Conspiracies every which way

On Wednesday I found myself fascinated by two of the stories being given blanket coverage by most of the UK news media.

Primarily, I think because they reflected the terrible, limited parochial interests they belie; but also because of the similarities between the stories.  In both, men, on the outer edges of public attention, caught out in wrong doing, with the incestuous spot light of attention they craved finally upon them, railed against the conspiracies which were unfairly bringing them down

To be clear, I’d never heard of the two men in the first story, before the recent storm hit.  Apparently they’re (or were) TV sports commentators.  I don’t remember their names, but the footage of them was repeated so frequently, that I think I’d recognise them if I ever happened to pass them in the street.

One has a face like a potato, and no hair.  The other one has hair, a square face and a pinched little mouth, that I expect he now wishes he’d kept shut.

They were caught out making troglodyte, disparaging remarks about a female official at a football match. And then gradually more footage of them being generally unpleasant was posted on Youtube.

The pinched mouth one with hair then went on a radio programme to promise on scouts honour that he’d apologised properly already, but that there were ‘dark forces at work’ against him and his potato head colleague.

I stopped paying attention to the actual story at this point (although I know it’s brought out all of the ‘all men are pigs, all women are harpies’ commentators in acres of print). Instead I started weaving my own.

The second story was that of Tommy Sheridan, a Glasgow politician convicted of perjury (in an earlier libel case against the News of the World) before Christmas, and sentenced to three years imprisonment on Wednesday.  After the hearing, his wife, a granite faced red-head, stood on the court steps and in her very deliberate way swore that they would ‘continue to fight the real criminals who are protected by the system; the rich and the powerful.’

It seems that because the newspaper may (or may not) have hacked his mobile phone he was justified in lying in court about visiting sex clubs.  And anyone who says different is a lackey of the conspiracy of the powerful.

You’ve got to love it.

Everyone is the hero of their own story, but it takes a particular mind set to believe that when things go wrong it must be because someone else is out to get you; and not just anyone, a vast conspiracy with you as its target.

Rather than ‘dark forces’ isn’t it much more likely that potato head and pinched mouth were so rude and unpleasant to their work colleagues that no-one liked them, and were biding their time, waiting for the opportunity to take a little piece of revenge?  And if you work in a TV studio there’s bound to be lots of recordings…..

Shouldn’t poor old Tommy be reflecting that if you’re going to lie, you’d better make absolutely sure that you don’t leave any trace?  Had he not read the stories of Jeffrey Archer or Jonathan Aitken?  Newspapers that have paid out in libel cases don’t stop digging around for evidence, they redouble their efforts.

Hubris is a great attribute to give a character; it gives great opportunities to bring them low.  In fiction, however the fall normally leads to greater insight or humility.  No sign of life imitating fiction in these stories just yet……but it’s great raw material.

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  1. This was so very interesting. I don’t follow as much news and happenings as I’d like [though you did say this was in the UK, and so those happenings are less likely to find their way to me either way] but this was a great post to read. I really loved the way you looked at it, and explained at the end about the point you were trying to make. I really like your writing style, it’s very neat and well-written. I know that my blog is very informal and messy, but this was nice. =]

    • Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. I’m not surprised you’ve not heard these stories – they are very local to the UK. I always enjoy making up my own stories from things I see in the news though – there is so much to improve upon!

  2. Great piece Rowena. Particularly liked the point about their naivety… people behaving badly, apparently ignorant of some simple human laws: you reap what you sow; karma…. Behave badly enough and often enough, and the people around you will seek an opportunity to pay you back. Dark forces? No, normal human functioning. Ignore it at your peril! x


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