When I woke up this morning I had to check that I hadn’t travelled back in time to Germany circa 1939. No really. I even took a look at the flux capacitor by my bed, just in case I’d hit 88mph in my sleep. Then I realised that it wasn’t me who was in the wrong time and place, it was UKIP council candidate Geoffrey Clark for saying that the NHS needs an urgent review thanks to it “becoming unaffordable in the future”. Oh, and for saying that said review should consider “compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Down’s, spina bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, could render the child a burden on the state as well as the family.”
Clark then goes on to say (no one had shot him on sight at this point) that the review should also consider treatment for anyone aged over 80 if it is “disproportionately costly to the NHS” and that this could include “legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80”.
For once I barely know where to start. I’ve checked that I’m not living with Mugabe, I’ve checked that I haven’t lost my grasp of the English language and I’ve checked that I’m not a cast member of Logan’s Run and I still can’t get my head around why any rational human being would say something so eye-poppingly horrific.
It’s astounding enough that a particular condition or age should render you disposable. It’s even more astounding that said disposal should be carried out for the purpose of saving money. What in the frig does Clark suggest? That we give 80 year olds one-way tickets to Beachy Head as 80th birthday presents? Or that pregnancy scans include gift packs of knitting needles and gin?
Imagine seeing people with Downs or 80 years of life as little more than burdens on society. What a bleak way to think. It clearly has never crossed Clark’s mind that people with these conditions and ages can live rich, fulfilled and happy and lives. It’s also clearly of no interest to him that these people are surrounded by families who love them, families who do not want them to die just to save the NHS a few fucking bucks.
And imagine what life would be like should Clark have his way. We’d have just-born babies being wrenched from their loving mothers’ arms and destroyed and we’d have grandmothers and grandfathers torn from their children’s arms because they’d reached an unacceptable age. But hey! What the hell! If it saves the NHS a few bob that’s all the consolation and comfort we’d need as we grieved our way through the new regime of eugenics.
And what if Clark gets his way and the NHS does not save enough cash? Perhaps we could drop the Age of Killing to 75, 70, or 65. Or perhaps we could start aborting babies who have cleft palates or a missing finger? Tell you what, why don’t we just go all the way and abort all the babies who aren’t blond, blue-eyed and…oh, wait. It’s been tried already.
Clarke also shows how vile he is by using the word ‘it’, as if babies don’t have genders, they just have sets of organs that may or may not work to their optimal potential. Perhaps he thinks that assigning a baby the term ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ is unduly emotive and likely to cloud the judgement of every sane and lucid human who thinks that he’s talking complete and utter cock.
UKIP says that Clark is no longer a UKIP candidate although he will appear as such on the Kent County Council and Gravesham Borough Council ballot papers. It’s too late though. The HMS Eugenics has set sail and Captain Clark is at the helm. Let’s hope he hits 88 mph and arrives back in 1938 Germany where he firmly belongs.
So what do you think? Does the guy have a point? God knows, do I have a point? I’ll leave it up to you to tell me.