Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Oh, no! Simon Webb is publicising the names of children
I suppose that I have only myself to blame for the latest piece of nonsense to be circulating about me on face book and twitter! When Lisa Amphlett was expressing the desire to speak to me on the telephone or at least exchange emails with me yesterday, I just knew that it would end badly. I said as much to her on the comments here, when I declined politely to do so. She was persuasive though, saying;
my offer of an email, telephone or face to face conversation stands. How can honest communication be anything less than a good idea?
How indeed? And how could I have been such a mug? Despite refusing to play, she eventually sent me a personal email, trying to draw me into a debate. I could have deleted it, but felt that that would be a bit rude. She was clearly anxious to be in touch with me. Now the first thing that I noticed was that she had CC’d her email into a third party; a man whose name I did not recognise. Obviously, I checked this person, just in case he was a lawyer or something. A quick google led me to a newspaper article featuring this man, who turned out to be Lisa Amphlett’s partner. In the article, they were very free with their personal details, mentioning their daughter’s name and precise age. I was amused to find that this meant that from 2009 to 2012, Lisa’s daughter had been under the age of five and she had therefore not technically been a home educator at all during those years of activism on behalf of the cause. It will be recalled that much has been made of the fact that Fiona Nicholson is not technically a home educator either, by virtue of her own son’s age.
I replied amiably enough to Lisa’s email, checking that I was right about her daughter’s age. I mentioned that I too had been regarded by some as not competent to speak about home education, because my daughter too was not aged between five and sixteen and I was therefore not a home educator. I thought this pleasingly ironic. Let us pause for a moment here and consider what has happened. Lisa has in the past telephoned a newspaper and advertised her daughter’s name and age. She clearly didn’t mind this information being freely available on the internet. She has gone out of her way to get me to exchange emails with her, even though I have told her that I don’t wish to do so. I have teased her about the fact that for three years of her home education activity, she was not officially a home educator at all and we part on what seems to me good terms. Anybody see anything reprehensible in my conduct?
Before we go any further, I should explain that I was pretty sure that this would all end in unpleasantness, whether I did or did not respond to Lisa Amphlett’s advances. How could I know this? It is really very simple. Whenever anybody makes a fetish of being honest and truthful, as Lisa did when she talked of, ‘my personal integrity, which I take very seriously’, you can be pretty sure that the individual will turn out to be a tricksy liar! (It’s much the same as her friend Maire Stafford, you see. She of course describes herself in her twitter profile as being mild, shy, timid and sweet; it’s a racing certainty that such a person will prove to be an aggressive bully).
So far, so good. At Lisa Amphlett’s urging, I have been in touch with her and exchanged a few good humoured messages. Imagine my surprise, when I found that as a result of this, people were talking of trying to close down this blog or speculating about calling the police. You gasp? You think it unlikely? Here is a man called Peter Flynn, tweeting last night;
breach of privacy. Report them to the Blog hosting firm !
if he used the names of my children I'd report him to the police.
So, I am to be reported to the police and also the Blog hosting firm, because Lisa Amphlett wanted a newspaper to report the name and age of her daughter? No, that would be crazy! It must be because I publicised the child’s name by mentioning it to her mother. But wait, surely her own mother would already know her daughter’s name? Very odd.
Here is another of that same crowd:
he is playing a dirty game..using names of children etc. Nasty man.
I won't weary readers with any more examples. The good thing here is that we are able to see precisely what has happened and follow these untruthful rumours to their source. This can only be the personal email that I sent Lisa Amphlett. It is good to be able to see in detail how these rumours are started and who is responsible for them. If nothing else, it should act as a warning for others who become embroiled with this particular bunch of home educators. I say home educators, but you have to ask how much time they are actually able to spare for educating their children! One sees them engaging in all sorts of conspiracies and rumour mongering at all hours of the day and night, but they never seem to discuss education or childcare. They are all of them too obsessed with fighting imaginary hobgoblins. A little more education and a little less fretting about supposed threats to their chosen lifestyle would be my recommendation for some of this particular crew! In the meantime, the take-home message is clear. If somebody claims that her personal integrity is very important to her; be afraid, be very afraid! You will soon find lies and innuendo about yourself being spread across the internet.