Sunday, January 11, 2009

The News of the World: So, what about Coulson?

The News of the World rightly makes a fuss about Prince Harry using racist terms such as "Paki" and "raghead". It's good to see that a newspaper, whose owner Rupert Murdoch thinks Muslims are "inferior", can rise above proprietorial prejudice and nail a social evil.

Now that it has set such a good example, perhaps it would like to turn its attention to another social evil. The Conservative Party's director of communications, Andy Coulson, was recently found by an employment tribunal to have presided over a "culture of bullying" at his previous place of employment. His conduct made one reporter's life a misery. He has not publicly denied misconduct. To date, no anti-bullying organisation, no periodical that I know of (Private Eye aside), and certainly no Tory, has condemned or questioned his behaviour. Coulson would appear to be inviolable. Is it that bullying is not regarded as serious as racism? Are we picking and choosing social evils according to circulation value?

The fact that Coulson's last job was the editorship of the News of the World shouldn't put the paper off.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paki is just short for Pakistani and its absurd that the word has now been co-opted into the race wars. In some places you can't use the word black now. The whole thing has become preposterous. And changes quicker than quicksand. Sadly you've been sucked into it.

the late lavinia said...

This is all neurotic hypersensitive twaddle

gb said...

What the word "Paki" is *short for* is surely neither here nor there. It's how it's meant and the effect it has which is crucial. It is, and has been for a long while, a racist term.
What's sad is that we're in the slightest bit interested in what irrelevances like Royals say nowadays.

Still - if Coulson could get sorted out it'd be a slightly better world.

Madame Arcati said...

I can recall how racism used to be casually treated in Britain - hence a TV show like Love Thy Neighbour got made. Today it would be intolerable. Bullying as an issue is now where racism was in the 70s, with a lot of silly cunts not getting it - until they're victims themselves. But that will change with the likes of me around, just you watch, bitches.

Elvira said...

Harry? Awww… not Harryyy… he must have been quoted out of context…

I am one to think that this era of political correctness has reached a level of absurd hysteria, but I agree that regardless of what it is short for, paki has been known as a racist term for a while now and if what Harry was doing when he was using that language was trying to bond with his fellow troopers, he should have found a different way to do it.

What I don’t agree with is the comment on people’s interest in the royals’ statements because whether we like it or not, today our world revolves around the media. With the advent of TV and now the internet, public figures, from the royals to entertainers to the fifteen minute celebrities are part of our daily life; they don’t know who we are, but to us they feel like the neighbor down the street. We can’t just cheer them when they do good and not make a statement when they do wrong; it doesn’t speak well of us.

And whether we like it or not, the royal brats are wealthy, influential people and have a responsibility towards who they are. That boy is third in the line of throne and gets an allowance for it – he is to play the part; if he wants to be funny and cool and down to earth, there are other ways to do it.

Ellvira said...

Now, back to business: Coulson.
Well Darling, the Tories are rather quiet on this, but then again, they will not be the ones to bring this to anyone’s attention – he has been on that job for 18 months (it already looks ugly). They probably are thinking it is better to play down the incident and wait for it to go away. Maybe it is time to see it from other angles: how is it that an individual that has brought about so much libel (The Beckhams, Oaten –coprophilia: eewww-, more Prince Harry, Wayne Rooney), truth and false to the newspapers he has worked for, still gets such a job?

Maybe the question to be asked is who does he have dirt on that overrides his “abilities”… we may be missing out on some really juicy stuff… someone else must know something, after all he was the EDITOR; the actual reporters are the ones to bring the scoops to him… and if one journalist was bullied, why are other journalists not talking? Everyone knows everything in an office, no matter what is the line of work and bullies make it a habit to bully more than one person, or move from one person to another, at least (they don’t do it as isolated cases).

Maybe the Tories’ point of view is that it takes one to know one, or they have hired him because if there is something nasty to unearth he will be faster to find out? You know, kind of like to do damage control before the s…. hits the fan…

Poke somewhere else, don’t assume that the way to the reasons why he is still in office and nobody “cares” are clear and strait. This is politics.

Anonymous said...

This was blokes in the army and a bity of banter, nothing more. What kind of drips are we supposed to have in the army? And took place three years ago. This degree of race sensitivity to little words indicates a very dangerous future