Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nabila Ramdani twitter spat Another thought.

I want to point that Nabila Ramdani seemed to make it her business as a French citizen of Algerian decent to keep popping up on places like the BBC claiming that Libyans were as a group, inflicted with a tribal mentality such that they could not get on without Gaddafi to keep them in some kind of line. Should he fall Libya would, by implication turn into some version of Somalia. Whilst Libyans were dying in numbers, it is unsurprising therefore that Libyans seemed to take some exception at being described as such and as a consequence may have described Nabila Ramdani in terms which were either less than charitable or possibly not repeatable in polite company. Given the nature of her comments, were you to cast Libyans as a race her comments would be racist and as such I can entirely understand their anger.

Then when Gaddafi met his fate, it appears she changed her tune a bit. (In part because spouting the same somewhat inexpert nonsense would not do her any favours.) Some began to speculate at he volte face and indeed possible motivation for spouting bile about Libyans in the first place and subsequently changing her tune. It is in this context that the tweet was made and the reply given which was retweeted by me.

The moral of the story is, calling 6 million people who are dying to overthrow a vicious dictator a bunch of tribal ingrates may not get polite responses from them.

If after reading what I have just written you think my actions are capable of any criticism I would welcome hearing why.

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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Police don't investigate Tory activist not calling woman a whore shocker!

Police are apparently not investigating a Conservative activist (me) for not calling Nabila Ramdani a whore. That said you would not get that impression from the article on line at the Evening Standard here currently titled "Police investigate after Tory activist tweets woman is 'whore'" though its previous title which was even more defamatory towards me has been changed , or presumably from their paper edition.

What does appear to be true (though I am only taking Associated Newspapers word for it) is that the police/police watchdog are investigating why the police are not investigating. (Presumably because there is no crime, for there is none made out).

This stems from Nabila Ramdani presumably being short of work and therefore looking to raise he profile as some kind of victim of hate, misogyny and racism, which of course she is not.

I will start with the context, for here context is key.

I had been following the Libyan situation on twitter, primarily because it was the only way to keep up once the main stream media had got bored with it.

Nabila Ramdani kept on popping up as being some kind of Middle East/North Africa expert (Which she obviously isn't) and discussing the state of Libya as the war with Gaddafi raged. She took the position that in essence Libya would fall into chaos, tribal warfare etc without Gaddafi, that it was beset by tribal issues and so on. By implication it would be better if Gaddafi stayed.

Many Libyan's following the situation and I on twitter noted her "expert opinions" and from their knowledge denounced her statements. On the 20th of October Gaddafi was captured and then either executed or died of his injuries. On the same day Nabila Ramdani popped back up saying that maybe Gaddafi deserved it and her tone changed.

In this context I tweeted:

@LibyaNewDay @NabilaRamdani Yes... but she did say #Gaddafi getting it was his fault... maybe she isn't getting paid any more.

and @LibyaNewDay tweeted (which I retweeted)

@BenedictMPWhite Exactly what I was thinking, @NabilaRamdani has toned down her love of Gaddafi. No more paypacket #Gaddafiwhores

You can see the relevant time line here.

What is clear is that at no point did I tweet that Nabila Ramdani is a whore, and the tweet I retweeted had the hashtag #GaddafiWhore which clearly implies a non sexual use of the term in this context.

I will do some more digging later and add to this article.