Here, of course, we do things differently; here people do not clutch at and present child corpses for the cold eye of the camera. Here, child murder has learned a new, shrill, unBritish vocabulary. Accusatory and demanding, victims' relatives demand a change in this or that law, demand an extended hearing, demand their own celebrity, one poor cow even imagining a close friendship with the repulsive Murdoch witch, Rebekka Shitemouth.
It's hard to remain stonefaced about these people, shouting about the dead. I do wish, though, for their own sake and for the general good, that they would shut the fuck up and deal with it, it's theirs to deal with, nobody else's, but I understand the lure to them of fragmentary celebrity, of anything, really, which diverts them from the necessary process of grieving including as it inevitably does many moments of self-finger-pointing, sleepless nights of If only I'd done this, if only I'd said that.
Mr Winehouse was a hoot, flying back from his recording session in New York to launch a charity in the name of his dead dipso daughter, to speak Estuary wisdom to the press about issues of dependancy. Just a shame he didn't speak to poor Amy a wee bit more forcefully, eh. Maybe put her over his fucking knee. But, hey, we mustn't say that, mustn't be, what is it, judgemental ? And she did leave a huge legacy of fabulous music. Which will live on. Even if she won't.
There was a time when people would have rebuked Mitch for his irresponsibility, his fame-crazy arseholeing. Now we listen reverently to his shallow cliches of parental worthlessness. This is the New World Order, too. It's not just vain, greedy charlatans like MPs, it is a population desperate for celebrity. Doesn't matter what it's about, just get me on the telly.
I must say I don't care for the Dowlers, I can't warm to anything about them, like Gerry and Cilla McCann, they give me the creeps, she, particularly, looks belligerent, calculating and whiny, and I thought that their daughter was, in a sadly typical, neglectful way, narcissistic and over-sexualised - or to put it more pithily, jailbait.
I simply cannot understand how so many screech that it is their right to allow their children to behave in a way apparently carefully calculated to arouse lust in the loins of the unGodly and then appear mystified when that lust runs its wretched course. Our premature sexualisation of children may not be historically unique but it is a most regrettable development during my lifetime and every image I have seen of the late Milly Dowler is faintly disturbing. I have known, you see, middle-ranking nonces who would have seen Milly Dowler as a provocative young tart, would have convinced themselves that she was actually crying out for them to rape her and that, because she was such a little slut, deserved post-rape punishment. We don't know if Milly Dowler was sexually assaulted but the man convicted of her killing, Levi Bellfield, is known to have an obsession relating to sex with schoolgirls. Now, it's no use saying that this Mr Bellfield's behaviour is wrong, of course it's wrong but if you would protect your children from Mr Opportunist Nonce, like him, your best bet is to keep them behaving and dressing modestly. It's not a huge price to pay for child safety.
They have capitulated on their privacy and are, within reason, as is anyone, fair game but I don't mean to harangue Mr and Mrs Dowler, even if I could, but rather to draw attention to the failings of the LoveMyKidsToBits,Me mentality, failings which are overlooked in the current phony Leveson enquiry, failings which were bulldozed aside by the McCann PR team - Gerry and Cilla, you will recall, left a three year old alone in charge of two two year olds, in a strange room, in a strange town in a strange country whilst they went on the piss, not only did they manage to convince many that this was responsible parenting but they also insisted that their neglect was actually the fault of the local police. LoveMyKidsToBits,Me, therefore I can do no wrong; how dare you, you lookin' fer a punch in the gob?
I have a nephew who is an insurance assessor - it is a dreadful irony, for his late father, a starker version of Mr Frank Gallagher in the soap opera noire, Shameless, was opposed to all forms of work, especially those of a financial, regulatory or usurious nature - there are no accidents, insists his son, just varying degrees of contributory negligence. I don't agree entirely with him but I understand the mindset, I am in it a lot of the time, myself; people might call it mild paranoia but it's just an awareness that although shit happens it can be avoided, minimised, the world is full of beasts, you gotta be careful. I remember, in a Redditch hospital, saying to a father of a couple of hours, Congratulations, you do know, Dylan, that there are people out there, right now, who would love to bugger your infant son. Talk about ashen-faced new parent. I took him home and gave him some whisky, didn't labour the point, but I thought it worth making, for there are those people, there are people who want to sexually assault infants, let alone young women like Milly Dowler. And you see, even if you accept that the McCanns are otherwise blameless, if they had not left their daughter alone she would not have been abducted, if she was abducted, there is simply no gainsaying that. Varying degrees of contributory negligence.
Milly Dowler's abduction is less clearcut, but the cops say there was no evidence of violent abduction and that, therefore, the possibility exists that she unknowingly made her killer's task easier than it would have been had she had it successfully drummed into her: don't talk to strange men, don't get into cars with strangers, there is no gainsaying that, either. Varying degrees of contributory negligence.
But there is no such acceptance in modern Britain, no sense of what could I, might I, have done better. And there is absolutely no longer a tradition of fortitude and privacy in adversity; the refrain, No Comment, is from a song long forgotten.
And despite their stated revulsion to the idea, the Dowlers are now, like the McCanns, public figures. Where once the nation would have briefly felt for them before they re-engaged with their lives, making such accommodations as they were able, now it is as though they have won some Alternative X Factor or BigBrother, after which they are intermittently celebrated for something truly awful, something which would be better they - insofar as is possible - forgot.
And so we come to Leveson's cover up and the Dowlers' and the McCann's part in its grisly, self-defeating circus. The people who penetrated Mr&Mrs Dowler's daughter's phone, so cruelly, incredibly raising their hopes that she was yet alive are known, the same people who penetrated their own phones, violating their most grievous and special privacy are known and their employers, Rebekka Shitemouth and James Murdoch, are known. These people should all by now be in prison, serving substantial sentences. It is as simple as that. Bang 'em up. If they were, no-one in the filthy sewer of skymadeupnewsandfilth would ever again behave so badly. That would be all the enquiry that was required - a pre-sentence report on James Murdoch. And seven years jail.
But some of these people are friends, neighbours, confidantes, allies and funders of the self-elected prime minister of the United Kingdom. And if they go, they will take him with them; they will know enough murky stuff to finally sink the brief and unlovely career of this gabshite, dunderhead jackanapes, mr shinyface.
And Mr and Mrs Dowler have accepted two million pounds from the criminals involved. A drop in the ocean to the filthy old bastard, Rupert Murdoch, but a fortune to them. Blood money, accepted from the organisation about which they now complain, money accepted from the same source as paid for the phone penetration. Who, lawyer or normal, decent person, could seriously care a fuck about anything they now say; these people, the Dowlers, like the McCanns, turning tricks for the teevee cameras, are whores of an entirely new species.
(The effect of all this, of course, among the disadvantaged is that when people like Karen, was it Karen or Sharon Matthews, up in Dewsbury, see Gerry and Cilla hosannahed and enriched for their contemptible neglect of young Madeleine well, they try it on, too, I'll have some of that. The result is that the effete, worthless commentariat, sub-humans like Kelvin McKenzie, feel gleefully enabled to slander an entire community, the same community which actually searched for and found the missing Matthews child.)
What should we call them, these people, sprung from nowhere, feted for having lost someone, paid for each morbid appearance, gibbering away in the jargon of loss, bleating about cloze-ya, as if any of them actually wanted cloze-ya ? No, Trusts, that's what they want setting up. And anniversary specials. And book deals. And new laws, especially new laws. What they want is instant victims' justice, like in the good old days of the cavemen. But what they really want, more than anything, is to be in front of the camera. Like anybody really gives a fuck about them.
Child murder, abduction, military fatality. There'll be another one along in a minute.