Readers of the Paisley Daily Express might have seen in today’s letters page, a letter from me under the bizarre headline “Terry: I don’t support murder” the fact that this headline appeared in a newspaper with no hint of satire or irony is cause for concern. It is a bizarre headline and suggests that the readers of the PDX are likely to take it seriously, that shows a lack of respect for the readers, I think the paper has judged it’s readers wrongly. I doubt any of them would think that I would condone murder so, why has it come to this ?
The Paisley Daily Express employs a journalist called Kenneth Speirs, this man regularly reads my blog and has fallen into the habit of lifting stories from it and trying to spin controversy around them, I suppose he has to make a living and in the past I have treated him with a degree of condescension which he probably found irritating, my attitude to him was designed to emphasize that I knew what he was up to and didn’t mind all that much as long as it didn’t get too serious, well, leading up to this latest headline it just did.
I wrote an article about the Royal Family which was designed to be critical and satirical, mainly about the cost of the Monarchy; the article can still be read in the back copies of my blog. During the article I speculated as follows “I wonder how many hospitals and schools etc. we could have built if we did what the Bolsheviks did all those years ago?” By the time Mr. Speirs had twisted it around for a while it came out as the following headline, “WE’D BE BETTER OFF IF HER MAJESTY WAS MURDERED” there are two main points which Mr. Speirs has deliberately twisted to get his spurious headline, he claims that I said that we would be better off, which I didn’t say and links it to me saying if she was murdered which once again I didn’t say, not a good day for the PDX.
I normally roll with the punches from minor journalists but this guy went too far, I was very disappointed that the PDX printed this and I felt that I had to complain, in defence of the paper I have to say that the editor immediately offered me a “right of reply” to put the record straight, I regard this as an acceptance from the paper that he was wrong. I have told Mr. Speirs not to contact me in future so I hope he will have to work a wee bit harder to find stories, or perhaps he will just make them up. As for the Royal Family, it’s business as usual.