Friday 31 July 2009

The media's dance of death with the euthanasia lobby

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, has let me have his reflections on yesterday's press conference following the Law Lords' judgment in the Purdy assisted suicide case:
"The scene late afternoon yesterday on College Green (the lawn over the road from Parliament where the media often interview MPs) was extraordinary. TV and radio crews from the mainstream media (MSM) had gathered in force to interview Debbie Purdy, who had just won her assisted suicide legal challenge in the House of Lords. For two hours they interviewed Ms Purdy, collectively and separately. She was given as much time as she wanted to say whatever she wanted. A one-on-one interview with Nina Nannar from ITN seemed to last forever. Most noticeable was the entirely undisguised joy of many of the journalists, who freely exchanged warm banter - and even embraces - with Ms Purdy and the staff of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES) (now sinisterly repackaged as Dignity in Dying). The VES and one of its barristers added to the sense of fiesta with a bottle of champagne.

"I don't doubt for one moment that both individuals and even whole agencies in the MSM are genuinely in favour of assisted suicide, hence their joy - and hence the relatively little coverage given to the judgment's critics. Yet there was a sense of studied artifice about yesterday's highly-organised media scrum and the mutually-imparted exuberance, as if it was manufactured. In that way yesterday's occasion was a species of Obamania and Blairmania. The MSM knows it's onto a good thing in promoting radical social change via telegenic front-persons like Ms Purdy, providing them with an almost endless supply of stories. The House of Lords judicial committee (known as the Law Lords, the judges in the case) was also of great assistance to the MSM-VES operation, not just in totally endorsing the pro-euthanasia cause, but also in providing a high-profile historic occasion, delivering the judgment as its very last judgment before its abolition.

"To the casual observer, yesterday's press conference would have appeared as a very normal human event, people celebrating the victory of a joint cause. Yet step back a moment and reflect on what was being celebrated - assisted suicide: killing, poisoning, elimination of those who lives are deemed no longer worth living - and the celebration is revealed as danse macabre, a dance of death. Ms Purdy, who is really just as much a campaigner as a ordinary citizen - is the secular patron saint of this cult of death, the VES her acolytes and the MSM her willing hagiographers."
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