If you are looking for one of the usual pun-filled articles I would recommend reading my previous blog to this as this particular blog is on the recent London terrorist attacks. As well as believing that a one-liner was not suitable, I am writing this as I believe a lot of the media (including social media) coverage has been similarly inappropriate.
Indeed I did question whether it was right to address this tragic event in the first place as my blog is based on politics and jokes. I questioned what was right and whether a response was needed. I concluded that it was upon viewing the commentary by traditional news outlets as well as the comments by ‘friends’ mine on social media.
Khalid Masood committed the acts of terror, running people down on London Bridge to then make his way to Parliament, stabbing a policeman before being shot. Fifty people were injured in Wednesday’s attack, with 31 receiving hospital treatment. Two are in a critical condition, and one has life-threatening injuries. Two officers remain in hospital with “very significant” injuries, one of whom has been identified as PC Kristofer Aves. PC Keith Palmer, 48, died on Wednesday after being stabbed by Masood.
I was personally in the car on the way home when I heard the breaking news on the radio and I have to say the initial reporting on radio 1 was as professional, clear and as sensitive as possible. Since this the reporting on the incident has been misguided, inappropriate and often verging on political comment. Of course I expect the usual fear mongering, using this horrific incident as proof of how Islam has caused every negative event in Britain and that all Muslims should be banned, but what I didn’t expect was the lack of damnation on such outcries and most importantly the fact that such views were broadcasted.
I am somebody who believes in open debate and freedom of speech, but those media outlets who publish, post or broadcast on such events have to consider the impact of what is said immediately after. I am reluctant to mention the names of Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage as I had some hope that by not naming them, they would in some form disappear, but as such speeches were shared by friends of mine on Facebook or talked about by people at university, they have to mentioned. All of these sentiments are along the lines of ‘this is tragic, look who done it, boarder control is the answer’. Masood was born in Kent and lived predominantly in the West Midlands. The reply form the far right, as offered by Paul Joseph Watson, a political comedian…..I mean commentator, could be seen on his twitter as he said ‘The left is happy for terrorism to become the new normal’ and ‘it’s not about where you’re from it’s about your mentality’. So if it’s about the mentality, why are you calling for the increased fear of foreigners, campaigning for ‘more’ boarder control or a similar ban to Donald Trumps’. The argument doesn’t support the solution, a typical trait of the right.
Of course Nigel Farage had something to say also, on Fox news, getting payed for his misguided interpretations and conclusions. Marina Hyde posted a brilliant article on this fact as she says ‘Meanwhile, it is fair to class Nigel’s use of the Westminster situation as “developing”. it seems to have gone something along these lines: the attacker will be an immigrant, won’t he? Right: the problem is immigration. Hang on, what? He’s a 52-year-old man born in Kent? Shit. I’m also a 52-year-old man born in Kent. Right: I’m changing what I said. The problem is integration. Give Nigel another three-quarters of a fact and he’ll have to adapt again. I imagine the problem will be Islam. We know his mancrush Donald Trump cheats at golf – I bet if you play with Nigel he’s always saying things like: “Right, that bird put me off – I’m taking a mulligan.”
She also goes on to say that she feels it is important to hear these people as it actually just shows how little they have to say behind their buzzwords of ‘immigration’ and ‘integration’. Although I broadly agree with this, it has become obvious to me how many feel such individuals are somehow talking common sense, as opposed to over simplistic, politically motivated episodes of verbal diarrhoea.
Sorry this is such a long blog and thanks for staying with the whole ‘serious talk’ business.