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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Trial By Media and Silly Stunts

Well I can't quite believe it myself but what has shocked me out of my current writing dearth and is causing me to put fingers to keyboard is finding myself in agreement with our prime minister!!! Well sort of anyway. A little bit.

Surely not I hear you cry? Or, judging by the recent complete lack of interest and comment on my blog all I can hear is the sound of the light switch going out and the door closing behind you. But, never mind, I will persist. Even if only to try to get clearer myself and regain my confidence in myself and my writing that went for a walk and is still walking.

This isn't a political agreement, (with our glorious leader, please keep up), how could anyone agree politically, in this 'alleged' democracy of ours, with an unelected prime minister of an unelected coalition government persuing a manifesto that hasn't gone before the country. Putting all that aside, what I am in agreement with is his response to Philip Schofield's so called 'silly stunt' on breakfast TV, that of passing to above mentioned Mr Cameron a list of names he had found on the interweb of alleged paedophiles, and asking him if he will be speaking to them. And of course the 'misjudging' of the camera angle which meant that the names went out on live TV. (I couldn't help be reminded of recent 'wardrobe malfunctions' and how completely ridiculous the term is).

So silly in fact that Jonathan Dimbleby commented 'How cretinous can you get-giving a list of online names to the PM as though they were evidence'. Well said indeed.

And what did Philip Schofield think (if any thought went into this at all) that the PM would really do. Imagine the outcry if any prime minister, of any political persuasion, was to say 'I've been handed a list of alleged paedophiles from the internet and I am going to take it on myself to personally interview those on the list and come to a decision as to their guilt or innocence...'. Cue public outcry and questions in parliament and reminders we have the police for that kind of thing.

What I do agree with was the PM's comment that if we are not careful this could lead to a witch hunt. Not the bit about it being against against people who are gay. There is no evidence at all as far as I am aware that the gay community are any more likely to be paedophiles than those of any other sexual persuasion. Unless he meant that some people just assume that paedophiles are homosexual and that homosexuality is as vile as paedophilia and automatically link the two? I personally don't think that at all.

Of course there is already a witch hunt, on the back of the current JS (I don't want to write his name on my blog but you know who I mean) revelations and investigations which has been hijacked by the media and used to criticise and undermine the BBC. In fact the political right are falling over themselves to get in on some BBC bashing. Bless them.

All part of the current media frenzy and hysteria around anything or anyone even remotely connected with new or ongoing paedophile investigations, never mind facts or actual evidence. And now the debate is about legitimate journalism, what is it, what is really in the public interest, is it just to repeat rumours and trial by twitter etc etc. And assume that everything is a cover up, no one can be trusted. Whatever happened to that fundamental underlying principle 'Innocent until proven guilty'? All well and good to ignore it until you are the one standing accused.

And the really sad thing is it detracts from the ability to get to the real truth and take the appropriate action and bring to justice those that have committed these hideous crimes.

Every day we see in the papers something or other to do with the JS scandal alongside pictures of him in those awful shorts and shell suits in some pose or another, with no real new information or actual news. And why? Purely to sell papers and spread puerile irrelevant gossip that does nothing to get to the actual truth. Do they ever stop, even for a minute, to think of the effect this has on the victims, to daily be reminded and see his sneering perverted face staring at them? For goodness sake there can't be anyone in the country who doesn't know what he looks like by now! And while the BBC stands on trial an innocent man has had his name dragged into the gutter without a criminal charge or investigation having been made against him, and a genuine victim of abuse has been embarrassed publicly, adding to the suffering he has lived with since the initial abuse took place. Where is the justice in that?

And today, remembrance day, overshadowed by resignations, calls for more resignations, for more enquiries and enquiries into enquiries. How many more enquiries do we need? Are we any nearer the truth in any of this?

We have gone from no one being believed to anything anyone thinks or says being treated as the truth, from a state of indifference to hysteria. And I find this current hysteria, this media frenzy, as vile as the act of paedophilia itself, perhaps even more so. After all, we all love a sex scandal, but who does it serve? Only to add to fear and paranoia. And sell 'newspapers'. Did I say that already? And the truth gets pushed further into the background. It's no more than mob rule, and the mob are never right.

And what of those who weren't abused by someone famous or with power, the great majority of sufferers of abuse of all kinds that takes place either within the family or by a close relative, where is their voice? Doesn't really sell papers does it or attract much interest or comment.

We need, in my opinion, to take a breath and stop. Stop all this reporting and discussing and twittering, and take some time, objectively, if it is at all possible to be objective when it comes to paedophilia. To think about those who have been subjected to this awful crime, and other crimes of abuse, and find a way forward, a way that will get to the truth, bring those to justice that need to be, and, most of all to protect our children now, without resorting to knee jerk over compensatory reactions and accusations and suspicions and fear. To find a decent, dignified response to an indecent and undignified act. To all be on our guard but to remember our own and common dignity, when others have been stripped of theirs. Might be worth bearing this little maxim in mind, it's served me well over the years. 'Never be judge and jury until you are in possession of ALL the facts'.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with you Jonna. Trial by Twitter seems to be the way of things nowadays. What with Trolls on Facebook and the JS "saga" continuing daily, I despair of our once worthy newspaper industry. I can't wait for the string of new unsolicited phone calls - "Were you the victim of JS? We can get you compensation!"

    1. Thank you Sandie. I hope it doesn't quite go as far as that but you never know..