If you’re not a racist, can we at least call you stupid?

Tabloidwatch has got his hands on a letter from Monday’s reader section of the Daily Mail. In it ‘Edd Butler’ makes it clear that although he definately isn’t a racist, he is pretty darn fed up with reading all about Muslims taking over the place:

We seem to be letting Muslims take over this country. We appear to be afraid to upset them…

I’m not racist, but I’m getting fed up with opening the newspaper every day to read that we’re bowing and scraping to the Muslim community.

The most obvious response was nailed in the comments immediately: put down your copy of the Daily Mail and buy a newspaper that actually reports news and you wouldn’t spend your day wading through transparent lies about Muslim ‘demands’. The old ‘magic but’ (more on this tomorrow) is often wheeled out by people who then go onto utter a racist sentiment, but what if we take their declaration of innocence at face value? If Edd Butler is not a racist – as he claims – can we at least call him an utterly stupid, ignorant arse?

It seems to me that so many topics are started with this ‘i’m not racist but’ get-out clause and continued with utterances that are always mind-numbingly stupid. Take for example the EDL, who keep claiming that they are not a racist organisation (although they invite racist musicians along to perform and have been caught on camera numerous times chanting racist ‘songs’ about Muslims). If they are not actually racist then perhaps they can explain the contents of their latest email, sent regarding a big rally in Dudley:

As always our excellent stewarding team will be on hand to assist, guide and endeavour to keep the peace. They will evict any racist people or anyone found causing trouble within the demo.

OK, no racists, understood. So why are you marching then, if not because your members are inherently racist? Well, here is why – according to the EDL – they march:

We would like you all to take a minute on the day and remember why we are here, for whom we are here, fallen heroes, future generations, our right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, this is sacred when our democratic rights are slowly but surely ebbing away. Sharia law can never be allowed to replace, succeed, abrogate, or even work within or alongside our democracy without abusing human rights, it does this through religiously sanctioned intolerance, supremacy and misogyny. We know this, that’s why we oppose it so vehemently. This is one Jihad the EDL MUST eradicate once and for all no matter the cost, the very foundations of our secular democratic society depend on this.

The EDL is a cornerstone of a hard fought democracy, we bear the weight of a nation under attack from Islamism, it’s a weight we can carry, we carry it with pride!

So, they are not racist, they just see something happening and ‘know this’ to be true, yet somehow the overwhelming majority of the country (who will not be marching alongside them) are blind to this ‘takeover’.

We may sit and shake our heads at the disinformed Edd Butler who felt so strongly about the ‘Muslim takeover’ that he drafted an outraged letter to the Daily Mail, but we should shake with rage that the media propaganda campaign against Muslims has succeeded in persuading a group of people that they much march under the banners of hatred and the language of war in our cities fighting a menace that only exists in the minds and poisoned souls of tabloid editors.

The Muslims are not taking over, but hysteria is consuming the tabloid press as they plant more and more seeds of malcontent amongst us. An Edd Butler sprouts here, EDL members sprout far and wide and all the while the press gets braver, stripping away any layers of pretence that they are just ‘reporting the facts’. It becomes less about ‘not enough jobs or services’ and instead becomes more direct: ethnicity is the real problem; the watering down of the white race.

This reporting would not be a problem if people trusted their own senses. If they did they could open their windows and hear the birds chirping, feel the warmth of the sun on their skin and the wind rustling the curtains. If people only turned off their TVs and put down their newspapers and just seized the pure joy – the inexplicable realisation that somehow they are alive against all the odds – then perhaps they might realise that it’s all just bullshit and the vast majority human beings on this planet just want to live in peace, to love and be loved and that for all our superficial differences we are all startingly similar. I think Bill Bryson put it best:

Every living thing is an elaboration of a single original plan. As humans we are mere increments – each of us a musty archive of adjustments, adaptations, modifications and providential tinkerings stretching back to 3,8 billion years. Remarkably we are even quite closely related to fruit and vegetables. About half the chemical functions that take place in a banana are fundamentally the same as the chemical functions that place in you. It cannot be said too often: all life is one. That is, and I suspect will ever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.”
– Bill Bryson in “A Short History of Nearly Everything” (2003)

An ethnic roundup

As promised here are the blogs that covered today’s tabloid capital letter racism:

If you have any other articles on this you want to add to the list then please add them in the comments and I’ll update this post. I believe such racism is well worth documenting as fully as possible.

How can we speak out against racism?

This is a blog post that has been partly written in my mind for quite some time and I’m sure parts of it are already out in the public domain as comments on other blogs, responses to reader comments on this blog or half-formed thoughts on blog posts stretching back over the last year or so – not that this or any blog post I write is anything more than a series of whispering thoughts partially collected and imperfectly recorded. The question I have been pondering is the title of this blog post: how can we speak out against racism? We are supposedly moving away from living in a racist society and bigotry in general is supposed to be the preserve of those old enough to be excused. Then why is it that I still encounter racism in every age group I engage with?

Encountering racism is one problem, challenging it is the next, far bigger dilemma. I wonder how many people reading this post have been in groups, around the partners of family members, in work or in any other social environment and encountered casual racism. Perhaps someone mentioned the ‘paki’ shop or referred to an Asian person as a ‘paki’ or complained about the ‘bloody ethnics taking over the country’. You might sense that they do not neccesarily mean it in an offensive way, but it is offensive and you want to say something, but you don’t know how.

The trouble is – it seems to me – that very few people do challenge casual racism like this. It seems to me that we have developed a rather skewered sense of social politeness where it is not socially acceptable to point out that someone is being offensive or racist. To be the one person in the group who speaks up you make yourself an instant outcast, you are the one making an accusation that is out of order – you are immediately tarred with the media brush of the ‘PC brigade’, infringing someone’s right to use a word they have always used. What is worse – so the logic goes – is that I’m not even black or Asian, so why am I even complaining, since I surely cannot be offended by the term?

If the tabloid media have achieved one thing in their interaction with the ongoing social problem of racism, they have made it extremely difficult for anyone to challenge racist language or engage in any real debate. They have taken ownership of the language of racism and the debates surrounding racism and distorted them so that it is the white man that is the victim; whilst the black man is the perpetrator of false victimhood. Instead of genuine racism we now have ethnic minorities ‘playing the race card’. Instead of offensive racist language we now have ‘political correctness gone mad’, it is no longer the language that is the real offence, but the person or society that challenges it. If anyone attempts to engage with other ethnic minorities or worse still, understand their culture or needs then they are ‘pandering’ to the evil doctrine of ‘diversity’ or ‘multi-culturalism’.

What kind of person challenges racism? Well, the most evil person of all: the liberal. Sadly we live in a society that freely uses the word liberal as a catch-all insult; a really hearty term of abuse designed to shut down debate. You can try and tackle any issue using rational arguments, studies or science and if your ideology does not match conventional conservatism: you are an evil liberal. You are the sort of person who is ‘soft on crime’ and would see killers put back on the streets – even if you are just arguing that looking at the offending rates suggests prison is not a deterrent and looking at the reoffending rate it is not a cure either. You might be suggesting that tackling the root causes of criminal behaviour is the real key to reducing crime in the long run; but you’re easily dismissed as a daft liberal when the real answer is simply to lock up more people for longer (even though the same person then complains about hight taxes and their irrational belief in the current system just serves to keep them that way). You become a ‘friend of the criminal’, rather than someone merely suggesting their might be a better way of reducing crime – and you would think that reducing crime would be something the conservative would support.

You also the sort of person who is likely to be ‘pandering to diversity’ or insistant on spreading the evil doctrine of multi-culturalism. You’re easily dismissed as a ‘pant-wetting Guardian reader’, without the need for the person to even engage with any arguments you put forward. In short: you are despicable and wrong.

And so it comes to challenging casual racism, where you face the full wrath of your peers if you break the unwritten rule of polite silence in the face of a racial slur. We might content ourselves with platitudes that it is simply a generational thing, that it will die out and we will all start using more acceptable terms to describe people who are not as white as us. Yet I have no doubt that this is an unfounded assumption. Casual racism lives on and it gains in strength with each dishonest tabloid article on ‘the PC brigade’ banning something else we cannot do or say in case it offends an ethnic minority (you become as laughable as the ‘PC zealot’ ‘banning’ spotted dick). Each article makes it difficult for anyone to tackle racism without instantly being dismissed as a ‘PC zealot’ or part of some big evil plot to overthrow the white man and replace him with women with covered heads.

I’m not a PC zealot, I’m just a person who believes that it really isn’t acceptable to refer to someone as a ‘paki’ or ‘nigger’ and I really do not want you to use such terms in my presence. One day I might even grow a pair and challenge you, accepting that I’ll be seen as the bad guy in the situation, the one who is out of order and making things awkward. But, perhaps one day, I’ll be the outcast if I don’t stand up and say something. Now that will be the day when racism really can be discarded as no longer a real issue. Until then, headlines like we saw in the Express and Star today* will be acceptable to far too many people and rarely challenged in ‘polite’ conversations.


A blog post rounding up the best blog posts on this topic will follow.


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Mike Buckingham and racial purity, again

Last week I introduced you poor souls to Mike Buckingham, columnist for the South Wales Argus. His column argued that England’s early demise was due to the evils of multiculturalism and that Germany won because they are more racially pure. As if to hammer the point home he points to Nazi Germany as being the sort of society that understands what it is to have and maintain ‘superior values’. As it so happens I have managed to get hold of the South Wales Argus from June 2 and have been able to read another one of his wonderful columns, and guess what, he mentions his beloved Nazis again.

In this column Mike is worried that the Welsh Assembly is killing of ‘Cymraeg’, by pumping millions of pounds a year into promoting and forcing the Welsh language upon a largely disinterested population. He hasn’t got a problem with this, but, he is worried that the Welsh Assembly are a bit too inclusive and modernist for his liking:

In their imaginations… Wales is dreamt of as what they would no doubt call ‘a modern nation, looking towards the future but drawing upon its ancient traditions,’

Which sounds like a pretty decent vision, but not for Mike who worries:

Such a nation would, of course, be faultlessly multicultural.

It is not a Wales which accords with the wishes of the people who actually live here

I think he assumes that everyone in Wales is just as racist and backward as he is. It does, as always with Mike, get worse as he soon gets back to wishful romanticising about the racial purity of Nazi Germany. You see, Wales is currently quite pure and white according to Mike. Just look around the National Eisteddfod (the Welsh festival of literature, music and performance) he suggests, and look at how multicultural it is, because, he argues, ‘it is about as inclusive as a Nuremberg rally circa 1938’.

Is this a good thing or bad thing in Mike’s eyes? A good thing of course because:

Welsh is a rare and beautiful thing which flourishes on its own heath among its own people.

Expose it to the bastardisation and the stresses of modernity and it will die, as surely as a butterfly let loose in mid-winter.

As if to make it really, really clear what he means, check out the accompanying picture and caption:

Mike love his Nazis
Click to Enlarge

I can see there is a very good reason why Mike Buckingham’s body of ‘work’ isn’t online.


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Mike Buckingham: England team lost because a lack of racial purity

Yesterday I had the misfortune of glancing at an open copy of the South Wales Argus and was met with the bearded face of someone I had never heard of: Mike Buckingham. After reading it I searched online for some of his other ‘work’ and am now struggling to put into words what an ignorant, bigoted and face-palmingly stupid person he is.

His main column yesterday was a lengthy rant about being stuck in traffic for 3 hours on the M4, largely because the M4 around Newport is still in the process of being widened and people have been stuck in traffic for the last couple of years because of this. He whinges about getting tickets when parking on double yellow lines, and complains that the Ryder Cup will not bring any boost to the Welsh economy:

Five retards being hired to work in an electrical store for the purposes of chewing gum and occasionally shooting bored glances in the direction of confused customers without any clue as to what they are supposed to be selling seems nowadays to qualify as a ‘jobs boost’.

With a casual mention of gypsies tarmacking driveways we can see that Mike Buckingham isn’t surrendering to the PC brigade, but there is one thing he wants to surrender to: Nazi Germany.

Immigration and multiculturalism have been blamed before for England’s exit from the World Cup (rather than simply being a bit shit) but never in such stark racial terms as Buckingham manages:

HAD I not been minus four at the time I would have been for Chamberlain and his policy of appeasement before the last war.

The reason Germany thrashed England in the World Cup is that it is a better-organised society and one united around the idea of itself as a Northern European country with values which are superior to anybody else’s.

After rubbing my eyes and re-reading the above, yes, it still seemed clear that he is arguing that Germany’s success was based on racial and ideological purity, and given his clear reference to Chamberlain’s appeasement he seems to be directly praising Nazi Germany’s ‘superior values’. As if he wasn’t being clear enough at the start he then moves on to say:

This is where we were before multiculturalism fatally undermined England and its sense of identity and self-belief, and will as surely do the same to Wales.

The irony is that the current German football team draws its strength from multiculturalism, as the press have made much of the origins of a few of their best players. Of course, the point being that until the recent changes to German citizenship rights these players could never have played for Germany. Certainly the Nazi’s obsession with obliterating Poland – they viewed the Polish as sub-human – would have made sure that ‘superior’ German values would have robbed the German team of superior players.

As with most columnists blaming the defeat on foreigners, immigration or multiculturalism, his argument is utterly ridiculous and relies on a string of badly worn stereotypes:

The Germans, in football as in all else, pick the best people for the job.

In Britain we pick the least worst, unless they happen to belong to an approved-of minority in which case we settle for the truly useless.

Again, Mike didn’t think this through, given that the German manager, in picking the best players for the German team, has neglected racial purity and selected players born in Poland and so on. Furthermore, I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that the England team is made up of ethnic minorities picked merely to fill a quota, so this point has nothing to do with his main argument and is simply a way of saying that any ethnic minority employed in Britain is ‘truly useless’ and only employed because of the colour of their skin or ethnicity.

The South Wales Argus pays this piece of shit a salary.

Mike rounds off his six paragraphs of astonishing racism with another sly bit of praise for Germany’s supposed racial purity:

Germany is what we were and, largely because of the inclusion and equality ethos of the last 40 years reaching its acme under the last government, may never be again.

So, Mike’s basic message is absolutely crystal clear: equality and inclusion is bad; Nazi Germany’s superior values and racial purity (and the millions killed in pursuit of this) is good – and what we should aspire to return to.

Having Googled Mike Buckingham I can bring some of his other views. Like his thoughts on the Haiti earthquake:

since the mid-80s over £10 billion has been given to the country in aid with £900 million in 2008 alone.

These phenomenal sums should have made the island into a paradise, leaving the locals free to do nothing more than slit the throats of chickens in voodoo sacrifices and wait for the next tsunami of dollars to hit them.

Yet the country is a basket-case…

There is however, a solution.

As they are now people should be free to give money to Haiti, or to tsunami victims or any other cause that strikes them as being worthy.

But, they should be informed by the proper reporting of events and our government should not send one solitary halfpenny unless the donation can be seen to be of benefit to us in foreign policy, economic or military terms.

That sounds heartless. But I do not pay the Government to have feelings on my behalf.

Both the prime minister and Mr Cameron have said they will protect the £7.8 billion aid budget paid for out of our taxes. That is stupid.

The reason has little to do with human empathy and a lot to do with reinforcing the notion that people from blighted places are perpetual victims – usually because the imaged evils of capitalism or colonialism have made them so – and thus should be placated by huge amounts of dosh making any effort on their parts unneccesary.

On the Swiss banning minarets from their country:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a country saying that it does not want more Muslims within its borders.

If Switzerland were to close its borders to those of that religion and repatriate every Muslim not legally dwelling there we would have to say that it was a matter for the Swiss and the Swiss alone.

I suppose there must have been something a bit daft about the Muslims otherwise they wouldn’t have wanted to get into Switzerland in the first place…

But to deny people legally resident in the country the outward symbols of their religious belief is mean-spirited and priggish and in a word, Swiss.

Switzerland is a dreary little country which an 19th century British politician once described as ‘an inferior sort of Scotland’.

The cities are architecturally boring and if deprived of their pretty dusting of snow would be no more attractive than Lodz, Lepizig or one of the other central European places with a ‘z’ in it.

Its not as they couldn’t do with a couple of minarets and a mosque dome or two to brighten the place up.

I do not buy South African products if I can help it because the post-Apartheid regime is every bit as wicked as that which preceded it.

I buy petrol at Texaco station when I possibly can since that company supported Franco in the Spanish civil war.

But what sanctions can I take against Switzerland that doesn’t seem to do or make anything?

Sadly the rest of his racist drivel doesn’t appear to be online – probably because of the negative comments under the Haiti article about why the Argus publishes such racist tripe. I can see I’ll have to keep an eye on this twat, though I am not sure my sanity can take much more of this shit.


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Reporting in ‘good faith’, again

The Daily Mail have jumped on some figures obtained by the Daily Telegraph from the Metropolitan Police on black crime statistics: ‘Black men ‘to blame for most violent city crime’… but they’re also the victims‘. As with most Daily Mail journalism this article – from Rebecca Camber – is a copy-and-paste job from the Daily Telegraph article and makes the following claims:

The majority of violent inner-city crime is committed by black men, police figures suggest…

Police hold black men responsible for more than two-thirds of shootings and more than half of robberies and street crimes in London, according to figures released by Scotland Yard.

The Daily Mail then goes onto detail – the same as the Telegraph article – the percentages involved. However, what the Daily Mail fails to include is the caveat printed at the very end of the Telegraph article:

The figures relate to those “proceeded against”.

This includes those prosecuted in court, whether convicted or acquitted; those issued with a caution, warning or penalty notice; those the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge; and those whose crimes were “taken into consideration” after a further offence.

As well as missing out this valid counterpoint:

“Just because the police treat black men as more criminal than white men, it does not mean that they are.” Simon Woolley, speaking as the director of the Operation Black Vote pressure group, but who is also a commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Although the charge rates for some criminal acts amongst black men are high, black people are more than twice as likely to have their cases dismissed, suggesting unfairness in the system.”

Seems odd to these such important contextual points out, I mean, given that Daily Mail journalists claim to be ‘reporting in good faith‘.

The comments, by the way, under the Mail article are pretty soul destroying with explicit racism in spades, even though the comments have been moderated in advance.

Mike Phelps

I know that Tabloid Watch has already covered this, but I’ll just stick this picture here to prove to any doubters just what a shit rag the Daily Mail is:

Daily Mail letter
Click to Enlarge

And also point out the heading that the Daily Mail decided to add: ‘Now here’s an idea’, which is essentially stamping an big seal of approval on the letter. Another suggestion to help Mike and other concerned Daily Mail readers avoid having to watch awful foreigners and black people on their TV is that they could turn off the TV or stab themselves in both eyes with a fork.

I’d even be willing to pay for the forks.

Are the Daily Mail Really Suggesting…?

Some of you might be thinking that I’m reading too much into the latest Daily Mail advert, but bear with me here. Imagine that you’re an advertising executive and you’ve been approached by the Daily Mail to produce an advert that gets people excited about a bit of quality journalism. They want some nice video images, accompanied by a lovely heartwarming soundtrack and some captions.

So far, so good.

So, first shot you want something to go with the caption: ‘Discover Daily’. OK, lots of possibilities for this one, but you – as the advertising hotshot – settle for the lovely sequence of a orange flower opening into full bloom. Not exactly original or groundbreaking, but hey, this is only the Daily Mail we’re advertising. Fair enough, I kind of get your choice here.

Next up, the caption: ‘Enrage Daily’, obviously any marketing executive might be scratching their head over this one: why would anyone want to buy a product to be enraged on a daily basis? However, we all know that people do buy the Mail for this purpose, so let’s just get on with choosing an appropriate shot. In the end you settle for a sequence of a lighthouse being battered by a huge wave – a little cliched, granted, the ‘raging’ ocean and all that, but I can see why you chose it.

Next up, a charming caption: ‘Love Daily’, perhaps a little odd following the ambition to ‘Enrage Daily’, but let’s ignore that for now. Loads of choices here, but you settle for a man walking a heart shape into the snow whilst his adoring lady-friend (it is a Daily Mail advert so I should probably make clear that they MUST BE MARRIED or something) watches on. OK, a nice sequence this, perfectly heartwarming and I totally get what you’re saying.

Next up, the caption: ‘Believe Daily’, an inspiring caption and one that could be illustrated in loads of ways. So what are you going to settle on? Oh, you’ve selected a sequence of a black man – wearing nothing but a loin cloth – bungee jumping on the end of some vines / rope. It gets worse, his ankles seem to be bound to a piece of wood and his arms seem to be bound together at the wrists by some rope. He just misses being smashed head first into the ground and then the caption fades in: ‘Believe Daily’.

Am I the only one to think that this is all a little bit messed up? Of all the sequences you could have picked to match the caption ‘Believe Daily’ you’ve gone and picked the one of a bound black man looking like your stereotypical savage nearly having his head smashed into the ground. Am I alone in thinking that the Daily Mail really don’t do subtle, or you as the advertising executive are actually taking the piss out of the Daily Mail here? I mean, I really fail to see the justification for using this sequence to match the caption ‘Believe Daily’, I just don’t see it.

You decide:

swinging_from_a_rope_small

beleive_small

Pick the face that fits

There are two very unsavoury rape stories currently on the Daily Mail website. The first story is this: ‘Boy, 13, who raped woman in front of his friends is jailed for just three years… because he said ‘sorry'”. The second story is this: ‘First picture of teenager who sexually assaulted girl, 9, while on bail for raping 10-year-old‘.

Clearly, both stories are horrific and you would expect the Daily Mail to cover them and for readers to assume that this is more evidence of New Labour’s Broken Britain. You would also assume that both stories would have equal news value, although one story deals with a very young perpetrator, the other deals with the equally shocking aspect of the terribly young ages of the victims. However, one story makes the lead story of the Mail website, whilst the other story only makes a mention over half-way down the page – half the size and below the story: ‘Living in Laa-Laa land? Man United star Gary Neville unveils plans for £8m ‘Teletubby’ eco-bunker built into a hillside’.

I think this can be explained when you realise that both of these awful stories are accompanied by a photograph of the perpetrators:

top_story

not_as_important

Naturally the white faced rapist is the one who doesn’t make it halfway up the Daily Mail website – ironically he is placed next to another white faced sex offender. The brown faced rapist makes the lead story.

The Daily Mail face of crime

The teenager who poured bleach over a woman in a revenge attack for being told to be quiet in the cinema has had their photo released to journalists. Here is the photo:

teenager

Here are some of the comments on the Daily Mail article:

Diversity is our strength. Isn’t it?

– George S, Crawley UK, 11/1/2010 15:52

he looks the type that will do it again–or worse-why dont we have decent law and order in this country–we pay plenty in taxes

– tony, scotland, 11/1/2010 15:36

Was this a racist crime, but not mentioned, I wonder why???

– alan, weybridge, 11/1/2010 15:17

looks like he has an IQ of about 3

– Peter Woods, Torre Chianca, 11/1/2010 15:01

Well, well, well. Surprise, surprise.

– Robert, London, 11/1/2010 14:34

No criticism, please, This is one of those for whom we have to be effusively grateful that he is in our country. Obviously the poor lad was engaging in a mere childish prank, and this – I’m happy to say – has been reflected in his sentence.
ps Hope some of you out there understand irony, or I’m sunk

– William, Devon, UK, 11/1/2010 14:11

If I say what I think I’ll be accused of being “racist” even though I’m NOT and I’ll just be telling it as it is.

– Steve, Elche Alicante, 11/1/2010 13:30

Immigration at its finest once again.

– Steve, Bangkok, 11/1/2010 13:26

This is ignoring the huge amount of comments wanting the ‘Birch’ brought back, the comments demanding ‘it’ be ‘put down’ and the numerous comments caring ‘not one jot about his upbringing’.

There are two main adverts on this page: T M Lewin (clothing) and Aviva (Insurance). I have contacted both of them with a link to this page to see whether they approve of their adverts being placed next to such racist comments.

I am not in anyway condoning the actions of this individual, but a person’s actions can never justify racism (which is judging the whole ethnic group by the behaviour of a minority). Nor am I naive enough to believe that the upbringing hasn’t had a significant bearing on this teenager’s behaviour. I appreciate the Mail and its readers will dismiss this view as loony-liberalism but in my experience working with young people on a daily basis (and through knowing a bit about Sociology and Psychology) people are a direct product of the environment in which they are raised in. This is why we see a large amount of crime on poverty ridden housing estates for example – something the Daily Mail would back up with its view of the working classes – for commenters to then turn around and say that childhood had no influence on this person’s behaviour seems hypocritical at best.

This is not offering an excuse for the teenager, it is merely to point out just because I may have been brought up to respect others and know right from wrong, I am not assuming everyone else has been as lucky as me – something Daily Mail readers don’t seem to consider.