February 2, 2009
In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict
By Will Self
If the protesting luvvies really wanted to make a point about Gaza, they’d attack Israel and the British government
Whether Mark Thompson’s decision not to air the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for Gaza on the BBC was the right one, the response of a whole phalanx of luvvies and legs (the term used by TV techies for those in front of the cameras) has been laughable.
Oh! How they’re appalled at the pusillanimous BBC in the face of this ‘humanitarian’ disaster – yet few of them spoke out loud and clear against the actions of Israel that caused it, nor, by extension, against the supine British government whose consistent failure to roundly condemn Israel is far more important than a charity advert.
Why don’t they do something that might cause a stir, like refusing to pay tax?
I wonder if the luvvies, the legs and the old Trots for whom Stop the War is a front, will make common cause with Charles Moore and his tweedy Telegraph clique who so object to the salary paid Jonathan Ross? All these disparate elements have committed themselves to a dreadful act of civil disobedience, namely, refusing to pay their licence fee.
Of course, none of them would have the balls to do anything that could really end them up in choky – like refusing to pay their taxes. Taxes which are used, among other things, to subsidise the British arms manufacturers, who made the night vision equipment that was sold to the Israeli air force so their pilots could bomb the Palestinians.
It strikes me that the Ross/Brand ballyhoo and the Gaza appeal brouhaha are both examples of a nauseating narcissism on the part of the British middle class. The senior citizen offended may have been Andrew Sachs, and the homeless, starving people may be Palestinians, yet it remains, resolutely, all about us.
That’s what the BBC has become, not simply a screen, but a mirror that these Volvo-driving Calibans stare at themselves in, then become enraged when all they see reflected there is their own moral weakness and self-centredness.
Victims of war and natural disasters are equally worthy of our beneficence
After all, if anyone really did want to contribute to the Disasters Emergency Committee, on principle (and not merely to assuage the guilt provoked by distressing TV images), he or she could pick up the phone, or log on to the internet and do so. Now that the ‘row’ has gone on for days, there can hardly be anyone left in the country who isn’t aware of the appeal, and what it’s for.
The truth is that the victims of war and the victims of natural disasters are equally worthy of our beneficence – nobody, who isn’t actually firing a gun at the time, deserves to be killed by shells with a payload of white phosphorus, any more than they deserve to be swept away by a tsunami.
The paradox is that those licence fee evaders who bleat on about ‘humanitarian’ crises are quite as bad as those who unashamedly believe that might is right – with an added dash of hypocrisy thrown in for good measure. ‘Humanitarian’ in the context of Gaza is nothing but a fig leaf held over the rampant obscenity of Israel’s aggression, and by focusing their attention on the BBC baddies, the protesters are ignoring those really at fault.