Saturday, December 8, 2012


I guess this post is going to get me into trouble given the tragic death of the nurse at the centre of this mess but I think the media has got it all wrong in going after the two Oz 'pranksters' who made the telephone call to King Edward V11 Hospital pretending to be the Queen and the DoE and asking for an update on the health of the Duchess of Cambridge.

One commentator even suggested they could be guilty of Treason in attempting to impersonate the Queen .... give me a break.

IMHO anger should be directed at the hospital for failing to have protocols in place to screen out hoax/unwanted calls.    King Edward V11 Hospital has many 'celebrity' patients and I would have thought that it was axiomatic that the hospital switchboard operator be given a simple codeword that would identify genuine callers.   Not rocket science and it certainly happens in a number of other like circumstances.

Guess I'm feeling particularly grumpy this morning and don't even get me started on NZ Cricket and Ross Taylor.



Judge Holden said...

"IMHO anger should be directed at the hospital for failing to have protocols in place to screen out hoax/unwanted calls."

Just how much anger should be directed at the person putting the call through do you think?

You're all class.

The Veteran said...

Read the post Judge, read the post. This was a prank, no more, no less, albeit with tragic consequences. If the correct protocols had been in place the pranksters wouldn't have made it to first base.

Yes, anger can be directed at the 'pranksters' .... but the failure by the hospital, renowned for it's celebrity patients, should also be highlighted.

Take a deep breath and reflect.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Better than being all arse!v

Anonymous said...

By that logic if someone breaks into your house it's your fault for not having sufficient security, the burglar is blameless. How very liberal. Maybe the logic of the anti-gun lobby should be applied - the real culprit is the telephone.

The Veteran said...

Anon 11.51 ... dumb logic but I don't expect you or Judge to understand.

Judge Holden said...

"Better than being all arse!"

You ought to know. Why have you been hiding since Obama's landslide re-election? You were so brave and confident beforehand after all. Humilation still a bit raw is it?

Marc said...

The phone was answered by a nurse because it was 5:30am, and there was no trained receptionist on at that hour. So sadly, she was going beyond the usual call of her duty to help out, and now we have a tragedy.
When will the media learn to stop harassing the royal family - wasn't Diana enough of a lesson? One of the Levenson enquiry's points was looking at news media intrusion into personal affairs by pretending to be a family member on the phone.
This radio station up until early this morning were still boasting about the "Royal hoax of the year". Not so funny now eh morons.

Noel said...

Anon 11.51
Yup cause is always prior to effect.
One may argue in hindsight that had been in place "protocols" there would not have been this effect,but in the end the cause in this case is obvious.

Lloyd McDonald said...

These 'pranks' always have a victim. They are predicated on someone being humiliated so basically a form of bullying.

Of course no one could have forseen the consequences but I have zero sympathy for either the presenters or the station.

It has form after all.....will be no loss at all if this is the end of it.

Anonymous said...

The so-called "prank" was the trigger event to a death by suicide.

That's the reality Mr Veteran. Imagine if *your* family member got "pranked" and was placed in such a state of embarrassment and despair they topped themselves, eh?

It's all brainfarts and giggles - until either someone gets hurt or the japers get japed ['cos these morons can dish it out but cannot take it themselves.]

Tinman said...

The rights and wrongs of the callers or the hospital don't bother me.

What does is that some people actually regard these "prank calls" as entertainment.

The Veteran said...

As I said at the start folks I expected a reaction from this post ... and got one.

The fact remains that if correct protocols had been put in place this would have never happened.

Anon 11.51 asks whether the same logic might be applied if ones house was burgled ... I guess the answer to that is if you go away and leave your front door open and your wallet in sight then you can't complain too much if it goes missing.

None of that excuses the actions of the perpetrators of the hoax call (or the thief) which I am not defending... but I return to my central argument. The protocols should have been in place (as they are in a number of similar institutions that I am aware of) and if they had been the call wouldn't have got past first base.

You can certainly bet your bottom dollar they are now.

That is my point and commentators should get too prissy about my raising it.

Anonymous said...

The Veterans said
"The fact remains that if correct protocols had been put in place this would have never happened."

But they weren't. Such hindsight observations are of little value given changes would have be made well before the post.

Ringo said...

Perhaps the media people just didn't ask themselves the question, "Is what we intend to right and proper". It was in fact just childish immature entertainment.

The out comes, however are anything but. This is made worse by the fact that this was not broadcast live but recorded and then played after some pretty ineffective management scrutiny.

The broadcasters did not comply with Australian law that requires a series of unjdertakings when gaining information from interviewed people.

Their inability to follow these protocols is a clear sign of either a lack of professional judgement or more likely, one of, who gives a shit ab9out protocols, they won't be enforced.

Radio 2day or whatever it is called have obviously not taken any note of the Levenson enquiry and the ethical issues raised there.

They are now in deep sticky stuff of the best sort. Their financial backers have deserted them. there are plenty of radio stations in Sydney who will gladly take the advertising revenue.

If they go under, no one will care in tweo days time. However, the tradgedy in the UK will go on forever for that family.