Some men and women are legends in journalism.

They are the ones with a “nose” for a story. Hard-bitten, often hard-drinking, they are the ones
who “just happened” to be there when the war started or the government fell – or the story first broke that the world would eventually know as “The Oldham Horror”

Extremists have been blamed after a cartoon featuring the prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban was put up in a housing office in Oldham.

Tim Blair is on the case.

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71 Responses to Some men and women are legends in journalism.

  1. Darwin Finch says:

    You don’t think they argue rules from exceptions, do you?


  2. Don says:

    Can we look forward to staff at this office being awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds for the trauma and stress involved in viewing the cartoon?


  3. archduke says:

    from the Tim Blair comments:

    “Please tell me this is satire.”

    if only.


  4. archduke says:

    another commenter , half-jokingly says

    “In time MI5?s executive arm Special Branch will become the coordinating centre of all British policing and liaise directly with Europol. ”

    trying it out in Northern Ireland first?


  5. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    what a lot of wankers we have at the BBC.


  6. gudone says:

    maybe Banksy (the graffiti terrorist) can start paint-stencilling the offending motoon on empty walls everywhere around the UK.
    the bbc wouldn’t know which way to twist … whether it would represent a “challenging” modern-art statement, or whether it would be imperialistic oppression of the muzslums.

    then again, Banksy … he’s probably a cringeing left-wing dhimmi twat, like the rest of the “avant-garde”.


  7. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    see “Nicholas Sarkozy”


  8. John says:

    ‘Extremists’ – wow! People who machine gun buses full of school children and hack the heads off helpless hostages in snuff videos get away with being labelled as ‘militants’. But the bbc knows when someone has overstepped the mark and gone that little bit too far into the realms of human depravity and pinned a cartoon on a noticeboard. These fascist, nazi, right-wing, racists are the true extremists in our mist and must be hunted down, prosecuted and punished without pity! Hanging is far too good for scum like this! Send them to the re-education camps/gulag immediately!


  9. Richy1524.3 says:


    You’ve got to laugh at this, especially when those that carried banners calling for the decapitation and slaughter of people in England were given such an easy ride by the bbc.


  10. boy blue says:

    Extremists have been blamed after a cartoon featuring the prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban was put up in a housing office in Oldham.

    Oh, the horror! Meanwhile with have real extremists marching through London carrying death threat placards protected by a phalanx of policemen.

    Oh sorry, my mistake, they are just muslim protestors.


  11. chevalier de st george says:

    The young offending pimpled faced extremist must be transferred to Red Kens re-education chambers under county Hall ( the BBC has run out of space), before being transferred to the gulags in the outer hebrides.
    More British flag burning ceremonies must be arranged throughout the land as tokens of national guilt over our racist imperialist past .
    The realistion that any outside culture is superior to our own must be drummed into all children and university students. Thus we will achieve the uberutopia of infinite multiculturistic enlightenment.


  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s not as bad as you think, guys… the Beeb might call the next person who pins up one of them momo cartoons a terrorist. Or would that be plumber???

    Sorry, I’m still feeling sick.


  13. disillusioned_german says:

    Oops, that was me… German bloke with a conscience (I hope)


  14. gordon-bennett says:

    I am going to start an online shop on ebay selling Danish, UK & US flags.

    As a promotional offer I shall be giving away a free tin of lighter fuel and a copy of the koran with each order of 10 or more flags.


  15. Sharpsuit says:

    “Rapid BBC growth ‘will wipe out dozens of commercial stations’

    “Dozens of commercial radio stations will face bankruptcy within the next 10 to 15 years if the Government does not put a stop to the rapid expansion of the BBC’s radio business, according to a report published today”.


  16. Rick says:

    Funny because the BNP is printing 500.000 leaflets with Mohammed The Bomb Boy ready for the Elections in May……………..are there enough walls ?


  17. Rick says:

    With its focus on an enabling rather than centralising government, the British idea of liberty gains new strength for this century, as the empowerment of each individual and the idea of responsibility come alive in new forms of active civic engagement.

    Who said this ?

    Gordon Bown “Guardian” 27 Feb 2006


  18. Cockney says:

    There’s a middle ground on this one which some of you more ‘enthusiastic’ chaps seem to have missed. If one wants to comment on, subject to satire or otherwise criticise Islam, homosexuality, ugliness, people from Essex etc etc etc in the public domain then that’s freedom of speech.

    When you’re at work however you have a professional obligation not to arbitrarily p*ss off your colleagues for no better reason than because you can – which seems to be the case here – this isn’t an intelligent discussion on the theological basis of Islam, it’s just someone being a pr*ck. If it was one of my team they’d be in serious trouble.

    Moralising off……it this worth police involvement and national coverage. Absolutely 100% not.


  19. Rick says:

    .it this worth police involvement

    Of course it is, the Police are legally compelled to investiate everu complaint……………

    Racial harassment is a hate crime.

    If you feel you are a victim of racial harassment, you can contact the police or any other agencies that can help you. Please view the ‘Useful contacts’ page in this section.

    If you are a victim of hate crime, we will send you a pack which will give you details of a police contact, information on the crime you reported and advice on getting support networks. We will also offer you support from partner agencies such as Victim Support.

    This information is translated in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Farsi, French, Kurdish, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Tamil and Turkish.

    What are homophobic crimes?

    Crimes which are mainly or partly motivated by animosity towards lesbians, gay men or bisexuals, and may include:

    * Verbal abuse and name calling.
    * Having your property defaced with anti-lesbian or anti-gay slogans.
    * Being robbed in the street or burgled at home.
    * Being attacked outside gay bars or other venues.
    * Rape or sexual assault.


  20. TAoL says:

    Cockney, indeed. This is not a newsworthy item, of course, and the BBC report is patently silly, talking as it does about hate crimes, racism et al.

    But the fact that this is deemed to be a ‘crime’ at all is appalling, and it has been largely caused by the pusillanimity of the media, police and political classes. A group of politically motivated Islamists has, through its machinations, ensured that these cartoons are taboo. Now, instead of treating depictions of Mohammad or any satirical comment on Islam as a source for debate, the BBC, police and government have agreed with these Islamist agitators. They have caved in.

    Where does it end? From now on, if an imam decides that something is ‘offensive’ and threatens any person or institution with death if he or it does not cater for this ‘taboo’, will the media and authorities simply bend over backwards?


  21. Natalie Solent says:


    I agree that whoever put it up in his/her workplace has nothing to complain about if caught and punished by his or her employers. When I was a teacher and I used to catch the brats writing and drawing offensive or provocative things I certainly didn’t hesitate to punish them.

    But I didn’t expect the incident to reach the national news.


  22. Rob says:

    Cockney & TAoL,

    Both very good points. You’re taking the piss by putting these cartoons up at work.

    If I were to put up a Danish flag and a copy of the pictures in my window, would I be commiting a ‘hate crime’? To be honest, I live in Bethnal Green and it would be the equivalent of signing my own death warrent, so I’m far too scared to display the pictures. However, if I wanted to, and the mob of plumbers didn’t get to me quickly enough, could the police bring a hate crime prosecution?


  23. Bryan says:


    …this isn’t an intelligent discussion on the theological basis of Islam…

    I beg to differ. Without wasting any words, the cartoonist caught the very essence of Islam.

    That’s intelligent enough for me.


  24. Ian Barnes says:


    Tessa is going down.

    Just better hope there’s no link to anyone else!? directly or indirectly ?

    Basically, an International lawyer with buckets of experience openly admits ‘lying’ when he is fully aware of procedure?

    Not acceptable. He’ll be going down.

    Question is whether Tessa will have to resign her post or be fired ?

    Are there any links from Tessa to the PM i ask with this cash? in little brown bags perhaps or off shore swiss bank accounts?

    Silvio and Tony are very good friends holidaying together regularly…one has to wonder??


  25. Ian Barnes says:

    Why not just privatise the BBC?


  26. archduke says:

    ian -> theres no only that – there’s also the slight-of-hand Enron style accounting that has government liabilities off the balance sheet too i.e. those PFI schemes.


  27. Lurker says:

    I sort of like Banksy (or rather his *ahem* work) but, yes, I fear he is just another leftie sticking it to The Man.


  28. Rob Read says:

    Ian Barnes,

    Why not mutualise it, and let the license fee(now subscribers) “own” it?

    An elected board. Properly independant.


  29. Epi-Me says:

    OT Julie Burchil on the state of it all…

    Straight Talk / For what we are, not what we do
    By Julie Burchill

    Well, they say you should be careful what you wish for in case you get it, and in the first week of February, I did. And oh, it was a mixed blessing and a half!

    For the past five years I have wished not to be vilified as a racist, a bigot and an Islamophobe every time I had the nerve to say that certain Muslims living in Britain hate Westerners, not because of what we do – the war in Iraq, support for Israel – but because of what we are: free. This freedom is so frightening to a certain sort of sexually frustrated Koran-basher that he will kill even his own sister or daughter if he believes her to be enjoying herself with the body God gave her – which is why the police in Britain are currently investigating more than 100 unsolved “honor killings” of young Muslim women.”


  30. Epi-Me says:

    Also a bit of balance, and it is very short “bit”:

    “Muslims ‘must accept’ free speech
    People must tolerate things they do not like, says Sir Trevor
    Muslims must accept that freedom of speech is central to Britishness and should be preserved even if it offends people, says Sir Trevor Phillips.”

    “”That we have an attachment to democracy, that we sort things out by voting not by violence and intimidation, that we tolerate things that we don’t like.”

    And that commitment to freedom of expression should also allow Muslim preachers to make comments about homosexuality that are offensive to broad segments of the British population, he said. “


  31. dumbcisco says:

    We often comment on the left-leaning tone of the Today programme. But several days a week we have only a short respite before Jenni Murray grinds away relentlessly with her Guardian views while hosting Women’s Hour. And of course she also chairs the Friday afternoon review of the media.

    Today she was constantly interrupting the author of a report on why women need better, wider employment opportunities by harping on “Surely if there was equal pay it would all be all right” – when the whole thrust of the report is that equal pay is NOT the answer, women need to have higher aspirations or better training to avoid being in low-paid jobs, especially if working part-time.

    The usual blinkered leftie view from Jenni. Why do we have to pay loads of money to have everything filtered/”chaired” by lefies – Today, Woman’s Hour, Question Time, etc ?


  32. Pete_London says:

    Cockney –

    When you’re at work however you have a professional obligation not to arbitrarily p*ss off your colleagues for no better reason than because you can …

    Great, so I can demand the removal of all those ‘Fair Trade’ posters depicting skinny Africans with endless strings of snot hanging out of their noses? Frankly if any employee of mine was pissed off with this cartoon appearing on the wall I’d invite them to look for a job elsewhere. Which way people jump on this issue says alot about them.


  33. Rick says:

    When will ALF take on halal slaughter and stand up for Porcine Rights ?


  34. Kulibar Tree says:

    A few years ago I was in charge of a stand at a book fair. One of our offerings was a first edition of The Satanic Verses, at £20. A customer asked if we might come down on the price. I said we couldn’t, but would throw in a bottle of lighter fuel and some matches.

    Ah, those innocent days.



  35. Thom Boston says:

    What’s with all the book burning?


  36. Susan says:

    It must be an odd experience to be a British policeman today. Imagine coming home to your wife and kiddies and sharing about your day:

    COP: Ah, it was a tough one today. The human depravity I see every day, sometimes it gets a bloke down.

    WIFE: Sorry to hear it, dear. What happened?

    COP: Well, first off we had to investigate a vicious Danish cartoon hanging. Terrible thing it was, but we dusted the thumbtack for prints and will get the lab results back tomorrow. We’ll catch the blighter, I’m sure of it.

    Next, we had to go downtown to arrest some crook for calling a police horse “gay”. What is the world coming to? People just don’t have any decency anymore.

    Then it was off to have a word with a renegade kindergarten teacher who was discovered to be secretly letting Muslim children read “Babe the Sheep-pig.

    To top it all off, we had to finish with a raid on some old lady who had ceramic pigs displayed on her windowsill. A nasty bit o’ work, that one was.

    WIFE: Well, I’m sorry to hear it. No wonder you are exhausted. It hasn’t been such a rosy time of it at home either today.

    COP: Really? What happened.

    WIFE: Well, the battered ex-wife down the street finally copped it from her abusive ex-husband. Broke in and stabber her and the three kiddies too with a kitchen knife. She tried to get police protection, but they said they couldn’t spare the manpower. A bit upsetting.

    COP: Ah, too bad. With budget cutbacks and all, we just can’t handle the minor crimes like we used to.


  37. Cockney says:

    Pete, if you’re the boss I’m sure you can put up and take down whatever you like. If the Free Trade posters are there to make a political point rather than requesting charity then as far as I’m concerned that shouldn’t be in the workplace either.

    Bravado aside, I suspect that if you’ve made it into a managerial position then you’re capable of putting aside your wider politics in the workplace and deep down can see the issue with someone doing something that has no practical benefit in the work context other than infuriating some colleagues.

    BTW – I can’t see the libertarian problem with the free trade ‘movement’. There’s a demand generated through some clever marketing and the stupidity of some consumers – someone is supplying it. Surely creating new markets is the driving force of capitalism whereas whinging about profitable business from an ideological perspective is its nemesis.


  38. Rob Read says:


    Lot’s of the “fair” trade fools want the third world to keep “tarrifs” on imports, i.e. lower their own population’s purchasing power and thus make them poorer.


  39. the_camp_commandant says:

    Boy blue,

    Oh, the horror! Meanwhile with have real extremists marching through London carrying death threat placards protected by a phalanx of policemen.

    Strictly speaking, al-BBC had this right. It is normal behaviour for a Muslim to march through London threatening death, and thus by Muslim standards that’s ‘protest’. It is not normal non-Muslim behaviour to deliberately cause offence to Muslims, so whoever stuck the cartoons up was an extremist.

    You have made the mistake al-BBC is careful to avoid: that of expecting Muslims to behave to the same standards as everyone else. Al-BBC never expects too much of Muslims, because it thinks they are just culturally backward, bloodthirsty mediaeval savages.


  40. Cockney says:


    Sorry – might be a terminology issue – I thought he meant the expensive chocolate and coffee.


  41. the_camp_commandant says:


    BTW – I can’t see the libertarian problem with the free trade ‘movement’.

    The problem with ‘fair trade’ is that some farmers are selected to receive a higher than normal market price for their produce, in the name of giving them more of its final value than would otherwise be the case.

    This simply encourages them to produce even more of it, because the price is attractively high. The market then of course becomes oversupplied – so those who don’t get the Fair Trade subsidy find their goods worth even less than before, because of the Fair Trade subsidy.

    The real mystery is why socialists approve of it. It is one of the very few examples one can point to where socialists’ economically illiterate assumption that all gain is at someone else’s expense is actually true.

    But then, I have long suspected that leftists do not actually believe anything they claim to believe in. Nobody can be intellectually honest and politically on the left at the same time. The left, I think, likes Fair Trade because it’s the opposite of capitalism. And the left hates capitalism not because they have any better ideas but because capitalism destroyed their beloved USSR.


  42. Cockney says:


    I’m not thick mate – I understand market economics.

    What the slightly dimmer libertarian types don’t seem to have grasped is that ‘free trade’ has grasped a new market by subverting normal economic theory with the aid of a bit of clever marketing. Those disadvantaged can presumably find something more profitable to do as they would in any other circumstances when markets change – or they can brand their poverty more successfully.


  43. archduke says:

    the free trade orange juice they sell in tesco comes from that wonderful democratic and free utopia :

    communist Cuba

    says it all really.


  44. Pete_London says:

    Cockney –

    I’m not thick mate

    You are. You voted Labour. Case closed.


  45. Rob Read says:


    Free or fair trade? Is it a typo?


  46. TAoL says:

    I certainly agree with your pragmatic view, Cockney – if you know that your one of your staff or customers will be offended by the Mo cartoon, you will want to avoid rubbing their noses in it by hanging one up in public.

    But it seems to me that the government, the media and the police have now closed ranks on the Mo cartoons; possession or the public display of one of these bloody things is tantamount to being an “extremist”.

    The ‘criminal’ who hung the cartoon may be a pissed-off free-speech fanatic or militant secularist who has been angered by the dhimmitude of the media. He might be a BNP activist.

    That he is deemed to be ‘criminal’ and an ‘extremist’ is almost entirely due to the cowardly reaction of our authorities – including the BBC – in the face of a concerted campaign of political violence and intimidation.


  47. archduke says:

    “Free or fair trade? Is it a typo?”

    sorry rob – typo. i meant fair trade.
    watch out for it next time you are in the juice area in Tesco. you’ll find it – sourced all the way from communist cuba. the irony in that is obviously missed by the fair trade nutters.