Taking offence at the wrong things

Upset, angry, ashamed. That’s how I was left feeling after watching comedian Rosie Jones’s hard-hitting Channel 4 documentary Am I A R*tard? last week about the appalling treatment she gets from social media trolls regarding her cerebral palsy.

Upset because I like Rosie very much – not only for her comedy, she is also my all time favourite Question Time panellist – and seeing her getting upset by the cruelty she is subjected to on a daily basis really affected me.

Angry that anyone should be mocked for a disability to the point that she feels she has to wear headphones when out in the street.

Ashamed that I’m even the same species as the knuckle dragging Neanderthals who consider this to be anything approaching acceptable behaviour.

Rosie deliberately chose the uncompromising title (which has created the expected backlash) after she received a message on Twitter asking that very question, the hope being that after watching the programme people would think twice about using the word ever again.

There’s as much chance of that happening as there was of her being able to confront one of her trolls directly (they are cowards who hide behind their fake handles).

Full marks to Rosie for her bravery in taking on the trolls and coming up with the perfect ending for any documentary with: “I’m not a retard, I’m f***ing Rosie Jones.”

Yes you effing are. Good for you girl!

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Remember shades of grey? No, not the cinema sadomasochist fest for the menopausal housewife w*** bank starring Dakota Johsnon and Jamie Dornan, I mean nuance, that luxury we took for granted before cancel culture took over.

There used to be at least two ways of looking at things, but not now it seems. For instance, having an opinion that doesn’t fit with the gender fluid zeitgeist – even if it’s the simple fact that chromosomes don’t lie – is going to get you grouped in with holocaust deniers and idiots who think the moon landings were a hoax.

Opportunities to hold opposing views are becoming fewer and fewer as tolerance becomes twisted with puritanical dogma, an unfortunate by product of #MeToo along with trial by social media where the court of public opinion automatically assumes somone to be guilty until proven innocent.

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While overturning a 20,000+ Tory majority in Selby and Ainsty was certainly an impressive result for Labour last Thursday, it was the result in Boris Johnson’s former Uxbridge seat that told the real story, because it was made painfully obvious even to Skier Smarmer, the man so used to sitting on the fence his haemorrhoids have splinters, that Sadiq Khan and his ULEZ expansion plan poses the biggest threat to a Labour majority in the next general election.

When you next hear the Labour leader say he’s reflecting on something you can probably assume that Khan has told him he Khan’t.

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The story on the front of this week’s YA about the inquest of a Grays man following his time as an in-patient at Basildon Hospital makes very uncomfortable reading, not least the quote from the Mid and South Essex Foundation NHS Trust which begins: “Providing the best possible patient care is our absolute priority…”

At first I was convinced the sentence must have been copied and pasted from another story by mistake, it was so asinine.

That’s the sort of thing people should take offence at, not a TV documentary made for all the right reasons.

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Considering I can still remember my parent’s phone number from 1970, how many times do I have to forget to pull up the zipper on my jeans over the past two weeks for it to be a cause for concern?

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Edward Case

Columnist