Want to support the police? Don't join this Facebook group

"Supporting the Met police against the London rioters" group founder appears to have very questionable views on race.

Anyone who, like me, unthinkingly clicked "Like" on the Facebook group "Supporting the Met police against the London rioters" -- hurriedly set up on Monday night at perhaps the darkest moment of the London looting, when many people understandably wanted to support the London police force -- may now want to think again and leave it.

WARNING: OFFENSIVE MATERIAL. Sean Boscott, the founder of the group, which now boasts close to a million members and was unwisely praised by David Cameron in his speech yesterday, seems to harbour some at best prehistoric, at worst nastily racist views, as this investigative blog post -- by the video-game expert Stuart Campbell -- has uncovered. Another blog gives further examples.

As Boscott's Twitter history (which has since mysteriously been locked) shows, his self-professed "bad taste/offensive jokes" are appalling, sub-Bernard Manning rubbish. Boscott initially claimed his Twitter account had been hacked, but it seems rather unlikely that all his previous tweets were similarly the work of a hacker, ones he doesn't deny responsibility for. A typical example (and that's one of the milder ones):

"So the story of Barack Obama rising to become President is being chronicled in a new film. It's called Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

No, we're not laughing either.

By all means get behind the police but reject the racist sentiments of people like this -- who seem to be exploiting a volatile situation to divide British society at precisely the time when we should be doing anything but.

Oh, and instead watch this....

Thomas Calvocoressi is Chief Sub (Digital) at the New Statesman and writes about visual arts for the magazine.

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An alternative Trainspotting script for John Humphrys’ Radio 4 “Choose Life” tribute

Born chippy.

Your mole often has Radio 4’s Today programme babbling away comfortingly in the background while emerging blinking from the burrow. So imagine its horror this morning, when the BBC decided to sully this listening experience with John Humphrys doing the “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting.

“I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Radio 4?” he concluded, as a nation cringed.

Introduced as someone who has “taken issue with modernity”, Humphrys launched into the film character Renton’s iconic rant against the banality of modern life.

But Humphrys’ role as in-studio curmudgeon is neither endearing nor amusing to this mole. Often tasked with stories about modern technology and digital culture by supposedly mischievous editors, Humphrys sounds increasingly cranky and ill-informed. It doesn’t exactly make for enlightening interviews. So your mole has tampered with the script. Here’s what he should have said:

“Choose life. Choose a job and then never retire, ever. Choose a career defined by growling and scoffing. Choose crashing the pips three mornings out of five. Choose a fucking long contract. Choose interrupting your co-hosts, politicians, religious leaders and children. Choose sitting across the desk from Justin Webb at 7.20 wondering what you’re doing with your life. Choose confusion about why Thought for the Day is still a thing. Choose hogging political interviews. Choose anxiety about whether Jim Naughtie’s departure means there’s dwindling demand for grouchy old men on flagship political radio shows. Choose a staunch commitment to misunderstanding stories about video games and emoji. Choose doing those stories anyway. Choose turning on the radio and wondering why the fuck you aren’t on on a Sunday morning as well. Choose sitting on that black leather chair hosting mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows (Mastermind). Choose going over time at the end of it all, pishing your last few seconds on needlessly combative questions, nothing more than an obstacle to that day’s editors being credited. Choose your future. Choose life . . .”

I'm a mole, innit.