Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lies are never a match for elegant truths

According to a press release put out by what is passed off as the Manx Health and Social Services (see

“Self Management is an integral part of daily life and is all about individuals taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with support from the people involved in their care and in conjunction with care received from health and social care professionals.”

Well…no, actually it is not.
What it is really about is government not providing services to the weak and vulnerable which used to be seen as a minimum in a civilised society. It is about two-faced lying hypocrites (some of whom are on £100K+ salaries, so will never need worry about health service cutbacks) taking away from those on the breadline the difference between getting by and dying slowly and painfully, then trying to pass off that closure of basic public services as a carefully considered independent decision not to use them by poor sods who never even had a chance to give an opinion - never mind decline.
This has to rank as the nastiest, most cynical piece of marketing ever done at public expense in recent years on the Isle of Man by thieves whose salaries are actually paid by the people they steal most from.
The sickest joke is that the Manx government (and certainly the NHS) does not let responsible adults take decisions over their lives anyway. It simply does not think they are capable.
Take the nanny-statist ‘public health’ twaddle spouted about cigarettes, alcohol and any pharmaceutical product those close to government cannot get an easy kickback from.
Take the laughable attempts at drug and alcohol ‘education’ from self-perpetuating quasi-governmental agencies who know less about the topic than the average teenager.
Having already proscribed alcohol to the extent it is harder for a respectable adult to buy it than, say, crack cocaine or heroin, take the attempts we will no doubt see in the near future to ensure cigarette smokers can only obtain their simple pleasures in the sordid sort of ways blokes used to buy fairly innocuous girlie mags back in the 1960s.
Take the far more serious attempt to close down debate over assisted suicide, such that intelligent people who have simply decided (like the elderly relative at a lively party) that enough is enough, thank you very much, and now they’d like to be on their way just cannot make a dignified exit.
Is this all really because of concerns over ‘public health’, and the drain on the taxpayers, or worries that the old and disabled will feel under pressure to pop their clogs from pushy relatives and neighbours?
Or is it just because it wouldn’t generate enough income for the godbothering, incapable chums of the legislators.
You know, all those faith-led ‘advisory agencies’ and ‘therapists’. All those places where the terminally ill are ‘helped’ to extend their death as long as possible, while purveyors of pointless ‘alternative therapies’ try and flog lotions and candles from Tesco at Harrods prices, and priests hover around the soon-to-be-bereaved in the hope Great Aunt Maude will remember their ‘kindness’ in her will before she turns her toes up.
To all of them, may I quote a letter by David Hockney, published recently in the Guardian in response to some tiresome Aussie who has caused further inconvenience to the public in that once free-spirited, live-and-let-live country. Change the context from tobacco to almost any other free choice made by intelligent adults (and endangered by the antics of superstitious prohibitionists) and it is still just as powerful and elegant an argument against toytown barbarism from one of the last of an endangered species – a civilised adult who knows his own mind.

"Why doesn't Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone whose friends died of alcohol consumption, not tobacco. Someone who has smoked for nearly as long as he has lived. Someone who knows about the fanatical attitude of haters of tobacco. Someone who is not so naive about advertising and packaging.

Someone who has almost outlived a fanatical anti-smoking father. Someone who is fed up to the teeth with people who think they really know what health is. Someone who is not afraid of the cowardly, crooked politicians who stifle the debate about pleasure in the now. Someone who knows that time is elastic. Someone who knows how easy it is to lie with statistics. Someone who is not a professional agitator, who knows there is no such thing as a professional smoker but knows there are hundreds of dreary, professional, highly paid anti-smokers.

Someone who thinks laughter is good for you as it drains fear from the body. Someone who has something better to do than to try and control the quiet lives of others. Someone who knows we are all a bit different and is fed up with the growing regimentation of people. Someone who knows that smokers can live perfectly average-length lives but heavy drinkers rarely. Someone who is shocked by the growing conformity among people, and what that might mean for a reasonable free society. Someone who prefers the centre of Bohemia to Australian suburbia. Someone who knows we have to die.

David Hockney
East Yorkshire"

(hat tip to Chris Snowdon at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist for the David Hockney letter)

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