I’m sat right now watching Piers Morgan being very upset and offended. Offended that Matt LeBlanc from Top Gear had driven quite fast past the Cenotaph on Whitehall. This meant that he disrespected veterans, we were told. People felt the need to reveal that Joey from Friends has not done as much for this country, as troops who died in WW2. Morgan was so offended, that he had to quickly move on to a story about a West Highland Terrier that won Crufts. But then it came back to being offended again. A good three minutes per hour was dedicated to being offended.
It was an odd thing to be offended by, and an odd reaction from the always outraged Patriotic brigade, who, on balance, didn’t seem to care when Clarkson was mocking dead prostitutes and punching producers. So it goes.
But then it soon became oddly ironic as well (perhaps more so than Morgan – a man fired from his job as editor of The Mirror for publishing faked photographs of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment abusing Iraqi prisoners).
Good Morning Britain included a quote from an angry British Commander in Afghanistan who insisted that the BBC should never show that clip ever. It is so offensive to the memory of people who fought for freedom, that we shouldn’t be free to see it. For liberals like me, a person in a position of power implying that we – as adults – should not be allowed to see a clip of something he finds personally offensive, is a much greater insult to those who understand and fought for freedom, than Joey from Friends driving fast past a memorial. Play the clip, if it offends me, I’ll turn it over. Do not tell me I shouldn’t be free to see it in the first place. This is an insult to the memory of my grandparents who fought for freedom. He should apologise.
Further on the ironic side of this whole bizarre episode, he was a commander in Afghanistan. British troops are fighting an Islamist Taliban regime, that during the ’90s had funded support from the Saudis. Somewhere on Whitehall, close to the Cenotaph, the decision was made that the UK would send arms to the Saudis throughout the late 80s, the 90s, and today. Daily the PM or the Conservative Party is forced to defend the Saudis, to drop the British flag to half mast when their monstrous leaders finally die, to conspire to sit that grotesque nation at the head of the UN Human Rights Council as it beheads democratic reformers. A nation that funded a regime that killed British troops, that we lower the flag in support, that we now hand over arms is apparently not as offensive to the memory of our troops, than driving a car quite fast down the road.
And we must be banned from watching that car driving fast down a road.
On a side note, I once walked drunkenly past the Cenotaph, from one of the many drinking establishments on that road. This must imply that I hate our troo….. what a cute West Highland Terrier!