Thursday, 11 December 2008


“Parents of a Down’s child must make painful choices” says Minette

“You forgot about love when it comes to Downs Syndrome” says India

“What Marrin seems unable to grasp is that these things –
time, stress, expense, anxiety, tears – are sacrifices that parents are happy to
make because they love their children. There is no mention of love in the 1,050
words of her column, nor of hope or faith or compassion or even kindness.”

Conversely, there is plenty of compassion but little wisdom in India
Knights account. Sniffing out insults where non exist and hot on revenge, India
ostentatiously avoids all reference to the gist of Minette’s argument.
Obviously, so far as she is concerned, Minette Marrin’s impartial analysis broke
all the codes of social deference. Deference to deficiency, that is. And such
things rankle. As it turns out, it really is far more fruitful to analyse India
Knight as a cultural phenomenon than as an over-astute

“The (rather telling) point c) – who would have sex
with these people? – is bizarre. Do we need to concern ourselves with the
question of whether the sexual needs of our unborn child are likely to be met in

Yes we do! Absolutely! Self-serving love and doting affection are good
for the soul - but what about the afflicted? Quite obviously, India has no
comprehension of her own responsibility as a parent. With medical advances and
social care, the chance for self-expression are incomparably higher than at any
time before, admittedly, but so are the odds against social happiness. Nor does
it make the syndrome enviable. I am impressed by the deep emotion and the cry of
anguish, but no one is condemned to die, nor is anyone talking about euthanasia
or eugenics - we only reserve to ourselves the choice of the right decision.

“Besides, what are we to do with other sexual undesirables –
should we cull the fat? The ugly? What about the old, with their spindly bones,
eating up National Health Service resources and, if Alzheimer’s strikes,
mentally retarded to boot? They just sit, all doddery – not many takers on the
rumpo front. What’s the point of them?”

Harsh words indeed - and this is where the lady is loosing the plot. I
suppose we can forgive the columnist for that most human of sins, argument by
abuse, but it seems unnecessarily harsh on the old and the ugly. What’s more,
the hints could hardly have been plainer. Isn’t a society judged by the way it
treats the old. I have no children of my own, but I did have a mother with
cancer, and a father incapacitated by a stroke, who both died cared for, by
myself, at home. And perhaps it would be best if we looked after them at home,
rather than dispatch them, “all doddery” to the social services in order to make
room for those condemned to live the greater part of their shortened, damaged
lives in considerable mental and physical incapacity.

“I would never deny any woman the right to make an informed choice about her pregnancy. I didn’t know about my daughter’s condition when I was pregnant; it is possible that, had I known, I would have had an abortion. Fear, prejudice and articles that reinforce both would have helped me along. Needless to say, I’m glad I
didn’t have a termination. But that’s not the point.”

But that, precisely, is the point, my dear India. Your kind of
reasoning shows all the signs of misrepresentation by hindsight. Whereas Minette
talks about informed perspectives and the painful complexity of pre-emptive
antenatal choices, you talk about the love of a mother, which is unqualified,
wholly acknowledged and should never be denied. Now, here’s a clueless mother. A
woman who knows everything but herself. It doesn't get any more irrational than

“Abortion is a personal, subjective choice. I question the
wisdom of a columnist passing off her ugly, out-moded opinions as sound advice.”

It stands out rather conspicuously in retrospect, and I don't think I
had noticed it myself until Miss Knight drew my attention to it, but - quite
unlike the abusive India - Minette Marrin acquitted herself rationally, coolly
and concisely. As for being outmoded in her opinions, well, this may indeed be a
factor in the public perception of her reasoned perspective, informed as our
society is by a much more insidious type of cruelty.

“The father of a teenage boy with Down’s told me last
week that he fears Marrin’s view is one that may be shared by the majority of
people…He is wrong, I think…That world has gone, and with it the ugliness Marrin
gave vent to last week. My experience, and that of my correspondents, is real.
We know that life can be tough but that people are fundamentally good and
compassionate….Nobody is embarrassed. Most urban children know at least one
child with a disability…And that is human and tender and complicated and

So there you have it. Compassionate stereotypes abound. The rise of the
PC welfare society has largely coincided with the spread of a social altruism
that finds the debilitation of their society cause for enthusiastic celebration.
An attitude that fĂȘtes its own mediocrity and initiates the irreversible process
of its own demise. The premonitions are well laid out here. Indeed, there is no
better way to feel like an outcast than to be brilliant or strive for
excellence. As an idealist, you're on your own. While the planet is reeling
under the weight of 7 billion human beings, soon to be twice that number, India
wishes to increase the burden. Leaving aside her giant disregard for the
realities of global demographics, Miss Knight’s ferocious protestation of her
own maternal property rights is but contempt for everyone else's. There is no
notion that the rights of humanity outweigh the rights of the individual. Nor
does anyone question the fact that the duty of humanity is first and foremost
that we should care for the meek and aid the afflicted, and consequently no
provision should exclude their care; but how all this adds to the evolutionary
fitness of the human species is rather less apparent. And I, for one, am
extremely disturbed by the current hysteria of the times, of which this kind of
attitude seems to be a manifestation. This is sheer parody, a case of
high-functioning incapacity, the demented, idiotic perspective of the lobby
extremist who turns people with physical or learning disabilities into icons and
expect the rest of society to cede our freedom of choice to fear and phoney


Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Some forms of idiocy are circumstantial, perhaps, but considerable
nevertheless. That the current Labour administration requests the
criminalisation of punters whenever prostitutes are controlled for another man’s
gain, is a stark demonstration of the fact that Jacqui Smith, like Harriet
Harman, is either at the extreme limits of self-deception or totally detached
from reality.

Even more suggestive was the excellent Minette Marrin. Her headline ran
prominently - and with just a hint of irony - in the Comment section of The
Sunday Times
: “Slithery Jacqui Smith wants a back-door ban on prostitution.“


“What she wants is to deal with the “demand side” of prostitution: if
only men didn’t demand sexual services, there wouldn’t need to be any nasty
- which, of course, is rather like putting the cart before the horse
…erm stallion. To wit, if there were no scantily dressed females, enticing
x-rated flics, dirty movies, provocative ads, lascivious lap-dancers, teenagers
prancing in discos, thongs, G-strings and six-inch fuck-me-stilettos, there
would be much less demand. For that the first will be followed by the second I
can, with knowledge of the matter, affirm. Sex is a cultural no less than an
economic phenomenon, and on the evidence available, I favour a less fictitious
reading: that men are as hopelessly trapped as are women, to say nothing of
grinding, lonesome, unforgiving urgency of it.

Whether we like it or not, from the point of view of that trend, our
sex-crazed culture tempts people to do an “evil” action and then prevents them
from doing it. Men, by their cultural conditioning, have a hard-on, if that’s not
too apposite a phrase, for ready lascivious curves and for prostitutes that
accommodate, and the recourse to trafficked women, the spread of venereal
disease, the advent of sexual delinquency in terms of rapes and drug dealers,
traffickers, ponces and heroin addicts are the direct result of legislating
against the most fundamental needs of human nature.

The public happily allows itself to be deceived, but men will kill for
sex! Indeed, when all possible allowances have been made for today’s sexual
offender, with no more moral sense than a beast of prey, the problem is actually
insoluble. On the other hand, it may also be all we deserve. 'There is no evil
between men and women,' it has been said, 'that is not a common evil'. No one,
in short, is blameless, but as someone observed of D.H. Lawrence, he 'was no
doubt right in describing as vampires his women characters; the men, soon to
join them as “undead,” have by some defect of the moral will, made them so.'
Bound together by one predominant quality - the power of the opposite sex - he
is as much her victim as she is his.

As far back as 1358 the Grand Council of Venice declared that
prostitution was 'absolutely indispensable to the world', and the Venetian way
was to control and to provide regulations rather than to censor the ban.
Cultural trappings of the Venetians aside, there was an admirable raft of
reasons why this should be beneficial. And why all of that revenue should today
be lost for a raft of opposite reasons I simply don’t understand.

I feel sorry for Jacqui, and a little guilty. An out-of-shape middle-aged woman with a somewhat glazed expression she couldn’t possibly comprehend what I’ve achieved with my tits’n’ass. I've left the business now. And it may only have been the fourth or fifth time when last I
made a professional visit to the Houses of Parliament, whereas Jacqui does so on
a daily basis. But what has her vagina ever done for the Home Secretary, except
made her feel inadequate: “I wouldn’t walk down a street alone at night.” Poor
Jacqui! Nor does she have to assume the absurd and humiliating pose of bending
over to exercise her sphincter. Inadequacy provides no revelations and no
insights. Indeed, the defence against a fear of inadequacy can sometimes be
daydreams and detachment from reality. But, whether you like it or not, dear Jacqui,
prostitution is an organic necessity, and I believe I’ve ennobled that