Outward-Looking Russia

UK media reported, generally with amusement, that a Russian delegate from FIFA had criticised London for alcohol and crime issues, prompting this to the Independent:

Sirs,

I cannot help but giggle at the idea of the Russian FIFA delegate for the bidding for the 2018 World Cup slagging off London for alcohol and crime issues. This from a country that consumes more vodka than drinking water and that is run from the very top by corrupt Mafia gangs and asset thieves!

Could it be that the country has finally developed a sense of humour which has reached the dizzy heights of Germany’s?

Paul Harper

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Robert Peston

Robert Peston, the BBC’s economics editor is one of my favourite hate figures. I had enough one afternoon when I read a piece by him and felt I had to reply in the comments:

Is there, PLEASE!, the remotest possibility of you filing a piece totally free of first-person pronouns? There is nobody as bad as you at littering their work with “I”, “me” and the like. It is seriously off-putting when two of the first six words in a report are “I”, and they form an almost impenetrable barrier to taking anything else in the piece seriously. Your desire to be seen as being at the centre of changing events is understandable, but you really need to resist the temptation to give the impression that events actually revolve around you, like some sort of journalistic black hole at the centre of the galaxy.

Which the BBC shortly thereafter removed, sending me the email:

> Dear BBC blog contributor,
>
> Thank you for contributing to a BBC blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your comment below.
>
> Comments on the BBC blogs may be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others, use swear words, or disrupt the message boards. For more information, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/moderation.shtml#f
>
> Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.
>
> Please do not reply to this email. For information on appeals visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/moderation.shtml
>
> Regards,
> BBC Central Communities team

Which I responded with:

Sirs,

I see no valid reason to reject my blog entry. It uses no bad language, it is non-inflammatory and non-provocative. All it is, is critical of Mr Peston’s writing style. Lest Mr Peston be given the erroneous impression that he has an uncritical audience, please could you at least make sure he has seen the post?

Regards,

Paul Harper

I didn’t get a reply…