Skip to content

Day: June 16, 2011

Laurie Penny tells someone they are an ‘hopeless inadequate’ as well some from worse things. Harsh.

Sometimes life is hard. We all know that. Sometimes we say things we didn’t mean but if we say them on a social networking site the odds are that someone will notice. When you just being you draws the ire of many fellows you have to be very safe with your social networking words. This is something Laurie Penny may have forgotten earlier today when she tweeted the following:

(Screenshot courtesy of twitter user @Parlez_Me_nTory)

Penny Red Tweet
Penny Red seemingly has a potty mouth...

Is this the voice of someone who is a columnist over at The New Statesman and has written for several upmarket publications?

The tweet was deleted within moments but it had been seen. Clearly the person in question has pissed her off royally but telling someone to ‘fuck off and die’ is disgraceful and when you tell someone that they are a ‘hopeless inadequate’ it says more about the person saying those words than it does the person saying them.

Look I know I’m not Laurie’s biggest fan but I do respect her to some degree that she has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to stick by them through thick and thin. Having said that though you can’t go around saying such things about people – certainly not in a public forum anyway. She has a career and has put herself in an interesting position for the future however the more she uses bad language and direct insults at people who disagree with her the less support she’ll get.

She has something about her as a writer. There is little doubt about that. Her latest post in the New Statesman about Dignity in life, dignity in death has a lot of merit but she can’t help herself but drag it back to politics. Not everything in this world is about politics. Her conclusion that the way the government are killing the welfare state will lead to more suicides is so far removed from what the piece was seemingly about sums her up totally.

Love her or loathe her she is here to stay. However many more foul mouthed tirades and editors will start getting twitchy.

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.

Lib Dem Mayor defects to Labour over cancer remarks from the Tory PM

Lib Dem councillor Joyce Underhill and her husband Cllr Tony Underhill have both left the Liberal Democrats because of something the Conservative Prime Minister said during Prime Ministers Questions yesterday. Joyce Underhill is mayor of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and her husband is a standing councillor. David Cameron was constantly asked over a change to the welfare bill that according to Ed Miliband and Macmillan cancer care that will lead to a situation where up to 7,000 cancer sufferers will be £94 a week worse off each week. The PM said that it wasn’t the case but the Labour leader kept with it and I’m sure when it comes out in the wash we’ll find out whose right. As it stands we have no idea.

However waiting for the facts to play out wasn’t good enough for these two ex-Lib Dems and they jumped ship for Labour over it. I’m guessing it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as it were. Instead of discussing the pros and cons of what they did I want to have a look at the fact they jumped ship to Labour.

Look I just don’t get it. Do some people believe that they have to be a member of a political party? What have Labour done to attract people from the Liberal Democrats? Yes I can see why some Lib Dems are disaffected but that doesn’t mean that Labour are the right move. Surely the best thing to do would be to be an independent and then take a step back and see what happens next. If I got so pissed off with the Lib Dems then I just wouldn’t be a member of any political party. Labour have repeatedly shown they do not hold liberal values at their core and that is the base of my membership of the Lib Dems.

Our opinions and outlook change over time but they change at a snail’s pace. You don’t just decide one day that in fact you don’t agree with one parties policies and suddenly you agree with another. You just don’t. So it seems to me that some people are so desperate to belong that they will ditch one party for another even if the other party doesn’t fit in with their ideologies.

Have these two people jumped ship solely because they believe that Ed Miliband and the Labour Party care about cancer patients and that Cameron and his coalition partners don’t? I don’t know but considering how quickly they have defected from one party to another that are a ways away on the majority of policies shows that they either do not care that much about policy and/or were never true Liberal Democrats but more ‘anyone but Tories’. One of those two pretty much has to be true.

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.

The biggest issue on the doorstep in Southend is Southend Airport and we have big news on that…

If you are a resident in Southend (certainly in Southend West) then you probably have a very strong opinion one way or the other on the proposed expansion of Southend Airport. The once major airport has fallen rapidly in recent decades and now can only to said to be a small regional airport. However for years it has been mooted that the airport was going to expand and news today that it will be the new home of EasyJet shows that it will indeed happen and they are serious about this expansion.

Now personally speaking the airport’s expansion will have very little direct impact on my life. I do not live under the flight path and will not be after any of the 300 or so jobs that the expansion will create. 300 jobs seems low to me for such a major project. This is as always a polarising issue as there are some people who welcome the opportunity for new jobs both in the expansion of the airport and with the airlane but there are those who do not want the noise of planes going overhead. The flight path will go over some 20,000 homes and will obviously impact house prices to some degree.

The fact that one of the three routes already announced by EasyJet of Southend-Ibiza is telling. I can certainly see from a business point of view smaller airlines moving their operations away from the big airports and towards these satellite airports that are still within an hour of the capital by either car or train. For the local area it would be best served for the airport to expand. I have little doubts about that. If Southend Airport was to become the main hub for EasyJet and potentially other airlanes then jobs would grow both within the airport but also for businesses outside the airport to supply goods and services to the staff and passengers of the airport.

Southend as an area has a bad rap but I have lived in this area on and off now for the best part of three years. If they re-branded this coastline as the Essex Riviera then I think it would do wonders. Essex as a whole has a reputation and it is not valid across the whole of the county. Yes there are areas that are slightly worse than others but that is the same everywhere you go. Those who watch The Only Way Is Essex need to understand that whilst the show is real, it is not an accurate portrayal of Essex life. Southend itself is not a bad town at all with some extremely nice areas. The influx of a major airport will attract more business to come with it.

Whilst house prices may be hit in the short-term by the flight path issue, it needs to be noted that if the airport becomes a significant player in the short-haul flight game then the whole area will benefit from more jobs and business. This in turn will raise house prices as it will become a place where people will want to move for work purposes.

Personally I don’t care either way and I can see both sides of the issue. Still I do know that when I go clubbing in Ibiza I won’t have far to travel to get on a plane. Yeah me in Ibiza…

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.

Dyfed Powys Police react to media enquiries on #daftarrest and proceed to shoot themselves in the foot

So the Dyfed Powys Police have finally got back to David Allen Green over their reasons for detaining and arrested blogger Jacqui Thompson for videoing a council meeting, which is neither against the law nor against the published rules for council meetings in Carmarthenshire. They were first asked on Friday of last week but on Wednesday they finally replied in the form of a statement on their website which was simultaneously CC’ed to the New Statesman’s columnist who originally asked the questions.

However over in his column in the New Statesman, David Allen Green shall we say rips the statement to shreads and has left me asking firstly ‘who is their PR person and when will they be looking for a new job?’ Secondly I’m asking ‘Why haven’t they apologised yet?’ and thirdly ‘It seems pretty clear they didn’t know the law – just how scary is that?’

I’ll start with the PR person query. Whoever authorised that statement going public is an idiot. To show that firstly they didn’t know the law is pretty inexcusable and then mid-way though the statement refer to Mr Green without any prior introduction just shows a lack of basic journalistic skill. Had the introduction said that this statement was in response to Mr Green’s questions then it would be fine but to just drop his name in from nowhere is woeful. I studied and graduated with a degree in Journalism and I don’t think anybody would allow such an oversight. Journalism and PR is such a competitive business so you can’t put together such an ill conceived press release and expect not to get rebuked.

As for why they haven’t apologised – well I think we know the answer to that. The police as a rule of thumb do not apologise unless they are backed into a corner by a media frenzy. They cover their tracks – or should I say they attempt to cover their tracks furiously. We all remember what happened in the Ian Tomlinson case with police lying hand over fist until they were confronted with rock hard evidence. It does piss me off that a regular joe can be arrested and charged with either lying to the police or not telling the whole truth to the police but when a police officer or officers do the same then it one of the perks of the job. Police can lie and deceive but it’s fine. One rule for one and one for another has never struck a chord with me and it never will.

The final question about the police not knowing the law though might even be more frightening. They seem very confused as to whether filming a council session is a breach of the peace. We all know the answer that it isn’t but they seemed to believe that it was. How can they not know the law? It is their job. I know we all have jobs where we don’t know everything but when we don’t know something we ask someone. There were four officers on the scene and not two according to multiple independent witnesses, which is again a lie from the police and I did notice they failed to name either officer photographed with the arrested blogger. I am sure someone can name them locally but they deserve some stick for their unlawful arrest of a citizen.

I think one thing is clear – the Dyfed Powys Police had no idea that an arrest of someone for a unbelievably minor crime could cause them so much heartache. A small mistake that could have been fixed with a bit of common sense and a quick apology has rumbled on and continues to do so with their substandard answers to media enquiries.

Not all the police are bent. We all know that. However every time a story comes out like this it rocks people’s faith in the law. When it comes out that they do not know or understand the law it is enough for us to see the police in a completely new light. If Jacqui Thompson wants to sue the Dyfed Powys Police then she has a case and she could drag the force through the mud. Oh how I wouldn’t want to be anyone in authority with that police force right now.

As Elton John once sang, ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ and had they put together a quick apology all this would never have seen the light of day. However that apology was not – and still has not been – forthcoming and for that reason the Dyfed Powys Police will keep getting lumped into in the blogosphere and in the media.

Dyfed Powys Police – Safeguarding our community is their tag line. I have a new suggestion, ‘Dyfed Powys Police – Safeguarding our own backsides’. Or maybe, ‘Dyfed Powys Police – we don’t know the law’. Either or but both are seemingly just as or even more accurate than their own version.

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.