Journalistic Double Standards

Letters sent to The Independent, The Guardian AND The Evening Standard in response to the gloating taking place in newspapers over the BBC’s statement on the Newsnight programme that senior Tories were implicated in child abuse. No individuals were named, or hinted at. The Independent and Guardian both published it (too early in the day to know if I have the full set!)

UPDATE: Managed to get it in all three papers! See below for individual screenshots…

Here’s the original letter:


It is ridiculous that the Director-General of the BBC has to resign over bad journalism that didn’t in itself do any harm, but the head of News Corp remains determinedly entrenched after criminal journalism that ruined lives.

This is why print media should be held to the same standard as broadcasters, and I hope Leveson takes a strong lead in that direction.

To read the smug, self-satisfied and desperately delusional crowing in newspapers over this affair is bordering on nauseating.

Paul Harper

The Independent published it, unedited as this (click on image to expand):

… while the Guardian didn’t seem to like the last paragraph, and published this (click on image to expand):

Finally, London’s Evening Standard shortened it the most:

Arsecandle and Felch

Comment on the Guardian web site in response to their article:

I couldn’t agree more. A shop that thinks it’s a night club – pitch black with pounding “music”, with vacuous, useless and rude staff and full of self-obsessed nobodies desperate to be seen and heard – two things that are impossible given the light and sound levels. I hate the place with a vengeance. It is not for nothing that it and its adherents, are referred to as “Arsecandle and Felch”.

Catering largely to the downmarket gay male and his faghag female followers, it is unsurprising that it does well. Dedicated followers of label fashion are ten a penny on the streets of London, and A&F have tapped into this in much the same way that Hollister, Hackett and Superdry have started to. It’s lowest-common-denominator retail with spray-on aspiration. As genuine as the fake tans its customers so love.

I’m not surprised Saville Row don’t like it. I don’t like it either.

With all the predictability of a wet English summer’s day, it got to over 55 “recommended” clicks before they deleted it because it “did not comply with house rules”. I am assuming someone looked up “Felch” for them! <grin>

Scottish independence and “their 9%”


So, Alex Salmond and the SNP want 9% of all UK assets after devolution. No problem, as Scotland is 9% of the UK population.

I assume he’ll be taking only 9% of the UK’s oil, and his 9% share of the UK’s debt as well, then? The latter should be interesting since Scottish GDP is over £1,000 per-head lower than England’s, its per-head social, education and health costs are a lot higher than England’s and they would lose the quite ridiculous Barnett subsidy. I give them a couple of decades before they’re bust under those terms.

Also, since Scotland is over 9% of the UK’s land mass, he’ll need to decide which bits he’s leaving us. But fair’s fair, eh?

Scottish devolution? Can’t wait!

Paul Harper

Morons exist in offices as well as on the streets

Letter sent to the Guardian:


You tweeted: “@guardian: Help us update our #Londonriots map. Tweet, leave a comment or contact sam.jones [at] with your report”

Really, Guardian? We’ve got brain dead morons in one borough already trying to prove they’re harder than the next borough’s brain dead morons and you want to supply a map for them to stick pins in? It looks like morons exist in offices as well as on the streets.

Totally irresponsible journalism of the type I would expect of the Daily Mail. You should be ashamed.

Paul Harper

Your doctor should know better

Rant at the Guardian after they ran a piece on blood donors, listing those people who could not donate – but missing one large, important group out:


I would like to register a strong objection to your piece “Dr Luisa Dillner’s guide to… donating blood” where the people who can donate blood are listed. As usual, the biggest group of exclusions – of which I am one – is ignored.

If you are gay, you are not allowed to donate blood.

This despite all the necessary tests being performed on the donated blood anyway. There is absolutely no valid reason for this restriction, and it forms a large part of the bias society has against gay people like me. It is time the restriction was removed, but that is never going to happen until the media like yourselves at least acknowledge that the restriction exists.

Paul Harper

Double Standards on Sexism

Letter to The Guardian (thought I would give The Independent a rest, poor loves!)


I think we can probably all agree that to use the word “girlies” to describe women is patronising, demeaning and wrong. I also think we can probably agree that holding a public event that excludes participants based purely on gender is sexism and is wrong.

Why, then, when Davina McCall posts on Twitter “@ThisisDavina: calling all girlies..come join me on a bike ride for an amazing charity!!! Angie Dowds from BL is coming too!” promoting a “Woman only ride” is there not widespread outrage at the multiple counts of blatant sexism?

Not for the first time, it seems to me to be a case of “do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to female sexism against men. If sexism by men is wrong, then sexism by women is too.


Paul Harper.