Truth and Consequences.

cute-animals-sleeping-stuffed-toys-36I slept so much yesterday, after they increased the Ketamine and Midazolam, that by midnight I was wide awake and contemplating the world and all its meaning. As you do.

I spent a fair amount of time debating with myself the meaning of the word ‘friend’. To me, someone like ‘Old Holborn’, David Rose, James Gillespie or ‘Blocked Dwarf’ is a friend. Neither have asked anything of me; I have never had to lend them money, or been asked to lie on their behalf. They have just been there, quietly in the background of my life, ready to share in the good moments, supportive in the bad moments. I trust I have been the same for them. We have met in real life; shared a coffee or two. Met each other’s partners, been welcome in each other’s homes. Neither have run away squealing ‘don’t include me’ when it looked as though being ‘friends’ with me might be inconvenient. That is my definition of a friend.

The Internet, it seems, has a different definition of a ‘friend’. To the Internet, someone is a ‘friend’ if they ‘follow’ you by ticking on a box. This is a strange definition. It has no tangible content. An anonymous stranger ticks on a box – an act you play no part in – and henceforth they are your ‘friend’. You never meet. You do not speak. There is no mutual exchange of goodwill, in fact it would appear that the only part you can play in this game is to be punished for having this person as a ‘friend’. The Internet friends have lots of different names. Janette Scharenbourg is apparently a ‘friend’ of mine because she phoned me on Facetime and talked about her illness. Then people appeared on my timeline saying that ‘the welsh woman’ was my friend, or the ‘tulip lady’ or ‘the dutch lady’. I’m supposed to know who this is. Not only know who this is, but hang my head in shame for this person being my ‘friend’. You start getting DMs explaining that that ‘tulip lady’ is Janette Scharenbourg and that she has been trolling someone called Sonia Poulton who you also have never heard of, along with Simon Just who works with Barbara Hewson and who hates Old Holborn. Then you start getting DMs saying that someone else you have never heard of is never going to speak to you again because you are friends with the ‘tulip lady’.

It’s an odd world. For days I got DMs from someone called addeybob. He was very helpful. Obviously knew a lot about palliative care. Gave me reams of advice about cannabis liquids I think they were, and how they could help me manage the pain. Ever so friendly and helpful. Then suddenly one night he said it made him sick to see me ‘bigging up’ Old Holborn’ (I hadn’t mentioned Old Holborn at all!)  and told me to ‘sort it’ – then blocked me so whatever I was supposed to sort, I couldn’t have sorted anyway! I have no idea what that is all about. Has ‘addeybob’ ticked a box somewhere saying I am a friend of his? Will someone else come along and  hurl abuse across the cyber waves at me for being a ‘friend’ of ‘addeybobs’? Because if Janette manages to be a ‘friend’ of mine for phoning me once, then surely he is a ‘friend’ of mine for DMing me a dozen times?

Both Blocked Dwarf and Old Holborn, and indeed David Rose and James Gillespie, have opinions on some subject that I don’t agree with, but it is just one opinion on one subject, such a small part of the whole person, that it doesn’t impinge on the friendship and warmth I feel towards them. I am sure I hold views on some subjects that they don’t agree with – I have always been anti-abortion, and I know that at least one of them would disagree profoundly with me on that subject, but because we know each other ‘in the round’ as it were, in real life, we manage to stay friends, friends with diverging views. It seems that in cyber land, you must hold identical views or be shunned forever. A strange world with strange consequences if you fall foul of its rules.

Truth is another issue in cyberworld.  I believe in the truth.

If I didn’t believe in the truth I would never have written the original posts on Duncroft. I couldn’t just write ‘Bebe Roberts is lying, Savile wasn’t at Duncroft in 1965′ – I had to write the whole story, how I came to be there, how I knew she was lying’. That cost me dear, because many people were embarrassed at me revealing my background. They didn’t want to be associated with someone who had such an ‘awkward’ family background. It didn’t fit in with their social milieu; they would have preferred that I lied. My family are embarrassed to be seen in a photograph with me because I didn’t go to the right schools, and didn’t follow the right career path. I didn’t have their choices. I did the best that I could with what I had. I’m embarrassed to be seen in photograph with them actually – I know how many lies they conceal. They are still my family, so their photograph stays on my profile. They are the best I have.

Amanda Savile wanted me to lie. She has turned her back on me because I told the truth. She says the truth has embarrassed her and her family. That hurt me greatly because I have supported her for five years. Listened to all her worries and concerns, tried to offer advice that might help her, tried to be a friend, albeit a cyber friend, for we have only met once when she wanted me to take part in a programme to be made by Louis Theroux – then she found out that Louis was planning to tell the truth and she didn’t want to take part in that programme any longer. It was never made.

Then there was Sister Frances. A friend of hers wrote to me asking me to write about her because the main stream media were not writing her story of why she had been banned from the hospice she founded. So I did a lot of research and wrote the story. I linked back to all the documents and newspaper stories I had found so everyone could check out what I said and make their own mind up. As soon as it was published I had Ros Burnett on the phone to me saying Sister Frances wanted the article taken down. Why? Had I got something wrong, left something out? I said if I had, I would issue an apology and a correction straight away. No, I hadn’t got anything wrong, nor left anything out – I had written the truth, and she didn’t like seeing the truth in print. Now Sister Frances is in charge of FACT, the organisation for the falsely accused, and I am in the dog house for writing the truth.

I thought Gloria Smudd was my friend. I have known her for ten years. Originally when I left Anorak, she and I were going to write a blog together, but she had huge family problems, and I spent hours listening to her on the phone trying to sort things out for her. There are some subjects that I have never written about for fear it would upset her, even though they were subjects I should have been writing about.  Eventually they were sorted but another huge family problem arose and I spent another five years or so listening to her tears and trying to help her through it. Eventually that was sorted, and Lo! another family family problem arose. Again I would spend hours listening to her. Ten years had gone by and she had never contributed more than a couple of articles to the blog – but by that time I had become immersed in false allegations – and she decided that she didn’t even want to comment on the blog in case anyone realised who Gloria Smudd was in real life. That hurt. Someone else who can’t face the truth, wants it hidden away behind lies.

I won’t lie for these people.

I won’t pretend that Old Holborn isn’t a friend of mind to please someone hiding behind a false name that I have never met.

I never made any pretence of the fact that the media were welcome to use my ‘story’ in anyway that would publicise the NHS Litigation Fund issue. I didn’t put any restrictions on what they were allowed to say about me, or not say. My only request was that the faces of my grandchildren be pixellated.

The things Barbara Hewson has been saying are beyond offensive. To suggest that Andrew Rosthorne ‘couldn’t be arsed’ to come down to London for the count is simply untrue. It was going to cost him £600 to stay in London overnight. I told him it wasn’t necessary. Then Barbara asked him if she could be his deputy. I thought it was a great idea, she said she wanted to write an article for the Spectator. It seemed a wonderful opportunity for her to meet Jeremy Corbyn. I am shocked that she is mixed up with these people – people who have run vicious trolling campaigns against numerous people.

My inbox is filled with screenshots going back years from people who thought they were alone, frighted people, people with panic alarms fitted in their homes, because they have been cyber bullied for holding the wrong opinion, or being friends with the wrong people. Frankly if the Internet closed down tomorrow I shouldn’t mourn its loss. It was a great idea, but one that has played into the hands of the wrong people.

I shall continue to write. Perhaps not every day. Today I slept most of today, including thorugh most of a visit from some dear friends on their way to Cyprus – I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. After the week-end I shall be moved to one of the several community hospitals in this area. I shall be sad to leave this room, but unfortunately, other people have seen Ms Hewson’s Tweets and more phone calls have been made to my local health authority – whether by Ms Hewson, or by others who thought they would help her campaign along by joining in, I don’t know; they have all been anonymous – but the sum effect is that my Doctor is concerned about the situation and wants me moved somewhere where I can have peace and quiet and write to my hearts content, without worrying about who might be coming to the door next.  She is as angry as Mr G is now.

I am lucky in having had the same palliative care Doctor for some years now, and she is well aware of what a beneficial effect writing has on me, and is determined that I am able to continue to do what I can, for as long as I can, in peace and quiet. I want to tackle the area of Elder abuse, and also the situation regarding GPs leaving in their droves because they cannot afford the new insurance rates for working part time. I want to look at Grenfell Towers and the Corbynistsa move for a revolution in the streets to depose Theresa May and her government – but with the dead still uncounted, it doesn’t seem decent to start apportioning blame.  I shall continue to engage politely on Twitter – I seem to have acquired several new cyber friends on Twitter and so long as they wish to debate politely, then I shall continue to converse with them. I will not be drawn into taking ‘sides’ with anyone. I don’t so ‘sides’. I do truth.

That is me. I am what I am. Don’t read me if you don’t like it.

To those of my commentators who have found me here – welcome. The virtual pub is open and will be as long as I have breath in my body. Your familiar faces are a welcome boost to me.

32 thoughts on “Truth and Consequences.

  1. Hi Anna,
    I hope you consider some of your cyber friends real friends too! I have found some wonderful true friends on the internet, mostly through the Inspire cancer site which is very good. From Australia to America and Canada and all over the UK and we became as close as any personal friends, I even ventured to Canada to meet one and it was wonderful. Sadly we lost one last Thursday, a truly lovely lady, more worried about her husband of 60 years than herself. I am very sorry that you are having to leave your lovely room, Mr. G put so much work into making it perfect for you and I hope you can return soon. The evil that trolls do is beyond my understanding and that they have caused so many good blogs to stop for their own safety is surely criminal, I used to read OH and liked the blog. I hope you can keep writing for a long time, I have been reading you for so long I really missed you when you stopped for a while. Take care of yourself.
    Carol

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  2. I have met very few people from the Internet. Mostly because I’m an insular and generally unsociable bugger who lives in the middle of nowhere and prefers to stay there. I haven’t even met the neighbour here yet, but they’re at least half a mile away.

    Keep telling the truth, Anna. Someone has to.

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  3. You really cannot make this stuff up Anna, yes I did face time with you, I saw how you were being trolled by certain people on your Twitter account, the same people did not believe it was you, I know how ill you are and how ill you have been, After our chat, which by the way enlightened me on several things I contacted a few of those that had been involved in trolling you to tell them I had spoken to you and that it really was you, (I hoped they would leave you alone) that I had seen your face with a lovely smile laying in your bed, they weren’t having it and I was promptly blocked by them, I told you Anna of the struggle I had had over the last 6 years coping with my illness and the horrible operations I had undergone, only to be like yourself made fun of when I was laying in a hospital bed with a green Nasal Oxygen Catheter http://www.mediconsurgical.com/nasal_oxygen_catheter.htm up my nose, where else would it be, certainly not in my backside! yet these nasty trolls decided that it was me trying to get sympathy and sticking a straw up my nose, not only that but making meme’s and posting it all over the internet. Yes, Anna, it does bloody well hurt, not just me, but also my family! it is difficult enough coping every day never knowing what is coming, yet these people seem to want to pour salt into ones already gaping wounds. I can only think that these non-entities (they are certainly not human beings, as they do not have any conscience or compassion in them) have nothing better to do with their time. I wish you well Anna, sleep well, if you feel like a chat I’m only a keystroke away.

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  4. My, how the truth locks its enemies into a vortex that they cannot escape; exactly as your voice is distilled into a rhapsody of principle – straightforward, and thus to the crux of issues. This is precisely what they cannot be, neither can they deal with those who can. I see Barbara obsessively quotes you, only because she doesn’t like reading you. What a hateful existence that must be!

    I’m very much eniched by seeing more of your mind Anna* (deference to your nom de plume), and by that I mean your wit (truly hilarious), your objectiveness (wherein you graciously take people by their face) and your sublime clarity – that’s a reward you give to us, so please take heed, good ladies and gents.

    Many blessings to you and all you love. And many thanks.

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  5. I think you’re right that the internet has changed how we view friendship in some ways. For instance, you and I have only met once, not enough to count as real “friendship”; the rest of our correspondence has been in the form of tweets and occasional brief emails. Yet I still check every day to see how you’re doing, and am glad when I see your pink raccoon avatar pop up in the comments section of the blog…that’s perhaps not friendship in the “shared experiences, good and bad” sense, but it’s a connection I value.

    That said, I know exactly what you mean about the strange politics of who one follows or does not follow, who one blocks or does not block, who one retweets or does not retweet. In some ways I feel a new social language is being born, but it’s damned difficult to understand at times.

    I hope you won’t need to be away from your lovely room for too long; it seems a shame that it’s been built with such love and care, only to be abandoned. But of course, your own safety must come first. I hope you’ll be back to it as quickly as possible.

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  6. Just for the record, whatever issue AR and I disagree about it isn’t abortion. I’m violently ‘Pro Life’ (God I hate that phrase) & indeed in my younger days was on the fringes of the ‘shoot abortionists to protect life’ scene. I haven’t done much in my life to be proud of but helping to save the life of a couple of babies along the way are among the things i am proud. BTW I’m not ‘catholic’ about it, i am aware there instances where an abortion is a purely medical decision to save the life of the mother or to prevent the birthing of a child so misformed as to have no quality of life etc (and I’m talking ‘missing head’ type misformations, not just because it might be born ginger). Although I personally think it is wrong to punish a child for the sins of the father, I do understand there are women not strong enough to birth the result of a rape and (and this is important) to love it there after.

    Something I do disagree with the Landlady about is her treatment of those friends who have hurt her/betrayed her or lied to her (the one really capital sin in her eyes, everything else she seems to be able to forgive). I understand her righteous anger but, as I have reminded her in person, the last perfect human got himself nailed to a tree some 2000 years ago. Ergo there are no perfect humans left and no perfect friends, we will all fuck up at some point. I pray God she lives long enough to ‘fuck up’ with me.

    On a more cheerful note, I went and saw her the other day. Mr G has kindly fitted double doors to her palace so I can stand out in the garden and have a smoke whilst talking to her. He is good to me, that man. At one point I was about to get up and step into the garden for a smoke when La Raccoon asked if she might have one. Regulars will know she was a smoker until she discovered a passionate vaper – to an extent she’ll refuse to obey all the petty spiteful rules about not being allowed to vape various places (who the fuck came up with the idea to ban vaping in hospices?!?!? ).

    Of course I proffered her a smoke, a filterless Gauloises should anyone be interested for technical reasons, and after having ensured the oxygen was off, then, having been brought up proper like n all, I lit it for her. As I did so, as she took that first drag, for a spilt second I ‘saw’ the old raccoon, the girl I was born far too long after to have known. The face of the woman who turned heads in the Lyons tea rooms of Old London Town. The face of the woman who managed to make a house coat ‘work’ reclining on that chaise longue-her legs going on pass the f-stops. I can’t explain it very well I’m afraid but there is some magical attribute to smoking that vaping just doesn’t have. Sorry vapers, but it’s true.

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  7. JS2, here’s a reply left for you on after a previous attempt to slither under the door:

    Bandini November 20, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Er, unless my memory is failing me (note: it isn’t, so don’t waste your time denying it) the writer of the above thought it would be a good idea to tweet two photographs, side by side, to her thousands of hapless followers; one picture was of a notorious killer (whose new identity is protected by law as his crime was committed when he himself was a child), the other of someone with whom she had an internet-beef & who was known NOT to be the notorious killer… but she suggested that maybe they were one and the same, hoping that some ‘vigilante’ would help her out… Luckily, the evil plan didn’t quite take off.

    Previously falsely-identified individuals had their lives turned upside down – or worse:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2186431/Father-killed-hate-mob-wrongly-accused-James-Bulger-child-killer-Robert-Thompson.html

    (And let’s not ignore the anguish that the original victim’s family could once again have been put through as they were pestered & hounded by ‘vigilantes’/the press.)

    Mentioning the bible is laughable. It’s not my place to say, I know, but if it were I’d tell JS2 to ‘fuck off’. Then I’d fumigate the place.

    ____________________

    As apt now as it was then. Amen!

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  8. “Frankly if the Internet closed down tomorrow I shouldn’t mourn its loss. It was a great idea, but one that has played into the hands of the wrong people.”

    Straight to the heart of the matter, as always, though I have long been in awe of the skill and apparent ease with which you have managed to navigate its stormy, polluted waters. Sadly, human nature being what it is, there was probably little hope of it ever being an unmitigated force for good, especially since it has coincided with (or contributed to) the triumph of virtue signalling over truth and moral integrity.

    If you are looking into the Corbynista phenomenon, you might take another wander back to the 17th century and the Puritan pamphleteers; there’s something eerily familiar in the story of a revolutionary movement fuelled by unprecedented access to mass communication and believing that its leaders have an unassailable right to the moral high ground. As I recall, that didn’t end too well…

    I am, however very grateful to the internet for the chance to enjoy your writing and, on a couple of occasions the chance to appreciate your conversation at first hand. You’re right that the term ‘friend’ has lost its way, but if your definition hinges on goodwill, you certainly have mine.

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  9. Not only but also – a friend arranged to have 40 of that forgotten item, a menthol cigarette! a real menthol cigarette transported from Spain for me – on Wednesday night, so I was able to enjoy a glass of excellent wine, a nibble of camembert on a cheese biscuit, and something called a ‘Mademoiselle, a thin Spanish menthol cigarette – truly a moment to treasure after three years.
    I am with you totally on the abortion front. I cannot accept that human life only begins once the foetus has passed down the birth canal. That always seems to me to be a legal nicety to allow for abortion that feminists demanded as the price for having control over their own bodies. There is something magical about the fact of conception – and no legal argument will ever sway me. There are other ways of having control over your body – and don’t get me started on the ‘morning after’ pill…..but this is neither the time nor the place for that debate. I am well aware that many disagree with me.

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  10. One thing that fascinates me, and I will name no names, is the number of ‘good’ blogs, by which I mean blogs that are trying to offer some help to other people in various forms, actually turn out to be run by people who are battling serious health conditions themselves. It is a phenomenon that deserves further investigation but I don’t want to identify anyone. Maybe it is a way of diverting attention from your own troubles that some of us find helpful.

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  11. The sun is shining, and I am truly shocked that so many have abused a connection with you.
    Many years ago, I was a mum with 3 kids all under 6 yrs old, one who has a severe disability .
    I in desperation for contact, as I was mostly housebound, joined a chat room!
    Over time I met in person a handful of the friends I made, some were complete arses, but a couple and one in particular is my best friend.
    She’s stood by me in good times and bad.
    People come into our lives, for a reason , a season, or a lifetime.
    We are all unique and Christ almighty, how boring would it be if we were all the same!

    I hope the goldfinches visit and you relax and get some peace if that’s what you want, or raucous entertainment if you want that as well.

    Sorry I never met you sooner in this virtual world.

    Btw I also don’t agree with everything OH says, but amazingly he strikes me as a good egg .

    Have a lovely day m’dear.

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  12. Good Morning Anna, you don’t know me and I’m not a cyber friend of yours. I’m not a cyber friend of anyone. I don’t have social media accounts so don’t tick boxes. Though I use to have a twitter account (or 3 before I gave up) I was hounded off the platform by Janette Scharenborg and her gang. And it is a gang, if you look closely. How she gets away with what she does only she knows. She claimed to be licenced to carry a concealed weapon (after inviting me to meet with her in London) I think it is understandable why we didn’t meet? She also claimed she was working with Theresa May, she even posted Home Office stationary as proof. She sent me a link to a chatroom, which I didn’t go into, claiming I would find certain Tweeters soliciting under age on it. Why send it to me and not the police? I was later cautioned that she infects peoples devices or hacks them that way. I had a bad up-bringing, I don’t trust easily but I am sometimes fooled. I was by Mrs Scharenborg, briefly, in the very beginning of my Twitter journey when I joined to show some support to Steven Messham after his Panarama interview that ended with Sally Bercow in court after she asked why #McAlpine was trending. Scharenborg is a spider sitting in her own glistening web, weaving layer over layer when found out. Watch out!

    As for Adeynob? Hey Man, what can I say dude? Jenniejenjen is nothing but a construct, is his wacky tune. It’s either drugs, a mental health problem, or, maybe only him and Janette can explain it?

    On a nicer note, I have read your blog every so often and enjoy the way you express yourself. I wish you everything of the best in your preparation for the next stage of what it is we shuffle onto after this. I have a Reg shaped gap in my life. He taught me so much about waiting and preparing and going with grace. Never the less, my choice is Dignitas at the end.

    Fare well ( I wont so friend) We are all one in the grand scheme of things.

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  13. One of the good things about not believing in gods is that one doesn’t have to argue about them. (Although, should any-one be interested, I can, by means of a little sophistry, prove their existence.)

    The second pillar of T.B.D.’s comment, however, is a good description of the way smoking goes: when one first lights up — cigar, cigarette or pipe, it matters not — it’s very pleasant; the closer one comes to the end or the bottom of the bowl, the more the pleasure wanes.

    By the way, T.B.D., you’re right: that much leg is inequitable; they ought to have been continued on the next girl!

    ΠΞ

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  14. @pxanthippou
    O/T but after posting my last comment I wandered down to the car boot . Got this for £1. I assume something called a ‘lady pipe’? Can’t see any maker on it but maybe after I have cleaned it. It appears to have a hallmarked silver ferrule (is that the right word?):https://s13.postimg.org/70wegzn2v/IMG-20170617-00033.jpg

    I thought it might do for when I want a pipe that doesn’t take a week to smoke like my Oom Pauls.

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  15. Not sure about its being a ‘lady’ pipe, T.B.D. When ever I’ve seen such things marketed, they’ve been in girly colours.

    I think I too should call it a ferrule; don’t recognize the hallmark.

    ΠΞ

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  16. This business of “online friends”, “Twitter friends”, etc. just seems so silly to me. I wouldn’t consider anyone I hadn’t met in real life and built a relationship with a friend and not necessarily even then! I think a true friend is someone with whom you don’t need to put up a front and whom you can trust not to gossip about you, betray a confidence or betray your trust in another way. They are at heart “on your side”, which may on occasion involve telling you some home truths. And vice versa, as it obviously works both ways. But they won’t necessarily tell you their intimate secrets, or if they do, want you to reveal them, as everyone has a privacy level, even with friends. Differences should, in my view, be settled in private as anything else would, as I see it, betray the aforementioned trust. I think those are wise words above from The Blocked Dwarf.

    Having said all that, I learned a couple of years ago that one’s perception of reality and of other people and their attitudes may be skewed by the state of one’s health and the mind can sometimes play tricks. If there is any chance of that, I think it would be wise to listen to how trusted friends perceive a situation, your role in it and other people, whether you know those people in real life or have only interacted online.

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  17. ” may be skewed by the state of one’s health and the mind can sometimes play tricks”
    Indeed they can and The Landlady I have spoken about this on a couple of occasions. She is, trust me, very aware of the effect of the drugs on her emotional state but I must say her ‘mind’ seems as sharp and clear as ever. I defy anyone else to think let alone write and talk coherently on the amount of medication that woman takes a day. And as much as I dislike how things have ended up between her and a couple of her former friends, she had every right to be angry and to feel betrayed. These were people who had been more a slightly-weird-older brother and more a daughter to her than her ‘ain Kith and Kin’, both of whom knew her well enough to know better.

    And despite the drugs playing hell with her eyesight she still ‘notices’ things , ‘sees’ things others wouldn’t.

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  18. I have also just met you online, read the above, encountered you in the past via El Coyote’s retweets. Unfortunately I have also been battling with my own mega stuff, but I wish I had paid more attention to you, as you sound like someone on my level, truth wise. Much above my level, writing wise! My thoughts will be with you, my new friend, rather than dump on you with my own story re impact of cancer . If you have a real thing source, try cannabis oil, I met a couple whose son was very near the end, intensive care I think, and they stared administering it to him – he completely recovered with medics calling it a miracle. If nothing else it will give you a good appetitite and give you enjoyment in your reading/writing. I have been through something similar but on a much lesser level online, it’s such a pity human nature’s worst aspects are magnified in something we all depend on and love: the internet.
    Have a good kip today.

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  19. I tried to post a version of this yesterday on my phone but the contact details part came up in Greek letters for some reason. Anyhow: the behaviour of some individuals towards you recently has been staggering. Barbara Hewson especially has really shocked me. How she can claim you’re not really ill when she visited you not many weeks ago when you were very obviously immobile, in a hospital bed, and dependent on heavyweight pain relief just beggars belief.

    Anyhow, I am proud to be your friend and have been since we met. My chief regret is that we didn’t get to know each other much sooner. While it’s true I’ve never asked anything of you – nor you of me – you have given me a great deal: support, information (rather important to a journo), laughter, challenge, intellectual stimulation, and, often, wisdom and insight. Your work will outlive you. Not only about Savile and Duncroft, but other things too: your piece on Ched Evans, for example, was the best thing anyone wrote on the subject, as I said on Twitter at the time. And, please God there are no more space-hogging political and human disasters, there will finally be an article in next week’s Mail on Sunday about the even greater disaster that is impending collapse of the NHS under the weight of legal actions. This is, of course, inspired entirely by your pioneering work.

    It’s true what you say about disagreements. In the bipolar furnace which social media have become, it seems debate and dialogue have become almost impossible. This is a big problem, with serious implications that go far beyond a sickbed in Norfolk.

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  20. ” In the bipolar furnace which social media have become,”
    and this,boys and girls, is why Mr Rose actually gets paid, real actual money, to write. *wondering if he can extract his eye-teeth painlessly*

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  21. I started writing the following yesterday evening but gave up when an honest attempt at tying up some loose threads started resembling more the aftermath of a madman’s rampage with a pair of scissors in a haberdashers. I’m seriously struggling to find the energy to continue but the topic of ‘internet gangs’ and ‘virtual friends’ is an interesting one – many of us here will have been accused (or just simply found ‘guilty’!) of being “Raccoonistas”, “rape-mockers and predator-sanitizers”, shuffling around sniffing each other’s bottoms here at Anna’s “kennels”. But they are just words, empty words. What happens though when the power of the web brings these crack-dwelling lifeforms together & they start a-weaving in REAL life? By an unhappy coincidence this article and subsequent comments give us a grand opportunity to take a look.

    Firstly, David Rose: other than having a way with words (though if we were wanting to be cruelly critical the repetition of ‘become’ in the same sentence might see a mark deducted!) he deserves credit for picking some ‘difficult’ topics & then sticking with ’em. I recall a long piece in Vanity Fair about a death row prisoner’s fight to clear his name; the investment in time over a period of many years, the EMOTIONAL investment and the dedication to an unpopular cause all impressed. Not all journos would have stuck around to receive that, er, ‘sample’…

    So it must rankle when those old-school efforts come back to, if not haunt, then to at least be a bloody annoyance. And that brings me back to the question of the internet nutjobs, obsessive dot-joiners & assorted barmpots who at times barge their way into people’s real lives.

    A quarter of a century ago Rose was in part responsible for an article in The Observer; I don’t suppose he’d have thought THEN that he’d be being libellously accused of all manner of nuttiness NOW, but that’s the way it turned out – thanks to the miracle of the internet!

    In Richard Webster’s tome ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn’ a character is (pseudonymously) named ‘Ryan Tanner’; that charmer (who has appeared ‘here’ previously, commmenting & raising a smile with a tale of how ‘apple scrumping’ led to a childhood in care) is now real-life friends with the entity mentioned in Anna’s piece: The ‘Borg.

    ‘Ryan’ recently set up an absurd virtual scrounging page with the aim of raising £10,000 to… well, who knows? To sue Rose/The Observer? To deflect attention? Who knows? Who are the backers? Well, the joint-largest is The ‘Borg. What’s it all about? Let’s rewind…

    Late last year the former copper Gordon Anglesea was convicted of sexual abuse many years previously. He was planning to appeal, I believe, but he died beforehand, so… In 1994 he had successfully sued some ‘papers for suggesting he was involved in what the courts very much later decided he WAS involved with. A planned ‘witness for Anglesea’ was ‘Ryan Tanner’, though as things turned out ‘Ryan’ was never used.

    (Unfortunately ‘Ryan’ has never favoured plain speaking & seems more adept at leaving doors slightly ajar – ‘just in case’ – rather than slamming them shut & spitting it out; we’ll have to use our imaginations to guess at what lay behind all this.)

    ‘Ryan’ popped up again around the time of the Stephen Messham/Lord McAlpine madness & launched a doomed attempt at igniting interest in his clumsily-acronymed (and long dormant) ‘organization’ – O.C.E.A.N., or ‘Official Campaign to End All Neccessity of Looking for a Job or Summat’ – it’s not hard to see how the eyebrows of some may have been raised. Was it simply bitter jealousy at seeing the mushrooming groups running away with all the cash, the missed opportunities offered by the new regulation-lite C.I.C.s? Who knows?

    [Er, I seem to be spinning off at a tangent here so for brevity’s sake let’s just say that some ‘strong willed characters’ managed to upset some others, and we’ll leave to one side the role ‘Ryan’ played in placing the ‘VIPaedoRing!!!’ stuff in ‘Skallywag’ via the crim-on-the-run (and fake Duncroftian/ace spy/etc.) Andrea Davison. (Best we forget The ‘Borg’s role in setting up a website for the clearly delusional ‘Ted Heath and a cast of thousands’ victim too, later to appear as a ‘witness’ in that crazy copper Mike Veale’s Operation Conifer… seriously, there is no end to this stuff!).]

    Oh, sod this. I really can’t be bothered, have no time & am getting nowhere. I’ll end by pointing out that the tale presented here…

    https://www.gofundme.com/DarrenLaverty

    … is total garbage. Silly ‘Ryan’ (who claims to have a photographic memory) forgot that when trying to rewrite one’s history it’s advisable to thoroughly remove all conflicting previous versions first – what a boob! If he pops in here it’ll be to claim he’s being stalked or summat, trying to tip reality on its head once again… Good luck, David Rose! And don’t ever give in to intimidation, relentless though it may be.

    ¡¡¡They move among us!!!

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  22. It must stick in DL’s craw that The Landlady, whom I believe he has maligned at times, can crowdfund more for a ‘wheeze’ in a couple of days than he has been able to acquire in the better part of a year. Not that that says anything about the justness of his cause. But when the The Landlady, on divers occasions, placed a empty pickles jar on the bar & asked for donations to remedy some injustice or just to buy someone some flowers, the regulars were moved to donate to embarrassing lengths- depending on the cause several thousands of shiny british pounds.

    My comment about David Rose’s writing ability was heartfelt but I should point out he probably isn’t paid for his commendable writing skills alone, for articles forged in Weyland’s word smithy, but as much for his tenacity and investigative skills.

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  23. Indeed, TBD, and an ability to draw together disparate threads in a manner the reader can easily understand –
    something I’ve failed miserably to do above! No energy or even real interest to be honest. Think I’ll stick to Savile!

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  24. “something I’ve failed miserably to do above!”

    I would disagree…infact I thought it a crying shame you stopped trying. It was far more fitting for this ‘ere h’establishment than most of what I have penned.

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  25. Friendship is a big topic Anna …..too big for me to make any worthwhile comment . But in any event hopefully a meaningful comment by me about the swirling cesspit of emotion that the internet becomes at times.
    Some appear unable to debate a topic …..any topic really …..other from their own totally subjective viewpont. Their vision of the world being no greater than the prism of self The issue being themselves not the objective issue ….their importance of their opinion. Personal opinion is usually pretty dull in my experience ….my own OPINION being no more interesting than any other persons …a mish mash of loads of things including prejudice and my own experiences some possibly accurate others almost certainly less so.
    The internet may illustrate what appears to be the modern inversion of classical analysis of constructive thought and effective positive action. Classical analysis posits something along the lines of the thinking individual as a man riding a horse ….the rider represents reason , the bridle his will and the horse his emotions ….a balanced and controlled movement in a forward direction in an objective world .
    Nowadays? Well subjective emotion is now the rider , the bridle continues to be the will of the individual but the bridle now seeks to control reason …..facts and the objective world be buggered …..all that matters is what I want reality to be and I have every right to force that reality on others even if it means denying fact and giving reason a taste of the whip if it doesn’t run the way my emotions want it to run.
    So dull dull dull and poor outcomes almost guaranteed both for the individual and for those dumb enough to buy into another persons self serving notion of what reality should be rather than what it is.
    140 characters or whatever format twitter has is not a place for debate , for constructive discussion, or analysis ….its designed for personal opinion …how crass can one get with the like/dislike format ? ……and yet how influential it has become with the most powerful political figure in the world using it as a central instrument to implement policy.

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