The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

Archive for November, 2011

Real Desperate Scousewives. What. The. Fuck?

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This post is going to be about a new TV show coming to our screens. You can guess what it is from the title of the blog post. I had written a long introduction to this linking the struggles of feminism when there are so many women like this but I don’t think it really fit. So as Miranda would say ‘On with the show…’ (In this instance show means blog).

I read the following article entitled If it’s a choice between paying my rent and a boss new outfit… I’ll hit the shops in The Sun today. It interviews three of the stars of this show and tells us all about how they see the World. From what they say in the piece their view of the World is about as simplistic as you can get – they want to look the best they can in order to bag a footballer so he can provide everything they need in a material sense. It might just be one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read (clearly it isn’t and I’m going way OTT there but in a sense of reading about how people see their place in everything it really is terribly sad and depressing).

It harps back to something we were discussing at the Southend Lib Dem Policy Review meeting last week. So many people lack ambition these days. They see another way which is just a short-cut and doesn’t lead to rewarding and fulfilling lives. When they have been picked up by a footballer and then thrown back on the scrapheap when he goes after someone else I wonder what their first reaction will be. Will it be heartbreak that they have lost a man they loved or will it be that their source of material wealth has gone?

Happiness doesn’t come from mod cons but it comes from within. If you are happy in yourself then you’ll be happy with your life. It saddens me that the next generation coming through has a distorted sense of happiness. In this time of holiday spirit you see people buying presents for others that are of material value but will it make someone else happy? When I was young playing football or cricket in the garden with my dad made me happier than playing on my own (although in all honesty give me a ball and I was happy enough in any situation). Sitting out the back of Woodcroft Lane with a leaking skylight playing a computer game was fun but playing it with my dad was far more enjoyable.

It is the people in your life that make you contented and happy – not what you have. Yes I have mod cons and things like Sky+HD make me happy and help me pass the time. However doing things like Hospital Radio and possibly running for local council where I can make a difference to people’s lives even in a small capacity will make me far more contented deep down.

There is a balance to be struck and it scares the living bejesus out of me that so many can’t see that life is all about balance. If you don’t have inner happiness then you will not be able to paper over it with mod cons or going to VIP parties. Long-term your soul will ebb away and you will become miserable. I just wish the Real Desperate Scousewives could see that. Sadly they can’t and they are facing an uphill battle to be truly happy.

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November 30th, 2011 at 12:54 am

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Mike Hancock’s former aide seemingly wasn’t a Russian spy after all.

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After a long twelve months of allegations that Mike Hancock was busy doing it and letting a Russian spy run amok in parliament the judge at the centre of her deportation case has made his decision and that is the Home Office failed to prove on any level that Katia Zatuliveter was in fact a spy.

Miss Zatuliveter is free to continue living and working in the UK and the presumptive end to this case means that Mike Hancock’s name has been mostly dragged out of the muck and it does mean that yet again he could quite feasibly fight another campaign in Portsmouth in one of the seats.

I always had suspicions about this case because a Lib Dem back bench MP isn’t exactly the man with knowledge of everything that went on at the Ministry of Defence despite his appointment to the Defence Select Committee which he sat on until earlier this year. He resigned from that position due to this case and now that his aide hasn’t been deported after the judge made it clear there was no evidence she was a spy you have to question why there was such a media storm around this case.

Yet again as I’ve been banging on about recently the media drove a story before they knew any of the facts. There is reporting of a story of allegations and then there is driving a story of allegations and once more that is what the media decided to do in this situation. Mike Hancock may have extra-material affairs but for an MP that seems to be par for the course but did he put his country at risk by employing Miss Zatuliveter? It seems from this judgement that it is clear that he did not.

Miss Zatuliveter is delighted by the outcome of the deportation hearing and the Home Office are said to be disappointed because they truly believed there was a case to answer. They failed to come up with any compelling evidence but that seems to be secondary to a gut feeling these days.

So the former Russian aide of Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has had her name cleared. The MP himself will not because sadly that is the way it works. Once the media have alleged something then many will believe it to be true. The more I read the media and the more I see how they drive stories to fulfil their own agenda it makes me sadder with every passing story but hey – what’s the truth when we have juicy unfounded allegations eh?

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November 29th, 2011 at 11:22 am

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Martin Brundle leaves BBC for Sky Sports F1 HD – what next?

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Wow I’ve not blogged in a few days. I do have things to say but not the time (or inclination) to type them up. If only I had a typist or a head-set that changed by words into written words on the screen *daydreams* ah if only. Anyway on with the blog.

On Sunday morning Martin Brundle confirmed what was one of the worst kept secrets in sports broadcasting that he was leaving BBC F1 to join Sky Sports new F1 coverage from next season. His partner or partners in the commentary box haven’t been confirmed as yet but it is generally believed that David Croft will be moving across from BBC Radio 5live to be lead commentator with Brundle stepping back into his colour role.

I have enjoyed Brundle as lead this season and the pairing of Brundle and David Coulthard for me has been the best we’ve had in the sport since Murray & Martin ten years ago. James Allen wasn’t great but Jonathan Legard just didn’t fit. It didn’t work and the BBC made the move at the end of last season to go with Brundle.

It is without a doubt a blow for the BBC as Martin Brundle has become the voice – and face – of the sport in TV terms. Both companies wanted him but he’s gone with Sky for both more money and the fact he’ll get to cover – and broadcast – live from every race next season. Had he stayed with the Beeb he would have commentated live on every race but those words would never be heard in full. He stated that he needed the adrenaline rush of live TV and I can fully see that. It was the move Sky had to make and they managed to pull it off.

Elsewhere we know that the BBC will have Jake Humphrey presenting their F1 output as he has since 2009 and David Coulthard and Lee McKenzie will be on board in some capacity. Noticeably the name of Ted Kravitz has not been confirmed as being with the Beeb and is therefore believed to be jumping for Sky. Brundle and Kravitz were the only two members of ITV’s on air talent that moved to the BBC and now they look like they are both going to Sky as well. I think this shows just how good and well respected both are at their jobs. No word on Eddie Jordan as yet but I don’t see him returning to the Beeb or turning up at Sky.

Sky Sports know what they are doing. I have Sky and therefore will have a choice as to whom I watch next season and Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz I fully believe will be enough to sway me towards Sky. There is much to shake out yet but so far seemingly so good for Sky as they look to make a big splash into the motor sports market.

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November 28th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

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So do I want to become a Lib Dem councillor?

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Obviously it isn’t just a Yes/No question and if I decide in the positive then I become one, it is slightly more problematic than that but still it is a question that is reverberating around my mind a lot at the moment due to the fact I’ve been asked to run in May 2012.

I sit here in a cold office (otherwise known as my spare bedroom) thinking about what I want out of politics. In all honesty I still don’t know. When I got around to finally joining the Lib Dems it wasn’t because I saw myself getting into politics in a big way but as the months have passed and the meetings have increase my interest has peaked more and more. On the one hand I would love to sit on the inside and see how everything works but on the other blissful ignorance is often not a bad thing.

The situation here in Southend is that the Tories run the council with a majority of five. The Lib Dems lead the opposition ground but only by one from the independents who have risen spectacularly in recent years – certainly in the East. Labour have four councillors with Victoria locked up and one on the Kursaal estate. The Lib Dems are pretty much geographically in a line, Leigh and Prittlewell have all three Lib Dems, two in Blenheim Park and one each in St. Laurence and Westborough.

So the likelihood is in all honesty that come the day after the 2012 council elections that the Tories will still have a majority on the council. The only way they don’t if I’m being realistic is the independents rise up and take a couple of surprises and someone else does something major. Looking through the results of previous elections I can map out a plan that wrestles control of Southend from the Tory group but it won’t be easy but it is achievable.

Firstly the Lib Dems take St. Laurence from the Tories. Carole Roast held it last year and this year we’ll be attacking it. It is without a doubt the Lib Dems best hope for a gain and it is very realistic. Secondly the independents take St. Lukes and after the way they took out long-standing councillor Anna Waite last year then you’d expect them to take the ward. That leaves one more ward needed to swing towards another party to make this council a hung one.

This is most likely to come from either Kursaal or Milton as Labour are attacking both wards with a real chance to take one or both. Should they do this then that would be enough to change the balance of power at the Civic Centre. However though this all assumes the Tories make no gains and that is a huge assumption.

The Tories are attacking three wards where they can take the seat, one in Southchurch from the Indy’s and both Mary Betson and Graham Longley from the Lib Dems in Prittlewell and Blenheim Park respectively. Blenheim Park is the toughest hold out of the three with the Lib Dems having lost to the Tories there in 2011 but I do think things are a bit different this year. I think Mary holds on and even increases her majority in Prittlewell.

So where do I come in?

Well there are two options, firstly standing in a seat in the East. In the minutes of the last local meeting which I was unable to attend as I was doing Hospital Radio up at Southend University Hospital it was suggested that I might stand in West Shoebury. This ward has three Tory councillors and if I stood here and pulled off the upset it would probably rank as a bigger surprise than when I first bit into a fully chocolate Kit-Kat Chunky. Ah that was a moment I still remember 12 years on.

However there is also another option, standing out West in Westborough. This is a ward where two independents and one Lib Dem currently occupy the three seats. We won in 2010 in what I think most would agree was a surprise and in 2011 we fell back in fourth place. However we were fifth in 2008 so it can be a yo-yo seat. The turnover is high in Westborough as it is prime rental country as well. If I stood here then I could win although it again wouldn’t exactly be odds on down your local bookies. With either ward it wouldn’t be a priority so it would be very much a solo campaign as we are focusing on defending the two seats we have and attacking where we can win.

I should throw in here that I don’t think West Leigh is totally out of the question for a Lib Dem win in 2012. I see it as an outside shot but a good campaign and it should be considered a target.

So there are my options for should I want to stand. The likelihood of winning either seat is low but one is feasible and I suppose going into a ward where we are not expected of winning is a good place to go and stand on my policy of engaging with the constituents not just how great we are and how awful everyone else is (I hate that type of politics) but to go in there and try to get people to look deeper into the issues and not just vote the way they’ve always voted, vote because of what they read in the media or just not bother at all.

I’d love for every voter to take an hour or two out of their lives to read what every candidate is looking to do and vote on the strength of that I believe it can be done too. If I was to stand that would be my campaign. From a personal standpoint I hypothesise that if you stripped back all the conjecture around politics and just looked at the policies then the Lib Dems would do a lot better than they currently do. I truly do believe this. So that is how I’d go about things. Whether it would be successful I don’t know but only one way to find out.

There is however one thing that really holds me back. I know I’m just an unknown potential candidate in some ward in some town but still if you do or say something that isn’t the norm then it will come out. Look at Lib Dem candidate Holly Ann-Battye last year who took all sorts of expletive because she had posed for some photos with a ball gag in her mouth. I saw nothing wrong with it whatsoever but still the masses did. I am a very private person in a lot of ways and putting myself forward for public office could potentially take away that anonymousness (I know that isn’t a word but it really should be) of who I am and what I do.

If anything is holding me back it is that and that is truly sad. I know time is of the essence and I need to make this decision sooner rather than later but I still don’t know. I care about my privacy a lot and I don’t see why anyone in politics should have their private lives scrutinised. That is just how I feel. Everyone is entitled to a private life no matter how dull or adventurous or seedy it is. If it’s private then that is how it should be.

I’ll blog no doubt when a decision has finally been made.

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November 24th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

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Warriors of Goja on India’s Got Talent – Can anyone tell me if these guys feel pain?

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A colleague sent this over to me this afternoon and it is absolutely insane. Like proper crazy. It is the performance of the Warriors of Goja on India’s Got Talent. Certainly not one for the squeamish but you’ve gotta watch it. I seriously don’t know how they did half of these stunts…

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November 22nd, 2011 at 4:21 pm

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When grown men laugh uncontrollably at swearing because it is in all honesty quite simply hilarious

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Last Saturday during the Heads Gear selection by Lee Corso he dropped an F Bomb. Presenter hris Fowler laughed, analyst Kirk Herbstreit laughed and former Olympic Gold Medal athlete Carl Lewis laughed (and clapped a lot like a seal). It was truly funny but not just because of the old man dropping the F Bomb. It was how he did it and how the other presenters reacted that made it proper laugh out loud funny (well to me and most of the American sporting media anyway).

Here is a clip.

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Proper funny. Sadly the big wigs up at ESPN HQ didn’t think it was so funny and forced Corso to make an on-air apology soon after.

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I hope Corso is lying and that he does do it again. People swear. It’s part of life and when it is just so funny I think we should not worry too much about it eh…?

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November 22nd, 2011 at 1:18 pm

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And they say Test Cricket is dead…

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Yesterday I woke up and stuck Sky Sports 2 on quick sharpish and thanks to a delay in starting the days play I saw nearly the whole of the final days play between South Africa and Australia. As most know cricket is where my heart lies deep down with regards to sport and good Test Cricket still dumps on any other sporting encounter and yesterday we were treated to how a Test Match should be played.

The Aussies needed 310 to win, which would be the highest successful chase ever at the Wanderers ground. The day started with all three outcomes very possible but South Africa became the favourites when they finally removed Ricky Ponting. Michael Hussey hung around for a bit but when he went it was down to the out-of-form Brad Haddin and the mercurial Mitchell Johnson. These two played terrifically and Australia were on the verge of winning.

Then Haddin nicked off and Peter Siddle was gone within a few balls and the equation was simple. The Aussies needed 18 to win and the South Africans needed two wickets. It was tight and it was very tense. Dale Steyn then dropped a hard caught and bowled chance and Imran Tahir probably had young Cummings out lbw but hawkeye said it was umpires call whether it hit him in line so it stayed not out. This was couple with the most wonderful replay of the #11 batsman Lyon looking up to the sky and shaking his head in disbelief as he clearly didn’t want any part of being out there in the middle.

Australia got over the line and won a fantastic Test Match. The fact it is just a two-match series disgusts me but what I also found worrying was how few fans were in the stands. I’m guessing not too many over 3,000 and that is putting a positive spin on it. I know it was a working day but the prices were dirt cheap and they even allowed people in free midway through the afternoon session but seemingly few showed up for what was a great ending to a great Test Match.

In this country and in other countries if a game is going down to the wire and they open the gates then people do flood in. I recall the 2006/2007 Ashes tour and the second Test after England collapsed and the Aussies sniffed an unlikely win on Day five and the home fans poured through the gates. It is something which is a concern to the future of the premier type of cricket match.

One thing is for certain in my mind though that the ebbs and flows, the drama of investing five days in a sporting occasion is not matched anywhere else. A good Test Match still ranks as one of the very best sporting theatres out there and I can safely say that certain Test finishes are still etched into my mind, Karachi 2000 where Graham Thorpe won a Test in the pitch black, the 2009 West Indies Test at the old Antigua Rec, the whole of the 2005 and 2010/2011 Ashes tours, Steve Harmison’s 7/12 in the West Indies, Matthew Hoggard’s seven wickets in Jo’Berg to win a Test Match for England, so many memories that just aren’t generated by ODIs and T20s (although I positively love T20 at domestic level – far less so internationally).

Test Cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport and boy I hope that never changes.

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November 22nd, 2011 at 12:31 pm

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Joe Paterno has lung cancer

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A fortnight ago the whole world of Penn State blew up. Allegations of unspeakable proportions were alleged to have happened within the institute. Charges were filed against senior administrators accused of covering up. The legendary head coach who until a fortnight ago was believed not just one of the greatest football coaches but also one of the greatest men to have ever worked in college athletics was accused of not doing enough and was forced from his job. The university handled the situation about as badly as any institution can ever handle anything.

It has just been a desperate time for all. I have already written many things about the rush to judge without all the facts has been a total disgrace. How people can form an opinion on some of the story from one half of the ledger is beyond me. We all know that the Grand Jury testimony goes a lot further than what has been released to the press. We’ve found out this week according to sources to ESPN that the full Grand Jury testimony says that Mike McQueary actually did intervene and stop an alleged incident in the Penn State showers. That has come out this week but his reputation has already been dragged through the mud.

Having read certain things from people close to the Paterno’s it seems that Joe Paterno may well have evidence that he acted both legally and morally regarding the Jerry Sandusky allegations. However he is unable to talk at this juncture as it would affect the Jerry Sandusky criminal case. I’m willing to wait for everything to play out before I come to any judgements but then we get the news that we got today.

Joe Paterno has lung cancer.

His son Scott Paterno confirmed today that his dad has treatable lung cancer and they are hopeful of a full recovery. Talk about a punch to the stomach. I think my utmost thoughts are that he fights and beats this demon. I want this for two reasons. Firstly Joe Paterno is a prosecution witness in this case and should Paterno not make it then the Sandusky case gets hurt. Secondly I hope he beats it so he can live long enough to tell his side of the story and then everyone can make up their minds with all the evidence.

It might sound crazy that I can sit and type and fully believe that Joe Paterno will be completely vindicated and exonerated for how he handled that 2002 incident. Those close to the Paterno’s seem to feel confident when the truth comes out people’s perceptions will change. Also the fact Paterno was willing to speak at that Press Conference but Graham Spanier cancelled it a mere 40 minutes before because Paterno was going to talk and say the truth is rather fishy. Whether Curley, Schultz, Spanier et al handled the situation well is very much up in the air – as it is for Paterno and McQueary but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if their stories are wildly different when it all comes out.

Lastly the amount of people that are saying this is karma that Paterno has this evil disease makes me want to puke. The AP in America ran a poll asking who was accused of these unspeakable crimes and 30% of the American public answered Joe Paterno and still many members of the media are saying they acted responsibly and treated the story how it deserved to be treated. Either they didn’t and/or 30% of American’s are so stupid it’s insane.

Jerry Sandusky is accused of these unspeakable acts. Not Joe Paterno. The media are terrible and the rush to judge without even half the story just sums up people today. I for one wish Joe Paterno the best in this battle and a long and healthy forced retirement. Until someone gives me cold hard facts and not conjecture that Paterno valued his job/his university over the sexual abuse of boys then I’m going to hold off judging. I am in the minority I know but hey it’s better to stand for what you believe than follow a crowd who act in a way you disagree with.

As for those wishing Paterno a slow and painful death. I have no words.

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November 18th, 2011 at 10:59 pm

The slur of being called a ‘liberal’ and what is exactly is an activists role?

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This morning I had post. First time in a while. Alas it was an energy bill but along with that was my new cashcard. HSBC had sent it to somewhere I last lived nine years ago and although they have my new address as all other correspondence comes here they still send my new cashcards to my Dad’s – nice one HSBC. So I ring up my old man to say thank you and to see how he was and all that jazz.

Unsurprisingly he’s dealing with aches and pains, he’s always dealing with aches and pains although he didn’t complain of a cough for once so that is good news. He asked me what I’ve been up to. I said that I met and interviewed Nick Clegg, he told me that he’s an idiot. I then told him that I’m considering running for council in May and this is what he said to me on the phone, ‘Son, don’t tell me you’re one of those liberals’. Trying to make out that being a liberal (and Lib Dem) is a bad thing. I know there’s no point discussing politics with my dad but I did ask him why it’s such a bad thing and he said, ‘well I can only go by what I read in the paper’ and that is an issue we have to face up to.

My dad isn’t the most worldly person around but he’s no idiot. He knows roughly what is going on in the world. He watches the news daily and first thing he does every morning is read teletext. Yes some people still read teletext. I say first thing but he usually has a smoke first but that’s not important. He also goes out every morning and buys a newspaper – the Daily Mail – and that is how he forms a large part of his view of the world.

Now in all honesty my old man isn’t a potential voter. He thinks all politicians are a bunch of crooks. I wonder what he’ll think if I do run for office and even worse if I get in. Will he think I’m a crook too or will his opinion change? That I don’t know and it’s not of utmost importance for the purposes of this log. What is important though is that a generation of voters still see the world mostly through the words they read in the media. People still go out and buy newspapers and these people often do vote.

So if they form their view of the world through such a narrow spectrum then we as a party – and we as a nation – have issues. Matthew Gibson wrote a piece about the Daily Mail and the Lib Dems a couple of months back showing that the newspaper actually brings in the third highest amount of votes for the party compared to all the other newspapers. This has far more to do with the amount of readers than it does percentage of the vote we get from them but people can read the Daily Mail and still vote Lib Dem.

I often wonder how many people would vote Lib Dem if the media showed absolutely no bias and just reported the facts. I’m going to hypothesise here and say far more than currently vote Lib Dem. Far too many people choose not to vote at al or don’t vote for the Lib Dems because what they read, see or hear in the media. I wrote a long piece the other day (over 2,500 words and not even 100 people bothered to read it – sad times) and how the media are not to be trusted or believed when it comes to anything. They will treat a story with whatever angle compels more people to read, see or listen to it. The truth is secondary to the financial bottom line and that is hard to swallow.

This is why I think it is so vital that good people of all parties – but with particular respect to the Lib Dems as I am one – engage with people about politics. Tell them what is really happening. When I go door knocking I’m not going to say about how great the Lib Dems are and how awful everyone else is. I try to understand where the person behind the door is coming from and see what issues they have and try to put straight any untruths they might believe.

I don’t believe it is my job to make people vote for my party. Others might believe so but personally I don’t see this. I think it is my role as an activist to engage people with politics and give them the information to make up their own minds about what to do. I think if I do this far more people will vote for the Lib Dems as I believe under all the media guff the party has the most to offer people of all generations and classes.

If we can show the people that politicians aren’t all evil and are actually just human beings trying to better life for the people they represent then we are moving in the right direction. If I do run for local council in May then I won’t be standing on a ‘We are Lib Dems and we are better than everybody else’ ticket but more of a ‘Here is how everything is, if you are truly interested in helping your local community then here are the facts and make up your own mind but don’t moan when you don’t get what you want if you don’t vote’ ticket.

Being a liberal and a Liberal Democrat to me is allowing people the opportunity to make up their own minds as long as they have all the information possible. If they do that and vote for me (or the party if I don’t stand) then great. If they read all the information but decide the Tories, Labour, the independents or whoever else is their man or woman and they go out and vote for them then I’m fine with that too. As long as people who vote take time out to find out who and why they are voting for a candidate then I think that’s progress.

Whatever happens I think the higher the informed turnout for all election then the closer we get to someone speaking for a community. That is how I see it anyway and I do wonder what others think. All I know is I’m proud to be a liberal despite when my old man thinks about us and Nick Clegg. Hopefully the more people we can engage with then the more people will come to see what we truly stand for and who we truly represent instead of the bastardised version the media portrays.

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November 16th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Politics

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ITV1′s The Jury – The case should have been dismissed and the show axed after 15 minutes.

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I kept meaning to write a review of ITV1′s The Jury but kept putting it off due in part to y’know being lazy and all that jazz. Well Caron Lindsay over at Caron’s Musings has put up her review which you can find this link and it seems we differ quite a bit!

First of all I will say both barristers were acted very well but did I care about some of the back stories of the jury? Did I heck. Yes Rashid coming to terms with aspergers and demanding that he be allowed to do jury duty and seemingly growing up in front of our eyes was a nice feel good story. The friendship of Tahir and Jeffrey warmed the hearts but the other back stories were all a bit meh and all in all a pointless waste of time that could have been devoted to seeing the evidence or how a jury room really interacts instead of the deliberations talking less than 15 minutes of screen time.

First of all Lucy pretending to be her boss Theresa, the case was done for me at that point. Obviously the jury should have been dismissed and a mistrial declared depending on when it was discovered. Had no-one discovered it then it still could have come to light at a later date and forced a retrial no matter which way the jury went. That annoyed me immensely.

The fact Katherine had an affair with a pupil under her supervision and the headteacher was happy to ignore it scared the living bejesus out of me. Do headteachers really ignore such actions and are happy to set up the teacher with another school far away? Are they happy to let the teacher ‘get it out of their system’? The way the show penned the storyline it made out the teaching profession to be like the catholic church were those who do bad are just moved on somewhere else. Scary.

Ann is writing to the accused FFS. I mean seriously?

Paul obviously does the worst thing and listens to and accepts advice from someone he believes to be the foreman of the original jury. He then passes that on to the jury room and that initially influenced the verdict. Had it not been to Ann who is attracted to the defendant, the unnamed juror who got the short end of the stick in terms of roles and Rashid wanting to check that Paul had been told this information by the right person then the defendant was done for. So Rashid went home and looked up the case on the internet and it turns out Paul was getting lied to.

Firstly this is not how a juror should act researching a case on the internet but secondly Rashid clearly did a lot of research and he would have known why the first case collapsed but he chose not to bring it up and instead only showed Paul a video that proved he’d been lied to.

When the truth came out they slowly decided he was not guilty and found him so. Hurrah. We then find out one of the jurors Derek had been going to a tanning salon so that everyone thought he had been on holiday as the fire brigade wouldn’t grant him time off for jury duty and he’d always wanted to do it. Then everyone turned up to see Tahir become a British Citizen. Really? In my two cases we said goodbye and walked away. I can’t tell you their names or anything and in the second case we were deliberating for as long as this jury did.

Also in our jury room in the second case we had one person sitting reading a magazine and not listening to a word anyone said as she didn’t care. Two other young men who thought he was guilty just because they thought everyone accused of sexual abuse against kids should go down as it is ‘better to be safe than be sorry’ and one woman who steadfastly refused to change her Point of View believing that in the same situation her kid would tell the truth, the fact the case had nothing to do with her kid is neither here nor there, her kid would tell the truth therefore all kids would.

Being in a jury room in a case where there are varying opinions is a very hard place to be. If the purpose of the show was to show how diverse a jury can be then it succeeded but if the purpose of the show was to prove that it is the best system for this country to continue to adopt then it failed miserably. It showed how easy it was to impersonate a juror (criminal offence) and showed how easy it was to nobble a jury into voting against its opinions based on the evidence they heard in court, which is rather a scary prospect. That jury would have found Alan Lane guilty had Rashid not been breaking the law himself and going online to research the original trial.

I watched it all but it wasn’t impressive. Jury duty is important and should be taken seriously. The sad truth is many don’t and as a defendant you can only hope that only two or three those selected in your jury couldn’t care less. If it’s any more then you might be in serious trouble.

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Written by neilmonnery

November 15th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

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