Friday, January 27, 2017

THE RAG : THE SEQUEL


Click on any image for a larger version

In an earlier post I outlined how I had submitted a comment under the Jersey Evening Post (JEP) online report on the Lord Reginald satirical video. The video had been published in the Voice for Children blog. My criticism was that the JEP's online report did not include a link to the video either in the original blog post or on Youtube. I provided a link in my comment to the original blog post which contained the video.



My original comment
Click on image for a larger version

My comment was not published. So I wrote to the editor of the JEP complaining about non-publication and pointed out that comments from a known toxic troll on the island had been published both before and after submission of my comment.

In his reply, the editor conceded that my comment should have been published, and not deleted by the moderator. He also conceded that the actual satirical video should have been embedded in the original JEP online report.

While that would certainly have allowed JEP online readers to view the video without leaving the JEP page online, it would seem to have avoided facilitating those who might want to checkout the original blog post. That is why in my comment I gave a link to the blog post rather than just to the video.

In his reply, the editor seemed to be at a loss to understand my "troll" reference and he also wondered who I was.

In my reply, I said I was pleasantly surprised that he considered that my comment should have been published as submitted. I expanded a bit on the identity of the troll I was referring to. I told him who I was and that at the end of the day I was not anonymous as a few clicks would have shown up my email address. Though I did add that I could see why some people in Jersey would see the need to post their comments anonymously.

I gave a link to my earlier blog post and asked if he'd have any objection to my publishing our correspondence.

In his reply, the editor said my comments were reasonable and he would have no objection to my publishing our correspondence.

He correctly deduced that the troll I was referring to was the infamous Jon Haworth who comes onto his radar really only because he suspects that Jon writes spoof letters to the JEP for publication under false names and addresses.

Finally, he assured me that no one gets any protection as suggested on his watch. "If you read the paper I edit, rather than our website, I think you'd struggle to argue otherwise."

Unfortunately, not being on the Island, I am not really in a position to read the print rather than the web version of the paper but I would invite any resident who wants to pick up on his challenge to do so and let me know the result. I realise this could prove a problem for some people who on principle do not buy the JEP. However there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.

In any event I can assure the editor that the Skibbereen Eagle will be keeping an online eye on him.

In the interest of openness, transparency, and all the other virtues that the Jersey administration are accused of lacking, I am publishing our correspondence below.



But first a amall diversion. You will see below that the editor wonders who I am and why I am interested in Jersey. And now Jon Haworth, in comments submitted under this post, is effectively challenging my commeenting in the Jersey Evening Post under a pseudonym. As explained in one of my letters below this was in no way intended to hide my true identity.


My challenge to Jon in the JEP

So I have now opened a Jersey Evening Post account under my full real name and challenged Jon to do the same. Let's see how this pans out.





Andy Sibcy, editor JEP


My initial letter (12/1/2017) following
deletion/non-publication of my comment

Dear Editor

On 6 January 2017 I submitted a comment on your piece about the Lord Reginald video.

I pointed out that you neither indicated the source of the video nor gave a link to it. I found this unusual in an online article. Leaving aside your reasons for behaving thus, and I can only speculate on what they might have been, I was surprised to find my comment (attached), which I thought reasonable and to the point, was detained in moderation and then deleted.

Both before and after submission of my comment, you published comments from a source you know to be a life threatening troll who has been implicated in various unsavoury manoeuvres to suppress criticism and challenge of the Jersey establishment in the context of its cover up of child sex abuse on the island.

I am at a loss to understand the rationale behind this regrettable and inconsistent behaviour and would appreciate an explanation of why my comment, made in good faith, was deleted.

Yours sincerely,

Pól Ó Duibhir



The editor's reply (19/1/2017)

Dear Pól,

Thank you for your email of 12 January. Please accept my apologies for not responding sooner.

The simple answer is that your comment should have been published as the points that you raise are entirely reasonable. I think that the original jep.com post should have been embedded with the Montfort Tadier video, a solution that would have made more sense from our perspective as it would have enabled readers to see the video without leaving our site.

The reasoning outlined above also partially explains why your comment was not published by the moderator. The other was that the link it included is to a blog site which routinely includes comments which attack the JEP in ways which can be ill-informed and unreasonable. I have to say that I would have been happy to publish your comment as submitted.

It was detained in moderation by default because you have not commented often enough to have been given the right to comment live (commentators have their first few comments checked before being given that right). It remained in moderation because a combination of sickness and holidays (including mine) meant that the moderation folder was not managed as efficiently as it would normally be. Other commentators will only be flagged up and their comments held in moderation if they use unacceptable language as they are free to comment live as regular contributors.

Your ‘troll’ comment leaves me a little baffled. I am afraid that the JEP site, like many others, attracts a great many commentators who do not offer very much in the way of constructive input. I have no idea which of the anonymous people you are talking about on this occasion, or indeed who those people are behind their pseudonyms.

On that score, I wonder whether you would be good enough to enlighten me as to who you are? As you know, I am aware of your twitter feed and have no idea whether your handle is an abridged version of your real name or not.

If you are in Jersey, I would be happy to sit down and have a chat. I say that because I suspect you are keen to show how your unfortunate experience as a commentator on the JEP site somehow validates views which you have about the JEP. I am not sure whether you have ever discussed those views, or indeed whether you have any interest in hearing an alternative viewpoint, but I would be happy to provide one. I am also intrigued as to the reason for your interest in the Island.

Best wishes and in good faith,

Andy Sibcy


My reply to the editor (26/1/2017)

Dear Mr Sibcy

Thank you again for the courtesy of the reply.

Regarding its content.

I am glad you agree that my comment should have been published as submitted and that the video should have been available directly to your readers so that they could make up their own mind about it.

I am not sure what exactly the embedding would have involved. Would it have been stand alone or would it have contained a link to the video's location either in The Voice's Youtube account or in the blog post? That was an element of my comment, namely, that your readers should have been able to also go to the source of the video. These videos are an integral part of The Voice's posts.

As far as the content of The Voice's actual blog posts are concerned, I find them well researched and generally moderate in tone. In fact I recollect, from memory, that the blog made a number of positive comments about the JEP after you took over and I think there were high expectations there of a more robust approach to the administration under your stewardship.

As far as comments on that blog are concerned, they vary. I am aware that the comments are moderated, nevertheless the moderator does let through some very critical comments about the blog itself and its readers/supporters. The net effect of this is that I follow the blog assiduously and consider myself fairly well informed as a result.

In recent times I have had to take to moderating my own blog which has been un-moderated since around 2007 and this is purely because of abusive comments from the well known toxic Jersey troll. In fact the only comments I have blocked are those coming from this horrible person. In passing, I note that you are quite happy to entertain him in your own comments section.

In referring to why my comment was not published you quote "the reasoning above" in your reply, but this hardly seems relevant as you are telling me it should have been published anyway. Your second reason is my inclusion of a link to the blog post in which the video occurred. But you are telling me that my comment should have been published as submitted, ie with the link.

I have no problem with my comment having been detained in moderation. All that you say about that is perfectly acceptable. My only gripe is its ultimate non publication and rejection/deletion from moderation.

I didn't really see the deletion of my comment as some sort of validation of my already relatively low opinion of the JEP. I more or less expected it. But your view now that is should have been published as submitted is, admittedly, a pleasant surprise.

Perhaps I can assist you a little further with my troll comment. It is widely known in Jersey that Kaz81 is just one of the many monikers used by the toxic troll I referred to above. If you are not aware of this, it does not speak very highly for the investigative prowess of the JEP. I do appreciate that blocking him would cause a row and with God knows who, given the support he was given in the gang hounding of Stuart Syvret through the courts. I don't mind his comments, I can take it. But it was pointed out to me that they were of such a nature that they meant some (reasonable) people were reluctant to link to my blog posts.

As to who I am, it's really no secret. My name is Pól Ó Duibhir and I live in Dublin. I holidayed in Jersey in the late 1950s and worked a summer there in 1961. I sort of fell in love with the place and with its people and that fondness has remained with me. That is why I find it so heartbreaking to see what it is becoming. The fact that I post under a variety of pseudonyms is really just coincidental and reflects the thrill of adventure when I first started posting some two decades ago. Póló, as you will see, is a contraction of part of my name and was my nickname in school. Irlpol was to distinguish me from the rest of the family and so on. However, my profile in blogger links to my website and that has a facility for emailing me. So I'm not really anonymous.

And while we are on the subject of identity, I fully appreciate the necessity for some of those on island to post/comment anonymously.

I have already published my original letter to you on my blog and I wonder if you mind me publishing your reply and mine and any relevant subsequent correspondence. I will in any event be dealing with the points in a promised updating of the blog post.

http://photopol.blogspot.ie/2017/01/the-rag.html

In good faith,

Pól Ó Duibhir



The editor's reply (26/1/2017)

Dear Pol,

Thank you for your reply. The comments you make are entirely reasonable.

I have no objection to your publishing my email.

In my response, I tried to distinguish between my thoughts re the publication (I would have published as submitted) and the reasoning of my colleague who was moderating at the time in question. If that was not clear, I apologise.

As far as 'the troll' is concerned, my ignorance is more a consequence of my not being terribly interested in the often pathetic online bickering which seems to be the obsession of many than a lack of investigative prowess. Frankly, I have far more constructive things to be getting on with than working out who is who.

Equally, while I am sure that followers of various blogs and others (including some who use our comment forum) are well aware of the identities of those who use pseudonyms, I think it a stretch to suggest that they are well known in Jersey more generally.

I suspect that you are referring to Mr Haworth, who comes onto my radar really only because I suspect he writes spoof letters to us for publication under false names and addresses.

I can also assure you that no one gets any protection as suggested on my watch. If you read the paper I edit, rather than our website, I think you'd struggle to argue otherwise.

The offer of a coffee or beer stands if you ever visit. I think that we'd have an interesting chat.

Best wishes,

Andy


23 comments:

voiceforchildren said...

Polo.

Mr. Sibcy states: "the link it included is to a BLOGSITE which routinely includes comments which attack the JEP in ways which can be ill-informed and unreasonable."

You rightly pointed out that you have read some very positive comments from the administrator of the Blog (me) concerning the JEP since he has taken over as editor. That is called "balance." Is it that he believes only links submitted that are one-sided (bias) which say nice things about the JEP can be published on their site? I have read comments on the JEP site that are "ill-informed and unreasonable" attacking my (and other) Blog(s) so is it ok for the JEP to publish ill-informed and unreasonable" comments?

I maintain that the quality of the newspaper has improved since Mr. Sibcy has taken over and he deserves a chance to rid the paper of the legacy left to it by its previous Editor/Deputy Editor. The fact that you even got a reply to your e-mails in the first place is an improvement on the previous Editor. That he agreed to your publication of these e-mails is another improvement on the previous regime.

The JEP (Andy Sibcy) has to accept criticism of the paper due to its (among much else) disgraceful misreporting and non-reporting during “Operation Rectangle.” It should also be remembered that the newspaper hailed Mick Gradwell “a whistleblower” when he was the lead Detective leaking confidential police information to a “journalist” (with a history of supporting convicted paedophiles) DURING the Child Abuse Investigation that he had taken charge of.

I rarely read the online version of the paper but when I do I read comments that had been submitted to my Blog and deemed not fit for publication generally because they are trolling comments. I have, in the past, mentioned to Andy Sibcy that the moderation of the online version really lets the paper down because of the trolling that is permitted to go on but unfortunately nothing seems to have changed.

Hilary from St Brelade said...

At least Sibcy knows who the bogus letter writer is. We've known who it is for years.

Anonymous said...

This is a very well balanced and fair post and a credit to blogging. A hand of gratitude should go to Sibcy for engaging with you - admitting his paper was wrong for not crediting the source of their story - and last but not least appreciation for confirming what we all knew already about Haworth penning bogus letters. A very sad individual Mr. Haworth.

Anonymous said...

Don't be too hard on Establishment sychophant Sibcy. He is really just following standard JEP protocol as the Jersey Establishment/Conservative Party mouthpiece. You only have to look back to the days of Jersey's finest democrat Deputy Norman Le Brocq. The attacks orchestrated by Editor Harrison in particular were truly despicable and they went of for decades. Jump forward and you see Sibcy's former mentor Chris Bright indulging the same appalling misrepresentation of Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman the editor authorised, most infamously in collusion with Broadlands estate agents. We should be able to expect better from our national newspaper it is true. But we cannot. The positive thing is that largely because of this policy of putting propaganda before unbiased journalism the THe Rag is now dying a slow and painful death. It won't be missed when it expires. Read the good blogs instead of which Voiceforchildren who promoted Lord Reg is the best. Congratulations on a most revealing post.

Paul Holmes said...

I must protest about the mention of one of my avatars, Mr Haworth.

Póló said...

The Pitmans were mentioned earlier, which reminded me to wonder did that ace-cop Bowron ever tell us who ran Shona down and has there been any result of The Rag's no doubt relentless investigation into the matter?

Anonymous said...

What biting satire, Polo. The thought of the Filthy Rag doing anything to get justice for a brilliant couple they helped shaft with their friendly, director entertaining, child bullying Jurat must be taking irony to new levels. Great post. But please tell us has any of the many faces of Mr H been in touch with you to castigate you?

Póló said...

@ 20:37

Indeed. An extra strong dose of irony rather than a touching faith.

Regarding your solicitation for poor Jon's well being, if I could charge him at the gateway for every time he has visited me in the last few days, I could probably put in a bid for Trump Towers.

I haven't heard from Bowron yet about the VIP and the Traffic light, but I'll certainly pass on anything of relevance. There must surely be at least one whistleblower left in the SOJP since the departure of public servant No.1 Gradwell.

Speaking of whom, nobody ever answered my question as to whether Gradwell did actually go ahead and interview Person 737 under caution as a suspect and whether any action followed. That was as far back as 2008 and they don't seem to have locked him up if one goes by his continued public appearances since then. Perhaps ace-cop Bowron would dig into the SOJP archives and update us on this one while he's thinking about telling us who knocked down Shona.

Póló said...

Thanks to a commenter for a very useful suggestion which I have just implemented on the Introducing Jersey blog.

That blog simply reproduces all the posts from this blog which relate to Jersey. It is just a handy way for those whose only interest may be in the Jersey posts to keep up to date and see them all in the one place.

Anonymous said...

With regard to your comments about the Jersey police and their selective pursuits of wrong doers (they must have caught this from the Attorney General's office?):

Surely in any other alleged democracy in the world a prominent ex-anti-establishment politician flung over a car on a pedestrian crossing in front of several witnesses and no police prosecution would be front page news?

The bit that made me laugh when Team Voice interviewed the bruised but resilient Shona Pitman was learning that the good police officer claimed to her that it was obviously 'just an accident' and it would be hard to prove it was the driver's fault.

Chuckle I did because the former Deputy had already pointed out how the driver, faced with three witnesses confirming his blame, had already accepted it was his fault entirely. As Syvret used to say 'You really could not make it up!'

When I got to the bit about how the driver's excuse was that he hadn't stopped in time because he couldn't see if the lights were green or red I very nearly wet my pants. Imagine going before any self-respecting bek with that excuse.

Keep up the Jersey interest. And may the Troll never slip through your portals to darken your day.

voiceforchildren said...

In reply to the commenter 29 January 2017 at 13:05

This was a truly shocking case even for Jersey standards.

Quote:

Yet for former Deputy Pitman this deeply disturbing treatment at the hands of the Jersey Police did not end there. A full six months on, she has still been denied the insurance details of the driver who knocked her down and even a copy of her own Police statement. Indeed, having promised he would return with the insurance details ‘within a couple of days’ the Police Officer, reportedly, simply never bothered to return."

My interview with former Deputy S Pitman can be viewed HERE.

Póló said...

@ Voice at 13:05

Thanks for that link. I was trying to remember if former Deputy Shona Pitman ever got the insurance details and I see from her comment on your post that she eventually did, but that in the meantime one of the three witnesses to the "accident" had disappeared, at least from the police file, and this was a person who worked for SOJP IT Department.

Link

Shona Pitman should write a faction novel. She could always throw in an element of obvious fiction regarding how she had to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the identity of the driver and promise to leave the island and take her troublesome husband with her.

Then, following runaway world sales, she could co-author, with her husband, another far fetched novel about how they were set up via a malicious cartoon and, once drawn into the Jersey "justice" system, squashed like a pair of ants under a jackboot.

Link

Then, on the back of whopping royalties, they could see out their days on the French Riviera.

QED

Anonymous said...

What I find hypocritical about your post is that every single account on the JEP website is anonymous, so is it just that you want to silence certain people who are not prepared to spread the Syvret bullshit you obviously believe is real?

Paul Holmes said...

I really must protest at you allowing Rag editor Sibcy to suggest that a Mr Haworth sends the newspaper fake letters under bogus names and addresses. I don't know a Mr Haworth, and have never met him but know I am not the type of man to do this. Where I wonder does editor Sibcy think this Mr Haworth would get the time of write bogus letters to the Rag when I spend all of my time on Facebook and various blogs? Even with an imagination fueled by Stella there are only so many fake names a person can come up with. Outrageous.

Anonymous said...

As a reader of the Rag for over 30 years what I have noticed is that the Rag only ever publishes obviously dodgy letters attacking those on the political left. The phenomenon also seems to have got much worse since about 2004/5.

I suppose the common denominator is that there was no real opposition at all before then bar the previously mentioned Deputy Le Brocq? Perhaps now there is once again little quality opposition to speak of the faked letters will die a natural death?

That is if the paper doesn't fold first.

Póló said...

@ Paul Holmes 12:34

Thank you for that rambling and very confusing comment but I have not had any comments submitted here from anyone calling themselves Stella Perhaps the matter will be resolved in the comment columns of the Jersey Evening Post where I have issued a challenge.

Link

Póló said...

@ Jon at 09:39

Every account on the JEP website is no longer anonymous so put up or shut up.

Let's see you respond to the challenge.

Link

Richard D said...

Polo

Reference Jon@09.39

This sad hypocrite (rich him calling you one) will answer in one name then use another fake account of his to back up his views.

I think what Jon really struggles with is the difference between his linking every story no matter how inconceivable the imaginary link to his obsessions on (currently) Mezec and Reform Jersey, or over a great many years of obsession the Pitmans, Syvret, Hill and Graham Power/Lenny Harper;

and other people's genuine likes/dislikes of the actions of other political figures depending on the story. Jon is in a word a stalker who even lacks the courage to follow his victims about. Instead hiding behind his keyboard shield.

Being anonymous is fine when making general comments I think. I don't want to be stalked so giving my full name is something I am reluctant to do. It is the attempt to pass multiple comments off as the views of multiple different real people backing up the views of only one individual that gets up people's hooters.

Póló said...

@ Richard D at 18:13

Thank you for your message of support.

I have already stated in my correspondence with the JEP editor that I can see a case for bona fide people posting anonymously, particularly in a small place like Jersey where there is a soundly based fear of retribution.

Being off island myself, that doesn't really worry me and it gives me also a chance to be a bit more frank in what I say. The JEP is the second occasion in recent times that I have abandoned my pseudonym and substituted my real name, because in those two contexts it made sense.

I do appreciate that beyond simple anonymity there is the case of multiple mutually-reinforcing avatars. I am not in a position to throw more than small pebbles in that regard as (i) I have used this device in correspondence with the JEP in 1961, using my real name, but in two legitimate variants, and (ii) I do have multiple Twitter accounts which I use to poke fun on some (rare) occasions, but none of that is malicious.

Anyway, let's see if Jon is prepared to resolve his multiple personalities/avatars in the interest of good practice.

And just for the record, I think he has now taken up his quota of column inches on this post.

May the Force be with you.

Anonymous said...

Another thing, KAZ81 has been posting as normal as if you and your blog does not even exist. And Andy Sibcy has been briefed as to who you are, your association with the deranged nutcase Syvret and what shit you promote online. He won't be meeting you for a beer anymore.

Anonymous said...

Polo

I have long admired your interest in the island, from the happy days you said you spent here as a younger man. Your posts are some of the best of the Jersey blogosphere.

Where you say above:

"Finally, he assured me that no one gets any protection as suggested on his watch. "If you read the paper I edit, rather than our website, I think you'd struggle to argue otherwise."

Unfortunately, not being on the Island, I am not really in a position to read the print rather than the web version of the paper but I would invite any resident who wants to pick up on his challenge to do so and let me know the result. I realise this could prove a problem for some people who on principle do not buy the JEP. However there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak."

Far be it from me to promote digital worldwide sales of the JEP but I just wanted to point out that you can subscribe to the full digital edition (not just the free website) for £174.96 a year, or £1.50 for a single edition (65p on the street)

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/digitaleditions.aspx?tab=0&pid=7e167572-56ec-4878-bdf0-e542f200dd61

Then click Launch Edition

I know you might not pay on principle. Just pointing out that the service is there, if you are interested. It is as good as holding a paper copy in your hands.

Keep up the excellent work, especially sticking it to JSH!

A fan of the the blog, and Jersey blogosphere commentator

Póló said...

@ Jon at 22:56

I challenged you to start using your real name rather than hiding your pernicious comments behind multiple avatars.

Your reply has been to refuse and assert that KAZ81, is, and will continue to post under that avatar. Thank you for confirming that this is one of your JEP avatars.

Mr. Sibcy, please note. You now have no excuse.

Thank you Jon. Give my regards to Stella.

Póló said...

@ Anonymous at 01:49

Thanks for the compliment. It is always good to have my spirits lifted above the stream of abuse currently flowing into my inbox from the same JSH.

I was aware of the digital edition and, as you correctly surmise, would not be partial to subsidising the failing "newspaper" to the tune of £174.96 a year (no doubt a fortune in Euro :).

But I am glad to know I can purchase a single edition at a time. I would certainly justify spending an exorbitant £1.50 on occasions where it might bolster the case for the prosecution or give me a much needed laugh.

May the Force be with you in your Jersey blogosphere commentary.