The Evil Adviser, the Murderous Police and the Righteous Rioters
The BBC, ITV, SKY and most of the newspapers roundly condemned Dominic Cummings and called for him to be sacked because he had – “perhaps,” according to the police – committed a mild offence by going on an errand of mercy for the sake of his sick son. The media, in one of its frequent fits of self-righteousness, declared themselves to be shocked by such a mild (possible) infringement of the emergency regulations.
I wonder if the same media will now condemn the far more dangerous infringement committed by the thousands of protestors who have marched through British cities and thereby demonstrated their solidarity with the rioters and looters who are causing so much criminal damage and distress across the USA?
I will write my next paragraph most carefully, so that no one who reads it – except of course all those practitioners throughout the media – can be any doubt as to my views on the killing of George Floyd. It was a disgraceful, appalling and abominable act. Does that make my opinion clear? Is that utterly unequivocal? If not, then kindly tell me which other words I should use to leave you in no doubt.
So what should happen to the perpetrators? I will write my next sentence even more carefully than the first: They should be arrested and made to answer for their evil actions. Is that statement also clear? I didn’t say that the incident was trivial and the authorities in the Justice Department should turn a blind eye. The full force of the law should be turned on those policemen. They should be arrested, accused, arraigned and put on trial. And if, when this due process has been completed, the policemen are pronounced guilty, they should be punished severely. Such a vicious and merciless act deserves no leniency for those who performed it.
Again, let me ask, have I made myself quite clear?
Are you sure?
But hang on a minute, this is precisely what is now happening: those accused are in custody and they will be brought to judgement. That is how the law works. It has developed over many centuries and with much strenuous effort. The accumulated body of law is reasonable and moral. But what is either reasonable or moral about the behaviour of the mobs who have rioted, looted and burned throughout the USA? In what ways do their criminal actions contribute to the due process of law? I can’t believe that such a destructive response is what George Floyd would approve.
The protestors claim to be acting in the interests of the rights of black people. But there are norights in wrongs. And rioting, looting and burning are very definite wrongs. Undoubtedly the killing of George Floyd was a monstrous wickedness. So what words are left to describe the even greater – because it affects so many – wickedness committed by the rioters?
Those who perpetrate such violence and destruction against lives and property are in the wrong – just as the killers of George Floyd were in the wrong. To condemn the police while excusing the rioters is irrational.
There is an exact word for this irrationality: hypocrisy.