I accept everyone is different. I accept people have their own views and way of thinking. I accept each individual has their own unique perspective on life. What I find hard to accept though, is hypocrisy and deception. What I find hard to accept is how a man driving to Durham during lockdown resulted in far more outrage, anger and contempt from large proportions of the public, than a terrorist murdering 3 innocent people in broad daylight.
The appalling, heartbreaking events on Saturday evening (committed in my hometown of Reading) made headlines news and received social media attention for all of about what, 48 hours. Dominic Cummings made headline news and received social media attention for WEEKS after his trip up to Durham.
Piers Morgan literally set voyage on a personal vendetta against Cummings. EVERY single morning he would tweet and communicate his ‘shock’ ‘anger’ and ‘disgust’ at the ‘arrogant self righteous’ actions of a man in a position of power. A literal tirade of abuse. In fact at some points, I thought he was in genuine danger of self-imploding he was that angry and obsessed with the matter. Many other celebrities and people with a large audience followed the same course. The media and TV channels allocated their undivided attention for weeks on the matter. A barrage of interviews, reports and insights into the dreaded escape to Durham and all that surrounded it. Social media was awash with vile personal attacks, trolls and people clearly resentful at the behaviour of the man in question. For the public wanted him sacked, sentenced and squashed with immediate effect. Banished with shame from society. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Let’s for a minute forgo any sort of trial, defence or allowances of circumstances. Let’s assume the absolute worst of the worst and that Cummings was nailed on guilty. In that case what would he be guilty of? Breaking a lockdown rule he helped create. Okay, so how many people out there moaning, heckling and insulting can honestly hand on heart say that during the 3 months of lockdown, they haven’t once broken any sort of rule. Haven’t popped round their friends house for a chat, haven’t travelled somewhere out of enjoyment rather than necessity, haven’t nipped in to see their neighbour or someone alike. HARDLY ANYONE. So we have on one hand, a man POTENTIALLY having disregarded a social distancing rule that lets be honest, 95% of the population have broken at one point or another.
Compare that man to the man on Saturday. A men who left his flat on Saturday evening with the sole intention of murder. A man who, armed with a 5 inch knife walked in to a park in broad daylight before unleashing a violent and deadly attack on complete strangers. An attack which has ultimately led to 3 people losing their life. Three families torn apart. Three sets of parents who now have to bury their own son, three partners who are going to have to read at their loved ones funeral. Three innocent men who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Imagine for a second sitting in a park on sunny weekend evening, perhaps drinking a beer or eating some food, laughing and joking with friends or family, enjoying the simplicity of life. Imagine all of that, when out of nowhere a deranged individual decides to end your life, leaving you bleeding to death on the floor, gasping for air whilst paramedics and police attempt in vain to save you.
That perpetrator was evil, there is no other word for it. A complete disregard for human life, and a complete disregard for civilisation.
Compare that man to say, Dominic Cummings. Now compare the two reactions from large facets of the public, news outlets and social media. I see virtually no comparison. I see a terrorist attack, an act of cold blooded murder, already forgotten outside of the relatively small circles that knew the victims. No longer front page news or trending on social media. No vendetta’s or campaigns. No crusade’s of anger or complaints of injustice. I see nothing.
In a few days, this attack will be erased from people’s memories. Just one of those unfortunate events that happen from time to time, a slight blip in modern life. Why isn’t Piers Morgan setting sail on a new voyage? Demanding to know why a man who was offered asylum from his war torn country, who was given a roof over his head, food and a new way of life, somehow felt the need to commit this atrocity. Why isn’t social media brimming with activity, like it was for Cummings? Why is there so much deception? Why did people have status after status, tweet after tweet, opinion after opinion for a potential lockdown breach, but make barely a sound for cold blooded murder by a man offered refuge from his previous life?
It’s almost as if in this new modern way life, you can only vocalise what promotes your own agenda. Voicing outrage and anger at a terrorist attack is no longer considered ‘edgy’, and no longer gets you followers on social media. Instead lets create a witch hunt for a political figure or someone we know won’t attack us back.
Is my train of thought too simplistic? Maybe in this modern way of life, a terrorist attack is just the norm, and minor discrepancies or minor infringements are what get people’s juices flowing. I somehow doubt it though.
I think it goes way deeper than that. I think modern politics and modern life has become so tribal and so volatile that ANYTHING that happens that doesn’t help promote or extend your own agenda, is simply ignored. How is it that a government official accused of breaking a lockdown rule is verbally assaulted for week after week. Yet a cold blooded murderer is already yesterday’s news? I’ll tell you why, because the potential lockdown breach promotes a feeling a of unrest and destabilisation. It creates a sense of havoc and undermines authority. Unfortunately that is what a lot of people want, and what a lot of people crave.
The continual strive for equality and fairness is no doubt justified. Why shouldn’t everyone be treated fairly? Of course they should. There is also a need for punishment and scrutiny to match the crime though. A man driving to Durham does in no way shape or form deserve the same attention, harassment and privacy invasion that a murdering terrorist does. That is not even up for debate. Yet not only was it the same, it was far, far WORSE.
Inhumane actions should be met with inhumane consequences. Yet this comparison is a prime example of the opposite, and it needs to change.