The furore that has gripped the English press in recent days over a tasteless joke rightfully invokes ridicule and mockery of the English psyche – the English Government calling for new laws to punish comedians comes at an opportune time; between Boris’ lockdown malarkey and Nazir Ahmed’s recent conviction for twice raping a child before he was made a ‘Lord’ by Tony Blair’s government.
This trend to accelerate outrage at mere words to distract from actual wrongdoing is just one of the ways in which the liberal Anglo signals his class-status: working-class families from across England are likely less perturbed by Carr saying Roma gypsies being gassed by Hitler was a positive, than they are at the fact the English press have covered up and likely continue to cover up child abusers.
The average person is probably more outraged that ‘Lord’ Ahmed’s two brothers, who also risked facing charges for unspeakable offenses, received a full discharge of criminal responsibility: indeed they suffer no punishment at all because “the judge said the only other options – a hospital order or a supervision order – would not be appropriate in this case.”
But that is not what bothers those who cry loudest about protecting society, about equity and justice: your average journalist is little more than a bourgeois mid-wit obsessed with the latest goings on by Katy Perry and posting pictures of coffee on instagram.
Jimmy Carr should apologise but not for the reasons you think. Jimmy Carr should apologise not because his humour is offensive, nor because he says uncouth things, not even because he’s unfunny – he should apologise for his behaviour as an Irishman born abroad. Old Jim is Irish, through and through. Both his parents are Irish who moved to England where he was born – and place of birth is no excuse for speaking like an accountant from Kent.
It occours to me that many of expressing outrage haven’t seen the clip of the joke. My reading of it is that he was satarising people who are outraged by the Nazis butchering Europe’s Jews but aren’t all that bothered by the other victims. Different dead being valued differently. A phenomenon that we witnessed during the ‘Troubles’ when the Media allocated value to the victims according to which side killed them.
I visited the Documentation Centre in Heidelberg some years ago. Usually a “Documentation Centre” in a German city commemorates the Jewish Holocaust. But the Heidelberg centre is probably the only museum on earth to commemorate the Roma suffering under the Nazis. Highly recommended. But don’t forget your paper or electronic map as it is down a back street….. Which rather confirms the point that some massacres are more equal than others.