John Walsh's Tales of the City: My Suffering Is Pounds 20k Worse Than Yours
Walsh, John, The Independent (London, England)
THERE ARE few less edifying sights than that of the families of bomb or terrorist victims squabbling over who is more entitled to compensatory cash. The idea of extracting money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, like some bad-taste reward, to "make up" for the death of your daughter or your parent is morally repugnant to many people. But perhaps worse is the spectacle of one grieving parent abusing another because the latter's claim was more successful than his. And worst of all is the CICA making up rules that implicitly penalise people for not suffering enough.
Take the row about whether or not you're entitled to trauma compensation if you witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, knowing that you had a relative inside one of them. The rule is: if you saw it live on TV, you could get pounds 20,000, provided you can prove you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. …