Freedom is often vicious and ugly – but it is still freedom

Five men have been arrested after a video showed a group of people laughing, cheering and mocking residents of Grenfell Tower while burning a cardboard effigy of the block of flats.

The “sickening” video, which was described by the Prime Minister as “utterly unacceptable”, was shared on the instant messaging service Whatsapp and appears to have been taken over the weekend.

Scotland Yard said on Monday they were investigating the video. The force said early on Tuesday that five men, aged 49, 19, 46, 55 and 49, had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

The group handed themselves in to a south London police station at 10pm on Monday, police said.

Posting on Twitter, Theresa May said: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”

It may well be socially unacceptable. Even rude, crude, disgusting and lots of other things.

But should it be illegal?

Free people possibly having the right to be unacceptable, rude, crude and disgusting?

105 comments on “Freedom is often vicious and ugly – but it is still freedom

  1. I note they have been arrested (after reporting in voluntarily) for a ‘public order offence’.

    I was interested in the lack of detail, because I was trying to work out how this actually was illegal.

    Agree it’s a pretty horrible thing to do. But criminal?

  2. Meanwhile an effigy of Boris Johnson was burnt on a bonfire in Lewes. That was different though. Because reasons.

  3. As I just said in the previous post where BiS posted that story: if you play Cards Against Humanity, watch out…

  4. Oblong: breach of the peace, or whatever it is called now.

    Roughly, behaving in a manner which is likely to get the shit kicked out of you.

  5. Yes, because Boris is, by his own choice, a public figure and we therefore expect him to react more calmly to ridicule and provocation than your average bod.

  6. BiG, so sharing a video in a private or near private space is more likely to cause widespread offence than publically burning an effigy? That needs more explanation

  7. Oblong,

    According to the Beeb:

    The men have been arrested under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986, which covers intentional “harassment, alarm or distress” caused via the use of “threatening, abusive or insulting” words or signs.

    Offences committed on a private residence where a person “had no reason to believe” it would be “heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling” are protected from prosecution under the act

    It appears the offence is not the act, in and of itself, but publishing on social media.

    Also the lack of detail seems odd.

    My guess is that a drunken prank got out of hand, which is why they handed themselves in.

    Not that that excuses it or should make it illegal.

    In other news involving bad laws:

    He told the Times: ‘It was an absolute classic. An elderly couple turned up at a petrol station and there was a woman who had filled up with petrol in front of them.

    ‘She was taking ages fiddling around and the lady who was driving, who was in her seventies, peeped on the horn and out flew an Afro-Caribbean lady who screamed abuse at them, went into the kiosk and reported it as a hate crime.’

    The police commissioner said that they were forced to investigate the elderly woman, who was ‘hugely upset’.

    The woman even wrote to Stansfeld asking him if he had recorded the case as a crime.

    The commissioner added: ‘She asked us to remove it but the law is such that once it’s on the books we cannot do so.’

  8. Considering the number of migrant con artists –pushing 20 now I believe–who have tried to cash in on the fire, who is really taking the piss?

    And if that tinpot tyrannical global-elite sucking slag Treason May is against it–enough said. Something always stinks in Gotham whenever her bad breath-expelling gob is working.

    Betraying the British people and their wishes is far more “unacceptable” than burning effigies on Guy Fawkes.

    Another traitor who DID get what was coming to him.

  9. @BiG: Once, adults were in charge. Now, I see no discernible difference between those in charge and ‘the average bod’.

    Once, we sneered at Third World mobs, rioting over their petty little slights, egged on by venal leaders. And now, we ARE that Third World, it seems.

  10. A question for anyone who understands all this nonsense:

    Person B hoots horn at Person A.

    Person A (purple, trans) accuses person B (yellow, confused) of a hate crime, ie A considers that B hooted their horn simply because A was purple and trans.

    B considers that A had no good reason for the accusation, as B only hooted horn to get A’s attention.

    B therefore comes to the conclusion that A only accused B because B was yellow and confused.

    Can B (far more reasonably than A) accuse A of a hate crime. B’s basis for the accusation is that A’s basis was clearly bollocks, and therefore by definition A’s only real reason for the accusation was some act of hate?

    B only needs to perceive this, and in which case the police MUST act. B’s justification is that A had no sound reason (in B’s view) for accusing B.

    I guess the question is: would the police be bound to act on B’s behalf, as they did 5 minutes earlier on A’s behalf, in that situation? And if not, why not?

  11. @PF: I guess it would depend on how many virtuesignalling celebs and so-called ‘authority figures’ felt moved to proclaim on social media about it.

    That seems to be what the Met (actually, all forces) takes as a sign these days.

  12. Henry,

    “BiND, if that elderly lady didn’t hate darkies before, I suspect she does now.”

    Indeed. All these laws that are meant to force us to rub along together are likely to cause even more division and resentment.

  13. It was a pretty disgusting joke, but not as disgusting as a country where people can be arrested for making jokes.

    Once, we sneered at Third World mobs, rioting over their petty little slights, egged on by venal leaders. And now, we ARE that Third World, it seems.

    Absolutely spot on Julia and how much I wish it wasn’t.

  14. Going back to the original post. When we saw the story on Sky last night and they said they wouldn’t show the video I commented that halve the population will now be looking for it.

    The Streisand effect is probably doing more harm to the community here than the original alleged offence.

  15. @PF: simple:

    If a white person is accused of a hate crime by a non white person then one occurred.

    If a non white person is accused of a hate crime by a white person, no crime occurred.

    If a non white person is accused of a hate crime by another non white person then the police shit themselves and pretend not to be listening (see the case of the the Egyptian girl who was attacked by a mob of black female thugs, and died as result of hitting her head on the pavement – her parents said it was a hate crime, but the police went out of their way to say that they had no evidence that it was).

  16. PF,

    I don’t understand this nonsense either.

    All I remember is a police blogger (might have been Nightjack?) being emphatic that you had to get your claim of “hate crime” in first, for whatever reason you could. It appears that it’s a winner-take-all game: there can only be one designated victim of wrongthink per confrontation.

    In fact it was Nightjack, and this is his “survival guide for decent people” (thank you Wayback Machine…)

    +++++
    Always get your complaint in first, even if it is you who started it and you who were in the wrong. If things have gone awry and you suspect the cops are going to be called, get your retaliation in first. Ring the cops and allege for all you are worth. If you can work a racist or homophobic slant into it so much the better.

    Make a counter allegation. Regardless of the facts, never let the other side be blameless. If they beat you to the phone, ring anyway and make a counter allegation against them. Again racism or homophobia are your friends. If you are not from a visible minority ethnic culture, may I suggest that that the phrase “You gay bastard” or similar is always useful. In extremis allege sexual assault. It gives us something to bargain with when getting the other person to drop their complaint on a quid-pro-quo basis.

    Actively complain about every officer and everything they do. Did they cuff you when they brought you in? Were they rude to you? Did they racially or homophobically abuse you? Didn’t get fed? Cell too cold? You are decent folk who don’t want to make a fuss but trust me, it pays to whinge and no matter how trivial and / or poorly founded your complaint there are people who will uncritically listen to you and try and prove the complaint on your behalf. Some of them are even police officers.

    Show no respect to the legal system or anybody working in it. You think that if you are a difficult, unpleasant, sneering, unco-operative and rude things will go badly for you and you will be in more trouble. No sirree Bob. It seems that in fact the worse you are, the easier things will go for you if, horror of horrors, you do end up convicted. Remember to fake a drink problem if you haven’t developed one as a result of dealing with us already. Magistrates and Judges do seem to like the idea that you are basically good but the naughty alcohol made you do it. They treat you better. Crazy I know but true.

    So there you go, basically anything you try and do because you are decent and straightforward hurts you badly. Act like an habitual, professional, lifestyle criminal and chances are you will walk away relatively unscathed. Copy the bad guys; it’s what they do for a living.
    ++++++

    Ten years on and nothing much seems to have improved…

  17. At this point, mightn’t it be a good idea to remind ourselves of the history behind Bonfire Night.
    The effigy being burned on the bonfire is that of a Catholic. A Catholic from a time when Catholics were an oppressed & persecuted minority in England. A Catholic who was tortured & would have been put to death by a particularly barbaric method if hadn’t taken his own life.There are, no doubt, Catholics who might find the celebration of this offensive
    So it’s quite hard to see the difference between burning Guy Fawkes & burning Grenfell Tower

  18. The police commissioner said that they were forced to investigate the elderly woman

    “Forced to”. Funny how they are not “forced to” investigate lots of other crimes. I wonder if they will prosecute the accuser for wasting police time? Can we “force” them to do that?

  19. @BiND,

    It appears the offence is not the act, in and of itself, but publishing on social media.

    If that was the case, surely the media outlets who shared it via social media in order to stoke up the outrage should also be in the dock.

  20. Its akin to mocking those who died in 7/11 or KK fire or military who died fighting for their country..there is absolutely no excuse and if there is a way for them to be prosecuted they should be..either that or a vigilante group will dish out there own form of justice..

  21. Guy Fawkes was no mere Catholic. (i) He was a Roman Catholic. (ii) He was a terrorist. (iii) He was a fucking fool; what sort of arsehole tries to blow up a King whose announced desire was to lessen the legal disabilities imposed on Roman Catholics ? (iv) He was a fucking, fucking fool; if the plot had succeeded presumably practically every Roman Catholic in England would have been murdered in revenge. After all, their noblemen wouldn’t have been able to protect them, having themselves been killed in the blast.

  22. I know their prices are horrendous, Jake, but didn’t realise anyone had actually died there. Unless it was of old age in the queue.

  23. It was so tasteless that I found it funny.

    As a 17th century Portuguese Jew living in the Low Countries once said: “All mirth is good”.

  24. Thanks for pointing out (i), dearieme. It’s the CofE that’s Catholic. The other lot are more catholic.

    Point is, is it criminal to burn fools.? Fucking or otherwise? In effigy or not?

  25. @jake burns: ’…akin to mocking those who died in 7/11 or KK fire or military who died fighting for their country…’

    Hardly. You get feted in the progrsssibe press for that.

  26. Agreed; ghastly behaviour but not criminal.
    It reminds me of a school-friend who unwisely attended a fancy dress party in June 1974 in a ripped shirt and a state of general dishevelment… as Mr Flixborough.

  27. Jason

    Interesting – even if it does run counter intuitively to the way most decent people might think / behave.

  28. Interesting to see how this story develops. FWIW I think the Home Office will want this shut down asap. The HO knows where the real guilt for Grenfell lies and it is very close to home. Parliament killed those people in Grenfell as surely as if they had poured petrol. The G word is a hot potato to be dropped lest anyone look at it too closely.

  29. @JuliaM (and MC):
    “Once, we sneered at Third World mobs, rioting over their petty little slights, egged on by venal leaders. And now, we ARE that Third World, it seems.”

    I wonder by what process that has come to pass?!

  30. @Jim – how so? It was managed by a tenant’s association which seems to have let the flats be run into the ground, little or no safety management?

  31. Was myself reported anonymously to a diversity officer recently at work for a joke and, although they were sympathetic I had a 10 minute conversation with them asking me not to make such jokes in future. I said fine, I would only speak to people in the complainer group on a strictly professional basis from now on. I don’t even say good morning to some of them anymore.

    The joke? Someone in our library dept sent round a group email saying we had a new technical book on a particular area of law and it had been placed on the library top shelf. I emailed round to say that as it had been consigned to the top shelf, I was inclined to take a look.

    I mean fvck me fvcking sideways with a barge pole.

  32. BF. Find one of the perma offended people when they’re alone (preferably the worst one of them) and you’re with a few like minded mates. Say a proper racist joke and wait for the call. Deny saying it and call in all your friends as witnesses. Then demand HR investigate the ‘disgusting slander’ that’s been made against you. It’s completely immoral I know… but the least that kind deserve.

    What do you think would happen? I reckon in most places HR would squrim and shit themselves, do nothing and hope it goes away.

  33. BF

    I mean fvck me fvcking sideways with a barge pole.

    That’s what happens when you employ diversity wonkettes.

  34. @JuliaM (and MC): & Lookers

    “Once, we sneered at Third World mobs, rioting over their petty little slights, egged on by venal leaders. And now, we ARE that Third World, it seems.”

    I wonder by what process that has come to pass?!

    Well one thing is clear.. People and culture aren’t interchangeable, despite how many times the wankers in the establishment lie to us that they are…

  35. D-J

    If I could find out who did it, I would try to engineer some career ending cock up for them.

    I am incandescent over this.

    ISP

    No concrete justification of an actual breach of our diversity policy was given (I suspect because there wasn’t one).

    Back to the Grenfell cretins, I imagine now their names are known, they may need police protection?

  36. A few hours ago I commented on this Telegraph article saying ‘How is this a crime?” The ‘likes’ quickly went up to 50+. Just checked now and its been reduced to 4. something nefarious is going on at the Telegraph.

    Another comment (not offensive at all) has disappeared without a trace.

  37. It reminds me of a school-friend who unwisely attended a fancy dress party in June 1974 in a ripped shirt and a state of general dishevelment… as Mr Flixborough.

    Snigger.

  38. Now you mention it, I went out in fancy dress about a week after 9/11 dressed as Osama bin Laden, with my mate as Yasser Arafat with toy grenades hanging off us.

  39. Our HR is shite with false accusations. Once I was called up because someone had said when in Vietnam I was arranging our factories to pick me up from the hotel at 10am (for a 2 hr dive in) insinuating i was getting pissed up everynight (yeah I was) and too hungover to get in on time (I wasn’t). Even the CEO got involved. I provided evidence I always was picked up at 6am to get started at the factory by 8, as i requested, and asked them to investigate the potential career ruining slander. They did fuck all although they were ready to bollock me for being unprofessional.

    I reckon most HR would do the same with false accusations of racism etc. They know what they’re ‘suppossed’ to go after and what would bring them more trouble than its worth. Decent people get screwed every time.

  40. Of course we know that if half the residents of Grenfell weren’t vibrant/illegal immigrants this would quickly fall down the memory hole. Look at the victims of the Manchester bombing – a few candles and verses of don’t look back in anger and they were consigned to history – but then again they were white and near the bottom of the victim hierarchy. In the shitholes half the Grenfell victims came from it would be Inshallah and a shrug of the shoulders. I suspect the professional grievance mongers were there as soon as the fire brigade appeared.

  41. “No concrete justification of an actual breach of our diversity policy was given ”

    The classic, you are guilty but we won’t say what crime has been committed. Kafka wrote a manual not a novel.

  42. Sick jokes were regarded as a safety valve, now they’re prosecutable! These blokes were too drunk to chuck in that sterling member of the residents committee, architect and MP, Emma Dent Coad and the slew of fraudsters who’ve grabbed all the benefits supposed for those who actually lived there. If they’d added them to the conflagration, the outrage police might find them harder to persecute.

  43. “It’s the CofE that’s Catholic. The other lot are more catholic.”

    The Orthodox Catholic Church – its official name – is catholic too. It is the catholic church from which the Roman Catholics flounced out in 1054.

  44. There are ordinary people and there are special people. If you are white British you are ordinary. Anything else, you’re probably special.

    Whatever the circumstances, whatever has happened, if you’re not special, you’re fucked. Simples.

    There’s an enormous amount of black gang warfare in London resulting in an appalling number of murders.

    If you’re an ordinary Plod and try to stop that, everyone in the whole world will call you a fascist racist bastard and ruin your life.

    Problem solved.

    And so it goes.

    Just watch the Tories elect Saj when May goes up to the Lords. And if Mac and Jez think they will continue to rule Labour they’re more stupid than is humanly possible. (All white people are racist, fascists and despicable.. Now just do what I say…)

    Excuse me while I disentrain.

  45. @ Flubber – I wonder if politicians are so stupid they listen to estate agents?

    ‘Location, location, location’ – ie merely transporting an illiterate peasant out of a backwards and violent culture and placing him in 1st world civilisation will cause him to soak it up and become a right-on, law-abiding liberal.

    Culture is a bit more sticky than that. Or, ferals gotta feral.

  46. “I suspect the professional grievance mongers were there as soon as the fire brigade appeared.”

    That would be Jizza. Followed by the Fish Faced Cow.

    Jizz, incidentally, has displayed zero interest in the equal numbers of food protesters shot dead in Venez by socialist thugs armed by his pal Maduro. In a country he labelled a socialist success.

    Until that became so obvious a lie the he no longer talks about the place at all.

  47. The Mail has named them, and helpfully provided enough photographic evidence of their house that it’s location won’t stay secret for long.

    Here’s a prediction for you. These people will be more harshly punished than anyone will be for actually causing the Grenfell disaster.

  48. Also, how sure are we that Guido Fawkes was guilty?

    The Gunpowder Plot was retarded if your goal was to implement evil Catholic theocracy / restore the One True Faith (delete as appropriate).

    1) Blow up Parliament (in the least efficient and most easily interrupted manner possible)
    2) ???
    3) Pot-pourri!

    But it was rather useful to the powers that be at the time, rather like the Zimmerman telegram or the dodgy dossier.

    Also, we are generally suspicious of confessions obtained via torture.

    I’m not saying Fawkes was the Dr. David Kelly of his day, but I’m not not saying that either. Olden thymes deep staters were every bit as cunning as their 21st century counterparts – see, for example, Sir Francis Walsingham

  49. Steve is correct.
    Various supporters of the Bishop of Rome try to imply that supporters of the reform movement led by a German monk are heretics by referring to themselves as “Catholics” and to “Protestants” as “non-Catholics”

  50. Bravefart, that’s just appalling. My response to HR would have been a two word answer. I received a complaint via my line manager that someone had taken umbrage to some wording I used in an email a while back. As the complainant didn’t have the balls to take it up with me directly I told my line manger that the complainant could just shove it up his arse. My line manager agreed.

    We had an email the other day saying that a lady’s ring had been found in the ladies’ restroom. It did take an inordinate amount of willpower to not respond with “well, where else would you expect to find one?”

  51. Arthur Brown still around? I did buy his album back in the day. His version of ‘I Put a Spell on You’ is one of the better ones.

  52. Steve

    “Did they fill it with black jelly babies or nah?”

    Handling black jelly babies is hazardous: they steal your wristwatch.

  53. Bravefart

    “I emailed round to say that as it had been consigned to the top shelf, I was inclined to take a look….No concrete justification of an actual breach of our diversity policy was given (I suspect because there wasn’t one).”

    I understand your incandescence!! Just don’t show it. Let the dust settle. Make oblique enquiries, possibly via allies, about the identity of your accuser. Then bide your time and strike…

    Once, a female underling complained to a (lesbian) HR power skirt that I was a bullying manager. I had full records of her under-performance, but she was treated as the victim. I maintained she was a liar and fundamentally dishonest. Several of my other staff supported me (majority female, as she wasn’t popular). She demanded I apologise; I refused. Endless meetings, emails and threats followed.

    Meanwhile, I placed my accuser under discreet surveillance. We caught her defrauding the company. She was summarily dismissed. I demanded that HR remove her discredited accusation from my file. They refused to answer my emails. I found another job…

    Good luck, BraveFart!

  54. Worked somewhere and was dragged off a project one day when one of the senior managers complained to my boss I made her feel ‘uncomfortable’ and she couldn’t work with me, turns out this was a standard ploy she used to get rid of male staff who wouldn’t let her get her way. Directors were all shit scared to have it escalate to HR when I complained it was effectively slander.

  55. Congratulations to Ljh for formulating an admirable slogan:

    Sick jokes were regarded as a safety valve, now they’re prosecutable!

    Repeat everywhere!

  56. “I suspect the professional grievance mongers were there as soon as the fire brigade appeared.”

    That would be Jizza. Followed by the Fish Faced Cow.

    I loathe her, but you are wrong here. FFC’s first response was muted, if you recall. She arrived too late for the grievance-mongers, though.

  57. ” FFC’s first response was muted, if you recall. ”

    That is a stupid BluLabourite virtue-signaller who didn’t know how to play it once Grandpa Death stole an unexpected march on her.

    Once her “wits”–BWWAAHHAHAWA—came back from their short and panicked holiday the free credit card handout sounds like something she would have approved personally–tho’ likely didn’t think of.

    Which is one more of many reasons that the SCS–the Deep State in the flesh– need their mass “Appointment in Ubfortrymara” a s a p.

  58. So we agree your initial statement was false, Ecksy. That’s fine: no need to burst another blood vessel.

  59. They had some relative (or maybe not) of some of the victims (or maybe they weren’t) on TV explaining how shocked and traumatised he was by the Grenfell bonfire fire shocking trauma.

    You could almost hear how traumatised he was.

    An extra £5,000 compensation traumatised.

  60. “it was rather useful to the powers that be at the time, rather like the Zimmerman telegram or the dodgy dossier.”

    You’ve got that arse-about-face. The Z telegram was real – the blithering idiot admitted it himself.

  61. @stewgreen, Nov 5, 2018 at 8:31 PM

    I hope MET Police are treating the public burning of Trump & BoJo as more serious crimes and investigating compared to what’s done in someone’s back garden.

    The backgarden cry-babies should step back and think “why” people feel driven to do this. It’s a typical British humour reaction to being patronised & insulted.

    Meanwhile, Bit of a headscratcher

    150 families still have no homes after Grenfell Fire

    – erm …. whut? – there were only 120 flats

    Replies are terrific

  62. “Sick jokes were regarded as a safety valve, now they’re prosecutable! ”

    Sick jokes are safety valves for those directly involved in stressful incidents, they are not a safety valve for of a bunch of louts 5 months later. They still shouldn’t be prosecutable.

    Anyway, according to Channel 4 news one of them has committed a far worse crime – he had a flagpole with an England flag in his garden.

  63. Compare the police response and reaction to actual death threats and vandalism made to a Turkey farm that just started a pick your Christmas turkey thing

  64. “I loathe her, but you are wrong here. FFC’s first response was muted, if you recall. She arrived too late for the grievance-mongers, though.”

    Its a difficult one. The last thing the emergency teams need is a PM or any other VIP arriving whilst they are battling to get a difficult situation under control. Meanwhile our 24 hour news cycle expects the PM to be at their beck and call 24 hours a day to respond to whatever they imagine to be the most important thing that’s every happened, since last time the most important thing that’s ever happened, happened. Usually less than 24 hours earlier.

  65. @Steve T, November 6, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    @Jim – “Parliament killed those people in Grenfell” – how so?

    Three words:
    1. Blair

    2. Greens
    3. EU

  66. One would surmise the rise in housing need from 120 to 150 families reflects the quite normal increase in accommodation requirements amongst immigrant communities over a 12 month period. Son marries pregnant cousin bride from Pakistan. Dependent daughter & six children reunited with parents from Somalia, already living with son, daughters-in-law & 8 kids. Husband acquired on short holiday in Turkey. And his dependent parents….
    If you are intending to repopulate the UK with the entire third world, before the end of the century, you need to get a move on. Exponential numbers will be your saviour, though.

  67. Theo – Yarp. But counterfactual historical theories make me happy (I’m also fond of the Shakespeare Earl of Oxford one).

    A modern court would probably let poor Guido off, though that probably doesn’t say much good about modern courts.

    Dearieme – That’s what they WANT you to think.

  68. Pcar – bad news for the Jews of Pittsburgh, that. I understand they’ve been waiting for the Norton West branch of the Stockton North constituency Labour Party to weigh in with an emergency motion on their recent tragedy.

  69. Grievance monger/virtue signaller pretty much the same thing Theo. My blood vessels doing excellent well btw.

    Stilling smarting about my calling out your failed and soon-to-be-history shower of a party?

    Tories=Treason Organised Right In England’s Shires.

  70. Assumed it was either a fishing expedition to find something more serious to pin on them or the usual the process is the punishment routine, likely a combination of both reasons.

  71. Sgt Wilson [looks at ceiling, scratches behind ear]:
    Oh, how unfortunate sir, “…I understand they’ve been waiting for the Norton West branch of the Stockton North constituency Labour Party to weigh in with an emergency motion on their recent tragedy.”

    Steve, no idea why, but your comment caused neurons to fire in the direction of an ancient Giles:

    https://archive.cartoons.ac.uk/GetMultimedia.ashx?db=Catalog&type=default&fname=GAA273290.jpg

    Took some searching. You might need magnification. (not very exciting)

  72. “Sick jokes are safety valves for those directly involved in stressful incidents, they are not a safety valve for of a bunch of louts 5 months later.”

    I disagree, BiND. These types of safety valves are societal. All the seemingly endless handwringing around Grenfell (etc) while the rest of the country turns into a shit hole (especially for the likes of these oiks) is worthy of a good or bad piss-take.

  73. I don’t know about the Plod, but the fire brigade certainly still has plenty of gallows humour and a certain amount of sick joking from what I know of them (bosses wife is a full timer in a busy city), and a couple of my mates are retained).

    I suspect it doesn’t extend very far up the ranks, and obviously they are very good at turning it off while dealing with “customers”, but it’s definitely still there.

  74. PJF,

    Piss take is not a safety valve.it may be a bit of fun for those involved, it could even be a legitimate way of sending a message that you think an event has been taken too seriously, but it isn’t a safety valable in any sense I can see.

  75. As with the 9/11 disaster discussed above, cycles attach themselves to celebrities or national catastrophes such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the death of Michael Jackson, and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. These cycles arise regularly as a response to terrible unexpected events which command the national news. An in-depth analysis of the Challenger joke cycle documents a change in the type of humour circulated following the disaster, from February to March 1986. “It shows that the jokes appeared in distinct ‘waves’, the first responding to the disaster with clever wordplay and the second playing with grim and troubling images associated with the event…The primary social function of disaster jokes appears to be to provide closure to an event that provoked communal grieving, by signaling that it was time to move on and pay attention to more immediate concerns”.

    The above is an excerpt from:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke

  76. Thanx for that, Theo.
    There’s our lads’ defence to the Bonfire of the Insanities charges. Like us, they were deeply troubled by the Grenfell disaster & desperately needed “closure”. They can be national heroes by the end of the week. Thanks to them, we have all now achieved “closure”.
    Don’t you feel so much better?

  77. BiND, unfortunately we appear to be living a social experiment to find out. We were tolerant through the first immigrant invasions with Bernard Manning jokes permitted. Now we’ll see the alternative.

  78. @Theo:

    ” …..by signaling that it was time to move on and pay attention to more immediate concerns”.”

    That’s just what the grievence-industial complex doesn’t want.

  79. This thread must be heading for a unique status… Nearly a hundred comments without the “need for NiV”.. 🙂

  80. He’s moved over to Samizdata — De Havilland won’t let commenters cut up rough.

    NiV it seems is short for Nullius in Verba and that is what he is calling himself now that he has moved to what he thinks is upmarket.

    So far his pet themes don’t yet seem to have emerged over there tho’. Hardly fair. We have suffered enough of his verbal diarrhea–why shouldn’t others take some of the burden.

  81. BiS
    The psychobabble suggests an important truth – that jokes and pranks are a way of relieving anxiety and anger.

  82. “Various supporters of the Bishop of Rome try to imply that supporters of the reform movement led by a German monk are heretics…”

    Yes, the German monk, where would he be now, a member of Jezzas inner circle? He would certainly feel at home.

    He is one of the more repellant men found in our history books and he has plenty of competition.

  83. @ BiW
    Why on earth would he want to? He would have to give up his pension. Unless he is like the perennially unfortunate Clive in the “Alex” cartoon…

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