I’m not sure you’ll want to read this blog today. You see, the truth is, I haven’t condemned what happened at Auschwitz during the Second World War. And I haven’t condemned the annihilation of hundreds of thousands at Hiroshima and Nagasaki either. You probably didn’t know that but now that you’ve heard, I expect you’re clapping your brow with one hand and pointing a shaking finger at me with the other as you gasp the words “You beggar belief!”
That’s the headline in the increasingly-tabloidy Venerable Organ this morning: ‘You beggar belief’ under a photograph of Independent councillor Martin Connolly, who has refused to condemn a bomb attack on his niece...
Hold on. His niece? So the reprehensibility is linked to his having a blood-relative involved? Good news – I had no relatives involved in Auschwitz or Hiroshima or Nagasaki, so it seems I’m off the degenerate hook for not condemning them. Actually, I didn’t condemn them because I didn’t feel it’d make a bit of difference. Auschwitz and Hiroshima and Nagasaki have happened and condemning them won’t make them un-happen. Nor will condemning them make any difference to the men who performed the deeds, or to others who continue that tradition of great statesmen and generals ordering the slaughter of innocent civilians.
That’s why I felt Martin Connolly’s refusal to condemn the attack on a policewoman made sense, really. Why go through a pointless public ritual that will change nothing? But now that I know there was a blood relative involved, that makes all the difference. Shame on you, Mr Connolly. As the VO with its instinct for a fresh phrase puts it, you beggar belief.