby Charleigh, who is my own daughter, for the sum of £15,000. I will not wish to see her again or have any legal rights over her. She will belong to (reporter's name).
It strikes me that everyone would gain from a transaction like this. Ms Stone would get money, which she values more highly than the child. The adoptive parents would gain a child, which they value at more than £15,000. And, most importantly, Charleigh gains because her adoptive parents – even if they are News of the World reporters - would be much better than her natural ones. Everyone wins – including Plymouth’s drug-dealers.
So, what’s the problem? Of course, selling children is horrible. But it’s a solution to an even worse problem – that some people are unfit to be parents. We do no-one any favours by pretending that the world’s a better place than it is. And of course, Ms Stone is so careless that she would probably sell Charleigh to kiddie-fiddlers if they could raise the money. But there are laws against that.
So, is the real objection that Ms Stone doesn’t “deserve” £15,000 because her womb is the only properly functioning organ in her body? And is this a good objection, given her likely fate?
Maybe New Labour was right. Sometimes, things can only get better.