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Monday, February 04, 2008 

Scum-watch: Potential breach of PCC code, gloating over Kevin Greening and more Helen Newlove.

Some of those with a tendency for remembering tedious nuggets of information about the media and its personalities might well recall that the News of the Screws under Piers Moron was heavily criticised for publishing photographs of Earl Spencer's then wife leaving a detoxification clinic. The Press Complaints Commission's code of practice quite clearly states that

ii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.

Note - Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Someone with a rather short memory then on the Scum has sailed close to the wind in publishing a photograph of Amy Winehouse not leaving the clinic she's undergoing drug treatment at, but apparently walking between buildings of the complex. It might of course be that the two buildings are in the line of sight of the general public, where the Sun can claim that there wouldn't be a reasonable expectation of privacy, but it might also be quite the opposite, as the snap is publicised as being taken by a paparazzi agency. The Scum could also argue that it's well known that La Winehouse has entered rehab, which mitigates against any claim that she has a reasonable expectation of privacy, but they seem to still be chancing their arm. The dog might yet snap it off. I certainly won't be weeping if it does.

Elsewhere, the Scum's been given another familiar, disgustingly prurient exclusive about Kevin Greening, details of which I'm not going to reproduce here. Last time it suggested someone had died in similar circumstances it was forced into giving an apology after it turned that the allegations were completely untrue.

Finally, Helen Newlove is given yet more space to talk about her anguish. Snipping out most of the personal, melodramatic crap:

MURDERED dad Garry Newlove’s widow Helen told yesterday how she contemplated suicide after vicious teen yobs beat him to death.

She sank desperately low, but has vowed to stay strong for their daughters Danielle, 18, Zoe, 15, and Amy, 13 — AND to campaign to drive thugs off our streets.

She said: “I’m going to do all I can to rid the streets of yobs. I don’t want anyone else to go through the hell we’re facing. The charter and the girls keep me from going under.”

As she's doomed to inevitable failure, one has to wonder whether she's either bullshitting or being thoroughly naive. Either way, the very last thing we need is her ludicrous charter.

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Helen Newlove is acting a bit odd isn't she.

'I'm so traumatised about my husband's death that I'm going to tell a national newspaper all about it in full detail, over-emotional photos n all, then I'm going to make up some "common sense" charter which let's me vent my anger, and solve all crime. Or maybe just vent my anger'.

Seems like a good match to me. She wants the attention and thinks she can change the world by sobbing a bit, and The Sun gets to exploit the crap out of her to tell a few papers.

If she's really that intent on ridding the street of criminals, she could always become a police officer. That is, of course, assuming she's overweight since they often are these days don't you know.

I don't want to be too critical of her, mainly because I don't know how I'd react to a close relative being killed in such a manner (although I don't think I'd resort to her positioning) and also because however much she's exploiting and being exploited by the Sun, I don't doubt that she's still grieving and that will influence much of what she says. That said, I can't help but find much other reaction than contempt for someone who suggests bringing back the birch.

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