The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

Archive for August, 2011

Ortis Deley axed as Athletics front man at Channel 4

with 4 comments

So after three days of to be frank cringe-worthy presenting Channel 4 have removed Ortis Deley from the main achor role on their live coverage of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, Korea. I don’t think anyone will be surprised but if you haven’t watched any of it and don’t believe it can be so bad that it warranted his removal within three days then please watched the following.

Yeah pretty darn awful.

I wrote a couple of months ago about Ortis’ appointment, ‘The front man will be former CBBC and The Gadget Show presenter Ortis Deley. I know over on the BBC Jake Humphrey was given the prime job of fronting the F1 coverage having come from a Children’s TV background but his track record had been in live television – Deley’s has not been. It just isn’t grabbing me. Obviously they couldn’t bring in Sue Barker but Ortis seems uninspired. When Channel 4 brought in the cricket they went with Mark Nicholas who was an inspired choice and their commentary and pundit team was first rate. Maybe I should move on to the good moves.’ That is from my blog lamenting the Channel 4 coverage.

As you can see that blog post has got 30 comments at this current juncture and very few are positive. I have been bits and pieces in the past few days and will do a review of the coverage after I was asked to by lead commentator John Rawling himself. What I don’t need to do clearly is talk about Ortis Deley’s performance. I won’t knock Ortis too much but more Channel 4 for hiring a guy with no live television experience for the lead role in a major project. Getting the World Athletic Championships was a real coup for the channel but putting someone who to be frank wasn’t ready for the big time in live television in the hot seat has overshadowed the wonderful Michael Johnson.

It was sad this had to happen but hopefully Channel 4 will learn from it. You give important jobs to someone who is fully ready to handle it. People need to work their way up and this appointment was terrible from the word go – and when some bum like me knows that – not just thinks that – knows that – then you know there is a problem.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 31st, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Other Sport

Tagged with ,

I have an issue with money

without comments

…but not in the way you might think.

I am too tight, too sensible, too rational. Call it what you like but they are all the same. I am too cautious and I always worry about the supposed rainy day. I am not a risk taker in any form. I think about things to their nth degree and often by the time I have formulated a plan of action the time has passed and I don’t have a choice in how to proceed – it has been made for me. In the autumn of 2008 I was offered a job with a pretty huge pay rise and I was pretty miserable in my job but I still took the best part of four months to make the move.

Why am I blogging about this now?

Well I had agreed to go to Leeds and meet up with a few people from twitter that I had not met. Was looking forward to it as I converse with these people a lot via twitter. However when I sat down and looked into the cost fully I worked out that it would be the best part of £200 for a night out and the tight/sensible/rational part of my brain took over and said that I couldn’t justify it. Relatively quickly it won over and the part of my brain that wants to do things and have fun was shot down in flames.

Now I’m not rich but I can afford it. The money is there but can I justify it and that is what my brain is screaming at me. I have to justify practically every major expenditure that I make. Some may say that this is prudent but some may think that it is very sad and makes me sound like a bit of a loser (it does I know) but still. For example I’ve wanted the complete Stargate SG-1 boxset for around 3-4 years but have I got around to buying it yet? No I haven’t.

Money is only money. That I know but I also know that without it I wouldn’t have my freedom. Another good example is I have wanted a second Penn State hoodie for over a year but wasn’t willing to spend £40 on it because I didn’t think it was worth that. I have managed to source one today for just £25 and that I think it fair value so I have bought it. You might think that £15 is nothing but for me it’s not about the money it is about value.

One of the people I had intended to meet asked me if I would regret not doing things to save a few pounds. It is a great question and she may well be right and a huge part of my brain wants to say sod it but that rational part of my brain just wins out every single time.

Sometimes whilst I won’t say I hate how I am, I do dislike it. I wish I was more care free with regards to everything not just money but I’m not. Look I live alone and work from home and can go days without seeing people. Sometimes I think I’m just becoming socially stagnant and am becoming more and more reclusive. It seems strange to say that considering I do radio and football commentary but being sociable is just something I struggle with and more so as the years go on.

Having said all that I’m very comfortable with who I am and how I live my life. I just sometimes wonder what I’d be like if I was different. I suppose we all do from time to time.

I have no idea as to the point of this but hey – it’s something different compared to my usual fare for this blog.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 30th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Personal

Tagged with

Dr Evan Harris, David Allen Green & Chris Bryant are all sexist for being mean to poor Nadine Dorries.

without comments

Sometimes I look at these names and wonder how they sleep at night or even look at themselves in the mirror. I mean Dr Evan Harris is a former MP for pete sake, David Allen Green is a lawyer and Chris Bryant is a former man of God and even he is a sexist eejit. Going after poor Nadine Dorries. What has she ever done to them? I mean really guys you should all know better.

Oh hang on…my brain is calling, ‘what’s that? You mean that Nadine Dorries often talks out of her rear end and is a fair target of ridicule? Oh I did not know this. Maybe I should clarify what on Earth this blog post is going to be about. Thank you brain for the interruption’.

Earlier this afternoon during an advert break in Man v Food day I was pointed to read this blog post entitled Nadine Dorries is a victim of Lib-Lab sexism in which the author names the three people from the first paragraph and labels them sexist for one simple reason. They are against what Nadine Dorries is proposing on abortion to introduce a new ‘independent’ counselling service to women who are considering an abortion. They are sexist because they have targeted her and not a Labour MP Frank Field who is also backing the plan.

These three men have called Dorries ‘mad’ ‘illiberal’ and ‘misguided’ and that means they are sexist. Oh pur-lease. Look I have got into trouble for calling people illiberal in the past but I don’t think I’ve been called sexist because of it (been called many other things mind you) and calling someone mad is not sexist. If a woman called a man mad then would it be perceived as sexist? And misguided are you freaking kidding me? Anyone – and I do mean anyone – who thinks that calling someone misguided could ever be classed as sexism on its own is truly a snap crackle and pop of a tasty breakfast treat.

However that isn’t the most bullshit part of the blog post. Let me quote, ‘What is ‘mad’ about a policy which seeks to give women a real choice, which the ‘pro-choice’ lobby profess to support, while anyone with half a brain (who hasn’t been aborted) knows that ‘pro-choice’ is simply a euphemism for ‘pro-abortion’?

Well I have a whole brain. It don’t work so good but it is still there rattling inside of my skull. I am very much in the ‘Pro Choice’ camp and I’m going to stun you all now. That doesn’t mean I’m ‘Pro Abortion’ it means that I think that parents should have the choice. Of course thanks to the way biology is the female of the species will get the ultimate choice and even if a father wants to keep a baby but the mother doesn’t then the mother can terminate the pregnancy. Women will always get the final say.

There are plenty of unplanned pregnancies out there. I was an unplanned pregnancy. As far as I know only one of my siblings was wanted and planned. I could have been terminated but I wasn’t and I was brought up in a loving home and all was right with the world. However that isn’t the same for every unplanned pregnancy. Every single situation is different and not everything can be straitjacketed into the same legislation. I do think people should have the choice and get the proper advice.

On the surface these changes would be minor but how can people estimate that this would mean 60,000 less abortions each year. That means that Dorries and Field and anyone backing this bill believes that 60,000 people are having terminations even though they do not want to. It means that on 60,000 occasions these charities bully people into having a termination. 60,000 a year. That means what 5,000 a month, 1,000 odd a week and around 15 potential mothers each day coerced into an abortion just so these charities can get extra money.

Look I just don’t buy it. If that was truly the case then people would have come up and said this before. I have seen no Panorama on this or any newspaper investigation. If 60,000 people are terminating babies against their true will each year then someone would have said something. It reeks of a arbitrary number made up by those who are backing the bill to make it seem a bigger deal than it actually is.

Biologically I’m not going to have a kid. I have the old meat and two veg (not that I ever use them) so I’m rather unlikely to feel the changes if it goes down the way Dorries & Field want. Whatever happens though I think it’s of vital importance that no-one from either side put any pressure on anyone to make a decision without the full facts. Bringing a child into the world is quite possibly the biggest thing humans can do and it is the biggest commitment anyone can ever take in life. Even if a kid is unplanned they can be the biggest blessing in life but if they are unwanted then the future might not be so rosy.

However this goes down it will piss some people off. That is the nature of life. What I can say in conclusion is that these three gentlemen are not sexist for having their opinions of Dorries’ politics or personal traits and calling Dorries a victim of Lib-Lab sexism is the biggest misleading headline a blog post has ever seen – well maybe until this one – but this one was clearly sarcastic.

Pro Choice boys and girls. It is the way forward. Every potential mother deserves the best information and counselling that can be mustered. How we go about that I am not an expert but it doesn’t seem as though the status quo is terribly flawed.

Last but not least I do not consider any legislation that would make an abortion illegal as something I could even contemplate. I have a feeling plenty of right-wing folk would like this but this is not something I could even comprehend. The sight of girls languishing in American jails for having an abortion both sickens and repulses me. It scares me that some people can really think like this. It really does and that my friends (or foes – I have no idea who is reading this) is coming from the fingers connected to the brain of a kid who was brought up the son of a Methodist Superintendent so I know all about the church and what God says…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 29th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Arsenal (and Spurs fans) start to get anxious about the season.

without comments

The world of twitter has opened my brain up to 100s of new people and their thoughts. Some of them are extremely interesting, some are partizan, some I follow just to keep tabs on the latest rubbish but this afternoon it has been a rather interesting insight into the football fan. Both Spurs and Arsenal fans have called for their managers head after terrible results and fans of other teams have been gloating about how bad those two teams are and how Harry and Arsene need to go.

Now the Spurs fans are being complete morons because whatever I think about Harry Redknapp you have to admit he has done a fine job with the club. They have played two league games this season against the two best teams in the league and it’s not even close. The two Manchester teams are by far and away the best sides in the league and that is no disrespect to Chelsea or Liverpool or anyone else but it is not even close. To call for Harry’s head at this point just reeks of people not understanding football. You can’t win every single game and losing two games to two fine teams is nothing to call for a managers head for. So that is just pathetic.

Now on to Arsene Wenger. They still haven’t recovered from the Carling Cup defeat and we can all see that. It is plain for everyone to see and Arsene Wenger is under serious pressure but something I have always said is you have to trust someone who has done it before and give them ample opportunity to turn it around. I know some would throw it back at me that I’m not a Steve Cotterill fan and that I should give him a chance but Steve Cotterill’s track record is not that of Arsene Wenger – not by a long shot.

So should Wenger go? Well I don’t think in this era of Transfer Windows we have seen a more important 100 odd hours. Arsenal fans have to remember that when Arsene came into Arsenal they were a big club but they had to change. He helped oversee the move to a new stadium and has made the club financially stable and secure going forward. He has done that his way and it has been successful. Now though he has to spend money or he won’t be able to be successful any more.

I don’t care that he hasn’t won a trophy for five years and for a club the size of Arsenal that isn’t acceptable. That’s BS in my book. There are only a handful of trophies out there each season and you can’t win them all. As a fan of a club who don’t exactly win that many trophies – although we did in 2008 – I know that trophies are not the be all and end all. It is about the roller-coaster of emotions and entertainment of following a football team.

Fan of clubs who are always in the hunt get greedy. They always want more. Wenger has done it before and can do it again but Arsenal fans might be at the tipping point. All I’ll say is be careful what you wish for. Be very careful.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 28th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with

Nick Clegg doused in blue paint in Glasgow

with 5 comments

So it seems as though a person who doesn’t like Nick Clegg has poured blue paint all over the Deputy PM at an event in Glasgow this evening. Nick Clegg shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off. The rumour on twitter is that Stuart Rodger is the man who has been arrested and all you can say is what a tit if indeed this proves to be the case. Although whoever did it is a complete tit. Whoever did it may have thought they were making a stand against Nick Clegg but really?

Whatever you think about Clegg and his policies all you are doing is getting yourself a criminal record and make some members of the electorate feel sorry for Nick Clegg. Remember John Major won an election in 1992 in no small part because people felt sorry for him. He had a line as long as pension day in the post office lined up behind him to stab him in the back and the electorate liked his demeanour and fact that he just carried on.

Nick Clegg isn’t popular with a vast array of people but my mantra is treat people how you’d like to be treated yourself. Would you like to have blue paint thrown all over you in public without your consent? No. No you wouldn’t. If you don’t have basic principles then you are just a bit of a loser.

No doubt the blue paint is meant to signify that he’s a Tory but this story will be done within 24hours and will be chip paper come Friday night. The only person who’ll face serious consequences is the offender himself who has decided to screw up his future for a few seconds of personal satisfaction.

I hope it was worth it. One day you’ll grow up and realise what a fool you have been. At the age of 20 you’d think you had already grown up enough to not do something so stupid but it seems that some people are close blinkered they can’t see the big picture.

Just like those caught up in the quote/unquote ‘UK Riots’ – a few fleeting moments of ecstasy that will lead to a lifetime of regret.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 25th, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Nick Clegg’s approval ratings rise dramatically amongst Lib Dems in August

with 7 comments

We can all agree that the roller-coaster ride that has been the life of Nick Clegg would make for a terrific feature film. However this isn’t a film and it is real life and he has been pilloried by the majority of people. Labelled a traitor and a liar his popularity with the public is not exactly sky high any more. The heady days of April 2010 seems like a different world to what he faces today.

His popularity within his own party isn’t great either. Many old school Lib Dems feel that going into a coalition with the Tories was just plain wrong and many of the new generation believe that not getting our way on the student fees was tant amount to treason. Overseeing an election where we lost MPs despite growing our vote numbers by around a million and pushing through with the Referendum on the voting system when we were being set up to lose has lost him a lot of support.

In July an Ipsos Mori poll for Reuters said that 47% of Lib Dems were satisfied with his performance but a whopping 41% were dissatisfied. In August however these numbers have seen a decided shift. 55% are now satisfied but only 29% are dissatisfied but his approval ratings within his own party have gone up 17% in a month.

So what have we seen in the past month? Mainly the News of the World’s death and if along has changed up to 17% of Lib Dems perception of their leader then I’ll be surprised. Therefore it is more likely that Lib Dems are happy with what he is saying about the civil unrest of earlier this month and how we should be handling the situation.

His ideas that we should use more community punishments instead of just locking people up is huge amongst Lib Dems. I think it is something the vast majority of Lib Dems would agree with. You can’t just give up on people and rehabilitation needs to be given a far higher priority than it is. People don’t feel part of their community and that is something we need to address but ‘The Big Society’ is not the answer. You can’t force a community to come together.

I have no idea what the future holds for Nick Clegg. He’s been much-maligned with the electorate but just as much so – if not more so – amongst the members within his own party. It would have been easy to not go into coalition and sat back and watched the economy go into the tank. He took a very tough decision which may hurt the party long-term but five years is a long time in politics. Things change and if things change for the better for the electorate then the party (and Clegg) can say that they were part of the reason.

The end is not nigh for Clegg but if he is to continue then he needs the strong support of his party and it slowly looks like he may be getting that once again.

Edit: Just for clarification. This question was asked to Lib Dem Voters. Not necessarily Lib Dem Members.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 25th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Lib Dems up in a poll – and it’s not just in the Guardian/ICM one

with one comment

It seems a long time since I sat at my Dad’s last April and read that the Lib Dems actually led in a major national Sunday poll. This was the weekend after the first leaders debate and the Lib Dem surge was going like a freight train. Those were the days. Things wouldn’t get any better for the party as Andy Coulson did his worst and fed the newspapers as many stories about Nick Clegg and his party as he could. Even if they weren’t exactly true and were murky at best it didn’t matter.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron realised that the Lib Dems might actually do something and hold the balance of power and they went on the attack. The collapse of the economy in Greece didn’t help and nor did the fact that Brits are scared of immigration at the moment – those two things along with the media berating the party hurt and we got what we saw come May.

Since then after the party went into coalition and student fees went up it has all been downhill for the Lib Dems. The party was going to sink into oblivion. I was told this on twitter so it must be true. However politics moves in mysterious ways sometimes and we have all seen elections which have changed course at the drop of a hat. John Major should never have won the 1992 General Election but he did but the one that I always look at was the 2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Hillary Clinton on the weekend before the Primary was down by 13% in the polls. 13%. She won New Hampshire by 4%. So we saw a 17% swing within 48 hours. That shows that anything can happen in politics and that that no Lib Dem should think it’s over and more importantly why so many Labour voters shouldn’t say the Liberal Democrats are a dead party. That is just dumb. People who say that are well maybe not dumb but what they are saying most certainly is.

So anyway to the polls. On Tuesday we saw the Guardian/ICM poll have the Lib Dems up on 17%. Not a huge shock as they have for a while been the stand-out poll that has the Lib Dems way ahead of where they stand in the other polls…

Guardian ICM Poll

Guardian ICM Poll

But then we get to today and the Ipsos Mori/Reuters poll which has the Lib Dems up 4% to 15%. Which is the highest they have been in a non ICM poll since before the student fees fiasco.

Ipsos Mori Poll

Ipsos Mori Poll

As we all know it may well be a rogue but it’s the first time a different polling company has put the Lib Dems in a position to say to the doubters that this country is now not a two-party system. Labour seem intent on telling everyone that it is just Labour or the Conservatives because they know in that scenario they can win. In a three-way system it will be hard for anyone to win outright at the moment. Even if we started an election campaign today and went to the polls four weeks today can Ed Miliband really sustain himself for four weeks enough to win an outright majority? I am sceptical but I suspect so are most people.

With the 2015 General Election to be fought using the FPTP system I can’t see it being a landslide either way unless something dramatic happens (which is obviously could). It is in Labour’s benefit to attack and crush the Lib Dems as much as possible but if this tactic doesn’t work then it very well may come back to bite them in the bum – hard. Even if the Lib Dems hover around the 15%-17% mark come General Election time they’ll do damage and that is a concern to everyone in blue or red – but it is those in red who have far more to fear.

Screenshots courtesy of UK Polling Report

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 25th, 2011 at 11:10 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

Rule one in a successful career: Don’t shit on your own doorstep.

without comments

Whether I’m a success or not is for other people to decide. My career has stagnated in the past few years because I’ve branched out into something else. My journalism days might be behind me but I still dabble from time to time. One thing I have never done is left anywhere on bad terms. From working on FTT all the way through to my times with Fubra you take the best you can on and try not to burn any bridges. I had many ups and downs when I was Sports Editor over at Fubra but we left on good terms (or so I believe) and you move on.

Now yesterday I saw the most horrendous burning of bridges that I have ever seen. I saw a guy basically take a very public shot at the people who gave him a chance – not only that but also at the whole profession. Saying that bloggers are all bums basically and that proper journalism only happens in newspapers (no nod to the broadcast industry I notice which is total bull crap as they are fantastic journalists) so I thought I’d share it with you.

The man in question is a junior at Penn State university. You might wonder why I’m talking about some kid at a university in the USA and how I came across it. Well I love American Football. In the past five-six years I have got into the College game just as much (if not more so) than the NFL and my allegiances are with Penn State solely for the reason that they do things the right way and I have up most respect for their head coach.

Anyway the biggest PSU blog is called Black Shoe Diaries and is my first stop for Penn State news and opinion. It is a fine blog and has a big staff who don’t just blog opinion and news based off of what they’ve seen on TV and read in the newspapers – they also do quote/unquote ‘real journalism’. Now a couple of months ago the long time editor decided that he wanted to step down as he had plenty of other things on his plate and the big bosses decided on his replacement – and one member of his former staff was pissed that he got passed over. His name is Adam Bittner.

Now I don’t know him from Adam (see what I did there? Yep very lazy blogging with a terrible pun) but clearly he’s not too happy about being passed over for the position of top dog. He has used his position as an editor of the student newspaper The Dally Collegian to basically just slag off bloggers in their entirety and tell the world that proper journalism only happens in newspapers. Read his piece entitled New blog features all sports, all the time wow – just wow.

This has obviously not gone down well in blogging circles and the guy is getting crucified. The comments over at BSD on the fanshot entitled Fooge Finally Cracks says a lot but also a couple of well known bloggers have had their say on prominent blogs stateside Blogger Attacks Blogs In Announcement Of His New Blog and ATTN BROSEPHS AND BROSEPHINES OF BHGP both well worth reading.

The sad thing of this all is it didn’t have to go down like this. He was offered a good position under the new regime but turned it down and heck if he didn’t want to take a perceived step down he could have walked away with a hand shake and got on with things. Instead he decided to crush a profession which is thriving to defend a medium which is dying in the USA. If you think the newspaper industry is struggling over here it is nothing compared to what is going on across the pond.

For the rest of his career (thanks to google) he’ll be known as a guy who shit on a whole section of a profession that he is trying to get into just to satisfy his personal vendetta. That is not going to go down well. There is making a name for yourself a good way and then there is making a name for yourself a bad way. He has done it the bad way. He has put himself in a position where no blogger would ever hire him. He has also shown a shed load of disrespect not to mention disrespect to the newspaper for which he’s working. The publication is being rounded derided on the internet for allowing such a piece to each publication. You can’t use a position to take personal shots at people let alone a profession. Adam Bittner has done this.

It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out and what kind of career he has but his bile has spilled out very publicly and it is not going to be pretty. I have seen one or two big heads in my past (some may argue I’m a bit of a big head) but those I’ve seen who are happy to drop a media outlet because they perceive they have something better without even so much as a thank you or even acknowledgement to be blunt – suck. You always thank those who help you – that is a bare minimum. If you can’t do that then to be frank you aren’t a very good person and sadly there are too many of these types of people about.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 23rd, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Posted in Others

Tagged with ,

Dominique Strauss-Kahn set to walk free today and I’m not surprised one jot

without comments

So it seems as though Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be a free man later today after state prosecutors decided that they had no realistic chance of conviction and therefore will ask a judge today to officially dismiss all charges. This isn’t a shock to me but it will not go down well in certain circles.

I have no idea what really happened in that hotel room. Only two people do and neither of them are people that I know. There was a sexual encounter that we know but whether it was consensual or not we just do not know. Was this a powerful man getting us own way or a poor maid trying to extort money from a rich man? I don’t know and I won’t profess to know but what I will say is I’m not shocked the charges have been dismissed and this is why.

If the main prosecution witness is not believable then the likelihood of a jury convicting is insanely low. I have sat on two juries in my time. I was juror #7 on a GBH case where two guys were accused of beating up two bouncers outside a nightclub. When the bouncers took the stand all of the jury thought they were fantasists and were at best embellishing what had happened and at worst were just lying. We acquitted the two guys without too much deliberation if I’m being honest on all seven charges relating to the incident. We just didn’t believe the key prosecution witnesses.

The next day I was sworn in as juror #1 and would become foreman of a second case. Ten charges of sexual assault against a minor. It was a step dad on his step-daughter and he was accused of – well you don’t need me to spell it out. It was not a pretty case at all and the 12 year-old alleged victim (11 at the time of the alleged incidents) and we had several people on the jury who thought just because of the crimes we should find the defendant guilty. However there was no scientific evidence and the girl and her mother just were not credible witnesses so we had to find him not guilty (although in all honesty he may well have been guilty – we just didn’t know).

What we knew was the girl first made the allegations when she didn’t get what she wanted for Christmas and that the mother didn’t go to the police until the girl went back to school and other mother’s told her that she should. So first of all we had a daughter that seemingly was lashing out because she didn’t get what she wanted for Christmas and secondly her own mother clearly didn’t believe her daughter because she didn’t go to police for 12 days. If the mother didn’t believe the daughter then how on Earth can 12 member of a jury?

This is similar to what is going on in the DSK case. The main prosecution witness is clearly not credible as she has been a proven liar on her asylum forms and she has changed her story on what happened in the hotel room on several occasions in the aftermath of his arrest and she first went to the police. It was never credible and no matter what scientific evidence is there if you do not believe the victim beyond reasonable doubt then you just can’t expect to get a conviction.

The Maid’s lawyer, Ken Thompson, was not happy one jot about the decision saying, “The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. He has not only turned his back on this victim but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case. If the Manhattan district attorney, who is elected to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives and our loved ones, is not going to stand up for them when they’re raped or sexually assaulted, who will?”

I can see his PoV considering who his client is but if his client hadn’t changed her story and lied before then the DA could have carried on with the case. She may well have been raped but the law is (rightly) weighted so that you need to prove a case and you could not prove this case.

It is sad it came down to this as some people will see this as another reason to say why rapists get away with their crimes more than they should. The conviction rate for rape is all too low and so is the rate where women even go to the police as they never expect a conviction but this has nothing to do with the crime but everything to do with the victim’s credibility as a witness. If you lie and change your story repeatedly then how can you ever be seen as credible?

I am personally surprised it took so long but I fear for my twitter timeline and I expect it to blow up later on today when he is formally freed from house arrest and the charges dismissed. I wonder just how many people if they were on a jury would convict without believing the key prosecution witness. I suspect not many and those that do are not good jurors.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 23rd, 2011 at 11:19 am

Posted in News

Tagged with ,

Lib Dem Blog of the Year Awards 2011 – Get Nominating Now!

without comments

As those of you in the Lib Dem blogosphere will know the Lib Dem Blog of the Year awards are now open for 2011. I am a Lib Dem blog therefore I shall be taking part and putting forward some nominations for the various categories. It wouldn’t be a total shock if I vote for similar blogs to the ones I voted for in the Total Politics Awards the other day.

As for me and this blog getting any glory. Well I’m not sure this is the best blog out there. Scratch that. It flat out isn’t. However I do think I should at least get talked about for the Best New Lib Dem Blog category. Whether it is good enough to win is by the by but I think I have written a few good pieces in the past year. Enough to get noticed anyway.

The one category where I think I could seriously make a run at is the Best posting on a Liberal Democrat blog (since 1st September 2010) one. My piece decrying the reaction of twitter to Ken Clarke and his rape comments I thought was more than half decent. The piece entitled Ken Clarke – A trial by social media is still by far the biggest blog post I have had in terms of visitors and on the day I wrote it it smashed by blog records by over 2000% in terms of traffic.

What I think though really isn’t important. I’m not on the judging panel (and I might be slightly biased towards myself) The judges will consider all the nominations and to nominate please follow the advice behind this link for all the categories and details on how to take part and get your voice heard.

Whatever happens my nonsensical ramblings about whatever fills my mind will continue. Exciting pieces such as ‘Wow…Gary Neville isn’t a complete moron’ won’t write themselves…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

  • Share on Tumblr

Written by neilmonnery

August 23rd, 2011 at 7:00 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with