Perhaps I was wrong about the botched machete attack in Paris being the reason for all the Lee Rigby priming in the UK media. Because whatever you think about the motives for the disgusting attack on an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, the usual mouthpieces in the media are heavily pushing its links to the death of England’s sacrificial drummer boy.
Metro, the Mirror and the Star all make note of the synchronicitous timing, the Star helpfully pointing out that ‘dates matter to jihadis’. That those dates might also matter to other parties goes unmentioned.
The masters of tabloid manipulation at the Scum work the human interest angle with a story about how Rigby’s father is ‘physically sick’ because of the attack. I’d probably also feel physically sick if some tabloid scumbag was after me for a rentaquote in the aftermath of such a tragedy. The paper tells us he’s off somewhere to ‘get away from it all’ – ‘it all’ presumably including the reporters pumping him for juicy quotes about the deaths of children.
Interestingly, there was a flurry of Rigby-related stories in the run-up to the attack. The Metro reported on vandals attacking his memorial, on May 18th. On the 19th, the Scum reported on the trial of binman, former BNP member and Muslim convert Aabid Ali, taking care to make sure his views on the Rigby killing were front and centre in their headline on the case. And on the day of the attack itself, the Manchester Evening News made space for a piece on the Rigby Guardians bike ride, a hot news story which has happened every year since Rigby was beheaded, and which, this year, attracted ‘more than 100 people’ – i.e. not exactly huge numbers. So why is it important? Because it keeps the Rigby killing fresh in our minds. Available. In case something should happen.
And happen it did. Was it conspiracy? Did the authorities let it happen? Who knows? Unsurprisingly the bomber, Salman Abedi, turns out to have been known to the security services – just like Michael Adebolajo. But it certainly gave Theresa May an opportunity to flex her authoritarian muscles. Britain is now under the jurisdiction of Operation Temperer , with armed troops drafted in to help the police guard ‘key sites’ and ‘large events’ – like the FA Cup final this weekend. Handy that. Expect May to show up in the stands, with a large contingent of squaddies on hand to burnish her ‘strong and stable’ credentials.
And if you don’t think all this is being used as security theatre, to try and big May up as Our Strong Leader, note this. The announcement of any increase in the terror threat level is usually made by the Home Secretary alone. But yesterday, who made the announcement to the nation? You got it: Saint Theresa, doing her best Mama Maggie impression.
This whole thing stinks.