The Power Of the Mob

by Neil Bamforth

No, I’m not talking about the Mafia. I’m talking about human beings – not that the Mafia aren’t human beings of course. Unpleasant ones perhaps, but human all the same. I’m talking about what happens when otherwise ‘normal people’ involve themselves with other like minded people and become so evangelical in their beliefs that, so often, innocents get hurt.

Of course, ‘the mob’ invariably fail to take any responsibility what so ever for the injured innocents. They are, usually, far too busy moving onto the next bit of ‘mob justice’ that has attracted them.

I recently touched on the subject of social media bullying and, it has to be said, ‘mob justice’ does seem to have found another home in which to thrive via social media.

In Blighty, it has been particularly noticeable around the interminable subject of Brexit.

Following Facebook sites both pro leave and remain, I have noticed the ‘mob mentality’ on both rear its ugly head on many occasions.

A ‘remainer’ asks a perfectly reasonable question on a ‘leave’ page and, instead of simply answering the question or debating sensibly their position, the ‘leave mob’ descend, as if from on high, to verbally abuse and insult the ‘remainer’ who had the audacity to ask a perfectly reasonable and, indeed, sensible question.

The same happens on ‘remain’ pages if a ‘leaver’ dares to ask a perfectly reasonable question.

‘The mob’, should the person inadvisably allow traceability to their own personal Facebook page via their question, often do a bit more descending, en mass, onto the unfortunates personal page and, until they are blocked, verbally scream vitriol at them.

More locally to me, a very talented veterinary surgeon very nearly had his career and reputation destroyed by a grave miscarriage of justice. Fortunately, things have finally turned in his favor and, hopefully, there is a most welcome ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for him.

The accusations, which have proven false, made against him regarding involvement with illegal puppy farming, brought ‘the mob’ out in force.

By far the most vitriolic of the two mobs – one for him and one against – were those against him.

It was most odd witnessing the absolute and utter garbage being spouted by the ‘anti’ mob. The vet was clearly guilty, seemingly by the fact that he was alive. The accusations were undoubtedly true, therefore he should be struck off the veterinary register, imprisoned for life, hung, drawn and quartered, stitched back together and hung, drawn and quartered again, followed by being beaten with a large club in perpetuity.

Frankly, it was quite terrifying to read.

‘The mob’ had made up their minds. Evidence? Who needs evidence! He is the accused! Hang him! those poor puppies! hang the bastard!

‘The mob’ had decided. The accusation, in their warped minds, was all the proof needed.

He MUST be a witch! It’s the ducking stool for him!

Good grief.

Many centuries ago, ‘the mob’ had people, accused of witchcraft, drowned. It was great for ‘the mob’. It was a win / win. If the accused wasn’t a witch then they drowned. Clearly they couldn’t have been a witch or they could have avoided drowning so they are innocent! Yes, they are dead from drowning, but so what? they were found innocent.

“Yes oh mighty mob, but now they are innocent and dead”

“He dares to accuse of being wrong! He’s a witch! Bring the ducking stool!”

What is it about humanity that, when they go into ‘mob mode’, their brains cease to function? They become rabid morons of the highest order.

Even worse, sometimes, just by chance, ‘the mob’ end up being right about something. That just seems to inspire them on to more mob behavior. The fact that they are, almost, always wrong is immaterial. They get it right one in a hundred times and that’s enough for ‘the mob’.

I’m part of what could loosely be described as ‘a mob’. I am part of ‘a mob’ that supports Oldham Athletic Football Club blindly and without thought. The fact that, with a brief flurry of success in the early 1990’s apart, Oldham have maintained the tradition of being resolutely useless throughout most of my 54 years of supporting them, I blindly follow the Oldham ‘mob’ and will not acknowledge anyone telling me I am crazy.

My ‘mob’ is harmless though. The only innocents affected are our children and grandchildren, who we invariably expose to our own demented passionate love of a useless football team by forcing them to become supporters.

The psychological damage I may inflict on my soon to be born grandchild should make me ashamed, but it doesn’t. My grandchild will join my Oldham Athletic ‘mob’ and that’s all there is to it.

If you tell me I am cruel to do such a thing, will I verbally abuse you? Will I suddenly pop up on your Facebook page and swear at you?

No, of course not (probably).

The ‘mobs’ of which I speak and should frighten us all, are the mobs who gleefully set about dismantling the reputation and livelihood of an excellent veterinary surgeon, and thoroughly decent man, all because they are ‘the mob’, therefore they are right.

The righteous indignation of ‘the mob’ was bad enough before the internet age. Now, it barges into all our lives and, if we dare to make an error in their eyes or, come to that, find ourselves even accused of such a thing, ‘the mob’ are waiting to pounce.

‘The mob’ may, one day, accept their mistake and announce that we were innocent after all but, the damage will be, to a large extent, irreparable.

We will have already drowned on the ducking stool.

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Posted by on April 14, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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7 Responses to The Power Of the Mob

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    April 15, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I thought i had replied to this, but apparently I didn’t. It was brilliant as you might expect. I do remember talking about chimps and our similarities.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      April 15, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Just call me Cornelius….or Zaius…..or Galen 🙂

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    April 15, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Well done old bean. In the US the “mob” belongs to Donald Trump, and to a lesser extent the Bernie Sanders supporters. Bernie was a presidential candidate in 2016 and is running again for the 2020 spot. His supporters, like Trump’s, are dedicated salivators who will stop at nothing in the service of their “man.”

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      April 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      There are waaaaay too many dedicated salivators for my liking too!

  3. jess Reply

    April 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I have had a family mob these past few days. The inlaws always did a huge Easter thing and this year is no exception. Last year they let me beg off because first one without Kent and all but this year no chance of me getting let off the hook. So I tell them, ok I’ll come but new boyfriend is coming (if he wants) with and if you don’t like it then stuff it up your asses. They called my fucking bluff and my mother in law wants to meet him because Kent’s sister has told her parents, Kent would have loved this to be the guy I ended up with. It’s like I ended up in some kid of creepy fucking movie inspired by cheesy romantic movies that I seriously love, no seriously I love them. Sixteen Candles I am there, Breakfast Club ditto, Say Anything check check.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      April 17, 2019 at 6:18 am

      As long as it ain’t Fatal Attraction or Basic Instinct! 🙂

      • jess Reply

        April 17, 2019 at 12:22 pm


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