46. Appalling Enthralling London Calling


 

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Nervous excitement at the prospect of living in London for the first time: excitement at the prospect of being at the centre of all that history, nervous at what I may find back in the UK after so long away.

Not sure whether the stunning Untold – The Murder of Daniel Morgan podcast is adding to the nerves or the excitement. This fascinating documentary begins with a brutal murder in a pub car park in Sydenham, South London. Morgan worked for a private detective agency with links to corrupt police and the tabloid journalists who feed off them. Incredibly, the persistence of Daniel Morgan’s family and a small group of investigators (all of whom have faced intimidation by unknown persons – often resembling paparazzi) has exposed the links between a fudged murder investigation and those in the higher echelons of Rupert Murdoch’s murky media empire, in other words close friends of our cherubic ex-Prime minister.

One of the many diseases coursing through our polarised political climate (a climate stoked by Murdoch and his ilk) is that labels are being all-too-readily attached to societal groups. Immigrants are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on your side of the debate, as are Muslims, young black men, police officers etc. Individuals are lost in the melee. This simplistic labelling discourages closer examination of the potentially ‘good’ or ‘bad’ members of each group. Perhaps this muddying of the waters is exactly what powerful newspaper proprietors and their friends want – especially where superficial ‘goodies’ are concerned (the valiant but unconventional journo, the cop who ‘doesn’t play by the rules’ etc.), preferring a society where inconvenient laws and fundamental human rights can be bypassed in favour of ‘us’ and ‘them’ catchalls.

‘Untold…’, on the other hand, has no qualms about treating ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cops as individuals instead of making them part of some larger, bombastic debate; which is not to say some of the individuals concerned don’t have tentacle-like links to surprising sections of society. Have a listen and decide for yourself how much of the content is conspiracy and how much an indication of the rottenness at the heart of our superficially healthy democracy. See you in London. I’ll be the one in a callbox wearing sunglasses…

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