LESLEY KEATING: We must stop humanising these deluded murderers
Once again the country is reeling from more terrorist atrocities.
Once again there’s been widespread media coverage giving huge precedence to the perpetrators.
One well-known tabloid filled its first 10 pages with coverage of the London Bridge attacks, five of which were all about the terrorists – who they were, where they grew up, their families and friends reactions, speculation on how they were radicalised, retrospective clues to their intentions and their last movements.
One regularly handed out sweets to small kids, enticing them to support extremism. One kissed his baby goodbye on the morning of the attack. One arranged a lovely barbecue in Barking Park for friends – interestingly, men only – just a few days before.
‘It must have been like a last supper, like he was planning to say goodbye’ mused a shocked neighbour.
Reading further, you learned one liked nightclubs, girls and football. Another had appeared on a C4 documentary about Jihadis last year. All were ‘known to the authorities’.
This was all underpinned by huge full-face pictures of each of these knife-wielding, deluded murderers.
Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t care. I don’t want to see their smug faces staring out of the newspaper at me.
I don’t want to read their stories. I am not remotely interested in their life histories and I couldn’t care less about the reactions of their families, workmates, former partners or one-time teachers.
So what if they were ‘a regular guy, who liked a pint and went out with girls’?
Stop glorifying and humanising them in the media. Stop giving their cause – which thrives on spreading fear – even more publicity. Just shut down on them.
Report the facts, of course, but don’t give their cause additional free PR by telling their stories.
Concentrate instead on the heroism of the wonderful medical staff, police, and members of the public that night.
Why do we need to know if the terrorists had young children? Let’s put our energies into reporting heroic acts, pride in our citizens and making Britain safer for our own children instead.
I LOVE SEEING THESE EXAMPLES OF GREAT BRITISH ECCENTRICITY
We Brits have a right to freedom of expression.
Only the other day I saw a middle-aged man strolling through Gunwharf in a denim jacket and a skirt. A little floral knee-length number. Good on him, demonstrating his right to be himself.
I did wonder what some of the parents out with kids were going to offer as an explanation though...
Yesterday in my rear view mirror I saw a man casually cycling up London Road wearing a kilt. Breezy day it was too, so there’s a chap who also doesn’t give a hoot.
And a few weeks ago in Guildford a man with a handlebar moustache shakily passed us on a penny farthing bike. You don’t see that every day either. I love British eccentricity.
MARIGOLDS FOR ME AS I WAIT FOR MY DISHWASHER TO BE FIXED
You’d be forgiven for thinking that, after all the recent complaints Hotpoint has had over tumble driers, it would have sharpened up its customer service.
My virtually new Hotpoint dishwasher is faulty, so they sent an engineer.
‘The heating element’s blown’, he cheerfully announced, ordering another one. I asked when it might come. ‘No idea!’ he said.
The part was completely out of stock with no way of telling when it would become available.
I rang customer services. After being cut off twice, I was asked officiously ‘How did you get this number?’.
After repeating everything several times the final conclusion was ....I’d just have to wait it out. So it’s Marigolds for me while a £400 machine sits useless in my kitchen.