Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross – Out of proportion

No doubt many of you have heard the most recent ground-breaking news regarding Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. Those readers in the UK will most certainly have anyway.

The short version of the story is that while recording a show the pair decided to prank call the Actor Andrew Sachs (probably most fondly remembered as Manuel, the Spanish waiter in The Fawlty Towers sketches) and during this call swore & there was a mention of Russell Brand sleeping with Mr. Sachs’ Granddaughter.
Russell Brand has since resigned from Radio 2 broadcasting and made a public apology. Jonathan Ross has also apologised and since been suspended, the show was also not broadcast. There is an investigation under way.

Mr Sachs has decided not to inform the police (yeah, they probably don’t read the news) and says he isn’t going anywhere with this as he is not out for revenge.
His Granddaughter, Ms Baillie however is apparently “Thrilled” that they have been suspended and feels that justice has been done, she also said that Brand & Ross were “Beyond contempt”.

The BBC News story

Have your say

OK, so maybe it’s just me again, but is this all just a tad over the top? Somewhat blown out of proportion?
So they made a prank call. They realised and admitted that it was a silly thing to do and that while they got caught up in the moment, they went a bit far, but to sack them for that seems insanely disproportionate to the ‘crime’.
They are both known for their ‘colourful’ language and attitude and their sometimes close to the knuckle humour, after all isn’t that why they are so successful? Is it not this same trait that has now got them into so much trouble that has kept audiences faithful to their shows for so long? Can the BBC really afford to lose them?
Of course I realise that just because someone is successful doesn’t mean they can do exactly as they please, but they have both apologised and admitted that they were foolish for making such a prank call. A prank call that it must be remembered they didn’t try to hide. They knew that their voices would not be concealed, their names would be known and I believe they sincerely thought it would be taken the way it intended, as a joke. Their biggest mistake as far as I can see was that of being poor judges of character.

Prank calls can be really nasty and the general public are exposed to this on a daily basis with little or no protection. The police are never interested in the really scary prank calls that people are hounded by, threatened by, abused by and scared by. The best advice I have heard anyone get in response to reporting a prank call on a mobile phone is the suggestion of getting a new number.
Those that scare & humiliate random (and not so random) members of the public know they will get away with it, yet two celebrities do it with humour in mind (and let’s face it, nobody was harmed or terrified by this) and they stand to lose their career because of it. Chalk up another point for our selectively unbalanced system.

Is this really the crime of the century? Highest unemployment for who knows how long, fuel prices, food prices, energy price increases, hundreds of new & crazy rules & regulations created, many on a daily basis, our private lives being snooped, rights being removed and that’s not to mention the other global problems that we are faced with, but put all that aside as we have to deal with the Brand & Ross crime first.
Let’s release known terrorists, let’s lock up pensioners for not paying Council taxes, let’s let the frail freeze to death, let’s fine children for throwing a chip on the floor to feed a seagull, but first let’s sack two celebrities who must make up a considerable portion of revenue for their bosses for making a prank phone call.

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Big Brother – Urine extraction

First of all this has nothing to do with a bunch of random people in a house making fools of themselves for a TV show in the hope of impressing someone enough to give them their own show.

What this is actually all about is the Government once again doing what they have become so adept at of late and that is nationwide urine extraction. Yet again they take it upon themselves to ‘protect’ us with yet another ‘brilliant’ scheme that we have no say in, no right to challenge, in some cases no idea about and yet again takes away more of our ever dwindling rights.

“Rights?” I hear you ask. “What are these rights you speak of?”

How many of you have heard or read about this plan to tap into all emails and calls in the UK?

Before I started this particular post I rang the Daily Express to check that it would be OK for me reproduce their story in the October 6, 2008 newspaper, but they said I would have to pay. I shouldn’t have been surprised at that, after all it’s not about awareness is it? It’s about money, as with most things.

I could have just gone ahead and copied it out word for word and I doubt they would have ever found out, but I try to do the right thing. It makes no difference anyway really as I am quite capable of rewording the entire story so that I do not break any rules.

So anyway, as it stands, the new snooping plans propose to monitor all telephone calls, emails and text messages (and even log every website visited by computer users nationwide) in Britain at a cost of £12bn, which will be paid for by taxpayers. GCHQ have already had £1bn of your money to get this going.

As somebody from the anti-identity card group No2ID has already said, If you or I carried out this same kind of snooping it would be a crime. Also, consider the Government’s recent record of keeping information safe, how many times have they ‘lost’ sensitive information?

Even their own watchdog warns that such a scheme would be “A step too far for the British way of life”.

Apparently the aim is to set up a “live tap” on every electronic communication in the country. MI5 already carry out limited monitoring of emails and ‘net use.

This is all being done under the huge ‘combat terrorism’ umbrella along with attempting to stop computer fraud and internet-based paedophile rings. These reasons are all things that people should not question, we should put up with any amount of intrusion if it helps beat these things. The problem is, it wont. There will always be terrorists, paedophiles and fraud.

A few statistics:

Last year 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain, this works out to 1,800 every second. About 3 billion emails are sent every day, that’s 35,000 every second.

No2ID spokesman said: “This database could have no practical use at all. It would be so big, it would be impossible to find anything useful.”

This information is from a headline story printed in the Daily Express Newspaper on Monday October 6, 2008.

I couldn’t find that actual article on their website, but this UK News article is part of the same story and several responses in the ‘Have your say’ section below the main story.