Talking of Losers and Scumbags

Former Daily Mirror editor, and unrequited lover of US television, Piers Morgan, is settling into ITV’s breakfast slot. Expect more of the eloquent bile he offered in response to Andrew Neil’s celebrated rant on This Week, in the aftermath of the Paris massacres.

Andrew Neil rant, This Week

Morgan admired Neil’s rant. It chimed with the country’s ‘blind fury’.

Neil had addressed himself directly to the ISIS attackers:  you, he said, ’loser jihadis’, he said, ‘Islamist scumbags’.

Followed by an itinerary of the glories of France, its food and drink, its enlightenment.

‘You’ won’t win, he warned the Islamicists, ‘you’ will be dust in a thousand years when Paris will still be lighting the world. Or some such.

But Morgan’s celebration of ‘blind fury’ is exactly that: blind.

‘Scumbag’ and ‘loser’ don’t describe Islamicist adversaries; they don’t throw light on the motives and modus operandi of ISIS, still less on how to respond to an enemy that lives not in a far off land but the sea in which we all swim. They’re just the lexicon of flagrant virtue.

Andrew Neil is paid a lot of money to create contexts in which pundits can think and share their thoughts. But that’s exactly what he didn’t do. He didn’t do thinking.

Rubbishing IS is as easy as raging against the Yorkshire Ripper or Hitler.

The Paris massacres were an opportunity to indulge in the joy of denigration and contempt, rather than the effort of the enlightenment he hails in his paean to Paris.

I was in France the weekend of the massacre, and here I am in England where we are all contemplating the implications. The mood in both countries isn’t ‘blind fury’, it is shock, fright, grave sadness.

While the mass media mocks opposition to the renewal of Britain’s Trident, it appears not to note:

  • The irrelevance of this cold war nuclear missile system to the new forms of warfare that for 30 years have generated killing fields;
  • The malign effect of Britain’s dangerous liaison with Saudi Arabia, the godfather of warfare across the region;
  • The toxic counter-productivity of the ‘war on terror’ — see this illuminating reflection on the accelerating costs in life and resources.

This is the moment to wake up, not collapse into the comforts of blind fury.

3 thoughts on “Talking of Losers and Scumbags

  1. Wendy Morgan

    Well said – the unthinking responses of our politicians, military leaders and media make me despair.
    More hate, death and destruction is not the answer. So much public mourning about Paris while ignoring suffering elsewhere, including Yemen and Palestine which don’t make the news very often, does not help either. We need to remember our common humanity and that there can be no peace without justice.

    Reply
  2. Nick

    How brave of you to bring criticism of Saudi Arabia into this debate. And if anyone deserved the Neil epithet ‘scumbag’, then it is surely those ghastly fat bearded Arabian despots, up whose fundaments the tongues of Prince Charles, David Cameron and Philip Hammond seem to be almost permanently stuck.

    Has the merest smidgeon of criticism EVER been levelled against these gross thugs for their arms, amunition and oil supplies to ISIS? I’ve never seen it reported in the British media.

    Come on Andrew, if you want to have a rant, rant in the right direction!

    Reply

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