Monday, 27 October 2014

What if Reeva Steenkamp had shot Oscar Pistorius… and other counterfactual conjectures

The Reeva Steenkamp question was in the form of a tweet (I can’t remember who posted it). I presume the implication was that, even though the 29-year old model had no history of monkeying with guns or anger management issues, she wouldn’t have got off as lightly as her world-famous athlete boyfriend. It got me considering other counterfactual questions that reveal… well, that life isn’t particularly fair or logical (I know – hold the front page!) For instance: -

If Stephen Lawrence had been a white boy murdered by black thugs, would his mother have ended up in the House of Lords?

If a Labour government had presided over the recent impressive falls in unemployment, would the BBC be whining about how many of those new jobs were low-paid?

In the highly unlikely event that Britain had the strongest-growing economy of all G7 countries under a Labour government, would the BBC’s left-wing economic journalists be quite so obsessed about wages not rising in line (I mean – is this necessarily a bad thing)?

If a lone Christian fundamentalist attacked and killed officials or soldiers in any government building in any Arab country, would that government be mainly concerned about the possibility of Christians being attacked or even just being "made to feel uncomfortable" by local Muslims?

If Russell Brand didn’t look like a member of the Rolling Stones during their most elegantly wasted period – say 1973 – would the media be paying such slavish attention to his infinitely moronic juvenile pseudo-political witterings?

If ebola had broken out in America, would African countries be risking the lives of their soldiers and medical workers by sending them over to help?

If Lenny Henry were a white actor/comedian with the same level of talent, would we ever have heard of him?

If George Zimmerman had been a respectable black man and if Trayvon Martin had been a Hispanic juvenile delinquent, would the case have been reported in this country? Or, come to that, in the US?

If we weren't eight months away from an election and the Tories weren’t hemorrhaging supporters to UKIP, do we imagine they’d be threatening to actually do something about immigration and the EU?

If left-wing academics and politicians had sought to ban Arab academics from British universities and had disrupted performances by Arab musicians because of unprovoked terrorist outrages against Israeli civilians by Palestinians, would they have escaped prosecution (as MP George Galloway has done despite declaring his Bradford constituency an “Israel free zone”)?

If Band Aid and Live Aid had never happened, would as many Africans have died as a result of famine during the past 30 years?

If the Oxford University PPE course had been abolished 50 years’ ago, would this be a happier, richer country?

If the 1400 white girls sexually exploited by Asian men in Rotherham had been Asian and their abusers white, might local police and social services have been minded to, you know, do something about it?

If Green Energy subsidies had to be paid only by those who advocated them, would there be any Green Energy subsidies?

If all British taxpayers had to hand their money over to the government after it had rested in their bank accounts for a while, would tax rates be anywhere near as high as they currently are?

If George Clooney's new wife had looked like the average female human rights lawyer, would her picture have been plastered over the pages of the Daily Telegraph every day for weeks on end?  Give it a bloody rest!

If autistic people were actually as brilliant at detecting crimes as TV dramatists seem to imagine they are, wouldn't police forces around the world be trying to recruit more of them?

If the £11,000,000,000 Britain spends on foreign aid every year were yielding any benefit whatsoever to the taxpayers who foot the bill, do you think the government would give us the occasional heads-up? 

Good game, eh?

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