Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Rant: The Mail & Morals, Sachs & Sluts, Brand & BULLSHIT.

In the midst of the worst economic crisis in living memory, one where banks are falling like playing cards into the arms of nationalisation, where the values of the international stock markets are dropping like stones, where thousands of people face a hard winter of high energy prices, fuel shortages and possible foreclosure and bankruptcy, where flash floods have trapped people, destroyed several villages in Cornwall and politicians are being investigated for serious breaches of the public trust and corruption, what is the most important phrase in the press at the moment?

‘He fucked your granddaughter.’

That’s right folks, in order to take your mind of the real problems you’re facing at the moment (as well as bolster their own falling sales) the national press – led by that bastion of right wing intolerance and ignorance The Daily Mail – decided to manufacture a controversy so inane, so absurd and yet so far reaching that the Prime Minister of the nation has commented on it, one of the BBC’s most valued and cutting edge stars has quit, the controller of the largest national radio station in the country has resigned in protest and rational people with independent thought around the country are slamming their heads on desks and fists through televisions as we speak.

A little context first. On the October 18th edition of BBC Radio 2 Russell Brand and guest co-presenter Jonathon Ross were meant to interview Fawlty Towers star (and that is the only notable acting credit to his name) Andrew Sachs. While recording the show (which was not aired live) the two were unable to get hold of Sachs, and, upon reaching his voicemail rambled a bit before Ross shouted ‘He fucked your granddaughter!’ Hilarity (allegedly) ensured. They apologised, then added fuel to the fire by calling Mr Sachs back a further two times, in both instances starting with apology, and then descending into playground humour to get cheap laughs. The BBC received two complaints. Sachs contacted the BBC and both Brand and Ross issued apologies.

I listened to the show on the Monday. I didn’t find the skit particularly funny, as it was just essentially two kids saying rude words to an older person. I found the idea of telling all about the sexual exploits of someone to a close relative to be a little tasteless and insensitive, but I can’t say it bothered me (nor am I any one to joke about tasteful humour). The sleeping giant slept, no one was bothered. Brand issued a public apology on his radio show the following week, while also criticizing The Daily Mail, who at the times were attempting to stir the story, for doing just that, as well as being prominent supporters of Oswald Mosely’s fascist Blackshirts and Chancellor Hitler’s exploits in Germany during the ‘30s.

Here things get interesting.

The Mail On Sunday (possibly with a vendetta on its mind now that Brand had once again exposed them for the racist, homophobic, right wing dividers that they are), went to town on the story, blowing it all out of proportion. By Monday morning, 10’000 complaints had been received at the BBC, despite the fact that the show was no longer available on its iPlayer service (shows remain on there for one week, and the 18th October show had been replaced by the 25th October edition). Where were all these people listening to the show, and what was their outrage?

And at this point things descend into farce.

See, none of these complaints, none of this ‘outrage’ came from anyone who had actually listened to the broadcast. They had listened to what the ever so fair and balanced tome that is The Mail On Sunday had to say, and they instantly jumped up to express their outrage. The Mail had manufactured an outrage. By Monday their papers were selling out everywhere, the rest of the Fleet Street tabloid gutter press were getting whiffs that this would be something big, and the sharks started circling. Calls for the sacking of Ross and Brand were made, demands that the BBC spend license payer’s money on tasteful programming, the Prime Minister waded into the mess (as did that ever so eager attention whore David Cameron). By Thursday the party of the opposition was calling for a formal commons debate on the matter. And I, laid back in my chair, roared:


Firstly, ALL these complaints (minus two) came from morons who had never heard the show, never witnessed the whole thing, and would never watch Brand anyway. Oh sure, The Mail and its simpering lapdogs of intolerance have hated Ross for years, finding his humour crass and inappropriate, particularly incensed by his massive pay check of £6million a year to do what they call ‘peddle smut’. Because sure, a paper that ran a glowing obituary column for the Grand Dragon of British bigotry, Bernard Manning has every right to tell other people what’s offensive or not. I had the debate with my mother, who was firmly on side with The Mail, saying it was unpleasant what they had done, and that an investigation needed to be made. I (not so calmly) asked my parent if she had listened to the program, which she said she hadn’t, and had then asked her where she had heard about it. She declined to reply, so I filled in the gap for her (knowing she reads the Mail) and her laughter, combined with the fact that she is a terrible liar, gave away everything I needed to know. She was going on hearsay and reported facts, and having her opinion fed to her rather than calmly stepping back and analysing things by herself.

Secondly, I will address these calls demanding for Brand and Ross to be fired. Well Brand, thankfully, has already seen the writing on the wall, and has quit the BBC, hopefully soon to do a national television interview where he will states ‘Fuck them’ and ‘Fuck the Daily Mail too.’ You may not like your taxpayer money going into the paycheck of arguably the nation’s most cutting edge mainstream comedy figure, someone who has bought millions of young listeners to Radio 2, a station that used to be reserved for the middle aged upward. You may also not like the comedy of Mr Ross, unarguably the BBC’s biggest star, with a Friday night chat show and Saturday morning radio heard by over 5 million people a week. You may find these people crass and unappealing, and you may not like you’re license fee being spent on them. But guess what? I think Eastenders is a steaming pile of crap. I hate the program. I think it’s cheap, badly acted, badly written, melodramatic, crass and insulting. I think it encourages people to spend their lives glued to the FICTIONAL day to day occurrences of other FICTIONAL people, and glamorizes violence and sexual promiscuity while turning sensitive issues such as race tension or paedophilia into cheap cardboard cut-out storylines that are replete with ‘juicy’ false reality that people then take on into their own lives as fact. I don’t like my license fee being spent on that garbage. But when I find an objectionable episode (that would be every one on television), I just change the channel. When I miss an objectionable episode (again, all of them) I don’t bother delving into the internet to try and find out what the fuss is about so I can be appropriately outraged. Nor do I write to the BBC and demand that stars or producers be sacked. I have a condition which prevents me from seeking out things that will enrage me and force me to call for the termination of peoples employment. It’s called common sense. The Brand witch hunters on the other hand have now robbed me and millions of other listeners of a pretty good and amusing radio show for no good reason other than they don’t like his comedy. Thanks for that.

Thirdly, I want to point out the rank hypocrisy at the heart of the Daily Mail’s coverage, and at the heart of the people that feel outraged by it. What do Joan Rivers and Jonathon Ross have in common? They both said ‘fuck’ on national television. My how people gasped! Joan Rivers said it on Loose Women of all places (and if you were outraged at that, think of what the title means. What do you think the ‘loose’ is referring to?) Jonathan Ross says ‘fuck’ regularly on Friday nights, and then said it on the radio as well! The horror. Grow up. You’re quite happy to roll out the complaints for these two naughty words (or if someone refers to those ever so unspeakable wee-wee and hoo-hoo parts) but I don’t see any of The Mail’s readers banging down the door whenever a Christian or Muslim preacher is given a national platform espouse homophobia or sexism. Or when bigots like Ricahrd Littlejohn are allowed to stoke the fires of racism and ethnic hatred that bubbles beneath the surface of many people in this country that claim tolerance. Nor did I find anyone complaining when an afternoon host on Radio 2 (I forget which one) uttered the ethnic slur ‘dago’ (an offensive term for Italians and Hispanics), and neither apologised or received more than 10 complaints. Where was The Daily Mail’s moral fucking outrage brigade then? Maybe they were too busy complaining about the number of immigrants in this country, or were trying to cook up hatred against gay friendly bars in their area, or were starting lawsuits to try and get buses banned that promote atheism as an equal belief system to any of the other popular desert myths.

Fourthly, I would like to address one person, Georgina Bailie. This ‘Satanic Slut’, who did ‘fuck’ Russell Brand, went from being someone who okayed the broadcast of the show, to being someone dismayed by it, wanting to protect her poor grandfather (who, by the way hasn’t been seen by or cared about by the British public ever since he stopped playing a racially offensive Spanish stereotype for 12 weeks 30 years ago) from prying eyes and further harm, to hiring everyone’s favourite garbage vulture Max Clifford, posing semi naked for The Sun and selling her ‘story’. Giving oh such classy interviews about how bad Mr Brand was in bed (which is far worse than merely stating she slept with him and will hopefully open her up to libel from the star), or how he was obsessed with her grandfather and his Manuel character (which I think says something about how unappealing she was in some way to the star, who – while have sex with her – could find the only interesting thing to do throughout the ordeal was to thing of Fawlty Towers sketches). Yes, what a classy, un-hypocritical human being she is. She’ll make pleas for calm, but as soon as the media bandwagon comes rolling around she leaps straight aboard with both tits out. Well Georgina my dear, don’t worry, you may be on the bandwagon now, but you’ll be evicted in about fifteen minutes.

I am outraged (in case you couldn’t tell) about everything that has been orchestrated by the out of control media. Meanwhile, as the simpering morons (that would be the wider British public) have screamed and shouted, Andrew Sachs has handled himself with class and dignity, asking only for an apology from Ross, Brand and the BBC, and that they apologise to his granddaughter for embarrassing her on national radio. That was all. No calls for anyone’s heads, no turning into an ugly, raging monstrosity demanding for a re-evaluation of the license fee, just calm, collective thoughtfulness. Isn’t that how a real British gentleman would act; with restraint and thought instead of throwing the rattles out of the pram and screaming about how society has lost its way?

And that is the final thing that is on trial here; society. This furore is entirely generational. The young people of this country (and those with half a brain) really don’t seem to be bothered by this. They may or may not have found the jokes to be humorous (I didn’t (though I found the sketch Brand created (that was cut from the show), about breaking into Mr Sach’s house to apologise, finding him and being so overcome with grief and wanting to give him some semblance of pleasure that he ends up sexually molesting him by accident to be hilarious), but they are not bothered by them. They haven’t turned into a seething mob. Meanwhile, the middle aged and elderly members of the nation are positively aghast at the whole thing (ask them why, they won’t be able to tell you (because they haven’t been told why)) and feel that the only way to deal with it is with strongly worded letters, official complaints, and pages and pages of rantings and ramblings about how low the BBC has sunk, how ‘in my day comedy was funny’ and how society is plumbing the depths of crassness for cheap laughs is the only way to deal with it. (Because people that found white men blacking up in order to talk in ‘Yes’uh masser’ voices really have every right to complain about taste). Indeed, The Mail itself seemed most angry that no one else was angry, and in turn had to rally its base of intellectually incontinent ignoramuses to shout and scream about it and to try and protect the values of Great Britain (that and the editor wanted to burn Brand for bringing up their documented support of fascism and National Socialism).

So there’s my two cents on the whole thing. I think it’s puerile, pathetic and pitiful. It deserves to be treated with critical thinking, which will expose it for the witch hunt that it is, aimed at distracting us from the big issues at hand in order to have something juicy to talk about. Economic misery isn’t as fun as Madeline McCan going missing, or public figures saying naughty words. Entirely manufactured, entirely intellectually bankrupt, entirely appealing to the worst common denominators amongst the ignorant in society and entirely full of bullshit.

The Daily Mail: ‘They fucked your country!’

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Fixing Planet Earth


Monday 20th October 2008, marked a grim anniversary. That was the 2’000th day that had passed since President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the U.S.S Abraham Lincoln and declared

“…My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

Indeed, it was on May 1st 2003, 2001 days ago, that President Bush triumphantly declared to the world ‘Mission Accomplished.’ Hindsight is a powerful tool, and in contrast with what President Bush thought were victorious words, one can only imagine that to this day he is thinking the same phrase that was quoted in Ridley Scott’s 2000 movie ‘Gladiator’. “People need to learn when they’re conquered.”

Today marks a more hopeful countdown, that being that President Bush only has 90 days left in office, and on that day America looks likely to be swearing in the first African American President in its history. But what of the legacy he will inherit? What of Americas dual wars in the Persian Gulf?

The United States seems, in all its own conflicts, to have a major misunderstanding regarding the nature of war itself. While they proved to be useful and courageous allies in the First and Second World Wars, they have since bungled and botched the management and intentions of every war they have been involved in. In the Korean War America lost 390’000 soldiers between 1950 and 1953, and the conflict ended in stalemate. The Vietnam War saw 8’744’000 US soldiers die between 1965 and 1975. While they seemed to accomplish many of their objectives during the first Gulf War (a war managed by many European nations instead of the US alone), America left Iraq in ruin, and its people at the mercy of an enraged Saddam Hussein, who went on to commit mass genocide of the people that the US had told it would support in a revolution. The War on Terrorism (including the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts) have so far cost the United States somewhere in the region of about 5000 soldiers, with a total 1’150’000 civilian casualties in the above nations and Somalia.

What is it that the United States doesn’t seem to get? It is, one could argue, that very few men will ever understand, something that can only be truly comprehended by the men and women that experience it. For George Bush, Tony Blair or Saddam Hussein to send their troops into the theatre of battle it is comparatively easy. For they have never known and experienced the true horror of war. They have sat behind desks and commanded others, while brave men go off to fight, die or be killed in a haze of misery, bloodlust and brutality. War is humanity’s darkest response, the mass movement of soldiers and the mass enslavement of a population in order to assault, free, defend, overthrow or destroy an enemy.

It is a fundamental necessity to understand why war is fought. Truthfully, honestly, it must be understood. Rarely are wars every fought for the true freedom of people. There have only been two major instances in the past century that such occurrence have taken place, that being the Great War of 1914 – 1918 and the Second World War of 1937 – 1945. Those wars were truly fought for freedom. The current conflict in the Persian Gulf, named Operation Enduring Freedom, is being waged for political and economic reasons. The genius of terrorism is that the few can assault the many, David can attack Goliath, but the US’ response of bringing a bazooka to kill a fly is wrong. Wrong, that is, if it were actually fighting the terrorists alone. Regime change was what was sought, replacing hostile, anti-western, hardline Islamic dictatorships with ‘democratically’ elected leaders who would be supportive of the needs of the rest, supplying them with – and allowing them to control - land, energy (oil specifically), business contracts and political influence. War is an incredibly lucrative venture financially, stimulating economic growth, as vast sections of a nations infrastructure are put to work to produce supplies for the war effort. It also – in many cases – creates great support for the Government waging the battle, as few people ever want to see their nation on the losing side of a conflict. If it were a simple endeavour, it would produce a compliant, hard working, supportive domestic population, while allowing a nation to expand its sphere of political influence, gain territory, new energy reserves, major business contracts and produce subservient foreign Governments that will always put the interests of another country before their own.

But war is not a simple endeavour. It runs at a huge human cost. Disregarding the incredible damaging effects it has on the surrounding environment, and putting aside the inevitable civilian casualties (the focus of this essay is on the fighters of war, not its collateral damage), it is the men involved in battle that suffer some of the most irreparable damage. Outside of the tremendous physical cost that war extols on the pawns that get strewn across its board, tens of thousands already having been maimed for life in the current conflict in the Persian Gulf (compared to the 5000 dead), there is an arguably even greater threat to the personal health of a soldier that is posed; that of psychological damage.

There is a certain state that soldiers are often thrust into before battle, a mindset that is encouraged by captains, admirals and generals. It is a psychological state that passes our upper human and mammalian brain and sinks to the very depths of our lower – reptilian – brain. Yet this state goes beyond the mere base instinct of ‘kill or be killed’, it mixes that most primordial of senses with a most human construct; hate. Soldiers are sent into the fields of battle in a bloodlust, encouraged not to show mercy, but kill, maim and destroy every single one of the enemy until none remain. Soldiers are whipped into a fervour in order to serve the strategic needs of others, and in this fervour they have been known to commit the most depraved, indecent and inhumane acts imaginable. They question not their urge to hate and take pleasure in the slaughter of their fellow man, but merely embrace it. And if they return from the battle, many find themselves left in a state we all post traumatic stress disorder. Milder forms of this disorder, usually known as battle fatigue or shell shock leave the sufferer fatigued, with slower reactions and thoughts, finding it hard to prioritise tasks, exhausted and unable to maintain initiative. It also can cause headaches, backaches, shaking, incontinence, heart palpitations, dizziness, nightmares, irritability, elevated anxiety, depression, substance abuse confusion and even suicidal feelings. This, bear in mind, is merely a lighter, less intense and debilitating version of post traumatic stress disorder, which is a full blown anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to terrifying events that threatened or caused grave physical harm. Sufferers not only experience similar effects to those above, but they find themselves in need of serious medical counselling in order to cope with the emotional and psychological consequences of the body being able to cope. Should soldiers find themselves lucky enough to avoid this state, they may find themselves addicted to the thrill and lawlessness of battle, and while many men and women eventually leave the armed forces of their nation and go on to lead normal lives (though the vast majority admit to frequent nightmares about their experiences), there are many that find themselves so dependent on the structure of military life and the psychological state of battle and training, that they are unable to leave.

But soldiers on the ground are only the pawns of any war effort, they can fight as hard and as valiantly as they want to (and they usually do), but they’re patriotism and determination to win will not grasp victory in any conflict. If there is no sound battle plan put in place, they lose. And when nations lose wars, the effects are devastating. One only needs to look at Germany to understand this, for it is a nation that has come to terms with what it did in the two Great Wars of the 20th century in the very recent years. The generation that was born a decade after the war are the ones finally running the country, and Germany is finally getting over its dark past. The same cannot be said for America, a nation that is still not fully able to get over defeat in Vietnam thirty years ago. When war fails, the damage to a national psyche – especially one such as America’s; built on overwhelming military might – can be massive. People become disillusioned with their Government, their military and most of all, the message and intentions of their country; for how good can democracy be against the red menace when you cannot even defeat tiny little North Vietnam?

Aside from the devastating effect on the populace, defeat in war leads to often grave consequences for anyone allied with the defeated, and the total destruction of the ideology they were fighting for. The dream of National Socialism and Fascism was crushed and has never recovered since World War 2, as was imperialism and colonialism. Communism suffered a crushing blow at the end of the Cold War, though its image was irreparably damaged as a political movement of evil long before then. Partners of the defeated suffer dreadful fates as well, Italy was stigmatised for years about its involvement with Hitler, the Eastern Bloc states fell into practical disrepair after the USSR broke up and only in the last five years have seen any kind of resurgence. Indeed, the price paid for losing a war falls not only on the head of the generals and politicians that lost, but on allies, neighbours and the populace as well.

A population is often most directly affected by a loss in war because they have been conditioned to think, not only are they morally right in what they do, but they are superior to their enemy in every way. Propaganda is one of the most important weapons a government can use in war, it encourages support among the public for the troops and their mission, and also – usually – bolsters the support for the Government itself, as well as allowing it to get away with more than usual (look no further than the Bush Administration and things like FISA and The Patriot Act here). Propaganda also often ensures a usually docile and compliant media, as the men and women involved in the supposedly bi-partisan machine often want to support their government and their nation before putting true journalistic neutrality to the test. The way the American media acted in the march towards the current conflict in the Persian Gulf is a textbook example of this, their eagerness to support their government and better their nation proved to be their undoing. For when the supply of information is so keenly controlled, and the information that the man in the street receives is controlled so very tightly, it is easy to control what people think, want and do, and thus gain support for your war, even if it is not something that is truly necessary for the nation.

Indeed, very few wars are necessary. In the last century there have only been two that the free world has needed to fight; World War I and World War II. These were wars of necessity and wars of protection, conflicts that ensured people would be free, able to live as they wanted and not fear persecution or death for their lifestyles or opinions. In these wars, the unfortunate toll that fighting takes on a soldier was an unfortunate by product. It was not something that shouldn’t be happening, it was something that would happen, because countless free men from Britain, America, France, Russia, China and a myriad of other nations threw themselves into the horror of battle in order to maintain the freedoms that we take for granted. Aside from the two wars though, we see very few that have been waged for truly honourable means. We have seen wars of politics (Vietnam), wars of pre-emption (a word that disguises the true intent of invasion (the current Iraq conflict)), wars of retaliation (the Argentine War) and wars for business (the Suez Canal debacle). These are manufactured skirmishes that serve the needs of a group of people or a government. They are conflicts that rarely operate separate from one another, but all tie into the central philosophy of creating gains for one or a few nations at the unnecessary expense of another.

Which brings us to the great conflict of our time: The War On Terror. The War On Terror is not actually a war at all. It has created wars - mainly because the countries that have been invaded refuse to roll over and submit to their invaders – but it is not, in itself, a war; for how does one fight ‘terror’? No, the War On Terror is a political tool; a finely crafted, cleverly worded disguise that allows a nation to remain at war indefinitely. The genius of the War On Terror is that its success cannot be measured. If the United States had called this global battle “The War on al Qaeda” the world would be able to assess its progress and say whether or not its objectives were being achieved. al Qaeda succeeding? Bad. al Qaeda disintegrating? Good. That would have been the smart thing to call this conflict. The psychopaths in al Qaeda were the ones that claim responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, so they are the ones that vengeance should be sought upon (though one could hardly have said that the US – through their foreign policies - did nothing provoke such retaliation against them). By calling it the War On Terror, it allows the US Government to wage war on anybody it claims is a terrorist, a definition as vague as any out there, for what constitutes a terrorist? Would it be a true stretch to call a terrorist someone who hates the United States and wouldn’t mind seeing it knocked down a peg or two? With the right propaganda and training, probably not, thus allowing conflicts against anyone that refused to toe the line that the US requires.

This is the true face of war. All war, any war. It is a political tool. The Second World War was started by Nazis with a political agenda, we free nations only fought because we had to. It was a war because we fought back, because we refused to let the forces of intolerance and – dare one say it – evil reign freely and unchecked. The Vietnam War, The Gulf War, The Zulu War, The Napoleonic Wars, all of them became wars instead of conquests because the natives fought back. They fought for their land, their heritage and what they thought was right. Other countries invaded them, seeking to enhance their political clout in the area, get their public to fall into line and give them an easy ride, to increase their economic prospects, fuel their business and create money and new land for them to exploit. Every war since humans began waging it has started this way. All of them. From the wars in ancient history between Egyptians or Kushiites, or between Persians and Greeks, to the conflicts between the Nazis and the Allies or America and Iraq, they have all come to pass because someone at the top of the tree wanted to take something someone else had. It is the true face of war; the ultimate end result of human greed. Unfortunately, it is the one thing that appears we cannot ever solve. Something that we have done since time immemorial, and something we seem destined to continue to do. For all our monetary, social and energy problems, for all the havoc we cause on planet earth, it may be the war that we and we alone create that will finally be the downfall of mankind.

Fixing it is something we will never do.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Hysteria Of Paedophilia

“I would kill very slowly someone who did this to any of my children. Why cant they pass the law that says you touch our children, you are put to death straight away. I can garantee that if you are sentenced on monday and killed on friday there would be a lot less scum in the world”
“People who go into junior/elementary school's and get children who are under age for sex and use them for child pornography should get a life sentence in prison straight away. I'm fed up of our government not being tough enough on the pedofile's these days. I'm only 14 and already I'm sick of the Government giving pedo's a petty sentence e.g. 3 years. It should be for life. And the prison's should not have things like TV's or PS2's in them. They should just have a bed and a toilet. That's it. Nothing else.”

“At last there is someone talkin sense, why is everyone tryin to justify abuse.i joined this site thinkin if enough people with the same views something mayb done, obviously noti had been saddend with the amount of peolpe talkin as if its normal, mayb for them but i no if someone went anywhere near my kids i would bloody have em, we need to protect r kids”

What is it, out of all the sick, depraved, horrific things that human beings have done to one another, thought up, fantasised about and acted out of the past 6000 years of civilisation that makes people in the 21st century absolutely lose their mind about paedophiles? What is it that has created this insane, barbaric mob mentality that causes seemingly rational people to talk about the trampling of civil liberties, murder and torture with such apparent glee?

Why do people get so crazy when it comes to paedophilia? And we’re going beyond just a bit crazy, we’re talking about a mindless mob, high on bloodlust going through the streets and vandalizing the home of a paediatrician because they obviously don’t know the difference.

But let us look at this rationally. What is it? What causes it? What effect does it have? Obviously the first thing that reaches anyone’s mind when it comes to paedophilia is children. What people instantly think of is little girls and boys who are sexually abused by evil twisted perverts. This, unfortunately, is usually the truth of it. It says something about the makeup of the human psyche that we would take ourselves that far into depravity, but it happens, and children suffer physically and psychologically for it. While I am against this constant overprotection and hysteria around child safety (which there is a direct correlation to the social awareness and coverage of paedophilia to), I agree that this is one thing that all children should be shielded from. They do not understand what is happening, and it goes on to cause great trauma in later life. That is the best case scenario, for many times there have been instances of kidnap, rape and murder. It is, without a doubt, a terrible crime.

There are some, on the other side of the fence though, that claim to believe that it is not a crime. They claim that, in fact, it is merely an expression of an adult’s love for a child. One of the most prominent advocates of this stance is an organisation called NAMBLA – The North America Man-Boy Love Association. They claim that if a child chooses to engage in such acts with an adult, then it is perfectly acceptable, for it is two consensual human beings expressing feelings for one another. Now, this argument is easily shot down with three points; 1) Since when does society think an eight year old is mature enough and careful enough to weigh up decisions about what is should eat every evening for dinner, let alone be so considerate as to understand what love is and how it wants to express it. 2) No child of such a young age chooses to express feelings in a sexual manner. At such a stage in their life they have very little – if any – sense of sexuality. That is why boys think girls are smelly and girls think boys are yucky. There is no attraction, and those boys and girls that might become friends have no feelings for one another beyond innocent friendship. Even games of ‘you show me your parts and I’ll show you mine’ are done in an innocent manner, totally devoid of any sexual subtext. No, it is the adult, that would choose to inject any kind of expression of sexual love into an equation. It is the adult, with his somewhat developed psychology and brain, who is able to manipulate, coerce and convince a child that such an act would be fun, or a great way to show that we’re friends. The child does not choose to express love this way (if it even understands what such a thing is), it is coerced into it by an altogether more manipulative outside force – the adult.

But NAMBLA’s existence, while deplorable, does occasionally highlight an important point about paedophiles, one that the hysteria mobs often overlook, and one that I feel is extremely important. What, exactly, is it that causes a man (or very occasionally a woman) to become a paedophile? No one chooses it, just like no one chooses their sexual orientation or list of turn ons. The people that suffer from such desires, are, in a sense, victims of fate and genetics, for they have something in their brain that is wired a little differently, and turns their eye towards young children instead of developed adults. Look at the notion of paedophilia this way, through the prism of objective reasoning and science, and you realise that this argument that ‘All paedophiles are evil’ is simple hysterical nonsense. Are some paedophiles evil? Yes of course. And they are the difference, they are the ones who have such feelings and choose to act on them. Whether it be by looking at child pornography or engaging in such acts themselves. They know what they are doing is morally reprehensible and illegal, but they throw caution to the wind in order to pleasure themselves. They choose to commit these acts. There are those that have such feelings however, that choose not to act on them. Just as there are those with a range of kinks and fetishes that they choose not to act on, from the mundane (spanking, S&M and whatnot) through to the depraved (scat or vomit play), the illegal (necrophilia or bestiality) or the bizarre (arousal through wearing diving suits or being treated like a 1940s Arian in Poland). Some choose to act on these urges – whatever they may be – some choose not to. As long as they break no laws, which means in most cases not indulging in the act with a person who does not consent to, they are perfectly entitled to indulge themselves. Paedophilia however, is one such perversion that falls into the territory of the illegal, because a child can never give seriously considered consensual approval. But again, look at the condition through that prism; that these are desires that no one would ever choose to have. And that is the individual that makes the choice whether to act on such urges, in full realisation that their acts are morally wrong and illegal. The idea of tarring all with the same brush – an idea that is so reprehensible when it comes to ideas of race, nationality or sexuality – which is so popular when it comes to dealing with paedophiles, disappears.

We have established though, firmly, that paedophilia is a crime, both a moral and physical one. It is a terrible, terrible thing to do, that scars and creates severe trauma for the individual later in life, but why is it that this particular crime is given such status? Why is it that so many people think that paedophilia is the most unpardonable act, one that deserves either life incarceration, mental and physical torture and the death penalty with question? Again, objectively, ask yourself, is it really a crime that is worse than rape? Is it really a crime that is worse than murder? Despite the terrible after effects of rape or sexual abuse, at least the victim is still alive afterward. Many people say ‘You wouldn’t understand unless you have children.’ To which one can simply reply, ‘If I tortured and then murdered your parents, brothers, sisters, friends and even your pets in front of you, that would be a worse crime than your child getting touched inappropriately and left alive?’ The point here is that the grading of any such crime is silly, but most people have some level of sense when it comes to the severity of a crime. That always seems to be tossed out of the window when it comes to dealing with paedophilia, where people are willing to accept rumour as fact and convict without due course, despite there being many more terrible people in the world who would have received a far more considered approach to their crimes.

Indeed, it seems as though when it comes to the notion of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’, that corner stone of any enlightened justice system, is thrown out of the window when it comes to the case of the paedophile. Onlookers and listeners are happy to convict on the basis of hearsay. Why? Why is there often so much pressure on the judge in a trial to convict and ruin the life of a potentially innocent man or woman? If you were accused by any child of inappropriate touching, and were taken to court over the allegation, how would you feel with an entire community and network of people baying for your blood, eager to see your life ruined, simply over the notion of what a child said? You might be completely innocent, but in their eyes, on accusal alone, you are guilty and a disgusting creature. This is an important thing to understand whenever one looks at someone accused of such an event, when a community or sometimes even a nation is turned against you because of little more (in some cases) than an accusation?

Often, the flames of such hatred are stoked, prodded and enlarged by an external force; the news media. I truly believe they should bear a large load of criticism when it comes to the way that society has been trained to react to paedophilia. Look no further than the shrewd and insightful satire of Chris Morris’ Brasseye special (entitled Paedogeddon), that lampooned tabloid rags like The News Of The World (with their disgusting, intrusive, morally bankrupt, sensationalist and illegal “Name and Shame” campaign (The Sun practiced a similar vile ethos throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s, outing closeted gay public figures for tabloid gain)), The sun and the Daily Mail for their hypocrisy and exploitative measures. Of course, a show so intelligent was roundly condemned by the tabloid press itself, who (incapable of ever taking criticism) attacked Morris and his show. The Daily Star printed an article decrying Morris and the show next to a piece about the then 15-year-old singer Charlotte Church's breasts under the headline "She's a big girl now". The Daily Mail also featured pictures of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who were 13 and 11 at the time respectively, in their bikinis next to a headline describing Brass Eye as "Unspeakably Sick". MPs, ever eager to jump on a bandwagon, attacked the show in order to gain some exposure, with Beverley Hughes describing it as "unspeakably sick" (while admitting that she had not seen the programme) and David Blunkett (who also admitted that he had not seen the programme ‘due to being blind’) said he was "dismayed" by it. Although she did not criticise the show, Tessa Jowell was reported as asking the Independent Television Commission to revise its rules to allow such a controversial show to be prevented from broadcast even though she had not watched the actual episode of the show. Thankfully the ITC refrained from such delporable censorship, but it is the perfect example of how hypocritical, sensationlist and unscrupulous the media is on the issue, and how easily people will happily throw their morals, laws of the land and the rights of their fellow humans out of the window in order to attack the subject.

It was this temporary insanity which led to a mob in Newport to This included an incident in 2000, where a paediatrician had the word 'PAEDO' daubed in yellow paint on her home. What is it that causes this mob mentality? What is it that leads grown men and women, thoughtful, considerate people to say – with seriousness – that they will kill someone and enjoy it? How can they say that paedophiles should be castrated by wild dogs, or – as evidenced in the first quote of this article – be put to death within a week if even accused of such an offence. The calls of what they call ‘equal’ and ‘fair’ justice are not that at all, they are merely simple minded screams for vengeance. They are whipped into a frenzy against a commonly held evil and go rampaging through a town like in the days of old, when mobs would maraude through villages with flaming torches and weapons in an attempt to cast out witches, homosexuals, the disabled or black people. It reveals an ugly truth about human beings, that for all our thoughts of evolutionary superiority, left to the will of the people ‘justice’ would still revolve around an eye for an eye. They have no interest in understanding the problem or helping those that are afflicted by it and genuinely want help, that involves to much rational and careful thought around a sensitive issue, they are much happier to go with their emotions.

It is my opinion, that the people that so roundly dismiss all paedophiles as evil, sick monsters, that say they would throw away the civil liberties of the few in order to serve the raging, manipulated emotions of the many, are simple minded, and not very bright. Do not try to turn it on me by saying ‘How would you feel’ or ‘Well I’ve got a daughter/son and you don’t understand’ because if anyone ever laid a finger on my mother, father or sister I would be moved by such moments of mindless rage. I do not know if I could ever forgive a perpatrator, but I would never allow myself to sink to their level and CHOOSE to act on feelings that I know to be illegal. I would then be no better than the murderer, the rapist or the paedophile.

I may upset many people with this article, but my opinion remains the same, and if you have read through to this point, having been presented with a reasoned, intelligent point of view as to why the mob mentality is wrong, and why tarring everyone in a group is wrong, and yet still believe that ‘All paedophiles should be killed’ or that you would ‘Hunt down and torture to death anyone that touched my child’ then you know my opinion of you. A terrible crime should not be met with a terrible crime. It makes you no better than them. Just as they chose to break the law and harm someone, you chose to break it anfd harm them. I do not advocate paedophilia. Nor do I sympathise with any man or woman who chooses to commit such an act, but I do with those who feel such feelings, know they are wrong, have restrained themselves and seek help. I hope, that after reading this article, you might look at the situation with a bit more reason and composure, and at least try to understand the issue before so roundly condemning it. It was out of that media manipulated, mob mentality that the Holocaust, the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition or the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s were allowed to take place. Those deplorable moments were born out of that kind of fervour. It is a relic of our darker past, and that is where we should consign it forever.