Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 42) or where’s the irony?

Courtesy The Guardian

I had to laugh when I read this article from 7 July, 2011. Kennite moans that the phone hacking enquiry could threaten investgative journalism in this country. But if his articles from the last few years are anything to go by, I’d say that he has nothing to worry about.  In the article, which is ostensibly about  the phone-hacking scandal, he manages to get in yet another swipe at Ken Livingstone while blowing his own trumpet.

In 2008, I won journalist of the year at the British Press Awards for an investigation into a man called Lee Jasper, a senior aide to the then mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

Using a mass of leaked emails, I found that enormous amounts of City Hall money had disappeared into projects run by Jasper’s friends, with little or nothing to show for it.

Jasper resigned, and Livingstone’s re-election campaign was damaged, after I published emails in which Jasper proposed to “honey glaze” a woman whose project he had granted £100,000 of public funds. I did not steal those emails, nor did I ask anyone else to do so. But after the story was over, Livingstone’s biographer reported that they were obtained by someone in City Hall who accessed Jasper’s computer, using a password he had left on a post-it note by his terminal. You could, I suppose, say they were hacked.

Well, that’s just dandy but what about the current incumbent? Is there a chance that he could have a look at him? I think we all know the answer to that question. It’s a big fat “NO”.

He closes with a flourish.

Whatever happens, it’s important that it doesn’t deal a further blow to an already commercially weakened (and, in the Sunday market, now dramatically shrunk) press. Whatever you may think about us now, you’ll miss us when we’re gone.

Personally, I’d like a better press than we currently have. The British newspaper industry is dominated by Tory-supporting proprietors who see it as their duty to print smear stories and lies about Labour politicians, while ignoring the deficiencies on their side.

In 2003, I got the Amnesty International Award for lying to the sales director of a company that was marketing illegal anti-personnel landmines. If I had said who I really was, he wouldn’t have offered to sell me any – so with the help of a slightly dodgy freelance investigator, I concocted a fake identity.

Fine, you do what you have to do. But then he repeats the same line about Lee Jasper and how he heroically saved City Hall from those horrible people. Still no mention of Brian Coleman or the three deputy mayors Bojo the Clown lost in the space of a year. It’s almost as if it never happened.

The interesting thing about these articles is that they not only appear two days apart from one another, they are practically identical.

One thing that we do know here at Nowhere Towers is this: should Boris Johnson win the mayoral election, Kennite will continue to churn out more blogs about how white Britain is under attack and accuse anyone he doesn’t like of being an “Islamist” or an “Islamist sympathiser”. One thing that we know for sure, is that if there is a City Hall scandal on Bojo the Clown’s watch, the lickspittle Gilligan won’t be exposing it. We’ll have to rely on others for that.

Life is always black and white on Gilligan’s Island.

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Filed under Journalism, London, London Mayoral election 2012, Media, propaganda, Yellow journalism

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