Thursday, 21 May 2015

Loosely whinging

I’ve spent the day tidying the house. I washed the carpet. I hoovered. I polished. I was like a cleaning machine. I wanted Shake and Vac, but couldn’t find any, but the sitting room looks and smells glorious. 
Far too much of my spare time was spent dealing with ITV and various other people regarding the Coleen Nolan nonsense on Loose Women. It all kicked off when I watched the show this afternoon and realised that no one was going to make any apologies for the debacle of the day before. To make matters worse, Coleen went off on another rant - this time, astonishingly, about the etiquette of apologising in relation to Thomas Cook’s boss and the Corfu “gas deaths.”
I immediately phoned up the complaints line at ITV, whinged for ten minutes, and was told, as I was yesterday, that someone at Loose Women would call me. No one called me yesterday, and no one called me today. In fact, later in the afternoon I was sent what can only be described as a threatening email from someone at ITV complaints informing me that I had effectively been banned from ever calling them again based on “the highly emotive nature of your repeated telephone calls, viewers services and all members of the Loose Women production team have been given instructions that all future correspondence with you on this matter is to take place in writing. I have instructed my team to reaffirm this communication and if they receive any further emotive challenges, they have  been authorised to terminate any future calls from you politely but immediately.” 
All a bit Third Reich if you ask me. If someone doesn’t play the game, pull rank and make it very difficult for them to complain in the future! It seems that my telling them that I had formally complained to Ofcom has got them in a panic.
Minutes later I received an official response from Loose Women telling me that Coleen “emphatically did not equate ISIS with homosexuality or gay marriage at any point.” Her email to me came across as a woman grasping at straws, and more than that, one who had obviously taken legal advice to find watertight justifications for what the various women had said. I was astonished and told her so in a response. Basically, the overwhelming fact which is coming out in all of this is that no one on the Loose Women team, not the presenters, or the producers, has any idea about the very specific situation that the LGBT community is in in Northern Ireland. They’re also taking me more seriously than anyone else. Nathan wrote to them yesterday and has still not heard anything back… 

Standing up for human rights is a tiring old business though! I don’t like the antagonism and have to view the whole thing as a game to stop myself from feeling deeply depressed. Nathan’s had some awful dealings on twitter with Christians with chips on their shoulders and I have been contacting people all day about the issue. It seems that the story has really captivated people. 250,000 people alone have looked at the PinkNews piece which was inspired by our initial frenzy of twitter activity yesterday. It was me who contacted the editor of the paper to tell him what had happened. 

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