Warming to Labour?

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

What the hell is going on? Within the same calendar month, I find myself agreeing with two Labour private members bills. Admittedly only one of them has been drawn from the ballot so far, but I’m sure the drawing of the second one is only a matter of time. The first bill is Louisa Wall’s bill which would require the state to recognise gay marriage, The second is Maryan Street’s bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia. Now all they have to do is cut taxes, legalise cannabis and sell state assets; I’ll become a life member!

But seriously. With the granting of civil unions several years ago, I would have thought that the issue of gay marriage would be effectively neutralised. The difference between marriage and civil union really is a matter of mere window dressing. The rights before the law are effectively the same. However, there is still a tinge of discrimination in having the difference. Heterosexual individuals get a choice, yet homosexual individuals don’t. While I absolutely respect the right of free indiviuals to discriminate against other individuals, however irrational their reasons for doing so, the state most certainly does not have that right. It should recognise everybody’s right to be equally miserable.

What this debate ultimately comes down to though, isn’t one about marriage and the vulgarities of organised religion. The fundamental concept here is contracts. Individuals should have the right to freely enter into any contract they wish with any other free individual. The role of the state is not to set conditions on what the contract contains, like it does with employment law. The role of the state is simply to protect the sanctity of contract and ensure anyone who is faulted, when one party to the contract violates the agreement, is protected.

Finally, the state really should not be defining relationships at all. It should be leaving individuals alone to choose what relationships they have, on what terms they have them and only taking steps to uphold the rights of a faulted party. Colin Craig is absolutely right when he says that if we are going to legalise gay marriage then we will have to legalise polygamy as well. I completely agree that we should legalise polygamy. How is your life adversely impacted by several individuals deciding to enter into a loving relationship together and raise a family? Why are their lives any of your damn business?`

The euthanasia debate seems to come in cycles like economic booms and busts. Every few years another politician will get it drawn from the ballot and it will be defeated. Odd considering voluntary euthanasia legalisation actually polls quite well. Without delving for sources, my observations are that support for legalisation generally polls well into the seventies.

This debate comes down to a very simple philosophical question. Do you own your life? If so, then why can’t you choose when to end if you wish to do so? If not, well, that’s just stupid. Of course you own your own life. I was amused to hear Maryan Street’s justification for her stance; mainly for its blatant irony. “I think there are more people who want to be as self-determining at their end point as they have been during their life and I for one don’t think they should be told they can’t be.”

It would be amusing were it not so tragic. In  Ms. Street’s world, we cannot self-determine what we do with our money, what we do with our property, what we put into our bodies or what employment contracts we wish to sign. Quite simply, we aren’t allowed to choose how we want to live our own fricken lives without interference from her gang of socialist nitpickers, unless we’re asking to die. The only difference between her and Stalin is who gets to choose the time of death.

Still, she does rank slightly above the irrational religious tyrants who not only control your life but also prohibit you choosing death. Promoting palliative care over legalising euthanasia really is as stupid as it gets. Let’s stop making people making their own decisions about their own bodies because we think we have a way t make a long drawn out undignified death full of suffering that bit more drawn out and slightly less painful. Piss off you evil meddling bastards.

I am heartened to see these two bills becoming part of the public debate and I sincerely hope that both pass Parliament. It’s almost enough to make you vote Labour, but not quite.

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