I expect that the intelligentsia will cast my words into the same depths as those currently occupied by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and the editor of The Daily Mail. So, Nelson Mandela is dead. At 95, he has had a good innings, especially considering the years he spent in a inhumane prison. But what justifies the current blanket media coverage? The BBC have disgraced themselves with their fawning and uncritical coverage, but have failed to respond to annoyed listeners and viewers.
The picture is from a 1930s cartoon. A guest at a posh dinner has lit his cigar before The Royal Toast. The cartoon was by H.M. Bateman, and is titled "The Man Who Lit His Cigar Before The Royal Toast.' Look at the outrage, hate and vein-popping anger on the faces of the other guests. Brilliantly done, but there is a serious point. These cartoon toffs are nowhere near as outraged as some social media celebrities over the last couple of days. A decent, honourable and brave man, who had a huge impact on the country of his birth has died. We should praise his achievements, and be thankful that his wisdom changed the way people thought in his country.
But wait. I read that an inconsequential newsagent has been arrested, questioned and cautioned (and had a DNA swab taken) because he cracked a feeble joke about Nelson Mandela's passing. Closer to home, a witch hunt was stirred up (by someone who should know better) because a local councillor re-tweeted another fairly dim joke about Madiba. The BBC have gone into saturation mode over Mandela's death.
The moronic media pounces on the latest Mandela tribute like a fat vulture. "Why is there no Mandela tribute from Katie Price?" 'Why have One Direction stayed silent..?" "Why have Wisbech Town Council not renamed Churchill Road 'Mandela Boulevard?"
What we need is a little perspective. A brief but pertinent Q and A session
(1) Has Mandela's life and work affected anything in Britain? No
(2) How has Mandela's legacy improved the life of black SA citizens? Pass
(3) What has been Mandela's impact on world affairs? Negligible
(4) Has his legacy inspired a new generation of democratic black leaders? No
(5) Why are we bothered? Ask the BBC