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The Sun, Gordon Brown and Jacqui Janes.

Eddie Mair | 17:10 UK time, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

thesun1.JPGYou heard Tom Newton Dunn on the programme. What did you think of his responses to listeners' questions?

Comments

  • 1. At 5:19pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Gordon Brown is being picked on for his disability?

    Fiona Pilkington?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/8309714.stm

    I really think people are clutching at straws on this.

    It's a series of mistakes and errors that led to this. Just like the 911 bombers had a series of lucky breaks before succeeding in taking down the Twin Towers.

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  • 2. At 5:24pm on 11 Nov 2009, stratstrngler wrote:

    Re Tom Newton Dunn

    "Me thinks thou doth protest too much"

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  • 3. At 5:26pm on 11 Nov 2009, stratstrngler wrote:

    Re Tom Newton Dunn
    "Me thinks thou doth protest too much"

    Clive Williams, Kent

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  • 4. At 5:26pm on 11 Nov 2009, Duncan Harvey wrote:

    "Spelling the soldier's name wrong" is also incorrect. Surely it's 'spelling the soldier's name wrongLY',

    Perhaps the Sun journalist should also learn to speak English PROPER! Glass houses, stones etc.

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  • 5. At 5:27pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    There you go Eddie, why not call Sapper Matthew Weston and get his take on what it's like to be bullied for being disabled and what his take on Remembrance and Armistice Day is. He may also have some opinion on whether there are enough helicopters in Afghanistan.

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  • 6. At 5:27pm on 11 Nov 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    He was very disingenuous about the idea of a deal being done. No newspaper is going to go to the effort of supporting a particular political party if they don't expect something in return.

    But then the editor of one little newspaper isn't going to be privy to his boss' machinations I suppose, and if his finger isn't even on the pulse enough to check the on-line version of his newspaper he's maybe not aware of much that's going on around him.

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  • 7. At 5:28pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tony Glover wrote:

    I wasn't convinced by a single word that Tom Newton Dunn said. The Sun has exploited the mother of a fallen soldier in a grubby attempt to smear the prime minister.

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  • 8. At 5:30pm on 11 Nov 2009, jimgrimley wrote:

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  • 9. At 5:32pm on 11 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    It was "the Sun Wot Won It" in 1992.
    The Murdoch group did very well out of the Tories under Thatcher and Major.
    Yet there would not have been anything in writing.

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  • 10. At 5:33pm on 11 Nov 2009, Ikki wrote:

    The question about the sun maybe taking advantage of Mrs Janes while she's on antidepressants hit a nerve with Mr Dunn..! Take advantage of some..? Who the Sun.. "Never"

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  • 11. At 5:33pm on 11 Nov 2009, listener wrote:

    The Sun political editor didn't sound very convincing. The recording was nothing to do with us gov. There just happened to be a neighbour there with a mobile phone who switched it on to start recording the conversation once it was realised that the PM was on the phone. Yet it appears that the Sun has a recording which starts with a 'receptionist' saying "Hold on for the Prime Minister." How's that for quick reactions!!

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  • 12. At 5:34pm on 11 Nov 2009, lynne birch wrote:

    Thanks for asking The Sun the questions we all want answered. Tom Newton Dunn was obviously uncomfortable. Also, I'm impressed with the instant technology for recording a telephone call from the Prime Minister at 10.00 pm on a Sunday evening: just fancy having the presence of mind and the time at the start of the call to switch your telephone onto loudspeaker and get your mate who'd popped round from next door to find "Record" on his mobile to make such a clear recording of your phone conversation.

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  • 13. At 5:34pm on 11 Nov 2009, NickWilsonUK wrote:

    I heard on PM that Peter Mandleson was accusing News International of siding with the Tories in the hope/expectation of future advantage. This overlooks the efforts that New Labour (& Tony Blair in particular) made in cultivating News International, to the extent that Blair actually attended two NI conferences. In addition, according to Peter Oborne's book 'The Triumph of the Political Class' the Labour spin doctor Lance Price's book draft had to be vetted by No 10. Apparently a third of their objections to the first draft related to the mention of Rupert Murdoch's name. I wonder why Labour would be so concerned at their top level interactions with Murdoch being revealed?

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  • 14. At 5:35pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Mandelson? Did any of you hear him last week on Mayo's Radio 5 programme? I think it was Wednesday. I am not sure how he could take so much time, and use so many words to talk about a load of nonsense that is common sense. It was really weak blue sky babbling. Mandelson that can see Universities, but not Grammar schools as a way of increasing 'social mobility'.

    Mandelson has never spun anything as he? Remind me, who elected Mandelson again? How many countries are we trying to force feed democracy at the moment?

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  • 15. At 5:36pm on 11 Nov 2009, jimgrimley wrote:

    The only way you can show your discust with news international is dont buy their news papers,which I dont,and cancell your sky subscription which I have just done.

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  • 16. At 5:36pm on 11 Nov 2009, captaincaroline wrote:

    Interesting that Tom Newton Dunn appeared to have a different story to his boss (The Media Show this lunchtime) about why the telephone discussion was taped. Also both have been very cagey that no reporter was 'in the room' when the conversation was taped.

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  • 17. At 5:36pm on 11 Nov 2009, Chris wrote:

    I believe it was right for The Sun to take up the story and to publish the transcript of the telephone conversation, and I am grateful to them for doing it. Only in that way could I make an informed decision, based on the facts and not the spin. I do not think that Gordon Brown was victimised. What the telephone conversation showed so clearly is that Gordon Brown did not apologise for his mistakes in his letter - in fact he refused to acknowledge them. Also he refused to acknowledge that the troops have not been adequately kitted out nor given adequate helicopter support. Mrs Janes put over a very clear and bold analysis of the situation, based on her family's and other soldiers' experiences. It was hard hitting and devoid of spin. For Gordon Brown to be portrayed as a poor victim of a merciless operation does not ring true. He was eventually forced to apologise properly and in public for the poorly written letter probably because the truth about what he actually said was out in the public domain. However, the main thrust of Mrs Janes's argument re adequate support for our troops has yet to be addressed. Apparently there is frantic behind the scenes activity now on this issue. Let us swiftly have clear evidence on the ground and in the air that this government has finally taken this matter seriously. It is tragic that it has needed this action from a brave woman to finally jolt the government into taking action into remedying the shortfalls in military equipment and backup. What are the MOD and all the advisors paid for?

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  • 18. At 5:37pm on 11 Nov 2009, PlumOrdinary wrote:

    Game set and match to Tom Newton Dunn, I think. Why IS the BBC giving so much time to a story it likes to think it's too superior to have broken?

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  • 19. At 5:40pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The Sun has an agenda? And what was the agenda of this current regime when they got the newspapers to peddle their '45 minute warning' fiction? The government want it both ways? They're an elected parliament of representatives or some vacuous celeb that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the pages of press coverage?

    This government hasn't spent much more time and money manicuring their public persona and image than providing sufficient helicopters to our military they've sent on political adventures?

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  • 20. At 5:42pm on 11 Nov 2009, Alistair Smith wrote:

    Tom Newton Dunn had very little to say on the ethics of recording the phone call.

    According to section 10 i) of the PCC Editor's Code of Practice the press should not seek to obtain or publish material that has been recorded in the very method in which he describes, unless it is deemed to be in the public interest.

    Is this subject really in the public interest, or is it just a published personal issue between two individuals one of which happens to be the Prime Minister?

    In my eyes Tom Newton Dunn failed to support his argument with any real clarity here.

    Perhaps a point to be clarified by the PCC's judgement.

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  • 21. At 5:44pm on 11 Nov 2009, Jo-Anna wrote:

    Isn't it sad, that while all the political commentators are quibbling about spelling and handwriting the real message of the story is lost. That is that Mrs Janes is from a fifth generation military family, is very well informed, and knows from first hand reports from Afghanistan that our troops need more boots on the ground and more helicopters, and the correct equipment. The tragedy is that she feels that her son bled to death unnecessarily. Mr Brown is in denial about the state of our troops. Lets focus on the real story. As a relative of a soldier I find this emphasis on trivia distateful.

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  • 22. At 5:46pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Lets close the free press, nobody buys newspapers anymore and the whole industry causes climate change pollution and we lets just rely on the 3,000 state employed spokes people to give us unbiassed worthy news that will be channeled into our homes without any skew or agenda. Problem solved.

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  • 23. At 5:47pm on 11 Nov 2009, darkdesign wrote:

    I didn't believe a word he said. What we think won't change a thing. They only respond to the number of sales. Which Mr Newton-Dunn seemed to think were healthy.

    How many did they sell in Liverpool, I wonder?


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  • 24. At 5:50pm on 11 Nov 2009, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    Commented in wrong place for this initially but I would just like to heartily agree with Chris 17 and with Lepidus 19. I've heard enough about poor Gordon to last a lifetime - he did not apologise until the news conference. When I heard and saw Mrs Janes on channel 4 news last night I found her very credible and well informed.
    I have also heard enough from Lord Mandelson to last me a couple of lifetimes. He had no worries about the Sun when they supported Labour and the false indignation is a hoot.

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  • 25. At 5:52pm on 11 Nov 2009, integrity1st wrote:

    The Sun is a sad pathetic example of all that is wrong with the media in this country. Rather than recognise the PM's commendably taking unseen time to write privately and personally to bereaved family it stalks opportunism for attacking him for his spelling or anything else it can find! Mrs Janes is distraught understandably and we all grieve with her but the Sun only looks to increase circulation and exploit her grief for political and media objectives. ABSENT IS THE FACT THAT THE LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WHO ALSO SUPPORTS THE WAR EFFORT HASN'T EVEN BOTHERED TO EXPRESS CONDOLENCES TO MRS JANES. They haven't the other job of running all aspects of the country very effectively through the worst worldwide financial crisis in history and we all need to support him not distract him. I HAVE CANCELLED MY SUBSCRIPTION TO SKY (its all adverts anyway) AND WILL BOYCOTT ALL RUPERT MURDOCH MEDIA in favour of less childish sources of factually focused information. Could this be the end of the SUN I hope so.

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  • 26. At 5:52pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    'It was Brown that put a black line through the Helicopter budget'?

    The Sun took advantage of someone under sedation? Comparisons with the question the other week about what prescription drugs Gordon Brown is on?

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  • 27. At 5:54pm on 11 Nov 2009, Michael Hunt wrote:

    I was amused to hear the arch-hypocrite Mandelson interviewed this morning on TODAY on the subject of “The Brown Letter and Telephone Call”. As usual, with his head firmly rammed up his own backside, the fragrant Mandy complains about the “crude politicking” and “bad taste” exhibited by THE SUN in this ongoing affair. He conveniently forgets (i.e/ is in total denial) that during the last days of the Major government, Labour actively encouraged THE SUN in “crude politicking”.
    Sadly, Evan Davis failed to hold him to account on this rewriting of political history.

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  • 28. At 5:56pm on 11 Nov 2009, Bramleypippin wrote:

    It seems to me that The Sun treats its hate figures (currently Gordon Brown) in the same way that a Komodo dragon kills its prey: repeated apparently trivial bites which turn out to be filthy and infectious and slowly kill the poor beast. Meanwhile the BBC news room hovers vulturelike overhead, giving the news item far more prominence (if any) that it deserves. Shame!

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  • 29. At 5:58pm on 11 Nov 2009, spy magician wrote:

    I'm not sure why any political party would want the support of such a questionable "news" paper.

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  • 30. At 5:59pm on 11 Nov 2009, darkdesign wrote:

    There appears to be some very black-and-white thinking on display on this blog.

    Or perhaps blue-and-white thinking?

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  • 31. At 6:02pm on 11 Nov 2009, PlumOrdinary wrote:

    There is such huge frustration among so many about Government denial of the need for more equipment in Afghanistan - as there was with Iraq - that something had to break out .... However this story happened, how many news organisations would have turned down the chance to report it? Would you Eddie?

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  • 32. At 6:03pm on 11 Nov 2009, richard smerdon wrote:

    I thought the Sun bloke was unbelievably flaky -well done eddie for chasing him a bit. The Sun isn't a British paper anyway-owned by an Australian dedicated to bringing down the British monarchy-its patriotism is totally suspect.The Janes story was all about exploiting for their political and commercial ends a grieving deeply angry and distressed mother. In fact there were no mistakes in the Brown letter when I looked at it carefully-just very unclear writing-Brown is partially sighted and it shows. Obviously he was doing this letter out of the best possible motives.Incidentally I don't think Brown ashould ever have been PM but the Sun story was deeply unfair.

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  • 33. At 6:03pm on 11 Nov 2009, jazspeak wrote:

    Of course it is sad that any parent should lose a son in any circumstance but to moan about poor spelling in a personal letter of condolence smacks of sour grapes. Surely the woman in the news knew that her son's membership of the Army could mean his giving his life, and with regard to the letter of condolence that woman ought to consider the adage, "it's the thought that counts".

    If The Sun has no more worthwhile news to report then I can only assume that the UK is in a better state than I have been led to believe by other newspapers. Should Radio 4 be giving The Sun so much oxygen of publicity? I wonder how many Sun readers listen to Radio 4.

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  • 34. At 6:06pm on 11 Nov 2009, integrity1st wrote:

    Lets all stop the silly name calling and schoolboy style of disability bullying and sly covert activity that is the normal operational style of the SUN through its pages! They must think their readers are so gullible and unintelligent. BOYCOTT THE SUN!

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  • 35. At 6:08pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Mandelson? Hamid Karzai got more votes than him. Any news when us Brits can have democracy?

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  • 36. At 6:09pm on 11 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    When the Sun worshipped Thatcher it has been forgotten that she did not want the fallen British soldiers in the Falklands to be repatriated to the UK. As it was "custom for our soldiers to be laid where they fell". Let alone write a hand written letter of condolence to the bereaved family.

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  • 37. At 6:11pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Our troops are dying by the day due to a lack of helicopters, and Mandelson and this failed Labour regime are playing politics? It's a bit disrespectful?

    How do we get Mandelson out of the House of Lords when this lot are voted out?

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  • 38. At 6:11pm on 11 Nov 2009, Hawk wrote:

    15. Hear, hear.

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  • 39. At 6:15pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Our forefathers fought two world wars so unelected people like Mandelson can run the country? WW1 was a big turning point in the class system and how the common man and woman got their say?

    Did you elect Mandelson? If you didn't who did?

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  • 40. At 6:16pm on 11 Nov 2009, Pierremont wrote:

    Mrs Janes is understandably in a terrible state about what has happened and wants to blame someone. The obvious man is Gordon Brown as he is the person who has ordered our troops into Afghanistan. The letter she received fom Gordon Brown, with the obviously unintentional mis-spelling of her name and in an apparent hasty scrawl, has compounded her anger. I suppose in her stressed state informing The Sun was not unexpected, given the vitriol that rag (I cannot bring myself to refer to it as a "news" paper) is pouring out against Gordon Brown. But what Mrs Janes is unable to realise is that The Sun is now manipulating her for its own political ends. And I find it hard to believe that Mrs Janes tapes all her telephone conversations. I suspect "encouragement" by we-know-who.

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  • 41. At 6:27pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The Falklands versus Afghanistan? The Argies were in uniform. The Falkland Islands are an island and therefore not easy to escape to or resupply with by a Toyota pick ups.

    The Falklands were a war. We don't have a war cabinet. Is Afghanistan a war?

    In the Falklands we lost half a dozen Wessex helicopters, and half a dozen Chinooks when the Atlantic Conveyor was hit by Exocets. Here the helicopters were never provided because the budget was cancelled, and we had 6 Chinooks rotting in a hangar due to the mother of all MoD procurement foul ups.

    Mess ups in the UK and with procurement cost lives in war zones. How many millionaires were made by selling QinetiQ too cheaply?

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  • 42. At 6:42pm on 11 Nov 2009, Jo-Anna wrote:

    On reflection I suppose it suits Mandelson to take the spotlight off the dire lack of equipment for the troops in Afghanistan and the fact that Mrs Janes' son may have bled to death through lack of helicopters.He has been very successful in diverting attention from this by criticising the Sun's coverage of Mr Brown's conversation with Mrs Janes, and and the subsequent point scoring that has ensued. What about our troops in Afghanistan? I really admire Mrs Janes' selfless, continued support for the campaign, even though she has lost one son through it. Let's lobby for better equipment for our troops. Our energies would be better spent than falling for Mandy's spin.

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  • 43. At 6:43pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Hamid Karzai and Nick Griffin both got more votes than Mandelson.

    Mandelson seems to get a lot of air time at taxpayers expense considering he's not democratically elected.

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  • 44. At 6:59pm on 11 Nov 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Whether it was spelt wrong in the Sun is beside the point. I listened carefully to Newton Dunn and remain unconvinced that they should have done anything but factually report the missive on being approached. And as for the recording of the subsequent phone call being transcripted in the next days edition? I sighed thrice. And I never sigh thrice.
    The noises off invective was in my view way over the top but goodness it is the Sun we are discussing.
    Jacqui Janes. Yes - it was spelt wrongly in my newspaper - not the Sun - at least once - written as "James" again but I am not one to criticise spelling. Mine is awful as this site is a witness. But today as I said I have a kind thought for all humanity so Newton Dunn - go back and do better next time on behalf of this wonderful country.
    Subject: HOWEVER CAUTIOUS THAT GOOD CHEER MIGHT NEED TO BE
    Anagram: BH THOUGHT OVER - CAD ANCESTOR EGO WEE TIMEOUT HIDE
    Yup wonderful country I said. I meant kind thoughts for everybody and went on an unexpected walk as a result of my largesse. Was I surprised where I was led to? Er - no. I heard people Yards ahead of me singing "Here comes the Sun!" lol

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  • 45. At 7:00pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Nevermind better access to the House of Commons viewing galleries and tours around the House if the galleries are full, perhaps a few of those youngsters that have lost limbs and officers that have seen duty in Afghanistan and Iraq should stand as independents next time round?

    Given the state the Country is in, and how Brown's rein looks quite similar to Blair's sofa politics I fail to see why MPs think they're something special.

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  • 46. At 8:03pm on 11 Nov 2009, unclesocial wrote:

    Nice conversation with the editor of The Sun. My biggest problem was when the editor described the Sun as a newspaper. When I was at University a few years ago there was a piece of research out which showed the average age of newspaper readers. Average age of broadsheet reader was 12/13 years. Average age of Sun reader was 4 years. Nuff said. As the gag goes "The Sun, bought for tits, by tits"

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  • 47. At 8:13pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Well at least it's real news as opposed to Jacqui Smith's cleavage?

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  • 48. At 8:18pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Teens roaming the street pummeling middle aged householders to death?

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article466768.ece

    Another New Labour success story eh?

    ASBOs prevent kids from attending Universities of Crime they say?

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  • 49. At 8:22pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Our lads are dying in Afghanistan so unsocialised, violent yobs on that safe drug of choice can rule the streets?

    There's no link the police handing out cautions instead of charges and the way many Brits have no respect or fear of the police?

    Can't Mandelson be served with an ASBO for being on BBC radio too much?

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  • 50. At 9:03pm on 11 Nov 2009, Steve Gerry wrote:

    The Sun claims to support service families but Eddie Mair didn't ask the editor about their "interview" with the widow of Sgt Ian McKay VC in the Falklands War. When they couldn't get through on the phone they just made up an interview and printed it. At least Gordon rang and spoke with real dignity, compassion and humility. The Sun exploits misery ...

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  • 51. At 9:08pm on 11 Nov 2009, infernum wrote:

    Why is it. That when Peter Mandleson speeks to the BBC. They all JUMP?

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  • 52. At 9:15pm on 11 Nov 2009, Stravaiger wrote:

    Sir,
    When I was a child in my grandfather's house, newspapers were kept in the toilet for a quite obvious reason; I would not dignify a gutter-rag like the 'Sun' even for that use. No person with any sense of decency should buy it,
    Poor sad Mrs James,I feel desperately sorry for her, she has been used. Gordon Brown throughout has behaved with humanity and compassion. But - BRING THEM HOME GORDON. NOW! It's not worth the bones of a single British Soldier.



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  • 53. At 9:24pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 54. At 9:37pm on 11 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    It's not fair The Sun picking on Gordon Brown because he's disabled?

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/2537783/Gordon-Brown-blamed-for-slashing-helicopter-budget.html

    How many young men have been disabled as a consequence of Gordon Brown cutting the helicopter budget in 2004, 3 years after we went into Afghanistan?

    How many years and how many Countries could we have asked to provide the helicopter support for our troops at the bloody end?

    Since 2004 how much has been spent on noddy, touchy feely, PC projects? How much is the propaganda budget for the 2012 Olympics?

    You pay your money and take your choice?

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  • 55. At 11:37pm on 11 Nov 2009, np3820 wrote:

    Surely in this day and age no-one believes anything they read in The Sun? And listening to the bloke they had on today, it just further underlines that impression! The only bit I believed is when he referred to his paper as being part of the "nasty gutter press"!! Claiming that he didnt care which way the readers voted was just pathetic..

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  • 56. At 05:00am on 12 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The Sun?

    I think it bears resemblance to the plot of Saturday's 3rd episode of the current series of The Thick of It.

    In 2004 when Brown scrubbed that £1BN plus from the budget to buy helicopters he took a risk. It was a risk that didn't come off.

    Why did he scrub the helicopter budget and what else was that money spent on? Was it decision made on operational or financial grounds?

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  • 57. At 07:38am on 12 Nov 2009, SproutGhost wrote:

    Stravaiger (52) Mrs James! surely some mistake ed?

    ;-)

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  • 58. At 10:20am on 12 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    DH 4, People who live in grass houses shouldn't store thrones.

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  • 59. At 10:26am on 12 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    58 dav
    People who live in grass houses should always get stoned.

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  • 60. At 10:31am on 12 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    or even people in stone houses should always smoke grass? ;o)

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  • 61. At 11:34am on 12 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:


    davmcn - that works better as "People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones".

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  • 62. At 2:25pm on 12 Nov 2009, Robin Barr wrote:

    The SUN first built its readership in the UK with its big boobs. Now well over the hill, is it surprising that it should now be making political boobs ?
    Good to see the British public is seeing the light of day, without help from the SUN.

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  • 63. At 2:27pm on 12 Nov 2009, pithywriter wrote:

    Gordon's handwritten letters to the bereaved seem a bit of a contrivance to say the least. This story is not finished. I would like to hear on PM from other bereaved parents what they think of the handwritten scrawled condolences.
    It was Gordon Brown's embarrassing sloppiness that caught him out... I back the Sun on this and I am no Tory believe me. Mr Dunn sounded sincere to me, something that the unelected Lord Snooty Mandy is not).
    Eddie's questioning re Mrs Jane's state of mind was patronising and out of order. I wonder if she will complain.
    As for recording - of course this would be relatively easy in this day and age - just like the city worker who caught the police bashing Ian Tomlinson on his mobile phone at the right moment (the police would have got away with it otherwise). I carry my little camera everywhere now - and it is a voice recorder too.
    To those on this blog who support warmonger Brown (are they all party hacks I wonder)? Have you actually checked out the letter and the script of the telephone conversation? I was shocked when I saw the letter.

    It looked to me that GB had written Jimmie James. I would have been shocked if any of my kids had written an important letter as badly as that. I would have employed tutors to help them with their English had they done so! And if it is truly the case he can't see then why does he not use magnifying specs!
    Please do not drop this issue as it shows up this war for what it is - a war to protect Uk and American interests in pipe lines in the region.
    Why does not the BBC PM Team ask Mandy's permission for this aspect of the war to be discussed on air one evening very soon? Thanks Ms Pithy.

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  • 64. At 2:47pm on 12 Nov 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    pithywriter (63) - In the interests of honesty and integrity have you ever considered changing your moniker to 'writer'?

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  • 65. At 2:50pm on 12 Nov 2009, Fifi wrote:

    Jo-Anna (42) I'm with you.

    We are all being pleasantly diverted from the real news story here, which is that there are at the very least QUESTIONS (let me not be accused of bias please!) about whether the troops have all the equipment they need.

    Soldiering is an inherently risky business, but we have the technology and communications know-how to minimise unnecessary risks. If we are not in a position to deploy those advantages to help our service personnel survive the conflicts we send them into, then we shouldn't be sending them.

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