The Guardian's "Nonsense in King Charles' Head"

First a story – a short excerpt from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield:

“….. ‘I wish you’d go upstairs,’ said my aunt, as she threaded her needle, ‘and give my compliments to Mr. Dick, and I’ll be glad to know how he gets on with his Memorial.’

“…… ‘Do you recollect the date,’ said Mr. Dick, looking earnestly at me, and taking up his pen to note it down, ‘when King Charles the First had his head cut off?’   I said I believed it happened in the year sixteen hundred and forty-nine.

” ‘Well,’ returned Mr. Dick, scratching his ear with his pen, and looking dubiously at me. ‘So the books say; but I don’t see how that can be. Because, if it was so long ago, how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head, after it was taken off, into mine?’ (emphasis mine).

“…. I was going away, when he directed my attention to the kite.

” ‘What do you think of that for a kite?’ he said.

“I answered that it was a beautiful one. I should think it must have been as much as seven feet high.

” ‘I made it. We’ll go and fly it, you and I,’ said Mr. Dick. ‘Do you see this?’

“He showed me that it was covered with manuscript, very closely and laboriously written; but so plainly, that as I looked along the lines, I thought I saw some allusion to King Charles the First’s head again, in one or two places.

” ‘There’s plenty of string,’ said Mr. Dick, ‘and when it flies high, it takes the facts a long way. That’s my manner of diffusing ’em. I don’t know where they may come down. It’s according to circumstances, and the wind, and so forth; but I take my chance of that.’

“…’Is it a Memorial about his own history that he is writing, aunt?’

“…. In fact, I found out afterwards that Mr. Dick had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial; but he had been constantly getting into it, and was there now….”

In David Copperfield Mr Dick is depicted as a benign, harmless character who suffers from what would now be called intrusive thinking and preoccupation about how what he calls the nonsense in King Charles I’s head got into his own when the former’s head was cut off. Although Mr Dick seems not to be distressed by this, all his energies are bent towards keeping his preoccupation out of his “memorial” about his own life.  Nowadays he might be recognised as perhaps having learning difficulties but left to himself because his obsession affected no-one but himself.

Israel, being the equivalent “King Charles’ Head” of the editors of the Guardian and CiF also keeps getting into everything – above and below the line.

That being the case, a far less kindly comparison can be drawn between poor Mr Dick’s affliction and the Guardian’s/CiF’s obsession with the wrongdoings of Israel.   Mr Dick was, as I have said, a harmless character, but the Guardian’s/CiF’s obsession with Israel is damaging and dangerous because although the editors seem driven they also choose to vilify and misrepresent.
And unfortunately, their equivalent of Mr Dick’s kite does not take the distorted facts a long way.  It leaves them to fester on line.

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