This is going to be the last thing I write about the radio piece. First off, thanks to Adrian who managed to provide a link straight to the segment that I was on. It saves people having to listen to an hour of chat radio. It will be there until early next Monday morning.
I got a reply back from BBC radio Scotland letting me know that I would be breaching copyright if I edited or hosted the clip, which is pretty much what I expected. Although as 'contributing artist' (or some such) shouldn't I also have some form of say over what happens to the copyright? Oh well, I'm not a lawyer.

Re-listening to the broadcast, I don't think I did that badly, although there was a large number of 'Umms' and 'Errs', but this is normal if I talk to people on the telephone so it's hardly surprising considering that I was the same sitting in a booth on my own. Maybe I'll do better next time…

Thanks for all the comments on the segment, I love the support that I get from you folks every time. I wonder if Bob gets the same amount of support from his employees?

And finally – listening to the broadcast again I realised the irony of Bob's position. Here was a man, talking about how blogging allows people to say anything to a large population of people, and that there were dangers of defamation. Also that without journalistic training there would be no fact-checking or ethical reporting.

The ironic thing was that Bob was ranting and raving to a radio population, slandering me (calling me racist), getting his facts wrong (saying I have a New Year Resolution to hurt drunks, when it was the exact opposite) and having no knowledge of anything that I do (“New Ham”). Yet he was allowed to state these falsehoods to a large audience with no editing of his remarks.

I wonder if Nick, the lawyer, cringed when he heard Bob call me a racist?

So it seems that Bob should learn to keep quiet if he doesn't want to come across as a hypocrite.

29 thoughts on “Irony”

  1. The programme was very good, Tom. You spoke very calmly and were easy to listen to.I think it's within the law if he calls you a racist to your face on radio. Even if he went around telling other people you were a racist, it would probably count as opinion and not fact (defamation involves untrue facts), unless he invented some stories. I must say that bit did sound very scripted to me, and rather stupidly scripted, but you never know, maybe he was genuine.

  2. You did very well, I was most impressed. Some of the participants sounded less than coherent and, I think that you would have grounds for suing on the use of the terms racist. No one who reads your blog regularly would think you were other than the consummate professional.

  3. i havent listened to it yet how do i get it?I think that they would hold copywrite because they produced and broadcasted the programme. I guess a discussion member like yourself would come in as giving 'ideas' which is not covered under the 1988/95 copywrite act. I could be wrong though im only in my first year!

    I also reckon that 'bob' could be held liable for deformation of character (liable slander) and therefore must apologise in writing. I think you would have to prove 'disability' due to his comments though.

    Mr T

  4. Well, since there's no such thing as “deformation” of character, “liable slander”, nor “copywrite,” here's hoping it's not law school.

  5. yes its law school. Why im very sorry i spelt the words wrong and it should have been 'liable, slander'. I am so pleased you decided to pick up on that rather than the points of law i was trying to explain, thankyou.Mr T

  6. Not only did bob do everything you said but I bet he appeared on radio during 'work time' too. People like him want us all to sit in work all day and spend every moment of every hour working our knuckles to the bone just to make him richer and buy him another yacht to make up for his small 'personality'. God forbid we enjoyed ourselves at work, say by reading, writing or commenting on blogs.Bob also seems to be unaware of irony.

    Oh and will we see you at the BNP meeting this week? 😉

  7. Well done on the radio interview, it must have been very hard to engage in debate whilst sitting alone in a studio hundreds of miles from the other participants. I was especially pleased to hear that your managers are supportive of your blogging , I wasn't sure how things stood after you were identified.

  8. IANAL (I am not a lawyer). But I have done considerable work on legal databases. I know just enough to be dangerous.I'd get your Union's tame Lawyer to give you advice. Here in Australia, from what little I know, Bob would be toast if it came to a lawsuit over slander, and possibly the publisher of the broadcast for libel if they recorded it and made it available via Internet.

    But you'd have to prove financial loss.

    As a Blogger, I have to be really careful about what I say about anyone else. Libel is considered worse than Slander since it reaches a larger target audience. In Australia anyway, there is no differentiation between a “journalist” and anyone else. I suspect Bob's knowledge of the labyrinthine legal lunacy of Libel and slander is even more sketchy than my own.

  9. Just listening to it, isn't the grumpy employer called Paul, not Bob? He was a bit ranting. I suspect he was playing a bit of a role.I think you came across very well. Very calm as the other commenter says.

  10. The radion show won't change anything will it? You're not going to stop blogging from your mobile, or anything like that? Surely as long as your boss is ok you can carry on as before.

  11. Sorry, forgot to add. What was Bob/Paul on about with “not on work time”? What planet does he live on?So does he not allow people to send personal emails or make personal phone calls, or even chat to collegues! You are normally allowed a break and unless the company is being extremely anal, they shouldn't object to you using the facilities in a resonable way, so long as it doesn't detract from your work, etc, etc….

    Maybe he runs a cotten mill 🙂


  12. And, to be honest, is there really anything for the non-driving crew of an ambulance to do while you're driving to the location?Are you meant to be keeping an eye on the road, trying to imagine what the accident could be or rearranging stuff in the back….

    Would be interested to hear if there is any kind of 'official' LAS policy on what the non-driving crew should do on the way…

  13. You're welcome! It's “libel.” I am so pleased that you are in law school minus the level of basic education required to spell your terms of art – on a second try.

  14. Yes. I think he has a large consignment of small people on bicycles pedalling really hard to work the turbines that create more steam at his mill! And I bet they don't get a break!

  15. Congrats on keeping your cool; you've written about feeling shy before, which I can understand. I'd have been reduced to jelly by the thought of talking live on the radio. (What's it like hearing your voice the way other people hear it?)As for Paul, the ever-so-slightly-tense employer, well, if only he'd been a bit more bashful. There's not much else I can say about his performance which isn't incredibly uncharitable.

  16. That was a good job well done, Tom. Just a pity that it was so short. I actually quite enjoyed hearing that idiot employer bloke – he really did come across as quite a prat. Attacking you straight off the bat there did more for blogs and the blogging cause than if he'd been reasonable. 😉

  17. I see for the future lawsuits flying every which way because of blogging. Totally agree, companies that do not institute blogging policy ASAP are tripping up. On the bloggersside, we need practical legal education for all, including that which covers employment issues.I think that employees that start writing stuff like the bookstore employee thats crying now because he was sacked should know better. You want to call your boss an ass publicly, whether its true or not, its beside the point, you know what thats going to achieve with your boss.

    In a way, I am surprised more conflicts, including lawsuits, have not yet arised from people blogging all kinds of stuff, including personal stuff.

    Alessandra (listening to the archived radio program now )

  18. oh! had forgotten…I walked into a bookstore yesterday and what is staring straight at me as I walk in?

    “The Complete URDU conversation course” – cassette or multimedia by Routledge.

  19. OK finished listening…I think Nick hit a very good point about why blogs exploded, and that is people are unsatisfied with MSM news and other programs. And the MSM that has been sitting comfortably on this media monopoly is seeing its starting to be taken down, right before their eyes. Blogging opens up a huge space for more communication.

    These are some reflections I had about why blogging is booming and will continue to do so:

    3) the personal content often builds connections with other “mundane” people with similar experiences (and usually many such topics are never written about in MSM, exactly because they are too mundane or too personal, deemed un-newsworthy, but it makes up a big slice of life)

    6) it can be highly interactive and lead to the building of virtual communities; it breaks the top-down model of most other communication media and even creates a down-top channel in certain instances

    8) in an era where most non-formal written communications between individuals reached, at the highest, sloppily written e-mails, blogs also open up a possibility for non-professional writers to practice and improve their writing. Although we can see that many of the most popular blogs that seriously discuss diverse topics are usually written by people who have a profession related to serious experience in writing, such as professors, that is not always the case.

    9) blogs reproduce the same echo chambers of views and values that individuals seek to be part of in other circumstances, that is, a person will most likely seek to read blogs that maintain their worldview only, but because of the interactive commenting and discussion aspect of blogging, that may generate a space for collision of views

    I thought it was a very good program. The host did do a good job asking some interesting questions.

    I am glad you got to say one of your most intelligent advice too, dont blog in anger about your job. And that people are unsatisfied with MSM.

  20. I like your blog and think you did fine on radio. The employer guy came across as a bit of a control freak. Clearly he is not the type of person who might understand that someone might really care enough to want to learn Urdu! Glad I don't work for him…or maybe I do and he does not know I like blogs. Hee hee.I see someone else has just got fired about his blog. (See if interested.) He worked as a bookseller. Firing him seems to me to be a huge over-reaction.

    Best of blogging to you, Tom!

  21. I like your blog and think you did fine on radio. The employer guy came across as a bit of a control freak. Clearly he is not the type of person who might understand that someone might really care enough to want to learn Urdu! Glad I don't work for him…or maybe I do and he does not know I like blogs. Hee hee.I see someone else has just got fired about his blog. (See if interested.) He worked as a bookseller. Firing him seems to me to be a huge over-reaction.

    Best of blogging to you, Tom!

    P.S. Apologies for posting this twice, but last time it came up under a whole lot of other comments that were not relevant to this one…Hope this is OK.

  22. Actually I was thinking about the employer guy. That was the only thing that was really poorly done in the program (the choice for him and not some reasonably intelligent boss). His Urdu cheap shot was so the opposite of what you were trying to do when you asked the question, that I wondered if he really just read your blog too fast. Im glad you got to say your boss is supportive of your blog, because its important for people who dont know about blogs to understand that its not the fact that you blog but how you do it. Even if its about work. And the point that you brought up too, real important, that its real easy to disguise who you are or others or things that happen. And in many instances that is the only option, unless you want to get dragged into court or get fired. too bad you didnt have more time, as you said.

  23. That Bob guy was a complete idiot and I'm pleased that the lawyer countered him straight away.Tom you came across fine and I'm sure on your next interview (you are bound to have another one) you'll feel more confident. Both Bob and the lawyer like hearing the sounds of their own voice and are probably very used to doing interviews.

    Can't remember who it was in the interviewed who reckoned that no one reads blogs (although nicely countered by someone who said 32 million people in the State read them), but if this is the case (which it isn't) why are people being fired for writing them – it's more than a case of writing “My boss sucks” on the toilet wall. I'm shocked that Waterstones fired that guy for writing a blog – why don't they just take all books about free speech out of their shops – it's madness.

    Anyway, well done Tom and keep on blogging.

  24. Just listened to the segment you listed above. Relax, you came across the best of all participants. I think the reason you did is because you have a good capability of expressing yourself. This is the reason your blog is climbing in popularity, you are an interesting and easy read, in my opinion anyway.Cheers,


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