There was an incident earlier this year that I didn’t blog about at the time, perhaps I should have.
Blink wrote an article about the reactions to Doreen Lawrence’s article in the Guardian, it was entitled “Doreen Lawrence savaged by Tory bloggers“. The savaging by actual Tory bloggers totalled Iain Dale asking “Who put Doreen up to it” and me saying that while I had a great deal of respect for her, her remarks were unjustified and unfair. Hardly brutal.
I took particular exception to some quotes in the piece from my blog. This is how it was reported on Blink:
James Cleverly, a Conservative candidate for the London assembly, refused a
plea to remove a similarly odious comment from his own blog.
An anonymous contributor writing on Cleverly’s blog said: “I have spoken to
one of Stephen Lawrence’s mates… far from being the church going saint made
out by the family he was part of a particularly odious inner city black gang who
took particular delight in beating other rival gang members to within a minute
of their life. Those who live by the sword….”
Another poster, Chris Paul, asked Cleverly to remove that comment but the
Tory candidate refused to delete it citing “free speech” and insisting “I have
no idea whether what you say about Stephen is true or not.”
And this the complete reaction that I wrote:
None of what you have written is relevant to this discussion, Stephen
Lawrence’s killers are walk free today because of a botched investigation by the
Met Police. McPherson concluded that it was botched at least in part because of
racist attitude with the force.
I have no idea whether what you say about Stephen is true or not. Lots of
people claim lots of things to make themselves look big after an event like
this. But, even if it is true, it does not excuse his murder, everyone has
protection under the law and everyone deserves to have the murder of a loved on
fully and competently investigated.
(I apologise for the typos).
I hope that you’ll agree that the tone of my response was very different to that which was reported.
I rang Lester Holloway up, I have known Lester for a number of years and I was very disappointed with how he had reported the exchange. It wasn’t a friendly chat, it was also overheard by most of my colleagues at work.
I asked if he felt that it was fair and accurate reporting, Lester basically said that Blink has an agenda set by the 1990 Trust and that he had to write in support of that agenda. I gave him a very hard time over that and questioned his editorial integrity.
Reading Andrew’s follow up in today’s Standard it seems that Lester does indeed have integrity, according to the article he complained to his bosses. Shortly after he complained he lost his job.
I wonder if the conversation that I had with Lester triggered his complaint. Whether it was me or not I’m glad he is out of it, he is better than that.