10 November 2009

Bloody Shameful

I have no time for the red-top tabloids in this country. I can't see what positive contribution they make to society, unless you count titilation as a positive contribution. I was particularly horrified, then, to read this trash on the Sun website. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a massive Gordon Brown fan, but I think that he needs to be given a bit of credit here.

We're talking about the Prime Minister of the UK! That's a pretty demanding job, you know. He works all hours, and probably barely gets time to spend with his family. I was actually very impressed that he takes the time to hand-write a personal letter to the family of each deceased soldier! When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter? I know I haven't written one in years.

I realise that the family concerned is grieving, and that they have their own, possibly legitimate, complaints against the UK government. I also acknowledge that I will (hopefully) never know what the family is going through, and how it feels to lose a child in warfare. My problem with the whole thing is that it comes across as a tabloid-engineered publicity stunt against the PM. I thought that when I read yesterday's 'story', but it was confirmed when I heard on the Today Programme that the Sun had recorded the phone call between the soldier's mother and Gordon Brown for use on their website (the Sun story said that the lady recorded the call on her answerphone).

It seems to me that the Sun have taken advantage of the family for the sake of a cheap story against Gordon Brown, and the more they persist, the more convinced I will be.

Ultimately, I really can't understand what the fuss is about. Here's how I see it:
  • He hand wrote a letter in an age where email and phone calls are the norm, and even typed letters are rare! I think this is impressive.
  • His letter is not a generic template; it's clearly specific to the situation. He could have just signed a spell-checked generic template, but he didn't.
  • His handwriting is poor - big deal! So's mine.
  • He made some spelling mistakes, and performed minor corrections. That's what we used to do before spell check!
Finally, at the risk of being labelled a pedant, and I don't want to sound disrespectful here, but someone who is criticising another person's use of language should maybe check their own a little more carefully:
"Jacqui hit back: "I don't want to sound disrespectful here, but it was an insult to my child. There was [sic] 25 spelling mistakes - 25."

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