Gordon Brown was interviewed on the radio this morning by Cormack Murphy O’Connor, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. A titanic clash of intellects it was not. Apparently Super Gord is against reforming the laws on assisted suicide:
In a interview with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, a guest editor on Today, Mr Brown was asked about calls for euthanasia laws.
He replied: “Well I’m totally against laws on that. I think this debate about assisted suicide, it’s not really for us to create any legislation that would put pressure on people to feel that they had to offer themselves because they were causing trouble to a relative or anything else.
“So I think we have got to make it absolutely clear that the importance of human life is recognised.”
This is curious, and not a little duplicitous. Brown says that he is agains laws on euthanasia – which presumably means that he’s against laws allowing it, rather than those forbidding it. And then he goes and makes a foolish link between assisted suicide and coerced death, as if it’s impossible to have one without the other. Of course it’s not to politicians to make people feel as if they have to die. But it’s surely not beyond their wit to come up with legislation that’d avoid that, is it? Oh, and he slyly gives the impression that to be favourable to assisted suicide or euthanasia is to ignore the value of human life. Whatever that means – try telling it to a person who’d rather be dead than suffer another moment from whatever godawful degenerative illness he has. Or to the person who’d rather not start suffering, for that matter.
Charitably, I suppose that Brown has to say vacuuous stuff like this to keep the Daily
Heil Mail and listeners to The Moral DMaze happy. But I’m not in the mood to be charitable. It doesn’t appear that he’s adopted a position based on serious consideration, so much as on a desire not to say anything much that’s substantial at all. So I’ll have to decide whether he’s muddled or cowardly.