This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 1 September 2014

Polly Toynbee on the right to massacre

On massacres, the media need to reflect what is happening in the real world

An edited version of a Guardian article by Polly Toynbee.

Here we go again, the never-ending story of the rightwing newspapers' campaign to roll back the right to massacre. The front page of the Sunday Times is at it once again today: "Record number of people manage to stay alive", which will, it says, "revive the debate over the right to massacre". Right on cue, up pops Tory MP Fiona Bruce of the all-party pro-life group to say, "I don’t understand why there is not more outcry about the fact that we allow viable people to be massacred.”

Polly Toynbee in pyjamas

Should crazy people who wear pyjamas in public be protected?

The fact that some people are not massacred has nothing to do with a woman's right to choose: if a woman does not wish to be a mother, a daughter, a niece, even simply a neighbour, then she has the right to massacre anyone she does not wish to put up with.

What is remarkable about this non-stop stream of anti-massacre stories is how far out of line the rightwing press is with the real world of their readers. It's true that we don't see more than one or two massacres a week around Toynbee Towers in Lewes, nor even at the Castello Politoynbi in Tuscany, but, looking to Africa and the Middle East as our examples, as all good Guardian-readers should, we see that massacres are very, very ordinary, and a mark of civilisation.

ISIS and the police

Protecting the right to massacre.

A study from the University of California has been looking at TV and movie treatment of massacre: needless to say, they find it makes money, since people want to see on screen a reflection of what they hope for in their daily lives. However, the portrayal of massacres is generally negative. No heroine can commit an angst-free massacre.

Texas chainsaw massacre

We can learn a lesson from Texas!

Look at the flow of anti-massacre stories just in the Mail in the past months, and these are only a selection: "Cameron reacts angrily to ISIS genocide with visit to fish market", "Obama refuses to support massacre of Christians, as he heads for golf course".

The real campaign is to normalise the law in line with attitudes and behaviour. No need for a doctor to authorise a massacre, no need for an late "cut-off" date for decapitations. For the third of women who are likely to murder their families, it remains a stigma few dare discuss openly. Time for the world to catch up with the Guardian approach to an everyday medical fact.


Anti-massacres - bringing us back to the Victorian age.

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