Friday, March 20, 2009


I heard, by chance, the best bit of radio of the year this dinnertime, as I was travelling these sunlit valleys. As usual I was furiously switching stations when I happened upon 5 live. The increasingly odious Victoria Derbyshire had just started an interview with Graham Souness. Apparently, there had been a story in one of the papers about Souness acting like a berk at his nippers football match and swearing in front of a lady.

Souness gave his side of the story and admitted that he had become upset and that he had sworn in front of the lady, and immediately apologised. He said the issue was that in this match between 9 year olds, a player had been sent off inside the first ten minutes for taking a brutal kick at his nipper and soon after, another player had done the same. The gist of it seemed to be that the ref didn't want to send a second player off, so asked the coach to sub him (I think) but the coach refused. Souness then intervened as he thought the coaches behaviour was despicable, and ended up swearing at the coach, with a lady nearby.

The ensuing discussion was hilarious, as it was obvious that Souness was in a rare old fit of pique. Derbyshire did her best to provoke him and succeeded, demanding that he should apologise even though he had already done so and ignoring his point that the coach seemed to be condoning the violence that his 9 year old players were perpetrating on the pitch. Derbyshire was pious and self righteous, but Souness was having none of it and launched into her. She never stood a chance.

Souness is a bit charmless but I felt like applauding him. Too many BBC journalists think that it is their job to be outraged and to embarrass any public figure that appears on the radio. They think that by being discourteous and labouring a point, they are doing the public a favour but they are not, they are massaging their own egos and Derbyshire is one of the worst culprits. I often wonder how public figures remain so calm and so polite in the face of the nonsense, but Souness is made of sterner stuff , he turned the tables on her, but his outrage was genuine and he made her look like a tit. We need more of that kind of behaviour.

The presenters no doubt see themselves as heroic figures cutting through the crap and getting those in the public domain to explain themselves, however awkward it is for them. It ain't exactly Bernstein and Woodward stuff though, usually it is some hapless council spokesman who has committed the cardinal sin of following the rules (political correctness gone mad)or a sportsman, usually poorly educated, who is getting hammered for some mild response to a load of dogs abuse.

It struck, me, listening to this, that there is a bit of a double standard. Derbyshire accused Souness of patronising her (he wasn't) but she patronises people all the time. If you are known person, you get tough questions..............if you are member of the public with some idiotic gripe against officialdom, you are patronised, however peurile your argument may be. What Derbyshire and others don't seem to realise, is that they are the establishment, much more so than the likes of Souness, yet when the table is turned on them, they don't like it.

After the interview, Derbyshire admitted that most of the texts into the show were supportive of Souness; none of those texts were read out, yet one of her co presenters read out a couple that were against Souness. She admitted herself that the audience seemed to be against her, but the only texts that were read were those that supported her. It's a small and insignificant issue but it is illustrative of everything that gets on my nerves about 5 live.

I have been in a mood with Derbyshire all week. I can't stand the woman and hardly ever listen, but, you, know, I flick a lot, and she will pop up. I have heard her, briefly, twice this week and both times she has got on my nerves. Earlier in the week there was some middle class loon on, going on about her disabled son and his right to have a good shag, if only he could find someone to shag him. This woman was irritating beyond belief and believed that that world had conspired against her sons right to ejaculate into a person, rather than into a tissue.

She said that he had written a note to another disabled person, which said that he wanted to take a shower with her and spend the day in bed with her, but the daft bint had rejected him, and really, it wasn't fair. Rather than ask if she should be thinking about educating the chap about how to aproach people, Derbyshire positively cooed that it sounded georgeous. I don't think she would have found it so cute if the bloke was a hairy arsed docker, rather than a bloke with disabilities.

They were both banging on about it not being fair that the rest of us refuse to treat people with disabilities the same as we would anyone else, while pleading for special treatment on this chaps behalf. It's another small point, I know, but she gets on my nerves and she really doesn't deserve to be on national radio. This is the B.B Bloody C we are talking about, and half the time it sounds like amateur hour. Don't even get me started on the coverage of the death of the actress!

If I told you about some of the stuff I have been dealing with in work today, you absolutely wouldn't believe me. Never, ever, be surprised by the depths to which humanity can sink. And trust no one.
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