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Day: August 2, 2012

David Cameron has dumped House of Lords Reform. Don’t panic, Don’t panic, Don’t panic!

It’s over folks. The House of Lords will stay as it is and the Lib Dems have been shafted worse than contestants on Robert Kilroy-Silk’s game-show ‘To share or to shaft.’ Yes a report in the Telegraph this evening says the PM can’t talk around his backbenchers and therefore is giving up. This is the same newspaper that wrote a genuine piece about the perceived ‘Curse of Cameron’ with regards to his witnessing of sporting events led to the lack of Gold medals. It is so dumb that I was going to just blog on that. Now I’m doing a bit of a mix and match and meshing the two blog posts together.

House of Lords Reform is important to the Lib Dems. The other two parties say it is important to them but deep down they couldn’t give a crap as they know that for the foreseeable future only they can run the government. Turkey’s as they say don’t vote for Christmas and one thing we know about politicians is many of them care more about themselves and getting re-elected than they do about representing their constituents. It is one of the reasons so many councillors switch sides. It’s pathetic but heck it is just the way it is.

So anyway if the report is accurate, which is not a given. Then House of Lords Reform goes and no doubt the boundaries will not be changed as the Lib Dems would be pissed and scupper that. Isn’t coalition politics great? The Tories are the big powerful voice but they have a problem that deep down they can’t get over. That they didn’t win an election victory outright and their backbench MPs just can’t get over that. They’ll rejoice they scuppered the Lords reform and then they’ll whine about the ‘insignificant’ Lib Dems not doing everything that they want them to do.

It is ‘hilarious’ – it really is. Clearly that is sarcastic. The whole working together thing isn’t the norm in this country and it is no surprise that these issues have arisen. I expected it earlier. I think most of us expected it earlier in all honesty but we’ll see what happens. The Tories might be paying a larger price than boundaries not being changed. Imagine if the price of scuppering Lords Reform is Vince Cable replacing George Osbourne as Chancellor? I know it is highly unlikely but heck we don’t know what it will play out, if as I said earlier the report is correct.

Everyone is foaming at the mouth on twitter. Well I say everyone I should say instead a lot of people are foaming at the mouth over this. One newspaper report gets everyone going when there are very little facts to go on and even if the facts are correct, we are yet to know the context of how it will all play out.

Sometimes I think people are nuts. A lot of time I think that. You can’t have rational thoughts on a subject unless you have all the facts. In this instance there is very little to go on. Lets all enjoy the Olympics and we’ll see how it plays out. This is not the time nor the place to go mental about the possible House of Lords Reform Bill dying a death.

PS: Yes The Telegraph has posted several pieces about the ‘Curse of Cameron’ – any newspaper that believes in curses and writes serious pieces about it is a newspaper written by morons. There is no such thing as curses. End.

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Helen Skelton quits twitter – begs the question ‘what is fair criticism?’

Blue Peter host Helen Skelton has quit twitter this week after what we assume is negative reaction to her part of the BBC Olympics coverage. The 29 year-old has been out and about in the Olympic Park doing vox-pop type segments that have to be honest not been great. Having done vox-pops I know how evil they are and whether it was her or just the vox-pop concept that I dislike – these pieces aren’t working.

Now we don’t know exactly what sparked her to leave the microblogging site. Whether she got some personal hate or just received criticism for her part of the coverage. She signed off just saying, “Turns out I don’t have very thick skin after all so I am closing my twitter account. Enjoy the games. Signing off, skelts x” which doesn’t really answer that question.

There is a distinct difference between legitimate criticism and personal insults. We don’t know the situation here. The abuse Tom Daley received was personal and vile and that just isn’t on. In this case though we are unclear of what sparked her decision to move on from twitter.

For example some might think that my first paragraph in this blog was unfair. Is it unfair to say that I don’t think someone is doing a very good job on TV? I have had people tell me that they don’t like my blog or my radio shows. Is that unfair or is that just personal opinion? Surely we are all still allowed opinions are we not?

Graham Linehan weighed in on the issue tweeting, “Another one down. This is why we can’t have nice things.” However he has said this not knowing exactly what spurred the TV presenter to leave twitter. Is twitter now a place where no negativity is allowed? If Nigel Farage tweeted that UKIP were the third party of British politics even though they don’t have an MP are we not allowed to ridicule him?

We don’t know the full story behind this. Miss Skelton has chosen not to divulge that information and that is her right. If she got personal abuse then no shock that she quit twitter. If she just got criticism then it is just one of those things and it is indeed her right to close twitter. If you have a thin skin and are on TV then twitter probably isn’t the place for you. Maybe one day we’ll find out.

Twitter can still have criticism but personal abuse is a different kettle of fish entirely. If we can’t criticise people then what is twitter going to do the next time Mark Lawrenson is heard doing a football commentary? Rightly or wrongly if you have a job in the public eye then you’ll get criticism. I remember once blogging about the Channel 4 athletics coverage and their lead commentator John Rawling read it and wasn’t happy. Now we all know Ortis stunk up the joint as lead presenter and was replaced after just a few days therefore vindicating my initial reaction to the announcement. Was that fair? Was that just?

Criticism is what it is and if you are involved in the entertainment industry that is part of the job description I’m afraid. It has always been the case it is just in this era people can read the criticism much easier than people discussing it down the pub. Personal abuse is not fair or just but I don’t see the problem with having an opinion or passing on comment. I don’t think you should ever message someone on twitter saying they weren’t very good or anything but if I tweeted for example – not to her but just a general tweet, “Really not loving these Helen Skelton look-ins on the Olympic Park.” then is that fair or foul?

You tell me…

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