It’s an interesting contradiction that never seems to get fully explored; why it is that politicians of the Left are the ones that get hit with the “nanny state” label, when it is so often the politicians of the Right that like to tell the citizenry what is best for them.
Take the latest example from the increasingly unlikeable Maggie Barry. Maggie has decided that she really knows what is best for people with incurable illnesses, and that no matter what their circumstances, her will shall rule.
Perhaps they’re not aware of the excellent palliative care that’s available to them, she opines. A nice nurse, some fun sing-alongs and room with a view of some trees goes a long way to taking the edge of not being able to move or speak or communicate (except with your eyelids).
This is exactly the situation Tony Nicklinson finds himself in. A UK man with Locked In Syndrome, he has recently lost an appeal to allow him to be assisted to die. Unlike many in his situation, Tony is compis mentis, and can communicate via blinking. He has described his plight as “a living nightmare.” On hearing of his declined appeal, he issued a statement; “I am saddened that the law wants to condemn me to a life of increasing indignity and misery.”
But no! Mate, you need to have a chat to Maggie; she’ll tell you all about the great palliative care her mum and dad got at the Mary Potter Hospice. Coloured straws for the intravenous food, special beds that go up and down, and a little buzzer that calls the nurses 24/7. You just need to pull yourself together, perhaps stop feeling a bit too sorry for yourself, and join in the social activities that these hospice people go to great trouble to organise!
In fact Maggie is so convinced she knows better than these people, she is initiating a campaign to ensure she gets her way. “You can’t have people being helped to die” I can her saying. “If you did, everybody would want to” – that other great conservative catch-cry, based upon the assumption that the masses are poised to demand more of your share, given the chance.
If there is ever a case of the nanny state overstepping into individual rights, surely this is it.
Unless of course, like Mazza Bazza, you’re a bit Tory, you know what’s normal, and you just know you’re right.