Just before Christmas I re-watched Carol Reed’s film noir classic The Third Man, starring Orson Wells and Trevor Howard, set in post-war Vienna.
Wells plays the character Harry Lime, a mercurial and morally despicable racketeer who profits from selling diluted black-market penicillin. Lime is notoriously insensitive to the damage this causes to children being treated for debilitating meningitis.
At least I thought there is little danger from a ‘Lime character’ inflicting such pathological cruelty on the delivery of modern vaccines, particularly in the British health system which is free at the point of use.
But then, the truly pathological are rather ingenious. Out steps from the shadows The Third Man anew – the con artist who will attempt to capitalise on any and every social ill…