John Dickinson: What’s so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don’t seem to mind.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.
As you might guess the Alfie Evans case and the court’s decision to enforce their ruling to prevent his parents from seeking further care for him has produced a lot of responses. I’d like to show you two, one is a parody and one is not.
Here is the first from the Merseyside Police
We’ve issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon.
Here is the 2nd from the Prime Minister’s office
Upon the news of a high court ordering life support removed from 2-year-old Alfie Evans, English Prime Minister Theresa May issued a brief, friendly reminder to citizens of the U.K. that the all-powerful state actually owns their children.
In a video circulated online, May informed parents who were “getting a little too attached” to their children that they need to keep in mind that the United Kingdom is the actual legal parent, and the kids are simply on loan to them until the State decides it’s time for them to die.
Now in a sane world both of these would be considered obvious parodies. After all the idea that police in the land of Magna Carta threatening arrest over social media comments denouncing the enforced death of Alfie Evans is just as absurd as the idea of the British PM declaring to parents that the state, not they, hold the final decision on life and death for their children.
However that is not the case. The message from the PM is from the parody site The Babylon Bee
while the police warning was an actual tweet sent out by a police department
We’ve issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon. Read the full statement here: https://t.co/epopt5bhmY
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) April 25, 2018
Let that run through your heads for a minute. The right of the state to starve a child to death in defiance of his parents is embraced and protected under current british law but the right of “free” Englishmen to critique such a decision is not.
I think a “thank you” note sent to the grave of John Adams and the rest of the founding fathers would be most appropriate