Saturday 20 February 2010

Gosling, Glenn Beck and euthanasia

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of Ray Gosling. I understand he’s been a great champion of gay rights, which I applaud. But to me, he’s always been one of those irritatingly quirky Radio 4 'characters' with the kind of regional accent that the Crispins at the BBC just adore, but whose quirkiness and regionalism often seem to be the sum total of his u.s.p. And the style of his programmes can best be described as whimsical. Whimsy is what Radio 4 does instead of humour: tune in any weekday evening at 6.30 and you’ll see what I mean.

At the same time, I have an instinctive aversion to euthanasia. Maybe it’s the lapsed Catholic in me, or maybe it's just the usual catalogue of fears about eugenics, the rights of the disabled, and slippery slopes. But I can’t help feeling a sliver of sympathy for Gosling, who has revealed in an interview that he once helped a lover who was suffering from AIDS to die. The veteran broadcaster has now been interviewed by the police, but has refused to disclose any further details. Listening to the news reports, I found myself silently cheering Gosling on, despite myself. You have to feel sorry for the detectives in this case, though: compelled to investigate an offence against an unnamed victim on an indeterminate date, at an unknown location, where the only evidence is the confession of a man who won’t say any more.

Or perhaps the ‘crime’ never took place, and the whole episode is a clever means of attracting publicity for the pro-euthanasia cause? Even if it did happen as Gosling says, there can surely be no selfish motive in coming clean now, and maybe the whole thing is motivated by a desire to advance the mercy-killing cause?

Maybe I’m being paranoid: but not as paranoid as Glenn Beck, who exceeded even his own reputation for fearmongering foolishness on his radio programme this week, when he suggested that ‘progressives’ in Canada plan to kill off those with a 'poor quality of life’ and that the Obama administration will soon be following suit. If you can bear it, listen to the audio version for the full unhinged rant.

No comments: