But Simon, The ‘Guardian’ Leads The Way On This Stuff…

Simon Jenkins on the foetal alcohol syndrome court case:

If poisoning your foetus with alcohol is a crime, why is it not a crime to abort it? If alcoholism in pregnancy is “attempted manslaughter”, as a QC told the court of appeal this week, surely abortion is murder.

Well, yes. You aren’t the first to point this out, either.

The motive for this week’s court case in London had nothing to do with the health of mother or child. It was blatantly financial. A local council is acting on behalf of a seven-year-old girl – “CP” – who suffers from acute “foetal alcohol syndrome”. The claimed cause was her mother’s drinking during pregnancy. The suit is intended to shift the cost of caring for her from the council to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on the grounds that the girl is victim of “violence against the person”.

It’s hardly a surprise that councils will seek to spend less, even if that does mean merely drawing from one pot rather than another.

In the end, of course, we pay. The mother isn’t going to, after all.

The advance of criminal law into these recesses of private morality is ominous.

You’ve only just realised this..?

If the court of appeal throws this case out, we might hope to focus similar tolerance on drug abuse, shop-lifting, antisocial behaviours and petty crimes for which imprisonment is such a primitive answer.

Including the current wave of Twitter police, perhaps?

Now we have the proposed crime of “emotional violence” – including “reducing self-esteem” by calling someone fat – showing there is no limit to the law’s ambition. To be against jailing people for such offences is not to condone what they do, merely to apply some sense of proportion.

And I’d actually cheer you on, but you do realise that you are out of step with all your fellow columnists, don’t you?

11 comments for “But Simon, The ‘Guardian’ Leads The Way On This Stuff…

  1. Furor Teutonicus
    December 6, 2014 at 11:16 am

    So, what are the figures for this “abnormality,” BEFORE they “banned” alcohol for pregnant Women?

    In the 40s? 50s? 60s?

    In the days when a bottle of Mackesons, or Guiness was seen as having an actual medicinal BENEFIT to pregnant women?

    Were the streets FULL of pulsating blobs of screaming, shitting, pissing, bags of puss, that would have been a “child” without the odd Mackys?

    Or is this “Problem” something recently invented, like ADHS, or whatever they call it when a bastard needs nothing more than a good slapped arse once in a screaming fit?

    • December 7, 2014 at 7:51 am

      “In the days when a bottle of Mackesons, or Guiness was seen as having an actual medicinal BENEFIT to pregnant women?”

      My mum can testify to that! She was advised a Guinness would help but she loathes the stuff…

  2. Furor Teutonicus
    December 6, 2014 at 11:16 am

    BOLLOX: Forgot the notification button!

  3. Ed P
    December 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    My mother drank Guiness in the maternity ward – never did mee anee harmsh ash far ash eye no, hic

    • December 7, 2014 at 7:52 am


  4. Voice of Reason
    December 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    FAS is usually the result of a bottle a day or more of spirits. That isn’t the beer or two that my mother drank when pregnant.

    • Furor Teutonicus
      December 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      But they are trying to tell you it is.

      • Voice of Reason
        December 7, 2014 at 2:02 am

        Of course. Because the more ‘modern’ way of thinking, which seems to have emanated from here in the US, is to consider everything as black and white. That’s why we have stupid discipline policies in schools, and attempts to ban smoking in one’s own car.

    • December 7, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Yup, chronic alcoholism, not a glass of wine or two!

      • Bemused
        December 7, 2014 at 10:34 am

        Depends on the size of the glass I suppose. 😆

      • December 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        Wot, isn’t that the same thing?

Comments are closed.