Sunday, 4 October 2009

Diana Watch

As you know I hate the Daily Mail but I have, sort of, left them alone for a week or two but not this week.
They have spent the week trying to tell us all how to live our lives and what we can and cannot look at, which is interesting from a paper that complains about the nanny state.
The week started with the unfortunate death of a young girl. She was 14 and had recently had the vaccine against HPV which can go on to course cervical cancer, you know the jab, the one that The Mail is against here but campaigns for in Ireland.
The paper decided, as did most others to be honest, that it was the vaccine that killed her. They had no evidence at all that this was true but that didn't stop them calling for the end of the vaccinations and running polls on the website.
On Tuesday they were still reporting it as if the vaccine had definitely killed her, still no post mortem. In fact on Google news there are 1,592 stories about her death.
On Wednesday the official post mortem was released and it was found that the death of the previously healthy girl had been caused by a massive tumour in her chest that could have killed her at any time. The recent vaccination was merely an unfortunate coincidence. The Mail's website barely mentioned it. 363 articles about the post mortem on Google news. They then published this article, which is a classic having your cake and eating it bit of writing.
“Natalie's death forced experts to stress that the cervical cancer jab is safe. The Mail supports that.” they say but they then go on, “But we also believe that the parents who claim it terribly damaged their daughters have a right to speak.” They then go on to make all sorts of accusations in a very carefully written article which makes it clear that it is not them saying these things but they are up holding the free speech rights of their readers. Isn't that good of them? They are fighting for our rights, well only the ones that they think are useful to them, not your right to protest or anything like that. They actually seem to be against that unless it is their readers protesting.
And just when we were all excepting that the jab was safe, 1.4 million doses delivered with not much to report, they publish this today. They have published no evidence at all; it is just scaremongering of the highest order.

Then they tried to tell me what I could see in an art museum.
A picture of Brooke Shields has been removed from an exhibition at the Tate Modern. In this picture she is naked and made up. She was 10 when the picture was taken with the permission of her mother.
The picture has been seen in many countries around the world with no problems at all. It has even been exhibited in America with few complaints but the Mail didn't like it. Oh no. A picture of a naked child is now always pornography to them. They were so upset by the image that they found it necessary to publish a picture of a topless 14 year old Brooke Shields that was ok for some reason.
Ok, so the picture might not have been your thing but that doesn't mean that you can tell me what I can see. I have to decide for myself what is and isn't offensive to me.
I also think that you project on to art what you want to see. I will see a 10 year old girl but it seems that those at the Mail see a sexual image, strange.

And then we have classic Daily Mail misogyny. The Mail's hatred of woman is sometimes hard to pin down but they made it very easy for me this week so I thank them.
Yet another study has shown that if you live a healthy and fit life you reduce you risk of getting cancer. Not really a new or radical finding but it is added to the pile on sensible advice for a long and healthy life. The paper in question specifically mentioned breast cancer as a disease that is most effected by lifestyle choices. They also defined within the study what they meant by moderate to vigorous exercise. They included things such as running, swimming and housework. Can you guess what the headline was in the working woman hating Mail? “Daily dose of housework could cut risk of breast cancer” Nice. Pick out only the bits that tell woman their place in the Mail-centric world.
Oh and while we are at it I give you “Can snuggling up to your pet give you MRSA?”

So let us now move to hypocrisy.
David Miliband made a speech at the Labour Party Conference in which he mentioned the new right wing voting grouping in the European Parliament (admit it, that is the sexiest sentence you have ever read.) and pointed out that some of the people that the Tories have aligned themselves with are less than pleasant when it comes to such issues as race and homosexuality. He then used a quote from Edmund Burke, “What do they say? All you need for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent”. It was said originally in reference to those who didn't speak out against the Nazis in the 30's. This was seized upon as comparing the Tories and their “friends” to the Nazis, which is kind of reasonable in a number of these cases, and many in the Tory party and at The Mail (they are very sensitive on matters of National Socialism, what with their support for the black shirts and everything) called for an apology and a retraction of the statement because they didn't like being compared to the murders of Gypsies, Gays, the disabled and Jews. However, in his article on Thursday it was perfectly OK for Richard Littlejohn to call North Wales Traffic Police “North Wales Traffic Taliban”. You know the Taliban, they're those nice blokes who stone woman to death and kill our soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Sun has switched its support from Labour to the Conservative party. Really? They were still supporting The Labour Party? Are you sure? Well now that the Conservatives look let they are going to win the next election (sigh) they have switched their support. Well, they have in England. It seems that in Scotland, were Labour are well ahead of the Tories, they are still undecided. Glad to see that their decision was based on firmly held political beliefs than.

Whilst we are talking about the Tories just one more thing. David “call me Dave” Cameron is going to announce plans to “Get Britain Working”. One of the things that he is going to say is that there should be a deregulation of business to encourage them to employ more people.
Whoa there Dave, wasn't it the lack of regulation in the banking sector that got us to this situation in the first place? And what sort of things are you going to deregulate? Health and safety? The minimum wage? We want specifics.

let's end this bit with some fun news. The BNP are nearly broke! Come on, that is the best news you've heard in a long time. As the not so real @RealnickGriffin said on Twitter a couple of days ago “The BNP freephone number is 08000086191. Every call costs us money so don't abuse it by, say, leaving it off the hook from a payphone.”

How about some awards?

The Award for Surprise Moan of the Week,

On the 30th of September those of us who have Freeview had to retune our boxes so that new channels could be added and the whole thing could be tidied up a bit.
Following the retune lots of people have complained that they have lost channel 5, ITV 3 and 4. I have seen all of these channels and you would have thought that people would be damn grateful not to able to see this repeat-laden crap.

The Award Least Interesting Survey of the Week,

As usual there are quite a number of candidates for this small but perfectly formed trophy but the winner is a survey into the swinging and who is most likely to do it.
It turns out that, rather than bear bellied blokes and bored housewives, it is mid 20's, well educated people. Upsettingly that is another demographic I fall outside of.
They have names as well. Paul and Catherine are the names of these people most likely to enjoy wife swapping. So if you have a dinner invite from your friends Catherine and Paul this evening I would recommend taking a small pack of condoms with you, you never know what might happen.

The Award for not getting an Award of the Week,

This goes to JK Rowling. According to Matt Latimer, a former Bush speech writer (that's President Bush, not the talking, burning one in Bible, she was up for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is given for “individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavours” (how this includes writing some books about a boy wizard is beyond me but it's their medal), but someone within the Administration “objected” giving her the award because the books encourage Witchcraft.
Oh dear. Do we have to go through this again? IT'S FICTION! IT'S JUST A STORY!
There was also a list of the books on the Guardian website that have had the most attempts to get them banned.
The reasons are the usual sort of things, a bit gay, a bit anti-religious, that sort of thing. It's just pathetic really. You ban things and you make them more interesting. Children (and me) will want to read them more.
Just reading about something doesn't make me want to do it. I read books with religious characters and I don't, now, believe in God. I've read books with murders, gun-running and drug smuggling and I don't do any of those things Hell, I've even read the Daily Mail and it didn't turn me into an unpleasant twat.
What they seemed to scared of is that people (children) might read something and then think about it. Consider an opinion and then come to their own decision and we really can't have that can we?

I’m working quite a lot this week, which is nice. Hope you have a lovely week.

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