There has been a rather bizarre response to the death of Raoul Moat, with people in the news comments and even on Facebook praising him as a hero. Not an anti-hero, but a hero: misunderstood, sweet, wouldn't harm a fly unless provoked, of course. A real man. Huh.
I won't rip into this particularly stupid and Neanderthal* mindset. Al-Jahom has done it capably here and here. The quality of discourse in the Facebook comments is amazing, from a purely linguistic point of view. A small but representative sample:
VERY TRUE LEGENT HE WAS AND THATS WHAT HE,LL BE REMEMBERED BY
HE SHOULD OF TOOK HER OUT SHES THE BLAME OF ALL THIS THE SLUT R.I.P RAOUL XXX
(This by someone called "Bella". Nice girl.)
Words fail me. Plenty of others have commented, so I won't say any more. These posts say everything I would have wished to.
Except that I am reminded of Dinsdale Pirhana. In the words of the classic Monty Python sketch from 1970,
Stig O'Tracy: (In answer to the remark: "I've been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.") No. Never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to buy his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me. ... He was a hard man. Vicious but fair."
Vicious but fair. And Moat was an innocent angel who only served time for beating up his own child because he was a "top bloke who was pushed into it by a woman".
Yeah, yeah. The Pythons had it right first time.
* This is rather unfair, as by all accounts the Neanderthals were civilised folk who cared for their sick and buried their dead with ceremony and respect.