Isn't it odd how the Press Association, the BBC and other media see the world? A few members of the British armed forces marching a thousand miles to raise money for the British Legion is seen as a thoroughly positive thing (putting aside for one moment the sticky question of why these wounded 'heroes' who have fought to promote British interests abroad have to rely on charity in the first place). This is pumped out to such a degree that its intrinsic 'rightness' has been absorbed into our collective DNA. An example might be the raising of vast amounts of money through clever little devices or mechanisms such as financial appeals like Help for Heroes or the musical manoeuvres performed by highly talented songers known as 'The Soldiers'.
|They're heroes and they're doing a great job...|
Charity begins at home
This type of militarisation of society is seen in mediaworld as not only necessary but as a fitting tribute to 'our boys' who are after all, only doing a 'job'. The rising frequency with which these types of images or stories are portrayed on our TV screens some cynical types might argue, is designed to counter negative portrayal of war, the mass opposition to it and the increasing frequency with which the dead and maimed are being boxed up and sent back to the UK. The by-now monotonous regularity with which our screens are filled with the happy-clapping mourners of Wootton Bassett who for some vague reason have taken it upon themselves to act as the nation's carpideiras who see it as their personal moral duty to help 'repatriate' the dead on our behalf.
Rarely mentioned are the tens of thousands of Iraqis or Afghans maimed or slaughtered by 'our boys'. This violence is of course perfectly acceptable because it is conducted under the rules of engagement and as part of the War on Terror. The British troops and their allies are killing to ensure that we can travel on public transport without ourselves being killed. This they do with a well-trained eye on the handbook of war, conducting their campaigns according to very strict guidelines never wittingly targeting civilians. If there are civilian deaths or casualties they are usually reported as 'unfortunate' mistakes or unavoidable 'collateral damage'. If the innocent casualties now and again manage to garner some scrap of airtime, those who take up arms and oppose the invading armies - whatever you wish to call them - suffer singing-from-the-same-hymn-sheet opprobrium. The violence of everyday warfare is very deftly given a makeover that would make style guru Gok Wan fashionably lime green with envy.
|This chap's foot made more impact media-wise |
than the considerable talents of the
king of the NUS Aaron Porter
Contrast the supine reportage of this sort of state violence to that conducted by a few hundred students angry at the dismantling of state funded university education. The BBC news, Boris Johnson, Channel 4 et al, spoke with one voice in their condemnation of the 'violence'. Of course, those heaving in the windows of Tory HQ couldn't have been the darling progeny of the middle class could they? It must have been organised and led by 'anarchists' or according to one BBC reporter well versed in the use of the Marxist dialectic, the 'Socialist Workers Party'. How did she reach this compelling and incontrovertible truth? Its elementary dear Watson. She'd seen them selling papers earlier on the demo. Ah if only life were as simple as her.
You read it here first
As predicted on this blog last week, students in the UK, fed up with annually strolling around London shouting, have decided to take a leaf out of their French and Greek counterparts' book. They are rightly angry that Nick Clegg lied to them and is helping the Tories hike fees up to an unaffordable level for even the well healed. Some of the more politically advanced students are less than happy with having to pay the bill for an increasingly bankrupt capitalist system that puts profits of corporations before public services and the very notion of a 'public good'. Far from condemning these students, we should be congratulating them. They are undoubtedly the vanguard and a portent of the very near future. They also made sure the demonstration got airtime. If anyone should be condemned it should be that awful excuse for student leadership epitomised by the frightened-of-his-own-shadow Aaron Porter, NUS President. It is the view of this author that this man has all the credentials for a potential future within the ranks of the New Labour hierarchy.
|Students... they're lazy, smelly, long-haired sods!|
The press will no doubt over the next day or so, roll out a few vox pop types: over fifty five, grey haired and disgruntled,* who like Mr Porter will without a second thought, condemn the violence of the students. Our generic pre-retirement chap, chafing at the gusset because he's being forced to suffer two years of extra post-retirement harassment from his boss who he thinks is a bald vindictive bastard, will without an original first thought add that "they should bring back national service". He will not of course consider for one moment the irony in his rather reactionary and ridiculous demand.
*This author is professionally qualified to take the piss out of grey-haired types having been endowed with a fine grey mane.
For the sake of not wishing to be sued for libel a second time, all the above is nothing more than the opinion of the author and contains no 'facts' whatsoever.