Time for Labour and their leader to man up or shut up!

Posted 21 Jul 2011 by Walaa Idris

A plea I’m positive many in the country share, because this government has serious work to get on with. It has an economy to sort out, jobs to create, neighbors to rescue plus hunger and disease on the other side of the globe to treat and curb.

So, Ed Miliband and his lot better come clean, and instead of beating around the bush, pretending to be faultless and innocent with regards to phone hacking and it’s embarrassing mess. They better come out and say what they really want to say and ask for what they don’t have the guts or the grounds to ask for but stop chasing their tails! Just stop the pretense – because for years under their watch, people’s voice messages were being intercepted by journalist of all hue and they didn’t blink an eye or lift a finger. Stop asking for apology after apology when none is needed and when it’s not what you are truly after! Come clean and stop hogging the limelight with a chewed out issue.

A couple of weeks ago, it was honorable and touching to push for the truth to come out. It was brave and just to throw some heavy players to the wolves – but it’s done and now the matter is in the appropriate hands. To continuously and persistently ask for an apology that was given many times over is childish and screams lack of substance and direction.

It’s time to put up or just shut up – the public is tired and now concerned that politicians enjoy the sound of their own voices more than listening to the voices that gave them a voice!

As for the media, they too need to get a grip. They need to pull the plug on this frenzy and get some balance. Unfortunately, we have some turbulent times around the corner that needs all of our energies and resolve and that should be everybody’s first priority.

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The Empire Strikes Back!

Posted 20 Jul 2011 by Walaa Idris

Yesterday was a long and busy day for me and although I managed to watch most of Rupert and James Murdoch’s questioning by the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee live I had to finish the rest later on BBC Parliament – so yes I missed the foam pie throwing and Mrs. R Murdoch’s left hook live – but they were equally exhilarating yet appropriate for late night TV.

After two weeks of intense and focused scaremongering from the left media and their portrayal of the Murdochs as evil power hungry broadcasting mongrels who will stop at nothing. I was shocked to see a frail 80 years old father and his young compassionate son respectfully and humbly apologizing for their collective failure and poor judgment while trying to explain and assist the committee to understand what happened or did not happen.

Both father and son came across well – in body language (listening and making good positive eye contact) and tone of voice (spoke calmly, clearly making sure they were heard). They were credible and sympathetic in manner and substance. They were simply impressive.

However, I can’t say the same about the committee, except for Tom Watson MP who clearly has became learned in this particular case and was persistent to direct his questions to Murdoch Senior alone – whom he felt should shoulder the full responsibility – and succeeded.

Beside Wendi Deng’s left hook I also missed the highest point of the hearing – Louise Mensch MP beautifully dropping Peirce Morgan in it – by quoting parts of his book where he allegedly admits to using phone hacking to get a journalistic scoop. She also took the whole issue of phone hacking broader, showing that it was an acceptable practice in the culture of tabloid journalism. Thus explaining the only reason the News of the World is alone under the limelight now is because no one has gone after the others!

Wonder who will be the Watson after Morgan and the rest!?


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Our Police deserves far better than discourteous accusations!

Posted 14 Jul 2011 by Walaa Idris

New Scotland Yard

Beside legislators and policy makers, Members of Parliaments are also our representatives, our voice and the defenders of our rights.

It dismayed and pained me a couple of summers ago when a few bad apples – those found guilty of fiddling their MP expenses – rightly caused public outrage but unjustly tarred those who are innocent and decent public servants with the same brush – because it was neither fair nor right.

That’s why I was shocked to see some MPs – the same group of people two years ago that felt the brunt of guilty by association – this week display what can only be called unjust hostility during their questioning of members of the police. It was even more disturbing to watch because we live in a country where innocence is presumed until guilt is proved. Some members of police were treated like common criminals and intrigued with arrogant hostility that was neither edifying nor civilized. Especially since honesty is at the core of being a policeperson, plus in their profession, the only thing worst than a bent cop is being accused of being bent!

Some feel that line of questioning took place due to lack of basic training and knowledge of the appropriate protocols used during such interrogations, but others feel it was a simple case of tit for tat – and an occasion for cold revenge. Either way it is something that needs to swiftly be addressed; especially as there will be many of these hearings in the near future.


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“Had I known then what I know now…!”

Posted 12 Jul 2011 by Walaa Idris

…. is a phrase we should get used to hearing in the coming weeks and months.

Fact, the phone hacking scandal is an appalling mess – that should never have happened – but it did and rightly many are furious and feel betrayed by it!

Another fact, many people including those in a position of leadership in the police, the newspaper business and even politicians did not (and dare I say still don’t) know how deep and wide phone hacking went. It seems everyday brings with it new victims – and I have a feeling we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

However and despite all the ugliness of this scandal, pointing the figure and hastily laying the blame on a few scapegoats will only give a temporary solution when what we desperately need is a permanent and lasting resolution – something more long term.

Also saying sorry and apologizing is nice – for some reason we love it and seem to have an obsession with hearing and making people say it. However, saying sorry is not the same as putting in place the correct measures that will safeguard the public from similar occurrences in the future, nor will it create the appropriate laws and regulations to suitably deal with future offenders.

We also need to get over ourselves and focus on what matters, someone, clearly took their eyes of the game and dropped the ball. Then again we also need to be honest and remember that we “the now so very appalled public” are equally guilty! Because if we did not buy the papers and salivate over other peoples’ misery, the newspapers would not have continued to dig for and print peoples’ trash and personal misfortune!

Besides putting in place the laws to guide and protect us – we also need a moral awakening – be honest with ourselves and ask a few searching questions – because those papers did not weekly fly off the shelves on their own to nowhere – we bought them!

Society is what we make it, our journalists, politicians, and the police are not aliens from outer-space – they are our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers…. In other words they are us and come from us. We made them what they are so why are we so surprised now!?

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Pretty for a day, but useless for a week!

Posted 6 Jul 2011 by Walaa Idris

First let me say that phone-hacking is an illegal act and is wrong regardless of the reasons – whether the person hacked is a celebrity, a politician or a private citizen – and it’s an appallingly disgraceful act when those violated are victims of crime.

However, we can not and should not pass judgment until we have all the facts and proves that the accusations are not some personal agenda motivated by a personal need!

A few weeks ago the media social and regular collectively tried, judged and sentenced Dominique Strauss-Kahn for allegedly assaulting a hotel worker in New York – only to later discover there was no case to bring to trail and the lady in question has swiftly turned her attention to suing a New York newspaper.

Sometime ago Sharon Shoesmith – the former children’s services chief – was mobbishly pushed out of her job, only to later win an unfair dismissal case costing the public millions. Both cases are living proof that mob mentality indictments have a temporary satisfaction but are never the solution. And as the Prime Minster said earlier today on PMQs “they make people look pretty for a day but useless for a week”. Worst yet, they might allow an offender to get off!

Regarding the phone – hacking allegations, the last thing the public wants is a Band-Aid solution, a temporary baseless fix. What the public and our country need and deserve is a permanent resolution reached after a full and independent public inquiry sorts this matter once and for all, and restores our trust and confidence in the media and the laws governing it. To the frustrations of many that might take time to reach but it’s worth the wait – because we as a nation deserve it.


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