Thursday 6 July 2017


I have taken a few companion animals to the vetbastards' for euthanising, it has never been straightforward, nearly all of them have had more life left to live - before I have put them in the car they have mostly  been catting or dogging as before  - but I had been aware that they were also suffering pain; I suffer pain nearly all the time but I understand it and as far as I'm concerned it is infinitely preferable to being dead.
 My guess is that animals don't - can't - understand and compartmentalise pain but even so I have a lingering thought that it is not their suffering that I choose to end, just my sight of it;  
the suffering of others is - what? -  not harder to bear than our own but more disagreeable.  
There's that phrase, I couldn't bear to see him suffering, it is the I that counts. 
 I like to think that most of are uncomfortable with the suffering of others although I remember reading of the Shogun who composed a haiku to the screams of a man he was having boiled in oil.  
That's the Japs and the Germans, for you, they occupy a unique place on Cruelty's glistening spectrum, you might even say thay've fallen over the edge.

It is only good fortune but it has never been the case that I couldn't afford the ongoing medication for sick animals, these were quality of life decisions which I was making because they couldn't.
 Sounds so pompous, doesn't it? I have always been a bit uneasy about that, I wouldn't want anyone making a quality of life decision about me, I'd fucking kill them  but there it is, it isn't the animals' world, hasn't been since we arrived  and invented our tools and weapons  and as I have said previously,  if all the animals in the world got together and formed a religion we would be its Devil;
  for fun, sport, for cosmetics and medicines and for dinner, they are ours to torture and  kill, even benevolently.

We know a couple who  are just  perfectly ethical. 
Well, they portray themselves as ethical, their judgements as considered and  themselves as informed-into-Virtue in everything they do;  they are Which magazine personified;
 po-faced wankers, you'd call them, we-know-besters. 
They had a lovely little dog, anyway, as bright as a button -  friendly, funny, intelligent - he knew the names of all of his toys - he'd make you lol-out-loud; spirited, playful, loving, the perfect companion, he would brighten the greyest of days. 
But one day, despite them, in every waking second, taking punctilious care over every single thing they did - they made you participate in a tea ceremony every time you had a cuppa round there,  all  consumeriste discernant et superieur; yes, ishmael, it's about so much more than just drinking,   we strive to savour and appreciate the fragrance; 
with a clean palate you can detect the blossom, things are so much better when you take a little care, aren't they? 
Now, I like tea, I drink loads of fancy stuff, even, sometimes,  in warmed cups, from a warmed pot, with the hot water just-so,  and with real tea leaves, and with no milk and no sugar;  
this shit, however,  always tasted like  floor-sweepings from the Ty-Phoo tea factory, down Birmingham way. 
This couple's game wasn't about discernment and certainly not about sharing an experience with others, fuck no, 
wasn't even just plain old-fashioned snobbery, it was something darker than  that, a kind of feverish and  remoresless,  psychopathic and countereit didacticism, even though they had nothing to teach anyone, 
they should shut the fuck up and listen quietly to their betters,
 like I do.  

I remember once delivering some furniture to a lovely country house in Kinver or Clent,  one of those nice, wee Worcestershire hamlets, anyway,  from which Birmingham and the Black Country are easily commutable; popular with lawyers, senior health professionals  and the ghastly TeeVee people but this guy was a Black Country engineer, had prospered in a small business making widgets and washers, he and his wife were really, really pleasant and they became repeat  customers.  And I remember looking at his new BMW and his lovely home and thinking You don't know a line of Shakespeare nor a bar of Beethoven  yet you live here and I don't, how's that happen? 

I learned in that instant that enjoying the sound of my own voice was a mug's game, that I had more to learn from others than they from me; everybody's story is better than mine, 
if they are permited to tell it.

Back with Mr'n'Ms Perfect there was also  the BMW 1100 escapade.
  Although naturally they drove an eco-friendly car they also bought  a superbike, for the thrill of the open road, and, you know, just to get away from it all, in the fresh air.  
Piled it up,  they did, getting away from it all in Caithness. 
There followed weeks in hospital, months off-sick, in recuperation.  Wrecked the bike but didn't dent their sense of superiority, not a bit of it. 
Oil on  the road, or some such, absolutely freak conditions which would compromise the skills of even the most seasoned and considerate riders, such as they. 
But one day, anyway,  and given the intense purity of their life choices and the great care they took of domestic minutae, it came as a shock to them when the wee dog was injured by a car outside the front door. 
The constant vigilance required to ensure the safety of small animals was a heading absent from their otherwise comprehesive, balanced and ethical Rule Book of Life.
But they were still prepared to make the right choice.
Explaining things to me later, he said, Well, ishmael, I thought long and hard about it and decided that in the Wild, which, let's face it, is where he's from, he wouldn't survive an injury like that and so the ethical thing to do was not to have him mistakenly treated by the 'vet but to let him die...

You  had him destroyed? 

Yes, on balance, it was the right thing to do, it wasn't about his survivability, it was about the higher ethics of the matter, we were- as you know, we always are -  determined to be ethical, and that was what would happened in the Wild. He would never survive such injury in the Wild.
And we must never forget that however much we love them at the end of the day the bottom line is that  these are Wild animals we're talking about here, we simply  must never forget that.

There was no point in me saying;
 But he wasn't a wild animal, he was bred to order, just for you two and by your own admission he was  the central -  sleeping in bed - part of your family, now that your formerly lesbian daughter has - unsurprisingly - freaked-out, run-off and married a man twenty years older than you, her father.  

Never ceases to amaze me, the number of ethical ways people find to avoid spending money. 
If he'd just said that they couldn't afford it or something that would've been fine, and even though they are not skint a lie wouild've been prefereable to all that ethicsa horseshit. 
Probably the real ethical dilemma was that they didn't want a damaged dog, limping around their OCD-clean little Palace of Madness; who wants an injured dog? I mean, what sort of ethical consumer choice would that be, having and injured dog, limping and dribbling? 
The daughter once told me, that if even one book was out of the bookcase her mother thought the place a terrible mess, had an attack of the vapours.  
A recuperating dog, pissing on the floor? 
 Christ, she'd have had heart failure.
Very, very soon after this happened they acquired another dog,
 a shiny new one,  not from the Wild, where dogs come from,
 but from another expensive breeder.
 Infinitely elastic, consumerist ethics, 
have to be, though, considering:

“The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’ The capitalist–consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.”Yuval Noah Harari,

I'm no better, though, just because I spend that extra bit of money on companion animals.
 I make the best of it, the final trip to the vetbastard's. 
Yeah, I love you so much I'm gonna  pay somebody to kill you, and I'm gonna just gonna have to make the best of it. 
Just be grateful  that I don't consider you a wild dog, really, cos then I'd have to get me a gun and shoot you, like a real man does.

I don't know what I would do in the position of Charlie Gard's parents. I like to think that I wouldn't do as they did but I am older and stronger than they are.. 
Maybe, if I was their age, in this time,  I, too, would take my sad story to market
Colin Parry, after losing his young teenage son to one of the late Marty Kneecaps' peace initiatives, really took his tale to market,, interviews, trips, columns, a phone-in radio show of his own, the Today Programme. 
His mrs left him though and who could blame her? 
Nobody teaches Acceptance, nobody teaches that Shit Happens so it is unsurprising that the Gards are as they are, screeching and breast-beating, ululating like Arab women after a peace-making visit from the US Air Force.
 It is not as though their betters don't encourage commercial public soul-bearing; it is not as though Celebrity has Grace. Just Look at Prince Hooligan, the ginger drunk to see where the commoners are taking their cue. A trouble shared is a trouble earned-from.
  I saw a few minutes of that slippery cancer, Piers Morgan, the other night, the fearless but compassionate investigative journalist. He has a show about women in the States who have killed.  
Not BigTime Murder Floozies, like Hillary Rodham Clinton 
- didya see her do that Gaddafi rap she does, in that awful Arkansas whine: We Came, We Saw, He Died,

  eek-eek-eek, eek-eek-eek, 
I'm so funny I could jes plumb eat ma own shit;

 Christ, makes me shudder to remember it, makes me fall down and thank God for the larcenous, gibbering, cock-waving  half-wit, Donald Trump. 

Having proven  himself too fucking hideous even for US TeeVee prime time, maladroit even at celeberity blow-jobbing, the Moron's current outing is just a cheap,  miserable series about poor dumb bitches who have murdered someone and are never going to see a cock again, never mind the light of day. 
PiersBoy goes into the jail looking all perplexed and asks them some searching questions, as only a journalist on top of his game can do. All Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone redux, Piers asks How Does It Feel, over and over again, to be hated, to be in here, to have killed that boy?
It really is fucking disgusting; voyeuristic, parasitic, tittillating and trite, it's enough to make you believe in the Death Penalty, better your blood boiling and your organs jerking, better to bleed and rupture  from badly administered poison than be interviewed by Piers Morgan.

It's not as if the worthless crook didn't already deserve a good beating, is it? 
Here he is with Kelvin McFilth,
 And we wonder why the country's ruined by filth,  lust, greed, hatred  and stupidity. I'd hang these two in a heartbeat.

How does it fe-e-e-e-el?
But this show, even by Piers Morgan's reptilian, infamously low standards, is the baddest in bad taste; please, can't he be arrested for Indecency, the horrible cunt?

The Gards' child was born cruelly disabled and with no prospect of survival, he can do nothing unaided, he can't breath and is severely brain damaged,  he is senseless and his apparent destiny is to die  in pain, perhaps horribly so and his doctors argued that his life support; if you can call it that, should be switched-off.  
The parents disagreed, promulgating some unproven treatment option in the United States and - funded by the new breed of Internet well-wishers - took the matter to three British courts, where they lost and finally to the European Court, where they have also recently lost. 
Watching that hearing was the first time I had ever thought seriously about the European Court's jurisdiction; this matter had been thoroughly and painfully aired in three tiers  of our own courts and yet the Gards asked for and were allowed the final adjudication of an alien, supra-national, bureaucratic jurisprudence.  
I closed my eyes and tried to find worth in this procedure and in these arrangements and - much as I love the idea of Law - I couldn't. 
 If, as the anti-democracy Remaining minority say, we cannot protect our own human rights, our own working terms and conditions, if we need, instead, the oversight of judges drawn from nations recently fascistic, totalitarian and holocaustal then the war fought against these forces was lost.  
Imagine me walking the ghosted shore of Scapa Flow and telling those lads, No, you're alright, we can't trust ourselves to look after our own rights, see, so we need the Krauts and the Frogs and the Eyeties, to keep an eye on us, keep us right, lads, they will.  I mean, they have better judges'n ours, better laws, we'd be proper fucked without Jerry judges, watching uz human rights laws.  OK lads, simmer down, now, course you didn't die for nothing. It's just that doing what Germany says is the only true way to lasting peace. Well, you lads may call it cuntish, but your betters, well, they know better'n you, obviously, that's why they're your betters. Quiet,  there, less'avesome quiet in those ghostly ranks.

This Internet Camaraderie of Grief - everybody feeling for everybody else - it's quite odious, I think, distorting and devaluing.  This was a straightforward matter, one of solemnity, modesty and forebearance. No fucking chance, not among the New People.  Unto Them A Child Was Born but it was not to flourish and survive, these things happen.  But no, it was unfair and these parents would move mountains to make a Sad thing Happy, probably because they're worth it.

I do believe that the first British outbreak of IT Community Grieving  came with the wretched McCanns, 

who very swiftly not only amassed a small fortune - from which they paid-off their mortgage - but through which they also persuaded the gullible Internet fuckwit that every parent was as neglectful and duplicitous as they;  that the Portuguese police were the villains of the piece and instead of advising them to answer legitimate police questions the dodgy govament of Gordon Snot sent the flatfoot, stuttering  dimwits of the Metropilitan police over on holiday to Portugal, almost as if to arrest the Portugueezers for their policing failures. 
Even though Gerry and Cilla McCann trashed the crime scene, delayed reporting the child's absence until they had engaged a PR firm and rehearsed a series of stories, all of which collapsed under scrutiny and refused to answer any questions about the matter  they were popular Internet sensation. 
Not with me they weren't but with the New People. 

The Internet's  Highway of Vicarious Sorrow was Gerry and Cilla's best - and most generous - friend. I don't suggest that Charlie Gard's parents  are remotely as loathsome as Gerry and Cilla but they, too, have invited rank strangers to help them thwart Propriety, and to pay for the privilege. 
Their Child of Sorrow has become their platform and their cashcow.

I happened to watch the case at the British Supreme Court, a week or ten days ago.  Counsel for the Hospital - Great Ormond Street - argued that, well, basically she argued that the parents didn't own the child and that while broadly speaking  parents' wishes should be taken into account, where possible,  in this case they were so unreasonable that they should be discounted.  
There was simply no hope for this child and the claims of the US doctor were misinformed and  misleading.  
The parents were acting unreasonably, firstly  inasmuch as shipping the baby to the States would  make matters worse;  he was in pain, his tolerance to painkillers was likely to increase and the condition of his brain and major organs was such as to be unimprovable by any means.

The parents countered, firstly, that  the matter was not even justiceable and that it was no business of the Court what they did with their child. They knew what was best for their child.
 The Court-appointed Guardian and all the doctors concerned disagreed and two lower courts and now the UK Supreme Court dashed their unrealistic and selfish hopes, a decision, as mentioned above, endorsed by the European Court

This notion that parents always know best is just ludicrous, Daily Mail rabble-rousing.
Mick Philpott was and is a parent, should we support his fateful arson, because he said he knew what was best for his kids?

And even if parents think and believe that  they know best events can reach a pitch where the Court must do what it thinks best;  Every working day of the year Judges in Family Courts make decisions which upset one or both parents, and all around the clock  every day of the year, social workers and child protection committees remove children to a place of safety, temporarily or permanently.
Parents, Mr and Mrs Gard,  neither own nor know what is best for   their children, nor should they, 
this isn't Pakistan or India or  China, is it?  

I had some sympathy for these wretyched and woebegone  parents, caught-up, as they were,  in Celebrity's thoughtless maelstrom, until I saw them, that is, and then I realised what - whom- the hospital had been up against;  they were an open sore of Want and Grievance.  They wanted the child flown overseas, experimented upon, they wanted the child to die at home, they wanted to bathe him, this desperately ill infant, and have him sleep with them in their bed, they wanted to do normal parent and family things, they wanted this and they wanted that, they were being treated unfairly, no-one was listening to what they wanted.
Theirs is a sad situation, alreadydrowning  in an overdose of misplaced  Sympathy, they don't need mine.
And I read the vox-pops:
 Oh, fuck me, this is terrible; the parents' rights count for nothing; it's just typical; Oh, this is so sad, there simply is no right and wrong in this.

There were thousands upon thousands of comments from the Obvious Imbecile Believers, tapping-away, enraged.. 
Their opinions, of course, are no less valid than those of MediaMinster's emotional retard, Jon Sox, at Channel Four News, nearly in tears the other night,

"Good evening. I know nothing, we, the media, the pundits, we know nothing." 
 Jon Snow, on Jeremy Corbyn, Channel Four News, 8th June 2017

 because he was interviewing a doctor, a real doctor, and clearly a very caring doctor, Sarah Wotsaname, the Tory MP, she seemed to hypnotise Soxy, a very calm,  reassuring voice and delivery, repeating and re-emphasising her very calm and reassuring solutions to all the ills of parliament, indeed of the world, of Life and the Human Condition; focussing, Jon, on what is Right but Practical and Affordable, Right but Practical and Affordable, Jon; 
proper tranced-out was Jonny.  
mrs ishmael used to deploy these techniques with clients, not NLP but just mild hypnotic trance, it is very effective and Sarah Wollaston. MP,

Focus on your breathing, Jon, that's right, just focus on your breathing.

played the silly old duffer, Sox, like a trout. 
He'll probably move to Doctor Sarah's constituency, just so's he can vote for her. He was always a fool, Jon Sox but as they say, there is no fool like an old fool.
With dimwits like Jon Sox orchestrating the national tune, no wonder it is so discordant, its chorus ready to leap on a case like baby Charlie's and emote itself into a dissonant frenzy.
  But this no-right-and-wrong thing, this phony dilemma-facing-the-parents, this is so stupid, so corrosive.  
There is no dilemma.

World Wide Words drily says this:

The original dilemma in rhetoric was a device by which you presented your opponent with two alternatives; it didn’t matter which one he chose to respond to — either way he lost the argument. When you did this to your opponent you were said to present two horns to him, as of a bull, on either of which he might be impaled. As the scholar Nicholas Udall said in a translation of a work by Erasmus in 1548, it didn’t matter to which of the two points a person made a direct answer, either way he would run on to the sharp point of the horn.

More mischievously, Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, An Enquiry Into Values,  posits a couple  of dilemma-busters:
Pirsig says you have one hand on each horn of a bull, restraining it; if you release the left horn, you will be gored by the right and vice versa, you can only hang-on.
But, says the philosopher-mechanic, you can sing the bull to sleep, bore him, by asking endless questions about his competence. - or as in the case of the Gards endless court questions about about the justiceability of the case, should we all really be here in the first place, since we as parents own the child and his future?
And then, from Pirsig, my own favourite, you can throw sand in the bull's eyes, sharpish, though, before he realises you have released a horn.

And now we have the Gards' solution, which is a combination of these: to invite everyone else to grapple with the two dilemmic horns, ihrough a huge vicarious, angry misery and make a lot of noise.
It is all counterfeit because there is no dilemma. 
Idiot columnists may have conjured one but it is not a dilemma at all, the lonesome death of Charlie Gard, at least it is not to me.
This situation rebukes us all, this gabshite debate is not a choice between finely balanced alternatives, this is a living horror, requiring Mercy, nor rhetoric, doctors, not lawyers.
This is not a vote on Brexit, this is a running tap of Sadness, the lights of Grief, left-on, burning bright and harsh;
 even if this child could breath it will never think or  see or hear or smell or touch,  there is nothing there of life, save the pain.
 There is only one proper course of action, not two or more; just the one, to which  the parents and their followers, including some ghastly celebrity "funders," investing, Geldof-like,  in their own caring images, cannot reconcile themselves;  that course excludes alternatives;  there is no dilemma, there are only right and wrong.
Another bovine metaphor is not about procrastination and immature philosphising;
taking the bull by the horns means that we do the only right, the least wrong thing 
and kill the child. 
And then make the best of it.


Bungalow Bill said...

Or just allow him to die, not strive officiously to keep alive, as the wisdom has it. I think so. It's the telly and its offspring that have done it all right over these 50 years or so, made us into something we have never been before, everything has a script and a programme in it, no matter how intimate, how properly private it should be. We buy and sell each other (or versions of each other) on-screen every day, The Atrocity Exhibition indeed.

call me ishmael said...

I prefer the verb to kill, mr bungalow bill, in order to end what may be horrible, "not strive officiously to keep alive" seems potentially the greater cruelty, the greater cowardice. I think that ShowBusiness may kill us sooner than climate change.

Mike said...

All this faux grieving from a people that happily tolerate hundreds of thousands of healthy fetuses to be aborted. I betcha many of those donating have had an abortion. Just another example of consumerism.

Doug Shoulders said...

They can’t make the decision Mr Ishmael. Switch the childs life off or continue on knowing that that decision will need to be made at some point. If they’re continuing on…trying everything..then maybe they need to do that. ..To say that they tried everything before the inevitable.
If they’re continuing on to attain celeb status…well that’s another thing. What’s the answer? The child’s life never began, the child is suffering, there is no future for him. One contradiction to those three things would offer some hope and that’s for the parents to decide. It is their responsibility.
People can’t make a decision these days…they can’t answer a question and they can’t ask one either. They obfuscate. More often than not they think it makes them seem important. I sit at meetings sometimes and no one can make a decision on anything. They just talk. Can’t finish, can’t conclude the business.
The horrible Piers Morgan interviewing horrible people about the horrible things they’ve done. And why did the horrible person do that thing? Because they’re a horrible cunt. It’s easy.
I have an old cat which has been hanging around for years. Must be the oldest cat in the world…certainly looks it.
She’s half feral, blind in one eye, deaf, arthritic, mangy and, the worst thing for a cat…cannot hunt. According to the vet I’m responsible for her. (That’ll be £50 please). She wouldn’t last one day outside the walls of my garden…in the wild. But then she’s not a wild animal. I know this because she comes to me when I’m outside, looking for a bit of rubbing. She complains bitterly if she doesn’t get the premium cat food. I used to feed her any old junk but she’s wiser to play me..knows that if she holds out long enough maybe even a tin of tuna will turn up.
Should she be put down? I decided long ago that she will go when she’s ready.

walter said...

I know you dont like links but this is interesting for dog lovers like you
Im not literate enough too comment on your essays

Its about the taming of artic foxes

call me ishmael said...

I don't think it is the parents' decision, mr doug, when did that become the case; the UK Supreme Court decided that the doctors - and this is Great Ormond Street, don't forget - were correct in their assessment of the child's prospects, that they acted entirely properly; that others - even other doctors - disagree with the GOSH doctors and the Court is irrelevant; the child has no prospect of life, that is the determination of all the proper authorities; the child is in pain - you say "trying everything..then maybe they need to do that" it doesn't matter what they need to do, it's not about them, it is about a helpless, hopeless suffering creature whose continued tug-of-wear existence is an affront to Decency, and represents the triumph of the Gabshite Tendency.

Your cat sounds like mine, well, I say mine. I have drawn the line at those ruinously expensive cat soups but otherwise he eats the best of stuff.

If he develops cancer, as his sister did, then we'll be off down the vetbastards for the last time, but meanwhile he lives like an emperor.

As for people being unable to make a decision , I am sorry to disagree with you yet again but I think that the Gards fall outside that category; they can make a decision, they have decided that they only want what THEY want.

call me ishmael said...

I am always uneasy, talking about abortion, mr mike, save to say that I think it is the most dreadful form of contraception ever devised.

Tdg said...

I suppose it all proceeds from the patient becoming consumer and medicine becoming commodity. I have not seen the details but since neither parent nor patient can compel a doctor to administer a treatment he does not believe to be indicated the argument must be about transfer to another unit. GOSH should never have fought that, but rather reported the parents to social services for cruelty. For that is the issue here: they are happy to substitute their child's suffering for their own grief. Morally, it is an open and shut case.

Caratacus said...

Thank you for a most thoughtful essay, Mr. I. Having recently had to decide upon the fate of a very ill old dogchum, I felt the truth of every word. Of course it was primarily about how I felt, but having worked with animals of all sorts in the past I also like to think that I had some understanding of how the poor old sod was feeling too; indeed, such was our closeness I wonder whether we were one entity and I was just doing what we both knew needed doing. He was suffering and this ceased quickly; or I could have sat with him as his suffering increased and his body failed over several hours or days, his body becoming dehydrated, starved, wracked with pain. If I had thought for a moment that the latter was his preference I would have sat with him until he passed. Ye gods, it's a difficult one. One thing's for sure though, in the event of some dread lurgey being visited upon me by a vengeful deity I would infinitely prefer the attention of a vetbastard to the tender mercies of the NHS as it is manifested today.

mongoose said...

It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? To lose a child, a babe in arms. Wouldn't everyone suspend reason and cling to hope? And in these days of international miracles, we now have the dubious charms of the Vatican or the Donald trying to woo the parents. (Donald just lost my vote I am afraid. My special orange friend no longer.)

In the days of old, a baby would be sick and a doctor would advise and hold the hand of the parents while it happened, while "nature took its course". The tragedy just the same as now, an identical heart-breaking fucking disaster. Few people had the nous or the affrontery for second opinions. Perhaps doctors used to do that to themselves - ask somebody to look and see if they were missing something. I hope they did. I hope they do. Now it is the bastard Daily Wotsit doing the secondary opining. And then Pope Argie, and now Donald. And that is the horror show.

The parents, as we have discussed before, get a pass on the grounds that their minds and their judgment must be disturbed. Having opened Pandora's box too, they are now the actors in somebody else's play. How long before Jezza - or more likely the other pig - says that little baby Gard is a victim of Tory austerity?

Mike said...

I'm no lawyer, but in this case are not the parents the legal guardians of the infant and it is their decision what is in its best interest. We might not agree, for all sorts of reasons with their judgement, as may not hospitals and doctors for their own reasons, but surely its the parent's decision? If you allow bureaucrats to decide, well where do you draw the line? There are examples of children taken off foster parents because they voted UKIP, for example.

They are supported in their view by such luminaries as the Pope and the Donald - maybe not a ringing endorsement from cynics such as we, but whose to know?

And it was only a couple of years ago when there was a similar case of a young kid taken somewhere in Europe for treatment because he was being killed by the NHS; the parents were arrested (in Spain) at the behest of the health authorities; it subsequently transpired that the kid was saved by the treatment and that the case against them had been brought partly out of spite by the NHS doctors because they were shown up as being inadequate, and the NHS was then forced to admit its inadequacy and purchase specialised radiotherapy equipment to provide similar treatments in future.

The usual suspects jumping on the bandwagon is beyond the pale, and the parents may have been encouraged to flaunt their grief, but that doesn't change the fundamentals that in our society, unless there are exceptional circumstances, the parents decide what's in their kids best interests - for good or bad.

mongoose said...

I think that the law trumps parenthood or else we would be allowed to eat our children - at least as long as they were not yet adults.

It is not so much that parents have to decide but that they are responsible. I have some kids and I am responsible for lots of things until they can be responsible themselves. How long, O Lord, how long? We give these things over, don't we, as they grow. Sitting in the bath tended lest they drown, tying their laces, crossing the road, buying cars alone. And before you know where you are they're calling you Daddio and shouting at you in your bath chair.

This submission to the law though is a secondary thing to parental responsibility. Or I think it is at least. We made the baby and are responsible for it until it can make its own bargains with the world. If this means that, the law having failed to prevent further harm or risk thereof, I have to go around and kill the noncing scout master, and then go to jail, well so be it. That was the ticket I bought - the child didn't.

I agree that these parents are responsible and should be allowed to follow whatever course they select. I fear that the world has corrupted their choices. I wish they were wiser or had more time, or better advisers. It is a bottonlesss misery. Who can say who is right? Hard cases make bad law.

Mike said...

I agree that law trumps parenthood in general (not always a good thing, depending on how stupid the law is), but clearly eating your child would be a breach of the law.

But in this case the parents want to preserve the child's life and the law wants to end it. Its not at all clear to me that the law or the health authorities have a position in this sad case.

As I said in para 3 above, there are enough prior cases to make me want to doubt the system v parents.

yardarm said...

Enlarging on what Mr Mongoose said, I have no idea of the medical or ethical issues but with Trump and Pope Frankie we`re seeing a nauseating display of griefjacking, shroud waving, virtue signalling, whatever.

Trump, a man seemingly in need of medical attention himself albeit of the psychiatric kind has never given a toss for a doctor`s opinion except when it got him out of the Vietnam war and as the cartoon superhero in the film playing in his fucked up head, will battle Death like it was fucking Skeletor. When he`s not dismantling Obummercare, that is.

Popeye might actually go down on his knees and ask what kind of cuntish God inflicts this suffering on a helpless baby and his family but no doubt he`d come out with the old' Who can fathom the mind of God ' get out of jail card. Speaking of getting out of jail one of his leading Cardinals is up on noncing charges in Australia so I suppose Popeye`s after some positive PR.

walter said...

My mother in law saved my father in laws life, he had ulcerative colitis the local hospital said it was cancer she didnt accept their diagnosis, and took him to the John Radcliffe hospital , a consultant said he didnt have cancer and operated on him, he lasted another 25 years she didnt

mongoose said...

A moment's reflection should have told everyone that they are unlikely to find a better place for a sick kid than GOSH. I was about though to fill in the missing part of my circular argument but on reflection, I think that you are right, Mr Mike. It is too difficult a subject to find the "right" thing to do so the rest of us should just butt out and leave it to the parents and their doctors. There but for the grace of God go us all.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr walter, and mrs ishmael diagnosed my type 1 diabetes when the local fool of a GP insisted it was gastro-enteritis. This is a different scenario, this is Great Ormond Street Hospital, reviewed and endorsed by all the Courts there are.

REgarding you mother in law for that matter, I have been in conflict with doctors and hospitals for some years and the outcomes thus far have endorsed my judgement, rather than theirs; I know that the system is not always correct nor even well-meaning but I do not think that is the case here.

call me ishmael said...

Although you make my whole commentary more or less superfluous, mr tdg, thanks very much for that clear incision.

call me ishmael said...

mr mike, I remember that case, in your third paragraph, and I know that hospital administrators can be spiteful, horrible bastards, whose first duty is to attack the patient but I believe this matter to be, as mr tdg succinctly says, an open-and-shut case.

Merely because the mother claims that the child can eventually live a wholly normal life does not make it so - Walt Disney believed that one day his cryo-vac corpse will be revived in its full Jew-baiting glory but he was spending his own money, Ms Ghastly is spending mine, unless her Internet Groupies are also paying the hospital's legal costs. One wonders, also, how many other children are having their trreatment delayed or compromised because of the enormous efforts being made in this one case.

There are times, mr mike, when bureaucracy and procedure are correct, the McCanns shouldn't have lied, they should have 'phoned the police before they phoned a PR firm, they should have answered legitimate police questions. These two? Well, I am sure that there are, on Cyber Street, any number of experts who will argue that a senseless child can be made whole, if only.......that these two leap on charlatanry in order to keep their flame flickering is, as mr tdg says, an act of cruelty; in short, these are the those exceptional circumstances in which you say parents should be overruled.

call me ishmael said...

Strange bedfellows, eh, mr yardarm, Pope Frankie de los Fray Bentos and POTUS Invalid?

I never thought that Frankie would be any different from all the previous Nonce-Protectors General, just because he's not a European, never been in the Hitler Youth, never fought tooth and nail to protect the Vatican's funds from Beasting compensation claims as did his predecessor, Benny Emeritus. Good men don't get to be Pope, or President, for that matter. Both of their interventioins are obnoxious.

Maybe , if you have the time, you should look at the Supreme Court judgement on this matter, it is a lesson in lucidity over hysteria and ultimately a testament to the humane.

call me ishmael said...

I was trying to get somewhere, king caratacus.

- My only experience of these end-of life realities is when they affect my warm brown friends, the dogblokes and the occasional cat. Both parents died young and suddenly and I have no kin other than mrs ishmael, friends have died suddenly as well. -

I was trying to equate the mercy killing of an animal with the proposed mercy killing - or withdrawal of life support - of an infant, perhaps not equate but compare and in a roundabout way I concluded they were just the same, suffering without hope of relief may be okay for adult humans and in a way that's what life is, even witnout a painful illness but for a helpless, uncomprehending animal or a senseless child the suffering of pain without hope should be extinguished.

I think we covered similar ground in an earlier post: They Shoot Horses, Don't They? but it doesn't get any easier, this lIfe'n'Death stuff.

I am sorry about your loss.

call me ishmael said...

It IS a cherry requiring afew bites, this one, mr mongoose.

It IS Great Ormond Street Hospital and I am sure that if it chose to it could furnish a patient's reference or two, the odd testimonial, from decades of outstanding and pioneering work in the care of sick children.

The status quo IS that we "butt out - or some of us do - and leave it to the parents and the doctors" but in this case there was no agreement and the matter was, therefore, properly and inevitably adjudicated upon by those whom we have selected trained and paid to do so and at every level these tribuinals agreed with the doctors. That should be the end of the matter but having urged butting-out are we now to acquisce to every Tom, Dick and Ahmed butting-back-in?

There IS provision for "the right thing" to happen and it has been decided that it should, that the parents now insist upon doing the wrong thing is their fault, not ours, we have no dilemma, unless we make common cause with Wrong.

Believe me, I wish I'd never heard of this shit, never seen this horrid woman and her weedy man - even if it has only been for a second or two - and I just wish that the bleeding hearts and the artists, the pontiffs and the presidents cared as much about the brown children who can't get a drink of water or an aspirin as they seem to about this poor soul. Greatest good of the greatest number, there goes that filthy Marxism again.

As you said, this sort of thing used to happen every day and be dealt with far more respectfully.

Your circularity is quite understandable, we are being administered a hiding to nothing. You know me, I shiver at abortion; I rage and howl at the death penalty; I loathe the torturer and the warmonger; I can't eat animals; I hate zoos and fox-hunting and I even flinch from mousetraps and flyspray, I'm a wuss, me; Life is all there is, takes something special to make me write Kill the child but there it is; all of us, now, thanks to Ms Ghastly, taking a stand, are in a region where we don't wanna be, a region we pay other people to marshal, now that we're here, even the judgement of Solomon is drowned out by the cry of the vulgarian, and fails.
It takes a lot to laugh....

Caratacus said...

As always, Mr. I., the comments here - and your own - provide much food for thought. I grew up reading tales of the Spartan ethic; you know, leaving babes on the cold hillside and only accepting the ones that made it through the night and so forth. It was only some years ago that I learnt of Agesilaus II, the crippled king of Sparta. How he made it past their gruelling selection procedure heaven alone knows but he surely did and went on to be a bit of a success by all accounts. I think Mr Tdg has it right ...but by christ it's a hard call.

call me ishmael said...

Shouldn't be a call at all, though, king caratacus, not a public one for as the song has it, if you let the pigs decide it, they will put you in the sty; this is not a matter for public approval.

I am unschooled in matters Spartan, save for a glancing encounter at school with the Battle of Thermopylae and with the film, 300. I know that they were tough cookies, ate nails for breakfast and wiped their arses with sandpaper and have become role models for all the Special Homosexual Services - Navy Seals, Mossad, The Regiment and the rest, Clint Eastwood and that shitbrain from EastEnders, the one who was married to and battered by Rebekka Brooks, Ross Kemp, is it, always snarling about in some cheap SAS drama on Freeview.

Somewhere, though, the putting them out on the hillside thing is hard-wired in my consciousness and always lights-up in situations like these.

My old friend, Colin, who had he but known it was a Zen master, said to me that losing his animals was worse'n losin' his parents. It is an odd, contrary expression, against the sentiment of our times but I know what he meant.

It is perhaps their greatest lesson to us, our companion animals, that of Loss.

Mike said...

Mr I: I don't have the same confidence in the systems and procedures as you.

Its in living memory when that most logical and procedural of peoples, the Hermanns, deemed that if your nose was too big you should be exterminated. And despite what they now say, 60 million went along with that, as did Les Frogs, happy to hang the stolen treasure on the walls of their Parisian salons.

The health economists at York have long advocated allocating NHS resources based on the quality adjusted life years specific treatments produce (look up QALY). In fact this already happens; the ironically titled NICE and the expert group that approves drugs already limits drugs and other procedures based on cost. And woe betide if you offer to pay for the procedure you want, or god forbid go abroad for treatment. I now remember it was the Brighton Health Trust (no doubt ably abetted by the SS) which had those parents arrested in Spain for child abduction and abuse - when what they actually did was research the care their son was receiving, questioned its efficacy, then sold their house so he might receive better care abroad. I think they went to an East European country for treatment - which rubbed extra salt into the almighty NHS's wounds.

You or I are just a cost-benefit-analysis away from some expert determining that the cost spent on our care could better be spent on treating 100 Ahmed immigrants of their TB. And in an over-populated world, there are no prizes for guessing where this approach ends.

My mother-in-law who now lives in Sydney recently had life saving surgery here. She is in no doubt that if she had to rely on the system in the UK she would be dead.

Its a very slippery slope leaving these decision in the hands of the bureaucrats and their vested interests. The courts always support the doctors, as they do the police.

call me ishmael said...

Morning, mr mike, half-past midnight and still daylight, here.

I think it is possible to acknowledge the truths in what you say and still hold that the Court, in this instance, is correct.

Don't forget, they completely fucked-up my heart surgery and subsequently said that the chest pain with which I thereafter presented was "reflected" pain from my neck surgery, something which the neurologists describe as complete fucking rubbish, my condition is much worse now than it was before the bypass, something I resisted for three years but was eventually persuaded to undergo. I had a six-hour op, they removed a long vessel from my leg, cut it up, cut my chest open, stopped and removed my heart and lungs, stitched-in these new vessels, bump-started my heart, sewed me back up and sent me home, cured. Only trouble was that the grafts didn't take, were never checked and they just withered and died, I have seen them with my own fucking eyes. I know, therefore, what you mean, probably better than you do, or worser.

This child, however, is not "alive" in any sense of the word, he has a kind of Mad Cow Disease, he cannot breath without the machinery, his brain doesn't function and is shrinking; even the madcap proponents of this proposed treatment acknowledge that it is not a cure, is entirely untested and may not even be palliative, and is just an experiment, one which they haven't tried on a mouse or anything else; his brain damage is irreversible, further, the hospital, among other procedures, has to regularly flush his lungs, which, if he has any sensation, is a sensation akin to a severe asthma attack which is likened to a sense of drowning in one's own mucus, such will be his life if it is thus artificially maintained, pending the miracle. This child is being kept alive artificially with no prospect of anything other than being kept alive artificially, his parents describe this as "Charlie's still fighting, we gotta fight" Charlie is doing nothing, can do nothing. Even if everything you say in your comment about conspiracy and malpractice is true, I listened to every word of the case in the UK Supreme Court and the judges appeared to be fair, the parents' lawyer was given every leeway and every consideration and I, with my own personal cynicism about aspects the NHS, wanted him to persuade me that the parents were correct but they are not. This is parental cruelty which needs to be admonished, I hope the current judge, in Wednesday's hearing, has the balls to do so.

Mike said...

Mr I: I'm sure you are right, and this poor kid's life is intolerable by any normal, humane, measure. I'm not fully au fait with the specific details of the case, but although this is the case we are discussing, my argument is in the generality. Fuck knows where you draw the line between the specific and the general, but I tend to err on the side of caution. One good case doesn't make a good law, as some sage said.

Your experience at the hands of the mighty NHS sounds awful, I trust you have recovered. The old addage 'doctor cure thyself' comes to mind.

Still light up there? The weather here is marvelous right now - blue sky & sun every day. low 20s Celsius - this is our mid-winter. Now I've said that, it will rain for 40 days & nights, or we will get bushfires.

call me ishmael said...

Dark, now, for a short while, mr mike, and it's a cool Summer.

And it isn't only the specific medical factors in this case which disturb, it is the hijacking of the horror by US politicsl activists entirely for their own ends and the unthinking, mawkish stupidity of the Internetm, although sense is beginning to prevail there, with the overwhelming majority of comment being supportive of the previous Court decision/s.

As for me, well, when this bypass failure was dscovered in the Stent Lab - it's a small theatre with clever x-ray macjines - they stuck in a large aortiuc stent and said I would be fine - they are different departments, the Stent Lab and the Cardiac Surgeons - and I am bound to ask why, if one stent will do the job, did they perform major surgery in the first place? It is all highly unsatisfactory. My original decision was just to deal with the condition by medication and diet and I kindaish I had stuck with that. We'll see.

Mike said...

PS: talking of taking the bull by the horns, I see the bulls are winning this year in Pamplona.

Mike said...

Mr I: those stents are temporary - 5 years max. Make sure you get it checked in 3-4 years time.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, I know, but NHS Scotland, once much superior to the South has been driven into inferiority by the Tribsemen, long waits, poor outcomes, poor staff morale. I will probably have to go somewhere privately. Dagos, eh, I hate that bulltorturing matador shit, Hemimgway be buggered.

Mike said...

Re Pamplona bull run: there is a good picture (can't find right now) of a man running from the bull; it gores him in the arse; he has yellow underpants with the bull's right horn up his arsehole. One wag commented 'there goes his virginity'. Hard not to laugh.

Caratacus said...

Oh dear, Mr. Mike - slid out of the chair laughing at that one. Thank you so much. As the Memsahib constantly reminds me, I am a peasant with a dubious sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

I'm ambivalent about bullfighting. Animals reared to die a grisly death for entertainment... but..
They haven't been bred to be easily prodded into a lorry and thence to be butchered.
Even a friendly farmyard bull can kill a man with an inadvertent shake of it's head, solid bone and weighing more - just it's head that is- than the farmer.
Fighting bulls are much more nimble and fierce and it would be difficult to stop a charge at close range with a rifle, for an ordinary man with shaking hands, terror-stricken.
To kill one of these things with a sword and piece of cloth, without showing the slightest sign of fear and after a duel in which at any time you could get horribly mangled or killed, is it human weakness or the highest display of physical courage?
Next time you hear of some tranny cutting off their dick and wearing a wig being described as "brave" - imagine he-she-it in the bullring against the maximum fury available to the animal kingdom, inside half a ton of muscle, at an effortless 40 miles an hour, turning on a sixpence. Get it right or die. Show any fear whatsoever and be disgraced before thousands.
Bravery is better than effeminacy. It just is. Neither the bull nor the matador would ever walk up a ramp to get his throat cut.
Office job and a burger for most of us but we see in the bullring that the greatest virtue is not yet buried and that it's possible to be unflinching in the presence of death and therefore anything. No wonder "they" want it banned.
If in doubt ask a vegan what he thinks, the big black one with horns, but you'll have to be quick.

Mike said...

Mr Richard: a couple of years ago I was in Ronda in the heart of Andalucia and bullfighting country, and walked around the bullring there, which seemed small and claustrophobic, eerily quiet, like walking in a graveyard. Even to step in the ring - alone, sans bull - was scary. Walking around the 'hospital' just off the ring and seeing the photos on the walls it was clear it is highly dangerous - not a sport as such, but more elemental - man versus beast. And in a peasant, rural, way of life, struggling to survive, I one can recognise this throwback to the past.

Its true the bulls would not exist if it were not for the bullfighting. However, I'm against bullfighting in principle, and I have to admit siding with the bulls.

Caratacus said...

Mr Mike: I visited the bullring in Ronda a few years ago (just worked it out - 20 years ago ... now I feel old) and remember being astonished on seeing the matadors' costumes on display. They looked like they had been tailored for an average ten year-old boy. Were people just smaller back in the day? Were they not prevailed upon to eat up their porridge and breadcrusts to ensure, at the very least, that this would put hairs on their chests?

When I look at the hefty young Spaniards hauling themselves about the Costas these days I reflect that the "emaciated dagoes with nine-inch hips presenting Flamenco for foreigners" as mentioned by Eric Idle are indeed in the past.

Mke said...

Mr Caractacus: yes I remember having the same thought - the costumes are still on display in the museum. The matadors were (are) highly sought after by women admirers, so they must be more than boys. The old photos of them being dressed makes one understand the ritual of it all - even more scary preparing for potential death. Incidentally, in the last few weeks one of the top matadores in Spain was gored and bled to death.

Anonymous said...

Mr Mike, yours might be a similar feeling to a motorcyclist who belts around Dundrod or the Norh West circuit, or the Isle of Man TT course. You give it your all, 130 plus on the straights, two wheel drifts, the lot, then realise at the end, shaking with adrenaline and feeling pretty pleased, that some chaps do the same thing but add 60 mph to your lap time. They've seen things you can't imagine and operate so far past your limits they may as well be a different species. Even though they aren't you get the chills because you know something of the gulf between you and them.
There are, out there, in nooks and crannies, men who haven't lost their balls and the bullring is one of those places.
A pastime which might kill you, if you let it, is no bad thing. Mine was paragliding and motorcycling, others might sail or climb, or if they want to, fight a bull.
How the hell can a skinny guy in a flamboyant get-up fight a bull? How can anyone without a machine-gun? The fact that he can is something which I admire, and killing such a dangerous mammal, toe to hoof, live or die, and perform to the crowd at the same time with calm courage - is it better, more honest, than ordering a steak at zero risk?

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr richard, but if like me you are someone who doesn't order a steak then that comparison is null and void. The other thing which gets lost in the appreciation of the matador is that he has under-assistant tortuters who stab and enrage the poor animal before his fag coup de grace. One sees the bull, bred for torture, with spears hanging from its withers, it is cowardly and it is loathsome.

Long ago I read Or I'll Dress You In Mourning, the ghosted memoir of el Cordobes, el Beatle, a kind of animal-stabbing Georgie Best upon whom claims of artistry and courage were ladled but he was actually just a peasant boy finding the only way that he could to fame and money and senoritas. This is often the justification for prize fighting but at least in that case it is mano against man, not fag mano against poor, enraged, tormented animal.

As I said to you, before-before, my old man used to race the Ulster and Isle of Man TT, he had a Square Four and a Brough Superior when I was an infant, impossible to reconcile that, I dunno what, courage or recklessness, with the older man I knew, struggliung to pay a mortgage and for school uniforms. In my early teens he used to put me behind the wheel of his car to be instructed by an old man, a great friend of his, in how to travel very swiftly around bendy lanes. Googling the other day, I tracked him down, Ian Stewart, raced le Mans for Jaguar; that's it, ishmael, you brake here, just so, going in and you accellerate out, I was thirteen.

I sometimes glance at the Moto GP and my jaw drops. And no animals are hurt in the making of that spectacle, or tortured, Breeding animals to torture them to death in front of a baying crowd, it's not my idea of bravery or manliness, fuck 'em, they are dep[rtaved perverts and I hope they all get disembowelled.

Anonymous said...

As I said at the start I'm ambivalent. I wouldn't watch one myself and the sight of rooks being shot has involved me in altercations with my "if it flies it dies" farming neighbours.
Having said that, it's still brave in spite of the cruelty which is, yes, unnecessary as is steak. I eat eggs from my own hens, prawns (not sentient, probably) and milk - very rarely any other animal protein.
There's a form of bullfighting in France where they jump and somersault over the bull without harming it. I would watch that, no bother, and if the Spaniards went down that path, then good. But a matador is brave and perhaps if not more moral, less dishonest; most people never see or hear the miserable crowd of animals heading to the captive-bolt gun The only risk to themselves is not having enough pepper sauce.

call me ishmael said...

I know what you mean, mr richard, My neighbouring farmer laughs as he drives his whirring blades over young flightless birds nesting on his land, not sure that I care too much what happens to farmers nor thank them them for their custodainship, as they call it, of the countryside; they don't like me, 'round here, for instance, because I plant trees and hedges, which, as every Orcadian farmer knows, are unnatural,the stupid fucking bastards, barbed wire, that's what should border fields.

The unmusical spirit of the blessed and late Linda McCartney guides my rare protein consumption, soyabangers'n'mash once in a while, can't do eggs, milk, fish, just can't, it's not ethical, just aesthetic, the idea makes me boke, as they say down your way, yeah, I'd be bokin' all over McGarry's wee dawg, so I would.

I think the revulsion at bullfighting is a separate thing from not eating meat - I don't object to other people eating the bloodiest rump steak, how could I, I've cooked and eaten enough meat, myself, and enjoyed it - but I strongly object to and would assault those who partticipate in the perverse fetishising of torment, cruelty and killing; I see no diference between a bullfight's crowd and Fred West or Ian Brady; see a Dago, kick him in the nuts, let that be our watchword.

Anonymous said...

Iv'e been thinking about this and-
1. Bullfighting is cruel.
2. People entertained by an animal in
pain are bastards.
3. Bullfighting is dangerous therefore
it requires bravery which is a
4. Personal bravery in this case is no
excuse even if bravery, even in a
Matador, is admirable.

I wouldn't compare a matador to Fred West as he didn't kill a half-ton armed opponent fifty times stronger and four times as fast, but helpless weak girls. Which you aren't doing; the crowd, well, I don't know if it's like badger baiters - I suppose there are but few who go solely to judge the Matador's techniques.
I wouldn't go to see it. I wouldn't like it. But if I thought I had the level of physical courage to actually do it I would not be displeased, even if I never would.
Maybe I do, though, maybe a Matador would be afraid to fly a paraglider.
On the other hand I was bullied by a female boss and was too scared of losing my job to tell her to fuck off.
As you say, boke. Moral courage might be more of a rarity.

Doug Shoulders said...

My tuppence worth..the bullfighters are not taught bravery but mastery. Over an animal that has far less brain. More people are killed riding horses than stabbing bulls. Just as powerful an animal that can become hysterical at less provocation…The bull is a good deal more predictable
I would venture that it take more courage to suffer the slings and arrows of a bullying boss, knowing the alternative if you do the foolhardy thing.
Overcoming fear to do the thing needing done is courage.
I’m not entirely sure that a matador steeped in learning and training needs to fear the bull when he’s ready to put on those small trousers.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would you want to leave this poor child in a position that he will never recover from. He will never be normal. He will have to be looked after all his life. He will suffer every day. Where is the humanity and kindness in this. I would never leave an animal in such distress but I am expected to think that humans can take that pain and poor level of life!

call me ishmael said...

It is one of Ruin's most vivid signposts, mr anonymous; that people are not throwing stones at this wretched pair shows how deeply and how swiftly we have inhabited the sewer; I guess it is that lack of moral courage mentioned above.

Mike said...

Mr Anonymous: where do you stand on people with dementia? And how demented do you have to be before you are put down? And the elderly who will never regain their youth?

Bungalow Bill said...

My word the lawyers are being put through their paces on this and many other matters. I must say that, for the most part, they distinguish themselves. This Judge seems to me to be a model of rational humanity. I would not have indulged the American neurologist option but I see why Francis has done so for this short extra period.

Wrestling with words, meanings, competing truths. Yes, at the higher end, the law in this country and in much of the rest of the world still has much to recommend it and is a last defence against the tide of idiocy. Not always, not by a long chalk, but often enough to be noticed rightly.

As for Charlie Gard; palliative care towards a peaceful death for my child is how I would want to express my parental love.

Anonymous said...

Another ethical funfest pitching its tent just now with this idea that all must be organ donors unless one has explicitly opted out. (Will there be be a Registry of Shame? A sub-menu on plod's crime maps to show how many Selfish Bastards live round your way?) All too easy to imagine some harassed registrar with a superstar surgeon breathing down his neck; superstar has his league table percentile to fine-tune, registrar knows what's expected and signs off on some unfortunate non-responsive patient to be harvested forthwith..."well, recovery is moot at this point." (Stories of significant revival despite terminal diagnosis, following a stroke for example, weigh heavily here.) I appreciate this would be neither common nor typical, but really it only needs to happen once for full nightmare status to descend.


call me ishmael said...

That is obviousy a thoughtful summary, mr richard, and 1 & 2 do seem to cancel-out 3 & 4.

It is these days an almost meaningless term, bravery, now that everyone who puts on a uniform for money and career is automatically heroic, if Tommy accidentally steps on a land-mine it is heroic, so how, then, do we describe Tommy who single-handedly storms a Talban machine gun post and saves his comrades? Every firefighter who turns-to on a shout is automatically a hero; wither bravery, wither heroism? Is a skydiver braver than a matador?

I do believe that confronting institutionalised bullying in the workplace requires something if not unique then rare.

call me ishmael said...

Amen, mr doug, that's worth more than tuppence. Doing the thing you fear, that's brave and grown-up.

call me ishmael said...

I don't want to jump mr anonymous's gun, mr mike, but since I agree with him I would say that there is a huge difference between end-of-life care and the insistence by these parents on consigning their child a whole-life tarrif of misery and the rest of us to its financial and emotional burden.

The simple solution to the Dementia Crisis is that we all pay more tax -towards research into a cure and towards proper care structures pro-tem - but paying more tax is something which we Brits seem to consider a fate worse than having the Four HorsePersons of the Apocalypse riding through our living rooms and shitting on our carpets.

call me ishmael said...

I'm at a bit of a loss, here, mr bungalow bill; I thought the Supreme Court and the European Court were the end of the road; why are we still listening to Mr'n'Mrs Shrill; who gives a fuck what Dr Dolittle says?

Bungalow Bill said...

Agreed, Mr I, but this is a short and elegant coda. Or so I profoundly trust, since there is no elegance for the boy.

call me ishmael said...

I believe, mr verge, in the sense of conviction, not supposition, that the State/NHS, having cared for us - and few if any of us having paid through taxation the cost of that care, our own or our children's - should be entitled to harvest anything useful to the further care of others and if people don't agree with that they should opt-out of all NHS treatment. Simple.

The determination of Death, however, should not be in the hands of NHS doctors, subject to those pressures you rightly denounce. Maybe some external, flying assessors, unbound by career or professional loyalties, a new guild, of Pardoner-Overseers, to ensure proper, natural death and swift harvesting. Therein lies a story for you to write, Death's Holy Definers.

call me ishmael said...

And I fervently hope that is the case, mr bungalow bill and that we need not besiege the Palaces of Justice shouting: In the Name of Decency, Kill This Child!

I was pleased to scan the Internet vox-pops and find that now, by five-hundred-to-one, commenters are opposed to the continuation of this awful parental charade.

Mike said...

If the yank doctor offers some hope, then this could all turn very ugly, very quickly. Will the authorities stop the kid leaving the country? Trump could invade.

For what its worth, if it were my kid then I would switch off. But that's not to say this isn't a moral mess with probably no right answer.

mongoose said...

I caught a bit of it on the radio. The US Doctor is said to be a highly respected neurologist of some sort too rarefied for me to understand it. Apparently he is coming over to give the lad the once over and to liaise with the GOSH docs. We have said before that they too must be some of the finest practitioners of their kind. So what, you say, so what?

But the parents' lawyer was arguing that the mother should attend the medical discussion when it takes place between the above next week because she has immersed herself and is as informed as anyone re this condition and the nuances of treatment etc. I know that lawyers would make argument that night is day but how this today could possibly be argued with a straight face escapes me - and I mean no disrespect - The mother's must surely be a purely emotive presence and of no medical use . Clearly they have all lost the plot - however well-intentioned and collegiate they set out to be in the first place.

Meanwhile the poor lad lingers, no bastard even able to agree to take a tape measure to measure his non-growing wee head lest this put the mockers on the whole sorry carnival.

Bullfighting is like cock-fighting and bear-baiting. They are getting their rocks off by watching animals being tortured. Complete bollocks in fancy dress, a spectacle for the daft. A bit like professional football. The eating of bacon sarnies btw is the end and the killing of the pig is merely the means - to be accomplished one hopes as decently as is possible.

call me ishmael said...

There has to be a right answer, mr mike, and we should not flinch from it, there can be no dilemma.

Mike said...

I don't think an answer can be codified, Mr I. Certainly not one that wouldn't enrich lawyers for years to come. And provide precedents for all sorts of unforseens.

We have to accept that from time to time shit happens, and we have to do our best and get over it.

I like a neat and tidy life; I leave my desk clean every night; my two vintage Parker 51s are always in the same place as are my reading glasses. If only life were so simple.

In the good old days the local vicar would come round with tea and sympathy.

call me ishmael said...

What you regretfully describe, mr mongoose, is post-McCannism, the dodgy lay person shoving themselves front and centre in order to evade responsibility. These gabshites' responsibilty is to ease their child's passing not to instigate an orchestrated Internet campaign, calling the workers at GOSH Nazis and murderers; I have been too ill for too long to be dewy-eyed about nurses and doctors but this is an abomination. Lenny Bruce was barred entry to Britain for much less than this cunt of a minister has done, why doesn't Amber Madd deport him, the cheeky fucking bastard? The British and European Courts have ruled, what's the point of them if they can be upset by some 10-56% US doctor and a US Pro-Life jailbird headbanger?

Just for the record, I'm a wee bit pro-life, myself, just a wee bit. If anyone asked I'd say, well, in my humble imho, there is sometimes a case for abortion but not as a form of birth control for lazy people.

I always wondered, why is it Sar-nie and not Sandy? I never heard anyone say bacon sarnwich, did you, is there some corner of England which eats bacon sarnwiches? Just another fucking indignity heaped upon Brother Pig, even when we talk about eating him we carn't get it right.

mongoose said...

Not all sandwiches can be sarnies, mr ishmael. Also my dad used to look as us as if we were the heathen upon him when we talked of slices of bread. That's a cut of bread. And a cut of bread with butter on it is a buttered piece. It's a fucking wonder I didn't starve.

I don't mind the US doc coming over and doing his bit I just read a bit more and he is very guarded about predicting positive effects of any improvement in the poor kid's condition. So let's give the man a break for a day or two but if we find that he's just doing it for the research or to attract monies for such, I suggest that we hang him like a crow from the control tower at Heathrow.

call me ishmael said...

Shit Happens is part of my Zen-Presbyterian-Marxist religion, mr mike - Shit Happens, Take What You Have And Give It To The Poor and Workers of the World, Unite.

"We have to accept that from time to time shit happens, and we have to do our best and get over it."

This is what I'm saying should happen in this case and if the parents cannot do that for themselves they should be compelled to do so by the Courts, upon pain of a prosecution for cruelty. This isn't parenting, this is fucking showbusiness. Remember your fat, stupid, selfish, idle, tattooed wastrels in Sheffield, last year? This is their kind of behaviour.

There are people, I am not one of them, to whom Chaos is Order, you can look at their workshop or desk and think Fuck Me, how does he ever find anything, No, really, how does he, this is just everything randomly piled on top of everything else, but he probably knows exactly where every single thing is, some kind of endless photographic memory loop in his mind, in which just thinking about an item triggers a memory sequence of when he last used it and where he left it. I have thought about this a lot, perhaps we can come back to it.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, it was a piece in our house, also, and the end crust of a sliced loaf was a heel.

But the Courts already made a definitive ruling, didn't they; wouldn't matter if this was Hippocrates, or St Andrew or Doctor fucking Findlay wading-into this shitpool, the court already ruled: withdraw life support.

Mike said...

Mr I: If we want to improve the health of the world, then culling the great herds of the tattooed obese of Sheffield, many of whom can't wipe their own arses, would be a good start. Like they wiped out the buffalo on the American plains.

They all live in a Simon Cowell world now. They ingest shit in their mouths and in their minds. And a mosque dominates the skyline. Very sad for a once proud city. My wife was born in Sheffield and I can still remember driving up the M1 at night and seeing the glow from the steel furnaces. No longer. Now artificial ski-slopes - I kid you not.

I was thinking of Pax America this morning; it maybe provides a template. If you can kill millions because they do not conform to some arbitrary political norm, then surely the same can be done in terms of some arbitrary health norm. As I said, it would leave the world in a healthier state.

Mike said...

Down in London (fashionable East-end in yuppie days, not now in Sharia times) it was a 'slice'. As in 'cod and chips 'n a slice'. Sometimes with a 'wally' which was a small pickled cucumber.

mongoose said...

Only sliced bread, of course, comes in slices, and that's what my 1960s mum made my school lunches out of, and how the cancer crept in to me and countless others. I am pretty sure that I never saw my dad eat a slice of sliced bread. Indeed he never ate any part, however named, of yesterday's "unsliced" either. That'll be the lingering effect of childhood poverty in the wilderness of the West poking its head out, I reckon. If the day comes that we have no socks and shoes, we'll still have fucking fresh bread. If we cannot afford a fresh loaf every day, son, we are fucked for sure.

Yes, the courts have ruled but now they have been asked to think again and they are doing so. The root of the mess must have started in the corruption of the transmission of the terrible news in the first instance. Who would not shout and scream and refuse to believe it? Doctors surely are trained to hold the hands of patients and families as the truth sinks in and nature strikes home. Either this was done badly - and GOSH, surely to goodness, must know how to do this terrible craft - or the parents are McCqnning it in some hideous way I cannot bring words to, or the bastard Press have fucked them over and sucked them down the path to horror.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, and the Frogs, from whose Norman ranks I spring, they sashay about, thrice daily, clutching a small dog under one arm and a fresh baton du pain under the other, no stale bread for Jean-Paul, and a big Non to fighting les Bosches; le fresh bread, 'owever, mes amis, c'est tres important. The "cake" purportedly referred to by Marie Antoinette, was not a gateau or Swiss Roll but just le pain inferieur; the Northern Irish, from whose ranks I also spring, still have a "pan" loaf which, if memory serves, is like floor sweepings from the Warburton's factory, baked in a rusty tin and left for eighteen months to dry properly. I think that probably the only important bread in your life was that Body-of-Christ stuff, popped into your mouth by Father Wotsisname at the Communion rail, little wafers of Salvation.

I do not know the intelligence of the Gards but I suspect it is limited and that instead of a capacity to think she - at any rate - has developed a sense of hysterical outrage, the New World is full of such arsehole people - I don't, in fact, mr mongoose, agree that all would "shout and scream and refuse to believe it;" maybe some would, among themselves, internally, initially but this tantrum is a wickedness thankfully unusuial.

As you say GOSH will be highly adroit in handling these delicate matters but probably Mrs Gard's shrill sense of Entitlement would short-circuit and negate Compassion herself, would affront even the Sisters of Mercy. They are where they are because this is where they want to be, threatening tantrums and shouty walk-outs in a medical conference in which they have no place. Fuck 'em.

People, parents bereaved and parents blessed, aunts and uncles, run the Grateful Marathon to raise funds for GOSH, money for all the sick children, and now this horrid little shrew causes it to be squandered on her ego-trip.

Anonymous said...

Fat bastardism is a result of the Welfare State. Not the natural human condition. And television doesn't help. Alan Watt (conspiracy nut but not always) described where he lived in Scotland before TV, crowded parks at the weekend and improptu street parties which was replaced almost overnight by empty evening streets illuminated by the TV glow through rows of closed curtains.

call me ishmael said...

It might also be one aspect of the Peace Dividend, Fat Bastardy; this is, I believe, the longest period of, well, not peace but the absence of a global or continental war requiring large scale mobilisation and the inculcation of discipline and regularity which that requires; there is no period of complusory national service, nor the equivalent of practising at the butts, no-one drops bombs on us, our food supplies are secure, generally we are warm, well-clothed and perhaps over-cared-for by the NHS; FatBastard does not even need to leave his FatBastard chair in order to change the TeeVee station, telephone his FatBastard mates, order himself a FatBastard pizza, look at some FatBastard porn or speak to his FatBastard Body Artist anout getting some more inky shit over his FatBastard body, the useless FatBastard.

We diverge, generally, you and I, mr richard, over the merits of statism; I believe thay are many and undowithoutable, that large numbers of people cannot successfully live together without overarching care and control, that state collectivism is preferable to oligarchical mayhem; it is not intrinsically so, Man is not special merely because I am Man, merely because of Bach or Newton or Wren or Michaaelangelo, or because of the welfare state, I just believe that it is the least worst option evolutionarily speaking. You broadly disagree with most of that; we do agree, however, that on the heels of the Rights Industry - and that is largely what it is - there has arisen a caste that is selfish and stupid, beyond education or re-education, mr mike's Sheffield horde is in every town, city and hamlet, he may not be clearly and visibly a vulgarian, he can be like the Gards, superficially articulate but as thick as pigshit, he is a waste of space and that he flourishes is because we no longer have any use for him, neither as labourer or as cannon fodder. I am not sure what the state can do with those it has made redundant but some sort of compulsory national service might work wonders.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that the Sheffield Hordes occur precisely where statism is at it's most virulent and is analogous to what Crufts have done to dogs; interference to manufacture dependency and thus create a reason for it's own existence. How many "dog lovers" care that an English Bulldog can't breathe, run, or clean it's own arse? None, because they make a living from blasphemous caricatures.
Benefits, Social workers, police, state housing, Government "education", these are influences which produce fatbastardism and make a nice living out of it.
Any political party which attempts a remedy doomed. Would Mr. Pug vote for a diet of bones or for more "mummy's darling" pureed duck, paid for by non-fatbastards?
To my mind the State has but few duties, such as to protect borders and to oversee the administration of justice. Anything else is better via private enterprise.
No two-year waiting lists. No crumbling roads. No mentally-retarded sub-Saharan Africans fished from leaky boats and provided with resources.
Socialism and Capitalism, both great on paper but both have a flaw. Those want power are not admirable. You highlight this regularly.
Would we be better to trust a system in which slipshod work results in instant punishment via loss of profit or one in which it is disregarded or excused with the cry 'if only we had just a bit more money and a few more laws!"
Grenfell Tower - Government sign-off for cladding made of sparklers; the manufacturer would never have used it, having clearly stated that it was not designed for tall buildings.
Has anyone been arrested? Nope.
Isle of Bute - a man says that the refugees are not behaving themselves. Has anyone been arrested? Yep.
Going back to the fatal flaw, psychopaths who rise to the top. Their ill-effects are enhanced by lobbying (bribing) Governments or candidates who then ignore their machinations or make laws allowing them indulge in unfair competition.
Is this a fault of capitalism? Arguably not, a Government contract will please the shareholders as much as any other, but if there was no State, or a small one, concentrated on few essential duties instead of having it's fingers in every pie?
No Clinton foundation, Blair foundation, Bank bailouts, millions of hostile immigrants who will never get work, foreign wars against non-threatening powers, or any one of a hundred evils.
Christianity was a great unifying force and strength in Europe and now it's gone without being replaced except by self-destructive en masse guilt instead of a reason for individual self-improvement.
Islam, however, is still a great force, rapidly increasing in the West like those little wasp grubs which parasitize caterpillars. Nothing seems wrong at first but they re-wire the caterpillar's brain so that it's barely-living husk of a body defends the pupae of the grubs that ate it alive.
Unless Europe wakes up sharpish and orders some one-way tickets today, or else smart new uniforms from Hugo Boss and a million pickaxe handles tomorrow. Yes OK, a government contract, but if they can't protect us then what the fuck are they for? I've never been a Christian and still aren't, an atheist indeed, but very occasionally wavering; the more I see the results of Christianity's decline, what is replacing it now and will likely replace it later, the more I wonder if I've been wrong. Luke 22:36 if nothing else.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, mr richard, there is no immediate riposte to all of that, no roaring counterblast, everything which you say is correct and although, as usual, my heart tells me that my head's agreement with all of the above is in need of fettling and although I would staunchly make all of your points to others, in my heart I must amend some and reject others. I currently have visitors here, the very sorts against whom you rail, multi-cultural, Blairite, Clintonite second-generation public sector employees, now raising a third and a fourth and if we discount "caring" none of them have or ever will produce anything - save more of themselves - but they are my oldest friends, and like the Sufi I must - as must we all - care for the widow and orphan. I would love to sit them down at this screen and say, here, have a look at this but I must, instead, make their stay as affirming and positive as I can, for even they, smug, secure and pampered, mourn their men, it is my application of statism, it is mr bungalow bill's surrender to duties amd obligations, even to rituals; uit is mr mongoose's beningn liberalism; it is mr tdg's implacable pragmatism; mrs narcolepts aching kindness, mrs woman on a raft's endless auto-didactism; it os the stuff of us all, the state we're in.

I must away but I will reflect on your catechism and return to it later, thanks again.

Mike said...

Mr Richard: hard to disagree with any of that. I fear the future is not too bright.

I looked up Luke 22:36 and have thought about it and still don't understand the meaning. Can you help?

call me ishmael said...

Yes, me, too, mr richard; "I looked up Luke 22:36 and have thought about it and still don't understand the meaning. Can you help?"

The only consistent and credible explanation which I can find for these lines - by some described as a King James Version mistranslation - is that anticipating the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, Hard Times're Coming, lads, get tooled-up, metaphorically, anyway. Beat your ploughshares into swords, sort of thing.

Maybe a reworking of Isiah's cautionary, Go, set a Watchman in the Tower.

inmate said...

As I understand it was to fulfill prophecy; He was to be found among aggressors, trouble makers, that two swords would be " enough" to make the men who had come for Him believe that He was dangerous.
Indeed He healed the ear of a man injured by His main man Peter, to show His followers that they should " love thine enemy."

Anonymous said...

Sell your cloak and buy a sword.
Protecting your mortal frame is optional when turning the other cheek doesn't work. Note that it isn't the police advice of "Run hide tell" then summon someone else to take risks for you; the responibility for turning the other cheek - or not - is yours entirely.
It's there (the sword and the option) if you need it and because you have it, hopefully you don't need it.
Or maybe I'm wrong.
Mr I, the British public dig deep for charitable causes all by themselves with their own money. The welfare state just takes money. Even if it was equally efficacious, money freely given is a more ethical gift because it comes from the heart and not under compulsion and duress.
As for your friends I'm sure you value their good points and and that they value yours, as do I and my fellow Ishmaelites.
Any of one's friends might be good at heart or evil.
There's a way to find out. Ask them if someone made a thousand pounds cash in hand, twenty pounds a week over a year, by walking someone's dog rain or shine, should he declare the income and be punished if he doesn't?
If they say yes then they'd rather see you, their "friend", in jail or beaten for resisting arrest over a poxy £250.
Which is evil so goodbye to them.
I'm probably missing the point about rendering unto Caesar as well but then I haven't sold everything and given all the money to the poor so I'm not overly-qualified in such matters.
NB I just asked my Government employee wife the question about the cash-for-walking-a-dog. She said "Best say nothing." Not bad!

call me ishmael said...

But it doesn't stop with the dog-walker, mr richard. What about a relatively well-paid tradesman, also a friend, working five days a week for a glaziers and at the weekend doing cash in hand foreigners, which, in our case, alone, have earned him nearly ten grand, tax-free, it is a greedy, lawless eleophant in the room, a wrongdoing in which we conspire, I don't believe there is any advantage to us and I am happy, in any event, to pay taxes, few of usa pay-in more than we take-out and seeing as how we pay tax, why shouldn't he? Either one is law-abdibg or one isn't, can't be a bit law- abiding and this foreigner, cash-in-hand econony is widespread and corrupts and impoverishes us all.

Anonymous said...

Aha, we disagree.
That tax-free ten grand would have been perhaps six grand after tax. So he's now done four grands' worth of work which pays him nothing. Where does the four grand go? And what do you call a guy who works for nothing?
Would that four grand pay for a magnificent private insurance policy and generous pension? Yes. Which costs other people zero? Yes.
Even if he saved his illicit income for twenty years and "wasted" it on a luxury item, like a helicopter, his money has benefits for thousands of people.
Flight instructors, engineers, miners, foundrymen, CAA, the guys who produce flight manuals, met officers, ATC, fire crews, anyone who makes their sandwiches or sells petrol,
tyres, lawnmowers? or fixes their coffee machines or photocopiers, farmers who breed the cows for leather seats, tanners, paint manufacturers, all their paperboys and grocery stores and all the people upon people as that one "corrupt" purchase reverberates. Warehousemen, drivers, forklifters, and their local chipshops and offlicences, mobile phone companies - on and on it goes, your tradesman's secret stash, making the praire bloom.
If someone doesn't buy a duty-free bottle of Scotch or 200 fags because he's saddened that the taxman won't get his cut and therefore waits until he's back in Blighty to pay the full whack?
people would think him mad. Which it is, and my dog-walker and your tradesman are exhibiting sanity.
How much did HMG send to, for instance, Robert Mugabe? If it was more than four grand (it was) then your tradesman's ahead of the game because that's where it would have gone.
As I said before, someone's paid 16k a year in Stormont to water pot plants. Would I rather be taxed to that tune or behold the intoletable spectacle of a drooping frond?
So no, good sir, corruption and impoverishment is the fruit of taxation
and you can ondeed be a bit law-abiding, such as handing in a found wallet but pocketing a stray 50p. Or paying tax on a main job but keeping a smidgeon away from prying eyes, lest the insolence of keeping the reward of your own skill be detected by the unskilled and plundered.
Tell me this, if HMRC sent a form saying "You've been selected for optional tax for one year, please tick "Yes" to be taxed or "No" to keep your full salary" which would you tick?
I'm on a low-paid part-time job these days so I don't pay income tax and if I did have an extra income I'm damned if I'd tell the expenses-scandalous profligate buffons and crooks who think it should be theirs by right.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks for that.
There is no doubt that at senior levels HMRC is a nest of thieves, that cabinet ministers and MPs and senior civil servants and public sector managers are filth, mr richard, there is no doubt that HS2, starting today, is a bonanza for government- bribing crime cartels but corruption and impoverishment are not the only nor the major fruit of taxation. I would pick "Yes" to your tax query for as well as the plant waterer the tax makes possible my safe transit throughout the land, removes my sewage, treats my ills and those of my kin, the tax saw me schooled, inocculated and nourished daily; I simply could not perform these services for myself, that so many exploit collectivised funds is abominable and they should be jailed or otherwise ejected but I simply do not see how we can do without them.

I met someone, today, a seniorish public servant, who had taken a lucrative retirement package and bought a 'pub; her partner, had also been golden handshaken from his public sector position in the local tourism body; they are doing very well, they will have had insider knowledge of every grant and start-up scheme, they had their redundancy packages, their pensions and his connections to the tourism regulators have filled his bar with coachloads of lunching foreigners, from the cruise liners. If you asked them, both of them would say they had done it all on their own - a lifetime employment and now a business, all funded by the taxpayer.

I know what you mean, mr richard, believe me, I do, and I know what you feel but just beacuse the system is abused does not mean that we should all join in wrongdoing.

mongoose said...

Steal a little and they put you in jail.

Personally, I do not hold that law-breaking is necessarily wrong-doing, or immoral. The fuckers can make any law they like. We have discussed this back up the road. A single mum cleaning a floor for cash and not paying a few quid of taxes is not a crime worthy of punishment or even notice. There a thousand ex-politicians with their snouts now in the trough who I would dearly love to see hanging by their bollocks from a dungeon wall in Dartmoor.

Anonymous said...

Mr Mongoose, I agree with that.
Mr I, you have made a good case.
I am reminded of the Conan Doyle short story where a delegation of Britonchiefs meet the Roman governor and demand home rule. He tells them that he has just received orders to take all Roman citizens and soldiers back to Italy. Exultation is followed by pensive reflection followed by pleading for the governor to leave troops, which he can't. Within a year Britain has fallen to picts and vikings and the chiefs are dead or enslaved.
On the other hand - The Roman citizen, in Rome's golden age, paid a poll tax which amounted to one days's wages per citizen. Our own citizens pay nearly half their annual wages in tax. And, not having engines or other technology, had to maintain a large staff of retainers, servants and slaves, pay for education, fresh water amd so forth. Plus he generally rose at dawn and worked until lunch time and spent the afternoon at the baths or gymnasium and the evening dining with friends.
By that rationale our taxes should be even less since we have machines and technology but they aren't. The "why not?" is the problem.
If a man earns £40k he loses nearly half in tax. £18k a year would buy a lot of stuff. Access to private roads (I drove on several in France, cheap tolls and smooth) good medical insurance, a private detective if you need a crime solved, a night-watch via annual subscription to guard your street - the benefits can be bought or not on a voluntary basis and they will be better because, unlike State employees, if they're shit they won't get paid and if they're overpriced they won't get hired.
On the third hand a colleague of mine's son (the colleague is a Slovak who lives here) needed a series of life-saving opertions which would have cost eight hundred thousand dollars if he'd gone private but the NHS did it.
The lad's alive and I can't see how he would be otherwise. Whould I be able to look into the good honest face of his father, so happy and relieved, and begrudge my taxes? If the money is not available elsewhere, then no.
You can - or I can - state with accuracy that the taxpayer's investment was unjustifed because the father had paid little NI and that the lad might producd his own children in the future with equally problematic and expensive problems but hell's bells we aren't ants or bees, the chap was over the moon and so grateful for the NHS.
Whether this empathy is a good survival trait or not - and I believe it isn't, look at Sweden's crime statistics since they "helped the migrants" - it's hard to argue against. The case that empathy helped us for most of our existence as hunter-gatherers but merely leads to exploitation and weakness in an agricultural setting is strong. Our ancestors were taller, more muscular and (because unlike us they needed them) had bigger brains as evidenced by larger crania (craniums?).
Now we're worse off as physical and cognitive specimens. Although survival of the fittest makes sense it doesn't feel right. But it is. Yet it isn't.
There we have a problem.

call me ishmael said...

And on the fourth hand there is an insufficency of punishment. Take speeding, if you want to stop speeding simply start crushing the cars of those apprehended, no messing, no trials, no lawyers, no sob stories, just crush the fucking thing, doesn't matter who owns it, they can sue the driver who was speeding in it, friend, employee or hire company, doesn't matter, start crushing Five Series BMWs and planting them along the motorway and just you watch speeding disappear; anyone earning more than the average wage and found to be fiddling tax, take his fucking house off him and if he doesn't have a house strip him of his citizenship and the rights attached thereto, You wanna fiddle your tax, OK, educate your children yourself and tend yourself when you become ill, live out on the streets. And anyone on high incomes found to be avoiding or evading tax, well, let's jail them and their accountants, set them to breaking rocks on Dartmoor, that'll fucking teach them; this is the Corbyn manifesto we should be reading.

walter said...

My 29 year old son whos never had a days illness in his life, developed a gastric problem, the waiting time too see a consultant six months, he paid £250 to see a consultant who told him to wait and not waste his money, the local doctors say what can they do, if you allow 250,000
migrants a year to enter the uk all services will collapse even if you pay all your fucking taxes

call me ishmael said...

It is quite basic, really, mr walter, the question of immigration; either this is a nation state, planning, budgeting and resourcing for the needs of a predictable size of population or it isn't and if it isn't the only possible outcome is chaos. If chaos is to be avouided there need to be hard borders between good neighbours, especially between Eire and the UK.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr I, that's plain and to the point.
They don't want you to stop speeding otherwise they'd mandate a stop on the throttle wbich kicks in when your car goes into various speed zones. How easy it is, since they don't do that, to rake in the fines!
A beautiful empty road across the Antrim plateau, nobody for the miles you can see it's clear. Open up the bike and let it fly, long curves turn into right/left flicks as the little machine does the ton then adds an effortless 30mph on top of that. You feel alive again after a week of shit hard work.
And then along comes Plod and a crusher. Best stick to golf like the rest of the walking dead, eh, or TV?
If you speed in town and village it's a different matter but I don't do that.
I avoided tax by brewing my own beer. I bought a small car to avoid paying high road tax and fuel duty. And if it was me who walked the dog for an old man whose son had died, leaving him a big dog he wasn't fit to walk, and kept all the money he gave to me - not the Government, me, three hours a week for £20 which barely covered my fuel, it became an act of friendship rather than business - undeclared income my left ball. PAYE is all they're getting and damned little of that since I don't get paid much.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. I pay rates. The council has put a huge metal life-sized replica oak tree in the middle of a roundabout. It cost £80k.
How much, for fuck sake, does an acorn cost?

call me ishmael said...

One can only speak generally mr richard and not in every specific, you must do as you see fit, it is not for my approval or disapproval, save to say that there is a huge difference between the dog-walking and the undeclared income from window installation, in this case about ten grand. One of our visitors, a retired dinner lady/housewife cleans house for her daughter and I am sure doesn't declare that income, fair enough but in fairness that should stifle her complaints about others' avoidances, shouldn't it?

I never break an urban speed limit, never, not even temporary ones but I do the high-speed thing on the northern A9, the last such opportunity in Nazi Scotland, there being average speed checking cameras elsewhere. I accept that there will be an increased risk of accident and of that accident being more fateful than if I kept to the sixty or seventy miles per hour limits. Should I be caught doing a hundred and thirty, however, more than twice the limit, then forfeiture of the vehicle seems only fair.

I do understand the thrill and the pleasure, the idea of skill involved in high-speed driving but the risk to self and others is frightful. I want to go to the Nurburgring with my Citroen F One-Eleven, it costs 25 Euros for a thirteen kilometre lap; something a thoughtful government might instigate, here.

In any event, the cashless, driverless-car Google future will make your current behaviours an imprisonable or capital offence, enjoy them while you still can. Imagine, driving being a thing of the past, that is what's happening, while the NewPeople, the Inkies and the Trannies, Facebook and Tweet their endless wank.

Anonymous said...

Whenever we have our steering-wheel free google rentapods, an unwise tweet will result in a diversion to the copshop.
For our own good, justified by imported third world imbeciles flattening pedestrians.
The sad thing is that such control will seem normal and desirable.

call me ishmael said...

Yeah, son, when you're sixteen, you'll be able to sit in a car that drives you around, without you having to learn to drive, how so exciting is that? I mean, driving, what young man'd wanna do that, when Google can do it all for you?

Welcome to the World of Cunt.

Swiss Bob said...

Hello Mr Smith, just popped in and read most of the above. I had to put the last of my cats down yesterday, probably should have done it sooner but it was hard to let her go. Frankly if I could have fixed what was wrong I would have paid it, sadly there's no cure for old age.

All the best SB.

Gary said...

Hope all is well Mr Ishmael.....