Steve Doughty: Dear black footballers…

Toughen up you big girls! Why are you whingeing about a bit of (alleged) racial abuse on the pitch? You do realise black players 20 years ago had it much worse 20 don’t you? As for this whole ‘kick racism out of football’ malarky it’s getting dead boring.

I paraphrase, but here are a few choice quotes from Steve Doughty today:

When we read about British footballers levelling complaints of racism against each other, it’s worth making the comparison with what passes as everyday behaviour in a nearby country we are often invited to admire.

Translated: let’s not take racism in British football seriously, because other countries are much worse.

the horrid and open abuse of the past is gone. When crowds pick on black players these days it is the exception, and the fact is quickly reported and condemned… Every club seems to be promoting a kick racism out of football campaign, beyond the point of boredom.

Translated: OK, so a couple of players claim to be have been racially abused, so what? Not like they get it all the time is it? Worse, even though racism isn’t that bad anymore the bloody clubs keep banging on about stopping racism all the bloody time. (Or, he might mean that football without racism is boring.)

I took my elderly mother to watch a game at Highbury for the last time before they knocked it down… In the second half Arsenal sent on an African forward called Kanu. Kanu could either be brilliant or spend all afternoon falling over the ball. On this occasion he kept falling over the ball. A youngish bloke sitting in front of us lost his temper after one particularly ludicrous pratfall and yelled, at the top of his voice, something about ‘you black b*****d’.

There was a terrible silence.

The bloke leaped up and wheeled round 180 degrees in the same movement, shoved his face straight in front of my mother’s, and said in firm and formal tones: ‘I’m terribly sorry about the racist comment.’

You could not imagine such a thing happening at a football match 30 years ago.

Hurrah, you see? Racists apologise politely to old ladies straight afterwords! Aren’t the blacks living in a dream world! This is wonderful progress:

Football reflects us all as it always did, and these days it’s both racist and not racist at the same time. Things may not be perfect but, at the end of the day, Gary, there are worse things to complain about.

Football, you see, reflects us all according to Steve Doughty which makes us all racist and not racist at the same time – by which he means we all complain about ‘black bastards’ but we do apologise straight afterwords if an old lady happens to be present.

I’m pretty sure Steve Doughty isn’t speaking for me here.

Anyway, he does make his message to black footballers clear right at the end – just in case they didn’t pick up on the vibes throughout the article:

So, Mr Evra and Mr Ferdinand, I know you feel insulted. But perhaps in this case you could just put up with it and get on with the game.

Another wonderful contribution to ‘Rightminds’ – Simon Heffer must be so proud.

The PCC is a joke

This week Paul Dacre went on the attack at the Leveson inquiry by defending the PCC against what he called ‘myths’. One such myth he wanted to tackle was that the PCC was a toothless regulator because they could not issue sanctions against newspapers for wrongdoing. Dacre argued – as he has before – that editors feel a great sense of shame at having to publish an adjudication:

[the myth is that] Editors regard adjudications as a slap on the wrist: They certainly don’t. They are genuine sanctions. I, and other editors, regard being obliged to publish an adjudication as a real act of shame.

This does seem odd, given that Paul Dacre chairs the Editor’s code of practice whilst simultaneously editing the most complained about newspaper in the United Kingdom. Dacre wasn’t alone in attacking any idea of having real press regulation, he was joined by Kelvin MacKenzie – infamous for his front page lies about Hillsborough for which he has never faced any fitting punishment for – who in his Mail column today shows just how seriously he takes the PCC:

gypsy flag
Click to enlarge

Isn’t it about time we had a form of press regulation that wasn’t simply a cheap joke to morally bankrupt columnists?

Peter Hitchens: Never knowingly out-crazied

It must be tough for the more established Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday stable of writers to feel special now that Rightminds has opened up the Mail website to huge torrents of baffling lunacy. They must look fondly back to the good old days when they knew their own brand of rabid, ignorant ramblings were the toast of the website and equally bovine readers could flock to their comments sections to heap praise upon them. Alternatively, they just embrace the change by ramping up their own lunacy to try and stay one step ahead of the new breed of moronic babblers.

Peter Hitchens – posting his normal weekly drivel today – certainly seems up for the challenge of competing. Whilst James Delingpole started brightly today with his assertion that ‘the BBC fell for a Marxist plot to destroy civilisation from within’ simply because presenters use CE and BCE as well as AD and BC, Hitchens has fought back with this:

Mr Cameron is far closer to Mr Clegg than he is to his own voters.

He loves being manacled to him, and much prefers Coalition to governing alone.

Mr Clegg helps David Cameron ensure that the Government remains pro-EU, pro-crime, anti-education, pro-tax, politically correct and pro-immigration.

The coalition government is ‘pro-crime’ – and, worse than this the government ‘remains’ pro-crime, so that must mean New Labour were also ‘pro-crime’.

‘pro-crime’. And yet Peter Hitchens sometimes seems shocked when people point out to him that he’s more than just a bit dim, really, underneath his attempts at eloquence and his condescending manner. Wasn’t this the government that was determined to make an example of anyone involved in the riots, handing down severe sentences including a 4-year term for someone who posted messages on Facebook. That’s a real pro-crime agenda right there.

It’s a wonderful technique, employed by Peter here and used by so many of his fellow ‘Rightminds’ writers, to simply list things like this as if they are so self-evident they require no further explanation. Yes, the government is somehow ‘anti-education’. Peter doesn’t tell us why, he doesn’t need to, ironically, because fans of his work are the kind of dumbed-down ‘tell-us-what-to-think-please’ idiots that are presumably a product of the nation’s education system since way before the coalition or New Labour came to power.

‘The sick internet craze of “trolling””

The Daily Mail has today published a ‘Special investigation’ (I think this term might simply mean ‘not copied and pasted from news agency’) ‘into the distress of grieving families caused by the sick internet craze of “trolling”‘.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail website has collected its own ‘trolls’ and publishing a column for them today is one Kelvin MacKenzie. You might remember him, he was the Sun editor who decided to go with the following headline after Hillsborough:

According to a very well referenced and tightly edited Wikipedia page:

The story accompanying these headlines claimed that “drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims” and “police officers, firemen and ambulance crew were punched, kicked and urinated upon”. A quotation, attributed to an unnamed policeman, claimed a dead girl had been “abused”, and that Liverpool fans were “openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead”.

It was complete rubbish, rather like The Sun in general, and although MacKenzie made an half-hearted apology in 1993 he since took this back stating in 2006:

I was not sorry then and I’m not sorry now.

He also refused to apologise on Question Time in 2007. The Sun issued an apology ‘without reservation’ in 2004.

Just to make matters even more hypocritical, MacKenzie ends his collection of assorted dross today with this:

Don’t know about you, but the regular stories about burglars being killed by home-owners are cheering me up no end. Do you think our Justice Minister might make it mandatory?

Rightminds, where the ‘sick’ Internet trolls get paid.

RightMinds

I imagine a lot of people over the years have often thought about what should be done with the Daily Mail’s collection of columnists – most of the suggestions are probably not fit to print, not least because you might end up having the lawyers set on you. The Daily Mail has seemingly had the same thought and has decided that their hard-working team of opinionated, fact-free trolls deserve their own special section on the Mail website – presumably so you can completely skip past any danger of encountering any reals news and instead head straight to the blustering bullshit contained within ‘RightMinds’.

‘RightMinds’. Does this mean that they are right about everything, or that they are all right-wing, or both? How long did it take to come up with this name, and what other names were discarded along the way I wonder?

Anyway, perhaps it was launched on a Tuesday because that is the first day of the week in which Richard Littlejohn shits out a column – which is definitely right-wing, but very rarely actually ‘right’ about anything – and his effort is given pride of place in the new section. It’s almost as if the Mail website is secretly wanting to inform you that although this is indeed a brand new section, it is full of the same tired old crap you used to get dotted around the main website.

Littlejohn celebrates his new online home by writing about someone recently deceased – who, of course, can’t sue him. The headline – it seems to me – starts off on dodgy ground: ‘Mark Duggan’s funeral evoked memories of old-school gangsters, but where’s the romance in stealing charity bags from doorsteps?’. This kind of sounds like Mark Duggan was guilty of stealing charity bags, when in fact what Littlejohn does in his column is basically mourn for the loss of ‘proper’ gangsters like the Kray twins, the great train robbers and people who pulled off bank jobs with sawn-off shotguns because they had skill and guts whereas the modern criminal nicks clothes being left on doorsteps for charities to collect. There is no suggestion at any point that Mark Duggan used to steal charity bags, but this doesn’t stop the Mail Online sub of using this troubling headline anyway.

Headline aside, yes Richard really is glorifying the Great train robbers and other armed criminals – even though he claims he isn’t (the classic ‘I’m not… but’):

You can tell a great deal about a nation from the quality of its crime. Britain used to boast some of the finest armed robbers in the world.

It took a lot more bottle to go across the cobbles with a sawn-off Purdey than it does to sell crack cocaine outside the school gates.

Hijacking Securicor vans demands more courage and meticulous planning than kicking in the front of Currys and legging it with a flat‑screen TV.

This isn’t in any way to attempt to justify the activities of the old‑school crooks. But there was undeniably more romance about blagging and bank raids.

The Great Train Robbery was like a military operation, carried out with immense precision and chutzpah. The robbers may have been violent criminals but they captured the imagination.

It says an awful lot about the Daily Mail’s constant need to romanticise the past that although they constantly bemoan crime, gangs and lenient judges one of their star columnists can happily glorify armed, violent criminal gangs just because they existed in this magical age before too many immigrants arrived in the UK and political correctness had been invented. Anyway, not content with wistfully harking back to the Kray twins (who do seem to have had an awful lot of mentions in Littlejohn’s columns down the years) Richard also finds time to mock modern London and the diversity-gone-mad organisers of the Olympic Games:

What do you do if you are approached by a man in a dress, asking the way to the toilets? Apart from burst out laughing, that is.

If you are a volunteer at next year’s Olympics, you are told: ‘Do not make an assumption about their gender unless directed by their name.

‘If you are asked, provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets.’

Try to ignore the bit where he suggests anyone seeing a man in a dress just has to ‘burst out laughing’ and focus on the answer that the leaflet suggests the volunteer provides. OK, got that? It’s not difficult: ‘Do not make an assumption about their gender unless directed by their name. If you are asked, provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets’. Littlejohn continues:

The obsession with ‘diversity’ even extends to the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, which have been designed to be ‘gender-neutral’.

So what do you do if one of them asks the way to the toilet?

Jesus, Richard! You just read the leaflet. You just ‘provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets’ and let them decide which is appropriate. I think the new section should be rebranded to ‘ShiteMinds’ – at least that covers the content and the writers.