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Serial killers of discernment - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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Serial killers of discernment
This special report is brought to you from central Milton Keynes. where the police have recently announced the arrest of Arthur Sadbloke on charges of the murder of five telemarketers. Tonight we spare a thought for the victims of these hideous crimes.

Now it's well known that telemarketers are of course scumbags, and here in the media, where all our reporters embody every possible virtue, we don't normally sully our hands by talking about such people other than when trying to make some sort of knee-jerk point about the decline of society. This leaves us with a bit of a dilemma. We'd obviously not want to come down hard on people who got murderated, but wouldn't want to risk your ire by suggesting that what these people did was in any way morally defensible.

Fortunately we've developed a neat trick for dealing with this situation which we like to call 'mitigating circumstances". All of our victims were desperate women whose life went astray when lured into the shadowy world of telemarketing by a desperate craving for consumer goods. So you can see that their choice of profession wasn't really their fault.

It's a good job the victims weren't men really, since we'd have a much harder time convincing you that they weren't entirely responsible for their own actions. Then we might have had to resort to arguing that such a distasteful profession wasn't actually all that morally reprehensible in the 21st Century. We would have been on an extremely sticky wicket then, I can tell you. Some people might even have come to the misguided conclusion that if society hadn't villainised their lives in the first place, It wouldn't here been so easy for some nutter to come along and kill them.

(With thanks to BBC News 24, for the inspiration.)

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