Accuracy and clarity from the Press Complaints Commission

May 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Press Complaints Commission. In a nutshell is there to make help rectify inaccuracies in the printed media. It doesn’t help itself when itself is inaccurate.

The PCC recently claimed that the public has not lost confidence in it, but according to PCC Watch, the PCC needs to be clearer.

In it’s defence the PCC claimed 1700 rulings issued and more than 550 complaints resolved, but…

It is hard to understand how the PCC reached that figure. The 2009 annual report did not use the term ruling and the 2010 report is yet to be published. In the 550 resolved complaints the PCC does not come to a ruling – and Abell’s language suggests that the numbers are distinct. The PCC only actually adjudicated 44 complaints in 2010, of which 24 were not upheld. The PCC’s website records complaints about just 527 different articles.

and claimed more to have prevented more intrusive information being published more than 100 times whereas it cannot prevent anything, it can only advise.

and with the poll The PCC conducted to get the 79% of people have no concerns about the PCC, they used a company called Toluna…

Toluna is not a member of the British Polling Council, the self-regulatory organisation for opinion pollsters. Its services are not used by newspapers to commission opinion polls. Neither the questions asked of respondents nor the full results of the survey have been published.

It’s not really good enough for an regulatory body and pretty much sums up the PCC as whole.

Defending Fred, sort of…

May 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Fred Goodwins’ superinjunction has been, at least, partially lifted. We can all now know, legally, that Fred ‘The Shred’ has been bonking a colleague. Don’t we all feel better and more informed now?

The issue of superinjunctions is a hot one at the moment. Freedom of speech (or expression as some are saying) versus someones’ right to privacy. The press are scared that they won’t be able to report on vital establishment-shaking issues and people are worried that anything goes and will have to spend a fortune in the courts when their shit hits the fan, or newstand.

One of the arguements the press use is that with these injuctions they won’t be able to expose all these celebrities and public figures for the hypocrits they are. Fair enough, but who is a celebrity? What makes a public figure?

Sometimes it’s easy to say. An MP is a public figure, the leader of a campaign is open to scrutiny, the sportstar that uses his/her image to advertise stuff. They are all trying to influence the public to behave in a certain way. If they are not true to their word then fair enough, a charge of hypocrasy should be called and they shoudl have to defend themselves. They have, though, put themselves forward. They decided to enter the public concience in a certain way.

But what of the likes of Fred Goodwin. He was just a banker. Fred didn’t put himself in the public domain, he was thrust into it due to circumstance. Fred didn’t shout that we shouldn’t be doing drugs or being faithful to our spouses while snorting a barrel full of cocaine out the anus of a prostitute while his good little wife waited at home, sat at the table looking at an empty chair while dinner their plated up dinner slowly went cold. He ran a bank. No one, outside a very small circle, before the banking crises had heard of him.

So while the hoo-ha about his running of the bank or his massive pension agreement could be a fair target why should his choice of sexual partner be up for all and sundry to know about?

Fred was apparently shagging a colleague. How does that change things? Lots of people fuck someone they work with. It might cause a bit of concern if it’s the government defence secretary having secret liasons, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the liason is a honeytrap, but a banker? Does it really have any bearing on anything?

Fred Goodwin may be a national bogeyman, but the fact that he is not a public figure of his own making means he shouldn’t have needed an injunction to supress this little bit of his life that is of no consequence of anybody except those close to him, such as his wife and family.

It is entirely possible for this affair to have had some bearing of the massive losses RBS suffered, making it in need of govenrment help, in which case the press would be legitimate in it’s publication. There is nothing wrong with the press investigating this stuff, that is what they need to do to expose hypocracy and shadowy dealings that are of genuine public interest, but when there is no connection between his affair and (his part in) the collapse of the UK banking industry then there is no need to run it.

This obsession of the printed Press with who is shagging who is what is causing this, what seems to be, sudden flurry of injunctions. If the press stuck to what was important and relevant, there wouldn’t be any need for these people to try and gag the editors freedom of speech.

I understand that an MP might want to use Parliamentary privilege to smash an injunction, in the case of Trafigura for instance, but why the hell did the LibDem MP John Hemming think it’s anyones business who the fuck is fucking who?

MPs’ need to stop buggering about with this and either leave superinjuctions alone unless there is serious public interest being censured or debate it and sort out a proper privacy law.

For Amber: handbags and bunting

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Does the lady in your life fancy a funky new handbag? Do you need some bunting for a party?

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then head over to and have a look.

A friend of mine, Billie, is selling handbags and bunting in a new venture. They are all handmade, and the quality is excellent.

The range Billie is doing at the moment is called For Amber. All proceeds, that’s everything except the cost of materials, goes toward Leukemia research. Amber recently lost her fight against leukemia.

Below is a couple of the designs available (click to enlarge)

Billie says…

All ‘Grown Up’ bags are £20 each. I will let you know on P+P if needed.

The bases are approx 12cm X 22cm and they are about 20 cm tall.

All except for the ‘Union Jack’ ones can be made in a kiddy size for £15.

They have a popper fastening, I am looking into using a zip in some of them. I have also done a velcro fastening for the kiddy bags.

Just let me know the design you want and (if applicable and I have stock), the colour for the lining and the button design you would like.

Go on, treat yourself or your lady.

Gettin’ down and dirty with Nadine Dorries

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Some links with regard to Dorries Ten Minute Rule bill wanting manditory abstinence sex education for girls only.

The Ministry of Truth corrects Dorries on who is taught what at what age…

Dorries is playing the tired old tabloid trick of making false claims about the subject matter taught to seven year olds based on the contents of the full PSHE and SRE (sex and relationships education) curriculum, which runs of early years education (3-4 years) right through to the end of secondary education (year 11, 15-16 years), presenting children and young people with age appropriate information at each key stage and year of the curriculum.

Richard Bartholomew points out another one of Dorries’ faults: Statistics…

Dorries’ speech referenced an interview on the sexual revolution which Joan Bakewell gave last year in the Radio Times, but Bakewill did not come up with these statistics and I find it doubtful that she would have cited them.

The statistics are actually a boilerplate talking-point which has been doing the rounds on Christian websites for years, sometimes attributed to a “Florida State University study”. One example of their use is the 1993 book by Bill Hybels and Rob Wilkins, entitled Tender Love: God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy.

Tim over at Bloggerheads realises that Nadines’ choice for her all-time favourite song is a curious one given her campaign on “let young girls know that to say no to sex when they are under pressure is a cool thing to do”…

If Nadine Dorries actually means it when she claims she wants to teach teens that it’s “cool” to say ‘no’ to sex (i.e. if this isn’t just a further attempt to halve the abortion rate for entirely biblical reasons), she may want to choose a new favourite song…. because Raspberry Beret is a song about a teenage romance that culminates in what is unmistakably a first-time sexual experience.

and finally The Heresiarch has a thoughtful post, that concludes that maybe Dorries is aiming her campaign at the wrong gender…

Being 18 years old and a virgin is considerably more embarrassing to a boy than to a girl, though, who would more likely be able to thrill her partner with the revelation that she had been “saving herself” for him. But would Dorries tell a boy that it was “empowering” or “cool” to say no to sex? Would anyone?

Dead Tossers: Osama bin Laden (added to ‘to do’ list)

May 3rd, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

It’s been a while, but another tosser bites the dust. As I’m in the middle of something in the ‘real world’, a Dead Tosser obituary will have to wait. I’m sure Bin Laden can wait a couple of weeks.

Someone give me a nudge if it doesn’t appear in about three weeks, eh?

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