Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

Trogger*

The Daily Wail is up in sanctimonious arms about a “notorious internet troll” they have exposed.  Why is the Wail’s blood up?  Because uncompromising blogger Old Holborn verbally slaughtered a couple of sacred cows that no one dare tell bad taste jokes about.  And it caused the twatterati to descend into a frenzied virtual lynch party.

This is the face of one of Britain’s most notorious internet trolls.

As his alter ego Old Holborn, Robert Ambridge is responsible for a series of vile and offensive Twitter posts that have brought him death threats.

Apparently death threats are not as vile and offensive as taking the micturation out of a taboo subject.

Thousands were outraged when Ambridge, who appears on his Twitter page with his identity disguised by a plastic pig mask, tweeted about the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. He posted a picture of two overweight women and claimed ‘this is what crushed the 96’.

Whereas the millions who have never heard of OH and are too busy having a life to tweet probably couldn’t give a stuff.

Moral outrage.  The most persistent bane of our post normal society.  A dangerous threat to free speech.  Is OH offensive?  I’d say yes, having read his blog on and off over the years.  Sometimes I agree with what he says and on other occasions I think he’s a git.  I wouldn’t issue a death threat to shut him up though no matter how offensive his remarks.  Nor would I be insisting that “something must be done” to silence him.  If he wants to be a git making gittish remarks designed to annoy authoritarian gits then that’s his prerogative.

Ambridge, 51, a recruitment consultant and father of six from Braintree, Essex, also made disgusting comments about the murder of James Bulger which deeply upset his mother. But an unrepentant Ambridge claims people who are offended by his comments have only themselves to blame.

Yes, being offended on the behalf of someone you’ve never met has become a full time sport for the perpetually affronted brigade.  My reaction?  OH is being a controversial git gleefully poking what he knows is going to be a hornets nest to provoke a reaction.  The adult thing to do, if you are offended by him, is ignore him, not give him the oxygen of publicity.  But it seems we are not dealing with adults and that includes the journalists and the police.

‘It is not my responsibility what other people find upsetting. I didn’t target anyone. I didn’t send an email. They chose to read what I wrote. If they don’t like it, they should turn it off. I don’t care what people find offensive.’

Because making crass remarks might be offensive to those prone to outrageous bouts of herd apoplexy but it is not an offence in law.   It certainly isn’t a hound ‘em and flog ‘em out of gainful employment offence.  Oh wait, yes it is.  People have the right not to be offended.  By anyone or anything.  Anywhere or at any time.  And the authorities will be there to mollycoddle wounded feelings and take names.  All in the name of social inclusivity and clamping down on naughtiness to make the world a better place for everyone who is happy being a touchy-feely herdthink drone.

Justifying his tweet about Hillsborough, he added: ‘This is dark humour. People might not like my humour but I think it is funny and it gets a chuckle.’

So where is all the outrage about taking the mickey out of fat people?  Don’t they deserve to be treated with sensitivity?  Well no, because it is socially acceptable to believe that all fat people are greedy and stupid and deserve all the derision they get even when they don’t. Unlike Merseyside’s tragically deceased they aren’t a protected species when it comes to verbal abuse or offensive jokes.  Either everyone is a target or none at all.  I’ll settle for everyone because none at all is a tyranny.

This week, the self-proclaimed ‘satirical terrorist’ will seek to justify his vitriolic internet posts in an ITV documentary called Fear And Loathing Online.

Well yes, OH can be quite loathsome when he puts his mind to it.  However the only fear in this particular Wail story comes from the death threats of the morally outraged.  OH hasn’t actually threatened anyone, merely piddled them off.  Not the same thing.  So how come he’s the only pariah in town right now?  Have the thousands of column inches dedicated to our not bombing Assad being wrong, wrong wrong, finally run out of steam?

Ambridge agreed to be filmed without his pig mask, although his face was not shown. But The Mail on  Sunday traced Ambridge to his dilapidated Victorian home in Braintree.

Matthew Hopkins journalism at its most odious.  I’ll assume that howling mobs, pitchforks and flaming torches were optional extras not available on expenses.

With an appearance more akin to Coronation Street’s hapless cafe owner Roy Cropper than a cutting-edge satirist, he initially denied he was Old Holborn.

So what is a “cutting-edge satirist” supposed to look like?  And who wrote the benchmark specifications for the physical appearance of one?  Fatuous journalism at its most infantile.

But later, speaking at the wheel of his battered Toyota vehicle, gap-toothed Ambridge said: ‘I am there to upset the apple cart. It is a form of entertainment. Trolling is like putting a fishing line in a shoal of fish and seeing what you can get.’

I can see a pattern building here.  It’s not just OH’s opinions that are low rent.  His dilapidated house, battered Toyota and crooked teeth are proof that the Wail is dealing with a lowlife scumbag who needs to be put in his place – six feet under if the Twatter mob get’s its way.  He hasn’t broken the law.  The fact that he’s overweight, white and middle aged isn’t a criminal offense although the Wail is trying to build a case on those shifting sands of stupidity.  He has six children.  So what?  I am led to believe he has worked hard to bring them up instead of relying on the state to do it.  That isn’t a crime either.

Ambridge worked for Alchemy Recruitment in Braintree until April, when he was first outed as a notorious online troll. Following his Hillsborough comments, people bombarded the firm with phone calls and threatened to burn down its offices.

OH is a blogger who stirs the smelly stuff with a big spoon and then muses upon the fruits of the fall-out.  He’s certainly not everyone’s cup of cha.  Internet trolls lead the unsuspecting into an ambush which isn’t OH’s modus operandi at all.  But then, given the inferior, poorly informed and lacking a shred of research dross that passes for journalism these days, I suppose the confusion is understandable.  After all the newfangled  blogging media has only been around for a decade and a half – give or take.  Not enough time for the legacy media to catch up.

However, the ancient practice of witch-hunting is alive and well in the twenty-first century.  Anyone associated with someone possessed of free speech a penchant for controversy an aversion to political correctness the Devil’s evil forked tongue and tail is fair game and must be purged for the good of society. Don’t you just love this popular resurgence of a deeply unsavoury hysterical historical custom?

An investigation was launched by Essex Police over tweets relating to the Boston bombing, as well as the Hillsborough disaster and the Bulger murder. Ambridge has since left the company.

So are they going to investigate everyone who believes OH is entitled to his opinion no matter what sacred cow he’s tipped?  Are they also going to investigate the death threat tweets and emails he and his former employer received?  If not, why not?  Or is it now legal and acceptable to put someone in fear of their life for upsetting the herd or because they employ someone who has?

Police said the CPS is considering whether to pursue a case of criminal communication through social media involving a 51-year-old man from Braintree.

Clearly there is a certain demographic that never found its way out of the infants playground.  It is not the job of the police to nurse bruised sensitivities and pander to the chronically indignant.  Their job is to investigate, arrest and charge actual criminals, not harass people who upset the mores of self-indulgent, social puritans. So OH caused offense with his crass and very black humour.  So what.  It’s not like he was caught red-handed molesting kiddies, drowning kittens or mugging old ladies for their bingo money.

I was disgusted by the people who happy-danced at a certain old lady’s funeral a few months back.  But they were entitled to do that. I was content to mutter “gits” at the TV screen.  I certainly wasn’t motivated to hunt them down and send them death threats on behalf of the bereaved family.  Nor do I expect the police to “investigate” the matter as a possible “hate” crime.  Yes there was hate.  A lot of it.  But was it a crime?  Hardly.

 

*  It seems the Wail doesn’t know the difference between a controversial, politically incorrect blogger and a troll, notorious or otherwise.  Hence, Trogger.

17 Comments

  1. Simon Jester says:

    “Police said the CPS is considering whether to pursue a case of criminal communication through social media involving a 51-year-old man from Braintree.”

    And that’s one of the reasons why I despise the filth. (Which law is he supposed to have broken, anyway?)

  2. Julie near Chicago says:

    “Twatterati.” :>)))!!!

  3. Ian Hills says:

    Spot the difference -

    The Mail backing Twitterati death threat makers.
    Cameron backing UAF thugs.

  4. “It’s not just OH’s opinions that are low rent. His dilapidated house…”

    Which, as many wags pointed out on Twitter, the ‘Mail’ unaccountably failed to value, for once!

  5. Lynne says:

    To quote one of my favourite bloggers (you know who you are Julia) SNORK!

  6. Mr Ed says:

    The law is the amended Malicious Communications Act 1988.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/section/1

  7. Lynne says:

    Which doesn’t seem to cover bad jokes not directly aimed at anyone in particular. Yet.

    Whereas the morons issuing the death threats and threats to destroy private property that are directly aimed at individuals are absolutely contravening the recently amended Malicious Communications Act 1988.

  8. Radical Rodent says:

    Yes, legal definitions of various wrong-doings can seem to be rather flexible. A few years ago, a village close to a farm operating entirely legally, if contentiously, was subjected to individual verbal and physical attacks to persons and property (including grave-robbing). Though the village was subjected for several months to what any sensible person would call “terror”, this was not terrorism. However, at about the same time, a government minister (Jack Straw) giving a speech at a party meeting was heckled by an elderly gentleman; said gentleman was promptly ejected by burly bouncers, and held for a while on terrorism charges.

    So, the law declares that people leaping about and chanting their joy at someone’s death is not “hate”, neither is threatening to attack and kill someone, their family, and their work colleagues, but applying dark humour to some of the many inanities of life is. Hmmm.

  9. Lynne says:

    Hammer, nail, squarely struck, Mr. Rodent. We can do without laws that are so politically partisan.

  10. NickM says:

    The thing that boggles me is that anyone takes OH seriously. He is a publicity cunt in perpetual motion. I have crossed swords with him many times (and other times thought he ha a fair point) but by and large thought him the poor relation to Obo. He’s merely a “hang ‘em and flog ‘em ‘Little Englander’” who we really don’t need. He also comes over as smug as fuck. Not all libertarians are smug and well minted. Some of us are not and some of us are in the creamy middles and some of us are rich as Creosote.

    The entire point of Libertarianism is not the sort of rampant individualism of OH but the rational individualism that makes everyone’s lives better. OH comes over as the sort of (allow me the Latin) Bellendius Maximus who…

    Well I believe that libertarians are about everyone being able to build their own ladder whereas OH seems to me the sort of bastard who would raise the ladder from the last Zeppelin out of town whilst twirling his V-faced moustache and jizzing over the side of the gondola. If that is possible.

    He is not what I wannabe sorted with. He simply prolongs the belief that libertarians are ladder pullers.

    Not that he should have his collar felt, mind. He’s just more to be laughed at than pitied.

    He can go round making a prize tit of himself till the rapture as far as I care just as long as we don’t lump ourselves with his vile twits.

  11. Lynne says:

    He can go round making a prize tit of himself till the rapture as far as I care just as long as we don’t lump ourselves with his vile twits.

    Which is precisely why I haven’t linked to the twattery in question. As far as I’m concerned this style of humour is lower than a louse on Chubby Brown’s beer gut. I despise Chubby Brown but I’m not outside the theatre each night waving a placard demanding he be sacked for being an offensive shitbag or wishing the bastard, his agent and the theatre staff dead. I know what his material is like (I was unfortunate enough to be at a party where they showed one of his DVDs) and it costs me precisely nothing to avoid it.

    Yet should there be a petition to ban his act you will never see any signature of mine on the document. He has a large following. He successfully earns his living maligning his fans in the most squalid way and they apparently lap it up. Who am I to say he shouldn’t do that. The same goes for OH. Yes he’s a tit. And more besides. Possessing a twisted sense of humour might be a crime against comedy but it doesn’t merit the demonisation we’ve seen in the Wail’s article and the Twattersphere. People should learn to grow a thick epidermis and ignore the bugger when he goes off the deep end of the antagonism pool. If no one paid him any attention he wouldn’t do it but idiots fall for it every time. I Scammelling abhor mindless herdthink more than I dislike some idiot spooking the herd with a big pointy insult.

  12. Sam Duncan says:

    Hear, hear, Nick. Especially your follow-up comment.

    Here’s the thing: as you say, the Mail, and the MSM in general, doesn’t have a clue what trolling actually is (that probably goes for most of the twatface horde too). Trolling is persistently offensive or exasperating posting (more usually the latter) to an existing forum that doesn’t appear intentional. A troll is either stupid, naïve, or very, very good at appearing to be those things, and the people who troll for kicks take great pride in their “acting” skills. Deliberate trolling is closer in character to prank calling than telling off-colour jokes.

    OH is not a troll. But being a git isn’t a crime either.

  13. NickM says:

    I’m a bit vague here Sam as to what you mean. I only commented once.

    Anyhoo. You right about trolling in every sense of your comment. You give me an idea. It’s a bit Godwin’s Law. Let’s state it like this.

    Every online discussion involving anything related to religion inevitable converges towards towards pointless mud-slinging with one side wittering on in a superior, Dawkensian way along the lines of “Well, if you must believe in Sky Fairies…”

    Dismal.

  14. Sam Duncan says:

    Yeah, that’s the one I meant. Following up on your original post, sort of thing.

  15. Sam Duncan says:

    Except I’ve just realised the OP was Lynne’s. Gah. I’ll go and sit in the corner, muttering.

  16. Radical Rodent says:

    Like him or loathe him, NickM, he will not threaten physical harm to you or your family for expressing your dislike of him. I tend to side with Lynne with her analogy with Chubby Brown – if you do not like him, you do not have to go to his shows. And, like Chubby Brown, OH remains on the stage of the theatre in which his presence is well-advertised. He does not go round, button-holing individuals and pouring his scorn upon them; he does not knock on doors to empty his opprobrium on the occupants when they answer; he does not threaten to or actually throw bricks through the windows or pour brake oil on the cars of those with whom he is in disagreement; nor threaten or actuate physical harm upon those who have upset him. Can many of the “offended” say that? Can the Daily Fail claim that they are not encouraging precisely that sort of activity?

    Wake up, children – offence cannot be given, it can only be taken.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: