A couple of days ago I pulled my punches somewhat when I put forward my views about the Facebook page calling Raoul Moat a legend. It’s easy to sit here in my educated ivory tower and spake forth in a booming voice (probably saying “forsooth” a lot) about the stupidity of people that all the media assume are part of a so-called “underclass” posting to support Moat. We clutch our red correction pens, see badly constructed sentences and the language of bad text messaging, and instantly assume that the people writing the posts aren’t exactly clever. Frankly we instinctively believe that they’re bloody idiots, living on another planet. Then our consciences kick in, and we feel bad about coming to such an instant conclusion. In some cases, we’re being unfair. In others, however, our instincts were bang on, and maybe we shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about saying so. Anti-elitism has become more and more fashionable in the past few years, but maybe those who still believe in aspiration should kick back a bit harder.
Judging someone based on a couple of sentences on a Facebook page (no matter how ill-advised) is far from an exact science, but a full radio interview is something else. If you haven’t listened to the following clip featuring the woman who set up the infamous Facebook page, it’s an absolute must: a horrific insight into the minds of fools. The real sinking feeling, though, doesn’t come from her abhorrent, moronic views, but from the fact that she has two kids. I don’t know about you, but when I heard that, my face fell. I know the radio presenter sensed it too – the feeling of an inevitable cycle of ignorance. This interview raises fundamental questions about the course of society, questions far too complex to attempt to address late on a Friday night after a bottle of wine. But they’re there. If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely the sort of person who knows what they are. And someone, eventually, will have to bite the bullet and attempt to address them.