Monday, July 21, 2008

Not so daft.

So 'lunatics' and 'idiots' are going to be allowed to become MPs, according to today's Telegraph. "What's so new about this", I hear you cry out. "I thought it was already compulsory". Well, OK it sounds a bit daft, but its a serious issue. The reality since Elizabethan times is that these two categories of people have been banned from standing as MPs in their non lucid periods. The problem has been that 'lunatics' and 'idiots' have not been allowed to stand for Parliament even after they have fully recovered. Participation of those who are not capable of reasoned judgement in our democratic processes is a subject that has become of great interest to me recently - since I became involved with specialist elderly care, often involving people with dementia. My conclusion is that because it impossible to be sure when capacity to reason disappears, and because the path towards a loss of reason is not a straightforward constant deterioration, it is unacceptable to bar anyone from full participation in our democracy on health grounds. Its a subject that isn't given enough serious thought. So news that there is to be reconsideration of outdated laws about lunacy is welcome.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glyn> just Gordon Brown stirring up yet another smoke screen to hide his huge cock-up (re: British economy) and his never ending plans to spend spend spend, tax tax tax, and kill, kill kill the private sector. Points you have made so well just the other day, if not the other week, month, year ... perhaps before the invention of the doughnut.

Anonymous said...

'And now for something completely different': reports are coming in thick and fast of actual pictures ('colour mark you') of MPs troffing ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_enl_1216636190/img/1.jpg

Alison said...

A serious issue, the fact that such labelling is still on the statute books; and more to the point the media is playing on such terminology says it all. Mental health issues, should not bar someone from full participation in society. Anyone at anytime could become mentally ill (in the same way as you gain any other illness). Any other illness does not exclude you from a job (whilst ill you might not be in a position to work, but there's a chance to get better). Why is mental health any different?

alanindyfed said...

Who knows - the lunatics and idiots may (are bound to) make a better job than the moronic individuals that we have in power now!

gary said...

Reading you post brings the words MP's, Brecon & Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire to mind?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I'll try to restrain myself from going over the top in my anti Gordon rhetoric.

Alison - totally agree with you, but I don't object to the media having fun with the terminology. That was the reason that so many people read about the issue. I suppose my post was guilty as well, as was Alan.

Gary - hope so

Anonymous said...

Anon here, I like reading your 'anti Gordon rhetoric' - my post was aimed at showing you spotted these issues some time ago and deserve credit for that.

Right now I am sure many are fed up to the back-teeth with Gordon's 'games' - we need to be reminded by Glyn et al that Gordon is just throwing up a smokescreen, a tactic that the BBC seems fond of late. (Re: labeling David Cameron as a taxer) to take heat off Gordon Brown.

landsker said...

Good morning.
Speaking on behalf of those who fall within your proscribed catagories of "lunatics and idiots"...
Firstly, yes, of course, Brown will talk about anything except the economy right now, or the cost of his wars... however...
Might one humbly and politely suggest that we use terms such as Autistic, Aspergeric, Bi-polar, depressives, foetal alcoholics, manic depressives, schizophrenics, or that all embracing. "people with mental illnesses."
The use of words such as "golliwog" and "nigger"....
"Faggot" and "queer", "Arse-bandit".....
"Raghead", "Kike", "wop", are not encouraged as descriptive terms.

So why on earth should those who have contracted an illness be derided, insulted and isolated to the margin?


Having fun with the terminology is a bit of a laugh..........for some.
Living within the strictures of mental illness is no joke.
Respectfully yours,
On behalf of the lunatics and idiots, and all their carers and families.

Glyn Davies said...

landsker - I think the 'bit of fun' was at the expense of politicians, rather than those suffering from various forms of mental illness. And I don't think there is any argument from anyone whose comments are allowed on this blog that the use of any of the derogatory terms you referred to are acceptable

landsker said...

Mr Davies,
With awareness of just how thin the linguistic ice can be, the purpose of the response was to cast light on the issue that the use of the terms "Idiot" "Fool", "Lunatic" can and certainly does upset people with mental illnesses.
The origins and connotations of the terms do stem from age-old medical terms.
Maybe our use of the language hasn`t kept pace with the advance of science.
Perhaps I`m being pedantic, but there you are, and for most sufferers of mental illnesses, obtaining a specific and tangible diagnosis, and thus treatment, is generally preferable to the populist terminolgies such as "Nuts" ..!
As an aside, my late grandfather gardened extensively,and always consulted "Old Moores` Almanac" to plan his horticultural activities, and reasoned that the lunar and solar phases influenced the behavioural patterns of his plants.
Thanks.