Thursday, 19 August 2010
Mr William has things banged to Rights?
A Thoughtful Thursday to you all!
In our modern society, people are always banging on about their rights, and, of course, all perceived injustices and inequalities should be tackled. Personally, I feel we have begun to forget that with rights come responsibilities. Should we stand on our 'rights', in every case? How do we balance one person's or group's rights and freedoms against another's, if they clash in some important way? I want to hear from you on this topic, please!
As I sit here in my armchair, as a privileged white, western European male adult, with enough money to cover my needs, and with all the benefits that flow from the above, I don't have much to complain about really, when I compare myself to many others, and for me, this is the point. We have to keep a sense of perspective, don't we?
By the way, I know I rabbit on with my views. The point is that I am exercising my right ot free speech, but I have to be responsibile in how I do that. You might feel that my observations are pithy, and no, I don't have a lisp, but they are only opinions.
Let me muse a little, with your indulgence? I have the right to marry in Vegas and get a 'quickie' divorce; I could father hundreds of children and not support them, I could get rich, by legal, yet morally suspect means, as a financial trader and not give a penny of it to anyone, including the taxman, if I had a good enough accountant! I could be cruel and mean, without breaking the law, but the point is, I wouldn't want to do any of these things, even if I had the right in law! Why, because thay are ethically bankrupt and hurt others!
Anyway, most of these activities are now beyond me. Like my hero, actor, Leslie Phillips, I am a man of many 'parts' but only some of them work!
Here are some examples from today's news, where rights are brought into question or debate. I read that victims of crime reckon that the criminals are given more support than they get. Here, in Norn Irn, photos of young rioters are put up on lampposts to ask the public to identify them. A young people's pressure group says this is breaching the 'children's human rights!' Some of the 'children' were trying to kill police officers, who had to stand there and take it!
Raoul Moat, a vicious murderer is now a facebook hero and has achieved superstar status, posthumously, I grant you. Surely, the people with their right to support him could be glorifying murder and cause copycat killings for fame and notoriety! I'll not even comment on the immorality of violent video game makers and sellers and pornographers. Their gain of filthy lucre has had an obvious effect on society!
Today, also, a wheelchair user said that an adult passerby used his right to free speech to mumble, 'Disabled people look like Daleks!', and then he laughed. Charming! Meanwhile, a fancy dress hire company defends it's right to rent out Nazi uniforms. They said it's 'only a bit of fun!' Yet more. An English council exercises its right to sterilise a woman due to her mental state. The 29 year old woman, with a mental age of 7, is to be taken away, drugged and fitted with a contraceptive device; all totally without her consent. The argument is that she has had two children already and they have been taken into care. This story is upsetting and I will exercise my right to reserve further comment!
Here again, in my home province, arguments have dogged relations between dog owners and others on beaches, where dog owners insist on letting the dogs free to rampage and leave dirt amongst the sunbathers. One lady said that it ruined her day,as she feared a large dog might hurt her tiny grandchild. A dog owner said that the former lady should move off to somewhere without dogs, as 'It is a dog's right to run free, and anyway most dogs are better behaved than children!' You know, you can't make this stuff up. I know I wouldn't want a large dog landing on my meat and 2 veg when I was picnicing on the beach!
So, how to balance competing rights? I'm going to leave the last word today to millionaire businessman and 'Dragon', James Caan, who said he intends to go out to Pakistan to hurry up the distribution of aid. He said he had to do it as 'We shouldn't sit around and do nothing, while people are dying!' This is a man who could afford to do nothing, but he is foregoing some rights and privileges for others. Way to go!
Yours forthrightly yet with reserve
The blogging Gogfather!