An e-mail showing a man being decapitated has resulted in 140 Hertfordshire police officers and civilian staff being disciplined.
The e-mail is supposed to have originated in the USA:
The e-mail, originating from the US, shows a black man being decapitated on railings after a pursuit by police.
The next bit seems to be a major non-sequitur:
A senior officer said the image could be perceived as racist and offensive.
The series of images, which show the pursued man being decapitated after jumping from a flyover, is entitled "Do not run from the police".
The objection seems to be based on the fact that the poor man was black:
Eight police sergeants were given formal reprimands and seven civilian supervisors received final written warnings for distributing the message...
Deputy Chief Constable Simon Ash said: "I am disappointed by the conduct of officers and staff who distributed this inappropriate image that some people may have perceived as being racist."
OK? It may have been perceived as being racist.
President of the Black Police Association Keith Jarrett said disciplinary action should have gone further.
"I don't think a robust enough sanction has been taken against the officers concerned, especially the supervisory ones," he said."It is, at best, disrespectful to the black people that live in Hertfordshire."
Now that, I really don't understand: why? Why just Hertfordshire? What is it, whisper it, at worst?
Disrepectful to the people in New Hampshire?
What am I missing here? What have the damn MSM failed to tell us?
I can see the objection that the man (a thief?) should not have his disjecta membra used as some sort of trivialised object lesson - although this is the modern way. Die, for example, of an overdose and your mother agrees to a picture of your corpse being used in anti-drugs advertisements for, I hasten to add, the best of motives. I personally think that it is objectionable to use the picture of someone who died by misadventure for any purpose, unless their family have agreed to it. But that doesn't seem to be the issue. The issue is (or is it?) just that he's black.
The only explanation that I can advance (and I strongly suspect that it's the right one) is that it's the old (well, relatively new) `it's all about perceptions' ploy: if I feel harassed then I have been. If I feel victimised, then I have been. If I feel it's racist to show a picture of a dead black fugitive, then it is.
What no-one seems to question, is whether it's feasible to run a society on this basis.
For what it's worth, I have a simple answer to the question. We know it's possible to run a society on this basis, because Stalin did. Orwell re-interpreted it in 1984.
What we have here is clearly a nasty case of thought crime.
Get used to it. Britain's full of it now.
UPDATE: I have now tracked down a blog post from Rivrdog containing the photos. I don't recommend looking at them, they're unpleasant (and I wish I hadn't).