A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 3 May 2013

Hooptedoodle #87 - Let him who is without sin cast the first stone


Because of family and health-related issues which I have no intention of describing in this blog, there has been precious little wargaming or hobby stuff going on around here of late, so I do not have much to write about that is relevant.

This last week, though, I’ve been a bit taken aback by what I perceive as the breathtaking hypocrisy of our dear chums at Auntie BBC. I’m not exactly sure of the latest details, but there is (or has been) some further inquest going on into the tragic suicide of the unfortunate nurse who was tricked into giving confidential information on the Duchess of Cambridge’s medical condition, as a result of a so-called “prank” hoax telephone call from some Australian DJs.

This week, the BBC was full of self-righteous horror in a radio item about the inquest – as usual, assuming the role of guardian of public decency – as usual, referring to “the media” as though somehow they were talking about someone other than themselves.

Morons - and scapegoats
Just a minute, there. This particular BBC licence-payer wishes to point out a couple of things:

1. I cannot receive Australian radio – if knowledge of the prank had been restricted to listeners to the station in question then very few of us in Britain would ever have heard about it.

2. The nurse, as I understand it, is believed to have killed herself because she could not live with the humiliation or the public ridicule which followed from her having been duped and having compromised the Duchess’s privacy. No-one could reasonably have anticipated such an extreme reaction, however brutally stupid or unkind the prank might have been. It makes no difference – tragically, she killed herself.

3. As I recall, I heard about the matter in the same way as all other UK residents – I heard it on UK radio – “just fancy that – someone has been tricked into answering questions about the D of C – isn’t that shocking? – here’s some edited highlights of the phone conversation...”

4. I know nothing at all about it, of course, but I suggest that the degree of humiliation and ridicule was directly related to the extent of the media coverage the incident got in the UK. In all the sanctimonious clap-trap I have heard on this topic – and there has been plenty of it – I have never once heard anyone from the British press or the BBC express the slightest concern that they themselves had more to do with the catastrophic publicity - and thus the nurse’s death - than did the imbeciles who perpetrated the original practical joke.

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