Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The idiots win again

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

So, Jon Gaunt has been sacked by TalkSport for calling a horrible little bigot "a Nazi". Apparently the station "received a number of complaints over the broadcast". They received a lot of e-mails of support for Gaunt, too, but they ignored them.

As I made plain in my previous post, I don't listen to Jon Gaunt or, for that matter, TalkSport, but I wonder how many listeners to a show presented by a right-wing Sun columnist would really have objected to Mr Gaunt slipping into the vernacular when dealing with a man who would like it to be illegal for Britain's 13 million smokers to become foster parents.

As was amply demonstrated during the ridiculous Ross/Brand furore - and before that, the Shilpa Shetty bollocks (remember her?) - complaints procedures are a joke; they are nothing more than a vote on whether the non-listening public like the person or persons involved.

The knives have been out for 'Gaunty' for some time. He is none too keen on fanatical Islam and is a critic of multiculturism. His final mistake was to have a go at anti-smoking nutters and thanks to a few phone calls from some fellow anti-smoking nutters and a few liberal-left cry-babies he now joins the ranks of other right-wing populists like James Whale and Robert Kilroy-Silk. I'm no fan of any of them, but all were sacked for saying things that no free society would fear hearing.

James Whale's crime was to encourage listeners to a minority interest radio station to vote for Boris Johnson. The complaints came in, and he was fired. But let's compare his support for Johnson with a little-known section from the infamous Ross/Brand podcast in which they discuss Gordon Brown:
Brand: "He is a gorgeous, craggy hero."

Ross: "I like him."

Brand: "Do you like him?"

Ross: "If I could say where I was going to vote, I would say I was voting for them - but I'm not allowed to say where I'm voting because I'm forbidden by my BBC contract."

These words received absolutely no press attention, despite Ross virtually waving a flag as he said them. Even if Manuelgate had not overshadowed it, it is hard to believe that the media would have bothered to object to the blatant political bias.

Likewise, Gaunt's hot-headed words - spoken as a former foster child and not without a grain of historical truth - might be compared to those of that Communist newt-fucker Ken Livingstone who asked a Jewish reporter if he had been a "German war criminal" and then - after the reporter explained that he was in fact a Jew - said "You are just like a concentration camp guard."

Kilroy's words were described as:
He was sacked.

James Whale's comments were described as:
"Totally unacceptable"
He was sacked.

Jon Gaunt's remarks were described as:
"Totally unacceptable and probably illegal"
He was suspended, then sacked.

Red Ken's antisemitic outburst, on the other hand, was described as:
"Unusually insensitive"
He was suspended on full pay for 4 weeks (annual salary £133,997) before continuing in his job of ruining running London.

Could there possibly be the slightest left/right divide as to what is considered "unacceptable" in this foul year of our Lord 2008?

To be clear, TalkSport is a private company and is free to hire or fire whoever it likes, but its sacking of Jon Gaunt is another example of how manufactured outrage and fake disgust from people who did not even hear the fucking show in question can force a radio station's hand. It removes another right-winger from the airwaves and makes sure like-minded broadcasters stay nervous.

The purge continues.


haddock said...

there is one party showing some common sense

Diogenes said...

Let's be fair Mr Smoker the BBC did sack Rod Liddle for showing political bias when he advocated the Labour party.

If Liddle wasn't the most right wing lefty in modern memory your theory would be toast.

John B said...

Gaunt is an utter wanker, but I agree his sacking wasn't the right thing to do.

It's a totally different kettle from Livingstone, though. For one, you have to be a partisan hack or a paranoid loony to parse his remarks as antisemitic ("by harassing me, you're acting like the Gestapo; by being Jewish and working for an organisation that supported the Nazis and still seeks to expel refugees, you're acting like a collaborator" is not antisemitic). More importantly, he said them to a bloke who was annoying him at a party, not *on a fucking radio show, where there are laws mandating political neutrality*.

On those grounds, sacking Whale and Liddle was correct. Unlike the others (come on, the Brand/Ross thing you cite is clearly daft whimsy not political endorsement), they broke specific laws that are part of the radio regime and that are enforced against everyone.

Campaign to abolish those laws and free the airwaves by all means, but don't pretend they're used in a way they aren't.

Dick Puddlecote said...

John B: What's your view on a BBC radio presenter calling smokers 'unfit parents' in the wake of the Baby P case?

Gaunt upsets ONE Tory councillor who was, if his disgusting appearance on the local BBC news at the time is a judge, asking for it, and he is sacked.

Some cunt from BBC Northampton calls EVERY smoker in the country an unfit parent and gets away with a half-arsed apology.

Stop making excuses for these wankers.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"manufactured outrage and fake disgust"

That jumped out at me. You are right. It is. Perhaps it's worth wondering why.

People, for one thing, lack empowerment. They can exert influence, and mitigate their putative disenfranchisement they think, by jumping on a safe bandwagon - something where they are likely to be on the winning side.

It's the flip side of that sickening outpouring of specious grief when Diana died.

Given the propensity to fake outrage, it's a safe bet; being "offended" is something that sounds unpleasant, something intrusive and ugly, with the added advantage of being a nonsensically unprovable position.

"I am offended that you support smokers rights."

See? There is no answer to that and you only make it worse if you defend yourself. It's a false morality made up by people who do not have the real thing. Such a statement is hit and run rhetoric, a portmanteau for the pusillanimous. "offensive" is from the linguistic arsenal of the Left, along with "inappropriate" or anything with "phobic" or "ist" at the end of it, for example.

See my point? It is used to close down debate.

And what makes it far, far worse is that this simulacrum is mediated by a left wing press and television who descend on this like magpies.

Shaun said...

I'd hope that Gaunt, who I'd never heard of until this shite blew up, takes his case to an Employment Tribunal claiming Unfair Dismissal and anything else he can lay hands on. Mostly I'd be looking forwards to an open court hearing about the relationship between the Nazis and their modern compatriots on the anti-smoking crusade. Much as Communists need to be ashamed of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, anti-smokers need to be aware that before their movement became sexy liberal-left orthodoxy, it was the preserve of the health-obsessed Nazis in the 40s!

The Penguin said...

The left wing bias to much of the media has been instrumental in helping to create the PC-crazed shithole we so enjoy today.

When the pendulum swings back, there will be a price demanded of them that they will not like.

It can't happen too soon!

The Penguin

Trixy said...

WW: headbutt the cunt? It's an answer of sorts.

TFS, wonderful post, thabk you. Am going to use my plentiful travelling time today to be "appalled" with all things left wing. Excessive use of the colour red in the BBC logo, that sort of thing.

woman on a raft said...

Mostly I'd be looking forwards to an open court hearing about the relationship between the Nazis and their modern compatriots on the anti-smoking crusade.

Mandialet on popbitch sourced the original 3rd Reich poster.

Swiss Tony said...

Middle England strikes back.

Upset with the salary a prick like Ross gets so jump on the bandwagon of complaints and get him the boot.

Same with John Sargeant on Strictly Cum Dancing. Show the idiots that they are idiots.

Middle England is warming up for the next election


Anonymous said...

It's all very-fucking-depressing.

Henry Crun said...

Contrast and compare the faux outrage of Gordon Brown over the Manuelgate affair versus the obfuscation and accusations of "playing party politics" with the Haringey incompetence scandal.

Dominic Allkins said...

Henry beat me to it by about 12 minutes.

As I was reading the post my subconcious was rattling away - "Compare and contrast, compare and contrast".

Haringey Council, most particularly its social services team/management and any of the other so called professionals should be sacked forthwith with no severance pay. Their 'work' led to the death of a child.

Jon Gaunt calls someone a Nazi and gets sacked. Go figure.

I've never listened to the Jon Gaunt show and don't read The Sun, so I have no ability to judge the man. I have read subsequently that he was brought up as a foster child and commented that it would be far better for a child to be brought up in a foster home with smokers than kept in 'care' (not really the word that should be used I suspect).

However, I absolutely defend his right to free speech. If he feels that the councillor was being a Nazi then he has a right to say so. There's no law against it as far as I'm aware. If the jumped up little bastard who thinks he's important gets upset by it - tough shit.

Mr Gaunt should sue Talksport for all he can.


John East said...

Jon Gaunt was a blustering, foul mouthed bully. Unlike many contributors to this thread, I've had the dubious pleasure of listening to his Talk Sport show and his treatment of some contributors was merciless on occassion.

So, he got what he deserved?

Most certainly not. We need free speech not less, and we need more Jon Gaunts to make the lives of pompous self serving establishment bigots as uncomfortable as possible.

Incidently, those of you who never listen to Talk Sport, perhaps because it's often perceived as populated by right wing shock jocks should be aware that George Galloway host many hours per week on this station, and he is just as aggressive, rude and offensive to any caller who dares to criticise Islam, Palestine or Marxist ideology, but this is what free speech should be about. It ceases to exist when selectively practised to muzzle the right as is happening today.

xelent said...

Govt bureaucrats more and more often these days believe themselves to be preservers of the law.. This all stems from the monopoly of violence that govt's hold.. They use fear as a form of control over people that they believe have stepped over an imaginary line..
They are generally weak minded individuals that lack any real subsatnce in their lives, predicated on the corrupt practices of their employer, the state..

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Filthy - this is for you:


JPT said...

There is most certainly a modern day McCarthyism type thing going on in GB nowadays (BNP story today for example) with the 'persecuted' being anyone of a right wing persuasion.
As for Gaunt I always got the feeling with him that if someone had offered him more money to become a LEFT wing shock jock he'd have jumped at the chance.
I'll still miss him though!

Shaun said...

"As for Gaunt I always got the feeling with him that if someone had offered him more money to become a LEFT wing shock jock he'd have jumped at the chance."

What kind of right-winger would he be if he didn't choose to take the money when he speaks up for an entrepreneurial society? Hair-shirt people are no fun, whatever their political flavour!

Unsworth said...

"Unacceptable". To whom? To these prize cunts?

Moronic bastards.

Now I see that the London Evening Standard has labelled the list of BNP members which has been published on the net as a 'secret list'.


What the fuck do they mean by that? Would a list of Labour Party members also be regarded as 'secret'? And they've now taken to calling those people whose details have been published. Almost as bad as the Ross/Brand duo leaving messages on your phone.

If they called me I'd make a formal complaint to the cops or Oftel or whatever it's called these days.

The Filthy Smoker said...

TalkSport have sacked
DJ today, this time for being a BNP member. Soon they'll have no one left.

Is it legal to sack someone for being a member of a political party, even one as unpleasant as the BNP?

Shaun said...

"Is it legal to sack someone for being a member of a political party, even one as unpleasant as the BNP?"

Only from the Police or Prison Service (and I believe a few P45s will be en route, if what I've read is correct!).

Can we start a totally false rumour that the BNP list is connected in some unspecified way to John Sergeant leaving come dancing?

Anonymous said...

The difference between the actions of Brand-Ross and Gaunt should be obvious. Ross and Brand cruelly held up to ridicule a harmless private man over a private matter. Gaunt called an elected representative, a political public figure, who is attacking, indeed preventing smokers adopting children, a "Nazi".

The two situations here are quite different. Gaunt's right to free speech in his case is morally justifiable, though he may have broken some condition of employment with his radio station (I doubt it). The behaviour of Brand-Ross is not morally justifiable. And their behaviour, which might or might not be illegal, certainly contravened the rules which BBC employees supposedly must adhere to.

Old Holborn said...

Look out a NEW LIST has appeared on the Internet

Budgie said...

John B said... "It's a totally different kettle from Livingstone, though. For one, you have to be a partisan hack or a paranoid loony to parse his remarks as antisemitic ("by harassing me, you're acting like the Gestapo; ... "

This is left wing tripe from John B.

The Gestapo didn't "harass" the Jews. The Gestapo arrested, herded, beat, tortured, transported, and deprived their victims (mostly Jews) of food, drink and all civil rights, delivering these hapless people to a prison camp system that murdered those that it failed to kill by over work, torture, medical experiments and starvation.

Livingstone was clearly being anti-semitic. That some left loony has the effrontery to excuse him is all the more sick making.

wootmama said...

I didn't write this piece, but it is the best post I have read in a long time. I am sharing it with my readers, I'm passing it along to you. It is pure mind candy. One commenter wrote:

If this were an essay on economics, it would be the best essay on economics I’ve read in a year or more.

If this were an essay on social structures, it would be the best essay on social structures I’ve read on a year or more.

If this were an essay on conservative versus reformer mindsets, it would be the best essay on *that* that I’ve read in a year or more.

In fact, it was all three of those things, and I’m frankly stunned at how excellently you’ve made so many points in such a short space.



woman on a raft said...

Is it legal to sack someone for being a member of a political party, even one as unpleasant as the BNP?
Apparently, yes. If you describe it as a health and safety issue.

judgement in full.
Serco Ltd v Redfearn [2006] EWCA Civ 659 (25 May 2006)

Anonymous said...

I listened to Talksport today, it is a nearly endless broadcast of Government ads from virtually every Government Department imaginable. I wouldn't be surprised if Gaunt's sacking wasn't something to do with that, also they sacked someone for being on the BNP list. Listen for the Government ad quota to rise as a reward.

Anonymous said...

No more terror.
No more islam.
Watch internet page,
Its from Sweden and read the info

Letters From A Tory said...

If only the balance of supporters versus complaints was ever taken into account. Brand/Ross would still have been booted out, which is fine with me, but what about Chris Morris and Brass Eye?

John B said...

"The Gestapo didn't "harass" the Jews""

No, you ignorant twat.

The Gestapo harassed members of the public in general; Livingstone, not knowing that the reporter was Jewish, accused him of acting like the Gestapo. This is an everyday figure of speech in British English, and claiming that it's antisemitic is gibberingly mad.

The reporter then said that he viewed the comparison as offensive because he was Jewish; Livingstone pointed out that someone Jewish working for an organisation that supported the Nazis and still campaigns to keep out present-day refugees isn't in much of a condition to comment.

Politically wise? No. Tasteful? No. Antisemitic? No.

Chalcedon said...

There are lots of health Nazis. I'm probably one of them as I was glad that smoking was banned in my local pub. However, I do think there should be a well ventilated or air conditioned room, a bar, where smokers can indulge in pubs. I just don't want to smell like an ashtray myself. As for foster parents. I doubt very much whether many or indeed any would smoke around a child. Especially if their were advised not to do so. Just banning such caring, altruistic people from fostering is stupid. So Gaunt was right, except he didn't use the correct term of 'fucking stupid idiot'.

Little Black Sambo said...

"Smoke around a child" - adds a new frisson of forbidden pleasure.

Revolution Harry said...

Malthusian Snobs Pray for Birdflu to Cure Overpopulation

In the middle of all the hoo-hah over Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s childish phone calls on a late-night radio show, you may have missed a far more scandalous utterance that was made on BBC radio.

On 5 November, the upmarket Nightwaves on BBC Radio 3 aired a discussion about overpopulation between Dr Susan Blackmore (a neuroscientist) and Professor John Gray (of the London School of Economics).

Dr Blackmore said the “fundamental problem” facing the planet today is that “there are too many people”. Professor Gray agreed. Then Dr Blackmore declared: “For the planet’s sake, I hope we have bird flu or some other thing that will reduce the population, because otherwise we’re doomed.”

So, it’s official: at the Beeb it is unacceptable to make crude jokes about having sex with someone’s granddaughter, but it is perfectly OK to wish death upon large swathes of mankind.


Matt Davies said...

Totally agree with this posting.

We don't live in a free country at all and the sooner we realise, the more chance we have.

The day a station actually refuses to sack someone, because they are not scared to air free speech, is the day I will believe things are turning.

Justin said...

Great piece - i totally agree.

Beachhutman away from Beijing said...

Brits keep deluding themselves that they live in some sort of democracy. Bollocks. Blair killed that, Brown continues the work.The EU is antidemocratic, and veering towards facist. There is no freedom of belief or expression in Britain now, and you should not expect any.I live in China, I feel quite free of this sort of political pressure.