Call me an old softie but it's always heartwarming to see a story about love breaking down the barriers between cultures and religions - and such a story appears in today's Daily Mail. It's about the brother of the shadow chancellor George Osborne, who has converted to Islam in order to marry.
So. There you have it. A cheering story of 'love conquers all'. Why it's almost a Richard Curtis film, isn't it?
He is said to have spent months learning about Islam at a local mosque before agreeing to conduct his life according to its teachings, including praying five times a day and abstaining from alcohol.
He has adopted the first name Mohammed.
says the Mail. Well, that sounds like he's really taking it seriously. I mean it's not really a story that interests me, but there you are. Sounds like quite an ordinary human interest tale.
Ah. I knew I'd forgotten something. Where are the comments at the bottom of the story? It appears that no-one has commented! Very odd. Well, don't worry because I managed to get some screengrabs of them earlier. Here come some lovely positive comments wishing the couple well... aww isn't it sweet? See, Mail readers have hearts of gold and I'm wrong to criticise them:
See, look at the happy comments... what a decent bunch these folk really are, and... oh. That's odd. It appears that sentiments such as "Anything for true love" and "Good luck to them" have been voted into the red. Bizarre. Oh dear. I wonder what were the highest rated comments then?
Ouch. Well, surely it didn't get any worse than... oh.
That's pretty strong. But at least no-one demanded a vote for the BNP, so... oh.
It's not surprising that the comments have been taken down (at the time of me writing this) - some views are too strong even for the Mail to publish, though of course they did publish them in the first place. Perhaps it's when certain stories become targeted by people with deeply unpleasant views when the shutters get pulled down.
One last thing:
Members of both families refused to comment on the marriage yesterday. The couple, who are said to be keen to start a family, were not at home.
I imagine the reporter was bringing around a bunch of flowers and a great big wedding gift for the happy couple! Oh well, never mind.
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Hello. I'm a Bristol-based writer and soon-to-be-redundant journalist. You can read more about me and the Enemies site here, or follow me on Twitter. Email me if you like - antonvowl at live dot co dot uk
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