I have given the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange plenty of thought over the last few days. Mr Assange as we all know is wanted in Sweeden on charges of sexual assault against two women. He has as we all know in order to avoid extradition to Sweeden Mr Assange has sought and been granted asylum by Ecuador. Now I find Mr Assange’s stance through all this both strange and quite frankly unworkable for the following reasons:
* How if ever is he going to get out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and reach Ecuador.
* The country the UK is seeking to extradite him to is Sweden. Liberal Sweden which has said it has no intention of handing him over to the USA. They just want him to answer the assault charges. I may have problems with extridating him to another country but Sweden no, I tend to believe them.
* Surely Mr Assange wants to clear his name in Sweden if as he insists he is innocent of these alleged crimes. However he will not be able to do so from London.
* All this focus on Mr Assange and his camping out next door to Harrods has I fear taken the spotlight off the real questions and discussions over Wikileaks.
* Also amid all the drama over Assange has the world forgotten the plight of PFC Bradley Manning of the US Army who is sitting in the USDB at Forth Lavenworth facing life in Military Prison. As it is Manning who really but his neck on the line for both Wikileaks and if we are to believe what we are told for the better of the world.
I love rugby, I love Leinster and I love Ireland, I love watching Rugby, going to Rugby and talking about Rugby. So as the all round Rugby fan I decided to educate my self on Wheelchair Rugby which I am looking forward to watching during the Paralympics. So here is a nice guide to Wheelchair Rugby for you all.
What do all the above have in common?? Well they all thought they could fool the police into thinking they did not kill. Ian Huntley killed Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham in Cambridgeshire ten years ago. Huntley then thought he could fool the police by going in front of the cameras. Stuart Hazell is alleged to have murdered twelve year old Tia Sharp in New Addington South London, he too made an appeal, wore the tee shirt and lit candles thinking he could fool the Police. The parents of six, yes six children burned to death in Derby made an appearance on TV they two are now on remand awaiting trial for murder. This leads me to the conclusion that when people murder they think as well as getting away with the crime they can fool the police and the public. Rarely are either fooled and all it does is prolong the hurt, the pain and the agony of the victims family. But then again if someone can commit these crimes, they can commit the deceit which they try to fool us all with.
Katie Taylor stands for all this is good about Ireland and Irish sport, hard work, skill, knowledge and a massive heart. On top of that she is an awesome boxer and an awesome person. So take note nasty little Australian Jurnos. We as a nation have always known Katie is the the best there is, nor are we all drunk each time we watch her. Oh and by the way what do you expect in a fighting Irishwoman? I expect dignity, courage, skill and pride all of which we see in Katie. I won’t tell you what I would expect from a fighting Australian woman clinging to her Fosters … oh sorry lazy stereotyping there.
As for you USA today, more lazy rubbish. You need to look deep and remember that many of the hands that built America came from the very soil our Katie comes from. By the way we don’t deal in pounds and we don’t do candy. The lesson in all this for you Journos across the seas is do some proper research about both Ireland and the sport before you turn your PC on and start typing or Stereotyping.
A BRITISH newspaper today apologised for calling Katie Taylor British after irate Irish fans of the boxer took to Twitter to vent their fury.
The gaffe was the top trend on Twitter today.
However just before 1pm the media group tweeted: “We’re sorry for mistakenly describing the fantastic boxer Katie Taylor as British in our London 2012 section today. She is Irish, of course.”
Earlier comedian Dara O Briain tweeted: “Oh, come on! Daily Telegraph” and RTE presenter Ella McSweeney said: “Team GB losing the run of itself.”
Marykate Dawson tweeted: “I’d say Katie Taylor would get sick if she knew she was being referred to as ‘British’.
Gav Hatch said: “They already try to claim Irish golfers as British. They claimed boxers in the past. Now the Daily Telegraph says Katie Taylor is British!”
“I noticed ‘British’ band U2 featured in Opening too,” said another of hundreds of fans ahead of Katie’s match today in a bid to secure a place in the final.
Meanwhile, Australian newspaper group Fairfax Media was forced into an embarrassing apology after an article about Katie Taylor’s triumph over Britain’s Natasha Jonas in the Olympic boxing ring was branded as “lazy stereotyping” of the Irish.
The article hit the websites of ‘The Age’, the ‘Brisbane Times’ and the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ yesterday, with the headline: “Punch Drunk: Ireland intoxicated as Taylor swings towards victory boxing gold.”
“For centuries, Guinness and whiskey have sent the Irish off their heads. Now all it takes is a petite 26-year-old from Wicklow,” the opening paragraph said.
“Dark-haired, deep-eyed and engaging, Taylor is not what you’d expect in a fighting Irishwoman, nor is she surrounded by people who’d prefer a punch to a potato.”
The Irish Ambassador to Australia, Noel White, quickly fired off a letter of complaint to Fairfax Media which resulted in the article being amended and the headline changed.
Ambassador White wrote: “The article by Peter Hanlon in today’s on-line editions of Fairfax publications is a welcome celebration of the achievements of Irish boxer Katie Taylor and a timely reflection of the pride that Irish people have taken for some time in her domination of the boxing ring.
“All the more disappointing then that the piece should lapse into lazy stereotyping. References to intoxication and to named drinks are inappropriate and beneath the standard that one expects of Fairfax Media.”
Peter Hanlon, the journalist who wrote the piece, told the ‘Irish Echo’ newspaper in Sydney that he was “deeply sorry”.
“I can only apologise and say that I abhor racism. The references in the story’s introduction, and further down to Katie’s closest supporters, were poorly chosen; I wish I had my time over,” he added.
The amended article ran with the headline: “Irish eyeing gold as Taylor swings into action”.
It carried an Editor’s note of apology and ran the Amnbassador’s letter in full:
: Dear Sir
The article by Peter Hanlon in today’s on-line editions of Fairfax publications (“Punch drunk: Ireland intoxicated as Taylor swings towards victory boxing gold”) is a welcome celebration of the achievements of Irish boxer Katie Taylor and a timely reflection of the pride that Irish people have taken for some time in her domination of the boxing ring. All the more disappointing then that the piece should lapse into lazy stereotyping. References to intoxication and to named drinks are inappropriate and beneath the standard that one expects of Fairfax Media. Irish people, much like Australians, take tremendous pride in their sporting heroes. Over the coming days, as Katie pursues her dream of Olympic glory, Irish communities at home, in Australia and around the world will be cheering her on. It is to be hoped that reporting on her performance will be free of the kind of commentary which causes unnecessary and unjustifiable upset.
Ambassador of Ireland to Australia
Another article published in USA Today also sparked criticism.
“Back home on the emerald-green isle, pints of Guinness flowed freely, perhaps enough to replenish the Irish Sea. The “punters” inside betting parlors wagered pounds as if they were bits of candy,” wrote the lead sports columnist for USA Today Jon Saraceno.
“It is not hyperbole to suggest that, when Taylor entered the ring, the weight of a prideful, scuffling nation rested on her muscular shoulders.”
It is a huge sporting weekend in Ireland, huge because on Saturday and Sunday the GAA Football Championship really takes off. On Saturday at Fitzgerald Stadium Kerry take on the team that have proved to be their Achilles Heel in the last few years. On Sunday other old enemies go to HQ to see if the Delaney Cup goes back to the Capital or if they get to party hard in Navan. As a Dublin of long standing I hope the Boys in Blue send the Hill home happy. I also hope that if Dublin do slip up in the Championship that Tyrone can somehow do it. Why Tyrone? Simply for their Manager. Their Manager who has shown immense strength and dignity through what can only be described as a nightmare.
For reasons I won’t bore you with I have time on my hands. The question which is now swirling around my head is how best to use this time? My ideas so far have not been very original, good or productive. They involve my purchase of a label maker and labeling my life, my processions and all the junk, paperwork and more junk that I have collected. It has involved me spending hours just pottering and hours of reading websites on my lovely new iMac (love at first sight), books and technology magazines. Basically I have not been using my time productively therefore today I am going to change that. I am going to spring into action and become a dynamo of useful work and industry. Just let me finish this chapter…
Every once in awhile you meet someone who comes into your life when you least expect it. Someone who becomes part of your day and who even when you least expect it you feel you know them for a long time. Someone who one day perhaps won’t be around because you can’t be there for them but you know will always be part of your life and someone you will always call your friend. That was a good day the day I met my friend who shall remain mine and mine alone.
Lawyers very often see the law and ideals of Justice in a different way from the public. Lawyers after all have a job to do, to defend those accused and to prosecute the same. The hope of all those who use, invest and need the criminal justice system is the same as that of the public. That the guilty will be found guilty and dealt with appropriately by the courts. Likewise those who are innocent should have nothing to fear from the courts and when you walk free your freedom is your own. The public helped by the media in every form can and do become emotionally involved in high profile cases and each person forms there own views based on what filters through from the courtroom.
While the trial of those accused of the murder of Michaela McAreavey has been on a number of levels questionable at the very least, we now need to take a step back and ask this question. Why after a trial of 8 weeks or so are we back to square one. We are no further on in knowing why this young woman was found dead in her hotel room. Sure there are huge questions around the conduct of the police and in my view the Judge. We also have to ask if these men are innocent why were they put on trial in the first place on such flimsy evidence. We the Irish people also have to acknowledge that if these men are innocent would we be happy to convict them just to punish someone for this awful crime . Above all other peoples we the Irish know that Justice being done for the sake of it is not Justice.
So the Facebook roadshow moved into the city that really matters on Monday. Zuck zipped up his hoodie and headed for NYC. Zuck was of course there to entice and convince Hedge Fund managers and investors that it is worth taking a gamble on him. And that is excatly what they will be doing as Zuckerberg will after IPO still hold 57.3% of Facebook stock. Still be in control. Forget about what Mark Zuckenberg and the rest of the stake holders will earn. To my mind the following are the questions investors will and should be asking if they are going to be sumping up $25 to $30 bucks a share.
* Will Zuckenberg contuine to act alone and sign cheques for up a billion dollars like he did with Instagram?
* Will Facebook and its board put some corporate governance in place to ensure the above can not be done by Zuck alone .
* Facebook wants both business and consumers to meet and do business and trust it as the platform to do so. They want us to use Facebook to talk to big business. Facebook is known to has issues around how it treats users information. Do you think big business has enough trust in Facebook to store, handle and protect all parties. Again the question hangs over their corporate governance and compliance.
* The last question surrounds the big if, which is if Facebook is to deliver for the markets and grow it has to find a way to get is all to buy into their advertising on smart phones. Even they admit as much. To be honest I don’t see it happening. I think you go on Facebook on your phone to quickly update your status and check your friends. I don’t think your going to engage with Coke Cola while you on the Subway and on Facebook. The fact that so much is riding on Facebook, mobile advertising and a complete change of governance and behavior inside the company leads me to think it’s a pipe dream. The Hedge Fund managers and big investors may be able to take a gamble on Facebook but I think the little guys should steer clear next week. We will have fun watching though.