There was a nice piece by Damian Thompson in the Telegraph yesterday about the Johann Hari dilemma. Is the means okay – even cheating – if it justifies the end? Hari’s views are unpalatable and immature. They would be; it seems he’s only thirty two years old, if a tad chunky for a young fella. But the principle is not unlike the line postulated by defenders of Charles Enderlin’s decision to air the unverified Al Dura story on France 2, which subsequently ‘went viral’ with dire consequences. These defenders said, “What does it matter whether it’s true or not? – we know it’s the sort of thing that happens all the time.” I’ve heard similar views expressed on the BBC, not to mention speakers who still give credibility to the incident.
The spat between Cameron and Bercow was announced on the radio this morning. I can’t remember if it was presented as a direct report from the pages of the Guardian, but in any case, that’s what it was. Funny, because the Telegraph seems to side with Bercow, and the Mail with Cameron. The Guardian seems to be facing a dilemma. To go with their ‘class’ or their ‘Semitic’ prejudice. They seem to have come down in favour of the first. After all, Bercow is hated for his pomposity, his stature, his traitorous politics, and most of all, for his wife. His Jewishness almost pales into insignificance. Whereas Tory Toffs Sam’n’Dave trump all that because they represent Eton, privilege and puppy dogs’ tails. The Guardian’s theory is that the feud stems from their differing backgrounds. When I heard that, I wondered whether ‘differing backgrounds’ was a euphemism for something sinister, but it’s class again.
Quite a few Jews are short. Let’s call it petite, which is what people call me. Occasionally, someone will ask me “Aren’t you tiny?” which I assume they feel free to do, probably not considering it to be rude, at least not as rude as it would be to greet a new acquaintance with “How d’you do? Aren’t you podgy?” or aren’t you bucktoothed, bald, strange-looking or bandy-legged?
If you’re a man, though, they’d never say ‘aren’t you tiny’, unless they were saying it as an insult. David Cameron seems to think it’s perfectly okay to get a laugh out of calling Bercow a dwarf, which is not big and it’s not clever. So much as I’d normally say a plague on both their houses, I’m with the Jew. I guess that also means I’m with the BBC.