Never has universal agreement looked more adversarial. If there is a single soul in Britain willing to suggest that the sexual abuse of 1,400 girls in Rotherham is not a societal failure of great seriousness, then they are keeping pretty quiet about it. Unfortunately, the people who are talking the loudest seem mainly to be interested in drawing attention to their own long-standing rectitude and by extension the long-standing lack of rectitude of their real or imagined ideological enemies.
It’s an article of faith among British institutions that “impartiality” or “fairness” or “justice” is arrived at via the presentation of opposing views. It’s the basis of our governmental and judicial systems. It’s the guiding principle of our foremost media institution, the BBC. The idea generally seems to be that there are two sides to every story, one wrong and one right. But there are usually as many “sides” to any story as there are people telling it. This is certainly true in the case of Rotherham.
I think Peter Simple is now filling in for Debbie Orr. That’s how it reads anyway.
But then Peter Simple always was at the very edge of Poe’s Law.
All of which suggests something sensible that the next (Long May Rusbridger Live!) editor of The Guardian might usefully do upon appointment. Insist that all of his writers, both current and would be, read the collected works of Peter Simple. And if any column or idea, logical train or even simile, could usefully have been inserted into such collected works then they’re not to use it.
Might make the paper considerably better: even if shorter.