The Plastic Hippo

May 26, 2017

Which side are you on?

Via India Express and Reuters

I have to admit that until Monday evening, I had never heard of Ariana Grande and even now, more than 72 hours later, I remain completely unfamiliar with her work but recognise that her talent and status make her important as an icon and role model for adolescent girls and various other sections of society we are happy to place in pigeon holes. Sadly, for all her riches, fame and adulation, Ariana Grande will be remembered for giving a concert in Manchester that ended with the murders of children who only wanted to see their idol perform.

Each barbaric atrocity that takes the lives of innocents brings out the very best and the darkest worst of human nature. Again and again the emergency services rush towards horrific catastrophe without a thought of danger for themselves and overcome the human instinct to run away from harm. Instead, they provided rescue, care and comfort to total strangers. In Manchester, taxi drivers evacuated survivors, hotels opened their doors and local residents offered accommodation and a place of safety to people left stranded. In the aftermath, restaurants, cafes and other businesses provided food, drink and respite to anyone in need. As the sheer scale of the slaughter unfolded, a glance at mainstream and social media exposed the darker side of the human condition.

Rolling 24 hour TV News channels once again speculated that it was too early to speculate but speculated anyway to a background of brief mobile phone footage of screaming, panicking children played on endless repeat. Without any actual money shots, archives were plundered to splice in historical explosions and images of horrible injuries from past atrocities. American news outlets tipped off by American Intelligence reported a suicide bombing in Manchester with significant fatalities remarkably quickly before the incident was confirmed as an attack and probably before the special telephone at the Prime Minister bedside went ring-ring.

On social media, blame had already been attributed before any evidence was confirmed. It would seem that any attack disturbs the squalid detritus occupying the bed of the gene pool allowing them to float to the surface in splendid anonymity before being flushed away by facts. We need to consider what motivates a user of Twitter or Facebook to invent a missing “relative” in the hope of attracting “likes” or “RTs” and we need question why professional hate-mongers are still being allowed to promote violence and genocide as a “final solution”. My own ironic favourites were the intellectually challenged who took to social media to demand the re-introduction of the death penalty for suicide bombers. We may never know how this pond-life will react upon realising that the suicide bomber has saved us the trouble of drawing out the guilty entrails and quartering the conspiring limbs once the little switch on the vest has been triggered.

We need to consider why a national newspaper, in this case Desmond`s Daily Disgrace, should disseminate false news suggesting that a gunman was lurking outside an A&E department treating victims of the bombing. It is unlikely that this lie was told in order to bring comfort to already terrified families and friends. As a new day and the horrific realisation dawned that too many children would never go home, we need to ask what kind of political editor would run a front-page splash accusing the current Leader of the Opposition and the current Shadow Chancellor of being directly responsible for the bombing campaign carried out by the Provisional IRA on the UK mainland in 1996 including a massive truck bomb in Manchester. The single source story comes from a notorious individual who has been describe by a judge as being unreliable, a serial deceiver, a liar and a fantasist.

The political editor peddling this bogus drivel is called Tom Newton Dunn and unsurprisingly has his considerable salary paid by Murdoch`s increasingly depraved tabloid. His middle name is Zoltan, presumably chosen by his Hungarian-born mother which might explain his attitude towards Eastern European migrants coming over here with their weird names. Dacre`s disgusting Daily Fail reported that a concert by Ariana Grande is an obvious target for a suicide bomber because of her “scantily-clad” dance routines and to prove the causal link between thighs, cleavage and bombs, published several images of a scantily-clad Ariana Grande. Later in the day, Zoltan suggested on a Radio 4 news programme that the General Election might be cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of the Manchester bombing. At about the same time, American Intelligence leaked the name of the bomber.

With every national and international shock, the majority of attention-seeking morons spewing nonsense in the wake of grievous loss can be easily dismissed as inadequate grotesques parading their ignorance and lack of basic, human compassion. This includes the ranks of deluded conspiracy theorists asserting that the Manchester atrocity was a false flag operation carried out by the state to influence the outcome of the General Election. The far right lays the blame at the door of a weak centre right government and the far left points the finger at a manipulative centre right government. Zoltan Newton Dunn blames Jeremy Corbyn. Conspiracy is an easy narrative to adopt but if you believe that American Intelligence can cover-up the twin towers being rendered to dust and yet fail to cover-up a stain on an interns dress then you are naïve enough to think that a government that cannot produce a cogent election manifesto could engineer such an elaborate plot to kill the children of its citizens.

That is not to say, however, that the timing of the attack has proved to be advantageous to the Conservative Party currently making a mess of everything that Theresa May touches. According to opinion polls, the Prime Minister had an unassailable lead but has managed to reduce that lead to single percentage points in a disastrous week of presidential posturing prior to the dreadful events in Manchester. It is implausible to believe that any political party would not take the opportunity to reverse a decline in popularity by re-focussing the election campaign on national security. Opinion polls are notoriously unreliable and Mrs May`s POTUK strategy might just backfire.

It would be an act of unforgivable disrespect for the major parties to do anything else but suspend campaigning in the aftermath of such a barbaric attack. Print media, however, operate beyond any moral order and are happy to invent blatant smears against politicians who do not agree with a tiny group of newspaper proprietors. The sad thing is that the likes of Zoltan, Dacre and Murdoch do not recognise that hounding the relatives and friends of murdered children for a juicy anti-Islamic quote is anything other than repugnant barbarism. Whereas politicians agreed to give pause to the senseless shouting match allowing an all too brief period of grief, remembrance and defiance, the press with its bloodthirsty demands for medieval vengeance are making matters worse.

In the middle of a snap election campaign, a period of mourning following a crime against humanity is the least politicians can offer us. However, to suspend campaigning for three days, raise the threat level of imminent terrorist attack to critical and to deploy thousands of armed soldiers onto the streets contradicts the claims that terrorism will not change the way we operate as a nation or damage the democratic process. Imagine if an election took place in, for example, Saudi Arabia in circumstances that resemble martial law and where opposition leaders are accused of being terrorists with “blood on their hands” from historic attacks on civil society. Regardless of what Zoltan and his chums might desire, the General Election will take place and a government hung, drawn or quartered will be elected.

It is at this point that we have to decide which side we and which side our institutions and our allies are actually on.

Given that those wishing to promote terrorism want entire societies to feel abject fear, helplessness, anxiety, grief and panic, we need to question if broadcast news media are helping to thwart terrorism by running endless looped images of panic, fear, distress and bereaved parents incoherent with grief.

Given that even dead suicide bombers seem motivated by fame and notoriety in an imagined after-life, elevating inadequate murderers to some perverse celebrity will encourage other inadequate flotsam to leave a single, vile indelible mark on the planet.

Professional controversialists and the newspapers that employ them, who whip up racial and religious hatred are as guilty of terrorism as the young person brainwashed in hatred and hung out to dry by heretical cowards hiding behind spiritual blackmail.

The security services who consider praying five times a day is unnatural behaviour and therefore evidence of radical extremism and will enter an apartment using a controlled explosion rather than knocking on the door need to think again as to the best way to prevent radicalisation.

Government must counter the rise in hate crime that allows innocent followers of a major world religion to be attacked without adequate protection every time a terrorist outrage happens.

Our allies need to realise that a special relationship does not allow the leaking of details and images from a live crime scene of mass murder and in so doing jeopardises successful prosecution under law.

Which side are these people on?

I have only just become familiar with the name Ariana Grande and although I am completely unqualified to comment on teen girl culture or the value of her work, I am completely on her side.


  1. Superb .

    Comment by The Realist — May 26, 2017 @ 2:36 am | Reply

  2. Spot on! Though, in fairness to the Sun (Ouch!), the rag with the Corbyn-defaming article did apparently go to print before the attack.

    Comment by Alan — May 26, 2017 @ 11:21 am | Reply

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