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By this I don’t mean small people – if I did I’d be on the verge of being in trouble, as would half of my near-circus-dwarf sized family. And that’s before my wife and I have any kids – I’m aiming for scrum half sized, rather than anything more weighty.
I do mean the little people. Us. The public. Or, at least, some of us.
The News of the World phone hacking scandal really is a scandal now. For a long while it seemed to be a curious bug bear of the Guardian, perhaps linked to their obsession with Rupert Murdoch and the position of Andy Coulson at the right hand of David Cameron. Now it is a scandal.
What has not been mentioned – to my knowledge – is the guilt of those who buy the News of the World, the audience for their disgusting prurience. They are the beast that was being fed. They are the ones who want shots of celebrities who are drunk, showing their knickers or having naughty fun snorting coke off the buttocks of a ladyboy.
They don’t just buy NOTW. They buy celebrity magazines that cover each level of the social scale from royalty to pieces of turd floating around Portsmouth harbour, and even lower, to the detritus thrown up (briefly) by reality television. There is a big beast out there to feed, and that – in whatever disgusting way they were doing it – was what was happening at the NOTW. It didn’t go bad suddenly.
The same can be said of the economic troubles that have afflicted Greece, Europe and beyond.
The credit crunch? Ah, that’ll be the banks then. Nothing to do with the consumer binge by witless members of the public who ramped their spending up beyond their incomes so that they could feed their consumer habit with ever-larger flatscreen televisions. And the expectation of feeding off a property bubble that was stretched to glistening point.
And in the streets of Athens, what about those entrenched interests who didn’t pay taxes, who hoped for a public service job that would see them have long siestas and early retirement, who had a government-sanctioned rake-off from their protected industries as pharmacists, doctors, journalists and truck drivers?
It’s funny how the people that are always to blame are the ones that we want to blame.
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