There will be many doubters and critics of Victoria’s proposed assisted suicide legislation, but this may be exactly what the Garden’ State needs. One must look beyond the grave to see the many benefits this initiative might bring. Let me assess the likely blessings.
Consider first the state’s looming crisis in generating electric power, a consequence of shutting down the Hazelwood coal-fired plant, formerly the source of better than 20% of all Victoria’s electricity, while doing nothing to bring on-line a reliable replacement, greenish or otherwise. Often it is the elderly who have their heaters or air-conditioners on the highest settings. The system need be overloaded only by a few percent, but that will be enough to trigger a massive blackout. Remove those selfish oldies, the ones who refuse to accept blankets and hot water bottles as the wholesome alternatives to environmentally obscene radiators, and there will be less chance of everyone else’s lights going dark.
How noble are those wrinkled Victorians who first turn off the split system, then switch themselves off as well!
Next, ponder the housing crisis, which has seen many young Victorians cruelly denied their right to live in the hip, cool and inner-city locales they prefer. Many elderly home owners persist in clinging to life in Carlton, Fitzroy, Northcote and Yarraville, quite likely operating electrical heaters as well. If they can be persuaded to take up the assisted suicide option, it will be a win-win outcome. Death-related body temperature will be only marginally lower than an unheated bedroom, so the transition will be hardly noticeable and no great imposition. If enough seniors can be persuaded to top themselves, the departeds’ former homes will flood the market, driving down prices.
We could also use tax policies and other persuasions to encourage a degree of altruism in recycling the many Victorian homes the elderly will trade for silver-handled pine boxes. If there are no relatives desperate for the money — and we must concede their moral right to inherit as payment for efforts in persuading parents to quit the temporal world — these homes could be turned over to young male refugees currently housed in less comfortable conditions. As many advocates of emptying Manus and Nauru also reside in inner-city environs, they will undoubtedly rejoice in living cheek-by-jowl with so much cultural enrichment. Jewelry-store proprietors will likewise have the range of their workaday experiences considerably and consistently expanded.
Turn now to the beleaguered public hospital system, stressed by the ever-expanding healthcare needs of a greying public. We know it is the last six months of life that consumes the most healthcare resources. Do away with this last six months and the state will save billions. These savings can then be re-distributed to ensure culturally progressive health imperatives are adequately funded. It is to Victoria’s shame that the Royal Women’s Hospital female genital mutilation clinic currently operates only on Fridays; likewise the grim shortage of cosmetologists and penis-tucking consultants who should be available to help primary schoolers master gender fluidity.
The societal gains to be achieved by ushering seniors from this mortal coil do not stop there. Victoria will find it much easier to recruit nurses once assisted suicide is dispatching their most vexing patients, the ones who insist on continuing to draw breath.
Up next is the matter of Victoria’s carbon footprint. True, there are plans for “carbon neutrality”, but this isn’t scheduled to happen until 2050 — a daunting timetable, given rising populations of far-commuting, car-owning, travel-loving urbanites. Why impose punitive carbon taxes on activities the younger set loves when, instead, we can simply remove the older set in its entirety? Old-fashioned environmental activists cling resolutely to the conservative notion that not having children is the best way to save the planet. They mean well but are entirely in the wrong. Without an adequate supply of children, Safe Schools gender consultants will be unemployable, denied the opportunity to pursue their chosen careers within the pedagogic establishment.
How much quicker, easier and more efficient to eliminate the oldest segment of the population, perhaps adjusting the annual cull with every fresh Bureau of Meteorology alert that this year’s temperatures, like all before, have never been higher?
Finally, let us consider the prosaic. Have you seen the traffic on Victorian roads every Mothers’ Day? Millions of Victorians feel compelled to visit Mum, prompting Sunday traffic jams and — need it be said? — unconscionable carbon emissions. The government of Premier Daniel Andrews recently spent more than one billion dollars not building a freeway. Just imagine the number of additional freeways his government can avoid building if the elderly are no longer on the road.
Road safety, too, will improve, as many oldies consistently neglect to turn off their indicators, confusing and slowing fellow motorists who would be better occupied speeding. If it costs so much not to build one freeway, the bill for not building many freeways will require every dollar that can be squeezed out of Premier Andrews’
revenue speed cameras.
Finally, think about those marginal electorates that might just swing to the Liberal Party at the next state election — an unlikely prospect, it’s true, but hypothetically possible. Everybody knows the elderly have an unfortunate tendency to lean conservative, and some in their confusion and dotage might mistake the Liberals for such a party.
A few thousand-or-so elderly Liberal voters removed from each electorate would do much to get Labor over the line. Malcolm Turnbull cannot be expected to achieve that result all by himself, although — give him credit — he is certainly trying.