Anti-kings­ford protesters should have had courage to face up to op­po­si­tion

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad -

SEE that name at the top of the page ... that’s me. See that pic­ture right next to it ... that’s me.

See when I say stuff in the Even­ing Ex­press, that’s me say­ing it.

Now, I know a lot of peo­ple won’t agree with me and a lot of peo­ple will. That’s the point.

And when peo­ple don’t like what I say, don’t like the words I use, don’t like the opin­ions I hold, don’t like me just be­cause, then that’s fine.

They can e-mail me (that’s it at the top of the page there) and I’ll re­ply to them.

They can pick up the phone and call me and I’ll chat to them.

They can come up and talk to me in the pub or in the street and I’ll hap­pily en­gage.

It’s part and par­cel of putting your views out into the pub­lic do­main, part of liv­ing in a healthy so­ci­ety where de­bate is

It hap­pens when you put your­self out there

needed, even if just to agree to dis­agree.

Which is why the No Kings­ford Sta­dium cam­paign was just out and out wrong to cre­ate a fake spokesman – one who even gave in­ter­views to the press, no less.

This sub­terfuge was ap­par­ently be­cause of the back­lash against any­one putting their name to views that oth­ers might dis­agree with.

Which is no good rea­son at all. I speak as some­one who has had the vilest abuse hurled at me over the years by peo­ple who don’t like what I say.

I have had let­ters say­ing the North-east would be bet­ter if I and my stink­ing fam­ily left the area for good.

I have had peo­ple call­ing into ques­tion my jour­nal­ist in­tegrity.

I have had peo­ple call­ing me a sad wee drunk who stag­gers home at night from the pub. I have had death threats.

And you know what, I just suck it up and move on.

Be­cause that’s what hap­pens when you put your­self out there.

It’s called hav­ing the courage of your con­vic­tions. If you be­lieve it, stand up for it.

So where’s the courage or con­vic­tion in the anti-sta­dium lobby putting up a fic­tional fig­ure­head? More to the point, where’s the in­tegrity?

This isn’t a case of mis­lead­ing the press, it’s a case of mis­lead­ing the pub­lic.

Jour­nal­ists strive for ac­cu­racy and fair­ness be­cause mis­takes hurts the brand. “If they can spell my name wrong, what else are they get­ting wrong.”

And in this case if No Kings­ford Sta­dium are will­ing to hood­wink the pub­lic over who speaks for them, what else are they will­ing to do?

sta­dium: Sup­port­ers of the No Kings­ford Sta­dium cam­paign at the Kings­ford site.

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