Thursday, August 4, 2011

Are you listening, Jimmy Wales? Yes, anti-Scottish racism is possible - and you have the word of an English court for that.

I must admit that I'm really, really impressed that a postman has been convicted by an English court of racially-aggravated criminal damage for calling Andy Murray a "useless Jock" in graffiti.  The usual complacent response if we complain about that kind of insult is that we need to locate our sense of humour, and of course the bizarre excuse for allowing Anne Robinson to get away with an anti-Welsh diatribe on TV was that Wales' status as one of the four countries of the UK ought to give Welsh people a resilience that other ethnic minorities don't have.

Spare a thought tonight for one man, though - Jimmy Wales, the founder and dictator of Wikipedia.  In all likelihood, he's currently spinning round and round, muttering "does not compute, does not compute, does not compute".  After all, it's less than a year since he loftily assured us that anti-Scottish racism was literally impossible on the grounds that "Scots are not a race", and decreed that part of the Wiki biography of Baroness Deech must therefore be purged to reflect that 'fact' -

"It is not appropriate to term the comments 'racist' - particularly without a source, as Scots are not a race, and the remarks were purely political and not about Scots as an ethnic group at all. I remain unconvinced that this incident is of any importance whatsoever outside of a narrow portion of the blogosphere."

He then went on to claim that Deech's anti-Scottish remarks on Any Questions? had been a "joke" - and in all apparent seriousness cited as 'evidence' the fact that some of the English audience-members had laughed!

* * *

I was also amused to read the story of the Swedish man who was arrested for illegal possession of nuclear material, and for trying to split atoms in his kitchen -

"Handl, 31, said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Only later did he realise it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police."

The Kevin Baker Fan Club must be outraged by Handl's arrest, though - after all, we all know that it is far too dangerous for governments to have a monopoly on any weapon. We'd all be much, much safer if there were millions of private owners of nuclear material. And the idea that radioactive discharges would become more common is a myth - because of course if anyone was behaving irresponsibly, a good guy would soon nuke his house to snuff out the problem.

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