Wednesday, 20 October 2021
The Aim of a Compassionate Society
As leaders of faith communities, we wish to express our profound disquiet at the provisions of the ‘Assisted Dying’ Bill currently in the House of Lords.
We acknowledge that Baroness Meacher is seeking the alleviation of suffering. This motivation we share wholeheartedly, but we disagree on the means advanced to address this very real concern. "In particular, we are conscious of the risks and dangers entailed in the provisions of the Bill and the ‘real-life’ practical inadequacies of the proposed safeguards.
By the faiths we profess, we hold every human life to be a precious gift of the Creator, to be upheld and protected. All people of faith, and those of none, can share our concern that the common good is not served by policies or actions that would place very many vulnerable people in more vulnerable positions.
We appeal to people of whatever faith or belief to join us through our common bond of humanity in caring for the most vulnerable people within our society. In contrast to the proposals in this Bill, we continue to call for measures to make high-quality palliative care available to all at the end of their lives.
We believe that the aim of a compassionate society should be assisted living rather than an acceptance of assisted suicide.
My paternal grandfather was born before such working-class men could vote, and my maternal ancestors included African slaves, Indian indentured labourers, and Chinese coolies. We who come off the lower orders and the lesser breeds, and perhaps especially those of us who are disabled, know perfectly well who would be euthanised, and how, and why.
Even if we had made it past the industrial scale abortion that disproportionately targeted us, then we, as a people, would face euthanasia as yet another lethal weapon in the deadly armoury of our mortal enemies, alongside their wars, alongside their self-indulgent refusal to enforce the drug laws, alongside police brutality and other street violence, alongside the numerous life-shortening consequences of economic inequality, and alongside the intended restoration of capital punishment, which would not be repealed if the Prime Minister were a former Director of Public Prosecutions.
All this, and the needle, too? This is class and race war, and we must fight to the death. That death must not be ours, but the death of the global capitalist system. Having subjected itself to that system to a unique extent, Britain is uniquely placed to overthrow it, and to replace it with an order founded on the absolute sanctity of each individual human life from the point of fertilisation to the point of natural death. That foundation would and could be secured only by absolute fidelity to the only global institution that was irrevocably committed to that principle, including the full range of its economic, social, cultural and political implications.
The scandalous allegation against me on 2nd March 2020 was recanted under oath at Durham Crown Court on 11th of that month, calling gravely into question my convictions the next day by exposing that key character witness as unreliable, a fact that was not mentioned in closing statements or in summation. Unless, as is widely assumed, the real reason for them is the content of this book, then the sanctions imposed upon me in my absence on 2nd March 2020 are void. I had not received a written apology by 30th September 2021, nor was any such thing to be published in full in The Northern Cross.
Financially, I would then have settled for the reimbursement of my victim surcharges. One would not wish to have to sue the Church. But while I am not yet in a position to act on it, I must now declare my intention in principle to do so. And if I were to be defeated at the next General Election, then I would seek to have that result overturned in the courts on grounds of undue spiritual influence by the Safeguarding Office of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, naming all relevant persons in the court papers. It has come to this.