Personal politics; when moralising replaces civic responsibility

The big issues in UK politics are how the Government is destroying public services, in favour of provision for which it is absolutely not responsible.  De-governance as quickly as possible is the route our Conservative-dominated political leadership has chosen.

The increasing interference by those same Tories in our private lives – whether it’s direct civil liberties, or our right to determine our own fertility, or whatever – is also diverting attention from de-governance.  And the news from across the Atlantic on, e.g., a woman’s right to choose (abortion) is alarming, with reports of extraordinary demonstrations and even efforts in some states such as Virginia to legislate for ‘medical rape’ – intended to prevent women going through with abortions – and the like.

Already there’s evidence that some anti-progressive UK campaigners are taking note.

We have seen the 40 Days for Life demonstrations outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic in central London, and heard the constant rumble from people such as Nadine Dorries MP, claiming ‘Christian’ principles as she demands ever-tighter regulation of legalised abortion.

And that’s before we get to the news that Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, has been seeking out possible evidence about doctors pre-signing forms for consent to undergo terminations.  (NB Two doctors must consent to the operation being done…  on the women who will otherwise have to carry and care for the ensuing child.)

Nobody, but nobody, likes the act, or even the idea, of abortion.  It’s a difficult and often extremely distressing topic.  But in the end the person who has to make that choice (within the limits of the law) must be the person via whose own body that abortion has to be carried out.  Abortion is always unpleasant, but sometimes by any reasonable measure it must on balance be the way forward.

The woman concerned is the one who must be conscious of the consequences for the rest of her life; and she, if she continues with the pregnancy, must also live with the knowledge that she will be responsible for decades to come for a dependent child who, when the decision was made, was not yet a cognizant being.

Yet whilst UK politicians are actually reducing the requirements for the administration of Health & Safety at Work (a source of sometimes grievous harm to individuals and their families), they are also gearing up the emphasis on much more nuanced, personal and intimate issues…. presumably because they don’t respect real, cognizant people (reluctantly pregnant women, or disabled children, or injured / killed employees) as much as much as they are keen to indulge in hostile populist politics.

Here in several respects are moves away from responsible political discourse on difficult matters.  This is part of the DE-governance programme which George Osborne and the Conservatives are pursuing so avidly.

Anti-progressive politicians are replacing public and social policy by the UK government with intrusive and meddling moralising.  They want even after de-governance to have influence, and will fill with pernicious hot air the gap left by their abnegation of responsibility for meaningful social policies.

But do progressives have the awareness and courage to counter this shift from decent debate?  The Tory smoke-screen is already almost in place, and meddling politicians will always want something (preferably something with no personal or direct responsibility attached) to meddle in.

The real needs for support of vulnerable people must not be drowned out in the noise-making of those who seek to divert attention from the razing of the welfare state, which they want to destroy.

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