Thursday, 31 July 2014

Assisted dying

Here is a boringly unprovocative suggestion: both sides of the assisted dying debate have good moral arguments and are more than often motivated by an ethical sense of empathy and compassion. Some on either side may be misguided to mutually accuse each other of representing extreme viewpoints to the contrary, with the proponents of assisted dying being painted as nihilistic eugenicists who seek vulnerable and chronically sick people's lives to be treated as burdensome and disposable, and the opponents viewed as religious fundamentalists committed to the perpetuation of aimless mortal suffering being imposed on the dying for the dogmatic and/or God-fearing sake of it.

In truth, it seems that the united concern of both sides, overwhelmingly, is the safeguarding of existential human dignity, a concern which is an extremely sound basis to have any moral or political debate about. In this paradigm, there is worry that allowing assisted dying will contribute to the social conditions that already victimize, dehumanize and neglect the well-being of the elderly and people with disabilities -- and on the other side objection to terminally dying people being paternalistically forced to bear excruciating pain and indignity at the end of life with no conscious self-determination to the contrary.

I come to the conclusion that the onus is on wider society to resolve these dilemmas. There would be small concern about vulnerable people being pressurized into death if defending the basic welfare and dignity of every human being was embedded into the fabric of life, as opposed to the selfishness and cruelty that frequently disposes elderly people into care homes that are often run for-profit, leaves disabled people languishing in poverty, and cattle manages mental health patients with sedation and institutional brutalization. To assure dignity in dying we must also ensure dignity in living.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Nazism and Israel

Nazi Germany's Holocaust of Jews provides a historical model of precedence with which to reticently observe the State of Israel's state-sanctioned racism, exiling and war crimes against the Palestinians. I make no apology for this standpoint. As Holocaust survivor Suzanne Weiss states:

" The tragic experience of my family and community under Hitler makes me alert to the suffering of other peoples denied their human rights today -- including the Palestinians."

 "The Palestinians are victims of ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Hitler started with that, but went on to extermination...
"Yet for me, the Israeli government's actions toward the Palestinians awaken horrific memories of my family's experiences under Hitlerism: the inhuman walls, the checkpoints, the daily humiliations, killings, diseases, the systematic deprivation. There's no escaping the fact that Israel has occupied the entire country of Palestine, and taken most of the land, while the Palestinians have been expelled, walled off, and deprived of human rights and human dignity."

It is true that there has yet to have been an industrial mass murder of Palestinians comparable to the Holocaust. But a systematic and cultural dehumanisation of the Palestinians (including Jews in the Palestinian territories!), which has motivated the murder, torture, rape and deposing of tens of thousands of men, women and children over decades is, in the practice of ethno-religious hatred it represents, wholly similar to Kristallnacht and Lebensraum. A second Holocaust could happen; the Balkan crimes of the 1990s has been the closest thing to it. The instruments of murder are hypothetical, but it is a willfully naive historical and sociological illiteracy to not comprehend how the enormity of the preexisting and historical crimes against the Palestinians could incite precise and observational comparisons to Nazi antisemitism, along with concerns that they could lead to atrocities even more unspeakable.

A Jewish man abused like an animal by the Nazis and a Palestinian girl abused like an animal by the IDF.
Or, if we prefer, we can give free reign to fascistic Israeli war criminals to defile and manipulate Nazi Germany's crimes against humanity, its victims and survivors, to facilitate their own.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tory NHS privatisation plan comes to fruition

Oliver Letwin infamously stated in 2004 that the National Health Service would not exist within five years of a Conservative government coming to power. He is being proven right, and his own proposed model with which to privatise the NHS is being used to ensure it.

In 1988 Letwin advocated the replacement of the NHS with a "National Health Insurance Scheme". This NHIS would transform the NHS from a single-payer universal healthcare system into one in which patients, or "consumers", would select provision of healthcare service from within an internal market via individual health insurance accounts, thereby making it function as a voucher system. In other words, the NHS would be privatised and transformed into a for-profit operation, no long a public service, with terms overwhelmingly dictated by private healthcare companies regardless of the impact on patient care.

In 2014 it is being proposed that millions of NHS patients should "select" their healthcare services using a voucher system from within an NHS which is being rapidly fragmented to the benefit of private healthcare companies taking over NHS services and running them for-profit following the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill. Aren't the healthcare services you truly need covered by your health vouchers? Then pay.

Oliver Letwin's plan to privatise the NHS to coming to fruition: it is falling into place precisely. That has and always will be the Tory plan.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Vindication regarding child abuse cover-ups

The issue of organised child abuse being systematically cover up by those with establishment political authority is a scandal which only now is coming to fore in the mass media. This is vindicating. Since I was sadistically sexually abused within institutions (experiences which you can read some of the detail of here) entrusted to educate and care for me over a decade ago, I have spoken out against the injustice and corruption that facilitated these crimes. Equally on a multitude of occasions, even as a desperate and mentally disturbed child, I was shut-down and dismissed by those influenced or outright controlled by the local authority when I tried to discuss my trauma and get help for the metastasized mental illness caused by it, which plagues me constantly. The scars on my wrists mark their moral depravity and lies, and the psychiatric injuries that will never heal.

Nonetheless, I am determined for the crimes against children that have been perpetrated and covered up on an institutional scale to be revealed, and for the victims to have justice. There can be no limitations on police or governmental inquiries and those who engineered the cover-up of child abuse should be prosecuted for their multi-decade criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The modus operandi of institutionalised victim blaming and concealment I have no doubt has facilitated the abuse of thousands of children, and equally the cover-up of these crimes.

Monday, 2 June 2014

One-dimensional video gaming

Video gaming software and the creations arising from it are more advanced than ever; imaging them would seem fanciful to young minds of generations used to them. Titles such as Grand Theft Auto V dazzle us with their expansive, realistically-textured and epic (forgive the term) inventiveness. A title enjoying a major marketing campaign is Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, one of the first products in general for the new Playstation 4 platform.

I will get straight to the point about my source of contention. I predicted before Watch Dogs was released that its protagonist would be a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties with a very uninspiring personality type, with the main interest for the player derived from his convenient, almost superhuman ability to easily interact with the preexisting gameplay mechanics. I was right!

To be fair, a lot of major game developers will be more daring than Ubisoft in this case. They may write a protagonist who is a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties...with some five o'clock shadow.

I am obviously not implying that this problem is uniform among all major developing studios. I'm sure that there are plenty of games with dynamic and creative storylines and mechanics which delve into the complexity and diversity of the human condition. So maybe given the advent of new generation tools at their disposal, more studios could take upon themselves to aspire to the same rather than focusing on the white dude shoots at and messes with stuff formula?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The rise of UKIP

Forgive me for sounding like a political hipster, but I predicted or even assumed years ago that the UK Independence Party's effective populist operation would eventually result in its massive influx in popular support.  Many in the media and political class have attempted to continue the narrative that UKIP is a vent for hard right Tories frustrated with David Cameron's Conservative Party. Despite the fact that Cameron has imposed the most economically right-wing extremist programme since the Thatcher era, he may nevertheless may be considered as too cosmopolitan (his support for equal marriage being a primary example) and inadequately xenophobic for some. But given that UKIP is also significantly eating into the vote of traditional Labour voters, this notion is defunct. But why?

The overwhelming majority of the UK public are non-voters, entirely disillusioned or even outright repulsed by an entirely non-representative and rotten political order; support of former non-voters is from where a substantial proportion of UKIP's surge has arisen. The UKIP surge may may indeed be a so-called "protest vote". But what against? Living standards perpetually diminish while wealth inequality following the financial crisis and publicly-subsidised rescue of the economic elite deepens. Investment in social housing is scant while the parasite landlord and property developer classes profit from extorting wider society for the land and properties available. And migrants, who are overwhelmingly the victims of the same exploitation, are an easy scapegoat.

The Tories, as I mention, continue their tradition of maintaining and accelerating these inequalities and exploitation. The Lib Dems, needless to say, also facilitate it. Labour provides a weak opposition and consolidates to the ideological austerity narrative. Perhaps only the Green Party, whose media attention is minuscule compared to UKIP's, presents an alternative platform of substance. So no wonder UKIP, which claims to stand against the vested interests of elite corporatism as often as it rabble-rouses against the racially and ethno-religiously stereotyped Others, has collected so much support within the democratic vacuum's despondency and alienation.