Recently, and quite accidentally, I've been reading a fair amount of 19th Century British, or more specifically English, history.
This period makes several things quite clear.
This country has bred some of the most unpleasant and inhumane people ever to walk the Earth.
Social reforms are never necessary unless a better way of doing things has already been abandoned, usually in order to enable the further enrichment of the already wealthy and well-connected.
And if you don't want to live in a filthy slum, suffering from malnutrition, drinking foul water and dying at 35, don't rely on the private sector to help you out.
The entire track of British history seems to have been one long exercise in getting the inconvenient out of the way. This tendency has had several faces at various times; in order to put his legitimate wife away, for no reason higher than that she stood in the way of him getting what he wanted (which was, of all things, a shag), an English monarch even plunged his nation into heresy, perhaps condemning millions of people down the ages to damnation by default.
With the possible exception of every government of Mexico since about 1990, no nation has ever been more enthusiastic about exporting its own people, branding them 'surplus population'; a horribly un-Christian term coined by an allegedly Christian divine who didn't have the brains to think up the word 'unemployment', the phenomenon he twisted himself into knots trying to describe.
One could go on and on, into areas upon discussion of which the law currently frowns, but where one can see the same pattern at work; favoured children getting more and more, the runts being condemned and cast out. The 'assisted suicide' movement currently getting moving is, like the Dissolution of the Monasteries, like enclosure, like privatisation, just another example of top-down planning for the benefit of a very few people which will have catastrophic consequences for the many; the many who are in the way of those who matter getting what they want. Many of those who matter have led chaotic and unpeaceful lives; now they want easy deaths.
One would normally be inclined to say 'Over my dead body'; but given that I would be a prime candidate for the forced euthansia and medical mass murder that would result from any assisted suicide policy, it would be better not to tempt fate.
Just who is interested in pursuing 'assisted suicide?' In Scotland, it's a peroxided old barbarian soiling herself at the thought of dying from Parkinson's Disease. Tough luck, hen. Those are the breaks.
In England and Wales, it's a dynastic intellectual who found her mother's death too painful to watch, a career talking head with many decades of talk at her back, hopefully not hoping for one last swansong of chatshow stardom, and a fat man who used to be an ex-Prime Minister's flatmate. And, er...that's it.
No, really. That's it.
But now we have the Royal College of Nursing 'softening' its stance on the issue! The experts have spoken!
Er, well, we'll see how that one plays. When laws on assisted suicide are passed (let's face it, they will - it's what those who matter want for the world they want to live in), I hope to survive long enough to see the first headlines describing how a devoutly Christian African nurse such as Magdeline Makola has been compelled to administer a lethal injection to a patient whose intentions regarding the manner of their death were not absolutely clear. That particular conundrum of competing preferences will have those who matter disappearing up those portions of their anatomies best investigated with a rubber glove.
In one sense, those who matter should be congratulated for their honesty. Their previous attempts at waging wars of extermination on the British people have mostly been conducted on the fly; enclosure and privatisation both wore the slightest of fig-leafs that economic pseudo-science could provide, while abortion's victims have been invisible. A sight that really struck me during my recent trip to the Republic of Ireland was that of the two Downs Syndrome children I saw in Dublin - can't remember the last time I saw one in Glasgow.
But assisted suicide is The Great Big War Of Extermination That They've All Been Waiting For. Its victims will not be invisibles - they'll be Grandma and Grandpa; you and me. Those who matter will be able to do what they've always wanted, to take the lives of British adults without penalty, crushing us under their heels like the ants, cockroaches, chavs, neds and oiks they consider us to be; worthless items standing in the way of someone more important getting what they want. In the past, what they wanted was something personal, like great sex or getting richer - now, what they want is to balance the budget of the NHS.
In one sense, I suppose it's a bit less objectionable to be murdered by the State if you knew that your death would help someone else get great sex or become richer - I mean, they'd be a bit happier, even for a while. But to be murdered by the State to make the spreadsheet look good? Give me a break. Way too Nazi for my taste.
I do hope Her Majesty the Queen is very trustful of her doctors. After all, she's getting on a bit.