THE RISE AND FALL OF A MEDIA WHORE

AdjemSo, after a green-fingered interlude, we’re back to Hate Crime again. I always thought Anjem Choudary was a shit-stirring prat. Nick Griffin with a beard; a rentagobshite joke conjured up by ‘Channel 4 News’ or ‘Newsnight’ to play the tediously token controversial contrarian; a caricature of an Islamic hate preacher who could have been concocted by ‘Viz’; a desperate publicity-seeking defender of the indefensible because it brought him infamy; to be honest, I half-expected him to turn up on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ at some point, he was so pathetic in his attempts to be noticed, no better than the stars of ‘Geordie Shore’ or ‘The Only Way is Essex’ he’d be sharing the Big Brother House with. A mate of mine regularly used to wind him up on Twitter, playing on the online evidence of his far-from devout student days before he became a Professional Muslim; he rose to the bait on every occasion.

At the same time, I could see no real difference between him and those who spout the other side of the argument on the same programmes – the PC preachers, the patronising middle-class North London-dwelling spokesmen and women for ‘the working-classes’, the squeaky-voiced Feminazi Babes pleading for Victimhood as they auditioned for a column in the Grauniad. I got the distinct impression that all these sad media whores had far more in common than whatever ideological differences divided them. In some respects, I sensed Choudary was invited onto such shows simply as an amusing alternative to the insufferable right-on platitudes of the rest of them. By challenging the consensus whenever a terrorist atrocity occurred, Choudary represented a rare minority opinion; the problem was that his ego and deep desire to make a name for himself overshadowed any valid opposition he may have harboured. It generally came across as contrariness for contrariness’s sake.

Unlike Owen Jones or Laurie Penny, however, Anjem Choudary has now felt the full force of British – as opposed to Sharia – Law, convicted of inviting support for a proscribed organisation, namely ISIS, otherwise known as ‘So-called Islamic State’ or ‘Daesh’. The latter to me always sounds like a description of somebody suspected of being Welsh – ‘Hmm, he sounds a bit Dai-ish’ – but that’s beside the point. The point is that Choudary’s years of exploiting the democratic rights of a free society by advocating the dissolution of them have finally caught up with him, and he’s due to receive his sentence next month. Playing the cartoon Hate Preacher for the benefit of the media wasn’t enough to bang him behind bars, and he knew it. Therefore, the authorities spent months trying to find a way to finally silence him, and the CPS found it in Section 12 of the Terrorist Act of 2000.

Reporting restrictions have been tight around Choudary’s trial – no doubt the powers-that-be will cite the sensitivity of clandestine terrorism-related issues, whereas Choudary’s supporters will claim the veil of secrecy within the media has been imposed to obscure the fact that the charges that have been dubiously cobbled together to nick Choudary quickly collapse if subjected to scrutiny. At least we know what the charges were. Choudary belongs to the generation whose every utterance is an online footprint that can be easily accessed by those eager to bring him down, and it would appear they’ve succeeded.

Ironically, the very democratic freedoms he claimed to despise were ones he utilised after his arrest, approaching the Supreme Court in order to halt the prosecution. He failed. That was one option he wouldn’t have had if his alleged dream of the Islamic flag flying over No.10 in ‘Londonistan’ had ever come to fruition. I’ve a feeling he was toying with the media yet again when he made that claim, but too much toying has cost him his freedom now. He’s poised to experience the kind of isolation from democracy he purports to support, though it won’t be coming via Sharia Law, but British Law.

The crime with which he has been charged is encouraging the vulnerable and easily-influenced to sign-up to the nihilistic agenda of ISIS, though I have strong doubts that he ever genuinely believed in the ISIS philosophy. I think Anjem Choudary is as much a wannabe celebrity as anyone whose ultimate ambition is to grace the front cover of ‘OK!’ magazine; he merely took a different route to that facile fame. He’s not some Bond-like criminal mastermind, just a sad little publicity-seeker who found an alternative avenue to the front pages of the tabloids that spared him (and the nation) from having to get his kit off on TV.

I don’t agree with anything Anjem Choudary advocated in his numerous television appearances, but – as the old saying goes – I respect his right to advocate them. It’s evident the authorities have searched high and low to locate something they can convict him for, and it would appear they’ve found it. I can think of many in the public eye I would gladly silence if only there were an offence on the statue books they could be charged with – can nobody evoke an ancient law that can stick James Corden in Strangeways? But in the case of Choudary, one has been found. Whether or not it stands up as a genuine offence remains to be seen. I certainly won’t miss his presence, but I can’t help but wonder if this is another case of the authorities concocting a convenient charge that will remove a thorn in their side from the headlines.

© The Editor

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5 thoughts on “THE RISE AND FALL OF A MEDIA WHORE

    1. And all the while it will cost us £40k+ a year to keep him in chokey, plus the benefits-max which his now-headless family will continue to draw from the public purse, heading for £1m over the period, silently paid for by untold numbers of poor but hard-working folk of all shades and types.

      I do not know his citizenship status but if, like so many others, he maintains dual-nationality, then the UK government should immediately revoke his British citizenship and deport him and his ilk at the earliest opportunity to his other chosen nation, wherever that may be.
      Despite my overwhelming support for freedom of speech, some speakers clearly do not deserve the hard-won comforts of this country, so if it feasible to expel them to their alternate nation, then we should, after which they can try to project their verbal poison elsewhere and see where that gets them.
      At least an ‘off-shore martyr’ is not drawing on our funds every day he draws breath and, once the easy-money dries up, he may see a reason to refocus his future.

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  1. I little while ago I read an article on a man called Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He is actually well known, though perhaps not to the man in the street. From memory, he was born in the 60’s and was brought up in an initially prosperous and diverse Lebanon, before the dread hand of sectarian conflict turned it into a war torn disaster zone. The young Taleb studied by torchlight under a table as war raged around. He want to university in France and achieved extreme scholastic success in dense mathematical and philosophical areas including the mathematics of derivative pricing. He went to the US, became a trader and became wealthy. He took a position in advance of the crash and became a billionaire. Since then he has concentrated on academic roles, writing (the most famous being The Black Swan book about how institutions do not understand or cater for unexpected risk. He is a private advisor to governments, and he also seems a really nice, nice guy with an unexpected quality: common sense, thus proving that at their highest, and not in the hands of half wits, law, philosophy and common sense march in perfect step.
    He is pretty much the smartest man on the planet in real terms (he is not a waffling academic).
    I was interested in what he made of Brexit. That most illuminating. I don’t know if he would have voted in or at, but his view of Europe’s self appointed ruling elite is exactly in accord with mine: they do not pay attention to the working classes; they are not a true elite but a soi disant elite of low ability and little competence, and his view was that people that the elite think of as stupid and of no account were smart enough to see through that: wow.

    However, when I comes to people like Choudary, I suspect I know what he thinks. The general liberal /Establishment guff is that people like Choudary have right to free speech and we must engage with them and defeat them in argument etc etc. Well, it’s not going to fly. He need to be shut up, removed and deported and all like him. With impeccable Social Democratic principles he cites Popper’s paradox:

    “We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.

    So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.”

    I can only concur. The full article is here. It is called: The Most Intolerant Wins:

    View story at Medium.com

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