Yesterday, Nick “First With The News” Griffin Tweeted the following disturbing story and posted it to his Facebook page:
''Shocking news from the streets of Liverpool: A Huyton senior school went to Oldham yesterday for a footy match and won 5-3. At the end 70 Muslims were waitin for them and battered the lads. One was attacked by 15 and is in a bad way. The Muslims were all in their 20s the Huyton lads were 13 to 15.''
The reaction from his Online Faithful was swift.
“Holly Anne” speaks for many: “Disgraceful and cowardly behaviour but not uncommon. I wonder if they will be charged with racially motivated violence, I won't hold my breathe on that one.”
Over on the British Democracy Forum the outrage was palpable: “Another Pak attack on our young...What next is this School going do, send their girls hockey team to all be drugged up by them, then raped and then put out to prostitution?”, said “Franken”, while “Tarka” painted an even more apocalyptic vision; “In 50 years time when due to the high birth rate of immigrants and our low one, the last of us will be murdered by them.”
My God. It's finally happening. They were right all along. There's probably a bit about it in the Book of Revelations if you care to look.
In my frenzy of apprehension I turned to the only news source to be trusted in times like this: The Mail Online.
Normally, of course, that fine Journal of Record would splash such a story across the front page. Maybe they'd even have an enormous picture (if anyone involved in the melee had cellulite).
But there was nothing.
Nothing in the Liverpool Echo, either.
Even among Griffin's Faithful, questions were being asked: “Is there a link to this story as I would like to share it.” said one.
But there wasn't a link.
Because it never happened.
I heard a story, as a kid, that many of you will have heard variations on:
A woman is out walking her small dog and it begins to rain heavily. Wet through, she seeks shelter in an Indian takeaway (as you would). None of the Staff speak English (which you'd imagine would be a bit of a handicap in the fast food business), but she uses gestures to ask that they allow her dog to dry out next to the oven. The helpful staff (blithely disregarding all hygiene regulations) take the dog through to the kitchen. A few minutes later, they return the pet to its Owner... As a Curry!!” (Cue shock, horror, outrage and the sworn pledge that “It really happened”...)
A few years ago, a Folklorist at Nottingham University attempted to trace the origins of this nasty little myth. She found variations on it the world over – involving Asians, Chinese, Africans, Irish, etc, etc : Always told as a cautionary tale of the subhuman beastliness of “Others”.
(The earliest version she came across, out of interest, was from 15th Century Prague, involving a noblewoman, a Jewish bakery and her baby.)
Indulge me for a moment while I stick my neck out.
Maybe - just maybe - Griffin lied. Maybe he posted an entirely ficticious story knowing full well that it would stir things up among the Members.
Or maybe he hadn't lied, but made an honest mistake. If that were the case, we could reasonably expect him to immediately remove the Post and publish a profuse and extensive apology in its place.
Any half-way decent man would.