In The Shadow of This Red Rock

Inspector Gadget has a striking post on the Raoul Moat tribute sites:

Politicians, journalists and ordinary people seem bewildered and shocked by the huge support shown to him by the north-eastern criminal underclass. The flowers at his council house and at the death scene, the cards ‘mate, you are a legend’ and the thousands of ‘friends’ on his Facebook tribute page. The support he received while on the run. I’m not.

And yet as Charlie Brooker points out: ‘equally dumb and inflammatory statements are made in the Have Your Say sections of newspaper websites every day. Occasionally the readers even manage to out-spite the columnists themselves.’ Or indeed the news pages. The Express recently ran the headlines ‘ONE IN FIVE BRITONS WILL BE ETHNICS’ and ‘NOW ASYLUM IF YOU’RE GAY’ (subheading: ‘They must be free to go to Kylie concerts and drink multi-coloured cocktails, says judge’).

Here’s an example of this from the super soaraway Manchester Evening News. It ran a story last week about a Rochdale shopping centre that has installed ‘Nile pan’ toilets – a kind of ‘squatting’ version used in Pakistan and India.

Unusually for an MEN piece, it doesn’t allow comments. Why is this, say you? The mystery is solved at the beginning of another thread when a regular asks: ‘Why did the MEN remove the comment option from the story about the ‘squatting toilets’ in Rochdale? Was it because of the racist deluge of comments received?’ A moderator confirms that ‘Of the 40 odd comments that came in over night, not one could be published due their racist and abusive content, so the facility was turned off on that story’.

This is what’s under the rock.

This is what comes running when you blow the dog whistle.

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