Saturday, 10 January 2015

Brain Dump On Charlie Hebdo Massacre's Aftermath

In the wake of two recent tragedies (the cafe murders in Sydney and the series of murders in Paris) there has been an almost immediate, on social media almost overwealming, movement to stand with "ordinary Muslims" against possible retaliation from the public. See for instance the very worthy "I'll ride with you" trend that occurred during the siege in Sydney.

Whilst I think those behind these movements are just worthy but also right to say they stand with their Muslim neighbours and fellow citizens against any pointless and cruel "retaliation" against innocents, I do find it all a little distasteful. Disrespectful might be a better word. This may be a wrong feeling but it seems we no longer care much for the actual victims of these crimes but care more about sideways affected "might-be" victims. And in some bizarre way it all seems to suggest there is a link between these murders and innocent Muslim citizens who thus need our protection (when quite frankly no such link exists).

Where was the "I'll ride with you" for the police after the murders at Charlie Hebdo? Would've been useful as the next day a police officer was yet another murder victim.

It all creates a narrative that seems to play into the right-wings belief that minorities are perpetual victims. Yes we should stand against attacks (verbal or physical) on innocents of all colours, creeds and religions. But this social media obsession just borders on the depraved.

And there's been a picture going round (one I won't be sharing given its subject matter) of one of the murderers shooting a Muslim police officer dead near the scene of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It labels the murderer as "Terrorist" and the police officer as "Muslim" as if the highlight who the real victim is. But of course both were Muslim (as far as we know, although neither will ever have a chance to tell us what was truly in their hearts on the matters of religion at the moments of their death). This obsession with pretending that these murders had nothing to do with the beliefs of the murderers is only slightly less disgusting than the fact the police officer was labelled "Muslim" as if that summed up his entire existence. It seemed really quite unnecessarily disrespectful to the life of that individual who was murdered in the course of defending others.

Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned but when someone is murdered or injured I just think our thoughts should be with them and their families at the first instance.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015: Can We Please Try To Have A Better Year This Time?

Last year was not only more of the same rubbish; it also contained more awfulness than usual.

Yes, the ongoing rise of the puritans continues. Just in the last week we get the example of the vile Katie Hopkins tweeting something vile yet instead of everyone doing the British thing and shaking their heads disapprovingly, we have the police investigating her! Feminists, conservatives and "progressives" have continued their march against the advances made by sensible folk by supporting things like the recent BBFC changes. Freedom isn't just under threat, it is now on its last legs. The Coalition has failed to live up to the Coalition agreement's very worthy words and has instead continued the legacy of Blair's New Labour in undermining basic rights "for your own good".

Meanwhile... UKIP's rise has seemingly plateaued but they continue to dominate the press. Their witterings against climate change, sexual freedom, freedom of movement and the EU leave much to be desired. 2014 was the year of UKIP. Can we make 2015 the year UKIP collapsed? Let's try that one on for size at least!!

And abroad... Russia, led by a Nigel Farage's favourite person Vladimir Putin, re-emerged on the European scene by invading Ukraine in two separate incidents and fomenting a civil war. Of course the right-wing (and Russia's fifth columnists UKIP) blame this on the EU whilst the left-wingers (see Oliver Stone for example) blame it on Western civilisation generally. Yes Russia is right to feel a little threatened by losing its last buffer states to Western influence. But that doesn't give her the right to militarily invade a sovereign country. The Ukrainians have the right to determine their own foreign policy, we shouldn't play Cold War "spheres of influence" politics with any more lives. The Ukrainian people must have the right to choose in peace what they wish.

And in further upsetting developments the "Islamic State" came into being, formed from some tattered and beaten parts of Iraq and Syria. Their brutal methods and uncompromising beliefs have made news headlines everywhere. Another worrying development we didn't need.

So let's hope that 2015 brings us a little more freedom, a little less violence and a lot less crazy conspiracy theorists among our population (because they are slowly driving me insane).