I've had a number of complimentary comments about Wednesday's 4Thought programme, as well as the licensed insults that are the stuff of internet feedback. (I notice for example on YouTube it's more disliked than liked! YouTube 4Thought clip) I must say I thought that the editors had done a good job with my forty minutes of interview. I was particularly pleased that they'd focused on the positive elements of what I'd said. Today I had an email from a university friend:
"I guess they left out many good things that you also said. But what they left in left me quieted with that quiet that comes from knowing that one has heard truth. And that truth and love are one.
"A friend of ours died aged 50, of lymphoma. He was a pastor and, with his wife, at the heart of any party, connected to people near and far. As we accompanied him in his last weeks, besides the sadness there was something infinitely precious for us all. Before he died he said, I don't 'spect you'll want to put a gravestone up, but if you do, write on it, 'he never knew he was so loved'....
"Jane looked wonderful - beautiful, poised and with an air of 'don't anyone mess with me' that was just right." (Obviously, I agreed with that!)
Yesterday we saw retired GP Michael Irwin who accompanied a patient to end his life in Zurich and hoped to be prosecuted for it. He's a committed campaigner for euthanasia, and intoned the all too easy mantra of "compassion". As I've pointed out on a number of occasions, compassion means suffering with, not killing out of sympathy. We have a couple more doctors to look forward to, one on each side of the debate, and then a disabled man talking about palliative care. Interestingly at least three contributors, I think, are 'Dignity in Dying' (formerly Voluntary Euthanasia Society) supporters.
Meanwhile the news has continued. Alan Johnson MP resigning as Shadow Chancellor for personal family reasons - I'm glad he's apparently put his family in front of his career. (Coincidentally at the moment we're watching dvds of The Pallisers, based on Trollope's novels, in which Plantaganet Palliser sacrificed his career, as Chancellor, in order to save his marriage to Lady Glencora.) Andrew Coulson, former editor of The News of the World, resigning as David Cameron's communications director, because, as Mr Coulson said, coverage of the News of the World's phone hacking had "made it difficult for me to give the 110% needed in this role" - odd, that phrase, for a communicator. 110% (attention) is an impossibility, isn't it? Both resignations, we are told, call in to question the judgement of Ed Milliband and David Cameron respectively. Oh no! They're not fallible, are they? As Tony Blair has proved before the Chilcott Enquiry.