Linda Colling: What happens when the poor get poorer

Midsomer murders
Midsomer murders
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THE creator of Midsomer Murders, Brian True-May, well and truly shot himself in the foot.

The politically correct axe fell after he claimed the show’s success was down to its all-white cast and “the last bastion of Englishness”.

How quintessentially English, Midsomer is, and isn’t that all that Mr True-May was saying when he claimed that multicultural characters would “look out of place” in Midsomer?

He shouldn’t have said it but he should be able to.

He doubtless wishes he had kept his thoughts to himself now his job is on the line after being asked in an interview for the Radio Times – something that had never crossed my mind – why there were no black or Asian people in the programme.

He replied: “We just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them.

“It wouldn’t work. Suddenly we might be in Slough. And if you went to Slough you wouldn’t see a white face there. They (fans) love the perceived English genteel eccentricity. It’s not British. It’s very English.”

Oh dear. Then the penny dropped and he made a remark that he knew what he had said was not politically correct. He wasn’t ranting just saying what he thought. But in our PC society there is an insidious veto on saying what you think if it touches on ethnic minorities, even when there is no racist intent.

We live in a minefield of multiculturalism. And the furore that ensued has blown Mr True-May’s world to smithereens.

Given we have Music of Black Origin Awards, what would happen if there were to be Music of White Origin Awards? And let’s not forget the BBC’s Asian network.

And of course we do indeed have villages where the only faces are white.

So much so, one Ugandan friend reckons she was the first black person villagers had ever seen in Cockfield and another friend, an Indian, caused similar consternation and was sadly met with suspicious stares when he moved into a village in North Yorkshire.

Midsomer is a show that disturbs me, not for racial prejudice but the plethora of killings. And if they carry on murdering people here as they do, maybe they will have to draft black people in to star in it....

THE ransacking of Red House Methodist Church is a sign of the times where people no longer have an abiding sense that robbing a House of God is way off limit.

Church roofs have always been targetted by rogues, shinning up drainpipes in search of lead.

But even the most hardened of old lags had respect for the inside of places of worship, no matter how desperate they were. Not so today.

The destruction wreaked at Red House, the first in its 54 years, wasn’t sacrilege - there was no desecration of the altar or worship area.

This was an act of determined, destruction in desperation for money, perhaps for drugs.

It defiled this building with the pollution that has pervaded society – the sickness that says it’s OK to do over the church, smash your way in through its weakest point, destroy every fluorescent light in sight to escape detection and then kick and cave in every heavy, wooden door with feet and fire extinguisher until you find something, anything worth taking to sell or trade for cash.

Here it was the music group’s keyboard, amplifier and speakers – in all about £3,000 of electrical gear. The safe defeated them.

What happened here on main Redcar Road is indicative of a mindset that has no respect for anything or anyone. Ten thousand plus damage. So what? The insurance will pay.

That’s what they think – just like the raiders who scaled Houghton Methodist Church, ripping off all the metal (which turned out to be worthless) and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage last year.

There, again, it was the first time such damage had been caused.

And I believe we will see more crime as more people become desperate, driven by their poverty-stricken plight to plunder.

It’s what happens when the poor get poorer, if they have no idea of right and wrong and believe they are justified to rob and steal because they can’t afford to do any other.

What happened at Red House was an expression of desperation. It disgusts and beggars belief.

They weren’t experienced thieves, mere novices to leave their fingerprints and footprints everywhere. But it’s their hearts and minds the entire congregation of 14 are praying for right now.