Tag Archives: Jacqui Janes

Gordon gives Good Phone

It seems as if Rupert Murdoch’s Sun comic has totally misjudged the public’s reaction to the attempted drive-by shooting of Gordon Brown through the publishing of his note to Mrs Jacqui Janes and their subsequent telephone conversation.

The call from Downing Street was mysteriously recorded by Mrs Janes and in order to milk to death the death of her son Jamie, she has said that she would “be willing” to meet Gordon Brown. Lucky Prime Minister. Presumably  this time, she can video his grovelling on her Sun-sponsored Iphone.

Some say that Gordon Brown should simply have apologised and should not have argued with the woman but he did. NO real harm done.

Since the publication of the transcript, there has been a rumour of David Cameron’s  involvement with News International through his old chum James Murdoch. Then there’s more tittle-tattle about the Conservative Party’s intention to freeze the BBC licence fee so as to give advantage to Sky. In fact , there are all sorts of rumours and conspiracy theories, many of which smack of  a media turf war and newspapers aligning behind their parties in readiness for a pre-election media punch-up. Both Parties are taking the matter very seriously, as evidenced by the direct involvement of Lord Mandelson.

Below in a complete transcript of the telephone conversation.

Jacqui Janes sounds and looks like a typical Sun reader, you know. Init? She attempts to engage Brown in a Sun-scripted debate on the under-resourcing of our troops whereas all that he wants to achieve is another apology.

Mrs Janes bangs on a bit about Brown’s spelling mistakes but she filters her Sun-arguments through the Murdoch-medium of bad grammar and half-baked “facts”. That makes one suspect that she wouldn’t recognise a spelling mistake if it stuck it’s head under her skirts and whistled.

She answered the telephone a at 10pm to be told she was speaking to the Downing Street switchboard who had the Prime Minister on the line.

The first few seconds of the conversation were not recorded.

JACQUI JANES: I’m sorry, you know, I have the deepest respect for the fact that you are Prime Minister but I am the mother of a soldier who, really, you know, his death could have been prevented in several ways, lack of helicopters being the main one.

GORDON BROWN: I don’t think so but, er, obviously you are entitled to your views. We have tried to do everything we can to protect people against these explosive devices.

JJ: Er, Mr Brown, Mr Brown can I just step in here. My sons are fifth generation infantry I’m not silly. I have had lots of info from different people who I know from within the Army. I know about Chinooks that, er, were meant to be brought up to the Mark III standards but went wrong so they’re no good. I know about the Merlins that have been brought back from Iraq and are still sitting in this country. I know of another soldier that sustained the same injuries from an IED that my son sustained and he’s alive. All right, limbless, but alive. My son wasn’t given that opportunity…

GB: Er, I, I

JJ: The letter that you wrote to me Mr Brown…

GB: Yes

JJ: I don’t want to sound disrespectful here, but was an insult to my child. There was 25 spelling mistakes, 25!

GB: There wasn’t.

JJ: Mr Brown I’ve got the letter in front of me…

GB: I’ve got the letter in front of me and if you feel that my writing was not right then I’m sorry about that.

JJ: I’m not saying, I’m not saying, no, no, no… I have made no comment about how your writing looked. But other people have seen this letter as well. And as for my serving soldier in Catterick…

GB: Yes.

JJ: You know he has to now live with the fact that there was nothing he could have done. He was a more senior soldier than Jamie. Jamie was very proud to be a soldier, very proud.

GB: You know you know that I wrote to you, er, a handwritten letter because I was…

JJ: Listen to me…

GB: … because I was concerned about the death of your son…

JJ: Listen to me, please. I am looking at the letter now…

GB: You know I did write the letter because I was concerned about the death of your son and I don’t think what I said in it was disrespectful at all.

JJ: I never said it was disrespectful. The spelling mistakes are disrespectful.

GB: Er…

JJ: The fact that you named me Mrs James was disrespectful.

GB: I think I think I was trying to say Janes, as your right name. Maybe, maybe my writing looks bad but I was trying to say your right name. And I spelt Jamie right as well I understand.

JJ: Erm, I beg to differ. I’ve got the letter in front of me so I do beg to differ.

GB: I, I, well…

JJ: I can not believe I have been brought down to the level of having an argument with the Prime Minister of my own country

GB: Well I wanted to assure you that everything that I have tried to do is both protect our forces and when, when your son died I wanted to send my respect to you and write a letter that appreciated the service that he had given to the country. And I think if you are able to look at the letter again, and I know it is something that’s very difficult to do when you’re receiving letters about something that is so personal, you you’ll see that I said Jamie was a brave, selfless, professional soldier who was held in the highest esteem and regard by all who worked with him and I tried to say that words may offer little comfort at this time but I hope that over time you would find some consolation in his courage and in his bravery and in the great contributions he made to the security of his country and I then said if I can help in any way please, please tell me and I would have been very happy to have received a letter from you and replied again or if you’d asked to meet me I would have met you. So…

JJ: I think, I think at this stage…

GB: Please understand my good intentions and I’m sorry you feel so strongly about, er, about, er, the way I wrote the letter but I hope that on reflection you’ll understand that I have the greatest of sympathy for you and I…

JJ: … I’m not, I’m not doubting that, I am not doubting the whole of the country has the greatest of sympathy for me. What I do know for a fact is that our soldiers out there – they should be out there by the way, I do truly believe in my heart of hearts that the troops should be out there. We do need more troops out there for a start, we do need the helicopters out there. That’s a fact. I know for fact of certain different pilots working out of Kandahar that on some occasions there is only one Casevac (casualty evacuation) helicopter available.

GB: Well, I, I, I’m sorry that that that’s the information that, er, you’ve been…

JJ: But I know it’s fact and not fiction.

GB: Well, OK, OK, I don’t want to argue with you because I want to actually pass on my condolences and I want to assure you that although you’ve taken some offence against a letter I’ve written I’ve tried to reflect my personal sadness at the loss of your son, er, and I don’t want to have any, erm, argument with you about it. If you feel strongly that I’ve done you wrong then that’s for you to decide but I want to assure you that there was never any intention on my part to do anything other than pass on my condolences to you and to your your, your family, understanding that you are a a military family and that you have given great service as a family to our country, er, and I hope that, er, that on reflection you, you will understand that I was trying to do the best by, by our country and trying to reflect the sadness that Sarah and I have at the loss of your son.

I, I’m sorry that I have been unable to persuade you of that but that is how I feel, that is that is how I feel.

JJ: Right, can I now just say how I feel?

GB: Yes please.

JJ: Many many years ago, in 18-something, somebody said the biggest enemy of our Army was our Treasury… they were so right.

GB: I, I…

JJ: Even to this day..

GB: I, I…

JJ: Mr Brown, to this day, I know as fact helping my sons buy equipment themselves before they go to war, I know of every mother, the letters I have received off mothers whose sons have been killed, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, you know, friends of mine that were killed in Northern Ireland. I know that our Government are letting our troops down, big time.

GB: But I’m sorry I would not send anybody abroad unless I felt that they were properly equipped and, er, what I’ve told the Army chiefs that we cannot send people abroad unless we can properly equip them.

JJ: But they’re not properly equipped and we both know this.

GB: That…

JJ: Why are… then please tell me why are all the Merlins still in this country that have since come back from Iraq?

GB: The reason the Merlins, er, came back from Iraq and are in the country and about to go out to Afghanistan is that they have to be completely remodelled with new blades because you cannot fly the Merlins that were flying in Iraq in Afghanistan, which is a different terrain, er, and, er, the height is different and the, the temperature is different.

JJ: So what, what…

GB: The helicopter pilots have got to go to America to be trained in the high altitude and in night light. I’ve been to see the helicopters myself and I’ve seen how they’ve had to be regraded, er, so they can actually fly in Afghanistan and you cannot take the helicopters straight from Iraq to Afghanistan because they need these new blades and that’s, that’s I’m afraid the reason why, although three I think, are going in the next three weeks, it’s taken time to get the Iraq Merlins ready for Afghanistan. I’m sorry that is the case but that is the reality. We had to re-equip the helicopters to…

JJ: I know what has to be done. I have been made aware of what needed to be done. But nobody has replaced the Chinooks that were, erm, how can we put it, that went wrong.

GB: I, I don’t I, I, I wanted to speak to you because of the controversy, erm, that you’ve, erm, you’ve erm, obviously that surrounded… that I had every intention of, er, of passing on the condolences of myself and on behalf of the country. Er, er, I’m sorry that you’ve taken offence about that…

JJ: I didn’t take offence that you were writing me a letter of condolence. It was the amount of spelling mistakes. It was just like an absolute insult to my child, who, by the way, was only 20 years old.

GB: I understand that he was only 20 years old but I’m sorry I don’t think I did have spelling mistakes. My writing is maybe so badly (muffled) that you can’t read it and I’m sorry. But I have tried to write honestly and honourably about the contributions your son made and… (muffled) can’t be read. I know from colleagues Jamie was a brave, selfless professional soldier held in the highest regard.

JJ: I don’t need anyone to tell me how brave my son was. My son paid the ultimate, ultimate sacrifice.

GB: OK, Miss Janes, I’m sorry, that I can’t, I can’t, er, satisfy you, but I have tried my best, er, to er, show you this evening that if there’s been some misunderstanding about how my…

JJ: I do appreciate you taking the time to phone me but I’m afraid we are going to have to, erm, disagree.

GB: Well that’s that’s, I, I, I know how strongly you, you feel.

JJ: No, Mr Brown, Mr Brown, listen to me… I know every injury that my child sustained that day. I know that my son could have survived but my son bled to death. How would you like it if one of your children, God forbid, went to a war doing something that he thought, where he was helping protect his Queen and country and because of lack, LACK of helicopters, lack of equipment your child bled to death and then you had the coroner have to tell you his every injury? Do you understand Mr Brown? Lack of equipment.

GB: I do understand but I think you, you have got to also understand that I feel very strongly about this as, as you do.

JJ: So where’s all the money? You can save a bank. You can put seven whatever into saving a bank. Why not put it into the troops? We all know they are not going to be brought home and I am glad they are there to help.

GB: I’m sorry Miss Janes…

JJ: No, Mr Brown.

GB: I’m sorry, Miss Janes, we have tried to give the troops the equipment they need and I have tried my best…

JJ: And failed…

GB: Well if it’s not good enough for, for them they’ll have to make their own decisions but I have tried my best…

JJ: Even Army hierarchy are retiring and telling you what is going wrong and still you send 500 more troops not the 2,000 needed.

GB: I’m sorry, I’m sorry…

JJ: You’re making it sound like my son and every other child that has been killed in a savage manner…

GB: Nobody was asking for 2,000 more troops

JJ: Really?

GB: Yes, nobody was asking for 2,000 troops, there are 9,000, 9,100 there at the moment, increasing to 9,500 the, the chiefs of staff are not asking for it to go up to 11,000 or 11,500. I just tell you that honestly. Whatever information you’ve been given, that is not correct. But I don’t want to interact in a political debate about this…

JJ: No that’s fine. Nor do I.

GB: What I want to do is to pass on my condolences and to say, however strongly you feel about my mistakes in this matter, I still feel very, very personally sad about the death of your son and I want you to know that and I’m sorry if you’ve taken offence at my letter. I’ve tried my best, er, to faithfully reflect my feelings about the loss of your son and the contribution he made, er, and, er, thank you very much for talking to me this evening.

JJ: Thank you very much

GB: Er, and I’m sorry that we can’t agree but I hope you’ll agree that I’ve tried my best to pass on my condolences, on to you and your family.

JJ: Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Gordon’s note – again

 

“Gotcha! You Pommie bastard.”

 

 

 

One cannot help but feel sorry for Jacqui Janes. Her son Jamie was killed in Afghanistan and she feels that he may have lived had a helicopter been available to transport him away from the war zone. The poor boy bled to death. The truth is that we’ll never know.

I have never been Gordon Brown’s greatest fan but in spite of his apparent lack of decision-making capabilities, he is a profoundly decent man and  should be believed when he says that the note which he wrote to Mrs Janes was done with good heart.

Unfortunately for Mr Brown, Rupert Murdoch and his Sun “newspaper” think otherwise. The Sun scum who masquerade as journalists have gathered around the Prime Minister like a pack of slavering hyenas. They sensed a wounded Brown and have encircled him and drawn blood. Thankfully, other editors – those who are not Murdoch batty boys have kept clear of the furore. They understand the difference between journalism and mindless comic-book opportunism.

Gordon Brown was not-only sincere but visibly upset when he delivered today’s statement and apology to Mrs Janes. Remember that he does not need lessons in losing a child.

If Murdoch insists on continuing the anti-Brown crusade, he should instruct his Sun underlings to develop their campaigns from  news and pay no heed to an attention-seeking idiot of a woman who appears to be using her son’s death (no matter how tragic) to grab her 15 minutes of fame. The Sun journos must have messed their pants in excitement when they were approached by Mrs Janes and the Prime Minister’s apparently hastily-scribbled note.

My own current bet would be that Murdoch has done Gordon Brown a big favour by making him look vulnerable, human and empathetic to both war victims and their families.

Mrs Janes recorded her telephone conversation with the Prime Minister – or to put accurately, she was scripted by the Sun comic, whose representatives  were surrounding her when the Prime Minister telephoned last night.

There is a vast difference between news-gathering and news creation. Murdoch is a hate-filled  crumbling relic who has just overstepped the mark.

Leave British politics to the British, you colonial pillock.

(I tried to find Murdoch’s Spitting Image puppet as an illustration but apparently it has been melted down and moulded into an asshole)