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Day: September 15, 2011

Cristina Odone, Johann Hari, the Catholic Herald and the lies about P45s…

Update 06/01/13: Cristina’s husband has e-mailed me to say that the quote in The Independent screen-capped below is incorrect and that she was not fired from the Catholic Herald. The story in The Independent has since the original writing of this blog been removed from their website. I see no reason not to take him at his word and therefore please disregard the premise of this post and take it that Cristina Odone was not fired from the Catholic Herald at any point.

I’ll leave the original post up as an example that you apparently can’t even trust a national newspaper.

This blog post was written in good faith using what appeared to be direct quotes from the same person that contradicted one another. If anyone felt any distress from this post then please accept my apologies.

Everyone is lumping on to Johann Hari and let’s not beat around the bush here a lot of it is very much fair as he has been a pretty shoddy journalist and a proven liar and you could even say a pretty shoddy person ethically and morally. However when Cristina Odone piled on in her column in The Telegraph today she opened herself to ridicule as in her attack on Mr Hari she wrote something that directly contradicted her own words nine years previously.

The following quote was taken from this piece in The Telegraph

Cristina Odone in the Telegraph
Cristina Odone today in The Telegraph

So yeah she wasn’t fired from her job at the Catholic Herald. In her own words it was a complete lie.

However in an interview with The Independent in 2002 she said…

Cristina Odone in The Independent
Cristina Odone in The Independent in 2002

So in her own words she was fired from that job when writing in 2002 but come 2011 she wasn’t fired and it was a complete lie. *scratches his beard*

It is all fair to lump on to Johann Hari at the moment but when in doing you prove that you are a liar yourself then you really aren’t doing yourself any favours…

Note: I am informed that she has denied this quote in The Independent from 2002. So take this blog for what it’s worth.

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Do politicians represent the views of their constituents or do constituents vote for someone to think for them?

It is something that has been crossing my mind recently the idea of whether we elect people to represent our thoughts or whether we elect someone to think for us. If an MP is lobbied by the majority of his or her constituents to vote for something which goes against their own personal viewpoint then what should they do?

It come to a prominent part of my mind last week during the debate on the amendment brought forward by Nadine Dorries. I would probably hazard a guess that if you balloted every single voter in the land that they would welcome Nadine’s amendment that independent counselling be offered to every person considering an abortion. On a personal level I wasn’t as radically against compared to most of twitter who think that if Nadine Dorries said that giving free education to all it would suddenly become a bad thing. I know Nadine is pretty awful in terms of her politics but this wasn’t the worst thing she has ever suggested – not by a long shot.

Having said that I was happy the amendment didn’t go through because I’m very much from a ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ mindset and I don’t think the system is broken. I can’t see how charities would cajole women into having abortions that they didn’t really want just to earn a few quid. I happen to not think that these people are evil monsters and if they were doing that then that is exactly what they would be.

Locally there is an issue in Southend that has been rumbling on long before I first descended into this town – that of Southend Airport. I know some Lib Dems have campaigned on a pro-airport stance and some anti-airport depending on where they are campaigning. I have no doubt the other parties do the same but I don’t have first hand knowledge of this so I can’t say for sure but it would make sense. So it seems perfectly acceptable for prospective politicians to tailor their campaigns for the audience that they are trying to be embraced by whether or not that is their real thoughts on an issue.

This in a way troubles me. I would like all politicians on all levels to be totally open and up front about everything. Say what they are staunchly for and against and then have the topics that they can have debates about and act in the best interests of the people that they represent. Whether this happens or whether this will ever happen I don’t know but it seems to me as though you are at times asked to falsely represent yourself in order to get votes and if you don’t then the likelihood is lowered that you’ll win a particular seat.

So I suppose it comes down to how many white lies are acceptable in a political campaign? At what point is it acceptable to use your own PoV above the PoV of the people you represent? If you get elected in a constituency that gets inundated with non-natives and the natives are all xenophobes but you yourself are pro-immigration then how do you vote on issues regarding immigration? Do you vote with what you think is right or do you do what the people that voted for you want?

I don’t know the right answer but it is a quandary. I know what my instincts say but I genuinely have no idea what people think on this issue.

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Scott Minto is Sky Sports new La Liga front man

This might not be breaking news but it is the first time I have gotten around to blogging about it. I was going to let it slide but when I saw Charles Sale calling the former left back a ‘celebrity’ then I knew it was blogging time. The columnist at the Daily Mail has a thing against former sportsman going into TV as we’ve seen before as he continuously witters on about the BBC celebrity commentary pairing of Martin Brundle & David Coulthard. Not too sure they are huge celebs but saying that Scott Minto is a celebrity is really walking on the fine line between accuracy and lunacy.

I have put it out there before that I didn’t see why Sky Sports sacked Mark Bolton. He had been doing a fine job on Spanish football and it felt like a different atmosphere to the straight laced coverage we have on domestic football but having decided to not continue using the services of Mr Bolton they had to decide what way forward they would go. They could either get an exciting new hire to keep the style the same or get some non-entity in house guy to come in and bore the pants off viewers.

They chose the latter.

I have no issues with Scott Minto and it is still early days but it looks very likely he’ll just be a bland non-personality fronting the coverage. There is no spark from him and I’m guessing that might just be what Sky Sports were after. The last year has been by far the most turbulent for Sky Sports football department since they got the Premier League coverage back in the early 1990s and having lost it’s presenter and main analyst of the best part of two decades coverage has led to a clear change of on air talent policy.

Sky have always been keen to go in house instead of going out and hiring the best talent from other networks when it has come to football. They brought in Ian Payne from BBC Radio 5Live a few years back but he just never settled into TV and has since returned to radio and Ben Shepherd came in last year after leaving GMtV but has found himself on the outside looking in after Richard Keys left as in house options Ed Chamberlain and David Jones got the nod for the top games.

So Sky don’t want any personality. This is a shame. I won’t stop watching obviously but it is annoying when dull safe options are preferred to exciting personality driven ones. Whatever the case the mere writing of the words ‘celebrity Scott Minto’ are about as funny and accurate as writing that I am caught in a situation with Sophie Ellis Bextor. I’m really not (Yes a Sophie Ellis Bextor analogy – it has been a week or so…).

My view on this hire…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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