Tuesday, 30 August 2011

404 - Logic not Found

On Saturday we received news from the Telegraph's website about impending changes to UK abortion laws. Nadine Dorries' proposal that women should be offered independent counselling is to be announced by the Department of Health in the near future, with organisations which provide abortions being banned from providing abortion counselling.

Although the MP in question is so eager to present herself as a champion of womens' rights, she continuously, almost studiously, ignores the two huge elephants in the room: firstly, women are free to seek counselling from whoever they like, we are not limited to BPAS and Marie Stopes. Secondly, claiming to promote freedom of choice while banning options you don't like is sheer lunacy. I'm aware that rhetoric is often prized over rational thought in politics but such a clear example of logical disconnect is frightening - you know we're in trouble when we have a government which claims to increase freedom through imposing further restrictions to suit their ideology.

Another point which perplexes me in all of this is Dorries' eagerness to portray herself as a protector of the vulnerable, but only when it comes to interfering in matters of female sexuality. It seems very odd that she's willing to be a nuisance disguised as morality when it comes to sex education and abortion but she's content to let issues such as ATOS assessments and the Coalition's demonisation of the disabled go unquestioned. Actually the very opposite is the case - our heroic champion of the people actually encouraged her blog readers to report any disabled people who tweeted over 50 times per day for benefit fraud, even going as far as asking "how can anyone live a normal life who can do that?". A breathtaking lack of compassion and understanding about the vast range of disabilities there, blindingly obvious to anyone who has even the slightest experience with this type of situation.

The cognitive dissonance on display here would be laughable if it wasn't being taken so seriously by the people in power. As things stand we currently have a woman who is intent on infantilising other women by banning options she doesn't approve of and insisting that we don't know what we're talking about. This is no time for anyone to be complacent - a lot of ideologically convenient targets are under attack from various members of the Coalition, we would do well to call out hypocrisy and misinformation wherever we see it being promoted.

I now leave you all with a final thought from Dorries's blog:
"I wonder why someone would provide a quote to a national newspaper when they obviously have no idea what they are talking about?"
Indeed, Nadine. I think a lot of us are asking exactly the same question.

1 comment:

  1. Hypocrisy indeed. Some people think they are acting for the good of others based on their own quite narrow worldview of what they believe to be 'right'- that's probably the case with Dorries. Such cases often cause more harm than good.

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