Thursday 2 October 2008

”..suicide is painless my meal ticket…”

David Cameron was accused of insensitivity today after making a joke about suicide in his keynote address to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.
Mr Cameron departed from his planned script after joking about the prospect of Gordon Brown remaining in power forever, adding: "I won't go on - there are people in balconies up there”.

The quip prompted a loud laugh in the hall but fell flat with a group dedicated to helping those affected by suicide.
Ah, the professionally-aggrieved. Where would we be without them…? Probably a lot better off, frankly.
Angela Samata, Trustee of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, said that Mr Cameron's comment was "very insensitive" and could be “extraordinarily upsetting for people in our situation: people who have been bereaved by people who had perhaps jumped to their deaths".

She said that those bereaved by suicide are "very, very sensitive to comments like that".
What, all of them? And they’ve all given you permission to speak on their behalf, have they? Or have we just appropriated that right for ourselves, the better to get our name in the paper, hmm?
"We come up against this kind of thing time and again, it's quite a big issue for us,” Ms Samata said. “For some people it's a well-used turn of phrase, but for someone who could be the next Prime Minister you would expect a certain level of sensitivity."
More use of the ‘royal we’ there, I see.

Obviously if you are the publicity-hungry paid mouthpiece for a lobbying organisation, a certain level of sensitivity isn’t required, and so one can get up on one’s hind legs, cloak oneself in the absolute moral authority of your members (without soliciting their opinion, I suspect), and spout off any load of old tosh you feel like spouting.


Mercurius Aulicus said...

"We"? Has she got a mouse in her pocket? I have some advice here (Language Warning) for her from "Chopper Read"

John M Ward said...

Ah! I wondered what the joke was (I didn't get it until I read this article).

Oh, for goodness' sake! These people who "speak for" others can be so daft at times. There is validity in the concept of representatives, especially if have been elected to do that job of representing a group; but that doesn't stop some of them carrying a chip on the shoulder.

Most of those carrying such chips (sometimes more like huge rocks) turn out to be out-and-out Lefties who are using their position to "legitimise" pursuing their own personal agendas.

I have seen it so many time over the years, particularly within the Trade Union movement, incidentally. That seems to be one of the strongest magnets for this type of individual.

Anonymous said...

Re. insensitivity. A contributor to a Radio 4 program for the blind and partially sighted (it might have been In Touch) complained repeatedly that the charity RNIB had 'lost its sense of vision'.

It takes a special kind of bastard to smile at that. I did. Still am.

DJ said...

Blindness? Asinine claims to victimhood?

That rings a bell:

Anonymous said...

"It takes a special kind of bastard to smile at that. I did. Still am."

Me too :D

Anonymous said...

I would aways shout jump if someone were publically threatening suicide. However, if I should decide to take my own life, I will do it decently, in private and at no inconvenience to others.