Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 16/11/21

In The Wrong Spirit?

Last Sunday, a taxi exploded outside a hospital in Liverpool, killing the passenger and injuring the driver.

After initial uncertainty, the 'authorities' claimed a terrorist motive for the 'incident' and started making arrests elsewhere in the city. The usual official scare of declaring a 'severe' threat of further such attacks was routinely issued.

So far, so normal. After all, we have been here so many, many times before.

But the further response to the 'incident' by the media and by politicians has been rather curious.

Unlike virtually every other instance of this sort of violent act, the media has - after the initial "Gosh! Wow!" stage of reportage which is de rigeur for the serried ranks of hackery - allowed the story to slip two or three rungs down the ladder of coverage within less than forty-eight hours. At the time of writing, it appears on the BBC News front page below stories about endemic racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (like that was news), about Westminster corruption (ditto) and about COVID-related curfews being re-imposed in Ireland.

Similarly, there have been no reported cases of the usual rent-a-gob politicians demanding action - if not outright retribution - against the socio-cultural group from which the alleged bomber emerged. This even though it was made known at an early stage that the miscreant had a 'foreign' name, was of a moderately melanin-rich ethnicity and - to put the tin hat on it all in other similar circumstances - was that much-loved bête noire of the ranting classes, a 'failed asylum seeker'.

Not a single cubic centimetre of froth has been excreted from Tory MPs (or senior figures in what passes for the Labour Party nowadays, who are - depending on your views - either Tories manqués or simply Manky Tories, and who have recently had a communal fit of the vapours over the heckling of the ambassador to London of the western world's favourite apartheid state). No expressions of shock or regret from those who, we are always assured, 'speak for us all' at such times such as Betty Battenberg or Archbishop Oilwelby, even though the former currently has even more free time than usual after missing the Remembrance Day service due to having, we are assured, 'a back sprain' *; and the latter has seldom previously held back on his holy footling in similar circumstances.

It's all rather odd. There would be nothing to account for such a discrepancy in coverage...except for one salient difference between this 'incident' and virtually all previous ones, buried several paragraphs down this BBC report:

"He had come into contact with them through Liverpool Cathedral where Christian volunteers worked with predominantly Iranian asylum seekers who were taking part in a conversion course, known as Alpha."

""He wanted to be a Christian. And he liked what he heard about salvation by faith. And that's what we taught him,""

""And I was in no doubt by the time that he left us at the end of that eight months, that he was a Christian.""

"The Right Reverend Cyril Ashton, the bishop who confirmed Al Swealmeen [...] said he was "shocked and saddened" by the bombing."

So there you are, then. He was a Christian! That means - name and skin colour notwithstanding - that he was practically white, for Heaven's sake! He therefore obviously couldn't possibly be a terrorist, and was equally obviously mentally ill, poor chap (the fact alleged in that article that Al Swealmeen had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act was slipped in there as if to confirm his 'honorary white' status).

But ponder this if you will:

All is speculative at this point of course, and may never be anything else, but is it not possible that Al Swealmeen - having come to his new faith via a propaganda programme - sought to move further towards the literalist end of the spectrum (the notion that 'there is nothing worse than a convert' has only gained cliché status by containing more than a kernel of the truth, right the way back to the appalling Saul of Tarsus) and was 'radicalised' (to use the term usually utilised in this context) towards the 'right-to-life-until-you're-born-and-then-we'll-screw-you-up' ideology of the American-style Jesus Jihadis to which I referred above? Like the ones who gun down the staff at women's health centres and make no secret of their desire to turn the whole of their country into the United States of Gilead?

This inconvenient fact - namely, that there are Christian terrorist groups active in many societies globally, including most emphatically the predominantly white ones - and the sense of embarrassment it may have engendered in the adherents (however nominal) to that post-Judaic death cult - may explain why the coverage of such a wanton act of violence has been so comparatively low-key.

It is almost certainly the reason why there have been no calls, strident or otherwise, from hacks both journalistic and political for the closing down - by force, if necessary - of the proselytising centres (the Messiah madrassas, as it were) and the mandatory detention of any cleric involved in them with a view of deporting them to where they belong (Arkansas, say). Nor has there been any suggestion of setting up an intrusive, rights-denying official programme to monitor and/or infiltrate such promoters of extremism.

Odd that, isn't it?

* Taken in the further context of her recent hospital stay, this is starting to shape up as being the English monarchical equivalent of that malady well remembered from Cold War days of 'the Kremlin 'flu', when the non-appearance of the Party General Secretary on the balcony of the Kremlin for the military parade to mark the anniversary of the Revolution was routinely explained away by the Soviet authorities as the Great Comrade Leader having 'the 'flu', or 'a cold'. Experienced Politburo-watchers knew that this was a sign that the Party's head honcho was ailing and would soon join Comrade Vladimir and Uncle Joe in the state mausoleum.