It's amazing how you can perceive somebody in a certain way and then they do something that changes your attitude toward them completely. Such a person is Kim Kardashian. Famous throughout the world for...well, being famous and renowned for a well-endowed arse, she has decided to use that fame to highlight the genocide perpetrated against her Armenian ancestors by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. She hasn't been preachy or anything, like Bono or Bob Geldof; she simply laid flowers at a memorial.
The Turkish government has expressed outrage, as they have always denied that the deaths of over a million Armenians was in any way a genocide. Right-wing historians have continually backed up claims of 'resettlement' and a virtual war between Turks and Armenians; even though the only evidence for such claims comes solely from Turkish sources. While other nations accept that the killing of all those Armenians was, in fact, a genocide, the USA and the UK have both refused to recognise this.
Much of this support for the Turkish view is political expediency; Turkey is an important part of UK/US policy in the Middle East and they don't want to upset their ally. There is also the matter of both countries being loath to highlight the idea of genocide too much; it might lead to awkward questions about their own histories.
The treatment of Native Americans could equally be termed a genocide; as could the way the Maoris and Aborigines were treated in the Southern Hemisphere. There were also the scorched-earth means of fighting wars that America used in the Philippines and Britain used in South Africa. In South Africa too was the first mass use of concentration camps as the British authorities rounded up the Boers' women and children and burned their homes and farms to starve out the guerrillas. Just in case the Boers raided native farms and villages, black people were rounded up as well and their homes, fields and livestock were burned. Wells were poisoned and soil was ploughed with salt to render it useless.
And then there was Ireland. In Elizabethan times 'scorch earth' was used extensively to starve out the native population. For centuries afterwards Irish land was appropriated, leaving the Irish people having to lease, at extortionate rents, small pieces of land where they might grow crops that actually belonged to their landlord. The only crop they could afford, or have space, to grow for themselves was the potato. Various government commissions and independent investigations throughout the first half of the Nineteenth Century warned that mass famine might occur at any time. Nothing was done at all; nobody in power particularly cared.
The potato blight of the 1840s affected crops throughout Europe but only in Ireland did it lead to such mass starvation. In that sense, it's difficult to place the blame for the Great Famine solely on the failure of the crop. It was the social, economic and religious discrimination against the Irish that caused death on such a huge scale. It could feasibly be argued that this constituted genocide; but you won't find anyone admitting to that! Instead we're supposed to continue to believe that the British Empire was a great and glorious thing and a force for good in the world.
As well as the covering-up and distortion of history to maintain the illusion that there is nothing wrong with our society, there is also a desperation to cover up, and deflect from, the existence of a vast paedophile conspiracy among this country's elite. The media, of course, is complicit in this. Yesterday, in the Daily Record, was the story about the death of one Donald MacNeil. This man is alleged to have sexually abused children over a period of 40 years. Last year, the cases against him were dropped since he was too sick with cancer to stand trial. The article claims that he 'walked free from court' but, later in the piece, it is revealed that he actually collapsed in court and was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that his bowel cancer had spread to his lungs.
Normally, such a story would be linked to another, similar story that had occurred recently, in order to emphasise the point that the paper is trying to make. It is only a matter of days ago that we had the story of the case against Labour peer, Lord Janner, being dropped because he has been diagnosed with dementia. There is an obvious link between these two stories but, surprisingly, the Record refused to highlight it. Instead, they concentrated on two things. The first was the outrage and devastation felt by the victims of MacNeil's crimes; an aspect that was ignored in the story about Janner. The second thing was a blatant attempt at deflection.
The Record tells us, right from the headline, that MacNeil's son was a 'sex-shame priest'. The implication is that his son is just as bad as he was. In fact, MacNeil junior had consensual sex with two women; he might have flouted his sacerdotal vows but he certainly broke no laws and was scarcely to be compared with his father in the sphere of 'shame'. The intended conclusion, however, will no doubt be drawn by many: the sexual abuse of children is a 'Catholic thing'.
Today the Sunday Mail has a report on the fight against the international trafficking of people, especially children. This has been going on for years but, rather conveniently, the Sunday Mail chooses this week to highlight it. Yes, Lydia Cacho, who has been leading the fight for years, has a new book out on the subject and was in the UK last week to promote her cause but, it has to be said, that this is a highly opportune moment to bring this evil to our attention. In the article the UK merits hardly a mention. Instead, we can all sleep soundly in our beds, secure in the knowledge that it's only Johnny Foreigner that gets up to these disgusting activities. It's all about the "Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, the Italian, Russian and Albanian mafias and Latin American drug cartels." There are quite a few Catholics involved in that little lot, eh?
So there it is. We don't need to worry about our esteemed leaders; it's all the fault of those bloody foreigners. Get rid of them all and destroy the Catholic Church and that'll be the end of child abuse. Is there a veiled call for a bit of genocide there...?