Tag Archives: euthanasia

Assisted Dying: Making Policy Matter

The Liberal Democrats have a great policy on assisted dying, detailed in the Medically Assisted Dying motion moved by Chris Davies MEP in 2012. Yet it is buried in the depths of Conference papers past on our party website (see page 20, Conference Report Brighton 2012) and in the last general election manifesto there was only a bland half-line to show we support extending end-of-life choices at all.

As Davies’ motion notes, good assisted dying models already exist in several European countries, and having control over one’s own life is at the heart of liberalism. So why let this …

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

RIP Sir Ludovic Kennedy

The BBC reports:

The author, broadcaster and campaigner Sir Ludovic Kennedy has died aged 89. A former BBC Panorama journalist, Sir Ludovic spent decades investigating miscarriages of justice, including the case of the Birmingham Six. He contributed to the abolition of the death penalty and was also president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

Nick Clegg has joined in the tributes to Sir Ludovic, a member of the Liberal party and later the Lib Dems, for most of his life:

Ludovic Kennedy was one of the great thinkers of his generation. His pursuit of justice and his championing of sometimes unpopular and controversial causes marked him out as a true liberal. He will be greatly missed.”

Sir Ludovic was the Liberal candidate and runner-up in the 1958 Rochdale by-election, propelling the party to its highest vote in the constituency since the 1920s, with the Tories pushed from first to third place. It was the first UK election to feature televised debates between the candidates, with Granada also broadcasting the count – another first.

He quit the Lib Dems in 2001 in protest at Charles Kennedy’s refusal to countenance legalised euthanasia, even standing as an independent candidate for the cause in Devizes, Wiltshire, polling just over 1,000 votes. He later re-joined the party.

During the 1980s and ’90s, Sir Ludovic gained fame among a new generation (such as myself) through his appearances as himself in the superior BBC comedy programme, Yes, Minister, as well as his interviews with Peter Cook, playing Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling, for A Life in Pieces. Here’s the first programme from that fantastic series, first broadcast in December 1990:

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Recent Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Laurence I appreciate it and you missed but trust might appreciate I meant you refute your argument, inadvertently you did not want a debate, in having one,...
  • Richard Elliott
    Tim Farrons comments (@paul young above) are interesting, his position is that we are a rejoin party, albeit not right now and that Ed's messaging was therefore...
  • Guy Benson
    Today a Conservative councillor was bragging on twitter that they could afford to pay for paid deliveries: https://twitter.com/GuyBenson96/status/13530213594174...
  • Laurence Cox
    Lorenzo, Nothing I have said refutes my own view. You are the one who wanted a loud debate. I have found some information from the JCVI https://www.gov...
  • Richard Coe
    This could be our Reichstag Fire moment. I almost feel that unless hard scientific evidence is provided we should carry on until the law is clarified, at which ...