Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Telegraph Smears South London Activist

A sign that the current wave of anti-austerity protests is rattling some cages is some increasingly feverish 'unmasking' of activists in the pages of Tory newspapers. Among those in the firing line in the last couple of weeks has been Thom Costello - according to the Telegraph (13 November):

'He is the brilliant Oxford graduate with a burgeoning career in television, including a stint on Melvyn Bragg's The South Bank Show. But Thom Costello can also be unmasked as the ringleader of an anti-capitalist movement that is bringing chaos to high streets across Britain. Mr Costello, 22, has already orchestrated a protest against Vodafone, shutting down about a tenth of its stores over claims the company has evaded a £6 billion tax bill... Mr Costello, whose father runs a theatre in south London and who has accompanied his son on one Vodafone protest, founded UK Uncut late last month with a group of activists after a meeting in a London pub... After leaving Oxford, he briefly worked as a teacher at his old school Langley Park Boys School in Lewisham' etc etc

Liberal Conspiracy has dissected this story. Incidentally Langley Park is a comprehensive school in Beckenham in the borough of Bromley. Can't these illiterate journos even use google?


Anonymous said...

This doesn't really seem like a smear.

Transpontine said...

The extract reproduced here doesn't do justice to the full article, which brings in a lot of irrelevant personal detail to try and paint a negative picture of the person involved and to damage to him at work and elsewhere (shock! he eats mouldy sandwiches!). It drags in the guy's dad for the crime of attending a legal demonstration and implies - without actually stating it - a propensity for violence through the use of sensationalist language. That's what I call a smear, I wonder who's feeding this stuff to the Telegraph - can't quite believe the paper itself is monitoring whose parents are going on what demonstration.