Friday, 5 November 2010

Does Richard Littlejohn know how to use Google?

I only ask because of the final "comedy " item in today's rant-a-thon:

If we’re going to give ­prisoners the vote, why not go the whole hog and let them stand for election. I’m sure there are embezzlers and bent accountants who could do a good job reducing the deficit at the Treasury. ‘And coming up before The One Show, a party political broadcast on behalf of the Yorkshire Ripper'
The thing is, prisoners ARE allowed to stand for election, provided they're serving a sentence of less than 12 months - something that may well cover a fair number of embezzlers and bent accountants.

I was fairly sure that this was the case and took all of three minutes to confirm it via Google. First I looked up the Bobby Sands article on Wikipedia (as surely any serious journalist knows that Sands was elected as an MP while serving in the Maze Prison), from where I followed a link to the entry on the "Anti H-Block Party" (which states that after Sands' election the law was changed to ban people standing if they're serving more than a year behind bars), and after than I Googled up the Electoral Commission's Media Handbook for General Elections (page six) to confirm it.

One hunch, two websites, three minutes.

How much does Richard Littlejohn get paid each year? Is it really so little that he can't afford an internet connection? And are the Daily Mail subs who check his copy too scared to change it, even if it's wrong?

Oh, and even if people serving more than one year WERE allowed to stand, Peter Sutcliffe would still be disqualified becasue section 141 of the the Mental Health Act says you can't be an MP if you've been sectioned for more than six months. Sutcliffe has now been in Broadmoor for 29 years.

Mind how you go, Richard.


Michael Nimmo said...

A nice article, but I would say that all you needed to do was post the title (and maybe a short 'no' after!). Littlejohn has amazing form on his lack of research in his articles. I'm a safety consultant and his lack of basic knowledge about Health & Safety is amazing. I can show him some simple stats on deaths and injuries in the UK and some lovely pictures and see his opinion then!

P. Stable said...

I can never decide whether he knows that he's talking bollocks but does do anyway because it makes him a lot of money, or whether he genuinely believes what he's saying.

If it's the latter, he certainly can't call himself a journalist as he's not capable of even the most basic research.

If it's the former, he's a liar and an all-round tosser.