Friday, January 13, 2017

THE RAG


Lord Reginald's New Year Message on Voice for Children
Click on any image for a larger version

The Jersey Evening Post (aka The Rag) is Jersey's only newspaper. In general it is an organ of the establishment. It supports the authorities and, where humanly possible, avoids giving any publicity to dissenting views. The lack of balanced reporting and discussion has led to the emergence of a number of bloggers on the island who have attempted to fill the gap, speak truth to power and give citizens a platform to debate current issues and air their grievances.

Voice for Children is one such blog. It is a very serious blog. It's posts are well researched. Comments are moderated, but moderation is light except in the case of trolls and abusive comments where it is absolute. I need to clearly state the foregoing to establish the context, because the blog sometimes carries a lighthearted or satirical post, as in the image above.

Lord Reginald, whose identity is clearly now known to everyone in Jersey, occasionally gives a spoof commentary on behalf of the non-formally-existing Jersey Tory Party. The States (parliament) is not structured on a party basis as such. There is a majority establishment clique which effectively functions as an extremely conservative party and it is this clique whose collective mickey Lord Reginald is taking.

The Rag decided to turn it into a news item, with the above image and the text shown below.



Text of JEP online article accompanying the image
Click image for a larger version

A careful reading of the text reveals that it mentions neither the name of the blog on which the video appears nor does it give a link to it. You might consider that was the least they might have done having got a free news item.



My comment
Click image for a larger version

Well that's what I thought and I submitted the above comment. Unfortunately I cannot give you a link to the comment itself. It appears to have been held in moderation for some days while the powers that be mulled over whether or not to publish it. Following which it was simply deleted.

There are two features of the comment which may have led to this unfortunate, but probably predictable, result.

In the first place it criticised The Rag for omitting the blog's name and not giving a link.

In the second place it actually gave a link which would have enabled its readers to view this highly subversive video and make up their own minds about it. Worse still, it would have introduced them to a serious blog which was filling a disgraceful gap left by themselves, namely speaking truth to power and encouraging readers to pitch in.

So, on 12/1/2017, I emailed the editor in the terms below:
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

At the time of my posting this I have not had any reply. If I hear from them in the meantime I will certainly update this post to take account of their reply. [Update: I have since been engaged in correspondence with the editor and have reported on this in a sequel to this blog post.]

I should mention that my experience here is in no way unusual. The Rag frequently suppress comments which don't suit them.

An example is the case of Advocate Sinel, who in a current interview with Voice for Children has described the same experience of having comments refused. He clearly spoke to the editor who apparently advanced absurd reasons for not publishing.

In June 2016 the Rag refused to publish a comment of his regarding the "Jersey Care Inquiry" on the spurious grounds that it was too long. You can read Rico Sorda's blog post on the Advocate's refused letter, including the text of the letter itself, here.

I attempted twice (see here and here) to resubmit it but on both occasions my comment was deleted.

There is another newspaper which serves the Channel Islands, The Bailiwick Express, which is purely online and whose online awareness is much superior to The Rag's. Quite apart from its overall editorial deficiencies, The Rag has clearly never come to terms with its online existence. The Express has just done a piece on the Report from Jersey's Comptroller and Auditor General on the runaway loan fund which is more informative than The Rag's initial online version, and which actually, God forbid, gives a link to the full Report online.

I rest my case.

15 comments:

Kaz81 said...

Great blog mate but I can't agree with all of it. The Rag is a great place to go when i'm not in the petty debts court. As an aside you wouldn't know your landlords phone number would you? The email address of a pregnant woman's employer? Finally can me and my mate Andy come round to your place?

Póló said...

@Kaz81

Dickhead

Not the Jono on that telephone recording said...

Sorry. I got a bit confused earlier when I sent you a comment. I called myself Baz74. I meant to call myself Bazzer as I do on the Rag's on line pages but just a bit bamboozled. 74 is how many beers I drank last week. Silly mistake. I'm Kaz81 too. I have so many fake accounts you see. I use them to answer and agree with myself. Paul Holmes is one of my favourites but I share this fake ID with a friend. But he is dead so it isn't always me. Anyways the Rag is a great place for people like me who won't go to work but would rather sit at home and drink and pretend to be Sue Young and stuff. But just to add that you really should go on Voiceforchildren and watch this great interview with Leah Goodman. Great journalist. So much better than the Rag's. As an aside can you give me the name of your landlord? Even Sam Mezec's would do?

Póló said...

@ Not the Jono

You poor man. You need help. JEP Classifieds should do it. But don't forget to pay the bill. They're running out of dosh.

Sir Cecil Tarquine Dung-Beetle said...

You have been mentioned in the Filthy Rag have you not, Sir? As a fully paid up member of the Island's Nazi- whoops-a-daisy!- Tory Party I firmly believe that you once got that awful rabble-rousing Tony Benn clone Deputy Pitman in to trouble.

That was you, wasn't it? Poking fun at one of our Icons! You are obviously a bounder Sir and a cad! I will have to mention your name at the next Tory Party soiree. Consider your card marked, Sir.

Right, I'm orfff down the club for a gin and tonic. Telling you orff has put me in a good mood. Might even buy the ladies a sweet sherry? They'll have to drink it in the next room obviously. Can't have ladies venturing foolish political opinions of their own.

Toodle pip.

Anonymous said...

Lord Reginald is great. Give him his own show I say. Could do a double act with Geoff Southern as a troublesome peasant.

Póló said...

Lest we forget

A spiffing final blog post from a warrior with exemplary testicular fortitude who, with his campaigning wife, ultimately got blown out of the water after being set up by Broadlands and the JEP.

May the soleil sans frontières shine on them both and may they live to fight another day.

Link

Plus ça change ...

HILARY FROM ST. BRELADE said...

CLICK HERE to find out why this comment isn't from me.

DON said...

CLICK HERE to find out how I get to feel so powerful.

Anonymous said...

Ah so missed! Even the noble Lord Reg could learn something.

Anonymous said...

Hi Polo

I want to thank you for your continued tenacious and brave stance against the pathetic, self serving , twisted power elite in Jersey and its grip on the JEP which frankly isn't fit to be used as toilet paper. Sadly the mainstream media in Jersey is the worst I the western world and one day it will be used as a case study in political corruption.

I worked in Jersey in the mid to late 80's and again from 2005-2007 and made a great number of good friends whom I still visit there and they in turn come over to Scotland. Jersey really is a lovely island, it has a fascinating history and there are a lot of really good people there.

Sadly when I broach the subject of its more recent history with my friends a number of issues such as honest reporting, political corruption, child abuse and social poverty, most seem to adopt a "Frank Walker" ostrich type approach about the nutters shafting Jersey. It's really a case of "I'm earning a lot of money from the system so I really don't want to hear about the downsides."

Part of me understands that .....but I don't agree with it.

What I do find pretty sad are morons who find it in them to troll you on here from there. What a bunch of real saddoes. I can only imagine what their pathetic lives consist of.

My friend (I say that because I have followed your blog for 3 years now and have a good understanding of the type of decent human that you are), thank you for the stand you make daily against the morally bankrupt power elite in Jersey and their groupie troll brigade.

Myself and my wife are occasional visitors to Rathgar/Rathmines area of your great city and were in Kenmare and Cork last May. Maybe one day We could meet and I could shake your hand.

Please keep up the great work.

Best regards

Alan L








Póló said...

Thanks Alan.

I very much appreciate the words of support and would love to meet if you're ever over in Dublin.

I am off-island, as the Trolls frequently remind me, and it is easy for me to be critical at this distance. My sympathies are with those who, while living in Jersey, have taken brave stands against a corrupt and vindictive establishment and who have suffered for their trouble.

These include Simon Bellwood, Stuart Syvret, Graham Power, Lenny Harper and the Pitmans.

You can add in Mike Higgins, who is still hanging in there despite an earlier attempt to bankrupt him via the airshow.

Bob Hill would still be actively carrying on his great work were it not for his devastating stroke, and we shouldn't forget that, up to that point he had already made huge personal sacrifices in supporting those abused by the system. His written evidence to the Jersey Abuse Inquiry read like a guide to the corrupt administration but he was not allowed to present it properly at the oral hearing. That must have been very stressful for him. It stressed me just reading the transcript.

Rico Sorda is soldiering on, with his investigative blog, despite the most vile abuse of himself and his wife from a well known local troll.

Neil McMurray (Voice for Children), despite many difficulties, has continued to publish a first class blog which not only contains solid analysis of what's going on, but also provides a high quality forum for equally solid discussion and is one of the very few outlets available to aggrieved and put upon citizens.

I'm sure there are many others I have left out or am unaware of.

These are the unsung heroes of Jersey and hopefully they will someday get the recognition they deserve.

Póló said...

@ Sir Cecil

Indeed. I have the distinction of having been published in The Rag under two of my names in 1961 and being refused online publication under yet another one of them in 2017.

I am also the person whose tweet young Pitman was falsely accused of retweeting but it wasn't me what got him bankrupted, to be fair.

You may recall that I reported on the whole twittering matter in some graphic detail at the time.

Link

Anonymous said...

Hi Polo

Loving Lord Reginald. The sad thing though is that hilarious as he is His Lordship isn't nearly as funny as the members of our Council of Minister - and they are not even trying!

Also got a question for you while I'm here. Following the States of Jersey as you do you surely know it has now been revealed that in Jersey people like the Pitmans who you rightly speak highly of are banned from standing for election for nine years if made bankrupt!

In Britain where I was born (the not so lovely Hull!) once a person is cleared of their bankruptcy, either having paid it all off or simply been discharged after the time has ran its course that is it. They can do what they please.

What is the law on discharged bankruptcy and MPs in your part of the world?

Póló said...

@ Anonymous 14:23

Agree with your comment up to a point. COM would be hilarious were it not for real and at the expense of the people of Jersey.

I wasn't familiar with the bankruptcy situation here, but having looked it up, it appears that bankruptcy is no longer a bar to membership of either house of the Irish Parliament) or of the European Parliament, following legislation in 2014.

As far as bankruptcy itself is concerned, legislation in 2015 introduced, inter alia, (i) a reduction in the normal duration of bankruptcy from 3 years to 1 year, and (ii) a reduction in the normal maximum duration of orders requiring payments to creditors from any income of the bankrupt person from 5 years to 3 years.