Two mothers whose sons took their own lives are joining forces to pile pressure on the Government to ban websites selling 'death in a bag' suicide kits.Never mind the logistics, feel the emotion!
The mothers' demands come days after the Government announced a new suicide-reducing strategy, ring-fencing £1.5 million to research possible preventable measures, but which stops short of exploring the advantages of an outright ban on suicide websites.Well, yes. There’s precious little point in them spending yet more time and money on nonsensical ‘solutions’ that are circumvented at the speed of light, is there? Didn’t we learn anything from the Internet piracy debate?
But of course, pointing out that what they want is untenable and unachievable is clearly not the done thing. These ladies are grieving, after all!
Mrs Boyle, whose son Kevin – a high-profile chef trained by Jamie Oliver who took his own life after ordering a suicide kit online aged 26 – said: "I want to see suicide websites banned. I want them stopped at point of entry to the UK."Well, of course you do. The bereaved want all sorts of things that are irrational and impossible.
"These websites are defended under the auspices of freedom of speech which unfortunately means these people take this to mean they can do what they want. But they can't.
"These people are earning money from the death of our children.
"I want the people selling these web kits brought to justice because in this country assisted suicide is against the law.
"It's about time the Government stands up and does the job we pay it to do and introduces a ban."I wasn’t aware that I’d elected a government to suppress free speech on the Internet. Silly me…
Mrs Boyle, who revealed the website Kevin used was traced to Honduras, Central America, is calling for a blanket internet service provider filter which effectively bans access anywhere in the UK.And which will be circumvented just as easily at the Pirate Bay’s blanket ban.
And, lest you think it’s just the kits and that would be OK, we could agree to that, well…
Mrs Lane, of Southwood Avenue, whose son Christopher took his own life in 2008 aged 31, after ordering a book on the internet, will also use the Government's announcement to push for stricter laws.At least she isn’t calling for books to be banned. Yet.
She said: "Christopher was able to do it very easily. Me and Patti were both parents at Reedham Park School and we feel very strongly about this.
"Although Christopher didn't buy a 'death in a bag' kit, I feel sure he would have now, and I feel very strongly these sites should be banned.
"People argue that people who want to kill themselves will do anyway, but it makes it so quick and easy.
"People can feel suicidal on a Monday and be dead on the Tuesday without having any cooling off period or any time to reconsider what they are doing.
"I think changing legislation will save lives. It will certainly give families more time to step in and understand what is happening."Given that you presumably didn’t know what he’d planned to do, just how can having ‘more time’ in which not to know what he plans to do have made the slightest little bit of difference?
But I can see this being accepted by those for whom grieving relatives’ wishes are the 'impeachable moral authority' they need to push through their own little authoritarian agendas, helped by a fawning, mawkish press that gives grieving relatives the oxygen of publicity.
Hasn't yesterday's debacle pointed this out to us in graphic detail?