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December 08, 2011


 Luis Enrique

well, what I hope is that you are actually describing a minority here. If there are 60m relaxed individuals with a sense of perspective in this country and 10m hysterical offence-o-philes, that's enough to complain to the BBC in droves and maybe put Emma West at risk.

I also hope that people are soon going to realise that a fuss being made about something on twitter, or complaints being made etc. isn't newsworthy because it only goes to show that out of a few tens of millions of people, uptight prigs are plentiful and these people have a vastly disproportionate presence on social media, complaints forums etc.


Of all those, football fans taking offence at rude hand signs is always the most hilarious. The stuff you hear shouted at players off the terraces is unbelievable, the kind of thing that would get you a richly-deserved hiding if you shouted it in a pub.

 Luis Enrique

Imagine a community consisting of 9 sensible people and 1 idiot. At the moment the media in this country spend all their time reporting what the idiot thinks. Probably because it's more entertaining.


You do realise the daily mash is satire, right?

Philip Walker

I haven't clicked through, but The Mail presumably can't work out whether it likes suppressing speech or hates suppressing racists.


@ Jonny boy27 - Satire? It's the most accurate news service we have.
@ Luis - I'd like to think you're right. But I fear that the one noisy idiot might be the tip of an iceberg. And it is surely worrying that there are so few voices (esp in the meeja) telling people to just get a grip.

Ralph Musgrave

Perhaps the explanation is the collapse of Christianity combined with the fact, which is obvious from history, that human beings need a religion, or at least some strict set of rules. Amongst other things, this enables the pompous and the arrogant to play high priest, and lay down the law – when they aren’t molesting choirboys.

Tom Addison

Great post. I reckon a lot of it might be faux outrage as well, people pretending to be offended and shocked so they can show what caring and compassionate people they are, like how facebook turns into the National Grieving Competition whenever somebody dies.


Chris Dillow.
I want to buy your book but is nt it coming out in paperback yet?


The reaction to Joey Barton's comments is extraordinary & rather depressing. He didn't say "Suicides - selfish bastards, eh?" (which wouldn't be that far out in any case - a friend of mine who'd counselled would-be suicides said something very similar). He said: "Suicide is a mix of the most tragic, most selfish, most terrible (and I want to believe preventable) acts out there" Can't see a word I'd want to change.

Sam Langfield

excellent post


Thanks for those king words, everyone.
@ Justine - the book'll not be out in paperback; it sold almost nothing in hardback. You're not missing much.


No Fulham fans were offended by Suarez's finger. I'd be surprised if a single one complained. Amusing though the mash piece is.

By the diving perhaps.


I think Neil Warnock is now agreeing with you!

Uggs Boots

These events all tell us something sad about the British people - that many of us have become illiberal prigs, quick to take offence and to condemn. I suspect there are three related pathologies underlying this:

1. Narcissism. Events are interpreted through a me, me, me prism. They give us the opportunity to demonstrate our delicate sensibilities and our “moral compass.“ This approach excludes curiosity. It stops us asking: “why did s/he do that?” (The answers are, in order, because: he’s got a point; he’s got a book to sell; he’s been abused for the last hour; she’s probably mentally ill.) We are all newspaper columnists now - in the sense of having a self-absorbed moralistic incuriosity.

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