The Plastic Hippo

December 23, 2015

Our thoughts are with the victims

Filed under: Faith,Media,Politics,Sport,World — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
Blow winds and crack your cheeks

Blow winds and crack your cheeks

In retrospect and with the clarity of vision that only hindsight can give, rather than designate 2015 as the International Year of Light and the International Year of Soils, perhaps the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly missed a trick by not naming 2015 as the International Year of Victimhood.

Once upon a time, when powerful public figures were caught doing something illegal or immoral, they would own up, display heartfelt contrition, beg for forgiveness and quietly disappear. Now, with wealth and power more than willing and able to blur the boundaries of criminality and with an aggressive disregard for common decency; those that have will fight tooth and nail to keep what they have. Consider a character by the name of Sepp Blatter.

After decades of presiding over an organisation riddled with bribery, corruption and fraud, Mr Blatter has realised that he now has to face the music regarding the scandalous and criminal governance of FIFA. Rather than silently slipping away to spend more time with his money, the dodgy old crook has gone on the offensive. Banned from any further involvement in football for eight years, Blatter shouts his innocence and that his only regret is that his absence will be detrimental to FIFA and the world game. Like King Lear, he claims to be more sinned against than sinning blaming those who have plotted to bring about his downfall. He rages against the storm and berates the Gods for being unfair. Lear brought it on himself and deserves no sympathy; Blatter is portraying himself as a victim. With the imminent prospect of facing a judge and jury, old Sepp is beginning to play the defence card so favoured by ousted despots and blatant criminals in recent years. Adopting the madness of Lear, he will hope to convince prosecutors that he is too old and too bewildered to face trail.

Blatter is not the only one to attempt to turn the accuser into an aggressor and transform the perpetrator into the victim. Particularly vile rags that continue to pretend to be British newspapers regularly publish complete packs of lies without any consideration for the damage they are doing to the fabric of society and civic cohesion. Disseminating bigotry, hatred and fear at the political whim of a proprietor is to journalism what the suicide vest is to Islam and a remote control drone strike is to Christianity. These actions are not compatible with news or faith. When challenged, the vile rags scream of censorship and the end of press freedom and launch abusive attacks against those that dare to question their spurious nonsense. Murdoch and his attack dogs need to realise that a half inch reference to slanderous invention does not constitute an apology for a completely untrue front page splash.

When MPs voted to extend aerial bombing into Syria, some who undoubtedly voted in good faith and with a conscience to bomb, reported online bullying, abuse and even death threats. This, of course, is completely unacceptable in a democratic society. But, in some cases, the victimhood was rather overplayed. One Labour MP complained of an angry mob of anarchists besieging her constituency office leaving terrified staff to barricade themselves in for fear of their lives. It turned out that it was a quiet, peaceful “vigil” against war conducted by, amongst others, priests, vicars and senior citizens who feel uncomfortable about bombing civilians. The stuff about an angry mob was later retracted but in this strange political landscape, disagreeing with the decision of an elected representative makes you an abusive bully.

One Conservative MP went further. Disappointed at not receiving a death threat of her own, she decided to invent one and then blame her constituents for being abusive bullies. The attention she sought duly arrived and it now seems she has a bit of a history of herself being something of an abusive bully. It is little wonder that victimised MPs are resisting any possibility of MPs being recalled.

Our parliamentary representatives, newspaper editors and presidents of sporting associations devote themselves to public duty and work to the very highest standards of victimhood. It is unacceptable for them to face bullying or, indeed, scrutiny in the workplace when they are only doing their jobs. Our thoughts go out to the victims.

Our thoughts are also with the children killed at a school in Peshawar, the tourists murdered on a Tunisian beach and the Parisians gunned down on a Friday night out. The powerful figures complaining of being bullied might wish to reconsider their definition of victim.

Perhaps the International Year of Victimhood is the wrong designation for 2016. In a time of shameless hypocrisy, a more suitable name would be the International Year of Corrupt Liars Who Got Found Out. We can but live in hope.

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