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Checking The Daily Mail: Richard Littlejohn, The Mark Duggan Peacemaker? Bollocks

by | 10th, January 2014

PA 1643776 Checking The Daily Mail: Richard Littlejohn, The Mark Duggan Peacemaker? Bollocks

 

 

Checking The Mail: Richard Littlejohn, the peacemaker? Bollocks

IMAGINE you’re Richard Littlejohn. Once you’ve stopped vomiting, imagine how you’d feel when you heard that the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan had given its verdict. You’d not be sad for loss of life or thinking about the circumstances that lead a family to be as dysfunctional and staunched in criminality and gangsterism as the Duggans. You wouldn’t think: what can police do in those situations other than take a fatal shot. You wouldn’t think for a moment about the societal issues that led to the riots following Duggan’s death. You’d wring your hands, crack your knuckles and jump onto your soap box.

I’d say I find Richard Littlejohn contemptible but that suggests I usually give him much thought. Littlejohn is a horrible person who makes money from being a horrible person. His career is in cruelty. He might as well be a bear baiter for the level of respect I believe he’s due. I dislike him as much as he dislikes the poor and those who do not fit into his narrow morality. It’s Littlejohn’s column in the wake of the Duggan inquest result which will take up the entirety of this week’s Checking The Mail. It is a rich seam of hatred, deliberate misunderstanding and ignorance. The usual ingredients for Littlejohn’s patented poison.

You know how it will go from the first line:

“She looked like Vicky Pollard’s granny and spoke in a curious hybrid accent, a cross between Ali G and Liam Gallagher of Oasis…”

There’s Dick Littlejohn for you: a man whose most recent cultural reference is Little Britain, a show which went off the air 11 years ago. He goes on to turn Mark Duggan – the man shot by police, whose death led to major riots across London and beyond – his family and his aunt (the subject of that first paragraph) into grotesqueries, caricatures that play easily into the prejudices of his editor, his readers and his own snarling friends.

Rather than a woman merely appearing on the news, Littlejohn has her “starring” as if she might relish the attention that comes with an inquest into your nephew’s death. And the single fist salute – the black power salute – becomes the “Wolfie Smith salute” in Littlejohn’s limp prose because nothing about that movement, however flawed, could be anything more than laughable to Littlejohn who would really just like “blacks” to settle down.

Littlejohn seems to be utterly baffled and enraged that Duggan’s family might want answers as to why their relative was shot. I believe, as it happens, that the police were right to fire but I do question whether a fatality was an inevitability. Certainly Duggan was no angel, in fact, he was a gangster, but we do not operate an execution policy in the United Kingdom.

But then to Littlejohn there are “decent coppers” (the Police), “our boys” (the armed forces regardless of gender) and “scum” (anyone who is offensively non-white and non-wealthy). He lives in a world of cops and robbers or black and white. He believed the family should have been arrested for protesting the result of the inquest. Littlejohn seems to think protest is anti-British by its very nature. As a direct descendent of Robert Kett who as a rich land owner rebelled against the crown stealing poor people’s access to the common land, I’m inclined to disagree.

Littlejohn was, of course, not happy with distorting the scene at the court and the position of everyone from the police to the family to the court officials. He also made sure to skew what was said by other newspapers. Knowing that few, if any, of his readers also turn to other papers, he claims that that “the gullible Left-wing media” (who they?!) presented Mark Duggan as “lovable”. I must have missed the free Mark Duggan Colouring Book that the broadsheets produced.

He goes even further, impugning the reporting abilities of Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News, a gifted journalist who Littlejohn laughably claims presented a “Mark Duggan Memorial Edition” of his programme. He accuses Channel 4 News of producing “a party political broadcast on behalf of the Mark Duggan Party”.

What makes Littlejohn’s baseless attacks on Guru-Murthy more disgusting is that he claims the broadcaster “went into full Nelson Mandela mode” to discuss the case. That is, as usual, Littlejohn’s racism shining out from his copy. It is frankly disgraceful to elide the reasonable and justified tributes to the greatest African leader of the modern age with coverage of an inquest into the death of a criminal who despite his rap sheet deserved to have his death properly and thoroughly investigated. Is Littlejohn really suggesting a variation on the classic racist trope that all black people are basically the same?

Littlejohn goes on to compare the Duggan case to the the death of Mark Saunders, a white barrister who was shot after brandishing and discharging a shotgun while out of his mind of drugs and drink. Littlejohn laughably says “he wasn’t about to fire…so he wasn’t posing an immediate danger to anyone”. Duggan was not holding a gun when he was shot, nor had he discharged a shot. But of course, Duggan was guilty of being black and having a record. That’s enough in Littlejohn’s eyes for him to be expendable.

Littlejohn’s column ends with a zen koan from the mind of the master of bullshit: “Justice has been done. Now let’s pray for peace.” Littlejohn has no interest in peace. It’s not what fills his columns or makes him his money.



Posted: 10th, January 2014 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink