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

Date: 25/11/21

Suffer, Little Children (Or Else You Won't Get Anything)

Before you go any further, please read this. I'm not asking you to do this just so that you can see how good the writing is (although it's probably the piece on this site - or anywhere else, for that matter - that I'm most proud of), but because it is essential background for what follows.

I mentioned briefly there the rôle played in the disgraceful conduct of the colonial State of Greater England by its so-called 'Charity Commission'; disgraceful even by the standards of the rest of it, I mean.

It seems that the detail of that odious behaviour was even worse than the - as it were - headline, as this piece yesterday on the BBC News website reveals:

Aberfan: Tests on children after disaster 'like torture'

There are times when words fail even an opinionated old scrote like me. But in cases like this, one must nonetheless try.

Let's get this straight: it wasn't sufficient that organs (define that word how you will in this context) of the State created - through incompetence, neglect and arrogance - a situation whereby one huundred and forty-four people, eighty per cent of them children, were victims of an act of corporate homicide. Nor was it enough for the senior administrators of Empire (or 'Alfred and George', as their chums called them) to chisel a six-figure sum out of the disaster relief fund to which people all around the planet had willingly contributed in order to do what the English Colonial State and its Coal Board should have been willing to do from its own substantial finances.

No, not even those egregious acts were deemed adequate to introduce enough salt into the ever-open wounds of the community of Aberfan in particular, and of our whole nation in general.

So it was (as the story I've linked to illustrates) that the 'Charity Commission' effectively forced the trustees of the disaster fund into taking the children - many of whom had lost siblings in the catastrophe - to a mental hospital (a mental hospital, for fuck's sake!), there to be tested to see if they were still 'sane'. Similarly, the bereaved parents were forced to attend meetings to 'discuss' how close they had been to their children. To their own children, for fuck's sake! If the results of those tests, of those 'discussions', were deemed unsatisfactory, then not a single penny of the disaster fund would be given to them.

Let it be said again - as I did in the earlier piece - that the trustees of the relief fund bear little or no blame for this; it was clear that the 'Charity Commission' was placing them in an impossible position. It is heartening to read in the BBC's piece that the trustees effectively told the 'Charity Commision' to - as it would be put in modern parlance - 'go and do one', and paid out what they felt they should rather than what they were 'permitted' to disburse by the colonial power.

The 'Charity Commission' committed a series of actions of the most grotesque inhumanity; to the survivors, to the community and to the memory of the victims of what was a total failure on the part of the colonial state to shoulder its responsibilities before and after the dreadful fact.

You can tell what sort of an organisation it was (and clearly still is) by the statement it issued following the release of the relevant documents a safe, insulating thirty years later. It's quoted at the bottom of the BBC's piece. Please go back and read it again now.

I mean, look at it! It is a masterpiece of that by now well-developed strategy of appearing to apologise without expressing any genuine remorse at all. Just read the opening sentence of the quote (all emphases in what follows are mine...in spades):

"It does sound as if..."

Hold it right there, dearie! What the hell do you mean, "It does sound as if..."? There's no 'sound' to it, except the all too unmistakeable rustling noise emitted by the covering of arses.

It goes on:

"...on all sides, there may have been insensitivities and very poor behaviour..."

What in the name of Max Boyce do you mean, "...on all sides"? In what way could the people who had had members of their families killed have shown 'insensitivities'? Especially when their senses had been rubbed raw almost to extinction by what happened to them? In what way did they exhibit 'very poor behaviour', rather than the immense and moving dignity which they displayed throughout these catastrophic events?

"...and we obviously regret that."

The 'obviousness' of your 'regret' shows, luvly. Oh, doesn't it just?

"And all I can say..."

I think you've said enough already.

"... is that we have learnt from past mistakes..."

Ah, there it is! It wouldn't be a complete bona fide official non-apology if it didn't claim that 'lessons have been learned', would it? It's so reassuring to know that the proper protocols are being adhered to.

In the end, this is one of those stories where, the closer and deeper you look, the more outrageous it becomes, especially when mouthpieces of power - be it State, corporate or any unclean amalgam of the two - seek to turn away criticism (however justified it may be) and evade culpability (however deserved that may be) by the use of saccharine words and phrases which seek to express an empathy, even a mere humanity which is never, can never actually exist, because such sentiments can never, ever actually be present in those uttering them.

All official statements - from whatever source, in whatever context - must be viewed through that lens at all times. Otherwise, we will allow ourselves to be deluded to death.