A prank, a blag, research, all words used by the media to obtain information for lucrative purposes by breaking the law.
The word prank has been used recently to label the act of an Australian radio broadcaster that triggered the sad suicide of the Nurse Jacintha Saldanha last Friday. Everyone broke the law, from the start of the phone call, its recording, its broadcasting in Australia, its dissemination and high profiling in the United Kingdom's media. Surely this should have been worth of an injunction on the same level of the photo of the Duchess of Cambridge boobs. But oh no, nothing happened, until some "unforeseen" event triggered what is now a lot of backlash allied with salty water crocodile tears.
If you go to a bank impersonating someone else, with a card and false signature in order to withdraw cash from an account... is that a prank? a blag? research?
If you go to the GCHQ dressed as Her Majesty The Queen look alike in order to obtain some secrets for monetary exploitation... is that a prank? a blag? research?
If you know someone's answering machine code, PIN number and obtain private information or cash... is that a prank? a blag? research?
No... these are all crimes!!! Punishable with a sojourn in Her Majesty's accommodations.
I am tired of all these misnomers used by the media to cover criminal acts. "Pranks", "blags", "researches", "public interest", these are all crimes that go impune every single day.
You cannot make a recording of a phone call without advising the caller or called that you are intending to do so. How many times have you heard the tired wording "this call maybe monitored for training purposes"? Even after you consent to the recording (which you may decline by the way ie you can always say "I do not allow this call to be recorded for any purpose whatsoever!!" and create a logistic nightmare in the call-centre industry) you have to give consent (now written) for it to be used outside the remit of the call, including advertising, cinema, radio, television, written press... anything.
We all get diverted with softer words in the United Kingdom. Recently on Stephen Fry's QI, the word meddling was described in the XVIII century piracy manuals "if you meddle with an honest woman in the ship you will suffer death" where meddling is clearly... rape!!! and a crime punishable with death even by pirates. Meddling is rape, interfering is child abuse, troubles is war, highs are drugs, disruptions are collapses... you may add to the list if you want.
Why did Jacintha decide that her life was not worth living anymore? Why would a "prank" be so lethal?
King Edward VII hospital has been using diversion on this subject, concentrating their efforts on the guilt of the Australian broadcasters. But this event goes much deeper than that... why would a nurse have to answer a phone in such a "high profile" hospital with such an high profile patient at 5.30am...am!!!???? Did Jacintha have any training dealing with direct phone calls? The Australians tried to "blag" their way for five times... no one in the Royal House security was made aware of those attempts. If Jacintha answered the phone directly in her ward where the Duchess was, how come the "blaggers" got the direct phone number for a ward that should be in high security mode? Jacintha was not the person to interpose a phone call on a direct line from Queen Elizabeth II at 5.30 am!!!
It all comes in the end to Jacintha's ethnicity, yes and this is yet another diversion word to cover race and racism. If she was an English Rose she would probably have noticed the "prank", having a good laugh and ending the call with "... nice try Lizzy!!!". I don't know how long Jacintha was living in the United Kingdom but according to the hospital she had been working for them for four years. She was described as an excellent nurse which is very high praise and can only confirm how good she was on top of her "ethnicity". How could she have denied access to the Queen? With her "ethnicity"?
But, on the following day, when Jacintha comes back to work from her hospital digs, her act has gone viral. Colleagues, doctors, managers, everyone is talking about this and about her, some smiling, others scorning, some suggesting that she might loose her job, some saying that an enquiry will be made and she will have to answer for it sooner or later. Scapegoating will occur. And when she finishes her mid shift for lunch and goes to the canteen, she listens to the murmurs, the smiles/taunts, the "oh bless her!!" pious looks and words, all "for a laugh" because in the United Kingdom if you can laugh you cannot offend, allegedly. And when her shift finishes, she goes back to her digs, husband and children 200 miles away in Bristol, lonely, very lonely. And the next day... all starts again.
The Australian broadcasters got the support of a psychologist as soon as they heard the news of Jacintha's death. What support did Jacintha have from King Edward VII hospital?
So, a hard working professional nurse came from another country with her family, got a job in a high profile London hospital and was good enough to be in charge of the caring for a Royal family member. Unfortunately for her she also belonged to the catalogue of jibes of another Royal family member.
And King Edward VII hospital, why on earth such a professional and excellent nurse was still living in hospital digs, away from her family after four years????