Friday, 30 April 2010

Should ITV hire bigot Paul Staines?

from: Martin Wiesner
date: 30 April 2010 16:14
subject: Fwd: Do you know who you have got into bed with?

Dear ITN, I am informed by ITV you are people to contact here. Please read my original e-mail below, Martin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Martin Wiesner pogsurf at googlemail dot com
Date: 30 April 2010 15:54
Subject: Do you know who you have got into bed with?

Dear ITV,

The charity Rethink is right to be proud of its compact between the three main party leaders not to make slurs about other politicians mental health. As Dinesh Bhugra, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This election may be a battle – but it should be a battle of ideas, not slurs. Candidates must be able to be open about mental health without it being used against them. Discrimination against people with mental health problems should have no place in society, and certainly not in politics."

Work to end the stigmatization and discrimination of people with mental health problems is important, and so I would expect to see the party leaders example being followed by others, including public bodies such as ITV. How disappointing it is to learn that ITV is in fact hiring one of the most unreconstructed mental health bigots to cover the election for them?

I am referring to Paul Staines, who blogs under the name of Guido Fawkes. Here is Staines boasting how he will be under contract to ITV on election night:

And here is an example of one of his juvenile tirades about the Prime Minister:

"Gordon was angry because he is a malevolent weirdo, unable to relate people like a normal human being, unable to interpret the emotional signals and body language that we all do instinctively.  He is a
bonkers, not like an eccentric old aunt, but like a dangerously paranoid political psychopath."

I hope you can see the irony of the party leaders signing a compact hoping to bring to an end to mental health slurs, and you hiring the political blogsphere's worst proponent of it.

I look forward to receiving a reply indicating that you will not in fact be hiring this psycho-bigot. Should I not get satisfaction, I will of course look at ways of drawing this to other peoples attention via various new media.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Wiesner

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