Last Friday, July 3rd, was the annual Action Mesothelioma Day, when around the country events were held to remember those that had succumbed to mesothelioma. The events were all marked by a symbolic releasing of doves. At the same time as these events were taking place across the country, Prime Minister David Cameron had instigated the holding of a minutes silence to remember those that were murdered in the Tunisian terror attack. It is sad to reflect that Mr Cameron failed to refer to Action Mesothelioma Day and the 2538 people who died in the UK from mesothelioma in 2013 (the latest available statistics), and the likely 2500 who died in 2014 and all those who will die this year. These victims did not ask to be exposed to asbestos, they were just going about their lives, as tradespeople, teachers, doctors, housewives, school children, but were not protected from the insidious dust that would ultimately take their lives from them.
Mr Cameron has announced there will be two permanent memorials for the Tunisian victims, and he was quick to emphasise that they would be paid for by the fines levied on banks for their indiscretions. Why was it felt needed to emphasise that it would be paid for in this way? Unfortunately politics is at work here, even at the time of tragedy juvenile point scoring was taking place. Why did Cameron fail to mention Action Mesothelioma Day and mesothelioma victims? Simply because there was no political mileage in it for him and the government. The media did not carry pictures of 2500 mesothelioma victims or even mention the level of human carnage that continues to take place. These silent victims deserve to be recognised.
I call for there to be a permanent memorial for the tens of thousands of mesothelioma victims, who our governments have failed to protect.