Sunday Express condemn the kids who survived Dunblane

Nope, you didn’t read that wrong.


Read it here

I will admit, I’ve never been a fan of newspapers which harbour right wing ideals. The Mail, the Express, tend to offer up articles which serve some comedy value to me in terms of their over reaction to seemingly innocuous subjects. So when I was passed this link I was expecting the next five minutes to go accordingly:
-Read article
-Laugh to myself at some of the overreaction and bigotry
-Shake head slightly with grin on face
-Share article with people, press the X and banish it from memory.

Then I saw the headline and read it.

Wow.

Let’s go through it shall we?

A number of the youngsters, now 18, have posted shocking blogs and photographs of themselves on the Internet, 13 years after being sheltered from public view in the aftermath.

Ok, so they’re now 18, as are many people in the UK. They have a social networking page, like millions of people in the UK. But what is particularly shocking about this blog? I am intrigued…

Exhibit A, your Honour:

For instance, Stewart Weir – who was hit by a single bullet and watched in horror as his classmates died – makes rude gestures in pictures he posted on his Bebo site, and boasts of drunken nights out.

Hardly talking about riding around Scotland wearing a KKK outfit carrying a burning cross, are we? Or pointing a gun at a small child. THAT would be shocking. What is described by the Express isn’t. For God’s sake, I’ve managed to make rude gesutres, boast and be on a drunken night out in a single picture alone. I’d also think that there are lots of other teenagers, who were denied the privilige as a child to have been shot and then forced to watch a friend die, who harbour such horrendous images. 18 year olds, swearing? Drinking?! You’d think it was legal, for crying out loud.

The webpage of Mark Mullan, who suffered serious injuries in the shooting, states he is the “f***y who canny stop drivin in the silver hing”, is littered with foul language and features images of him with his new tattoo on his back.

Now I’m not too in the know about Scottish slang, but all I can see here is a guy who thought it would be cool to post a rhyme and follow it with a comment about the ‘silver hing’, whatever that is. I’m sure most people who would read his profile understand it anyway.

But wait, a TATTOO? At 18?! Someone get on the phone to the Commons, this cannot be legal, surely. Does he have any idea of the pain he has caused the grieving by getting ink plastered on his back and then POSTING it online for all of sundry to see? My word.

Others boast about discovering sex.

I can’t think of anything funny enough to do the above quote justice. To be honest, it works well enough on its own.

MSP Elizabeth Smith steps in with a sentence that makes sense, even if painfully obvious

“I’m sure that when they look back at what they have done in 10 years time they will be cringing with embarrassment.”

28 year olds in “regretting something they said/did/posted/drank/ate” shocker”. I’m only 21 and look back at my 18th year with some cringeful memories, for pity’s sake.

But I don’t know, maybe this shred of truth in a so far dreadful article will see it turn a new leaf?

Stewart Weir’s Bebo page, which is a shrine to Rangers Football Club and Scotland, boasts about “gettin gassed wi’ the lads”, enjoying “carry oots”, and getting in fights.

On his profile he writes: “Im stewart although im also known as weirdo i like to tkink im a sound guy but i get p****d off easily nd if u p*** me off ul know about it as i start gettin smart just ask graeme.”

Oh dear.

So, we gather Stewart is a fan of Rangers and Scotland, likes getting drunk with friends and eating takeaway food. What a heartless bastard, eh?

Also, re: the fighting thing. I’m not sure, but maybe something happened in his childhood which might have made him a teeny-weeny bit angsty? Maybe?

And what of Mark Mullan, Sunday Express?

He adds: “U’ll find one in Dunblane on a friday or saturday night staggerin about down the street or the hills, consumin BUCKFAST (its just good). If u dinny drink till u drop ur no drinkin.”

Mullan was named player of the year by Bannockburn Amateurs youth football team. He suffered major abdominal and pelvic injuries in the shooting.

Footballers drinking? Quick, someone tell Frank Lampard before he does so. And don’t forget to text Ashley Cole, before he gets locked up or something. Oh.

Also, thanks for the recount of the injuries. In fact I’m so grateful, I’d like to tell you mine as I read the article: major crainum aches and spasms in my stomach.

The main thing which sits uneasily with me on this is the fact that they stated their age as 18. It’s made me think that, maybe, they found the aforementioned accounts a while back, waited until they had all become adults and…bam, released this as some shocking scoop. Front page, too. Are the main offenders for the right wing rags (BBC, Polish people, the EU et al) really that dry this week that they had to run with this?

If this article was mocked up by The Onion or some such, it would be funny. Sadly, when the real paper publishes tosh like this it makes media satire redundant: it’s unintentionally self-mocking and ultimately horrendous. I do hope Paula Murray, the inquistive reporter who ‘broke’ this story, gets some kind backlash, because she should not be allowed to publish stuff like this.

One final word, from Nanny McClaren

I think it is totally out of order to put something like that on the Internet. It is a bit nasty really.

Even though we’re talking about different things here Mrs McClaren, this sentiment echoes my feelings entirely.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Sunday Express condemn the kids who survived Dunblane

  1. tom p

    Good post.
    A carry out is from a pub, rather than a chinese though, it’s booze at prices higher than an offy would charge. For some reason they do this in scotland, it’s probably ‘cos the pubs are open later than offies or something

    • theysayitsraininginnewyork

      Ah ok, cheers. I wasn’t too sure and that was the only thing that made sense to me. Still, what he’s doing is hardly crime of the century stuff!

  2. Pingback: sunday morning; at [last year's girl]

  3. me

    What a joke of an article, theres no need for it. I am from Dunblane and know these guys. They are perfectly normal 18 year old boys who like to go out and have a drink at the weekend..who doesn’t at that age! The way the article has been written is completly negative and fails to add that both boys are doing well for themselves with jobs and college on the go. It really is sad that now the victims are adults they are no longer protected from the press. They should be left to live there lives in private like the rest of us – with no one critisising the way they do so. Paula Murray should be ashamed of herself.

  4. bshistorian

    They did eventually apologise (though not for quoting the MSP out of context);

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/90417/Dunblane-We-re-sorry

    PS “Heartburn Home Remedy” is a spammer.

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