Friday, January 28, 2005

(Parenthetical Genocide) Contd.

I wrote yesterday's piece on the Holocaust Remembrance before I'd seen the recording of the ceremony held in Westminster Hall. Both gypsies and homosexuals got a brief mention, courtesy of Stephen Fry. He even quoted Mel Brooks' joke that without Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals there'd be no such thing as show business, though nobody laughed.
So do I retract my comments of yesterday? You bet I don't. Because both the BBC and ITV evening news programmes somehow forgot to mention the 5 million non-Jewish victims. I suppose you can't blame them. 5 million is an easy figure to overlook.
It matters because very few people would have watched the hour long programme on BBC2. It was scheduled against both Emmerdale and Eastenders, not to mention The Simpsons on Sky.

If you still think I was exaggerating yesterday, then consider this. A motion was passed in the European Parliament yesterday condemning those responsible for the deaths at Auschwitz. A Polish MEP, a right-wing bastard called Michael Kaminski, tabled an amendment which, among other things, would have deleted a reference to homosexuals being victims of Auschwitz. Fortunately, the amendment was defeated. But it's a reminder that, as well as those who deny the Holocaust ever happened, there are those who, because they share the homophobia of the Nazis, seek to obliterate from history the deaths of thousands of gay men.

The Westminster Hall ceremony was often very moving if you could manage to put on one side the hypocrisy of some of the participants. Talking of which, it ended with an address from the child-murderer-by-proxy Tony Blair doing his old I'm on the verge of tears routine. He really is becoming the Norman Wisdom of British politics. Norman spent a 60 year career doing a routine based on uncontrollable laughter but eventually this fell victim to the law of diminishing returns. I fear the same fate has overtaken Blair because the suppressed sobs have been reprised rather too often.

If you think I'm being unfair, read Michael Brunson's autobiography (the former ITN Political Editor) where he records being told by an aide that Blair particularly wanted him to use as a soundbite the bit in his speech where he had a catch in his throat. (The same book chronicles the time when Blair used his kids as a bargaining tool in a dispute with ITN: remove something I said from my interview and you can film my kids playing in the garden).

And if you think the 'child murderer' tag is a bit harsh, I refer you to the footage in Fahrenheit 9/11 - coincidentally shown last night on C4 - of dead babies being thrown into the backs of lorries in Iraq, footage which we are not shown in sanitised news reports.
This prompted C4 to give a rare warning in the middle of the film that there were scenes that "some viewers may find disturbing." Some viewers? May?
Who in God's name are those viewers who don't find images of dead and maimed children disturbing? Surely only the people responsible for such evil. And presumably that must include the emotional and lachrymose orator Tony Blair.


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