People keep mooting that the Greens are amazing and progressive and great for the disabled. They’re not and here’s why, straight from their own manifesto.
1) Their placing of animal welfare as being more important than human welfare
AR412 To prohibit the import, export and sale of all fur, whether wild caught or factory farmed, and to ensure a ban on fur farming in the UK stays in place. The import of other animal products such as ivory, reptile skins and whale oil, will be prohibited.
-So, if a farmer shoots a deer or a rabbit as a pest-control measure, he can sell the carcasses to the butcher, but the butcher isn’t allowed to sell me the hides to tan, and I’m explicitly not allowed to tan the hides and sew them into fur clothing for market.
AR413 In the UK, millions of animals are used each year in experiments which can cause great pain and suffering. There are significant differences between the physiology of animals and that of humans and the reliance on animal testing and experimentation increases the risks of adverse reactions and hampers progress. A large proportion of animals are used for non-medical testing and for duplicate research which could be avoided. There are now many techniques available for testing of chemicals, drugs and medical procedures and for researching disease that do not use animals. However, these alternatives are often not used and are not adequately funded or supported.
– Duplicate research is necessary to make sure that there weren’t any issues with the first study. Any drug coming to market has to have gone through a certain number of animal trials before being tested on humans, for reasons which should be obvious. You can’t just stop all animal testing, all that that will do is send a crucial step in drug development abroad, where it won’t necessarily have the same oversight as here. It’s NIMBYism at its finest.
AR414 The Green Party would ban all experimentation and research which harms animals, including harmful procedures used to obtain animal-derived materials. ‘Harmful’ is defined in this context as ‘having the potential to cause pain, suffering, distress, lasting harm or death in animals, except where it is designed to benefit the individual animals concerned.
– Again, all that this will do is send the development of new drugs abroad, killing off one of our bigger and more profitable industries (We’re pretty close to the top of the field in biomedical research). This will also increase the cost of animal-derived drugs in the UK, meaning that they’ll be prescribed less. So people who need them will suffer.
AR415 Government research funds will be transferred from animal tests to non-animal technologies, including epidemiology, computer models, micro-dosing, imaging, DNA chips, microfluidics chips and the use of human tissue. Much greater use will be made of epidemiological evidence and clinical data. Greens would also fund more research into prevention of disease, looking at diet, environment, family history and lifestyle.
– No. “Diet, environment, family history and lifestyle” will not fix most health conditions. Actually, the only way that “family history” could fix a lot of health conditions would be via eugenics. “Lifestyle” sounds like another “Let’s blame the sickie for being sick, they’re just lazy really”. Non-animal models are amazing, but we still need to test on animals in order to make sure that humans aren’t harmed by new therapies.
AR416 The Green Party is opposed to the harmful use in education of animals and of animal-derived materials where the animals have been killed specifically for this purpose. The Party supports the replacement of the use of animals and animal material with methods such as models, mannequins, mechanical and computer-based simulators, films and interactive videos, plant experiments and observational and field studies, and human studies including self-experimentation. The Party supports the educational use of animal cadavers and animal-derived materials where these have been ethically sourced, such as animals who have died naturally and animals who have been euthanased for humane reasons.
– They would rather that veterinary students literally experimented on each other, rather than that they killed some rats. Sometimes you can’t just use the cadavers you happen across – You need consistent models of tumours, consistent models of the same kind of injury, consistent pathologies across all of your specimens sometimes. Although most of the time you can, you can’t always just pick up a bag of pig uteruses from the slaughterhouse and call it a day. And again, computer models and mechanical models can’t do everything. Do you want the vet that’s trying to diagnose your cat’s illness to have only ever seen a pathology like it on a forty-year-old photograph in a textbook?
AR428 Xenotransplantation: The Green Party would abolish research into, and the practise of xenotransplantation (the transplantation of nonhuman animal organs, genetically engineered or otherwise, into human beings). Treating nonhuman animals as “spare part” factories is both immoral and inhumane, and is therefore completely unacceptable in an ecological society. Xenotransplantation is yet another instance of corporate profit being prioritised over public health and the rights of nonhuman animals. Xenotransplantation carries the grave danger of virus transferral from nonhuman animals to humans, raising the real possibility of the unleashing of an epidemic amongst the human population.
– They would just ban xenotransplantation. Full stop. Pig heart valves saving lives? Nah, let the humans die. Of course, we can still eat pigs, just can’t use their body parts to keep people alive. And this will also strain the transplant register even further, since people who could have done with just a pig valve wil now need a whole human heart. Which are, understandably, hard to get hold of.
2) They use the term “not-yet-disabled” to refer to ablebodied people.
Basically, it’s a smartalecky way of saying “Oh, we’ll all be disabled one day because we’ll get old and need carers!” And this does two things. First, it erroneously equates the problems faced by young disabled people to the ones faced by the elderly. There’s a huge difference between a loss of mobility and independence after a full life in which you’ve been able to build up a pension, and more to the point where there are services available to cater to and a societal acceptance of your needs, and in being a teenager in chronic pain and unable to finish your education, or a young parent that can’t walk, or looking for work with a severe learning difficulty, or any number of other things. Secondly, it’s unnecessarily upsetting to people with progressive conditions, especially genetic ones, where you know for a fact that you’re “Not yet disabled”, because you’ve tested positive for Huntingdon’s Chorea, and you’ve only got a few slim years left of that status at the age of thirty. An ablebodied person swimming in their own self-righteousness and calling themself “Not yet disabled!” isn’t confronting their own mortality and showing soidarity with disabled people, they’re being a solipsistic shit.
3) Their policies on drugs
DU102 In recent years, the `drugs problem’ has been largely equated with the use of illegal drugs. This has had the effect of diverting attention away from the dire social and health consequences of legal drugs, principally alcohol, tobacco and inappropriately prescribed tranquillisers. Between them, these cause the loss of thousands of lives every year and much pain and disability for both users and non-users of these drugs.
– That sounds, reading between the lines, like they’re going to try to make it harder for doctors to prescribe tranquilisers. The second that a non-medical-body starts talking about “inappropriate prescription”, you can pretty much guarantee that they have an agenda which boils down to “Let’s prescribe less of Those Nasty Drugs That Could Be Used For Fun”, regardless of how clinically sensible it is. Tranquilisers, scary as they sound, include benzodiazepines, the things which stop me from curling up like a snail in a blast furnace every time I dislocate something. I don’t want anyone who isn’t my doctor legislating on what’s an appropriate prescription there.
DU103 The legal drugs, principally tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, are widely promoted through advertising, sponsorship and corporate pressure. As a result their use is generally accepted by society and efforts to control usage largely rely on a mixture of taxation, education, restriction of sale and use to adults or certain places, and voluntary restraint.
– Sounds a lot like “Let’s stigmatise drug use! All drug use! Even pharmaceuticals! Bad boy, taking your life-saving medications! Why not try a hot milky drink?”
4) Their policies on health
HE103 Health services can create dependence on the part of users, which is itself unhealthy. Individuals can through properly informed choice, and when adequately supported, acquire much greater responsibility for their own health, and the health of their families. However, true freedom of choice cannot be exercised without the economic and political power to choose, at present denied to the majority.
– Yep, if us disableds didn’t feel so socially validated in our sick choice to keep using health services, we’d all be out climbing Everest by now.
HE316 Hospitals will focus on services for patients needing inpatient care. Accident and Emergency Departments will be for emergencies only with care for minor illnesses and injuries provided for by community health centres. We will require adequate night and weekend cover from consultants and diagnostic facilities in all hospitals dealing with emergency admissions.
-Again, ignoring that there’s a big ground in-between “Life threatening” and “Can be dealt with by the walk-in centre”. Basically ignoring the reality of disabled people in general and zebras’ in particular medical care: Regardless of the problem, we need specialists and hospital facilities, because what we’ve got interacts with everything else.
HE322 The Green Party believes a good diet is so important in the promotion of good health that all schools will be obliged to have their own kitchen so as to be able to provide for each child a freshly prepared lunch each day, using fresh, organic and local produce wherever possible. Food provided by schools must include both vegetarian and vegan options. We would continue the school Fruit and Vegetable Scheme, with a strong preference for organic and local produce. Such meals will be free to all children and will be paid for out of increased taxation: we believe that the consequent improvement in health will dramatically reduce the costs of illness and social care to the NHS and other public services. Junk foods and vending machines will become unavailable in state schools.”
– It’s all very sweet, but if you remove vending machines from schools that means that pupils can only eat when they’re alowed to. A lot of disabled bairns (and most bairns, actually) don’t do well on the “Three big meals a day” model, and need a pick-me-up mid afternoon. A bar of chocolate or a cup of sugary coffee will provide that a lot more satisfyingly and conveniently than a bag of grapes, and with a lot less waste (Chocolate and crisps keep. Apples quickly go stale and need throwing out.) I’m not saying don’t provide fruit, I’m saying don’t ban chocolate.
H330 Novel compounds will not be introduced into general use unless they can be shown to have significant advantages over existing drugs. Limited list prescribing will be extended across the full range of pharmaceuticals. The direct advertising of prescription- only medicines to the medical profession will cease. Information to the medical profession will be the responsibility of medical schools and independent authorities with no vested interest in companies which manufacture or market pharmaceuticals.
-Again, I don’t want non-clinicians telling me which drugs are more advantageous than others. I want many drugs which do similar things, so that when someone has an allergy to one, they can just try the other one.
HE332 Whilst assessment of treatments must be evidence based, an holistic approach will generally be taken. This will take into account the range of factors in health and disease, wider benefits and health outcomes than addressing a single illness and a full assessment of side effects and risks to the patient and to society. Treatments that target the causes of ill-health will be favoured over treatments that simply target symptoms.
– No palliative care for you! Not until you’ve jumped through these hoops!
Now, you may note that there’s one particular type of human that most of these policies harm the most. It’s the disabled. Again. But hey, under their generous rule we’ll be looked at with even more suspicion when we take our medications, and doctors will be even more loath to prescribe pain relief and sedation. We’ll have no new treatments developed and we’ll be allowed to die instead of having proven surgery. Because we’re not as cute as piglets.
Fuckitt, that’s A-H on their policies, I might get around to doing the rest of H and onwards next week. That was knackering.