Friday, April 10, 2009

Civic Shenanigans & A Mute Media

I don't normally reproduce points made in the comments section of blogs. However, I gladly make an exception in the case of a post by David Bartlett on his Dale Street Blues blog. The subject under scrutiny was the Steve Hurst affair. Bartlett reminded his readers of the case's details ( ):
"Hurst was convicted of delivering a leaflet titled 'Walton Scab,' attacking sitting Labour councillor Pauline Walton and her firefighter husband Keith in December.
"Masquerading as a leaflet from The United Socialist Party (TUSP), the pink flyer accused Mr Walton of crossing a Fire Brigades Union picket line during a strike.
"Mrs Walton was accused of leaving council meetings early to learn lap dancing. And it said Mr Walton was so unpopular at Lee Park golf course he couldn't find a playing partner."
The ludicrous allegations against Mr & Mrs Walton nothwithstanding, it should also be noted that there is no such party as The United Socialist Party.
One of the commenters, calling himself Henry, posted a response which merits full quotation:
"How very sad that once again the Echo has seen fit to bury this story in a small column on page 5. No photograph and even using light grey typeface for the tiny headline. I believe you, Mr Bartlett, to be a man of integrity and responsibility. I am sorry to say that the Echo and, now it seems to a growing extent, the Daily Post no longer has any of these qualities and I wish you luck in the future.
"The Echo's treatment of this story tonight [April 8th] is a disgrace. Considering that this is not only an elected representative of the people of Wavertree, he is not just any ward councillor, but an Executive Board Member whose position was held open for him by by his personal friend and fellow fire-fighter, the leader of the city [council], Councillor [Warren] Bradley. This man was in a key decision-making decision on the Executive Board and the story merited significant prominence in the main newspaper of the city. I don't question the front page human interest lead about the little girl's recovery after the horrifying fall [in an accident at Liverpool One], but it is an astonishing editorial decision to try to hide the outcome of this appeal and the further comments from the judiciary from the people of the city. This casts further serious doubt about the whole journalistic integrity of our local newspapers. In fact, there is no longer any doubt when it comes to reporting local politics.
"There are serious questions to be asked about other individuals' possible involvement here, for example, was Mr Hurst acting alone in this stupid and malicious venture, or was this a joint decision to engage in these dirty tricks a fellow fire-fighter and an opposition councillor? The 100% support from the leader of the Lib Dems is breath-taking and an appalling example that does the reputation of the city no good.
"This is in spite of two court judgements, both expressed with absolute certainty, about the guilty verdict and the reprehensible behaviour which discredits both his party and politicians.
"Both papers have continued to portray Mr Hurst as a victim and ignored the indignity and outrageous smears against the Waltons. This is particularly so in the Echo. You now report that Mr Hurst wants to draw a line under this and put his and his family's life back together. I am sure he does, perhaps so that he can get back on the Executive Board, like [Councillor Mike] Storey was allowed to following his no choice resignation which probably averted an even more damning report by the Standards Board following the Henshaw affair.
"There is only one honourable course of action here. First, an apology from Mr Bradley, and an apology to the electorate of Wavertree and the city, and the same from Mr Hurst to his ward members, the electors in Wavertree and this should be accompanied by his resignation as a councillor.
"I would also suggest that the editors of the Echo and the Daily Post consider their positions if they are either unable, unwilling, or not free to report on the politics of the city they allegedly hold so dear. There are currently at least two major local political stories that you are sitting on. Has journalism been shanghaied? Will it be left to the bloggers, or does anyone in Oldham Hall Street have the guts to say what's happening in the city? What, or who, are you all afraid of upsetting?"
Phew! Talk about killing two birds with one stone. ("Oldham Hall Street" LOL!) Henry, I tip my hat to you!

1 comment:

Helpful said...

This was on Liverpool Confidential too.