Relentless political activist John Elworthy (my opinion, he may feel otherwise) has popped up on Twitter railing against the “bile” that he feels is present in “some local town politics.” He tries this a lot – apparently unaware that the game is up and most people are now aware of the political bias present in sections of our local press. It’s not underground anymore, it’s pretty well known.
He isn’t entirely wrong though. It sure is bitter out there. It’s pretty unpleasant most of the time, but it gets a lot worse as elections loom. Elworthy smiles and nods through the bile spewed by his pals, while trying to exaggerate comments made by those he appears not to approve of, or take them out of context. Also, while casually ignoring the part he and his newspaper play in all this.
Prowling private feeds, the opposition (and, as everybody knows, I include the local Editor as one of that group) look for things to take offence to. They get themselves mighty mixed up while doing so too. This week, one pertpetually-offended member of the opposition got very upset about something somebody said on Facebook. She demanded I delete it, even though I didn’t say it. I took a look at the term used, which was “media whore”, and had a sense of deja vu. This is because this individual got upset previously about the same term being used elsewhere and demanded it be immediately removed. (Oddly, I was told I am “responsible” for what is said on “my blog.” Except, it wasn’t my blog, or anybody’s blog. It was Facebook. And I’m certainly not responsible for what people say there if they are not me.)
Now the term “media whore” is commonly-used. I could drop in a bunch of links of it being used in media, by judges, by journalists and in general parlance to demonstrate that it’s just a descriptor like many others which means “somebody who will do anything to get in the media.” The complainer felt that it was “filth” – so I presume that the term was being mistaken for another use of one of the words. Incorrectly so, I felt. Either way, these weren’t my comments, they were those of private individuals. The complainer has an overblown sense of paranoia where apparently everything is “set up” and leads back to me, somehow. It couldn’t possibly be that people just don’t agree with her, could it? Nope. Apparently not. It’s all some sort of diabolical plan*.
Anyway, she has been telling people that she has “gone to the Police” about something or other said on Facebook previously. I don’t know anybody who has been contacted by the Police, so gawd knows what she is referring to. But it has previously seemed to be the previous use of the term “media whore” which was made by a gentleman called Simon on a Discussion Forum. They really don’t like being challenged, these people. Their arguments fail pretty quickly when members of the public take them on, and so they seem to prefer to try and avoid scrutiny altogether through any means available. I’ve had reports of private messages being sent either whining about “how sad they are about what was said” or making vague threats about the Police and stuff. I don’t know if anybody is intimidated by them, I hope not, since its a crock.
I could sit here and paste up a bunch of nasty and unpleasant comments made by members of the opposition. I do have quite a collection of screenshots going back some time. I could moan about the stuff that’s been said about me (some of it on the Facebook page and online letter responses on the Wisbech Standard) which are quite a lot nastier than “media whore.” But that’s really not my way. In the same way that I don’t run crying to the Standard’s Board every time Dave Patrick makes a personal attack, makes (incorrect) comments about my businesses, brings my family members into arguments. In the same way that I don’t blubber like a baby when the opposition play silly word games to try and suggest unpleasant things about me. I don’t expect an even hand from the local press – I gave up on that years ago. I don’t even expect the truth, also a lost cause with these people. Nor do I write letters demanding that they delete this “bile” that they spew and nor do I try and gain my own pet editor to fight my battles for me.
The truth is pretty simple. Some people do their best to try and improve our town, to deal with policy debates logically and to be open and transparent. Other people snivel, whine, pull the strings of their media puppets and declare themselves “victims” when they are the instigators of almost every mean thing that happens. This is why you can determine where the “bile” began in this town. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to look back and see just when the mood changed. It was the arrival of a certain husband and wife team on the scene which changed the mood. A husband and wife team with years of experience in politics at national, international and local level, who have a long record of falling out with folks due to their attitude and style.
The best thing about people like this is that they can put on masks and pretend to be something they are not and it works for a while. But it does not work forever. And when it does finally come crashing down it does so with a boom! I hope its sooner rather than later. But I have faith it will happen eventually.