news, views and issues around Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath and Woolwich, south-east London – what you won't read in Greenwich Time

Remember the gay letter row? News Shopper reaps what it sows

with 12 comments

Catching up on local news, this caught my eye on the News Shopper website…

It’s a horrifying tale for sure, with a man being told he should “burn in hell” because “men should only lay with women”. Indeed, you wouldn’t find such views pushed through people’s letterboxes under the guise of a “local newspaper” which had rewarded their author with a free pen, would you?

Wonder what happened to that free pen? Wonder what it’s being used for now?

The Snooze Shopper hasn’t learned its lessons from that attempt to start a row, though – last week it launched a campaign against Staffordshire Bull Terriers, demanding its owners make the dogs wear a muzzle in public.

“Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you some harrowing stories involving victims as young as nine and as old as 90. We’ll also be calling on you to Shop a Dog.”

Tasteful. Just like the logo with the blood-splattered tag.

I won’t link to it, because the website hits are all they judge success by, and I’m sure the champagne corks are already popping in Petts Wood over a 205-comment thread of bile at the foot of the story. But I’ll happily link to Battersea Dogs’ Home’s response:

“By encouraging Staffordshire Bull Terriers to be seen as dangerous, your campaign is fuelling the abuse and abandonment of a much-maligned breed which does not deserve its negative reputation.”

Still, when there’s a vigilante attack on a Staffie owner next year, I’m sure the News Shopper will be first to bring us the news.

(Thanks to Nick at Brockley Central for the tip-off on the homophobic attack, and Brockley Kate for the Battersea link.)

Written by Darryl

3 October, 2011 at 12:16 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Hi Darryl,
    The Dogs Trust have also released a statement,



    3 October, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  2. Thanks Barbara – oh dear…

    Still, between that, some old crap about a chicken and whining about not getting Olympics tickets, it’s a good day’s work for the Shopper’s top brass.


    3 October, 2011 at 1:21 pm

  3. Darryl,
    I must admit to being a staff owner, I’ve seen people act warily around my dog & thats fine, I’m always cautious around strange dogs myself, but to treat any animal like this is wrong on so many levels, do I have to think twice before I go for a walk in the woods, are strangers pointing at me? We haven’t done anything wrong, we haven’t broken the law, now I’m starting to feel paranoid!


    3 October, 2011 at 7:06 pm

  4. If it’s a campaign against Staffs, why have they used a picture of a Dobermann?


    4 October, 2011 at 8:32 am

  5. BlackMaria beat me to it. That’s a bizarre illustration.

    I’m no dog expert, but there’s a Staffie down the road from us and she’s a real laugh. Always wants to play, tail going nineteen-to-the dozen. Funnily enough our aged cat is not so keen on her!


    4 October, 2011 at 8:43 am

  6. what is the fixation with having a Staffie and these types of Status dogs in London

    what about all the other wonderful and non-threatening breeds of dogs out these?


    4 October, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  7. Not all staffs are “status” dogs, they are described by the Kennel Club as “the Nanny dog”. I have had a few dogs over the years, all different breeds, I’ve never bought a dog, there’s plenty in need out there, I have to say my staff is one of the kindest, most loyal dogs I’ve had, not the brightest admittedly, but he is part of our family & knows his place. Dogs like kids need manners, boundaries, love & discipline. My staff isn’t a fashion accessory, he’s not paraded on a thick chain, Please don’t stereotype all bull breeds & their owners.


    4 October, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  8. Wish someone had shopped the bull terrier near me before it locked its jaw down onto a very little girl … and it wasn’t its first attack on her. The screams were horrendous according to those who heard them. But as has been said, and definitely in this particular case, I blame the owner.


    5 October, 2011 at 10:24 am

  9. Brenda, exactly! But the newsshopper isn’t trying to help with it’s shop a dog, it’s going for cheap sensationalism. This is a subject that needs calm debate with professionals like the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA, reputable breeders & the kennel club mind you there is plenty of people out there (on both sides of the debate) who having worked as dog handlers etc for a few years set themselves up as experts with no real qualifications!


    5 October, 2011 at 11:10 am

  10. Barbara, I agree with you 100%, in the right hands these dogs are safe, in the wrong hands they are not.

    There is a wino near us who has a staff on a chain and the dog seems well behaved, but that doesn’t stop me from steering a large berth. I feel a little intimidated to be honest because of this breed and the stories that Brenda relates to.

    When growing up we always had 3 or 4 large dogs at home, all with a great nature and never involved in attacks. They might slobber over you but that would be it.

    I just feel that these dogs have a rage inside them that will just come out unexpectedly.


    6 October, 2011 at 1:24 pm

  11. Great article, shared!

    Rachael Richardson

    10 October, 2011 at 9:50 pm

  12. [...] rewarded an anti-gay rant with a “star letter” prize, while a couple of months back it tried to whip up hysteria about Staffordshire Bull Terriers. We know it likes to turn a blind eye to lunatic comments in news stories, under the belief that it [...]

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