Skip to content

Tag: social media

The life of a faker – the world of @pn_kev_shields

With Portsmouth fans desperate for any news about who the next manager might be suddenly last night we were overjoyed that someone was going to tell us all the inside news. A man called Kevin Shields who has never had anything published in the local rag suddenly turned up on twitter with the username pn_kev_shields (pn is used by all Portsmouth News staff on official accounts) and promised us exciting news and he started today off with this:

'Kev Shield'

A few tweets later he pulled back from the twitter username linking him with the local rag:

'Kev Shields'

A freelance who can’t even spell freelance. I bet he gets loads of work…

Then drama as the Press Conference happened but wait what’s this…the press aren’t allowed to report on it?

'Kev Shields'

In all my days of covering sport (well those days were a while ago now) I have never heard of this. I have been told things off the record by PFC staff back in the day and that news was embargoed until…the press conference. Something is fishy here…I don’t even think he’s an employee of the paper at all…

'Kev Shields'

So he is despite never having had a piece in the rag ever published. Must be a pretty shit journalist and yet they let him cover the big breaking PFC stories…?

But wait…he backtracks when a real Pompey News journalist tweets him:

'Kev Shields'

Busted.

He’s clearly a wind-up merchant and it is there for all to see but the sad thing is many Pompey fans seem to be getting sucked in. A basic background check – i.e. googling will prove him to be a fake and then his stories don’t add up either.

So the @pn_kev_shields saga is over or is it…? What will the fake The News reporter say tomorrow? I await with baited breath.

Update: Google Jeffrey Noebels and you’ll notice the same photo as he has used as his twitter avatar.

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.

Chris Foy derided on social media

So Chris Foy sent off two Chelsea players, booked a large handful and gave a penalty against them this afternoon in the live Super Sunday 4PM game at their old rivals QPR. Looking at the raw stats you might question it but watching the game as a neutral I saw nothing major that denoted Foy having anything but a pretty good game.

However my neutral view seems to be out of phase with that of Chelsea fans who believe that he not only had a bad day at the office but was also doing it on purpose due to a vendetta against the club. I saw a tweet saying that the ref had sent off Alex in a game at Fulham and therefore that was proof he had an issue with the club. Yeah…

There have been plenty of tweets saying from the boring ‘Chris Foy 1-0 Chelsea’ to the more abhorrent ‘Chris Foy is a **** )you know the word) to the much retweeted ‘Chris Foy should never referee a Premier League match again’ and everything in-between.

So let’s have a quick look at the three big issues.

Firstly the penalty was not a stonewaller but David Luiz was just stupid. Did he have to shove the QPR attacker in the back when he had no chance to get the ball? No he didn’t. It’s a foul all day long outside the box and a penalty is just a foul that happens to be inside the box. Therefore a penalty was a fair call.

The Jose Bosingwa red card was likewise not a stonewaller. The problem though is once the referee decides it is a foul then it is a red card. John Terry was not in a covering position as he is not getting between Shaun Wright-Phillips and the ball before SWP has a shot on goal. Was it a foul? I’m not sure and the replays were inconclusive. At full speed it looked dodgy so I can see why he gave the straight red.

As for Didier Drogba. That is a straight red every day of the week. No need for debate. If you leave the ground with both feet and studs showing you are going for an early bath.

Yes lots of Chelsea players saw yellow as well but most of them seemed pretty fair. Had he not blown for full-time when he did then Ashley Cole would have been sent off as well as he fouled Tommy Smith I think it was as Smith was going clear down the wing. Cole was already on a yellow so that would have been a second yellow and a red. David Luiz could easily have gone as well for several fouls when already on a yellow.

Terry and Lampard both got booked for going forehead to forehead with QPR players (the QPR players got booked too). Mikel’s yellow was clear-cut as was Cole’s. I can’t recall the other ones off hand but I don’t remember sitting there and thinking ‘Foy has lost this game’ and I certainly never thought ‘Foy is deliberately screwing Chelsea over’.

The hounding he is getting on social media is sad to see and we wonder why so few people want to become officials?

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.

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.

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.

Johann Hari: Guilty, but not of being a liar.

There are many things all journalists know but one thing is more important than all the others – when your name moves from the by-line to the title then something has gone awry. The story should never be about you and if a story is about you then nine times out of ten it’s not going to be a positive one – journalists rarely write a story on how good another journalist is.

So we get to the shenanigans of yesterday and the award winning journalist Johann Hari. There was a twitter storm as it came out that he had been using quotes from an interviewee but these quotes were not from interviews that he had done with them. They had either been quotes they had used in other interviews or had written themselves. This is of course pretty bad form. Twitter lapped it up like it does any shitstorm because in general people on twitter like to mock others undoings.

The journalist has responded on his own blog this morning in a blog posted entitled My response to yesterday’s allegations which is worth a read. For me though it just didn’t ring true. I know what he means about someone saying something but when you scribble it down it doesn’t scan right. However that is part of journalism and you need to find a way around it.

For example if Maria Sharapova was interviewed about her match with Laura Robson and had said ‘she played well, she become good player’ it clearly doesn’t scan in print. However you could make it scan very easily and not mis-quote anyone by re-writing it as thus ‘she played well, she [has] become [a] good player’. It is a well known way in journalism to not mis-quote someone but still get their point across and making it scan well. This is certainly something that many journalists do when interviewing or getting quotes from a non-native English speaker.

The apology for me is a bit meh. He should have apologised and whilst he is accurate that it is neither plagiarism nor is it churnalism it was still extremely poor etiquette. He seems more focused on defending himself from those allegations than he does apologising for his poor judgement. Hopefully he has learned his lesson that there are ways to make a quote scan well in print and still not mis-quote anyone. He is clearly a fine writer and journalist and hopefully this incident doesn’t detract from that. We all make mistakes in life and writing from deadbeat hacks like myself to established and world-renowned journalists. He does need to make a stronger apology for me but whether he does or he doesn’t I don’t expect him to be fired.

If he gets his head down and continues to put together well thought out and thought provoking articles then this incident will be forgotten by the masses. Some folk won’t of course as they never forget a mistake and these are the people that in general have never made a mistake in their lives because they are perfect. I wish I was perfect however I am not.

Hopefully the next time we read about Johann Hari it’ll be because his name is in the by-line and not in the title.

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.

A Gay Fraud (not) in Damascus

There is little doubt that most people reading this blog will have heard of the A Gay Girl in Damascus blog. Certainly if they hadn’t and then stumbled upon this blog post from last week claiming the blogger had been taken by Syrian authorities then they would have felt for her and that this is just another example of everything that is wrong with Syria and other countries in the Middle East.

The only problem is this character didn’t exist. She was a figment of a 40 year-old American’s imagination.

The NY Times has an excellent summary of the events if anyone wants in depth coverage of this story but the question now is how do we all feel after been taken in by this deception and does highlighting the struggle albeit in an misleading way do either damage or promote the issues of homosexuals in Middle Eastern countries?

I can’t answer the latter question as I quite simply do not know and how I feel about it really doesn’t matter too much. It just seems sad that the story wasn’t true and people’s genuine affection towards someone they did not know was all a lie. There is no doubt people in these places who face the troubles that author Tom MacMaster portrayed Amina Abdallah Arraf as having but when it isn’t strictly accurate then it is hard to know what to think.

I sit here typing and am to be frank – torn. It has highlighted the issue worldwide but whether that sentiment will go away now it has been proven as a fraud I don’t know. Only time will tell. But the struggles of gay people in these cultures is something that shouldn’t be swept under the carpet – that is something that I do know for sure.

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.

Carmarthenshire Council abuse their power – arrest woman for filming open council proceedings.

This afternoon I was pointed towards this blog post entitled ‘Blogger arrested for filming council meeting: In Carmarthenshire, this is what democracy looks like’ on twitter and whilst my blood didn’t boil my head shook in despair. Sadly this is the type of thing has happens all too often. Someone in power doesn’t like someone/something and abuses their power in an attempt to silence them.

The blogger is question is called Caebrwyn and her blog can be found here. From all the evidence she has produced it seems as though the council decided that they just wanted to silence her and she had annoyed them with you know – taking an interest in what they do. So they basically by-passed the law and decided to call the police and say they she was breaching the pace. Now someone filming an event and not making a noise or getting in the way quite simply cannot be breaching the peace. Anyone with a brain knows that. It isn’t rocket science.

Still though four police officers turned up and proceeded to arrest her and keep her locked up until she signed a memo stating that she wouldn’t film council proceedings again. I think we all know exactly where she stands legally on this as the police cannot enforce that contract without suffering a humiliating defeat in court should they want to go that far. If something is not illegal nor against any rules (and filming open proceedings in a council is not against either the law or the rules of the council) then enforcing it is pointless.

The Carmarthenshire Council Chairman and Mark James are named as those who decided to step in and call the police. What arseholes. Not only that what power abusing arseholes. If you don’t like what someone is reporting – certainly when they are reporting it accurately and with evidence then you know what – deal with it and take the stick like a man. Don’t abuse your power and try to scare off someone doing something that is perfectly within their right.

If you don’t want to come across as an arsehole then the best way to do it isn’t by getting the person reporting it arrested but by stopping being an arsehole. It seems as though some people are just too stupid to understand this. The people involved in the decision to call the police and putting Caebrwyn through this experience should be disgusted with themselves but I suspect they just couldn’t give a damn.

These are people that we – the electorate – vote into office. Sadly they say all power corrupts but when it comes to infringing on someones freedom then it goes beyond the pale. There were other witnesses there and councillors and I wonder if they came forward to police to corroborate Caebrwyn’s version of events whether the police will arrest the Chairman and Mark James for wasting police time?

Somehow I doubt it.

This sickens me.

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.

Ryan Giggs and Twitter – what next?

Many people are panicking over the fact that Ryan Giggs may try to obtain the names of all the people who tweeted anything about himself and Imogen Thomas. The news that twitter was disclosing the authors of four accounts in a case in South Tyneside last night brought about a flux of tweets from people worried that this case-precedent will help Giggs and that everyone is for the slammer.

As Lee Corso would say (no-one knows this side of the pond who Lee Corso is – this saddens me) ‘not so fast my friend’

First of all has a crime been committed? Technically yes. If anything put out in a public forum that Ryan Giggs had an injunction against Imogen Thomas before it was revealed in the House of Commons by Lib Dem MP John Hemming last week then they are as I understand it with my layman’s view of law guilty of contempt of court. However in reality the CPS would not see it as in the Public Interest to arrest and charge everyone involved in saying anything that may have broken the injunction of any social networking site. So the likelihood of everyone getting a criminal record from this is shall be say minute and that is being kind to the chance.

Next up is whether multi-millionaire Ryan Giggs would want to individually sue everyone involved. Can you see a footballer deciding to take on what they are reporting as up to 75,000 civil actions against members of the public? No. Neither can I. If Ryan Giggs really wants to go after someone through twitter it will be the first accounts that reported it – namely the anonymous ‘injunctionsuper’ account would be his target as there is a considerable chance that this account user actually knew of the injunction and had seen legal papers therefore directly violating the injunction. Other people who had commented on it afterwards had not and therefore any success in a case by Ryan Giggs would be a long-shot.

Ryan Giggs has played his hand extremely badly and with only a year or two left as a player he has a big choice as to what he wants to do after e finishes playing football. If he wants a job either as a coach, a manager or TV pundit then any suit against multiple members of the public will not be forthcoming. I can not imagine any media outlet taking on such a toxic personality considering what the public would feel towards him at that point and the same goes for any club knowing the backlash they would get from the fans. If he wants a reclusive life counting his pennies then he can sue and become one of the most hated people in the country.

The ball as they say is in his court. The thing is though at the end of the day nobody gives a damn that he cheated on his wife. They just don’t. At some point if he has good advice he will let the injunction slide and take the short-term public hit and apologise publicly to both his wife and to all his fans around the world. People will very quickly forgive and forget and he can enjoy doing whatever he likes for the rest of his career. Pursue a civil case against the public at large and his future will be as private as he wants it to be as nobody will touch him job wise.

If any of the legal stuff is inaccurate then please let me know. I did pass Journalism Law back in 2003 but heck that was a fair while ago…

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.

How to ruin your public image by an unnamed footballer

So a famous footballer in the Premier League had a six-month long affair with a Big Brother star called Imogen Thomas. Now in the context of what footballers get up to it isn’t even a scandal. The tabloid media would have a bit of a frenzy for a couple of days and the situation would die down. The public wouldn’t really care as having an affair isn’t a big deal in this day and age – whether you are famous or just an average Joe.

However the footballer in question decided that he didn’t want this story to come out. Fair enough in one way as he had a family whom he didn’t want to suffer. He didn’t think about that whilst screwing the Big Brother contestant senseless for months but that is not the point as we all know. He is famous so he believed he could have his cake and eat it.

So he got a superinjunction. The newspapers couldn’t report a thing. He got away with the affair and his wife was none the wiser. He could carry on with his life with no repercussions. Perfect. However something happened – the story got leaked. People on twitter talked openly about it and they talking about seemingly the right person. The footballer in question hasn’t publicly denied it and that speaks volumes.

So what does he do next? He sues twitter for breaking the superinjunction. Yes seriously. Considering only a small percentage of the country uses twitter his name still wasn’t really in the public domain but by bringing attention to the situation it has caused the casual observer to ask around and find out how it is. The name is now very much out there and they aren’t talking about the affair as no-one cares but they are talking about the superinjunction and the decision to sue twitter.

People are saying how incredibly dumb he is to sue twitter and it would be very interesting to see how it all pans out. By starting legal proceedings all he has done is confirm that it is him who has taken out the superinjunction. If it wasn’t him who people were discussing on twitter then why sue?

Had the story come out there and then weeks ago it would have blown over by now but all he has been successful in doing is drag his misery out. He wanted to protect his privacy but instead he has allowed the public to make a mockery of his privacy. Whoever his lawyers are must be rubbing their hands in glee. He has an extremely long road to win in court and yet the longer the situation drags on the worse he looks in the eyes of the public.

Football having an affair is a short-term non-story. Football suing Social Media for telling truths about him is a long-term legit news story.

Who said footballers had nothing between their ears?

Note: There is some conjecture over whether this was a regular injunction or the fabled ‘superinjunction’. Either/or the point remains the same but if it is just a regular injunction then apologies for the inaccuracy.

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.

Ken Clarke – a trial by modern social media

Judge: ‘Ladies and Gentleman of the twittersphere have you reached a verdict?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes your honour – we find the defendant guilty of endangering the lives of women and think he should be out of a position where he can endanger any women post haste’

Judge: ‘Don’t men get raped too?’

Twittersphere: ‘No they don’t. Only women. Ken Clarke is endangering women and deserves to be sacked immediately’

Judge: ‘Just checking if you read the proposals that he is putting forward?’

Twittersphere: ‘Of course we did what do you takes us for? Reactionary morons?”

Judge: ‘So you know that there is already a plea bargaining deal in law where judges can – can not have to – reduce sentences by up to a third in any case with receipt of an early not guilty plea?’

Twittersphere: ‘Plea bargaining wha…?’

Judge: ‘Plea Bargaining. That is what these proposals were all about’

Twittersphere: ‘No it wasn’t. It was all about Ken Clarke thinking rape wasn’t important and how he wants to let rapists out after 15 months’

Judge: ‘Who told you that?’

Twittersphere: ‘That is what Ed Miliband said in PMQs and Margaret Hodge backed up those thoughts on The Daily Politics Show afterwards’

Judge: ‘Ah I see. Well you have to remember that they are both using Clarke’s comments for political point scoring and they might not exactly be 100% on the mark with their comments’

Twittersphere: ‘What do you mean? Politicians never lie and certainly not the Labour ones. They think rape is serious and because of that they must know exactly what they are talking about’

Judge: ‘Everyone thinks rape is serious’

Twittersphere: ‘Ken Clarke doesn’t’

Judge: ‘When did he say that?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yesterday’

Judge: ‘Where did he say that?’

Twittersphere: ‘I’m not sure. I saw it on twitter’

Judge: ‘So everyone on twitter only deals in facts, not opinions or conjecture?’

Twittersphere: ‘Err…’

Judge: ‘Well he never ever said rape wasn’t serious and nor did he say he wanted to let rapists out of jail willy nilly’

Twittersphere: ‘Are you sure? The media seemed to be saying otherwise’

Judge: ‘I’m sure’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh. He must have said something to cause the furoré’

Judge: ‘The whole crux of the issue is he disagreed with BBC Radio 5Live Presenter that Rape is Rape’

Twittersphere: ‘Sack him. How dare he. All rape is as bad as every other rape. Rape in rape. Sack him. How would he like it if he was raped? Sack him. He should resign. Sack him!’

Judge: ‘So you disagree that there is a difference between a 17 year-old and 15 year-old having consensual sex and a masked man bursting into a home and raping an unsuspecting victim?’

Twittersphere: ‘Well I never said that…’

Judge: ‘Well you kinda did actually. Both are classed as rape in law’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh I see. Well he still shouldn’t have said it. Sack him’

Judge: ‘So what are you saying?’

Twittersphere: ‘Isn’t it clear? We think Ken Clarke should resign immediately or be sacked. His comments that all rape isn’t equal is deplorable and people with those thoughts cannot be allowed to govern and put the lives of women in danger’

Judge: ‘So all rape is rape and anyone that even questions this is insane’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes. Finally you are getting it’

Judge: ‘Do you know or did you ever have sex with anyone before you were 16?’

Twittersphere: ‘That is none of your business judge’

Judge: ‘Well did you or do you?’

Twittersphere: ‘Well not me personally but when I was in Year 11 at school I may have known of one or two people who had sex where one of them hadn’t turned 16. Only one or two mind you’

Judge: ‘Do you class the older members of that sexual act as rapists?

Twittersphere: ‘Of course I don’t. You are an idiot judge. How dare you.

Judge: ‘The law does. That is what Ken Clarke was saying albeit in a dumb way’

Twittersphere: Well Ken Clarke is right then. You are the idiot judge. Claiming that when my 15 year-old girlfriend gave me a blow job after a GCSE Maths exam behind the bike sheds makes me a rapist’

Judge: ‘So you are saying Ken Clarke actually was on to something’

Twittersphere: ‘Wait. No. You tricked me’

Judge: ‘I’m just trying to clarify what Ken Clarke was actually trying to say’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh, but he did say that judges will now be ordered to give a 50% discount on all rape sentences if the defendant pleads guilty right?

Judge: ‘No’

Twittersphere: ‘But…’

Judge (interjecting): ‘What he said and what these proposals were set to do was give judges more leeway in every criminal case. The initial interviewer Victoria Derbyshire used rape as it is the most emotive of all cases to illistrate her point and that is where this all stems from. Judges can chose the length of sentence in any criminal case from a set of tariffs. Under these proposals a defendant could in the most extreme circumstances get an extra 17% off their sentences for an early guilty plea. Clearly anyone getting a slightly softer sentence would satisfy any judge that they were full of remorse and there were extreme mitigating circumstances.’

Twittersphere: ‘So all rapists won’t be free in 15 months ready to rape again?’

Judge: ‘No’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh that isn’t what I thought. Can you ask us again what we think of Ken Clarke?’

Judge: ‘Sure. Ladies and Gentlemen of the twittersphere have you reached a verdict?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes your honour – we find the defendant guilty of endangering the lives of women and think he should be out of a position where he can endanger any women post haste’

(Judge bangs head on desk)

End Scene 1.

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

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.

Question Time & Twitter

Every week Question Time comes on the old tellybox at 10:35PM on a Thursday night. Around that time twitter starts becoming one of the most partizan and hilarious places on Earth (or to be more exact – cyberspace). Everyone has their opinions and they will back what their man or woman says and boo religiously anything anyone they don’t like. It is part of why politics annoys me – sometimes people you like say things you don’t agree with and sometimes people you don’t like say things that are right in line with your opinions.

However when it comes to #bbcqt and the twittersphere then that seemingly not the case.

Take for example last night. There were some pretty big hitters on there. Nadine Dorries is rounded derided for being an appalling woman (which is fair – because she is), Red Ken Livingstone who somehow lost an election to Boris Johnson – which either shows that he ran the worst campaign in the history of the world (except for Al Gore) or that the voters of london are morons. Danny Alexander was also on and he gets a lot of stick from both Labour supporters and his own Lib Dem supporters due to the fact he’s in a coalition and isn’t calling the Tories a bunch of **** (this word has been deleted to due the fact that it’s a very very bad word – or so my ex-housemate told me). Jon Sergeant was also on there but he was being a populist idiot and someone else whom I forget but he seemed relatively fair (just watching it back on iPlayer this was Sir Christopher Meyer)

So we’ll start with the evil witch that is Nadine Dorries. A despicable woman who if the election was held in a seat that wasn’t a safe Tory seat she’d be run out-of-town. If the Tories put up a talking monkey in Mid Beds then the talking monkey would win. That is how safe the seat is. This is a woman who says that anyone tweeting over 50 times a day is not disabled and should be able to work. Like twitter should be a threshold for the government to decide if someone is fit to work or not. I know plenty of people who could tweet for England but are genuinely unable to work. If she doesn’t then she lives a sheltered life and doesn’t meet real people.

Anyway despite all this – she made one comment last night on the tuition fees debate that was spot on and justified. she said that this might make students value their education more and think about what course is right for them. This resulted in howls of derision from the live audience and twitter blew up. The thing is though that she is right. Plenty of people just go to university for the piss-up and the three years of fun and not for the degree and the future prospects that a degree opens for people. That is a fact. So if people have to pay for it then maybe they’ll take it more seriously. She also said that plenty of people don’t want to pay for students through their taxes – and whilst I don’t agree with this as I personally think that we should – it is a fair Point of View for many.

Next we’ll look at Danny Alexander (who looks likes he may have just gone to Boots and purchased some ‘Just For Men’ as his gingerness seems to have gone down a notch or two in recent days). He’s a Lib Dem but there is a faction of the Lib Dem party who hate him due to the fact he’s in government. ‘Just join the Tories and have done with it Danny’ I saw on more than one occasion. Danny might not be the greatest speaker ever – he’s no David Laws that is for sure – he – like most Lib Dems said the right words but the people didn’t want to listen to it.

I said it on Vince Cable a few days back that he is involved in cabinet responsibility and Danny has to break the pledge he signed on tuition and vote for the bill or he has to quit the government and walk away from office. Now it seems pretty clear listening to Danny last night and Vince earlier in the week that the Lib Dems desperately want to block vote on this. They all pull in the same direction. Under the coalition agreement they can all abstain but that will please no-one. It shows weakness. So in reality they all have to back it or all vote against it. If they all vote against it then the coalition will surely collapse and the Lib Dems join the opposition benches.

So it is a question of whether or not the tuition fees bill is the one that breaks the Lib Dems. We all knew this would be the case months ago and we are now just a few days away from finding out how it’ll go down. If they vote against it – then the Lib Dems can say they kept their principles and ethics when push came to shove – however they’ll also be seen as weak and unable to make the big decisions. Do people vote for MPs because of ethics or because they’ll make the tough decisions in Parliament? We may find out sooner rather than later.

Another thing was the eejit who basically told Danny Alexander (and in turn the watching audience) that he had to listen to his constituents because the students didn’t like it. I’m sorry sonny jim but are students now 100% of constituents? I’m guessing when you take into account how many students bother to even register that in an average seat less than 2% of eligible voters are 18-22 university students. Now let me just check my basic maths here but yep – two is a lower number than one hundred. Plenty of constituents do not want to fund the students – should Danny and the Lib Dems listen to them as well or only those who agree with the student position?

Look. The Lib Dems made a pledge. They are now in a position where they cannot fulfil that obligation unless they dramatically pull out of government. A decision will be made on what is more important – the country or the students and going through with that pledge. We’ll see how it plays out but I’ve written on more than one occasion that in a grown-up world things and position change.

Anyway back on message – Red Ken does what Red Ken does. He talks pretty bluntly, doesn’t pull any punches on either side and says it how he sees it. It’s why personally I have a lot of respect for Ken Livingstone. Twitter seemed to be indifferent to him last night with comments such as ‘as much as I hate Red Ken, I agree with him’ – sometimes you wonder what he’s done for people to hate him so much.

Last word for John Sergeant who said on tuition fees that we’ve afforded free education for all so we can now. Clearly he has in-depth knowledge of the financial situation the country is in otherwise he wouldn’t have spouted such populist drivel. Or would he…?

Every week #bbcqt comes on and it’s a laugh on twitter. If people actually listened to what the panelists said and not just say how much they disagree with them the moment they open their mouths then it might be a sensible debate. Until then it never will be. Anyone with an open mind with agree and disagree with most people on most things. There are very few people in life that I (or anyone) will agree with 100% of the time (and the same for disagree). If I’m being honest then I’d be stunned if there was even one person in the world where I’d be unable to find something that I disagreed or agree with them on.

Politics. At times it is far too tribal for me and none more so than during #bbcqt

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.