“Vermin of the Year”

Some rather disappointing news: Harry’s Place was not nominated by the pro-Respect Coalition blog Through the Scary Door for Vermin of the Year.

(Okay, we did score Vermin of the Week a couple of times. And an occasional HP contributor, Peter Tatchell, was nominated. But still…)

My almost-default reaction is to admire every nominee, even the ones I’ve never heard of. Unfortunately the inclusion of Margaret Thatcher and the BNP makes that impossible.

What really strikes me is the sheer hatefulness and violence of the language used to describe some of the nominees: Jack Straw is a “vile piece of vomit”; the NUS “is riddled with worms, vermin and scabs” and “infested with Zionist hacks”, etc. Yes, I know we HPers sometimes go over the rhetorical top when discussing certain people and organizations, and some of our erstwhile commenters do so with abandon. But Through the Scary Door and blogs of that ilk seem to wallow in their hatreds and practically invite violence against their perceived enemies. (After all, what do you do with real vermin?)

Again: yes, we have our favorite targets at Harry’s Place, but I hope we mostly treat them as human beings– profoundly wrong and deserving of challenge (and sometimes ridicule), but still human beings, entitled to life and free expression as much as we are. Please let us know when we come up short.