Much shenanigans after my recent post about Boris taking the bend out but keeping the bus.  In it I linked to an online, publicly readable, Google searchable site called The Bus Forum.  Naively, since this is publicly readable, I assumed that the people contributing to it might be aware of this and the usual online etiquette that this permits you to link-if-you-attribute, but apparently not – the reaction has been a bit, well, negative:

That takes the biscuit … using this site for political purposes really pisses me off … may have to think about what I post in future … do we know who this ‘Tom’ is? Is he a member of this group … random ****** of the general public. Either way I think it is totally out of order!!!

I would imagine the site is run by Ken cronies (although you never have guessed it from the racist tones of the article)

Imagine if you were of German decent, living in London, reading that article – how would you feel?

I too can’t believe that he directly quoted this forum and linked it to his blog. I’m actually upset by it too. I hope someone finally manages to find this guy and punches him in the face……well, maybe not, just set him back on the right tracks

I think he should be put into the stocks and have all German people throw rotten tomatoes at him

that person is obviously a f888in waste of space

Well, I’ve been around on the net for a good few years and been called names by everyone from mouthbreathing BNP fans on current affairs forums to rabid neocons at Blairwatch to Andrew Gilligan at the Standard, but as far as I’m aware this is the first time someone’s openly contemplated a rearrangement of my face.  I am heartened to read their forum behaviour policy though:

Please think about what you post, you are advised not to post anything that would be incriminating to yourself or your colleagues. Others may mis-interpret what you posted.

or possibly this bit would be relevant:

5. No racism, sexism or upsetting other members, we are a peaceful community, please keep it that way.

So the mods will obviously try and cool things down, won’t they?  Unfortunately, the chap inciting the forum to offer me a knuckle sandwich is ‘john’, who’s one of the three administrators.  Nice.  His profile says he’s all of 22 and from Romford, but sadly his robust up-and-at-‘em style doesn’t extend to providing an email address where I could offer some tips on acceptable online behaviour, or even just on chilling out and cooling down a bit.  It’s only a discussion about bus services, not Israel/Palestine.

Having actually applied for forum membership under the name ‘tom’ some months ago but not yet received admin approval (hell, it’s their forum, their rules), I can’t actually defend myself in person, but since we’ve been mentioned on the forum (positively and negatively) several times in recent months it would be a courtesy either to offer me the right of reply or to come over here and join in the debate in the comments.  You know, all civilised like, without the prospect of faces being smashed in or rotten fruit thrown.

This bit did have me tickled, though:

This guy is a complete moron. A total middle aged racist in my eyes.

For your information, ‘john':

  • Is 35 middle aged these days?
  • I’m half Irish
  • I’m also quarter German (my late grandmother, who was German Jewish, came to the UK in 1938 to get away from the Nazis)
  • I grew up in a part German speaking family – my grandad worked at Bletchley Park during the war, using his German skills; my mother, sister and aunt all have degrees in German and my dad speaks it pretty well too.
  • I regularly visited Germany as a child
  • I spent a summer working in a restaurant in Germany when I was 18
  • I have a degree in engineering with German including a year at a German university.  Not sure whether that makes me a moron, or not.
  • I speak German fairly fluently, enough to get through a copy of Eisenbahn Kurier from time to time
  • As I wrote in the original piece, ‘there’s nothing wrong with buying German buses’.  The point of the piece was to highlight the absurdity of Boris replacing bendy buses with non bendy buses of the same design when the spin on the policy in the campaign was that he was going to bring back the glory of good old British design and sweep these unwanted socialistic foreign menaces off the streets and back to their Scandinavian airports.  The irony is that there was always a nasty xenophobic streak to the Bendy Jihad, along with the anti-disabled stuff, which has echoes in the way that London under Boris is turning in on itself instead of staking its place in the world as leading 21st century international city, which is what I, as a Londoner, want.

Still, in john’s eyes I’m a total middle aged racist and moron.  Should’ve gone to Specsavers, I reckon.

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