I know I should be shouting about the album (omfg CDs arrived today, look sweeet) but I had to digress because I can’t get this moment of moral clarity out of my head, from last night’s Question Time: it needs transcribing. They were debating one of the killers of Jamie Bulger. Amid a hawkish, invasive majority view (particularly depraved from Carol Vordermort, who has revealed herself to be an angry, ill-informed sponge for sub-Melanie Phillips Daily Mail fear-isms)…
…amid all that, Will Self said this:
“But there’s something weird, isn’t there, in the kind of British collective imagination about child killers, because there’s a presumption that these boys, who were 10 years old at the time of the crime, must be more evil than an adult killer. Is that what people are thinking? Are they all thinking: “Wow, they must be super evil?” You know, let’s turn it round the other way and just float the weird, strange idea that they maybe didn’t really know what they were doing. People who read the transcriptions of the case at the time and heard these boys’ testimonies heard very, very confused 10-year-old children talking about something.
So people talk in terms of the killers of Jamie Bulger as if they were some kind of Mengele figures, some kind of incredibly evil people: what a frightening thought that they might not have been evil at all.
And even to talk about as you do and as people here – and even I caught Shirley [Williams] saying it in terms of ‘murder’; ‘murder’ is ‘malice of forethought’, I read the transcriptions of the Bulger trial and there was no real evidence of malice of forethought in their crime.”