Most News channels have paper reviews, where a couple of personalities leaf through the daily papers, making witty observations about content that has caught their eye.
Some of the personalities are not known to me, like the celebrities on the Daily Mail website. Media personalities, like mysterious who-the-hell-are-they celebrities, seem remarkably samey. This might be because they are “metro-centric” and I’m more of your rural pleb.
Personalities and media pundits must cluster and collect in upmarket or trendy parts of Londonistan, and I think they might be the ones who acquire those clothes and ridiculously overpriced shoes and handbags advertised in the Sunday papers. If not, then who is? Arab princes, Russian oligarchs and Chinese nouveau riche? I’ve often wondered who can afford / who wants to - pay more than a thousand quid for a jacket or a pair of shoes in these hard times.
But, back to these remarkably samey media pundits. Do they embrace diversity because they don’t see the sharp end of it? Most people I know get stuff from M & S and Topshop and rummage through TK Maxx for a bargain. They go to Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s, where complete strangers moan to each other in the queue about the loss of the Britain they used to know, and hint that they’re voting UKIP. Does David Cameron realise this?
I didn’t mean to give the impression that I’m an inverted snob, though I’m beginning to sound like one. I’m more of an actual snob,.
There is a general consensus in the media (the programmes I’ve been watching, anyway) that Islamic State / ISIL - is grade one super evil, whereas other Islamic and Jihadi bodies such as Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front are regarded as lower down the scale in terms of evil, and (pragmatically) worth aligning with, bearing in mind the utter uselessness of the Iraqi army, which let ISIL nick their tanks and weapons, the Peshmerga and the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army, which some say ‘barely exists’.
Suddenly, we are expected to bury the hatchet with Iran because, they say, needs must. We are to forget their nuclear aspirations, and ignore their desire to exterminate Israel. We’re also expected to align with the Saudis and Qatar and to put their antithetical religious practices to one side - unconditionally, but even better if we can persuade them not to throw quite so much cash at the Jihadi projects they’re bankrolling.
So far, “The brutal dictator” Assad, “whose brutality has been a massive recruiting sergeant for ISIL” as David Cameron said on the Andrew Marr show, is deemed beyond the pale, along with his allegedly well trained army.
The situation is so unpromising that it’s even tempting to agree with George Galloway who is against ‘bombing Iraq and Syria’. He probably believes that the indefatigable Saddam and the weird, terrible Gadaffi represented man’s only known reliable method of keeping all those warring Islamists on an even keel. Tyranny.
Despots and dictators may be brutal and barbaric, but even - notwithstanding - the occasional chemical attack on your own people and the summary execution of the odd dissident, could these regimes be the kindest way of keeping a lid on volatile Islamic clans and sects, and perhaps no less or no more cack-handed than the indiscriminate bombing the shit out of ISIL by we foreigners, with the attendant collateral damage? The lesser of two evils? I really don’t know.
I mean, most people are saying “We must do something” but we didn’t say that when Assad ‘crossed the line’ with his chemical attack, and the argument that we’re forced to do it because we are under threat here in the UK is uncannily reminiscent of Tony Blair’s assurances that WMDs were capable of arriving on our doorstep faster than your order from Amazon. They call that ‘going to war on a lie’ if I’m not mistaken. Might this not also turn out to be dodgy? Mightn’t we be better off applying ourselves to domestic issues and concentrating on doing more about the terrorism and potential terrorism that is already here?
What about mission creep? wondered Marr.
“Well, that’s an argument for never doing anything. I think when you face a situation with psychopathic terrorist killers in Syria and Iraq, who have already brutally beheaded one of our own citizens, who have already launched and tried to execute plots in our own country to kill and maim innocent people, you’ve got no choice, We can either stand back from all this or say “Let’s let someone else keep our country safe.” said David Cameron, and quoted Ban Ki-Moon:
“A missile can kill a terrorist, but it is good governance that will kill terrorism”
What? Heal thyself then, Dr Prime Minister sir. Because haven’t you just admitted that the reason “we must do something” is because of the threat of terrorism here at home? So why not get on with it and let good governance kill this wretched terrorism like Mr. Ban promises? Apply yourself.
I mean, our P.M. told Marr that he thinks the remedy (after the bombing) is to establish a democratic, inclusive and pluralistic society for everyone in Syria and Iraq. Simples. Is he aware that this means everyone including deadly enemies Sunni Islam and Sh’ia Islam?
You might as well try applying that to a pack of semi-wild dogs like the ones I once encountered in a godforsaken part of Greece. They had a pecking order and a hierarchy; a canine Caliphate. One of them got itself tangled up in the undercarriage of a car. When it emerged, dazed and confused the rest of the pack turned on it, ferociously. You’ve got as much chance of imposing western-style democracy on that.
Well, didn’t everyone think the Arab Spring would bring democracy and peace, love and apple pie to Egypt, Tunisia, etc etc? And weren’t they all completely wrong? Wasn’t western style ‘democracy’ a pipe dream as far as all those Islam-majority countries were concerned?
I was told that trying the same old failed thing and expecting a different outcome was a sign of something. Insanity, isn’t it?
I don’t know what we should do, and I don’t think David Cameron does either. I don’t think anyone who really believes ‘we’ can impose democracy upon warring Muslims can be capable of ‘good governance’.
Bombing them might buy some time, now that things have gone so far and so badly, but this idealistic vision of democracy, pluralism and inclusiveness seems fundamentally incompatible with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front back and sides, and I’m afraid to say, Islam itself.
Another elephant in the room is the parallel between ISIL and the West and Israel and Hamas.
Those paper reviewers aren’t the only ones who can’t see that there’s a discrepancy between their own revulsion at ISIL’s psychopathic terrorism, brutality, religiosity, their strategy of hiding amongst civilians, and their tolerant attitude towards Hamas’s psychopathic terrorism, brutality, religiosity, strategy of hiding amongst civilians. Not to mention the fact that ISIL and Hamas share an Islamist agenda, pure or perverted.
Similarly, paper reviewers, media pundits, assorted personalities and opinionated celebrities condemn Israel because defending itself against Hamas’s actual terrorism entailed civilian casualties, while collateral damage is accepted as inevitable when we ‘interfere/intervene’ in faraway lands because of an indirect threat to the UK, when Islam-fueled terrorism, the actual threat to us here, is already present, but downplayed in the name of social cohesion.
It’s them and us. Politicians and the metro-centric versus the people. Apparently the buzz word is “authentic”. People like you to be authentic, and that’s what they like about Nigel Farage.
Hardly anyone on the BBC is as authentic as the strangers who grumble to each other in queues, bemoaning the days before Britain was polluted by excessive political correctness; when Britain was ‘authentic‘.