We recently posted a page quoting an article from the Lancashire Evening Post about Zoe Bennett, who works for the Jamaican Tourist Board in the UK.
Her Dad was murdered during a brutal machete attack in Jamaica, and her employer's response to her tragic loss was to discipline her for writing about it on Facebook. Nice.
We added our own comment to the article ...
Well we don't work for the Jamaica Tourist Board so we can say what we like. So listen up everyone ...
Don't go to Jamaica because it's a dump and you'll get murdered with a machete!
Today we received a threatening email from Elizabeth Fox, the Regional Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board UK. It's called "Letter before action" and it says, among other things, that there is an on-going internal investigation at the Tourist Board, which is interesting. Are they still pursuing the poor women who lost her Dad?
The email goes on "You should be on notice that we consider the article contains deliberately or negligently false statements as follows:- 'Don't go to Jamaica because it's a dump and you'll get murdered with a machete!'
So, we'd like to make it perfectly plain to all our readers that they absolutely SHOULD go to Jamaica - in fact, it's practically compulsory, because it isn't a dump and they definitely won't get murdered with a machete, and that Zoe Bennett's father is alive and well and has already recovered from that embarrassing incident with the fish knife. OK? Really, we mean it!
We had also pointed out that in order for the Tourist Board to know what Zoe had written on Facebook, one of two things must have happened. Either the Tourist Board regularly and routinely search their employees' Facebook pages for signs of anything incriminating, or they thought “Oh, this woman's just had a terrible tragedy in her life so let's search her Facebook page to see if she's said anything about us”. We thought that either way, their behaviour was despicable. This is also plainly not true, and it's entirely normal and proper for any employer to root around in their employees' private life.
Finally, we gave the name of the Regional Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board, Elizabeth Fox, and her email address. We took these from the Jamaica Tourist Board's own website, believing that this meant her name and email were a matter of public record. But no, Ms Fox seems to suggest that in fact her name and email address are a secret, and we shouldn't have published them: "this has been included with the intention of encouraging the harassment of myself potentially. This amounts to harassment contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is a criminal offence. I am advising you that in the event my email address remains on your website 24 hours after receipt of this email, I will be reporting this matter to the Police".
That's fine, Ms Fox, we are intelligent and literate people and appreciate the irony of someone who is accused by newspapers of stalking and harassing her workforce trying to hide behind anti-harassment legislation. And we wouldn't like to put you to any trouble - after all you're going to be quite busy reporting to the police your own website, because that had your name and your address and even a little thumbnail picture, and was a plain and obvious invitation for members of the public to send you emails which is, as everyone knows, harassment. To be fair, we did at least stop short of the photo, though if any reader would like to see one they need only Google "Jamaica Elizabeth Fox" and click "images". If that doesn't constitute harrassment. Or perhaps Ms Fox's lawsuit against Google will hit the newspapers tomorrow. And anyone who has a camera.
Of course, it was all right for the Tourist Board to harass Zoe Bennett, wasn't it? Jesus, where do these people get their gall from? Do they seriously think that threats wrapped up in quasi-legal language are all it takes? Do they imagine that "you should be on notice" is something a real solicitor would write? Do they not have the wit to notice that this website is called "Grumpy Old Sod" - you know, "old" as in "not born yesterday"?
Actually, we think there's been a bit of a result here. Prompted by Ms Fox's message we searched again for the Tourist Board website and the list of senior personnel and their email addresses ... and what do you know? They've gone! So far as we can see the entire website's had a make-over (not a very attractive one, sadly) and the only email address available is a generic one. Unfortunately we can't tell you what it is because it's a secret, but you can probably find it yourself if you want, by using Google. However, if you do, you must not send them any emails because sending people emails is harassment and they'll call the police.
It would be nice to think that the scorn we heaped on the Tourist Board and its management has caused them major embarrassment, but to be honest we doubt it. We're good, but we're not that good.
Anyway, we'd like to reassure Ms Fox that she has our heartfelt apologies for any damage her delicate sensibility may have sustained because of the contempt her actions aroused, and our assurance that we think she's a very nice person and she can bully her staff as much as she likes. And if she chooses to spend her time searching Facebook or writing long spoof letters to people like us instead of doing any real work, well, that's a matter for her employers, isn't it? Perhaps we'll drop them a line and tell them that so far as we're concerned she can waste as much of their generous salary as she likes.
And we'll give her an undertaking that should we be prompted to write about Jamaica or the Tourist Board or her again, we'll make sure it's buried somewhere no one will see it.
The "Wanker of the Week" page should be about right.
Just in case you got the wrong impression, our comments were not and are not intended to imply that Jamaica is a dangerous or violent place. Why, only last July the local newspapers carried reports about three people who weren't beheaded by armed gangs, and no machetes were used at all. We just wanted to make that clear. Thank you for reading.
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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