Friday 15 March 2013

Whitby Gazette and Jon Stokoe

The Whitby Gazette is the city paper of the Goth capital. It was also the first paper to publish the work of Lewis Carroll, a regular visitor from 1850-70.  Encouraged by the public reception - although self-critical about his early efforts -  the Reverend Dodgson went on to write the books which dominate children's literature upon which millions of pounds and thousands of jobs have depended.

Then in 1885 The Gazette recorded on 24 October:
"The Russian schooner Dmitri of Navra, with silver sand, came in suddenly, in heavy weather, but going ashore in Collier’s Hope because a total wreck"
The event camd to the notice of a visitor to Whitby, Bram Stoker, who also happened to find a name in a geography book in the local library which fired his imagination.  That wreck became the Demeter out of Varna, carrying the potent fictional character Dracula, which is why his landfall became the Goth capital.

Who knows, but if the editor of the Whitby Gazette had not carried that report perhaps Stoker might have had him come ashore somewhere else, thus depriving Whitby of millions of pounds of tourism income over a century later. 

Since 1854 the paper has maintained its place in the town and travels all over the world.   There is an online version but the interesting thing about the Whitby Gazette is that it is still growing in its paper distribution.  The online version is searchable but there is really no substitute for the discerning Goth or Steam punk or explorer; one simply must have a paper copy to read over tea no matter where that tea is taken.  The object itself, not just the data, is part of the experience with its nautical masthead and distinctive typeface.

Strange then that the owners, Johnston Press, are proposing to dispose of the editor.  Jon Stokoe bucks the trend in local papers.  While others are struggling,The Gazette is growing.  What ever he is doing, it is working.  Even asking the question makes only about as much sense as sacking Rumplestiltskin because it costs money to provide him with beer and sandwiches.  He's spinning straw in to gold, for goodness' sake.  Keep him at it.

A petition to save the editor has been set up to plead with Johnston to show economic sense. Jon Stokoe is worth the money and should be kept on.

Go here to sign the petition. 

Saturday 9 March 2013

BBC Busted - for International Women's Day

Fingerprints : an ambush against UKIP has been identified.

On  Question Time, Thursday 7 March, Amy Rutland, a regional Labour worker, pretended to be an average member of the public and took an opportunity to embarrass the Labour Party she supports by calling Diane James, the  UKIP candidate, and anyone else who is concerned about the effects of uncontrolled immigration "disgusting".

Amy Rutland UKIP tweet

As noticed by Political Scrapbook, she claimed earlier in the day to have cooked this up with Stephen Twigg, who was appearing on the panel.  That probably explains why he was so smoothly ready with a prepared answer.  Amy later protected her tweets. It has been suggested that these were merely boasting after the event and that Twigg might not have been in on it - in which case why protect them rather than leave them open? 

Dimbleby, if doing his job properly, should have allowed Diane James to answer the original question of substance, which was about whether UKIP presented a threat to the Tories. Instead, he insisted that she respond to the insult. It has yet to be established if Dimbleby knew of the stitch-up; no doubt he'll deny it. It is very strange, though,  how the microphone was able to go to an auburn-haired lady at the front who also appeared to be primed with the keyword "scaremonger".  Were the women connected?

If you want to see the response by Diane James and the much saltier reply by Melanie Phillips which explained why UKIP are a threat to the Conservatives, the 5 minute clip is on Youtube.

But for the slow-learners in Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, let's play that old favourite Oh she's just a bigoted woman.  You can see the moment his political soul leaves his body.

Kebab Time for Biased BBC has other fun photos.