• Hypocrites,  Stateside

    Ferguson

    The recent disturbances in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager were not exactly downplayed by the media in the US and elsewhere. But here are a couple of things that stood out to me. –While the circumstances of the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson are murky, there is no doubt that a lot of Ferguson’s African-American residents feel disenfranchised. The town’s population has shifted in the past two decades from 70 percent white to two-thirds black. But the mayor, five of six city council members and about 95 percent of the police officers are white. During the week of…

  • Hypocrites,  Russia,  Syria

    Putin’s vomit-inducing op-ed piece

    I share Senator Bob Menendez’s reaction to Vladimir V. Putin’s hideously hypocritical op-ed piece in the New York Times. Nonetheless it seems to have impressed an awful lot of generally sensible people. (Were you impressed? If so, please explain why.) Putin (or someone) wrote: No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored. Putin’s tender concern for Israel (Which…

  • Grauniad,  Guardian,  Hypocrites

    Guardian staffer sounds off on Alan Rusbridger’s management in a piano memoir thread

    Criticising the boss is never easy. But when your boss is the po-faced editor of the Guardian, and the subject is his half-million salary and vanity scribblings as against compulsory redundancies and pay-cuts, you apparently can’t file a grievance in the comment section of one of his essays. On this thread, Alan Rusbridger’s efforts in learning the piano are chronicled. This is a post which was deleted, multiple times as others reposted it. Eventually, they closed the thread. “Afternoon Alan – I’m a member of Guardian staff, posting anonymously. As you know, it’s a tough time for your journalists at the moment – especially for those of us way down…

  • Hypocrites,  Media

    Why Some Politicians Favour Statutory Regulation of the Press

    Here’s a case in point. Between 2005 and 2009, the Secretary of State for Culture,Media and Sport, Maria Miller MP,  claimed 90,000 GBP in parliamentary expenses in respect of a house in south London where her parents’ lived. The Telegraph has been investigating  further. When they called up her office, this is what they were told by her SPAD: “Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about,” said Miss Hindley. … Miss Hindley also accused The Telegraph of harassing Mrs Miller’s father, John Lewis. In fact, reporters had a…

  • Hypocrites

    Save with KenCo

    So, you’re a public figure and as such are asked to do interviews, make personal appearances, write columns and the like. Nice work if you can get it, and certainly a nice little earner. Of course an outspoken socialist whose lips spit invective against “rich bastards” would welcome the opportunity to pay extra tax on this windfall. But perhaps not if that outspoken socialist happens to be Ken Livingstone. The Evening Standard reveals that to avoid paying tax on such earnings, Ken Livingstone turned himself into a corporation. His earnings from speeches and media appearances are paid not to him personally, but to his ‘company’, Silveta Limited. Now, as someone…

  • Galloway,  Hypocrites

    Galloway on Hitchens: a closer look

    Rosie Bell (who comments here as KB Player) has produced an excellent fisking of George Galloway’s wretched attack on the late Christopher Hitchens. I just want to respond, for the record, to a few additional points in Galloway’s nasty screed. Galloway writes that Hitchens was “the man who once praised Saddam Hussein in adoration…” This is probably a reference to something Hitchens wrote for The New Statesman in, um, 1976, which the magazine saw fit to republish in 2007. The Baghdad regime is the first oil-producing government to opt for 100-per-cent nationalisation, a process completed with the acquisition of foreign assets in Basrah last December. It was the first to…

  • Hypocrites

    Poor People Need Not Apply

    Simone Webb is a seventeen year old student hoping to take up the offer she has received from Oxford University to study PPE. In order to gain some experience working in journalism, and because she admired the magazine, she was happy to be an unpaid intern for one month at DIVA,  a glossy magazine aimed at lesbians and bisexuals.  This had been offered to her. But Simone had a small problem: while she was fortunate that her parents could support her at home, meaning that she was in a position to be able to carry out unpaid work, the cost of travel to the offices of DIVA, £5  a day,…

  • Ethics,  Hypocrites,  Law

    Shark Jumped

    ‘Information wants to be free’ is the cry of the internet activist. WikiLeaks begs to differ. And Julian Assange thinks he’s able to value the information that comes his way too. A copy of a WikiLeaks staff Confidentiality Agreement was leaked to the New Statesman yesterday. It’s very tightly worded and makes disclosing information from Julian Assange’s vehicle once it has entered WikiLeaks a very serious business indeed. My favourite clause is this: You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you, pursuant to this Agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information, the misuse or unauthorised disclosure of which would be likely to cause…