I mentioned earlier about a new kind of Mail story I'd noticed* - minority people daring to be upset by something and wanting some form of redress (or, to put it another way, "those uppity foreigns getting in a tizzy, they probably don't care anyway, they just want to use Human Rights or Health & Safety or something to try and get some compensation, not that you'd get it if you were white, eh guv, gawd blimey it's the bloody one-armed black lesbians innit?")
Well, here comes another story, this time about a Jewish couple. At first glance you'd think Mr and Mrs Coleman were your ideal Daily Mail readers - middle-class, suburban, presentable, not extremists, just nice everyday Brits. Wrong! Because they've dared to be upset about the fact they're devoted to their Jewish faith; and not only that, but they've got the brass neck to complain about something! Wurrrgh! Bad! Naughty! Wrong!
Dr Dena Coleman and husband Gordon claim they cannot leave their holiday flat on the Sabbath because when they do they automatically trigger the light in the communal hallway - contravening a religious ban on turning on electrical items from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday because it constitutes 'creating fire'.
Now I don't claim to be a particular fan of this couple's God, or any other, and if you want to not make fire on the sabbath because your big beardy sky-man says you can't, then that's up to you. I can't say it seems particularly sensible to me, but what do I know? It strikes me as just a neighbourly dispute, the kind that happens all the time for all kinds of reasons, not just religious or ethnic/cultural ones - but those don't end up in the media, do they? What's the difference with this one?
The claim also accuses the company of breaching their rights under the Equality Act 2006 and Human Rights Act 1998.
Every time those words are written, a big red alarm goes off in the Daily Mail batcave. The big "YUMAN RITES" symbol goes flashing across Gotham City and Paul Dacre comes sliding down a ruddy great pole to his old-fashioned typewriter to concoct another crock. Yes, it's our old friend the Human Rights Act - something which, if I can be excused for mixing up my comic-based metaphors, is Kryptonite to the Mail. Even if the Human Rights Act, in bright red ink, said that Paul Dacre should be given a billion billion pounds, it would still be decried as the most heinous thing ever. Which when you think of it is quite odd. Since when did 'Human Rights' become such a wince-inducing phrase? I kind of quite like the idea of human rights. I think they're good things. In Mail-land, of course, it conjurs up horrific images of gays, blacks and all kinds of deviants suing for compensation - which is the narrative we're getting here.
Another compare and contrast with the Beeb, who have also covered this story (as they did with the soldiers compensation one earlier), but do it slightly differently. While the BBC quotes an anonymous neighbour who is rather diplomatic and conciliatory, and who says:
One of them, who did not wish to be named but attended a management meeting last week with the couple, said: "For some time there has been discussions around here about the lights being on all day, which is crazy.
"Light sensors mean the lights only come on when you require them to be on, which is common sense.
"This couple are observant Jews. They have a religious problem with this.
"It has gone further than it should have done, I think they have jumped the gun.
"They did come to a meeting and put their point of view forward.
"The general view was that despite any differences the matter should be resolved as quickly as we can.
"It just seems to have been blown out of all proportion."
The Mail's anonymous neighbour is a little different:
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: 'It has caused quite a stir here, there have been a lot of arguments.
'There has been a meeting about it and many of the residents aren't happy.
'There's a feeling that things shouldn't be changed just to suit people in one flat when everyone else is happy with it.
'I don't think the rest of us would think twice about the lights but they're going to great lengths to get it changed so they must feel very strongly about it.
Now of course it might just be that these are just two points of view from two different people. But the clincher comes, as it so often does, with the readership. While the BBC decides it can just tell a story, the Mail has do some fishing among its Brains Trust, and so we get the best rated comments saying this:
And the worst rated comments saying this:
I do love the way things like 'courtesy' and 'respect' get squashed so readily by these commenters. How dare people show courtesy! How dare people show respect! Grr!
So there you have it. Muslims, Jews, black people, anyone from a minority... if you're going to sue anyone for anything ever, you'd better beware - the Mail will be after you, and their readers will be all too ready to pass withering judgement.
* It's probably not new at all, just that I've only just noticed it, staring me in the face like a particularly unflushable shite.