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Subtly racist MSM uses dog whistle when covering horrific crimes involving travellers that it wouldn’t use anywhere else

Damian Wilson
Damian Wilson
is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
Subtly racist MSM uses dog whistle when covering horrific crimes involving travellers that it wouldn’t use anywhere else
The MSM overplayed the background of four young offenders found guilty of murder or manslaughter. It did so because they are travellers. They wouldn’t have dared had the culprits been BAME, so why was it considered acceptable?

Two recent and shocking crimes have shone a light on the hypocrisy at the heart of the MSM’s reporting of stories involving members of the Irish and English traveller community. While the crimes themselves are indefensible and the culprits have been found guilty, the way such stories are covered is deeply disturbing, but slips past without comment.

The most recent case involves the murder of Lindsay Birbeck, a 47-year-old teaching assistant and mother-of-two strangled by a 17-year-old stranger, who then put her body in a wheelie bin, rolled it down the street and buried it in a shallow grave at a local cemetery. The murderer then made up a wholly implausible tale about disposing of the body on behalf of someone else, which neither the police nor the jury believed.

Apart from his youth, the murderer has a couple of stand-out characteristics. He has an IQ of just 65 – a marker of considerable learning disability – which explains his unwise attempt to implicate another man in his crime. And he’s called Rocky Marciano Price, after the legendary boxer. That comes attached with a heavy burden for a young man growing up in Accrington, Lancashire.

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The other horrific crime that has recently seen three young men sent to prison was the murder of PC Andrew Harper, who became entangled in a tow rope as the car it was attached to was driven away by the trio of thieves, who’d been attempting to steal a quad bike.

They, too, were caught. And, again, they were all illiterate. Two left education before starting secondary school, and when the third left at the age of 14, the only word he could spell was his name: Jessie. Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both aged 18, and Henry Long, 19, are now all serving long prison sentences after being convicted of the manslaughter of PC Harper.

All the young offenders involved in these two cases are travellers. But check yourself. Does that add anything to how you feel about their crimes?

Because, from the way they’re reported, the mainstream media seems to be suggesting it played some unspoken role in what they’ve done. A nudge and a wink, loaded with “Travellers, eh? What do you expect?”.

See for yourself: “Hare-coursing, attacking homes with fireworks and thievery: How illiterate cop-killing travellers brazenly documented their law-breaking on Facebook.”

And then there was: “Lindsay Birbeck’s teenage killer, 17, is unmasked as traveller named after boxer Rocky Marciano, as judge lifts ban on revealing identity of murderer who strangled teaching assistant to death and dumped her in a wheelie bin.”

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Apart from being overly long, these headlines from the MailOnline make a big deal of the offenders being ‘travellers’, whereas, if they’d been black or, say, Pakistani or Chinese, it’s unlikely there would’ve been the same emphasis, because that would be considered racist by most people. But travellers are fair game.

Consider this comment from one online reader, which the Mail chose to allow: “This community are a law unto themselves and the Police never cracked down on them. I hope they will now.” It’s typical of a broad racist attitude towards the traveller community held by many people across British society. It gives everyone else an excuse not to engage with “This community” because, well, they’re a law unto themselves, aren’t they?

And that’s when the trouble starts. Kids struggle at school and fall further behind, and the local authority is too quick to write them off, fearful of becoming involved with a community of which they understand little because they don’t know how to approach their problems.

The children, some with underlying learning difficulties anyway, such as Rocky Marciano Price and Jessie Cole, are then fully disengaged from the education system. They cannot read or write, and they become useful accessories to adults who choose criminality as a way of life.

But this particular scenario is not traveller-specific. It happens to poor white kids, black kids, Muslim kids and those from the myriad other backgrounds that comprise society in 21st-century Britain.

So, for the MSM to use the traveller background of these offenders in a headline selling the whole grim tale as some sort of in-built explanation for their hideous crimes is cheap, racist nonsense. And the disgraceful thing is that no one objects.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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