Cerne Abbas Giant, Oliver Cromwell and assisted suicide

Cerne Abbas GiantLong viewed as a Celtic or Roman god, a very disappointing 1973 theory (by John Hutchins)  sees the giant as a political cartoon cut on the instructions of Denzil Holles in the 1640s to represent Oliver Cromwell. Denzil Holles hated Cromwell but I admire him and, if the history is correct, would see the Cerne Abbas cartoon as that of a man who felt that only the excercise of force could restore the virility of English democracy.

A Populus opinion poll ( for The Times in July 2009) found ‘overwhelming public support’ ( from 74% of those questioned)  for a change in the law to allow medically assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Since the UK parliament continues to oppose the measure, I think we need a new Cromwell to explain to MPs that their job is to carry forward the will of the people. He or she could use make two quotations from Oliver Cromwell:

“I beseech you in the bowels of Christ think it possible you may be mistaken.”

“You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”

If the reminders do not achieve the necessary result, MP’s should be clubbed – for the crime of not respecting the known wishes of the electorate.

PS as a god-fearing man, Cromwell is likely to have opposed assisted suicide. Since many of its members are elderly, one might assume the National Trust, which cares for the Cerne Abbas Giant, to be in favour of the measure.

2 thoughts on “Cerne Abbas Giant, Oliver Cromwell and assisted suicide

  1. Tom Turner Post author

    Jeremy: I would be tempted to apply the same logic but (1) I do not have sufficient confidence in the criminal justice system and society most certainly should not hang innocent people (2) ‘hanging’ is a a medieval and barbaric practice, not appropriate to ending a life which has become tragic (3) a possible way round the dilemma would be to say ‘society has found you guilty and thinks you deserve to die by a method of your choosing, but if you assert you are innocent, you can serve a life sentence instead’ (4) or, since there are other considerations, the court could say ‘but if you wish, you can serve a life sentence instead’: I do not think they should have forced Ian Brady to live when he wanted to die


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