Monday 21 March 2005

they'll say isn't she pretty that ship called dignity

I've just been reading about the case of Terri Schiavo in Florida. She's been in a (disputed) persistent vegetative state for the last 15 years and has been the subject of a heartbreaking "right to die" case. Basically, her husband and legal guardian wants to allow his wife to die, and her parents are fighting to keep her alive. This has just hit the news again because George W. Bush has just intervened and a law is about to be passed that will overturn a previous ruling and allow the reinsertion of Terri's feeding tube, which was removed on Friday to allow her to die. This is being rushed through emergency sessions of Congress and the Senate, and Bush plans to sign it as soon as he can, vowing to:

"stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities. In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favour of life"

This is an amazing ruling and a historic day: we have finally found the issue important enough to make this work-shy clown cut short a holiday.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the only smart-arse remark I plan to make about this case.

So, so sad.

I hope if I am ever unfortunate enough to end up in a similar position, my loved ones will allow me to die with dignity, and that the Government will be unable to stop them.

A final thought: is it me, or is there some supreme irony hearing the man who presided over a record number of executions whilst governor of Texas; the man who started an unjustified and pointlessly destructive war in Iraq, holding forth on the need to "have a presumption in favour of life"?


Michael Howard.

Not content with proposing sweepingly arbitrary quotas on asylum applications, he has now turned his attention to Travellers and their abuse of the (and I quote him directly) "so called Human Rights Act", which he is suggesting should be scrapped.

Nice portfolio of policies he's working on here. Chuck out all foreigners. Drive out the gypsies. Scapegoat unpopular minorities.... He's mining a rich populist seam of hatred and prejudice here, and I look forward to him sweeping to power on a wave of populist support and dissolving the Reichstag.

It's sad to see all traces of political priniciples sacrificed in favour of shameless vote grubbing. Not racist? Do me a favour you vile, repulsive man.


Michael Jackson: without wanting to make light of the very serious allegations, this is not the behaviour of a man with a full deck of cards, although I'm not sure why this should come as a surprise to anyone. At least this time he didn't turn up in him jim-jams. Mind you, the media feeding frenzy (reconstructions and all) surrounding this case is starting to make me feel distinctly queasy.

Does Michael Jackson not deserve to be allowed to keep a shred of his dignity? Has he forfeited his right to that, or did he do that long ago? Will it make any difference if the court acquits him? Does anyone care what the verdict is anymore?

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