There are many opinions on this.
Some believe Mr Kershaw got what was coming to him, following the all-too-regular campaign of bullying, intimidation and general thuggery inflicted on the man who eventually killed him. They have a point, of course. Others believe that he didn't deserve what happened, just for urinating on someone's door. And of course, they're absolutely right too. Anthony Kershaw should not have lost his life.***
Still others (mostly those who knew Mr Kershaw) have spoken of a 'Jack the Lad' character, who was 'loved and respected' by those who knew him. They have demanded that those commenting on Al Jahom's page 'show some respect'. And there, dear reader, is the topic.
Respect is one of those words that, like 'fairness', is bandied around all the time by people with little, if any, understanding as to its meaning. And it's especially popular with the more feral members of our society***.
Those commenting negatively about Mr Kershaw's actions were told to 'have some respect'. Mr Kershaw himself was, apparently, loved and respected. In other stories, we read of the 'gang culture' and the shootings in our towns, cities and sink estates - people, frequently young, losing their lives for the crime of 'disrespect'.
And yet like 'fairness' and 'democracy' have become meaningless multisyllables, the true, real, genuine meaning of respect is largely lost to those who scream the word the loudest.
It seems to me that to the word has morphed until for chavs and the like, 'respect' relates to how feared you are among your peer group - a sort of scumbag analogue of the Mohs Scale. You get respect because you're 'ard. Tasty. Nobody messes, yeah, coz you'll fuck 'em right up, cut 'em, yeah? Innit.
But that isn't respect.
You'll hear chavs, assorted idiots and 'gangstas' spouting drivel about how 'respect has to be earned', still thinking it's theirs to demand, to take by force.
That isn't respect.
Respect - and I am referring to respect between adults here, not the more heirarchical nature of that between children and adults - does indeed have to be earned, but it is not earned by your toughness, your ability to sink pints or how intimidating you can be to passers-by. It's gained only by the worth of your character - and, specifically, by how much respect you accord to others.
So to those Rochdalians who have been defending Mr Kershaw's actions, consider this: if you want to be a 'loved and respected' person, fine. Be respected for recognising that it's disrespectful to arse about loudly outside another individual's home. Recognise that it's disrespectful to refuse to move on when asked to do so by another homeowner. And recognise that it's certainly disrespectful - in the extreme - to urinate through someone's letterbox.
To be respectable is to act with basic levels of consideration for the people around you. To fail in that most basic of requirements renders you unworthy of the term.
No, Anthony Kershaw shouldn't have died as a result of his actions. But those who are claiming he was respected should examine his deeds, consider how they would react were someone to do the same to them - and realise that calling him 'respected' makes a meaningless mockery of the word and the concept.
*&* I use the term in its loosest possible sense.