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Monday, July 09, 2007 

Scum-watch: Scraping the very bottom of the barrel.

It's true there wasn't that much in the way of news this weekend, but today's Scum front-page really is scraping the very bottom of the barrel marked "pathetic irrelevant dredging-up of the past":

LOTTO jackpot winner Neil Murray is a convicted mugger who robbed an 88-year-old woman, The Sun can reveal.

Did the person who discovered this amazing exclusive yell "HOLD THE FRONT PAGE"? A convicted mugger wins the lottery? What next? A Catholic becoming the Pope?

His shameful past was exposed weeks after he scooped a £4million prize.

Murray snatched the purse, containing just £6, and pumped it into arcade fruit machines.

Eight years later he was still gambling — and last month won £4million on the Lottery.

We're talking about something 8 years ago, when the guy was 19. He received his sentence, which for a mugging seems reasonably harsh, has served it, and probably everyone including the 88-year-old has forgotten about it. More interesting is that he's refusing to share his winners with his family because of a tiff about his cannabis habit, which probably proves that he's a petty, not particularly nice person, but believe it or not that's not a barrier to winning the lottery.

The Scum seems to have forgotten what the meaning of "lottery" itself is. Amazingly, it means that anyone can win, no matter how nasty or friendly someone happens to be. Not that the Scum doesn't have past form in this area -
it previously stalked the "Lotto rapist" Iorworth Hoare, who just happened to decide to live on the same estate as the Scum's Scottish editor, instantly necessitating a front page super splash.

In fact, it's not just the meaning of lottery the Scum's forgotten, it's the meaning of life itself. Life, as any teenager will happily remind you in case it's slipped your mind, isn't fair. Rapists win the lottery. Pop stars contributing more than anyone else to climate change while making vast sums of money pretend that we can solve global warming by planting a tree and changing our light bulbs. Only those without morals and ethics but infected with greed, tenacity and ruthlessness tend to get right to the top, and a few billionaires turned philanthropist doesn't change that. What could be a better example than the private equity bosses paying less tax than their cleaners? The only comfort is that while they rise to the top, shit additionally tends to float. A few get their comeuppance; the rest of us, flawed and corrupt as we are, depend upon lady luck to get anywhere.

The old cliche is that only two things are certain in life, death and taxes, or if you happen to be Rupert Murdoch, just the reaper. The other one ought to be that if you happen to be working-class and win something, you can depend on the tabloids' rooting around in your past for dirt and then sticking it on their grubby little front page if there's a absence of any real news. It's how journalism works.

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I like how they seem to implicate that the money he originally stole has managed to eventually land him the lottery win 6 years later - genius.

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