Assisted suicide act dead in the water

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In the autumn, Scotland is set to consider for the third time a proposed law on assisted dying for terminally ill people of proven sound mind.

Avoiding traffic chaos that would ensue on the M1 through Cumbria, the bill would only apply to adults living in Scotland, but I doubt it will get that far as the playing God argument will scupper the move again, which I’ve always found a bit disingenuous.

Cancer, dementia, child abuse, motor neurone disease, starvation… if I was playing at being the omniscient, no science involved creator of everything on earth and beyond I think I would have left those off my list of things to do in six days (which sounds like a rushed job to me anyway).

I’ve seen terminal illness strip every ounce of dignity from loved ones whose final days were a drawn out torturous haze of morphine, panic and pain.

Given the choice, I’m sure some terminally ill people would opt to bow to the inevitable before that final utterly pointless spell of agony.

Signing out a tad early is not for everyone, obviously. It’s amazing what an irrational fear of eternal damnation can do for decision making, although for me – even as someone who is more agnostic than atheist – it would be a no-brainer.

I’ve thought about this a lot over the years. Call it what you like – assisted dying or assisted suicide, makes no difference really – I’m certainly not trusting in some unknown supposedly benevolent bigger picture as if putting my family through the nightmare of watching me suffer would somehow buy me a better afterlife.

I wouldn’t need to buy property in Scotland or to put the responsibility onto the shoulders of a third party to do it either.

If when my time comes I should find myself presented with the option of coughing up blood and tumour while soiling myself or saying a grateful thank you and goodnight, I know how I’m exiting stage left.

And if, as I sincerely hope, that love is indeed the one thing that endures, then there’s ultimately nothing to worry about.

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To say the launch of Andrew Neil’s anti-woke GB News television channel had suffered a few hiccups would be an understatement and I’m sure it won’t be long before it becomes part of one of those Channel 5 when TV goes wrong programmes.

The first week saw the station dogged by technical issues, DIY sets that look like they’re in someone’s basement, uncomfortable silences, a bare bum in the background, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder dropping the F-bomb (serves them right for not having a few seconds delay – everyone knows about Shaun’s swearing) in an interview about his ADHD, key advertisers pulling out as they belatedly realised they were spending budget on something akin to Fox News UK, someone misspelling entrepreneur Theo Paphitis’s name on screen as Pathitis, former Sun executive editor Dan Wootton’s late night show The Big Question appearing as The Big Oesion and presenters falling for the oldest trick in the book – reading out messages from Mike Hunt, Hugh Ganus and Mike Oxlong, eventually prompting newsreader Simon McCoy to actually admonish his audience.

The station’s agenda is supposed to be anti cancel culture, but it may find itself getting cancelled before it gets a chance to settle down.

It was like going back to the mid 1980s and watching the early days of satellite broadcasting.

The viewing figures are apparently not bad, but we all like watching a bit of car crash telly, don’t we?

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Football punditry gone mad from Neil Taylor before the Euro 21 game between Wales and Turkey:

“We need to see Dan James open his legs more”.

No, you’re alright mate, thanks.

Edward Case

Columnist