His Discworld books have been read in her household for years, she tells us, but now that Terry Pratchett disagrees with her own view on assisted dying, Cristina Odone “loathes” the author. Quite personally.
Of course, that would sound churlish. So she tries to blame the disagreement specifically on him attributing the no-to-assisted-dying position to the “far right”.
But ever since I heard Pratchett claim that only the “far Right” had any objections to assisted suicide [link in the original], I have loathed him. For a man blessed with such talent and success, who wields an influence on so many young people, to rubbish life so publicly is disgraceful. For him to misrepresent as “far Right” those who oppose legalising assisted suicide is downright dishonest.
Did you know Pratchett had said that? No? You’re not alone.
The article Odone links doesn’t contain this phrase, nor does the video embedded in the page, though Pratchett seems to have made the comment in an interview with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News. At the time when it was filmed and shown (early last year) this comment seems to have been taken as a fairly light-hearted accusation from a man who, as a sufferer of Alzheimers, has a very personal stake in the debate, and the comment was largely ignored, including during the interview by Jon Snow. A search does turn up one response to the “far right” comment by Dominic Lawson. Lawson is able to turn it into the basis of an entire article in which we learn about how those “fanatical” pro-assisted-dying lot are always painting the antis as far right extremists. There are no other examples given.
So Odone’s “loathing” is supposedly based on one comment from over a year ago, inflated originally by one commentator, and now picked over again by herself. “It is of course a favourite trick of the media-savvy Liberal Left,” she tells us, “painting their opponents on any issue as Right-wing extremists.” Again, no other examples are on offer.
Meanwhile, while loudly protesting about Pratchett’s single comic ad hominem and ostensibly writing about the rhetorical ploy of offering false attacks on those you disagree with, Odone goes on to offer several for Pratchett. She describes his position on assisted dying as being to “rubbish life”, says he suffers from an “emotional autism”, and finally decides that “For him, men (and women) are autonomous beings devoid of the connections that make life worth living.”
Moreover, it must be like waking up for a dream for Cristina Odone! Presumably she now regrets that her family wasted all that time reading all those life-denying, cold and un-funny, emotionally dead books full of disconnected characters in Pratchett’s meaningless world?