Sunday, 17 July 2011

The moral low ground

(c) Matt
As more regular readers will know, I don't *do* serious posts. Well, unless you count this one.
A bit like I don't *do* sponsored posts. Unless it involves gratuitous films with vintage swimming caps.

Anyway. Two things are bugging me:

1. Self righteous comments about my silly 'What the eye sees...' posts
2. The storm-in-a-teacup that is this ridiculous phone hacking 'scandal'
    How are the two related? Well, they are not, but let's put things into perspective.

    I am a people-watcher. Always have been, always will be. From this perspective London is the ideal melting pot in which to observe all manner of individuals, be they locals, tourists, regulars, passers-by or otherwise. It never fails to entertain me (or others, might I add).
    Some 7.8 million odd inhabitants provide a fabulous variety of characters to add flair to your day. Almost twenty-one years on and it just gets better. Given that you cannot talk to strangers on the tube without risking a Glaswegian kiss, capturing images on film is the best way of documenting any commute.

    Offended? Don't read. Or watch. Or comment. And just in case you thought I should be warned about the risk of being sued, let me state for the record that the Paranoid Former Employer already threatened me with libel, slander, various misdemeanour and the like for merely having a blog, never mind what it contained. A recap here if you are curious enough.
    Hence the Freedom of Speech ditty on the side to your right => => =>
    Please note the point about "...any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used."

    However. Should anyone amidst the 7.8 million people (plus thousands of tourists) who might have been randomly captured during my travails take offence, a simple email with proof of identity will suffice to have them removed. 
    I promise to be more helpful that MS Live Support were when my hotmail account was hacked and they refused to believe I was the rightful owner.

    Which brings me to point number two.
    I will just list the following:

    • humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa
    • civil unrest in Syria
    • Gaddafi still in power
    • bombs in Mumbai
    • EU running out of money 
    • US debt mounting
    • NHS waiting lists
    Am I the only person to think that there are other things in the news right now but there is an unnatural obsession with the phone hacking scandal?
    Really? Is this truly more shocking than MPs fiddling expenses, broadcasters being busted for fakery, bankers packing dodgy loans, or even - heaven forbid - politicians and police taking bribes? 

    As A.N.Wilson has written so eloquently in this Weekend FT, phone hacking - as well as blagging - has long been part and parcel of the journalist's tools of the trade. No one here is without blame, no one purer than driven snow. Whilst the lack of compassion regarding certain victims is regrettable, please people - let's get a grip, regardless of your views of Murdoch and his dreams of world media domination.
    We are not talking about faking evidence on weapons of mass destruction here as a justification to invade a country and put thousands of innocent people's lives at risk.

    Now that, that was truly deplorable.

    p.s. The whole silly phone hacking saga is best captured in the latest episode of the BBC Radio 4's 'The Now Show'. Listen to the first five minutes, and then skip through to twenty-two minutes in and enjoy Mitch Benn's little ditty of a song. Brilliant.


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