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The Stirrer’s Talk-In Radio Blog (11)

KARMA CHAMELEON

02-09-2009

Arbeit macht frei

Could Jewish victims of the Holocaust have deserved their fate? Likewise the two little girls killed by Soham murderer Ian Huntley? Apparently so, according to at least a couple of callers to Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg’s Talksport show.

A lively discussion about the 70th anniversary of World War Two had veered from the monstrous merits of Stalin versus Hitler to the refusal of Hamas to allow the Holocaust to be taught in Gazan schools.

So far, so controversial. But nothing had quite prepared me for a call just before the 4am news from Diana, a posh sounding lady from Finchley, North London.

Had I considered, she wondered, that the Jews who died in gas chambers had brought their slaughter upon themselves?

Funnily enough I hadn’t.

Oh yes, she said. It was all down to karma. We are all reincarnated and our fate determined by our actions in previous lives. Blimey, and there was me thinking it was all down to some evil bastard called Adolf Hitler and his loyal, loathsome henchmen.

I had her marked down as a random nutter, and said as much, when about an hour later, a bloke called Nelson rang from South London. No, he said, Diane had got it right. What you do in one life is repaid - for good or ill - in a later one.

So the schoolgirls Holly and Jessica deserved to die at Ian Huntley’s hands?

Apparently so, because of misdemeanours in a previous existence. It's karma, you see.

At this point, I had to get rid of the geezer.

Now in a vague, waffly way I quite like the idea of karma – do nice things and you’ll get rewarded, behave like an arse and you’ll eventually be punished.

But the idea that innocent people can unwittingly fall prey to wicked crimes because of something that may have happened several (imaginary) lifetimes away. If it weren't so laughable, it would be disgustingly offensive.

It gives a curious legitimacy to murder and violence, and diminishes the suffering of those forced to endure it.

Never mind swear words or inciting racism – this is surely one of the most hateful philosophies ever aired on British radio.

My blood was boiling. And I’ve only just karmed down.

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