The snip for a snip

Aah, the Daily Mail. It’s sort of comforting. It makes me feel safe to know I can whip up its website, and immediately be swaddled in a homely blanket of Carphone Warehouse crankery.

If there’s an article in  the British media this morning more exploitative, more opportunistic, more one-eyed, and more downright mawkish than this, then I’ll be a monkey’s vilified-as-a-minority uncle.

Drug addict Alan Mitchell has become Britain’s first to be paid to have a vasectomy. Do you know how much he was paid? £200. Two hundred quid: such a mighty wage that he needed to take the Mail’s pound in order to have them have him lavish him with platitudes about bravery and responsibility and lap up a lucky tear or two when his mum rings up.

And how much did you give him Daily Maily. How much did you top the £200 by, with your non-dom hereditory peer of an owner, and his obviously vast contribution to society?

The Mail insists Mitchell didn’t do it for the money. But his comments don’t do that argument many favours. For a start, he has never wanted a child in the first place, and actively says he “couldn’t cope” with one, and the thought terrifies him. Why bother subjecting a man of such firm resolution to invasive surgery to prevent something he’s clearly single-minded enough to nip in the bud himself?

Anyway, it reminds me of something that happened in Trinidad a few years ago. Except, in Trinidad, it constituted a public scandal. No sinisterly powerful far right news organs rode in to lend their support.

When Senator Harry Mungalsingh lodged suggested that women of child-bearing age living in Trinidad’s crime spots should be paid by the state to have their fallopian tubes “tied”, he was immediately stripped of his portfolio in the upper house.

Mungalsingh’s idea grew from an observation that 83 per cent of Trinidad’s prison population hailed from what he called “specific communities”, and he extended the proposal for a voluntary sterilisation programme to include state incentives to abortion for women in these areas.

Problem – let’s be honest, one of about 400 problems – was everyone thought the Indo-Caribbean Mungalsingh was specifically trying to suffocate the population Afro-Caribbean women.

You just wonder if there’s a soupcon of a similar instinct lurking behind the owned-by-a-viscount, editited-by-a-multimillionaire Mail’s anxiety that the poor and afflicted be snuffed out at their source.

~ by David Thorley on October 25, 2010.

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