Jul 11

Should the Guardian have published Jonnie Marbles?

The pie man’s little stunt hasn’t gone down too well with almost anyone over the mental age of 12, whatever their politics. So should the Guardian have given Jonathan May-Bowles a.k.a. “comedy persona” Jonnie Marbles the opportunity to put his side of the story?

Guardian contributor Sunny Hundal thinks May-Bowles is an important voice and deserves to be heard. Moreover, the little people below the line like me shouldn’t have the temerity to question the Guardian’s weakest editorial decision since that nasty Max Gogarty business.


Free speech is a wonderful thing. Freedom of the press likewise. But that doesn’t mean that quality newspapers should give space to every immature half-wit that manages to barge his way into 15 seconds of live TV, especially if they end up in handcuffs with a face full of shaving foam. Interview them if you really must, but give them their own column? No.

So for the future reference of those with editorial tin ears, here’s a selection of Guardian readers’ thoughts on the issue.


Comment may be free but the Guardian should exercise more wisdom in choosing who to allow advertise themselves. Marbles’ action had no merit.

He should have been left to fade into obscurity or to be a curious footnote to this sordid News Corporation story.


Whilst he may not have been paid for this is it right and proper for the Guardian to give him more oxygen of publicity? I think not


Hey Guardian people

So you didn’t want the comments to turn into an ‘abuse fest’?

What did you think would happen?

I can’t believe you wasted time on the idiotic behaviour of a feeble-minded publicity hounded. I really am disgusted with him and a little with you too, I’m sorry to say.


The appearance of this article shows really poor judgment on the Guardian’s part.


Why Guardian? Why?


this being run by the Guardian is up with the articles saying cyclists shouldn’t be prosecuted for injuring and killing people or it’s fine to burn down a Tesco’ s


You, my friend, are a shameless self-promoting opportunist. I guess your stunt worked because now the Guardian has given you a platform.

Just go away. Don’t give any interviews, don’t write anything, stop commenting, stop tweeting. Your ridiculous “activist” affectations are not welcome. You have humiliated yourself. Just leave.


Is this what the Guardian has come to?


Can the Guardian please explain why you have given space to this man to further promote his actions?

The less we hear about/from him, the better.


Jonnie you shamed UK Uncut, you shamed the Labour Party which you are a member, by attacking an 80 yr old man. Now you have shamed and soiled the Guardian.


Dear Guardian.
Just why are you giving this guy a platform to speak about his hideous actions..


This is the sort of piece the Guardian sticks up to gather unique hits isn’t it? Also, it’s giving Marbles the attention he’s clearly seeking, which is annoying to say the least as he’s not the bloody story. Widespread corruption of the establishment is the story, not someone looking to push up their profile under the thinnest of excuses.

After the sterling work the Guardian have done over the hacking I expected better than them giving space to this ‘comedian’.


Own goal by The Guardian


Nick Davies and his historic work on the hacking scandal is why I love the Guardian.

Jonnie Marbles and click-whoring articles like this one are why I hate the Guardian.


Guardian, you’ve come up with the best investigative journalism in years, you really don’t need to give space to someone who makes Colin Hunt look self-aware.


It was a stupid and crass act, and to be honest I’m disappointed with the Guardian for even letting you get any further publicity by putting this feeble explanation up here.


we could just ignore the fool… eh Guardian?


Who made you the voice of the public?

I don’t for one minute think you did this for anyone other than yourself. Shame on you! And shame on the Guardian for giving you a voice!


I get the impression the Guardian thought this would be a piece where people would actually defend Marbles (his real name is Jonathan May-Bowles) and we’d have a nice piece where Guardianistas would cheer our brave hero on. I don’t think they genuinely expected the venom being thrown at him from all side of the political spectrum, though they obviously expected the right to pile on and therefore generate lots of lovely web traffic.


The Guardian has totally misjudged giving this sad loser the oxygen of publicity that he so craves.

But at least he now knows how hated he is by the very people whose approval he sought.


You should not have done it
You should not have tried to justify it
The TV streams should not have given you the shots afterwards
The Guardian should not have given you space


Shame on The Guardian for running such a piece by one whose actions detracted from the due process of a parliamentary inquiry of national importance.

It seems that both The Guardian and the attacker are both getting to be ‘far too big’ for their boots.


This guy might be the worst waste of space on the Guardian since that feller who thought he deserved an opinion column just because he wore skinny jeans.


Guardian has debased itself by giving this execrable specimen column space.


Oct 09

Ernest Marples: An elegy

Ernest Marples is dead and I am pissed off.

I refer, of course, not to the erstwhile postmaster general and transport minister who retired to the grave in 1978 but to the eponymous website which has been crushed beneath the Royal Mail’s clunking fist.

Ernest, you did one thing and you did it brilliantly. You gave programmers a gizmo that converted postcodes into geographical locations. Such an unglamorous task formed the backbone of websites that provided public benefit and private delight in equal measure.

By powering Planning Alerts you let thousands get news of local planning applications where they wanted it – in their inboxes – rather than having to rummage around in the darkest reaches of their councils’ websites.

In a time of high unemployment and higher uncertainty, you gave people a fast and easy way to find vacancies near them through Jobcentre Pro Plus without having to suffer the frustrations and indignities of the Jobcentre “adviser” and the official government website.

And as the cornerstone of The Straight Choice you helped us to create a public library of election leaflets that let us judge for ourselves whether our politicians’ promises were worth the paper they were written on.

You inspired dozens of developers to create civic projects that without you would have been unthinkable and now without you may well be impossible.

At a time when joined-up government was either a breathless aspiration or an oxymoronic joke, you helped to bond parts of government that no council, ministry or quango could reach.

Above all, Ernest, you provided a glimpse of what we the people could do with free access to the data that we had paid to create and are now expected to pay for again to use.

For all this you asked for neither recognition nor recompense but just the chance to carry on doing what you loved. A chance which you were so ruthlessly and shamelessly denied.

Farewell, Ernest. You were one of us and now without you we are less.