I’m not going to go into the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross thing much – they acted like a pair of drunk teen tubes (made to look worse by the fact Andrew Sachs has acted like a gentleman); joking on the air is one thing, regardless of taste, but phoning up an old man and leaving lewd messages on his answering machine on air is pretty poor (and obscene phone calls are illegal as far as I know so they are lucky he never asked for charges to be pressed). I think they should be punished but with style – hold Brand down and tell him his rat’s nest hair is going to be forcibly combed. That will scare the hell out of him. And tell Woss he is welcome back on the air but must attend elocution lessons to lose the speech impediment and also learn enough manners to be passed off as a Duchess. Meantime here’s a great take on it from B3TA made by Beau Bo D’or which nicely catches the ridiculous tabloid frenzy that unscrupulous editors have been stoking (come on, there are far more important news stories going on, why is this taking so many columns and so much airspace?):
Breaking the law
So after more fibs from the government and assurances that their latest corruption scandal was a mistake by one party official that no-one else knew about, surprise, surprise it turns out that wasn’t the case, even after the Prime Eejit stood up and told everyone it was. Considering this is the same party who has blocked enquiries into how we were lead (and lied) into the Iraq war it can’t be a surprise to anyone that they hide other dodgy secrets and illegal activities behind misdirection and bare-faced lies. Tonight most news programmes were reporting that this is a criminal matter and as such should be referred to the police, but come on, who the hell thinks the Met will do much there after they so conveniently looked after the government’s interests in the cash-for-honours scandal (the senior officer’s appearance in front of a House committee afterwards was also less than convincing).
You know, if you were a suspicious, cynical person you might find it seems rather convenient that just after the Metropolitan police announced no prosecutions after a high profile, very expensive investigation into political corruption the beleaguered and incompetent Chief Constable got given backing from on high to let him ride out the furore over the findings in the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting. With such protection from senior ministers and the Prime Minister no wonder Ian Blair looked so smug and arrogant when he was in front of the committees, he was all but saying up yours, you can’t touch me. If, as I say, you were very suspicious you might think perhaps there is a secret link between the cash for honours investigation being dropped and Blair being protected by senior government officials, some shady quid pro quo. And if you thought that you might be even more cynical that any dodgy dealings in this new corruption scandal will be properly investigated, much less see all the people responsible actually charged. But of course, that’s just paranoid fantasy, isn’t it? Like someone making multiple illegal donations in the guise of different people, the very idea is mad… Oh, hold on…
And they wonder why so many people don’t even bother to vote or take part in the political process anymore after setting this kind of example… Still, it was great to see the look on Gordon Brown’s dour face when Cable compared the eejit to Mister Bean…
In the interests of honesty and transparency though, I will admit I have made multiple donations to the KLF (Kangaroo Liberation Front) under the names Hieronymoys H Monocle, Lord Freddie of Mercury, Muhammed the Bear, Lady Anastasia Appendix-Major and the Magnificent Montogue and his Performing Koalas. And absolutely no-one else knew of this. Unless someone finds out otherwise. Honest.
What is the world coming to when you can’t even trust Blue Peter to play straight and true with viewers? With the other recent scandals over TV premium rate phone-in shows I’ve mostly been of the opinion that, yeah, TV companies are blatantly ripping off viewers, but anyone stupid enough to keep calling at those rates frankly is a fecking idiot and deserves to be ripped off. But Blue Peter? Okay, they weren’t making tons of money from a premium rate number, but they did lie to millions of kids. They have now apologised for an ‘error of judgement’ but I think the fact they kept quiet about this since November until a member of the public exposed it means an apology is pretty weak and rather insincere – only apologising after not only lying to kids but keeping your mouth shut about it like it never happened for months until you are caught out is something else again and an apology doesn’t cut it. I think the only way Blue Peter can make it up to a traumatised nation is to have presenter Konnie Huq in the tiniest bikini in the world doing an episode on jello-wrestling.