Tonight on the news, I watched as the family of Tia Sharp came out to face the media after Stuart Hazell changed his plea to guilty of murdering their little girl. It shouldn’t have been anything other than a deathly, solemn moment, but it was rendered horrifically funny by the words of the bloke chosen to speak for them:
“We are very pleased that Stuart Hazell changed his plea to guilty. He will be sentenced later but it will not be enough. He should serve out his debt to society, and then be taken out and hung”.
I don’t want to go into too much detail here, beyond pointing out that while criticising a sentence you haven’t heard is irrational, demanding that the reward for repayment of one’s debt to society should be death is an assertion bound to evoke involuntary laughter. Despite myself, I did indeed laugh out loud at that point.
Does that make me a sicko, or does it make this now de rigueur family-statement-to-media an obscene ritual? Obviously, I would argue the latter: it is grossly unfair of the press pack to expect grieving citizens to behave with dignity after such a gruelling ordeal. Above all, it is appalling that the response of families hits the airwaves in an unfiltered manner sufficient to make remote commentators like me giggle. I didn’t want to laugh at their fate: I would much rather they had held their silence. Indeed, I wasn’t laughing at their fate: I simply couldn’t help seeing the ridiculous side of an adult saying that gouging out the killer’s eyes, pulling out his nails, drilling his teeth one by one, operating on his brain without anaesthetic, handing him a 55-year sentence and then hanging him in 2068 was too good for the bastard.
Mindless vengeance is funny when taken to extremes. I’m sorry, but it is – so get over it. Do I make this point to show how superior I am to that family representative? No, I don’t: my point here is that the media are psychopathic in the way they cajole, insist, and if necessary bribe grieving people to make fools of themselves in public. That family members agree to do it simply hammers home the previous point about our knackered culture: the last thing it does is damn them. They go to the slaughter as their murdered child did: unseeing victims.
Over the years, few tabloid titles have mined this disgusting seam of sh*t to the extent that The Sun does, and the News of the World did before it committed public suicide. Lest we forget, the Murdoch press hacked the phone of dead schoolgirl murder victim Milly Dowler. Not content with the guilt involved in allowing one of his newspapers to do such a morally inexplicable thing, Murdoch himself came to Britain and pestered the girl’s family to take part in a ghastly media circus of lachrymose hypocrisy, during which he publicly asked for their forgiveness in a way that was truly vomit-inducing. It wasn’t so much going through the insincere motions of apology, as forcing a reluctant priest to give absolution to Reinhard Heydrich in front of a million mics and cameras.
Tonight, I look on as a ruling Conservative Party stands in danger of being captured by a phalanx of people who not only accept the nature of Rupert Murdoch and his culturally destructive Newscorp: they positively endorse it as a model future for Britain’s media. Those same people – to greater and lesser extents – are complicit in an obvious cover-up of the sort of sexual deviancy that leads inevitably to dead Milly Dowlers and Tia Sharps.
There is no getting away from this obvious connection between what is unacceptable and what is being posited as our best future. The Labour Party lacks the spine to stand up to it, and the weak inhabitants of Camerlot will be replaced by it. Camerlot itself supped with the Devil over one sad Christmas, and wound up being sucked into the vile vortex…..down the swirling throat of which Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks will disappear before too long.
But the news inventors, spin distributors, history manipulators and agenda setters will remain to ensure that each distraction will be more overtly invisible than the one before. There will be stooges, ersatz heroes, and wavers of false flags.
And very sadly, there will be laughable public statements from those who have over and over again put their trust in the political class – only to see it dashed by the selective exposure of their own gauche grief on the one hand, and the thorough erasure of Establishment guilt on the other.