The Secret Court of the Twitteratti makes the Court of Protection look positively transparent. We do not know who sits in the Court of Twitteratti, most judges rejoice in cloaking their identity behind amusing non de plumes. Some are professional judges, paid to inform opinion in one direction or another; others are rank amateurs. We only ever hear part of the evidence - that given or retweeted by those that follow us and thus appear on our personal timeline. Out there in cyberspace, opinions are being formed by a far larger body of evidence. Judgements can be strangely inconsistent with logic, but no one seems to mind. The considered opinion of the Twitteratti, is, however, becoming iconic in the minds of government ministers.
Take humour for instance. A matter which much occupies the minds of the Twitteratti.
A threat to blow up Robin Hood airport was ‘obviously a joke’ – one that only a mindless jobsworth could possibly take seriously in these days of terrorist threats. The Twitteratti scrambled to noisy defence of the joker. The airport official who reported this threat was offered no ‘support’, e’en as he was lustily denounced as a humourless moron who wouldn’t see a joke if it was towing the Queen Mary behind it.
Yet Australian accents imitating a barking corgi and requesting to be put through ‘to my grand-daughter Kate’, the Twitteratti are quite convinced, could only have had malign intent, was obviously ‘not a joke’, and call as evidence the sad suicide of the nurse who put the call through to the Duchess of Cambridge’s nurse. This morning the cyber judges are demanding that the jokers be fired, charged with manslaughter, and burned at the stake.
Of course the death of a young girl through suicide is a tragedy, but there is little questioning of what other factors might have been playing on her mind. The statement of the management of King Edward VIIs hospital was unequivocal.
We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.
Was she really the ‘victim‘ of that hoax call? Certainly she handled the call in the sense that she was manning the switchboard – and why was this ‘highly trained and valued’ nurse doing night duty as a switchboard operator? She didn’t put the call through to Kate’s beside phone; she wasn’t the person who actually gave out information concerning the Duchess’s medical condition. She quite correctly put the call through to the nurse responsible - what was she supposed to do? Say, “I don’t like your accent your Majesty, I’m cutting you off”? Failing to put the Queen through to Kate’s nurse on the grounds of some dodgy barking in the background that sounded more like Labradors than Corgis would have been the cause of a far more serious complaint.
She wasn’t suspended, she didn’t receive death threats from the Twitteratti; I hope that the Australian DJs who have been suspended, and have received death threats are being supported by their management.
I just wonder who was originally responsible for this groundswell of Twit-o-pinion that has sat in judgement on the Australian jokers and pronounced them guilty ‘with blood on their hands’. It is so very convenient in the current climate of condemnation of the media. ‘Our Brian’ or Lord chief Justice Leveson as I should refer to him, is conveniently in Australia, from where, having said that he would not be commenting on his report, he was happy to tell the assembled hacks:
The prank call by Australian radio presenters who got a condition report from the Duchess of Cambridge’s nurse by pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles proves the need for new privacy laws, Lord Justice Leveson has said.
Ah so – pay £625 quid a head for rubber chicken in Oz, and Leveson is prepared to comment! Now he thinks we should have more regulation - though how that would have any effect on an Australian radio station beats me. Isn’t it slightly odd that no one has any qualms about us knowing that the Duchess is cuddling the nearest toilet chucking her guts up, but utterly offended that a nurse should inadvertently tell us that she is being ‘freshened up’?
Leveson also thinks that Britain should have more laws that stop European magazines publishing pictures of a topless Kate. Good luck with that one too. Leveson, the global legislator.
I see he is is also pissed off with:
“Bloggers [who] rejoice in placing their servers outside the jurisdiction where different laws apply.”
Aye, Brian, that’ll be me and a few others. We do it because people like you want to control opinion in the UK, and we know full well that your powers stop at the Wash, with the North Sea lapping over your shoes, no matter how commanding the tones you incant your Dalek lines. “Regulate, Regulate, Regulate” Pity that.
We do it because Britain has become so politically correct that you can only mock religion if it is Christianity; can only hold adverse opinion if it is of someone white, middle class, and male – always providing that they are heterosexual. Because jokes go to the court of Twitteratti opinion, manipulated by God knows who, and are only passed as funny if the ‘victim’ is a white middle class male airport operative.
If the joke happens to pass briefly through the hands of someone female who was trained by the almighty NHS – but then left to work in the private sector - who chose to live and work hundreds of miles away from their family and children for more than half of each week, whether by genuine choice or force of economic circumstances; who may have been subject to all sorts of unknown pressures in their private life; and who may not even have committed suicide, the result of the autopsy being as yet unknown – then the joke is pronounced very unfunny, and used to bolster the case for more regulation as to what we may say or think on and off line.
My sympathies to the Saldanha family at what should be a very private time of grief for them – but I fear that Jacintha has just become the latest log thrown on the bonfire of free expression. Truly those who would regulate us out of existence will stoop to anything. Even wallowing in a young girls despair and death. Normally the left wing would be foaming at the mouth at the thought of a NHS trained nurse working in the private sector. In death she has become their heroine.