As our free and fearless press digests the bombing of an Underground train yesterday morning at Parson’s Green station in south-west London, those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet have agreed, as I pointed out yesterday afternoon, that it could have been a lot worse: had the device actually exploded as intended, most of those in the carriage where it had been left would have lost their lives.
Another theory going the rounds is that the bomb not only didn’t work properly, but also that it went off prematurely, the intended target being Westminster station, close by the Palace of Westminster. All this has been reported widely. But for the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail, merely reporting this news is not enough. It must be leveraged in pursuit of smearing someone.
“It takes minutes on Google to find plans to build this bomb which brought terror to the Tube. Now the PM is to confront bosses of the … WEB GIANTS WITH BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS” thunders the headline, with the Dacre doggies stretching the available facts way beyond the limit of elasticity. Theresa May will do no such thing.
What's f***ing wrong with smearing Google, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
We know this as the supporting article progresses from “Theresa May will order internet giants to clamp down on extremism following yesterday’s Tube terror attack … She will take on Google, Facebook and Microsoft” to “The Prime Minister will host a summit with French president Emmanuel Macron next week and is expected to warn technology giants they need to do more to tackle extremists” [my emphasis].
And in a routine display of hypocrisy, the Mail then tells anyone reading its website how to get hold of the material it is railing against: “In the hours after the Tube attack in Parsons Green, West London, the Mail used Google searches to find terror guides to building bombs. One guide - published in 2010 and still available online - was authored by a fanatic calling themselves the ‘Al Qaeda chef’. The author wrote: ‘We are conveying to you our military training right into your kitchen to relieve you of the difficulty of travelling to us’”.
So now you know how to access a bomb making guide - the Mail has helpfully included a screenshot from the site. But this is so much crap: Google is not the only search engine on the Web, and even if such technology did not exist, it would not prevent terrorists making bombs. We know this because terrorists were able to assemble, transport and detonate bombs in the days before Google - and rather more of them.
Or have the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker missed Pan Am 103, the Bologna station bombing, anything by the IRA from the 1970s onwards, bombings by any number of mainland European terrorist groups, and targeted attacks like the ETA assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco? Blaming Google is not a credible stance, although the Mail has form for doing so (see “GOOGLE, THE TERRORISTS’ FRIEND” from late March).
Rather than just report the news, the Vagina Monologue is using the Parson’s Green bomb as an excuse to smear companies who are better at securing advertising revenue than he and his fellow media dinosaurs. So no change there, then.