30th July 2016
Here’s The Guardian interview quoted above, dated yesterday, but hitting the news stands today:
It would be useful to know who approached who to get it done; Angela Eagle in search of The Guardian or The Guardian seeking out Angela Eagle? We’d make enquiries of our MP but she’s not responding to our emails currently.
Firstly, we want to thank Anushka Asthana, author of the piece, for getting it right about the window. It was never broken i.e. the window of Angela’s office. Although not having the foresight to state this fact anywhere doesn’t help to bring fairness or clarity or to address the damage already done.
The crux of all this is here, the fact that on the day of the incident, 11th or 12th July 2016, the following publications had already decided to run with a crucial falsehood – that Angela’s office window itself had been smashed with a brick – one that served a political agenda at the time superbly well – that of advancing Angela Eagle’s leadership credentials and damaging Jeremy Corbyn’s.
Click on the link for the details of each story:
- Daily Telegraph
- London Evening Standard
- Daily Express
- Daily Mail
- The Guardian
- Daily Star
- The S*n (not linking here)
- Huffington Post
- The i Newspaper
- The Liverpool Echo
- The Wirral Globe
We should mention at this point that we’d normally attempt to make an online contribution on Anushka’s interview article but since this happened, we’ve been banned for life from commenting on The Guardian website, with no sign of any reprieve.
We’d greatly appreciate it if readers who are registered with The Guardian could comment and link this post to the article, or perhaps to this one by Hadley Freeman. Many thanks and good luck with that!
Crucially, when interviewing Angela, Anushka didn’t take the opportunity to ask why she and her leadership team had allowed the false stories to stand and to seep down into the collective consciousness of the 6.89 million members of the British public who still buy a newspaper every day. Many of these will be voting in the forthcoming Labour leadership election – but may still not be aware of the truth.
We could speculate as to why she omitted to mention this, but won’t. We’re hopeful Anushka gets back in touch and explains why such a high profile interview was less than searching, and would fail any basic test of reasonable journalistic thoroughness.
For now we’ll assume she may have unstated political allegiances that got in the way of her ability to apply sound, journalistic integrity.
Anushka – who is a joint political editor at the paper – was in touch last night on Twitter. We’d become aware of her interview and sent a tweet:
But we were quickly dismayed when Anushka, for a journalist of some influence, revealed a very poor grasp of logic, a loose take on facts, and an inability to absorb details or thoroughly cross-check.
To start with, we suggested that The Guardian i.e. the newspaper, were ‘rowing back’ on the content of earlier reports by changing and broadening out their statements. Without acknowledging the new approach, they’d all of a sudden morphed from,
‘brick through Angela Eagle’s office window’
…in earlier reports, to…
‘…brick thrown through a window of her constituency building…”
…in this one … to which the following response arrived from Anushka:
We responded we accepted that, but then turned our attention to an awful howler in the interview, where the author had appeared to sneer at ‘citizen journalism’ and inaccurately described the remarkable, factual footage on Youtube showing the correct location of the broken window as … part of a ‘torrent of abuse’.
Further tweets then followed:
The quoted email from the police is something I haven’t seen, however Merseyside Police did issue a media statement which I have seen on 21st July 2016, as follows:
…where the police appear to be directly contradicting the information they provided in Angela Eagle’s unseen email, and which the Guardian journalist is enigmatically referring to.
Anushka is sadly mistaken. My Twitter account was set up in May 2010, over six years ago. The purpose of setting it up was to make an impact on social media, not to have a go at Angela Eagle. The name “Window on Wallasey” was applied recently in earnest homage to #Brickgate, unfolding in my own town.
Any impartial observer who reads my Twitter account will notice how careful and restrained it is e.g. the word ‘Jew’ appears once in 114,000 tweets. Okay, it’s occasionally satirical and provocative, but that’s freedom of speech and the desire to entertain kicking in. Generally it carries links to factual information gathered on my blog at www.wirralinittogether.wordpress.com
I replied to state that very few members of the local public knew that Angela Eagle had an office in this building, that there was no external reference to this, even at the front entrance. The only indication of a possible political presence are two stickers on Angela’s office window. Neither does any information appear on the Companies House website or on the website of the owners of the building. Okay, she may not run a limited company but it’s all a little mysterious – and may need investigating further?
This was a reference to this, a quite hideous interview with a local Labour councillor, Bernie Mooney, who takes an opportunity to recklessly blame “Labour members” for the hurling of the brick:
A sympathiser then chipped in with a very ill-conceived allegation:
So finally, there it is, the window in question, a bit tatty but as pristine and unbricked as the day the panes of glass were first installed.
Response from Anushka came there none.
Anushka’s Guardian colleague Hadley Freeman was putting the same, well-worn lie about again today in this article, in the following terms: “After a brick was thrown through Angela Eagle’s Liverpool surgery earlier this month”.
Not only is Hadley’s geography not even up to O Level standard – Wallasey is not in Liverpool and never has been – she’s lazily building on and consolidating the 12th July gaffe that was irresponsibly run in those titles listed above.
Who’s editing these articles? I’m a former radio operator, turned labourer, turned cable jointer, turned lighting engineer, turned digital transcriptionist, with no university degree, who could breeze into a quality control job at The Guardian. I’m sure of it.
Whilst there’s a certain amount of schadenfreude to be had from witnessing the print media’s top journalists as masochistic authors of their own destruction, this is tempered by the knowledge that the public interest will soon be better served by something far more informative and immediate and accessible and vital – and which has been lining up to take the newspapers’ place for some years; blogs and the internet.
So instead of having to struggle with what politicians want you to read and therefore missing out, you get largely hard-fought and hard-won factual stuff from the mouths and keyboards of those living and experiencing ‘normal’, yet diverse lives, and not the same old dreary, sycophantic, controlled and managed content (see above) from the usual suspects.
Who wants to be served a daily portion of thin gruel, seasoned and coloured by the likes of Angela Eagle MP, with her own undeclared political motivations as the engine driving it onward and sweeping all before it?
Whilst we do have an element of pity for these newspapers’ readers, and even for those writers who’ve willingly signed up to become obedient tools in the hands of cynical, hard-bitten politicians with agendas, it’s depressing when reading these journalists’ output, to witness them body-swerving the facts, obeying their orders and churning out gushing, idolatrous eulogies, peppered with hollow innuendo to wield as a very insubstantial ‘bulwark’ against potential criticism.
One is left with the conclusion that as far as solid information goes, their systems are flimsy and their cupboards are bare, and in order to bend to the will of their masters to full effect, it’s become necessary to rely on opinions, slurs, smears and putting all their energies into ‘playing the man and not the ball’.
There’s much talk of the ‘post-truth journalism’ of social media and plenty of sneering towards bloggers engaged in by those MPs and senior public servants abusing the power vested in them. The problem is the ‘post-truth’ disingenuity is coming in torrents from the keyboards of those media outlets they appear to control; The Guardian, Telegraph, Mirror, Sun, Mail et al. journalists … and certainly eclipsing us, the blogging public.
It’s all very, very sad for them – but this is a welcome time of flux and the tree is being shaken … so out drop the incompetent scoundrels, the defenders of the status quo at all costs, and the hidden vested interests.
p.s. The Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, London Evening Standard are not regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
Further #Brickgate posts and tweets: