Sunday, 5 September 2010

Diana Watch

Yesterday at the Dorset County Show my nephew asked “what are those?” pointing at a bull that was walking away from us.
 What am I supposed to say? He is 8 and inquisitive and clearly doesn’t know, so there is only one thing to do, go for it.
 “They are testicles.”
“What are testicles?”  Ah, crap, I thought he’d just be happy with that, “Ummm, they are its sex organs.” The predictable response was indeed forthcoming, “What are sex organs?” In for a penny, in for a pound, “Well it’s where it makes sperm that it puts inside the mother cow to make baby cows.”
“Oh fair enough” he said. Well that was easier than I thought. So if my brother and sister-in-law get some interesting questions in the next few days I would like to say in my defence that I was answering an honest question honestly. And they were massive bollocks that I was hoping very hard that he wouldn’t notice.

I have to admit to being massively angry this week. The press are still giving almost blanket coverage of the Pakistani cricket betting thing whilst most of the papers are trying very hard to ignore proper news such a very fulsome investigation by the New York Times (NYT) into the most guttery of Britain’s gutter press, the News of the World.
 This terrible waste of a tree was caught hacking into the mobile phones of various famous and influential people, most significantly at the time Princes William and Harry, and a private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, and the paper’s royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, were found guilty of these crimes and imprisoned.
 The Editor at the time was Andy Coulson, he resigned saying that he knew nothing of these events, a stance that he continues with in his new job as David Cameron’s press chief.
 However the NYT begs to differ. They say that he did know what was going on and this was confirmed by an ex-NOTW journalist, Sean Hoare, on Radio4’s PM program who said that Mr Coulson sat in on several meetings were the illegal hacking into the mobile phone voice mails of Politicians, Royals and celebrities in general. 2 men with competing versions of events, that tell very different stories, 1 of these men is lying. Personally I have a view on which one it is most likely to be, even though that does mean having to trust a NOTW journalist which is quite a hard thing to do, but I repeat the words of many people, if Mr Coulson feels that Mr Hoare is lying then he can sue him for libel. So far, nothing.
 Questions have also been raised about the Metropolitan Polices handling of the investigation. They only investigated the Royal phone interceptions properly, which resulted in 2 convictions, but seemed reluctant to get involved any more. They also seem to be less than forthcoming when asked for information.
 The most outspoken not particularly well informed person is probably former Deputy Prime Minster John Prescott who has started to make quite a bit of fuss about Scotland Yards avoiding of information giving.
 Mr Prescott did have his phone hacked but is not having his requests for details answered. The Observer claims that Scotland Yard holds two invoices that contain the Mr Prescott’s name. They appear to show that News International, owner of the News of the World, paid Glenn Mulcaire for his help on stories relating to the deputy PM.
 As a result of the Met Police’s general unhelpfulness and these new allegations Mr Prescott is calling for a judicial review into the Police handling of this case.
 As the NYT says “Scotland Yard had chosen to notify only a fraction of the hundreds of people whose messages may have been illegally accessed — effectively shielding News of the World from a barrage of civil lawsuits.”
 A House of Commons committee did look into the case shortly after the initial allegations were made and described the News of the World executives of “deliberate obfuscation.”
 There is a code of silence that exists within most of the British press when it comes to criticism of other newspapers so it is very hard to find this story being covered in anywhere but the Guardian, although the Independent is now running it.
 The BBC were very slow to pick up on it and were it has been covered in newspapers it is being done so in a way that suggests that this is party political muck raking because those who are making a fuss at the moment are left wingers such as Labour MPs and the Guardian.
 Others are saying that this is just anti-Murdoch hatred from rival news organisations. Education Secretary Michael Gove was right on message this morning on Andrew Marr’s program when he said both of those things. Those making the most fuss are Labour people and the NYT is only publishing this story because it is part of a circulation war/anti-Murdoch.
 The thing is, we know that more people than the 2 Princes, no singing now, have been hacked because there have been some private prosecutions against the News of the World but part of their settlements was that they most hold their silence, see also here, and that leads to the question, if it was only the Royal correspondent of the paper doing all of this hacking why did he target Graham Taylor, Alex Ferguson or Max Clifford, they are not very Royal.
 I’m sure if 3 no balls in a cricket match are serious enough for the Police to investigate, surely this must be.

To cheer us all up how about some deeply poor taste advertising from China,


Diana, the lingerie range.

The other thing that really upset me this week was the resignation of Christopher Myers.
 Mr Myers was, up until this week, a special advisor to Foreign Secretary William Hague but was forced to resign after an internet based whispering campaign about his and Mr Hague’s sexuality.
 The awful blogger Guido Fawkes found out that the two men shared a twin room in a hotel whilst out campaigning and decided, like any bigoted idiot would, that they were definitely gay. He talked around the subject and made excuses along the lines of asking about tax payers’ money but his basic thrust was, the Hagues have no children and William spent at least one night in the same room as another man so he is defiantly gay. Tosser!
 If you are wondering how much of a tosser he is, there is a section on his website called Totty Watch, massive tosser (possibly literally.)
  So upsetting did the Hagues find this rumour mongering that they felt the need to release a statement much not only denied any Gayety but also told the world why they have had no children.
 So might say that this was a little naïve and a bit too much information, and I would agree, but it does go to show how upset they were just because it amused some bloke called Paul. Oh and it cost a man his job!

Ok, some awards now,

The Award for Over Looked British Sporting Success of the Week,

This goes to England’s Woman’s Rugby team who are playing in the World Cup finals today against New Zealand.
The game is being played as I type this so I don’t know what the score is but never the less, COME ON ENGLAND!

The Award for Just About The Best Tennis Shot You Will See By Just About The Best Player Ever of the Week,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Roger Federer,

Ooh, before I go I bring you news of more local news think outside the box. Southampton football club have banned anyone but their own photographers from selling pictures of their home games. Local papers are not willing to pay for them so they have been coming up with novel ways of illustrating their coverage of the games. So far we have had one paper using Court Style artist’s impressions and the Bournemouth Echo used pictures from the 80’s when AFC Bournemouth played the Saints. My new favourite however goes to The Swindon Advertiser which has used little subbuteo men to show what had happened.

Here are some pictures from yesterday’s Dorchester Show and thank you to everyone on Twitter who helped me recover them after I accidentally deleted them, it was much appreciated.
 No Diana Watch next week as we will be at The End of the Road Festival. Have a lovely couple of weeks.

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