11 July, 2010


What did he expect them to say?

Richard Littlejohn is less than entirely impressed by the police's massive response to the late Raoul Moat's recent shooting spree both in terms of its own execution and when compared with what Littlejohn feels to be the criminal justice system's longer term failure to deal effectively with Moat's earlier history of offending and unacceptable behaviour.

I've no doubt we shall hear lots more on this from various quarters, but this jibe strikes me as unfair
At Press conference after Press conference, [Police spokesmen] psycho-babbled like any professor of sociology.

They inadvertently used the expression 'nutter' and had to say sorry, lest they had offended the nutter community.

A convicted child-beater and self-proclaimed bloody murderer was addressed obsequiously as 'Mister' Moat, and assumed to care about the offspring he liked to thump so hard that their teachers spotted the bruises.
I have no doubt that among themselves, the Old Bill were perfectly happy to describe Raoul Moat as a "nutter". And I would be surprised to learn that in private they used the honorific "Mister" routinely to refer to him.

But whether you refer to Moat as "a nutter" or, following the terminology of the various psychologists (psycho-babbling trick cyclists no doubt in Littlejohn-speak) who were consulted by the media, call him "a paranoid narcissist", the fact is that the Police were dealing with an armed madman teetering on the edge, at an unknown location and with ongoing access, so it would seem, to the Internet and to the broadcast media whose reporting he was apparently petulantly displeased with.

What would Mr Littlejohn have preferred Police spokesmen to say on air? "Look here, Moat, you feeble little scumbag, we're going to track you down eventually and when we catch you we're going to strip you naked, chop your bollocks off and leave you to bleed to death in the market square", perhaps? Very satisfying, I'm sure. But thus almost certainly tipping the bugger over the edge, causing him to make good on his threat to take out a few more innocent citizens before his inevitable demise. Mere collateral damage, of course.

There are times when it may be wiser to appease, even suck up to, the madman, to keep him stable and give him hope until you can relieve him of his weapon with as little damage as possible; after which you can insult him to your heart's content. This was one such occasion.

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Is this possible?

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