Friday, July 13, 2007

The King and the Doctor

After Dave Mustaine's UN song, here's another grudge-carrying pop star with a, shall we say, curious interpretation of facts, as Jonathan King writes a tune for Harold Shipman. In it, King suggests that Shipman was less a murderous bastard who topped the elderly as soon as they became troublesome, more a kindly, Jack Kervorkian type who was bringing a gentle end:

"Police will inflate and the law says it's fine to accommodate tabloids with a solid headline
But a real psycho monster who's killing for fame would leave notes for acclaim to establish his name

"Some people will sigh when they're waiting to die
Won't you please speed it up as I'm starting to cry
There's one thing he ain't and that's saviour or saint
But a pleading complaint didn't pass him by"

Ah... so he wasn't a monster because he didn't want to get caught killing dozens in order to become famous. It's an interesting take on the law - that you don't only have to prove a criminal had an intention to commit a crime, but also that they were only doing so to get on the news.

It's not clear if King has bothered to read any of the evidence of inquiries into the people he killed, like Winifred Arrowsmith, a 70 year-old who was in remarkably good health until a visit from Shipman where he "found her dead". We suspect he hasn't - after all, King's interest is well-documented as laying at the other end of the human lifecycle.

Of course, when pressed, King reveals that - as with everything else he's ever done - the song isn't about Shipman at all, but how hard done by he is:
"It is actually not really about Harold Shipman. It's about the tendency of the media, the police and the CPS to inflate and exaggerate in order to get convictions and headlines and circulation and ratings increases."

King has previously suggested that his conviction for having sex with fourteen and fifteen year-old boys made him a little like Oscar Wilde; oddly, now he's claiming kinship with Shipman - not the most obvious choice for lashing a bid for rehabilitation to.

The trouble is, if you're going to start raving about inaccuracy in media coverage and police procedures, you should probably start by making sure that you're at least in possession of a degree of accuracy yourself. And to suggest that the media somehow invented Shipman to boost circulations is to fail completely to understand how Shipman got away with it in the first place - because who in the media, or the police, or CPS, would even notice the quiet but unusually common deaths of old people in a corner of Manchester?

1 comment:

Franco said...

"There's one thing he ain't and that's saviour or saint."

Umm...has prison affected Jonathon's maths? I mean, he was always so good with numbers esp when it came to ages.

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