Now we all know who owns Sky News, but it's certainly never been Fox News. Sure, they tried, and tried, and tried to force Littlecock down our throats - but failed utterly, repeatedly and miserably. It's not because of a liberal elite controlling the British media that right-wing commentators aren't as popular as they are in the US; if Littlecock had proved popular then we could have had our very own Bill O'Reilly, or Rush Limbaugh, or whatever that horrible waspish prick is on CNN. They. Don't. Get. The. Ratings. It's as simple as that. Yes, in this country we have to put up with the likes of Garry Bushell's childishly simple ramblings about race, immigration and 'great British variety' on TalkSport - but on television? No, it's never really worked.
Is that because we're a nation of bleeding hearts? I don't think so. All I know is that whenever Kelvin Mackenzie comes on television* in my house, I have a little routine that helps to make it bearable. I slowly carve off all my skin with a rusty breadknife, then roll around in a bath filled with jalapeno peppers and lemon juice while extracting my eyeballs with broken cocktail sticks. That tends to make me forget that he's has even blighted my TV that evening, and means I can settle down to watch something else later without feeling the very medium has been tainted by his appearance on it. Oh it stings, but it's better than subjecting myself to that cunt. And I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to do anything other than bring myself to sit through ten seconds of someone like him belching out his little Englander twattery.
Back to Sky for a moment. It's never struck me as a particularly right-wing organisation at all. But - and here's the but - websites are a different matter. There's a dirty little secret about news websites, and I'm sure I won't be the first to reveal it; still, the more people know about it, the better.
Every click is a good click. That's the important thing to remember. If you get an ignorant, bigoted, stupid, vile, nasty, thuggish, bullying bastard visiting your website, that's a good thing. Imagine a suedeheaded BNP goon in a bomber jacket knocking on your door - would you let him in? No? OK then, what if, by letting him in, you knew you could make more money - would that affect your opinion? Still no? Say you got paid for every person who visited your house, and the more times they came back the more you got paid, and the longer they stayed the more you got paid. Let's say that your house - let's call it The Internet - is next door to your neighbours' houses, TV, Radio and Newspapers. They don't like letting the BNP thug in, to be honest, and he's pretty frustrated. He feels discriminated against and feels he's not welcome there. And remember, the more times he comes to your house, the more money you get. What would be wrong in having him pop round every now and then? Would that be so wrong?
Every click is a good click. Just bear that in mind. If you can get more cash from advertising - or, in the case of the BBC, get more clicks to show the valuable work you're doing in providing a forum for public debate, thereby demonstrating the importance of the licence fee - then you'll take it. I've mentioned before how the far right, including the BNP and some elements of UKIP, are pretty clued up about this. They know they don't have many places where they can get their message across - but they're organised, they're dedicated and they do certainly believe in what they're saying.
So if you can create a place where these people feel right at home, it makes sense they're going to come back time and time again, doesn't it? Especially if you encourage them by asking a series of loaded questions, frequently repeating exactly the same question over and over again to make sure that it doesn't drop off the radar and that they have the opportunity to make the same points repeatedly, tediously and laboriously. More clicks for you = more money from advertising. Every click is a good click.
Sky have a particularly cheeky way of bumping up the numbers by only printing comments in threes at the bottom of the story. You have to click, click, click, click to get through them all, ratcheting up the figures for them and also, as it turns out, unearthing some fairly unpleasant characters along the way. Characters who have a range of opinions which are, shall we say, rather familiar to those of us who delve into the stinking midden of the Mail, Express and BBC HYS on a regular basis:
TYPICAL of this SOFT GOVERNMENT, look after others before looking after your OWN !!!!!!!
Posted by ian from manchester
The Mod want to take care of their own men injured never mind 2 million for a civilian and yes it will open the flood gates for more claims this country is going mad we need care of our own people.
Posted by pat from skelmersdale
Yet again this goverment is insulting our own troops for there leftie views why are the people of this country putting up with this get this poxy Labour goverment out.
Posted by Dean from Plymouth
its absolutly discustin. it is a massive slap in the face for all our heroes. we as a country pulling together to raise money for our boys and girls so they can have things they deserve, and our goverment splash out 2m on ,NOT ONE OVE THEIR OWN.i have got 2 sons in the army, 1 has just gone on tour to afgan, WHAT FOR
Posted by shirley from wrexham
The narrative is established early on: why are we giving money to a foreign type when we should be spending it on 'one of our own'? Let's leave aside the point that he wouldn't have been injured at all if his country hadn't been invaded by 'our own'; leave aside also the fact that 'our own' wouldn't have been injured in a battlezone if they hadn't been part of that invasion - yes I know, they're just doing their job and duty, and I do have a lot of sympathy for soldiers, which is why I tend to think they shouldn't be in Iraq or Afghanistan in the first place, and why the sooner they return home the better for them and for everyone.
These comments produce a clear delineation between 'us' and 'them' being drawn up. What purpose does that serve? Why must compassion or understanding by squashed so early on? Why not have compensation for victims, and compensation for the armed forces? Why not stop these compensation claims by, oh I don't know, not invading other countries? Why not stop the injuries to 'our boys' by, oh I don't know, not putting them in life-threatening situations by forcing them to invade other countries? The anger is understandable for those families, and I'm not trying to belittle it at all, but is it being aimed in the right direction?
Another click, and remember - every click is a good click:
Just spent a year travelling through Australia, and am now wondering why the hell i EVER came back to this spineless pathetic joke of a nation. a £2 million payout to a kid accidentaly shot, when out troops can lose limbs defending Queen and country and dont have a hope in hell of anything LIke that!! this on top of government benefits for Eastern Europeans, making the cost of living for the average hardworking Joe bloody crippling, for what? to support Polish families that are not even in this country, or a government hell bent on a softly-softly upset noone approach. A once great country now ruled by the EU, and our leaders are more than happy to allow it. Our industries are now owned by the East, Rover, Land Rover, Jaguar, British Steel, and it's wondered why the young are leaving these shores in droves??? I think it is absolutely sickening that this is allowed to happen.
Posted by brian from scotland
Beautiful garden-pathing there, dragging Polish immigrants into an argument about an Iraqi injured by British soldiers. First-class stuff there. Keep going...
Hmm i wonder where that 2million will actually go, to the child, the family or will the child and family donate some of it to some group of people to buy weapons to use against our own UK soliders over there? 2million buys a hell of alot of AK47s and explosives!!
Posted by Steve from Surrey
Because they're all murderers and terrorists, these towelheads!
Here we go again! Why is it that anyone connected with this Labour government looks after others before their own. Oh bless a innocent Iraqi is shout in a war zone so we'll give him £2m of tax payers money. Yet a teenager who has gone to fight for Queen and country (even if lied to by the government) and lost limbs or suffered horrendous injuries gets peanuts. Will the leaders of this country never learn, look on the streets of our cities and in the prisons, there is a large number of ex servicemen who have been used and then tossed aside and forgotten. How many brave service personnel could be rehabilitated and prepared for life on civvie street in their own country with the £2m. Lets show gratitude and look after our own. Do we get compensation from Iraq for our wounded NO we don't. Please don't allow in 20 years time for the Vets from these conflicts to be begging on the streets because they have been forgotten by another Government
Posted by Jason from sutton
Look after our own, look after our own, look after our own...
I'll be making sure my money goes to my friend who has just lost a leg in Afghanistan. This government is a spineless joke. Lets see them send their sons and daughters to war and think if this "one off" is more deserving than a maimed British HERO.
Posted by Dan from Croydon
I have to be quite gentle, as I know people get very agitated about this, but why are all servicemen who are injured automatically 'heroes'?
Absolutely disgsuting... how can they justify this payout ? What about the money we have spent in "saving" their country ? Whom do we get that back from ? Its very unfortunate that this 13 year old has gone through what he has but the question you have to ask is ... Would he actually be alive if our troops were not in Iraq securing a better future for its people ?
Well, he did make it through the sanctions placed upon his country by this country and the US, which killed about half a million Iraqis, but I don't think that's the point you were making, was it.
50 pence on another bullet could have saved the tax payer 2 million pounds. Those people in Iraq are maiming and killing each other every . This is an accident - hard luck.
Posted by Jon from Hull
I think that one speaks for itself. But... click!
What the hell is going on. Imagine a German citizen suing the British Army for an accident that happened in a theatre of war.... We should have spent the two million pounds on two million more bullets to help win the war we are fighting against the Islamists.
Posted by shaun (last voice of reason) from earth
So how give our Soldiers pay out when they are shot buy Insurgents dressed as a civilian (there by violating the Geneva Convention)? or when someone is kidnapped and executed by Insurgents. There should not of been any pay out as the people responsible for his shooting are those Insurgents that do everything they can to make it hard for people to distinguish civilian from military target. Insurgents dressed as civilians make all other civilians around them legitimate targets.
Posted by Andy from Bournemouth
Ah, the 'My Lai' defence. I was wondering when that would pop up.
So, this kid stood next to a soldier when he dropped his gun. Doesnt this ask questions as to why the kid was there? Why would the soldier not have his weapon slung? etc etc. Perhaps it was a freak accident, but then you get this pure "rape" of the system. That boy then comes to the UK, with no doubt his whole family, who now live in council houses, paid by taxes. with there flash phones, paid by taxes, with there latest Nike shoes, paid by taxes, taking the MOD to court, paid by taxes, having lawyers, PAID BY TAXES. Then having a £2million pound handout, again, paid by taxes. The day we shut the doors and kick them out, is the day this country will be GREAT again. Out with labour, in with the hard liners. i think i might just not go to work no more and live of all your taxes, tell you what, thats not a bad idea is it? Shame i have morals and ethics. Unlike the Government. Enjoy the money Kid, make sure you buy some nice stuff.
Posted by Ashley from London
Another right-wing messageboard classic: everyone on benefits is a scrounger. All immigrants bring their whole families over and live on benefits. And guess who's paying?!?!??!?!??!?!
But there are others on these boards, just in case you're losing the will to live:
Absolutely nothing against the boy and I hope he has a happier life with the money. It just seems equally sad that our soldiers have to fight tooth and nail for the tiniest bit of compensation though. But good luck to this boy, it is not his fault.
Posted by Sarah from Yorkshire
People seem to be forgetting that it's not an Iraqi soldier that has received this money. It's an innocent kid who's country was invaded and then he was shot by a trained, negligent soldier. British soldiers know what they sign up for, so there should be no uproar surrounding the treatment they receive from our government. By the way, one 500lbs bomb dropped out of a plane costs £1m, and more than 500,000 of them were dropped on Iraq. THAT is a waste of money!! Taking away an innocent 13 year old boys ability to walk is a bargain at £2m if you ask me. And I don't know what everyone is worried about, the money we'll get from Iraqi oil that we helped steal will more than cover the £2m! Do you people realise that our soldiers are dying for Iraqi oil and Afghan opium?! Or did you believe them when they said they were ousting a dictator and fighting against Islamic terrorist supporters!? That's the real outrage here.
Posted by Reece from Windsor
The way in which this story has been reported is highly irresponsible. Nobody has pointed out a number of important factors. Importantly this boy had no choice in the fact he end up in a war zone. Soldiers sign up. Iraqi children don't have any such luxury. This child is not responsible for how the MoD treats British soldiers. If the MoD continues to treat soldiers in such a neglectful manner less should extend their period in the armed forces. The MoD would quickly be forced to treat them in the way they deserve.
Posted by Dawn from Ireland
Good Lord! You people are disgusting!! A boy has been left disabled because of one of these Heroic Soldiers. Secondly, one comment actually said: "let us care for our own"... but if "our own" distroyed Iraq for no bloody valid reasons, killed so many iraqis... then surely, we take care of the mess afterwards?!
Posted by Nina from London
Er, why do you people keep saying ridiculous things like "defending queen and country" or "they are putting their lives on the line for us"? Defending you from who the bogey man, mr invisible? THERE WERE NO WMDs!!! How the hell was the Iraq war defending ourselves from a few people 1000's of miles away in a desert with little more than an air rifle? Iraqi's weren't involved in 7/7 or 9/11. The whole dam country should get compensation, and I'm not being unpatriotic here, everyone of our soldiers should also get compensation as well! They were prepared to risk their lives in the false belief they were defending queen and country when all they were doing was slaughter in the name of rich man's greed. There have been lots of cases were Iraqis have put there lives on the line to help British and American soldiers and our countries have done little more than spat on them after using them and destroying their lives. Thats what is disgusting - not helping someone our war as hurt
Posted by Jo from Manchester
So there's hope amid all the gloom. Yes, messageboards are home to some pretty unsavoury characters at times, as well as people who can't think, are just plain dumb and clearly apopleptic with rage at having to pay taxes at all - but there are chinks of light. What you have to remember is that each click is giving someone a big smile - even when you feel tempted to respond to something awful you've read that is plainly wrong, you're playing their game - you're making them money. Of course they don't take down the offensive comments that would never make it into a newspaper letters page or a radio phone-in; they're there to encourage those bastards to return, and if one or two people protest, well that's a few more clicks, isn't it. It's just a tremendously cynical process when every click is a good click.
* It needn't be him, but I'm choosing him as an example. For you it might be Nick Ferrari appearing on the sofa with Richard and Judy.
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