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Saturday, December 13, 2008 

Weekend links.

Before we get started, the Sun's clearly decided not to just leave it to the commenters on the their articles to justify the murder of paedophiles:

THE former wife of a child-sex beast who was hacked to death and his genitals mutilated declared last night: “He’s had what was coming to him.”

The mum poured out her hatred for Andrew Cunningham after a mob left the 52-year-old in a pool of blood.

Branding him “pure, cold evil”, she insisted: “No one should feel sorry for him.

“I know mob justice is wrong but he caused a lot of innocent kids a lot of unimaginable pain.”

I know it's wrong but no one should feel sorry for him. Even when this happens:

His daughter aged 22 — one of five sisters taken into care as youngsters — told how her father physically abused her and said she had wished him dead.

But even she was chilled by his savage murder.


She was left terrified yesterday after vigilantes attacked HER home.

The paper corrects their claim yesterday that Cunningham had raped a 13-year-old, without, naturally, admitting they had made a mistake. They also carry Sara Payne's denunciation, predictably, whilst telling everyone not to have any sympathy for him and that even his ex-wife thinks he deserved to die. Notably, the comments are also still open, with the same congratulatory mob in evidence, while strangely on "Dying dad is beaten to death", they're closed.

Elsewhere, the story of the weekend is undoubtedly the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest verdict. The Heresiarch and Lenin provide the blogging responses, while Harriet Wistrich in the Groan and Deborah Orr in the Indie tackle it in the broads. Most virulent response though was undoubtedly from the Indie's leader column, calling it [R]eckless, incompetent and lethal policing. For me, a letter in the Guardian says it all:

Princess Diana, killed in a car crash - unlawful killing. Six passengers and four crew killed when a man drives his Land Rover off the M62 on to the Selby rail line - unlawful killing. Man throws his son from the roof of a Greek hotel - unlawful killing. A UK soldier is killed in Iraq when a US pilot opens fire on him - unlawful killing. BBC journalist Kate Peyton shot - unlawful killing. Two policemen shoot an innocent man seven times in the head on a train in front of witness who say no warning was given - not unlawful killing. Could someone please explain?

Dan Tanzey
Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire

To which you could add baby dies after social services fails to protect him. Within three weeks a report has apportioned blame, the social workers have been suspended and the woman in charge has been sacked. In the de Menezes case, no one accepts any blame or even that they did anything wrong, the officers are back on duty, and one of those in charge on the day has been promoted. If only Sharon Shoesmith had personally pumped 7 bullets into Baby P's head maybe she'd still be in a job.

Elsewhere, not to blow my own horn or anything, but there's my latest post on the Sun Lies involving the Sun's payments to a man who provided them with the video of Amy Winehouse supposedly smoking crack, who has just been jailed for two years for providing the drugs. Brendan O'Neill asks which part of no doesn't the EU understand, Paul Linford comments on Peter Mandelson and the Euro, Dave Semple examines the Barclay brothers throwing their toys out of the pram, anticant castigates Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Tom Griffin reports on the Met's latest tactics involving demonstrations, Matthew Parris rather optimistically suggests the Tories' hands-off message might work given time, while Lynne Featherstone, who lost my respect over her involvement in the Baby P case has rather amusingly been criticised for calling out the fire brigade to deal with her boiler.

Finally, Brenda Almond takes the award for worst tabloid comment piece of the weekend for her why-oh-whying in the Mail over who will defend the family over the "liberal establishment's onslaught".

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