Tuesday 3 December 2019

Let’s get this right: Do not blame the killers. Blame those who want to stop the killers

‘If Jack could comment on his death – and the tragic incident
on Friday 29 November – he would be livid.’ Says Jack’s father
Jack Merritt was killed last week on London Bridge.
In the Guardian Jack’s father Dave Merritt tells us more about Jack, by all accounts a fine young man:
Jack was proud. Jack was absorbingly intelligent. Jack was fiercely loyal. Jack loved music, art, eating good food with his family, and having more than one pint with his mates. Oh, and in case you haven’t realised by now … he was also devilishly handsome.
Jack’s killer was one Usman Khan (perhaps devilish, but not at all handsome) a votary of the religion of peace. Khan had been in jail for terrorism offences, released last year on an early licence.
Khan didn’t “choose” Jack to murder.  He killed him simply because he was there, at that spot, on London Bridge, on that day, representing the hated infidel. Khan’s religion -- not a voice in his head, not some sadistic fantasy -- but his religion made him hate the unbeliever, urged him to "kill the infidel wherever you find him”.  And Khan found Jack. And Khan killed Jack.
But let’s get this right.
We must not condemn killer Khan or his hateful ideology. We must condemn Boris and the Tories. Because they are furthering “an agenda of hate”. Because Boris called for investigation into killer Khan's early release and called for - wait for it - increased sentences for terrorism and scaling back early release. (As he’s done for ages, by the way)
This is “an agenda of hate”, we are told.  About which Jack “would be livid” his father assures us.
Do not blame the killer, says this “left-leaning atheist”. Do not question Khan’s ideology. For that would be “hate”.
Blame instead those who want to halt further such killings. Blame that hater, Boris.
Turn the victim into a hero. Turn the killer into a victim. Turn the Tories into hateful oppressors.
ADDED: It ought go without saying, but maybe not.... that I feel fully for David Merrits’s loss of such a fine son.  The pain of loss, such a senseless loss, as a father myself, is unimaginable. Still, he makes himself the target, by his own clear political agenda, and then blaming Boris for an “agenda of hate”, because Boris has a different view of penal policy. These views he puts in his dead son’s mouth. Maybe Jack would feel as his dad imagines. Who knows? It strikes me as a rather shameful and tawdry thing to do. Who is going to challenge your progressive political agenda when you are grieving?  And condemning others for having an agenda?
This is what Dad Dave tweeted few days ago. Not an agenda, at all. Not at all sanctimonious! Heaven forfend....
His twitter profile: “I support the underdog”.  But don’t we all? Just that we have different notions of how to raise them from under... He says “I despair at where we’re at politically”. Of course he does. He’s a Remainer, and still litigating Brexit in his feed.
ADDED (4 Dec): along similar lines to mine, from Julia Hartley-Brewer. Either everyone is politicising the issue, or no-one is.  Because everyone is having a say, and you can’t slam one as “political” just because you don’t agree with it. And... we cannot have the veto of discussion by the victim’s family, just because they are victims, much as we sympathise.  To me, Julia makes sense (of course; she agrees with me....)