Sunday, May 26, 2013

BBC goofs over the Woolwich killing

With minutes to go before the BBC News at Six I was told by a senior Whitehall source that the incident was being treated as a suspected terrorist incident and being taken very seriously indeed. This information changed the news from a crime story to something of more significance. The police had, I was told, described the attackers as being "of Muslim appearance" and shouting "Allahu Akbar". On air I directly quoted a senior Whitehall source saying that the police had used that description.

That phrase "of Muslim appearance" clearly offended some who demanded to know what it could possibly mean. Others were concerned that it was a racist generalisation.


The constipated language used by police seems to be the problem here.  To police a woman is a "female person".  But they tripped themselves up with this as there is plainly no such thing as a Muslim appearance.  There are all sorts of Muslims. 

But the BBC guy should have picked it up.  Why didn't he?  I suspect that both the police and the BBC were trying to avoid saying the obvious:  "Of African appearance".  In the service of political correctness they made ninnies out of themselves.

Whitehall is the London street where most government offices are located.  It is therefore a metonym for "The government".

Woolwich is an area of London with extensive military connections


Anonymous said...

Britain is a dying nation, one that is being strangled to death because of it's obsession with political correctness. I'm sure, once the radical Muslims take full control of the nation rather than simply controlling major parts of it, all this will be settled. Nothing cures PC obsession as well as a sharp sword.

Anonymous said...

Why does 12:50 single out Britain for such generalizations? All western countries are in the equivalent situation, including 12:50's I suspect (USA presumably), where s/he has a "breaking news" media-eye view of current events in other countries, if not his/her own).

stinky said...

there is plainly no such thing as a Muslim appearance

I must respectfully disagree, JJR. There is indeed a "look," much as there is a gangbanger look or a Hasidic Jew look, to a certain "Muslim" appearance.

It is not certain, if you see a person with this look, that he (or she, if she is wearing a burqa) is Muslim. But the odds are very high indeed.

Members of a group like to display their membership in ways both subtle and gross and many Muslims are no exception to this tendency. Anecdotal evidence of false positives and false negatives, while true, does not eliminate the statistical reality.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:49 said...
"Why does 12:50 single out Britain for such generalizations?"

Maybe it's because Britain is the most glaring example of PC'ization in the western world?

Anonymous said...

2:34 - and yet PC-ism all started in the USA - where so much else that corrupts popular western culture today (not least public health).