…is supposedly the cryptic phrase written on a wall in Goulston Street at the height of the Ripper murders in 1888 and subsequently removed on the orders of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren, on the ground that it may be taken as a sign that Jews were responsible for the crimes and so may ‘inflame tensions’. It’s meaning and author has driven Ripperologists mad for years.
We haven’t come very far, have we?
DumbJon links to this story about a modern day cover-up of ‘unhelpful’ graffiti which is claimed may ‘inflame tensions’ and may indeed be the work of the far-right trying to foment trouble. Sound familiar?
Of course, back in 1888 it was the police that removed the offending message. In 2009, the media do it themselves, by PhotoShop rather than a hastily-gathered scrap of rag.
Which is something to bear in mind when they trumpet their claims to free speech, isn’t it? Not that they are wrong about Carter-Ruck, that is indeed a scandal.
But they aren’t always so wedded to free speech as they may want you to believe…