Skip to main content

Sympathy for @l@n P3n3ll

So we have a new monster to fear, ladies and gentlemen. The schoolboy killer has been named, shamed and banged up for the rest of his natural-born. The public can breath easy once more.

Leaving aside the dodgy ethics of jailing a sixteen year old for life we are left with what is, simply put, a plain upsetting news story. A boy, a child, is dead, stabbed by the aforementioned in an argument over a girl. His life is gone, and ain't coming back, and this of course is a terrible terrible thing. His family and friend's lives are forever blighted and it is beholden to us to grieve for him, and for them all.

Alan's life, too, is forfeit however. The story struck a chord with me. The wounds of school are still pretty fresh to be honest, and I remember vividly the desperation and anguish of not feeling as if you fitted in. Regrettably I am not of  a strong enough character to revel in loner status, and I remember my mother's exasperation at my attempts to alter myself, to become a more acceptable me, attempts which never worked, the failure of which drove me to the blackest of rages. Luckily for me, I grew up, and I don't care any more. But reading through it I can easily recall one or two moments when it all became too much, and I may easily have snapped and done something which I'd have regretted forever. I didn't, and now I am a fine upstanding member of the general public, hooray for me. This doesn't change the fact that with its social strata, its unwritten rules and shifting boundaries school is Hell, and given enough chances, it's not that hard to turn into a demon.

So I cannot, and will not, countenance the very public lynching of an unhappy boy. Luke Walmsley is dead, there is nothing to be gained from pretending otherwise. His life was stopped by a seven inch lock-knife. It is a tragedy which I wish with all my heart had never occurred. His killer has gone to prison, justice has been served, now leave it.


Popular posts from this blog

Just let us enjoy it for five minutes, yeah?

He lost! The moment that most sane humans have been fervently praying for for the last four years has finally arrived. After an interminable period of watching numbers fail to move, more "Key Race alerts than I've had hot dinners, and much marvelling at the seemingly iron constitutions of all at CNN, the news was finally confirmed. And lo there was much rejoicing across the land. You'll have your own favourite bit, no doubt, Personally for me it's a toss-up between Nigel Farage losing a ten grand bet and the hilariously shambolic, bathetic ending, where a confused Rudy Giuliani, thinking he'd booked the Four Seasons Hotel for a press conference, stood blinking in the car-park of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a crematorium and a shop selling dildoes.  I am not by any stretch much of a US politics nerd. I know that most UK politics fans have a slightly dorky obsession over the US process which probably stems from watching too much West Wing , but it's s

Lockdown 2: Back in the Habit

 The weather, suitably, is dreich. The sky's filled in, the drizzle is unrelenting, all the better, were I a glib columnist dealing in clunking metaphor, to reflect the mood of nation, as we collectively enter Lockdown 2: This Time it's Personal. As with all sequels, this Lockdown comes freighted with prior knowledge of the original. We should, arguably, know what to expect and so, in that sense, it should be easier. With a more clearly defined end point than the original, it should, in theory, be easier to bear. Only four short weeks of seeing whether or not the sourdough bread-baking skills survived the months back in work, and then off we go. Viewed this way, Lockdown 2: Lockdown Harder should be negotiated fairly easily. A pain in the arse, yes, but at least we know what we're dealing with now. That's the Panglossian version of events, of course. A bit of time at home, recharge the batteries, maybe we'll get it right this time, get that pesky R rate down, we can

Gordon Ramsay and the semiotics of the full English breakfast.

 It was bound to happen, sooner or later. A public which has spent a long time having to think and argue about serious things was just gagging for something trivial to get in a froth about. Sure, football's back, but is that trivial enough? Enter one-time chef turned full-time media personality Gordon Ramsay, and his iteration of that classic dish, the Full English Breakfast, the dish of which Somerset Maugham famously said "If a man wishes to eat well in England he should eat breakfast three times a day." Here he is announcing the Savoy Grill's breakfast It's hard to think of a dish more deeply embedded in the national psyches of the nations which make up the British Isles. I should like, at this point, to acknowledge that Full Irish, Scottish and Welsh breakfasts are all things of pure beauty, I mean no disregard by referring to a full English in this blog (though Ramsay, as a Scot, should have known he was playing with fire). Roast Beef maybe, Fish and Chips pr