Thursday, 2 October 2008

Is Coe harassed for being a Tory?

Understandable uproar in Wales, and particularly the Welsh Blogosphere about the alleged comments of Seb Coe in London's press, covered by Ian James Johnson, Miserable Old Fart, Amlwch to Magor, Ordovicius, Up the Valleys and Peter Black.

As Damon Lord sums it up:

It is also covered by Nick Webb, who justifiably asks did Coe really say it?

There is further mystery to the story, however. Did the paper actually print the story? I don't doubt Ian James Johnson's comment that he saw it on page 5 in the paper, so here's a link to a jpg of thelondonpaper's story (Hat tip to Dougthedug's

The article however has now curiously disappeared from thelondonpaper's website, and also from the Metro's site, but I've managed to track down an online cached version of the Metro story. So, in probable breach of some copyright law, I'm reproducing the text of the Metro article below, so people can see what exactly was printed and reported before the cached version disappears as well.

As we aren't sure that Seb Coe actually made this comment, isn't most of this fuss in Wales down to the fact that he is a Tory?


Anonymous 2 October 2008 at 13:49  

If he didn't say it, then why is he taking so long to deny it categorically?

The fact that he's a Tory is irrelevant. Tony Blair got exactly the same treatment for making a similar remark.

Anonymous 2 October 2008 at 14:01  

Perhaps Senedd Whip should've said "As we aren't sure that Seb Coe actually made this comment, isn't most of this fuss in Wales down to the fact that he is a Tory?" with the option to replace Tory with Labour at any convenient time for the Nationalists.

Al Iguana 2 October 2008 at 14:13  

he's a tory?

well, to me that is irrelevant. did he actually say it? well, that to me is also irrelevant, since someone in London put those words in his mouth.

What IS relevant, and possibly more worrying, is if that is the view of Londoners. Kind of "we would have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling provinces".

Alwyn ap Huw 2 October 2008 at 15:18  

I didn't see the fact that Lord Coe is a Tory peer mentioned on any of the blogs that I read covering this story. The criticism was that it was an inappropriate comment for the boss of the BOC to make.

Your suggestion that any of us who commented on the story might find such a comment acceptable from a senior public servant of an other party quite is odd.

Glyn Davies 2 October 2008 at 16:29  

Miss Wagstaffe - Hello. The most significant issue here is that it seems that Lord Coe did not say what he is reported to have said. It is ridiculous to assume that because he has not made a public statement denying the story, it should be deemed to be true. A general rule in public life is not to respond to lies or unjustified criticism - because it only extends the story. If it is indeed untrue, all those who printed the story as fact should retract it and apologise. This is the policy that I adopt on my blog -even if forcing my fingers to type out the words has proven to be a painful experience.

Miss Wagstaff 2 October 2008 at 17:09  

Hello Glyn. I agree.

This particular post wasn't written by myself (written by Senedd Whip), but I imagine you are addressing the blog rather than the person.

I imagine 'SW' is drawing to the attention of others that most 'Nationalist blogs' are posting on the subject. Suppose it doesn't help that Adam Price MP has called for Seb's head before even getting a response to his letter.

Personally, the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" should be on our minds at present, and it seems the Committee has sent in the lawyers so we may find that an apology is on its way.

Anonymous 2 October 2008 at 17:11  

The post does say...

Understandable uproar in Wales!

Rhys Wynne 2 October 2008 at 20:02  

Whether or not the 'F' word was used is not the issue (although it's what the press will want to highlight), but the fact that he is hell bent on there being an UK/GB whatever team in the tournament, even if it's against the wishes of 3 of the 4 Football Associations and most probably the vast majority of average football fans.

Alwyn ap Huw 3 October 2008 at 02:20  

Rather than those of us who have objected to the story printed in the London Paper and corroborated by Sky news picking on Lord Coe because he is a Tory, it seems that the only party political point being made is Glyn trying to justify Lord Coe because he is a Tory.

If a Labour Lord had made such a comment would Glyn be so quick to defend him?

Ian 4 October 2008 at 12:32  

Rhys and Alwyn have made the most relevant points here. The only people I have seen to make a point out of his politics are Miss Wagstaff and Glyn Davies.
What this story has done is highlight the fact that there is a genuine threat to the existence of the Welsh, Scottish and NI football associations.
I don't care about Coe's politics but do care very much that Brown and Coe have stated publicly that they will do whatever it takes to have a 2012 GB soccer team, despite the opinions of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish.
Now, if that isn't telling Wales to fXXk off, then what is?

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