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Geoff Corkish's Vote Winning Tactics


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Just a thought but is Mr Pugh, the big boss of Manx Radio a member of Manxforums?

 

If he is, he could come on here and tell us (and the Manx Public) what they can report on and what they are not allowed to report on with regards to the General Election, he could also advise us on any specific legislation governing this media/election reporting embargo!

 

I have to say that at least Stu has broad enough shoulders to take criticism and respond to same and I take my hat off to him for that, well done Stu you actually are a peoples person who I for one respect.

 

This particular thread has raised a very important subject relating to media coverage during election time and I for one want to know what the law is (if any).

 

LT

 

Edited due to spelling mistake!!

Edited by Last Ten
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Well It was nice to see geoff Corkish pop down to today's cancer relay for life. He came down especially during the most emotional part of the evening to tell us to turn off the end song as it was ann

Since when has Geoff Corkish had the power to make anyone turn their music off? never, that's when.   Total abuse of being an MHK from an arrogant fuckwit, imo. He should be ashamed of himself but

This particular thread has raised a very important subject relating to media coverage during election time and I for one want to know what the law is (if any).

 

LT

 

Just come across the Guidelines for Candidates issued by the Chief Secretary's Office. The particular section dealing with broadcasting is copied below. These are in the form of a 'Code'. Does this mean that they are not law - I assume so. Reference is also made back to the the 1993 Broadcasting Act.

 

They seem to be very general and to allow a great deal of freedom of interpretation. This includes the fact that equal coverage does not seem to have to be given to all candidates except on constituency specific issues. There is a rather strange statement in the first section which says "However, new and unknown candidates may also be among those with significant views and perspectives, to which appropriate coverage may need to be given". Almost reads to the uninitiated as if they are saying that sitting members should 'of course' be consulted but new and unknown candidates may have a point of view! This is to some extent contradicted further down when there is talk of all candidates being given the opportunity to comment on costituency matters if one of them does. But only on constituency matters!

 

Where IMO it does not seem to be a level playing field is in cases in which 'a politician' can make a comment on 'policy issues' without other candidates apparently being given that opportunity. Is that fair? If I read this correctly a radio station can interview a 'politician' about the economic future of the Island (a key issue this time round) and all the other candidates in his/her constituency don't have to be interviewed even though they may also have much to say on the topic of interest to the electorate. Biased towards the sitting members?

 

9. Broadcast Media

 

The Communications Commission Programme Code sets out the editorial standards which audiences are entitled to expect from broadcasting services in the Isle of Man. It aims to ensure that requirements covering programme content which Tynwald stipulated in the Broadcasting Act 1993 are met.

 

Communications Code - programmes at the time of elections

 

The general provisions of Section 4 deal with programmes at the time of elections and

advise that:

 

There is no expectation that the time devoted to all candidates in an election will be exactly equal. Licensees must exercise their judgment, based on factors such as the number of candidates. However, new and unknown candidates may also be among those with significant views and perspectives, to which appropriate coverage may need to be given.

 

Discussion and analysis of election issues should finish when the polls open. A licensee may not publish the results of any poll it has commissioned or undertaken on polling day itself, until the polls have closed.

 

Appearances by candidates in Isle of Man elections as newsreaders, interviewers or presenters of any type of programme should cease for the election period.

 

Communications Code - Coverage of constituencies at House of Keys and Local Government Elections in the Isle of Man

 

It is not necessary to secure the agreement of all candidates before any candidate can take part in an item about the relevant constituency, and likely candidates are not prevented from taking part in the period before the close of nominations. Nevertheless, due impartiality must be strictly maintained in coverage of the campaign in any constituency. If any candidate takes part in an item about a particular constituency then all candidates should be offered the opportunity to take part.

Any constituency report or discussion after the close of nominations must include a list of all candidates standing, giving first names and surnames. This should be conveyed in caption and/or voice.

 

Where a politician is appearing as a speaker on policy matters, care should be taken to avoid allowing him or her opportunity to make constituency points, when no other candidates will have a similar opportunity.

 

The election period, during which the requirements in this sub-section of the Code must be applied, is defined as starting at the close of nominations. The election period ends with the close of poll.

Edited by manshimajin
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No idea of the pros and cons here - but for once pity the poor media...impartiality and fair play during an election is enshrined in law and it would be very easy for an opponent to spread malicious information to discredit a candidate and derail his/her campaign.

 

Not saying that's happened here - but I'd be surprised if any of the media pick up on this for fear of falling foul of the rules.

 

This post staggered me. Stu nobody expects anything to happen from our castrated media. The fact that you even posted that comment so soon suggests that you already knew what was going to be the outcome the minute you read this thread. We are one step away from a Soviet style media system here which is a complete embarrassment to this Island. It's nice though that you have appointed yourself as the Manx media's self appointed apologist.

For the avoidance of doubt, I hold no brief for G. Corkish (I know his brother slightly better) or any member of government. To ans comment earlier, I'd be a lot slimmer if that WAS the hand that fed me! I'm merely trying to point out that the Manx media has to work under very prescribed rules during an election - and on Tuesday they will become even more stringent when nominations close.

 

ETA: And no ans, our job ISN'T to investigate (that's for the police). The media is here to report.

 

On a forum like this it's easy to be an anonymous internet tough guy in the hope that nobody will either take you seriously or go to the trouble of tracing you to hit you with a defamation charge or whatever the electoral equivalent of 'corrupting the course of justice' is. But I reiterate, the media would have to have substantial corroborative evidence to run what could be a spoiler story being put about by another campaign. I haven't appointed myself an apologist for anyone, as ever I'm simply trying to provide some balance to illuminate your pitchforks.

Fair point Stu, but would it be that difficult to ask some of the people who were there at the time & perhaps even Mr. Corkish himself? It may turn out that only one or two were actually spoken to by him in which case there may be nothing you could report on, but to give it up as a dead duck without even trying does seem a bit strange. I appreciate it's not you personally that makes these decisions & that you are playing devil's advocate to an extent but I don't see any reason why it isn't even worth looking into the matter to see if there's a story there.

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Thanks Manshim for the info, question is, does there need to be something like that code written down?

 

It has been drafted, no doubt in good faith, to prevent bias but if the result of it, is that the local media are afraid to speak out at election times then it has had the wrong effect.

 

The normal laws of the land, would cover any intentional derogatory articles so why have something like that?

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Yes thank you manshimajin for your information on this one, I would also concur with Blade Runner and sort of question the reasons as to why these guidelines have been published in the first place!

 

I would also question the validity of such GUIDELINES and if indeed these guidelines are actually legislation??

 

Maybe our friend John Wright could guide us a bit on this one?

 

LT

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I should just like to say that I am 'one of the organisers' of the Cancer Research Relay for Life event which was on at the NSC this weekend, and indeed am the person responsible for the Candle of Hope Ceremony.

 

The first song once the 400 candles were all lit and I had said a few words by about 9pm was a quiet song called 'look for me in rainbows' by Vicki Brown to a piano accompanyment, there was then a song by Celine Dionne, a minutes silence and then SUBO and Time to Say goodbye sung by Sarah Brightman - hardly likely to drown out the MGP commentary on a still night. We know the rules - we're not stupid.

 

At no point was I asked to keep the music down, and I am certain that had this been requested to any of the others then at some point over the next few hours other members of the committee would have told me. However, I will check and let you know.

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I should just like to say that I am 'one of the organisers' of the Cancer Research Relay for Life event which was on at the NSC this weekend, and indeed am the person responsible for the Candle of Hope Ceremony.

 

The first song once the 400 candles were all lit and I had said a few words by about 9pm was a quiet song called 'look for me in rainbows' by Vicki Brown to a piano accompanyment, there was then a song by Celine Dionne, a minutes silence and then SUBO and Time to Say goodbye sung by Sarah Brightman - hardly likely to drown out the MGP commentary on a still night. We know the rules - we're not stupid.

 

At no point was I asked to keep the music down, and I am certain that had this been requested to any of the others then at some point over the next few hours other members of the committee would have told me. However, I will check and let you know.

 

 

something which may interest you to know, however, is that I posted on iomonline at 1035 and it is still being moderated.......hmmmmmm

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John Wright is indeed the fount of all electoral knowledge and may elaborate on the section quoted by Manshimajin. As some have been kind enough to notice, I'm not a spokesman for M.R., not a reporter, don't write for the paper any more, and apart from that am on summer holiday in sunny Douglas at present so frankly my dears, don't really give a damn. However, this thread raises some interesting questions so count me in.

 

I couldn't quote chapter and verse on 'the regulations', but most of us in my line of work develop a sort of a sixth sense about what - especially in the run up to an election - is a real story, and what is either a moan or an unresolved spat. There's another thread somewhere about lousy service at a restaurant and I'd also be nervous of getting involved in that...for every complaint you'll find a dozen people who think the place is fabulous and the owners are culinary wizards who would cook their own kidneys for regular customers.

 

I'm VERY interested in Tonto's post. Even if GC DID approach the organisers (and who is to say whether that was a polite and reasonable request or not), this is surely all a bit of a storm in a teacup...'former politician asks event organisers to turn down loud music' is barely a hot news topic worthy of much digging - is it? Again I wonder if people are being 'righteously offended by proxy' which seems to happen a lot these days - is the fact that it was a cancer charity event clouding the fact that it was (allegedly) a noise nuisance? Or is it that it's about someone who is touting for votes at present? It would be the easiest thing to pick up on a bit of skeet, discredit a candidate in the process and end their political career, which is why I initially counselled caution. It's maybe like being charged with being a kiddie-fiddler - even if you're subsequently cleared, all charges are dropped by the prosecution and the judge sends you away with a substantial damages award and without a blemish on your character, your reputation will always be tarnished. There are plenty of 'oh yes, but what if...' scenarios, but let's concentrate on what lies before us here. It's likely the duty news person this weekend at M.R. wasn't aware of the story - had I been more convinced I would have phoned it in, but I wasn't so didn't.

 

Manshimajin - my understanding of 'the rules' is that as of last week all the sitting MHK's ceased to be members, officially, but that Ministers keep their portfolios until replaced. So if I had to get a political comment for a Talking Heads segment I guess I COULD phone Allan Bell, but would explore every other available avenue first to stick to the spirit of the rules. Expect lots of interviews with 'former MHK's' (retired versions) in September.

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Stu: Maybe the general thinking is that most people won't put any stupidity or mindless arrogance past our honourable members when it comes to pleasing the people they rely on to stay on the gravy train, sad as that may be. But many will doubt that within political or election circles any kind of brain power exists that would result in deliberate sabotage tactics, complete with setting up the local media to do the dirty work (although looking at it, I like the idea. I missed a trick there last time - more Thai jokes maybe... :).)

 

Who knows what really happened - maybe he did ask for it to be turned off, maybe he didn't. In any case, it's grossly sad that this is pretty much the only time he has actually been heard of during the past five years. But then, any voters who chose him "because he sings so nice" deserve all they get.

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Whatever the right or wrongs, truth or untruths (I won't call them lies because I like to believe the best in people rather than the worst), I'm pleased that GC had the opportunity to provide a response, if he hadn't then soemthing would have been dreadfully wrong. And full marks to IOM Newspapers for giving him that opportunity. Whether the response is what the reader expected or not is for them to decide.

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Again I wonder if people are being 'righteously offended by proxy' which seems to happen a lot these days - is the fact that it was a cancer charity event clouding the fact that it was (allegedly) a noise nuisance?

A point well made.... another case of moral high ground perhaps?

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Just reading this for the first time.

 

I was just outside the NSC Grandstand gate when Mr Corkish arrived. He introduced himself as MHK for the Ballabrooie area and said that some of his constituents had been complaining that the music was loud and that the same song was being played over and over again. I think he thought I was a doorman of sorts. I was just there to do some laps for Team Samaritans. I directed him to the 3FM stand.

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