A Week of Morals
Posted on November 10, 2010
This week seems to evolved in to an ongoing debate of morals. We have had the admission by former US president George Bush to waterboarding terror suspects, Britain preaching human rights in China whilst trying to tie up lucrative trade deals, and Newcastle United footballer and bad boy Andy Carrol on the verge of being selected for the England team.
Lets start with waterboarding. I have to say that I have not come across this before this week, but the debate is whether it was a morally correct thing to do if it saved lives. Waterboarding was characterized in 2005 by a former CIA director as an interrogation technique. According to Wikipedia, a cloth or cellophane is placed over or in the person’s mouth, and water is poured on to the their head. As far as the details of this technique, press accounts differ – one article describes “dripping water into a wet cloth over a suspects face”another states that “cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him”. This creates simulated drowning, and near-asphyxiation which one presumes isn’t a very pleasurable experience, unless of course you are a leather clad Tory MP.
Some would say that if it saved lives in London, so be it, but torture is torture, and in a supposed civilised nation that is trying to preach human rights to the developing nations, we can’t condone this sort of behaviour from the US. George Bush harps on about it being legal, but I expect stoning an Iranian women to death for stealing a loaf of bread is legal, but it doesn’t make it right. Personally, and you may beg to differ, the supporting of torture of terror suspects is, apart from being unconditionally morally wrong, likely to lead increasing tension, recrimination and more terror attacks. If someone is a terrorist suspect, arrest them charge them, and if guilty send them to prison, simple as that. You can’t just round people up randomly, surely if we have learnt something from the debacle with IRA suspects in Birmingham and Guildford, imprisoning potentially innocent people puts more lives at risk. Though I would support the jailing of RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary just because he annoys me so much.
President Cameron is in China this week, a trip that could be one slip of the tongue away from disaster. I keep waiting him to do a Prince Phillip by making some sort of joke about too wanking causing slitty eyes or something. Hypocrisy is the order of the day here, and as we speak Cameron is urging the Chinese to embrace political freedom, human rights, and free press. Stop and think for a second………………this is coming from a man who didn’t win an election, who represents a country where the right wing press (Murdoch) that support him are trying to crush all their competitors including the BBC in to oblivion, where we have over crowded prisons, a rising homeless population, increased tuition fees, decreased spending in education and health, and alleged support of the torture of suspects in Guantanamo Bay. Is that freedom? You could argue that China have every right to tell us to go and get stuffed and take our trade agreements with us. Despite all this, Cameron is right to question China, but if he really wants to take the moral high ground, he should distance himself from America who blatantly cover up rampant human rights abuse in their own back yard. But he wont, it is politically and financially impossible.
Finally and of far less importance, there is the debate raging about Newcastle United footballer Andy Carroll representing England. Carroll has been caught up in allegations of beating up women, heavy drinking, cocaine fuelled parties with Geordie wannabees, and having his Range Rover torched by gangsters. I don’t know where former Newcastle manager Glen Roeder has been for the last five years, but he has questioned Carroll’s inclusion in the next England sqad saying that it would send out the wrong moral messages. I am sorry Glen, but you are quite wrong, Carroll has served the perfect apprenticeship for a would be England footballer, and his conduct will fit in perfectly with his new team mates. If we were talking about what is morally correct we wouldn’t have an England team, if Andy Carroll was not selected because of his conduct, Fabio Cappello would have no choice but to drop Joe Hart, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch, Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.
The people who are definitely morally wrong have to be parents who encourage their kids to assume footballers as role models. Why on earth would they do that? The last time I most looked, footballers, in fairness to them, haven’t asked to be role models, they have been created in to them by advertising deals and agents. It’s no use parents bleating on about how their child’s role model has let them down by shagging a lap dancer, the answer is simply that the only role model should surely be a parent or an elder sibling. Idolising a high profile person will end in tears, just ask my elder sister who adored Germaine Greer for years.When she finally ended up in the same room has her “role model” she promptly, and rather rudely, got told to piss off. Lesson learnt.
Right, I’m off to Peter Andre’s book signing, that guy is an inspiration to me, I’ve got all his albums and his autobiography is real page turner!