Sometimes, even the people who you expect to be offensive, provocative or downright ignorant can pull off breathtaking lapses of decency when you’d almost managed to forget they exist.
Then again, there are some people who are only known to those outside their (gradually widening, embarresedly shuffling) circle of friends because they said something idiotic on the telly or typed without due care and attention deficit on any one of a number of social-minefield networking sites.
And then there are the ones who seem to have made an entire career out of spouting ill-informed bigotry in the name of acting like a “man of the people, salt of the earth” kind of guy.
Which would be fine (well, maybe not fine) if they were doing it in a low-foreheaded, bulging-veined, eye-popping huddle in some smoke filed backstreet drinking club.
But they’re not are they?
Oh no, they’re doing it in public, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and of course, on TV.
The only trouble is, I don’t think that they realise it half the time.
Not that they’re doing it, nobody could be as wantonly unpleasant as some of these misanthropic morons can be by mistake, but that other people might be watching.
Take UKIP clown-in-chief Nigel Farage, a man so cringingly, excruciatingly out of touch with reality that on a recent visit to Bulgaria he compared the notorious former communist party headquarters in Sofia to the European Commission offices in Brussels, and also seemed genuinely astonished that, despite his best efforts to apparently promote the idea, there weren’t hoards of eager economic migrants queueing up at the passport office, desperate to get on with the important business of invading Britain.
Indeed, the Bulgarians he met gave every indication of wanting to stay put, complaining that our weather was crap, and anyway they were rather fond of their homeland thank you very much.
If you can peer through your fingers for long enough you can watch the report on his visit, courtesy of Channel 4 News, in all its toe-curling glory right here.
(Make sure you watch the part with the interview on a Bulgarian chat show)
And then there’s the latest in a long line of UKIP contenders for Adam Pain’s Golden Face Palms, the reprehensible shit-weasel that is Godfrey Bloom, who not content with (or more likely, taking advantage of) the controversy surrounding his reference to all-parts-ethnic as Bongo Bongo land, has now waded into the feminist debating arena, saying that it should be possible for employers to sack women if they become pregnant and claiming that they are more suited to finding mustard in the pantry, and should leave complicated things like driving to men.
And just in case you might be thinking “Steady on, that’s a bit strong, he’s probably just misunderstood”, here’s another C4 News clip, tackling him on his possibly unwise use of ever so slightly racist language.
But it seems that the best and easiest way to get both feet into your mouth is by using micro-blogging, life-commentary-obsessives’ favourite site, Twitter.
Whether it’s high profile, arch political glamour-puss, Sally Bercow making ill-advised (and, oops, libelous) remarks about a certain fat man with glasses (I’m not getting any more specific than that, you can’t be too careful) or a simple case of an ordinary citizen venting their frustration about poor service – a 55 year old typist posted a ranting tweet about a company that was late paying their bill and now faces a £100,000 lawsuit – it’s just too easy to hit that send button before you get a chance to engage your brain.
I’d like to say that I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve got to say that, given his record for obnoxious pronouncements, on balance I shan’t be doing so in regard to the delightful Nick Griffin, of right wing troglodytes the BNP, and his latest triumph of Internet diplomacy.
When challenged on Twitter by a gay, Manchester-born Pakistani man about why he was making racist and homophobic comments concerning the gentleman’s possible fatal stoning should he travel to the land of his fathers, due to their alleged intractable position on same-sex relationships, Griffin became increasingly disparaging, finally describing him as a “hysterical little poof”.
In the interest of balance, I’m sure Nick would like a platform from which to express himself, but fortunately i choose how to portray him here (that’ll be like the bigoted twat he is then) so here is his victorious appearance on the BBC political discussion show, Question Time in full.
Prepare to shout at the screen and/or start swearing…
Now I don’t know about you, but if I was sitting in a pub near someone vomiting out this sort of crap to anyone that would listen, I’d make pretty damn sure that everyone knew I wasn’t anything to do with them, let alone trying to I imagine the sort of monumental disregard for normal human decency it takes to say stuff like that in public.
And yet none of these paragons of public service appear to have the remotest compunction about spewing their bilious opinions into the gutter of the information superhighway, and even have the gall to be surprised when the world at large takes offence.
Although in a recent development it seems as though Nigel Farage has finally lost the confidence of his party, saying that he’s going to take a step back from politics, to enable him to “get a grip” apparently.
About fucking time Nige, that’s all I can say.
Update – The excellent Adam Pain at A World Of Pain has written a response post to this little rant, which you can read here.