Graham Linehan says there could be an apology in the offing over the Sunday Express Dunblane debacle. They've held out for a long time but it looks like they might finally be about to crumble. Which is good news. But we'll see if there's any assurance this is genuinely regretted, rather than contrition through gritted teeth at having been caught out and the issue having been kept alive by 'mass bloggers'. I hope there is some genuine sorrow about something so shoddy.
On related matters, Tim Ireland is politely asking Paula Murray's friends why they're so upset about having their faces on the internet:
Vague signals that may or may not mean "I only care about myself" don't count; if you're going to be a selfish hypocrite about it, just say so, and I'll happily sort it right out. Seriously. Tell me on what grounds you want the relevant image(s) removed, and I will most likely remove it/them, regardless of what you say.
Doing things in this way at least gives me a chance of determining if innocent victims are involved, or if I've merely inconvenienced a bunch of self-centred wankers.
Which seems fair enough, doesn't it?
Justin reminds us it's six years since 'shock and awe' brought death and destruction to Iraq.
Relatedly, Craig Murray will address the Joint Committee on Human Rights. He will talk about Jack Straw. And this country's support for torture. Murray says:
It is likely that I will face hostile questioning from government supporters and from "War on Terror" hawks. In the past the government has accused me of corruption, sexual blackmail, and alcoholism (all completely untrue) and hinted that I am insane, in an effort to deflect attention from the cold facts of my testimony.
Going off at a tangent a bit, I wonder what the new caring/sharing Alastair Campbell would make of such things? I'm sure as someone who now claims to care about mental health issues he'd be devastated to learn of someone in the public eye being smeared in such a way - it reminds me of a previous occasion when a person who was thrust into the media spotlight was described as being a 'Walter Mitty figure'. Remember that?
Septicisle looks at the crumbs of comfort to be had from Barclays' legal win over the Guardian newspaper. Of course all the stuff is on Wikileaks if you want to find it (I don't think it's a good idea to link, but I'm sure you're all clever people) but that's not good enough - people are allowed to avoid tax, get away with it, and use the money they've saved through their dishonesty and unethical behaviour to prevent details of it from going public. Surely this isn't a good thing, is it? Is that really what we want from our justice system, to protect tax avoiders?
Speaking of tax avoiders, Dave Marsh is sad to report that Bono isn't going to be engaging in a debate with him. That's a pity, because it would have been fun. It might have been a bit of a one-sided fight, but it would have been fun.
Alone in the Dark looks at a truly baffling piece from Keith Waterhouse. Is it me or are these fantastically remunerated columnists looking less and less relevant as time goes on? It's not just the Mail, although they have more than their fair share - Littlejohn, Phillips, Hitchens P, Hastings, Jones, Pearson - but I think the time has come for journalists to stop looking down their snotty little beaks at bloggers and imagining that there's some inner circle of genius that allows them to weave their voodoo to bemuse and delight the plebs. It's nonsense. The pros aren't often much better or worse than the rest of us. They've got more time to consider their pieces - dare I say research them? - but all too often it just seems like they're tossing off a couple of hundred words in between yawns.
Angry Mob, meanwhile, looks at this:
On the 3rd March Lucy Elkin produced a two-page spread entitled: Why can't we love our bodies? Nine women reveal how they REALLY feel about their figures.
compared with this:
As she made an entrance on a swing at the weekend, the pop princess seemed unconcerned about the danger of being seen from an unflattering angle.
It was a stark contrast to the opening night of the tour when she showed off an enviably toned stomach.
And finally there's this from Peter Roebuck about the future of cricket, which I read a few days ago but which I forgot about entirely. It's one of the better articles about sport I've read in a while, rather thoughtful, so it deserves an outing. A good quote is here:
Till a notably cosmopolitan Sri Lankan team was attacked as they made their way to the ground in Pakistan, progressives had not understood how much offence they had given. How they celebrated when Graeme Smith embraced Makhaya Ntini at the SCG. How we rejoiced when a Muslim was invited to captain India, a black man put in charge of West Indies, and a Tamil hero worshipped in Sri Lanka! West Indies nowadays contains a white man and several players of Indian extraction. England fields several players of Asian and African extraction. Things seemed to be going in the right direction. To the warped, cricket's success was unacceptable. It had to be punished.
- Friday links 29/5/09 – get it right
- Friday links 10/7/9
- Friday links 24/7/09
- Friday links 25/9/09
- Friday links 12/3/10