Criminal Gamblers, not “investors”

Missive to the Independent on a topic that’s really starting to boil my piss…

Sirs,

When are we going to stop allowing those criminal gamblers we so politely refer to as “investment bankers” running things? They blatantly manipulate stock and currency markets, trade in bare-faced lies and use fear and intimidation to get their own way with businesses and governments.

It is time we put a stop to it. Make it illegal to sell anything you don’t own. Make it illegal to hold equity for less than a month. Attach punitive taxes on investment bank profits. Above all, stop attaching so much importance to what these leeches “think”.

Sure, “the markets won’t like it” and they’ll threaten to go elsewhere. It’s time someone in authority grew a pair and called their bluff.

Paul Harper

Which the published with one small edit:

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Childcare costs are parents’ responsibility

Moan at the Independent after a whiny morning’s news piece about how the state isn’t helping people with young children enough:

Sirs,

So the rising cost of childcare is hitting some families with young children hard. Perhaps they should have thought of that before breeding?

If childcare costs going up by twenty pounds a week is blowing their budgets then they had far too little financial headroom to even contemplate the responsibility of bringing even more people into the world.

If people can’t afford children, they shouldn’t have them. It is not the state’s responsibility to reward them for their selfishness.

Paul Harper

Campaign for BBC to ban “er”

Rant at the BBC after a particularly irritating news piece this morning:

Sirs,

Please could I request a BBC-wide ban on “er”?

This started out as an irritating affectation by Robert Peston your business editor, but has spread like verbal chlamydia to other reporters.

In Robin Brant’s live two-minute discussion with the studio this morning I counted no fewer than 23 “er”s, some very extended and Pestonesque.

This affectation is irritating, distracting and unnecessary. If the correspondent is searching for appropriate words, then a pause is far less intrusive. It’s basic media training.

Yours,

Paul Harper

Media Wallowing in “9/11”

I am looking forward to being in the middle of the Indian Ocean in a few days to get away from all this sycophancy! Rant at the Independent for their week-long wallowing in 9/11 stories. Six pages and more today alone, ferchristsakes!

Sirs,

I notice with considerable disappointment that the Independent has decided to join the ranks of the media engaged in mindless wallowing in commemorating a decade since September 11th.

The media’s approach to this anniversary has been beyond disappointing, it has been nauseating. Turning what might have been a time for dignified reflection on the causes and effects into little more than a race for sensationalist ratings-grabbing “specials” – which being re-hashes of old material are actually nothing of the sort. It is lowest common denominator bottom-feeding journalism feeding off crocodile tears of fake emotion. It is WAY past time to move on from this circus.

All this wallowing cheapens the memories of those who died on the day and the hundreds of thousands who died as a result.

The media should be ashamed of itself.

Paul Harper

They, very surprisingly, published it with few edits:

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Cameron’s Invisible Veneer

Rant at the Independent after a BBC Radio 4 interview questioned the difference between rioting youths and the destructive and arrogant behaviour of his Bullingdon Club days:

Sirs,

So, David Cameron is made to feel uncomfortable in a BBC interview that asks about his Bullingdon Club past, and replied that we all make mistakes in our youth that we regret.

No we “all” didn’t!

Cameron is in no position to judge the morality of others, since the entirety of his moral position is a manufactured PR image. The true Cameron *is* the infamous Bullingdon photograph. That is all there is, all there ever has been and all there ever will be. His discomfort at answering questions about his Bullingdon past has nothing to do with embarrassment or regret, but everything to do with his failure to come up with a plausible excuse.

Blair was well known for being ambition wrapped in a thin veneer of caring, Brown’s was even thinner. Cameron has dispensed with the veneer entirely.

Yours,

Paul Harper