Monday, 9 March 2009

It's The World's Greatest Newspaper, you know

Hey, y'know who I reckon have been given an easy ride for far too long? The little kids who didn't die in the Dunblane massacre! For thirteen years the media (perhaps troubled by the fact that the kids were five years old when Thomas Watt Hamilton walked into their school and shot 16 children and a teacher dead before turning the gun on himself), has let them get away with not acting in the way people who nearly got killed when they were five should act. Fortunately, thirteen years on these little bastards are 18 and it's now basically alright to name and shame them in the papers, as one brave journalist for the Scottish edition of the Daily Express has finally done in ANNIVERSARY SHAME OF DUNBLANE SURVIVORS. (Update 11/03/09: the article has been deleted; you can currently read a cached version here)

Step forward Paula Murray, courageously exposing the shame these teenagers are now bringing on, well, all of us, by carrying on like a right bunch of teenagers. Murray has broken the media's wall of silence to reveal some shocking truths:

A number of the youngsters, now 18, have posted shocking blogs and photographs of themselves on the Internet, 13 years after being sheltered from public view in the aftermath.
Thirteen years which clearly should have spent deep in self-flagellation, for having the audacity to have nearly (and in some cases actually) been shot as kids by a man with a selection of pistols and revolvers. Doesn't it just make your blood boil? Not the child-shooting, I mean, that was ages ago, I'm talking about the kids he failed to finish off:
But now the Sunday Express can reveal how, on their web-based social networking sites, some of them have boasted about alcoholic binges and fights.

For instance, Stewart Weir – who was hit by a single bullet and watched in horror as his classmates died – makes rude gestures in pictures he posted on his Bebo site, and boasts of drunken nights out.
I can hear the liberals moaning already. "But...but...what bearing should getting shot at by a man on a gun rampage at primary school have on how we view these apparently fairly standard Bebo activities, except perhaps to make us grateful that they've gone on to lead relatively normal lives?" they cry. Well, I don't know either, but if a Scottish hack for The World's Greatest Newspaper says it's bad, then buddy, you better believe it. I mean, rude gestures. Is there any real moral difference between this rude-gesturing teen scumbag and the man who opened fire in a school, murdering sixteen kids? It would be splitting hairs really. It gets worse, if you can imagine such a thing;
The social network site of Mark Mullan is equally eloquent as he states he is “up fur anyhin”. On his biography he asks to be called “God” and says he lives “fur the weekend, that sounds so sad but am 18 so suck ma b*ws.”

He adds: “U’ll find one in Dunblane on a friday or saturday night staggerin about down the street or the hills, consumin BUCKFAST (its just good). If u dinny drink till u drop ur no drinkin.”

Mullan was named player of the year by Bannockburn Amateurs youth football team. He suffered major abdominal and pelvic injuries in the shooting.
Some people might scoff and say "a teenager boasting about drinking on the internet, big deal!", but those people forget that literally everything these people do for the rest of their lives must be viewed through the prism of them having bullets sprayed at them when they were five. Is it really appropriate for them to be drinking and trying to enjoy themselves a mere 156 months after an event they were probably too young to understand but will have to live with the rest of their lives?

It's easy to sneer at this story and dismiss it as vile gutter journalism of the most cowardly kind, but there are other factors to take into account. For one, these young men are behaving drunkenly like this in Scotland, a country famed for its sobriety and strong moral objections to drink; a nation where you'll struggle to see citizens enjoying anything stronger than an orange juice and a civilised discussion about quantitative easing on a night out. How awful it must be for Scots to find their teenagers besmirching their puritanical traditions in this way. Let me remind you again; these are kids that once got shot at! It's like they don't even understand that this event should utterly govern their lives for ever more, and that every drink they have is obviously an insult to the dead for some reason.

These kids should stop wasting their lives, and do something positive for a change instead of getting drunk and pissed up on booze. Why can't they do what Paula Murray did, and get a job trawling the internet for things she can use to attack the still-young surviving victims of horrendous acts of violence? Surely the world could use less aspiring youth footballers and more Paula Murrays; people who are prepared to look namby-pamby journalistic notions of 'acceptable targets' in the eye and say "No, I'm going to go after these drunken teenagers for having the temerity to not conduct themselves in the manner which I consider behooves the innocent victims of a past tragedy I fortunately wasn't involved in".

To those teenagers, I say this; put the Buckfast down and think about taking up crusading investigative journalism as a path to redemption. There are plenty more tragedies out there with potential! Okay, Ann Coulter is already bravely taking down the 9/11 widows, but I bet there are probably some babies damaged by the fallout from Chernobyl who don't comport themselves with sufficient decorum in 2009. What are the people who got rescued from the sinking ship during the Zeebrugge disaster up to these days? I bet some of them are a bit sweary. Be creative! With a few seconds on Wikipedia I just found out that three people survived getting wounded in the 2002 Washington sniper attacks; why not find out who they are and then start talking to their neighbours or digging around in their bins? Face it, whether you like it or not, nearly getting killed by a gun-toting madman brings with it certain responsibilties. You owe it to society now to live your lives as paragons of virtue, just like I do, and just like I can only assume the wonderful Paula Murray does. Her ingenuity should embarrass you:

After six years at the Record, Murray says her biggest challenge is learning the 'Sunday way'.

"It's tough to hold on to a good story [for Sunday] because there's the risk someone else in another publication will also get their hands on it," she told

You see? Faced with this seemingly insurmountable problem, she didn't moan, she didn't go out on the lash or use words like 'baws'. She took the professional option, and went for a story so utterly distasteful, so mind-fuckingly self-righteous and so jaw-droppingly morally repugnant that absolutely no other fucker in their right mind would think it was fit to even contemplate, let alone publish. Paula Murray, we salute you.

(Thanks to Anton at The Enemies Of Reason for pointing me to this one)

Update 11/03/09: see following entry here for a bit about the article getting deleted.


  1. beautifully written. hilarious and touching.
    honestly how can the express get away with writing such hurtful garbage?!
    wonderful blog.

  2. Great blog.
    Paula Murray and the Sunday Express should be ashamed. I suspect they will not have the decency to apologise unless forced so I hope that the PCC does it job.

  3. I adore your blog. I found a link to it regarding this story (which, by the way, I find the worst kind of 'journalism') and I've spent the last few hours reading your past entries. And laughing so much that my roommate had to keep asking me why - I've sent her the link, too.

    I love that you snark at the papers I detest the most - Dailies Mail and Express come top of my list. Someone has to take these papers to task for the utter tripe they print, and I'm glad you're doing it in such a witty and intelligent way.

    Keep it up!


  4. This is great and I do hope the Express does something else beyond pulling the story. I live in the US and the Dunblane Massacre isn't as well known over here. However, I would imagine mass outrage over a similar story about Columbine survivors.

    At some point, we the public (those of us with a modicum of decency and intelligence, that is) need to stop shaking our heads at tabloid journalism and start making them take responsibility for the lives they effect!

  5. Edit: Ahem, last sentence: *affect*

  6. Isn't tennis player Andy Murray a Dunblane survivor too? I'm surprised she doesn't complain about his failure to win things: "Come on Andy! Stop messing around, behave like a grateful survivor and make your country proud!"

  7. Well said, mate.