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On a Lib Dem saying something offensive and dumb, a petty Tory and local journalism…

Sometimes I come across a story where literally everyone involved in it comes out badly. Today I saw such a story that the more I looked into it, the worse the secondary characters looked. sadly for the main characters, they just never looked good.

For those who don’t know anything about the story to which I can referring then you can read the write-up in the Portsmouth News. The long and short of it is a ‘rising star’ in the Lib Dems apparently said something stupid whilst drunk, well lets be fair, something beyond stupid, something flat out disgusting. She should learn to deal with alcohol better, tell her friends not to post her stupid remarks on social media or to be frank have less vile words spilling from her mouth. The words she used were, ‘joining the Tories is like joining IS.’ Yikes. You can’t defend it so I won’t but lets look at the rest of the players in this story.

She had a friend who shared the comments online, first things first, don’t share such crap. It is wrong but will also come back to bite you in the bum and make you look stupid. It isn’t a bit of fun. In this era where all our communications on social media can be scrutinised with a click of a button, learn to be careful about what you share online. If people (and I actually know activists from other parties have done so looking for dirt) went through my timeline on twitter or my Facebook books or my instagram pictures, whatever, they would find that I love Nadiya from GBBO maybe a little bit too much, I love George from Masterchef Australia maybe a little bit too much. I talk a lot of sport and talk a lot of politics but plain offensive things, no siree bob, a) it isn’t on and b) your online identity is rightly or wrongly a part of you. So don’t share things that will get you into trouble.

So he has some fault for sharing the comment (or should I say alleged comment Mr. Lawyer?) but whatever. Next up is the Tory councillor in Portsmouth who saw it and instead of looking at it and thinking, ‘oh what a foolish young woman’ instead decided to tweet the local media alerting them to the Facebook status. I mean for real. Cllr. New, you are a grown man, act your fucking age (yes I said fucking, I’d edgy and uncouth like that – big up my Portsmouth upbringing under a Conservative council – or I should say Havant Council if I’m being strictly accurate). Some 17 or 18 year-old girl apparently said something fucking stupid whilst drunk, someone who heard it thought it was either funny or true so posted it online and the adult response is to go crying to the local media? Fucking hell.

So Cllr. New has some blame and then the Pompey News itself. Oh I love the Pompey News. I have had several friends pass through those doors. It was my hometown newspaper but what on Earth are you doing giving this story the time of day? The person who said it doesn’t live in Portsmouth, the person who shared it doesn’t live in Portsmouth (although either studies or studied in Pompey). So where is the Pompey angle? No fewer than three Tory councillors in Portsmouth are quoted in the story about it. I mean come on. I know local newspapers are dying and the written media as a whole is on life support but when you are calling up or e-mailing multiple Tory councillors for a comment on a story about a drunk girls comments who doesn’t live in the area then boy that is a tenuous link for a story.

So I think a lot of people come out badly in this. Both young Lib Dems need to learn not to say (or be amused by) offensive stuff (let alone let it be shared on social media). I suppose in the old days (of you know – ten years ago) a person says something to friends when drunk and no-one else hears of it. This desire to share everything on social media is something people need to curtail (and I say that as an avid social media user). The Tory councillor who squinnyed like a fucking baby (see I am from Pompey – I used the word squinny) needs to grow the fuck up and if the local newspaper is going to react to every story where someone says something offensive when drunk then the Pompey News is going to be the main reason for the rainforests to die out.

Just maddening. The lot of it.

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  1. Huw Huw

    Go on Neil, I know that you are neither a bum nor too far gone – your argument was too well made to suggest anything of the kind. I suppose that my criticism was perhaps along the lines of “pots and kettles” – and NOW I pray that my grammar and spelling are correct! “Pots and kettles” refes to us all.
    I had a teacher once, whose catch phrase was “its not what you say, but the way that you say it that matters.”

    Making silly statements (such as you described) or using odd language (as I probably do all the time) causes people’s attention to to wonder from the main argument. Yes voting Tory risks undoing all we Liberals have attempted to do, but Tories are Not terrorists, and swearing at them simply makes things worse.

  2. neilmonnery neilmonnery

    Don’t waste your sorry on me Huw. I’m just a bum whose too far gone…

  3. Huw Huw

    While I agree with the point about not saying on social media what you dont want repeated in the press, and the press not using such rubbish, I am not sure that the use of “un-parliamentary language” added much to the debate. These extra words carried no meaning in the context of the discussion, and were not very attractive. While the intention was, apparently, to give local colour I am sure that my brother who lives in the general area would not use that sort of language, unless under very considerable stress. What came over was something like “I will rhubarb castinete use any language I stethoscope, barometer please, in the hope that someone – anyone – will crankshaft epidioscope love me”. I feel very sorry for you.

  4. Nassar Kessell Nassar Kessell

    Peking Wok! Yessss!

  5. neilmonnery neilmonnery

    Not sure Naglo was around when I lived there (moved away in 2009) – McChina for lunch, Peking Wok was good for dinner Chinese, lunch at the Astalet Cafe, chippy at Seafare, Indian at the Bengal Lancer. Ok now I’m just listing takeaway places I used to visit…

  6. Nassar Kessell Nassar Kessell

    Thanks for your reply, Neil.

    You’re right, its far more easier for a stupid comment to be escalated now, than what it was say 10 years ago.

    In future, I’ll certainly be more wise about what I post online.

    PS: I’m a huge fan of the Naglo in town – I adore their food.

  7. neilmonnery neilmonnery

    When I first read the write-up I thought the comment had been made on Social Media, which would’ve been far worse. When I saw what is actually was I just shook my head. How this is a story worth journalism time is just beyond me and as if the councillors in question were really hurt or outraged. If you look up the term ‘faux outrage’ then it should be a picture of this guy. If that hurts him then bloody hell his skin is mighty thin.

    We all say and do stupid things. In this social age it is far easier to get caught out. As I said, when I was growing up, you’d say a stupid thing, the people around you heard it and that was that. Nowadays it is so much easier to get caught out.

    I just abhor this whole scrolling through SM for political purposes. It happens everywhere and I’m sure there are LDs who do it too.

    Mostly though I’m disappointed I didn’t say he squinnyed like a dinlo for ultimate Portsmouth in one sentence. I’m sure you and Hannah will know not to say something stupid (or if you do – do it not online) and that is that. You do it once, you learn, that is how life goes.

    Cllr. New will no doubt be patting himself on the back for a job well done on getting a bad story about the LDs in the local rag and as for the journo, I think he needs to get out from his desk and find some real stories to write up.

    PS: Having lived in Aldershot for many years (and actually passing through on Saturday en route to a uni reunion in Farnham) you have my sympathies, although I still miss McChina’s lunch box menu…

  8. Nassar Kessell Nassar Kessell

    This is a great summary. Yes, I did something stupid, is it a news story? Hell no. The particular journalist who wrote this story has been looking to attack me for some time, this is the first opportunity he has been allowed to (I was previously in care and therefore was not allowed to feature in the media!).

    I’m not the type to run away from what I’ve said or done, like you, I was bought up in Portsmouth – I was always told to accept criticism when you’re wrong.

    Although, Cllr New on the other hand doesn’t stand by his comments – I have a screenshot where he says we should “BurnTheWelshWitch” referring to Cllr Lynne Stagg. But did I go running to the press? Nope.

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