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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Red or Black is not so Black and White

So the one million pound winner of Red Or Black (which is, as far as I can make out, a television game show hosted by Ant and Dec and owned by Simon Cowell's production company Syco) has a criminal conviction and has spent time in prison for it.
It seems that when he applied to appear on the show he declared this and said it was for aggrevated burglary and ABH and that he attacked a man. He spent five years in prison.
Apparently this was ok, he was allowed to compete and he won. End of story? No. It turns out he assaulted a woman, his ex girlfried at her current boyfriends house. I don't know the full facts.
And of course now it has become known he assaulted a woman there was a move to get the prize money back but ITV have said their hands are tied and they have to pay up. Simon Cowell (Syco) is 'furious' and wanted £250,000 of the prize money to go to his (the contestants) female victim.
So it's ok for him to assault a man and commit aggrevated burglary but not to assault a woman? Hmmm I smell something here.
And he admitted his conviction, even though he lied about the sex of the person he assaulted. And he served five years in prison. Isn't it the job of the courts to convict and sentence and punish?
Would Simon Cowell have been just as furious and wanted the same reparation made if it was 'only' the male victim as originally thought? And what about some money to go to a charity for the victims of crime like burglary?
'ITV have insisted more rigourous checks will be made on future applicants and said had they known the full facts of this case they may have come to a different conclusion about letting him on the show'.
Oh, only 'may'  have, not definately have?
I'm not condoning assaulting a woman but I am appalled by the double standards here. This has got nothing to do with rights or wrongs but concern for television ratings.
And we get this when convicted criminals win the lottery as well. Should we have CRB checks when we pop to the local shop and buy a lottery ticket, or enter a raffle?
If we are going to condemn and write off people who commit assault (and burglary) could we at least be fair about it and condemn them whoever they assault (or burgle), not just give preference to one of the sexes? And what about women who assault men, or other women, is that ok as well? Could we at least have some continuity in our double standards?
In my opinion it's wrong to assault another human being whatever their sex or age or colour or religious persuasion or job or status in society etc. And isn't burglary just as vile, an indirect form of assault, just as traumatising to the person or people who's property is broken into.
It seems to me that the outrage here is misplaced. Never mind the fact that a television game show has allowed a criminal to win (and who can honestly blame anyone for wanting win a million pounds). What about the fact that in the current economic climate, when people are losing jobs and incomes are falling and prices are rising, when people in their twenties have never worked and maybe never will work, we have a very wealthy individual (whom I have nothing against personally and certainly not his wealth) who can produce a game show, along with a television company, that is geared, and let's be honest here, to making him and them and the presenters even more wealthy (when is enough money enough) on the pretext of making one person wealthy too. And then, to top it off, vilify that person when they do win.
How about setting up a company or a foundation that will employ people and give them and others hope and opportunities, or access to an education (like Sean Connery and J K Rowling and others have done).
Wealthy people without a social conscience, aided and abbetted by the television obsessed and game show addicted public.
This is the real crime. This is what makes me furious.


  1. GOSH ! Yes, quite so....goodness..you are sooo right and have said it WAY better than most people I know. GOSH Deep breath.

  2. Thank you Sarah for reading and commenting I appreciate it very much.