A little light in the darkness

Elderly Friend is in hospital yet again, this time with a broken femur after a fall. We’ve okayed the surgery, as is our responsibility as powers of attorney. We’re fairly sure she’ll pull through but these things always cast a long shadow. At her age the risk of complications is sky high, but still has to be balanced against quality of life. The only alternative was palliative care which is a definite one way street confined to bed in intermittent pain. So, we’ve rolled the dice with crossed fingers. We’ll know more later on today.

The darker part of me wishes her a quick and painless death under anaesthetic, even though we will be very unhappy to lose her. She has of late said that she is wondering why she keeps on going, so perhaps the long night might be the best outcome for her. Does that sound heartless? It’s not meant to be. For all my faults, I believe that mercy is not the prolongation of suffering.

On a more positive note; for those Scots interested in a little good news for once. From the Free Speech Society’s Newsletter, a letter;

“signed by 20 people, including Rowan Atkinson, Peter Tatchell, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, AC Grayling and Prof Timothy Garton Ash, as well as Index on Censorship, Scottish PEN and Cartoonists Rights Network International. It looks as though the message has finally got through to Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s Justice Secretary who has been tasked with getting the Bill through. On Wednesday, he announced he was preparing to make changes following the chorus of objections. “This letter from various artists will be given serious consideration,” he said. “Their key concern seems to be that ‘stirring up’ offences should be restricted to intent only. It is an area of the Bill I will reflect further on.”

The aspect of the Bill Yousaf is referring to is the proposal to enlarge the offence of “stirring up hatred” without the need to prove intent to secure a conviction. It is already an offence under Scottish law to stir up racial hatred, but the proposed legislation will extend this so it applies to “stirring up hatred” against people on the basis of their religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sexual characteristics, where “stirring up hatred” is defined as behaving in “a threatening, abusive or insulting manner” to a member of one of these groups, either with the intent to stir up hatred or where that is the likely outcome. It is that last clause that Yousef has said he’ll look at again. If that’s removed, it will certainly make the law less draconian, but he would do better to scrap the Bill altogether.”

I know it’s not much, but it’s a sliver of light in the darkness of censorship and oppression.

As for ‘stirring up hatred’, this heinous bill will do nothing to abate that, even if passed unmodified. The Scottish Nazi Party think they can fix things just by passing ever more restrictive laws. Yes well, all I have to say about that is; murder is against the law, but people still do it. Besides, hate speech laws will just drive the ‘problem’ underground where like flowing water, it will eventually cut the ground from under the oppressors feet.