During Kay Burley’s day-long vigil (waiting to see baby Sussex.) Someone asked, “Who will the baby look like?” (smirk smirk) A potential bear-trap, that. Well, might the baby have a bit of a funny tinge? No, no, didn’t mean that; but who could forget Waynetta Slob who wanted a ‘brahn baby” like everyone else. It’s humour, not proper racism. I bet that episode has been disappeared from YouTube.
You see, that’s the worst thing about Twitter. One minute you Tweet an edgy image of a chimpanzee, next minute you’re toast.
I have to say Adam Boulton looked suitably sheepish as he reported Danny Baker’s sacking just now.
I hate Facebook, (I think I might have mentioned that a couple of times already,) because people you used to like will keep plastering their ill-informed lefty political views all over it, typically with the arrogant, presumptuous, righteous certainty that everyone agrees with them. (Okay, too many adjectives.)
With Twitter, it’s a different story. I don’t - partly because I’d get myself into hot water as soon as I dipped my toe in, trying to be too clever by half, like Adam Boulton. His own Twitter blooper became as conspicuous as a very large elephant as he feigned disinterest while reporting Danny Baker-gate on Sky News.
Jewish News explains:
“Breakfast Show presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer immediately expressed her concern, writing: “What does that mean?
“Are you saying that Jews visiting London shouldn’t expect to walk around in an area heavily populated by Muslims and not be spat at? I hope not.”
In response, Boulton wrote: “No. @MrHarryCole asked what is happening to our country.
“I was gently suggesting that the offending individuals may not be from here and that it is not a typical area.”
To which, Hartley-Brewer replied: “Ah, ok. Fair enough. But while they may not have been born here, many of those people will live here.”
Following further criticism, Boulton tweeted: “You enjoy your outrage and distortions of what I said. I’m interested in thinking about what is happening here.”
Sky News declined to comment.”
Well, that just goes to show what a minefield is Twitter. So, whose side are you on? Did Boulton mean: the Jew was asking for it by venturing into a notoriously Muslim area?
Or did he mean: I’m highlighting the fact that there are actual no-go areas?
This Twitterstorm in a teacup brought to mind an Edgware Road-related piece I read in 2007 “So now I am a racist Ape.” by Carol Gould. I stumbled upon her website when I first realised the computer could be used for something other than emails. Writers like Ms Gould articulated stuff that had been at the back of my mind all my life. (The rest is history.)
“Recently I went into a well-known coffee chain in Edgware Road near Marble Arch. As I waited to be served I noticed the café was crowded but that I was the only female customer. Men in various permutations of Middle Eastern garb, including several in full head-to-toe keffiyah and robe, stared at me.
When I sat down and opened my bottle of apple juice I noticed it was fizzing. I called the server over and told her that the juice had fermented. ‘No -- English’ she said, throwing her arms up in despair. Another server came over and asked me what the problem seemed to be. I told her the juice had fermented and that they needed to check their fridge. She looked at the other woman and they shrugged.
I have to confess I have a short fuse about non-English people populating what seems to be 99 % of every job in London and the Home Counties. I am spoilt because in recent years I have been to the USA several times and marvel at the stupendous service provided by young college students and other Americans who possess perfect English and are obliging beyond anyone’s expectations.
So, I became exasperated and said ‘Is there no-one working here who speaks English? This is Paddington - this is still a London neighbourhood.’
A well-dressed man came over and said ‘I speak English.’ I thought he was going to intervene on my behalf but instead came out with this astonishing observation:
‘You are a racist! You are a racist ape! Look at you-- you are an ape!’
Read it all. It’s an easy read.
Edgware Road should have a warning sign; suggest “Jew-free area” and silhouette of a you-know-who with a diagonal bar across.
Adam Boulton probably won’t be sacked, but he won’t have done himself a lot of good with both antisemites and Islamophobes. Two birds with one stone, so to speak,