Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Die-in-Hell option

According to a story planted by godbotherers in the Manx Indifferent, the Bishop is welcoming yet another professional pro-life misdirection artist to the island.
Baroness Ilora Finlay will give a lunchtime lecture in February at St. Georges, a bat sanctuary near Athol Street in Douglas which the Manx Diocese has spent an unsuccessful decade trying to ‘reinvent’ as the Manx equivalent to St Pauls in a desperate attempt to drag in some finance sector punters. Unfortunately, they did this just as the real finance sector was moving to purpose built out of town premises, leaving a few aging winos from the unregulated 1980’s to stare at their Athol Street office walls until the bailiffs turn up.
Finlay passes herself off as a ‘palliative care’ expert. Indeed when not collecting expenses at the House of Lords she is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, which is not as impressive as it sounds.
Because 21st century ‘professorships’ are often little more than an honorary title given to a tame academic, in return for services rendered to whichever industry paid the university to create the post. This scam works both ways. The university gains a ‘department’ and maybe some paying students: the sponsor gets academic endorsement of their 'product'.
In this case, the palliative care industry is an ugly combination of private health care contractors and profit-orientated faith groups running facilities for society’s most vulnerable and desperate, using semi-qualified and voluntary labour to offer bogus ‘feelgood’ therapies rather than state of the art equipment and medical ‘best practice’.
She also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well, which again is not as big a deal as it sounds. In fact, just a ragbag of pro-life charities and right wing faith groups lunching with the Conservative Christian Fellowship and claiming expenses.
The Die In Hell attitude to any genuine attempt at a cross-party discussion of end of life care, which would have to consider options like assisted suicide, is to try and prevent such discussion by refusing to join in unless they get to run the committee, and when it does happen to complain loudly to the Daily Mail about the findings because they ‘were not consulted’.
Pretty much what you would expect, in fact, from a nasty little industry with a fortune to lose if people could make choices about the end of their lives, instead of having to die in desperately sad dives where no decent person would allow a dog to conk out, never mind their nearest and dearest.
But Finlay is an unashamed career prodnose, to be honest. Her other ‘achievements’ include proposing a bill to outlaw smoking in public buildings in Wales, pushing the Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill through the Lords (because it was in danger of being laughed out of the Commons) and attempting a private bill (whose main beneficiary would be cheapskate private health parasites) to change opting in to organ donations to having to opt out.
From all this, she gives the impression of being little more than an opinionated elitist who thinks ordinary people have no right to take decisions about the way they spend (or end) their lives, and whose very bodies should be the property of the state and her Magic Invisible Friend, but who is happy enough to draw a salary from either the state or the private sector to spout such twaddle.
A bit like a bishop, in fact. Which is why nobody except the kind of chump who likes superstitious claptrap will be turning out to listen.

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