Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Nabila Ramdani twitter spat update

There is now a blog post over at the Telegraph here, by Katharine Birbalsingh who claims to have read my blog post but clearly had not properly (is she supposed to be a good teacher?).

It has had some of the more defamatory elements removed. However a comment by Andy Cooke here is a very good summary of the events so far, and it is here:

So, the facts of the case are:
1. Mr White (who, according to the blog linked above, grew up in the Middle East before his family fled the violence), was understandably interested in the Libya campaign and followed (and contributed to) the discussion on Twitter

2. Ms Ramdani also was involved in the Libya discussions, repeatedly opining (in wider media sources as well as online) that if Gaddafi were removed, Libya would fall into chaos and tribal warfare.

3. A number of people on Twitter (including Mr White) disagreed with and attempted to debunk her claims.

4.  When Gaddafi finally fell, Ms Ramdani "popped back up saying that maybe Gaddafi deserved it and her tone changed"

5. Some of the people on twitter who had taken exception to her implication that Gaddafi's removal would be a bad thing for Libya, highlighted the sudden change of tone with an implication that she had had a financial interest in the issue.  Specifically, the Twitter uses "LibyaNewDay" stated it in a disbelieving tweet that BBC news were broadcasting her, to which Mr White responded "Yes, but she did say that Gadaffi getting it was his fault ... maybe she isn't getting paid any more"

6. "LibyaNewDay" responded "Exactly what I was thinking, @NabilaRamdani has toned down her love of Gaddafi. No more paypacket #Gaddafiwhores", which Mr White retweeted.

7. Ms Ramdani blew the incident up to the police and papers, including writing an article for the Guardian accusing Mr White of calling her "an immigrant prostitute", claiming that they used a 'whore' hashtag and "spiced up their principal insult with as many sexual allusions as they could fit into the 140 characters that Twitter allows".  the latter appears to be completely unfounded.

8. Ms Birbalsingh pops up and uses the spat - well, as seen in the article above, whilst claiming to have read Mr White's version posted on his blog (which, incidentally, contains links to the primary source (the Twitter feed) unlike Ms Ramdani's version.

I've seen plenty of discussions on the internet, and terms like "commentwhoring" and "karmawhoring" (aiming to write comments specifically to gain support rather than to engage in debate), and, of course, "attentionwhoring".  None of them ever seem to be interpreted to mean that the person discussed (usually more frequently male than female) is in fact a prostitute.
Of course, anyone aiming to blow these comments up out of context to make a point unsupported by the facts would of necessity separate the "whore" bit (as Ms Burbalsingh did above) or drop off the rest of the word entirely (as Ms Ramdani has done).  None of Mr White's comments even seem to imply anything sexual at all, let alone her being "an immigrant prostitute".

On the face of it, it seems that Ms Ramdani has used the incident to try to make a political point that isn't there, using it as an excuse to try to slam the Conservatives.  An unkind observer would possibly suspect mischief on her behalf.  Ms Burbalsingh has used the incident to lament the fact that such claims damage the chance of a full Tory Government in power, and baldly state that Mr White is guilty of "racist and misogynist behaviour".   Similarly, this would seem to be playing into Ms Ramdani's hands - explicitly claiming that her accusations are true but trying to wash the Conservatives hands of Mr White.

Personally, if I were Mr White, I'd wonder if Ms Ramdani's statements were actionable, and Ms Burbalsingh's likewise - a number of the statements in the article above being apparently unsupported by the facts (which Ms Burbalsingh states she had access to via Mr White's blog and link to the relevant discussion) and heavily insulting of Mr White's character, yet repeated in a public organ with wide circulation.  It does call into question Ms Burbalsingh's reliability on any article she has published.

Looks like a good summary to me. My previous article on the subject is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Katharine Birbalsingh's blog on the subject is now 'closed for comments' and all previous comments have been removed! No mention of her stealthily changing the second para of her blog to remove untrue comments about Mr. White (without mentioning she had done so) nor the changing of the headline from "Arab Whore...." to "Gadaffi Whore....". Funny that.

I hope you press for a very, very grovelling apology, Mr. White.

Kisses, Cassandra (sorry about the 'anonymous' tag, but I don't know how to do that other stuff)