Sunday, 3 March 2013

An Open Letter to Steve Giddins

The following is not a response to the article Make War, Not Peace that Mr. Giddins published on his blog on Friday February 22. While I have no idea why Mr. Giddins felt compelled to respond in such a derogatory manner, he said nothing of particular note. In fact, to a certain extent, I found it amusing that he'd even bothered. I wish him the best of luck getting a free lunch off Mr. Paulson.

Instead, this post concerns the text in this image. It hasn't responded well to being blown up so I will provide a transcription.

'There is an interesting PS to this. I was contacted yesterday evening by someone who met Makepeace at a 4NCL weekend. He describes him as "a detestable, arrogant fucker", who was "vulgar, loud, sexist and alcohol-fuelled". Of course, one should be careful of judging someone on the basis of an "impromptu meeting"...'

That appeared on Mr. Giddins' Facebook wall at around 10am on the same Friday. Mr. Giddins' Facebook wall is public, which is how I was able to view it. So, in effect, he placed these defamatory comments about me in the public domain.

I contacted Mr. Giddins that evening, asking him to name his source. He refused but nevertheless removed the comments from his Facebook wall. That was one positive step but, in the same message, he declared his allegiance with the comments as written. The next Tuesday, I repeated my request for him to name his source, giving him the option to instead publish an apology on his blog. He again refused.

So, here we are. 

Mr. Giddins,

It didn't have to come to this. I have repeatedly requested that you qualify the comments you published on your Facebook wall on Friday February 22. Or, alternatively, simply apologise for publishing them in the first place.

We have never met. I therefore find it puzzling that you would not entertain the prospect of your source having provided inaccurate information. I understand why you refuse to name your source, unless of course they don't exist, in which case you've just been shooting for adjectives in a barrel of your own lies.

I am not parading myself as a paragon of virtue. Just so we're clear, I am particularly unhappy about the terms sexist and alcohol-fuelled, considering I am a feminist campaigner who barely drinks.

Now, of course, this is not the first time our paths have crossed like this. In 2011, Release The Kraken published two fairly scathing articles about what I perceived to be a lack of journalistic integrity on your part. I regret some of what I said, particularly suggesting you might have had a nervous breakdown. I now realise that it was insensitive to say that about someone without a brain.

I once again call on you to do the following things:

1. Name your source.
2. Publish a retraction and apology.

If you think that this is over, then you're wrong.

Phil Makepeace

London W12

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Release The Kraken by Philip Makepeace and Christopher Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.