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Month: March 2010

Merciful release?

Merciful release?

Nobody emerges well from this story. Not even the mother who paid the killers £20 a week to look after the child while she decorated her home for a month. Did the windows not open? A few paint fumes are far less harmful than being kicked to kingdom come by a Tesco Value Ian and Myra. I’m afraid to say that if that’s the level of care the child could have been expecting through his formative years, this child’s life…

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Free to lance

Free to lance

Being a man, important dates float by me without ceremony. Family birthdays, etc. I’m not being thoughtless or selfish. I’d forget my own birthday if not for the reminders from family and friends. I now realise that one rather important occasion floated past without comment the other day. I was filling in a very boring form, and it asked me how long I’ve been in my present employment. As I left Publishing News on 22 March 2002, I’ve now been…

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Hackery alert

Hackery alert

My glowing review of Lewis Chester’s new biography of Lew Grade appeared in today’s Independent on Sunday. It’s a cracking book, and a must for anyone with an interest in the business they call the show.

Gerrymandering or Geffen-Mandy-ing?

Gerrymandering or Geffen-Mandy-ing?

Last night’s Panorama on downloading and the Digital Economy Bill was predictably shrill and ill-informed. The sight of Jo Whiley practically dancing with the bloke from the BPI during a presentation on why downloading was bad, m’kay, was particularly sick-making. The most interesting bit for me, though, was the fact that screen shots of YouTube kept popping up as examples of naughty digital activity. This is not unjustified, but it didn’t acknowledge the fact that BBC programmes routinely use clips…

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Dear Diary

Dear Diary

Inspired by the Michael Palin 1980-1988 chronicles I received for Christmas, a desire to rescue my handwriting from ruin after years of typing and the fact that Asda had day-to-view diaries for £1, I’ve been keeping a journal this year. I wondered whether I’d be able to keep it up, but 11 days into the 3rd month of the year, I can report with some pride that I haven’t missed a day yet. Sometimes I forget to jot down my…

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Sense amid the senseless

Sense amid the senseless

Anyone who wishes to venture an opinion either way on the Jon Venables situation should read and digest this superb blog post by a social worker. This Guardian comment piece by Simon Jenkins is worth a look too, as is Brian Masters’ contribution to the debate in the Telegraph. Everything else I have seen in the mainstream media has been fit only for cutting into squares and hanging from a nail in the outside privy. If I’ve missed any other…

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Mike Giggler writes

Mike Giggler writes

I’ve just had a text message from Terry Venables saying that he’s Eddie Calvert, the man with the golden trumpet. At least I think that’s what it said. The spelling was atrocious. Anyway, let’s go round and attack his house. Throw paint at it, I say. Cherry pink and apple blossom white. That’s the way.

Special Kay (slight return)

Special Kay (slight return)

The contemporary reporting of the John Kay case is oddly muted. The Times carried a news in brief paragraph on 12 September 1977, stating that Sun chief reporter Kay was to stand trial for the murder of his wife, but that’s it as far as the nation’s journal of record goes. For a bit more background, we must turn to page 4 of the Guardian of 13 December 1977, and a report headlined “‘Torment’ of reporter who killed wife”. The…

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Special Kay

Special Kay

The Sun‘s coverage of the Jon Venables situation is the embodiment of all that’s worst about modern journalism. In the right situation, bumping into the boundaries of acceptability and legality can be a valuable safeguard of free speech and freedom of information, as it can bring out into the open details that the public not only have a right to know, but, as citizens, should know. This isn’t that situation. We’re looking at simple bloodlust – an eye for an…

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