Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't helping thinking that if, say, Morrissey went on stage at an awards ceremony and brandished a dummy of the severed head of Jeremy Corbyn or Jo Swinson, that the tone of the BBC's reporting of the story would be a good deal more critically than it's been for the rapper, Slowthai, who went on stage at the Mercury Prize awards last night brandishing a dummy of the severed head of Boris Johnson. I also suspect that BBC studio after BBC studio, from Radio 5 Live to Today, from Newsnight to Woman's Hour (if it was Jo Swinson's head), would be discussing the issue of violent imagery and respect and recalling the memory of Jo Cox. The BBC News website, for instance, reports Slowthai's stunt 20 paragraphs into its main Mercury Prize piece. Under a photo and a caption saying Slowthai brought a sense of anarchy to proceedings comes this (with a link to a BBC video that begins with a shout of 'f*** Boris!' - with several more coming later - as the rapper walks on stage wielding Boris's begored bonce):
But Northampton-based rapper Slowthai caused the biggest stir by performing with a dummy of Boris Johnson's severed head, which he held aloft as he performed Doorman, a track about wealth disparity in modern Britain.
Speaking to the BBC, he explained the song, like the rest of his album, aimed to give a voice to "the people from small communities that have been forgotten about".
"It's time to let people in," he said. "Everyone, the lower class, the middle class, and even the ones in the upper who feel their life is hard."