Friday, 16 July 2010

A big tip of the hat to radio, for a change...

Radio is really not my thing, in terms of journalism.

I love to have a radio on, constantly, don't get me wrong, it's just not the type of broadcast I've really been involved in to any great extent.

However, I felt moved to post this transcript of an excellent, in my opinion it should be award-winning, interview by TalkSPORT presenter Ian Collins.

Collins was the first journalist to get hold of Siobhan O'Dowd, the woman behind the Raoul Moat tribute page on facebook which caused such a stir this week.

It was followed up by every national paper, every TV news bulletin, and the TalkSPORT presenter deserves every bit of praise he receives because, quite frankly, it is an excellent piece of work.

You can listen to it here

But the transcript is below. Enjoy...

IC: We've been talking about the facebook page that has been created. It's 'RIP Raoul Moat, you legend', facebook page.

We were hoping to talk to Siobhan, one of the people that started the page, but we have found Siobhan.

Siobhan, good evening.

SO'D: Hiya

IC: We got you in the end.

SO'D: You did. I must have had no signal as my phone's been on all day.

IC: You weren't hiding from us then?

SO'D: No, I've got nothing to hide for.

IC: Well you did start a pretty unsavoury Facebook page didn't you?

SO'D: Yeah but that's my opinion. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

IC: Raoul Moat you're a legend?

SO'D: Yep.

IC: Why's he a legend?

SO'D: Well I just think he is. Legends usually get talked about don't they and he's getting talked about so in my eyes he's a legend.

IC: Yeah, but what's he done to make him a legend? Usually, people who are a legend have done something that would make people think, 'oh, this guy, he's so good for this reason or that reason that he's a legend'.

You know, Robin Hood, because he robbed from the rich to the poor...

SO'D: No. You lot all think he's a bad person because of what you've read in the papers right... But you, no, every day...

IC: No, I think he's a bad person because he's killed one, nearly killed another and blinded a policeman.

SO'D: Yeah, I don't agree with that. I don't agree with the shootings that he did, that were harsh like, but I can't understand his girlfriend me.

If someone was so scared of someone... Personally, if it were me, if my boyfriend were in jail, or ex boyfriend, and I were that scared of him, I'd pack up me stuff and I'd leave. I would not write a letter and say 'oh and by the way, I'm shaggin' a copper'.

You just don't do it when you know full well what he's like about the police anyway.

IC: Couple of points on that Siobhan. Firstly, we don't know any of that happened, we're just hearing that as speculation so... Secondly, even if she did, maybe, should this woman have to uproot her life because of that? And maybe she thought 'if I tell him I'm now going out with a policeman, he will leave me alone, I'll be protected? Maybe that was the reason.

SO'D: Well maybe it were but it obviously didn't work did it?

IC: Well, you're very casual about the fact that a woman's had her stomach blown out, one man is dead and another fella is blinded.

I mean your interpretation of that is, well, 'she wrote a letter to the prison winding him up'. I mean, that's an incredible reaction for the severity of what's happened Siobhan.

SO'D: Well fair enough but I'm just sayin'. If someone were that scared they would not write a letter to their boyfriend. Even if he were just like a normal person and he didn't have nowt going wrong with him in his head and that...

IC: You're following this like you're following Eastenders. You're filling in the blanks when you don't know. You don't know anything about which letters were written...

SO'D: But you don't know. You you only know what you read int' paper...

IC: No, what I know is that the guy has shot three people; one dead, two very seriously injured, one certainly with life-changing injuries and blinded for life. I mean it doesn't get much worse than that and then you start a facebook page by calling him a legend?

Now, a legend has to have done something to call him a legend.

What, specifically, has this guy done that makes you think he's worthy of hero status?

SO'D: He kept on hide, from police for a week. That were funny. He were right underneath their nose, he were right underneath 'em and they still couldn't find him.

At the end of the day...

IC: If you can't find someone, you can't find someone...

SO'D: All police are bothered about are tiny little petty crimes. They're quick enough to go and follow them out...

IC: They mobilised a police force to try and look for him. If you're hiding, you can't find someone, that's not a fault of the police Siobhan.

SO'D: Yeah, but when it were on't news that, allegedly, he got in the village right, which I can't understand if you know them police there, why didn't one of them spot him?

IC: The fact that one of them didn't is your answer isn't it? They didn't.

SO'D: Well they must not have had their eyes open then...

SO'D: Why is that a good thing? Why is that funny?

They're chasing a multiple murderer. Why is that funny?

What is within your head Siobhan, I'm just interested here, that makes you think, in life, of all the things that are funny, that that is funny? Steve Coogan's funny, that is not...

SO'D: I think he's a legend for keepin' 'em on their toes for a week.

IC: So you think it's good that he did that? That we had a terrified village, kids being kept in a classroom because they were too scared, millions of pounds worth of taxpayer's money being used in mobilising helicopters, and you find that funny?

SO'D: Well I think it's funny how he is, yeah, I do. I do think he's a bit of a legend like that yeah.

IC: And shooting a copper in the face, is that funny?

SO'D: No, clearly not, that's not funny is it? I'm not laughing about that, I'm not saying that were funny.

IC: Have you got a criminal record?

SO'D: No I 'ant.

IC: Never been arrested?

SO'D: Well yeah, I have been arrested, but I haven't got a criminal record.

IC: What did you get arrested for Siobhan?

SO'D: Er, something petty, criminal damage it were.

IC: Oh right, okay.

SO'D: You ever been arrested?

IC: No, not yet.

SO'D: Well you're a good boy then aren't ya?

IC: Not after this phone call. I might be arrested, who knows?

SO'D: Oh well (unintelligible).

IC: Just out of interest then. When you look at the kind of words that have been said on your website: "RIP Raoul, I blame your ex, little whore." Is that acceptable?

SO'D: Well everyone's allowed to their own opinion innit?

IC: Okay, alright, "if my missus ever does to me what she did to Raoul, I hope I'm brave enough to do what he did". Is that alright?

SO'D: Well everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

IC: Yeah, but I mean... You have essentially got a facebook page here where people are discussing potential murder. And then another guy...

SO'D: I didn't think all these people would join it did I?

IC: Well no, I wouldn't imagine you did think that for one second. I can't imagine you thinking that far ahead...

SO'D: It's not just me that thinks the same.

IC: No, there are other stupid people around as well, you're correct.

"Raoul Moat had the guts to stand up to the oppression forced upon us by ego-driven police force. He's a true hero. He has the respect of far more people in this country than any cop ever will do". What do you say to that?

SO'D: I think he's right.

IC: You think he's right. And this man will remain a hero to you?

SO'D: Yep, definitely.

IC: On the basis of..?

SO'D: It's about time someone give police something to do.

IC: Right. And you think that's the best way to look at it; to go round, shoot up a few people and get the police on their toes?

SO'D: Yeah, well, not shoot people obviously but I think it's, well, that's what they get paid for don't they, trying to catch criminals? So at least they got the wage, at least the wage they deserved. And they caught a criminal.

IC: Not sure that's the best way to look at an operation that was that expensive, that frightened the life out of several, several hundreds or thousands of people in that neck of the woods, including small kids who were kept in school for long periods of time...

All of that because this mad man was out on the loose with a gun, telling people 'the cops are gonna get it next, the public might get it next', and you see that man as a hero?

SO'D: Well, anyway, police killed him anyway. So they'll be happy...

IC: No, the police didn't kill him. The police didn't do it.

SO'D: Well this is what they say they did; they tasered him and he shot himself. But it's a bit funny innit, right, they asked all the cameras...

IC: A bit funny that he had a gun next to his head?

SO'D: ...that they asked all the cameras to move, ten foot away from where he were. That's so they couldn't catch nowt on camera, couldn't hear nowt.

They shot him because he shot one of theirs, that's how it is.

IC: No no no no. What are you, Columbo all of a sudden? You've decided this have you, you've worked it all out?

SO'D: Yep.

IC: What are you, CSI or something?

How have you done this then? Did you go down there with forensics?

SO'D: Yep.

IC: Have you got kids Siobhan?

SO'D: Yeah I have thanks.

IC: You have to be joking me?

SO'D: No, I'm not.

IC: So you would bring your kids up, into the world, telling them that this guy was a legend?

SO'D: Er, well, I wouldn't say he were a legend for shooting people but yeah, I'd say he were a legend for keeping police on their toes, like I've told you about five times.

IC: You would tell your children that?

SO'D: Yeah

IC: Okay.

Alright Siobhan, thank you very much for coming on and joining us.

I can only say to the nation; is that the stupidest woman you've ever heard on this radio show?

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