Celia Green.com
Celia Green.com


Monthly Column, January 2004

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'Moves to clarify privacy rules in wake of Soham'

The Data Protection Act…. was blamed for preventing police from maintaining a record of sexual assault allegations against Ian Huntley, killer of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and also came under attack at an inquest after the death of two pensioners weeks after their gas was cut off. ….. John Reid, health secretary, said ministers would examine the legislation. "If there are data protection regulations that prevent people's lives being saved there's obviously something wrong," he said. "The whole point of these regulations is to protect people's privacy. It is not to put their lives in danger." (Financial Times 24 Dec 2003)

As in the case of the serial murderer and child abuser, Fred West, the amazing slowness of uptake of an unmotivated police force has led to calls for improvements in transmission of information on a mechanical basis in a way that will facilitate the persecution of the sort of people whom the police and social services are motivated to persecute.

They are not motivated to persecute demoralised and inadequate people with low IQs, such as Ian Huntley and Fred West, which may have something to do with the blind eye which they turned for so long in both cases, and might still have turned however much information came up on their computers.

As usual, the failure of policemen, social workers, etc. with low IQs to prevent other people with low IQs from committing crimes will be used as an excuse for removing what restraints there still are on intruding into the lives of the entire population, which includes not only people with low IQs but people with IQs above average.

And, once again, we see how the physical takes precedence over all psychological considerations. It is enough to demonstrate that there is a statistical risk of adverse physical consequences for a person's right to make decisions about his own life to be swept aside.

So what is the implication of notifying social services when a pensioner's energy supplies are cut off, without his consent? Probably he will lose his liberty altogether because the social services may well decide to pop him into the extermination camp of an old people's home. Even if he survives in it for longer than he would if left to die under his own auspices in his own territory, he might well consider such a fate worse than death.

Although the excuse for intervention by agents of the collective is that his life is at risk, there is no reason to suppose that they are motivated to prolong his life in any way that he would consider desirable. The right to liberty of an individual should include the right to evaluate for himself the motivation of agents of the collective who wish to impose their evaluations upon his life, and not to be exposed to their intervention against his will.

Nor should evaluations of pensioners' fitness to make decisions for themselves which may be imposed on them by others by 'diagnoses' of 'senility, dementia, or poor quality of life' be regarded as any justification for uninvited intrusion into their affairs. If they did not, before they were too old to do so, exercise their forethought in giving power of attorney to an individual of their own choice to make decisions for them when they became too old to do so for themselves, then it should be accepted that the risk of dying somewhat earlier than they might have done, was a risk which, consciously or subconsciously, they chose to take, and this should be no excuse for exposing them to the sadistic attentions of agents of the collective. To do things to people against their will is to torture them.

Another way of doing things to old people against their will is to shift them to another killing field for the old, usually on grounds of cheapness, when they have reached an advanced age in one to which they have become accustomed. (Often a 'home' is closed because it cannot comply with updated 'health and safety' regulations without charging higher fees than the local council is willing to pay for - so its inmates are rehoused en masse with considerable risk to their life expectancy. It was John Reid, the health secretary, who was quoted above as saying that there was 'something wrong' with regulations that put lives in danger. But that, of course, was regulations which restricted the intrusion of the collective into the lives of individuals.

If the collective does take a person into its power (into 'care', as it is called) it should at least be responsible for providing a permanent environment until their death. There would be enough vituperation if a commercial business did not put continuity of 'jobs' before returns to shareholders. One law for the collective, and another for the commercial?