The media machine and Westminster politicians have gone to town over the act of savagery that took place on the streets of Woolwich on Wednesday. It was a bloody and brutal crime with a young father being hacked to death in broad daylight and his murderers showing no remorse, but rather the reverse. It was an egregious crime. The two young men clearly wanted maximum coverage for what they had done and for their godless slogans of hatred. They clearly wished to be numbered with the dishonourable company of terrorists. And thanks to the media and the united declarations of our politicians - indeed of no less an ally than President Obama - their wish has been granted, beyond, I imagine, their wildest dreams. No doubt they will wear the title "terrorist" as an accolade for their rest of their incarcerated lives - with satisfaction.
What we actually witnessed too many times on Wednesday was no more than a grubby vicious murder by a pair of deluded and feral young men, who dressed up their murder most foul as a political quasi-religious act. The very broadcasting of the murderers themselves was questionable. The repetition of it ad nauseam was merely dancing to their agenda and in my view played to the basest instinct of voyeurism. The elevating (if elevation it is) of the crime to an act of terrorism has been merely to achieve the young men's aim on their behalf, to instil fear. The continual media headlining of the incident merely maintains the spotlight (as, in a small way, I admit, does this - my only comment on the subject).
The East End Imam, Ajmal Masroor, potently denounced the murderers on Sky News. I can't find the clip on YouTube, but the terms he used were very similar to his reaction to the tube bombers in 2005:
An imam talks about so-called terrorists, which is well worth listening to.
From the Levison enquiry we learned about the positive symbiotic relationship that can exist between press and police - where the publicity given by the press is able to help with official investigations. In this case it seems that the publicity given by the two estates of government and the press have merely added oxygen to a horrible immolation on the streets of Woolwich. It wasn't great news. Last year about a hundred people were murdered in London. But Wednesday was a tragedy for one young man, Lee Rigby, his wife, Rebecca, their toddler son, Jack, and their close family. And they probably don't need to have the details of Lee's death endlessly pored over by the rest of us. May they all have some peace.