Raoul Moat. The person who had this name, in a very short space of time enjoyed a certain level of notoriety. He engineered, by his behaviour, a large and expensive manhunt, a necessary hunt, which never let it be forgotten, we will all have to pay for.

Moat’s state of mind and his personality can be analysed to kingdom come, where presumably he now rests along with the dead victim of his actions. To do what he did, there was some pre-planning, there were accomplices who looked after him, and in all likelihood, supplied Moat with his lethal tools. Once Moat started the roller-coaster of destruction, it was unlikely he would be able to stop it. He had probably worked out beforehand in his own mind, how the brakes would be slammed on.

It should not be forgotten, this man left many victims. His own children, will no doubt, learn to survive their father, I hope they do it well. Then, there is one policeman and an ex-girlfriend who have been shot and injured by him. In addition, there are the families and friends of these people. They all hurt and grieve. Moat has a brother and an uncle that we have heard from, they will experience emotional turmoil too.

Due to the media playing the angles and distortions game here, anything to keep the story going, sell papers, gain or keep audiences, with absolutely no care as to the effects on others who have been hurt, Moat is suddenly sparking a posthumous persona as a victim of every control structure in society. Lest we forget, this man worked as a bouncer; he was not averse to using power and controlling others.

The spree killings in Cumbria, a very recent one day horror, has not, as far as I know, resulted in the perpetrator being venerated as a victim. Setting up Moat to be a heroic victim in his end, is a distorted, vainglorious coup de grace.



  1. Actually, the papers were full of people who were acquainted with the taxi driver who went nuts with guns, and predictably all claimed you could not meet a nicer person.

    I thought the newspaper picture of Moat in a mini-skirt and lipstick told us all more than we needed to know about about him, as well. He was clearly mad, even before his mates helped him get hold of guns.

    Thatcher’s “Care in the Community” was a way to make the rich richer by flogging off the mental hospitals that has cost us dearly ever since.

  2. I see that his brother is saying that he was a ‘victim’. That’s all we need. When are we going to start calling a spade a spade in this country, and have the courage to say that some things are just bad and wrong? Even so, there are some human tragedies here, including Moat himself, and for those I’m sad.

    Thank you for spade-calling in your posting!

  3. I think that nowadays, for all sorts of reasons, we mix up reasons with reasonable. Clearly Moat had his reasons otherwise he wouldn’t have acted as he did but does that make his choices reasonable?
    Unless we believe that we have no control over our actions then we have to accept that people have some responsibility for what they do and that sometimes we choose terrible things when we do know that those actions will cause terrible distress.

    I think, perhaps Moat’s end triggers memories of Butch Cassidy and that somehow by standing up to the police he was a bit of a Robin Hood. Which of course he wasn’t, someone is dead because of him and many others lives have been shattered, being anti authority doesn’t inevitably make you a hero however distorted our values are today.

  4. I haven’t seen the picture of Moat that you mention. One or two headlines I saw that were blatantly appealing to prurience switched me off. I wasn’t going to waste money on purchasing them. Broadcast media was not much better.

    I am well acquainted with the closures of the huge Victorian edifices that were the mental hospitals of old. In itself, it was not a bad idea to close these monstrosities, however, where I do agree with you, is that the money-raising cost-cutting exercize that was called community care, did not do what was promised, because it was never resourced in any viable way in which the job could be done. (We were, as a country paying off debts, which took priority over social need. Watch what happens in the next few year). Community care failed all sorts of vulnerable people, even to this day it does. On the other hand, by comparison, a few people gained.

    That said, there is absolutely no guarantee that the public would have been protected from someone like Ralph Moat, even if the old institutions existed. We do not have confirmed knowledge of his history to know if he would have been a candidate for their services. The old mental hospitals were not run by the Home Office then, and what replacement services there are, are not run by the prison service today. The Forensic units that do exist today, do answer to various criminal justice requirements.

  5. Valid thinking Tim. I have reservations about the man’s rationality; but, then his rationale was very obviously different to that of a vast number of people.

    The thought processes that appeared to be at play were anything but reasonable. We heard that Moat had served a short sentence for assault. We saw his propensity to ignite those emotions with great ferocity. Control, he had those mechanisms in spades, apparently directed towards others.

    Moat did not stand up to Police, he eventually did lead everyone a dance. In the early stages, it was easy for him, no cleverness there. Is this what some groups, (described as ‘disaffected’ by some cognoscenti brought in by broadcast media to analyse them) responded to? The media too, have a part to play in this, in the manner of reporting and their post-death portrayals. It is, in my view, more likely these manipulations those people have been sucked into. And guess what, to cover tracks, this is described as a Robin Hood reaction. Hell! Aren’t we naive. Or, am I just a cynic…

  6. You can see what kind of questions were posed by the media to Moat’s brother.

    I agree with you about the human tragedies. There are more like Moat, they don”t all create mayhem and kill. They do create much misery to people in their lives. It can propagate more of the same, unfortunately.

  7. Hi Marika,

    The perversity of people is, at times, beyond sensible comprehension. All sorts of theories about it have abounded, some of which, I don’t accept. There was definitely juvenile level band-waggoning, which is reflective, I believe, of the stunted emotional growth of the character and a large number of the sympathisers.

    “…he was responsible for his own demise”. I agree.

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