Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shall we check in with Terry Christian?

I wonder what's on the mind of Word presenter, music writer and Dj Terry Christian these days.

Hey, he might be on Twitter. Let's have a look.

I'm sorry, what?

Even just setting aside for a moment the miserable, life-crushing, bean-counting pettiness of these views, let's just look at the practical proposal. At the point that a couple get married, they will be screened to see if the State will provide for their child. If you assume that's desirable, you would also have to believe that no couple ever has sex without being married first. And all this measure would do is make it less likely that people would ever get married.

But let's not worry about the logic too much, because what's important here is Terry Christian suggesting that people be forced to be screened for purity of their bloodline prior to marriage.

I know what you're thinking - that sounds a bit like a particular strain of political thought. But Terry's ahead of you.

He's a socialist, just one afraid that certain types of relationship might cost the nation money.

But he's a socialist.

He's got the national interest at heart.

I think we can agree on this; it's simply that Terry is some sort of, if you will, National Socialist.

What Terry is talking about here is people with disabilities. Times change, though, and the way we talk about these issues can change; the labels used adapt over time. Perhaps Terry has a phrase rather than "people with disabilities" he'd like to use instead?

"Inbreed kids". Yes, that's probably the sensitive term you're after, Terry.

But isn't this all a little, well, political? Especially given that they'd usually get Mark Lamarr to deal with the slightly more thinky bits on The Word?

I think there's a pretty big flag waving here, Terry.

No, hang on, he really isn't being political.

It's just your prejudices, reader, that makes this into a political discussion. After all, he's only suggesting that, in order to reduce payments from the state, that the state refuses to sanction marriage and obliges everyone who wishes to get married to have a blood test first. It's not like the government introducing rules like that would be in any way a political act, right?

After a little while, Christian appears to rein back from suggesting blood tests for engaged couples, and attempts to recast his policy in what I think feels is a warmer, more consensual light:

Here he is, meeting people half way - we should only be screening people who already have one child with disabilities and stopping them from having any more. A crowd-pleasing 'first inbreed kid free' policy from Terry, if you like. The man is all heart.

Not everyone disagreed with Christian, though: he found some support, which he retweeted to prove he wasn't some sort of nasty man out of step with decent society:

Oh... hang on a moment...

I know what you're thinking: Terry Christian must be totally confident in his data and understanding of the subject to float such a severe-sounding policy. Terry, let's establish your bona fides, shall we?

Christian does indeed have an HND in Applied Biology, which he obtained at Thames Poly at the start of the 1980s. His specialism, though, was microbiology rather than genetics. So not entirely relevant, and certainly not current.

But still, it's a start. And presumably he has some up-to-date evidence, too?

If you need any further footnotes, there's sure to be a bloke down the pub who used to date a physical therapist and a woman he met who once played Etty Darwin in a stage play he can call on, too.

Remember, gentle reader: all Terry wants to do is save your tax money from the grubbing fingers of inbreed kids with kinky parents. Is that really any reason to think of him as grubby, greedy, selfish, horrific skein of a man?