Sunday, November 27, 2005

In the Sunday Times today

Article on Alama in the UK Sunday Times. As I dont have access to the paper, I'm not sure if there's other stuff on Nigeria elsewhere. A contact at the BBC said there was a 'spread'. I continue to push for more positive news on Nigeria from the UK press..


Chxta 1:24 pm

Aren't we all suddenly going for that man's juguler?

mw,  2:12 pm  


I got The Sunday Times and the article to which you've already provided a link to, occupies may one-eighth of p25. It includes the now in/famous mock-up of Alami. As for there being some kind of spread on Nigeria, there is none - and I checked every section of the paper carefully, even the ones I would not normally bother with, like 'Driving'.

You keep pushing for more positive coverage of Nigeria... keep pushing. Anyway, what I might have pushed for in The Sunday Times today, would have been less of a certain 'lean' in the coverage of black people in general, period.

You will know that a Police woman (WPC) got murdered in a robbery recently, the culprits of which, turned out to be black... It was a terrible crime, no denying that. The chief of Police has called for the death penalty for the murderer(s), if they are found guilty. And I had to pause, all manners of people get killed in the most terrible way in the UK all the time - especially in the most distressing cases, children. The police boss did not call for the death penalty. A WPC gets killed, he wants the death penalty. Is her life any different from all the others who get/got killed?

What's all this got to do with The Sunday Times? Whilst you were busy looking for a 'spread' on Nigeria, The Sunday Times gave what is undeniably a 'spread' - 2 whole spreadsheet pages - to a black man, Shaun Bailey. Reacting to news of the Black (and Asian?) hoodlums who killed the WPC, has used it as a springboard for arguing against 'Liberal Britain'. Bailey grew up on the same council estate as the suspects and has been 'fighting' Liberal Britain for a long time now. Now, when someone seeks a less 'liberal' Britain, people like me get worried. And The Sunday Times knows, that because this is a black person making the argument, we are not likely to jump up and shout: 'racism'.

It reminds me of a similar spread in Evening Standard some 2 years ago, in which a black man got a whole page to tell Britain why he only dates white women - and giving all manners of 'flaws' which made black women unsuitable. You could just tell that 'Britain' was loving what the bastard had to say. But what better can one expect of the Evening Standard? I was elated when Hari Kunzru rejected the award then sponsored by that newspaper group!

Back to The Sunday Times, lets move on the cover story of the 'News Review' section, one which extends to the whole of the following page. We are talking 2 spreadsheet pages. In 'Rachel's Story' the paper profiles Rachel North, the white woman who survived the July 7 bomb atrocity - after surviving an earlier rape ordeal. The rapist teenager was jailed, only for Rachel to enter a tube train on the fateful day….

Anyway, on p2 of the NR section, Rachel’s face is pictured, happy as she deserves to be. Top right is the picture of her jailed rapist - conspicuous by his blackness. Inset on the left of Rachel’s picture is the face of the Jamaican Germaine Lindsay - black of course - who set off the King’s Cross bomb. Rachel had been on the same carriage with Garri Holness, a black man who lost his leg in the attack. The media hyped Holness up for his ‘courage’ then brought him down - revealing that he was a former gang rapist who’d done time in prison for the crime. All in all, we have the faces of 3 black men surrounding the angelic Rachel - two rapists and a suicide bombers… Do you see what I’m getting at? Rachel North is a remarkable woman who has a story to tell and it should be told. And I’m sure it wasn’t her intention, but one cannot escape the feeling, that this influential has seized the opportunity to push an image of black men as menace to society.

So I’m here thinking: “If not for dis Jeremy sef, wetin concern me an Sunday Times today?” I used to buy The Sunday Times religiously, until they stopped doing the dedicated ‘Books’ section. I always buy the UK Guardian on Saturdays (Observer on Sundays sometimes) - and I suppose that tells you where my politics lie. As you know, in Britain, your ideology tends to match the paper you read. And I’m no exception. I’m currently working on a short story in which a minor character is shown reading The Daily Telegraph; and I guess that tells you also, what the narrator thinks of that character.

Anyway, enough ‘tori. The long and short of it is: no Naija 'spread' to speak of, in TST - apart from Alami.


Anonymous,  2:39 pm  

I think MW really gave a very detailed summary of all you can call the 'content of today's Sunday Times'.

I really don't understand why the UK media only write about 'blacks' when there is a negative undertone. Do they ever know when those 'blacks' who contribute positively do anything? When was the last time they featured article about places like Turning Point (est. by a black man) that is contributing immensely socially?

It is hi-time all well-meaning blacks start promoting the positive contributions and keep striving towards success at home and abroad, in a very straight-forward approach. Let's promote the good of our culture, I'm sure this might eventually boost tourism to our home nation in the longrun.

As MW said, I really thought literally that "if not for dis Jeremy sef, wetin concern me and Sunday Times today?" There isn't the Nigeria spread I was looking for ...

Keep on the good work bruv.


Jeremy 5:54 pm  

oh dear - sorry o! I was misinformed by someone who made a big deal out of the content in today's ST. Sorry for dragging you to buy Murdoch's rag...

the flying monkeys 7:10 pm  

Firstly, let me salute Nkem Ifejika.

The Saloro of Ake and the Akinlatan of Egbaland (Wole Soyinka) .(said: (“....I have been reading all the various statements. He (Alamieyeseigha) said he didn’t escape, if you belief in tradition there is what we call ‘Egbe’, carrier or ‘Ofe’, it could be either of those that brought him to Bayelsa, I don’t know about all these things....
it would require the intervention of Babalawos...the Olorisas (traditional worshippers) the Hindus and Budhists to unravel the mystery...."

On my part, I think, this dude (Alams) should be crowned the most foolish member of the black race. Whilst accused of crime-1, he commits crime-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, z, etc (in the face of the law and media) and in fact is in Naija illegaly.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

Government of Nigeria over to you.

Rachel 7:02 pm  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rachel 7:15 pm  


this is Rachel North, whose story in the Sunday Times you are commenting on.

Whilst I admit that it is an unfortunate coincidence that Germaine Lindsey, Garri Holness and my rapist all happened to be teenagers when they committed their crimes, and they are all indeed Jamaican by parentage - that is just - flukey - coincidental and it's NOT the point of the story. It's not fair to point my story as ostensibly having a racist message - eg: 'Rachel is white, they're black, She's good , they're bad.' I can't help the pictures, I can't help the fact that the men were who attacked me are black and I am white. But please will you look at what I could control and what I did say - the words that I actually wrote - MY STORY. Rachel's Story. In my words.

Because I TOOK CARE to stress several times that Kings Cross United, the people on my train, who I point out as giving me all my hope for the future - consist of all sorts of people -,,2092-1892288_2,00.html

From my piece:

'There are men and women of all ages from different backgrounds with different beliefs and different political viewpoints in Kings Cross United. We are a random demographic of people — gay, straight, black, white — who travelled on the Piccadilly line on a Thursday morning. We could be anyone. We could be you.

These strangers from the train are why I am filled with hope for the future. The events of July 2002 and July 2005 could have destroyed me, could have broken so many of us, but I do not believe they will.

These are dark times, Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said last week; but I am no longer afraid of darkness. It was in the darkness that I first felt the touch of a stranger’s hand, which gave me hope. It was in the darkness that I saw how commuters became heroes, how strangers became friends.

© Rachel North 2005

Rachel’s diary is at'

And on the final page, once more:,,2092-1892288_3,00.html

hen I was asked to write about Garri

''So, as a victim of rape, what do I think? I say that this rape was 20 years ago. He was 18. He went to prison for it and now he is out. He has a good job and an interesting life. He is a singer in his spare time; he has friends and family who love him. He has paid for what he did. Why must he be made to pay all over again?. This is the problem when all you see is “victims”, not real people. There was a cross-section of London life on that train. The man who had raped, the woman who had been raped. The cleaner and the company director. Men, women, young, old, white, black, gay, straight, with complex lives and strengths and weaknesses. '

See? Please, read, stop, before you make this something that it is not.

I'm not 'the angelic Rachel'. I'm an ordinary person, (as I KEEP BLOODY WELL POINTING OUT ) - I just boarded the Piccadilly line, like all the people on the train. I can't help the fact that the two men who committed crimes against me were black and I am white and I don't see why it matters: my rapist also attacked black women. The woman who reported him to the police was a 40 year old black woman.Germaine Lindsey also blew up black people, Asian people, he didn't care, he just killed.

He just killed.

My rapist just raped.

It was nothing to do with my or any of the other victim's ethnicity

Violence is violence; attack one innocent, you attack us all. I wasn't raped or blown up because I was white.

Please. Please. I'm really upset about this. I tried so hard to make that point, and I am not being co-opted - even unwittingly - as part of a divisive race issue which I have never had anything to do with, and want no part of. I am friends with 70 people from my train. I don't give a toss what colour they are, what religion they are, what political persuasion, sexuality, age, gender they are. They got blown up by a sick theology, bombed by an idiot. They are my fellow passengers, they are my friends.

Please don't bring race into my story, when it was never, ever, ever there. Please READ my words. Everything I say/write/do is now about drawing together with my fellow humans: this divisive crap I can do without. We all deserve better.

There was a reason why I chose to tell my story in the Sunday Times, and it wasn't because I am a Murdoch fan

It was because that story needed to be told, and why not use your enemy's strength against him?

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