Thursday, 16 January 2014

Exposed Again - The Plagiarism Sham of Crawley UKIP Councillor Karl Williamson's Crawley Observer Column

Last weekend, I arguably did the job of local journalists for them, by exposing the plagiarism sham of UKIP Crawley Councillor Karl Williamson and his copy-and-paste Crawley Observer weekly column. I evidenced how every single column in the last six weeks, as well as previous columns, had been copied and pasted from the UKIP national website or from Nigel Farage’s column in the Daily Express.

As a courtesy, I emailed the Crawley Observer at the weekend to inform them I was running the story, and that I had discovered their readers were being deceived. I also mentioned that they were reproducing the Daily Express without crediting or referencing them, or indeed Nigel Farage.

Several days later, I've had no reply to my email whatsoever from the Crawley Observer. I find this lack of response somewhat ironic as just last Thursday at 12.09pm; a senior reporter from the Crawley Observer emailed me asking a couple of questions about Council matters. She asked for me to respond by noon on Friday, less than 24 hours after she had sent her email. I not only replied, but I also met her requested deadline.

Yesterday, another weekly edition of the Crawley Observer came out and incredibly, despite my exposure of this plagiarism sham, we have yet another cut-and-paste plagiarised column from UKIP Crawley Councillor Karl Williamson. This time, he has copied two different articles from the national UKIP website and pasted them together!

As well as providing links, I have reproduced below both of the copied UKIP articles in their entirety. Within both of the articles, I have highlighted in purple (and additions in red) what is word for word this week’s Cllr Karl Williamson UKIP Crawley Observer ‘local’ column. I have shown all his edits - strikethroughs in black for what he omitted and I’ve used red for the four words he has added. Basically, he has copied the first article minus the final sentence, and then added the first half of the second UKIP article to ‘create’ this week’s Crawley Observer column.
Cllr Karl Williamson Crawley Observer column 15th January 2014  

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for immigrants to be barred from receiving any benefits until they have been resident in the UK for five years. His comments This follows the publication of a new survey that suggests 77% of Britons want to see immigration cut.

The British Social Attitudes Survey suggests that more than three quarters of Britons wanted to see a cut in immigration - and 56% wanted to see a major crackdown.

Of those surveyed almost half (47%), thought immigration was bad for the economy, and among the 31% of respondents who said it was good for the economy, half wanted to see immigration reduced anyway.

The coalition have brought in a three month ban on EU citizens getting out-of-work benefits ahead of work restrictions being lifted for Bulgarians and Romanians on 1 January. However, speaking to BBC News this morning, Nigel Farage said that the government should go much further and that the cost of migrants claiming in-work welfare payments, such as child benefit, housing benefit and tax credits, had not been factored in to the government's calculations.

"We must be completely mad, as a country, to be giving people from Eastern Europe in-work benefits," he told BBC News said.

And he also said that even lower economic growth was a price worth paying for cutting immigration.

"Even if I thought, which I don't, there was an economic benefit to mass immigration some things are more important than money, namely the shape of our society and giving our own youngsters a chance to work."

Nigel Farage and the contents of the British Social Attitudes Survey will feature in a BBC Two documentary called The Truth About Immigration to be broadcast on BBC Two at 21:30 GMT on Tuesday 7 January.

And continued to be copied and pasted from another UKIP national website article 10th January 2014.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage has scoffed at also attacked the participation of Lord Mandelson and Lord Kinnock in the House of Lords debate over the EU referendum bill, saying that ‘pay to praise EU’ Lords should not be participating in a debate on the right to national democracy.

Both Neil Kinnock, who receives an £83,000 per year EU pension, and Peter Mandelson, pocketing £31,000 a year from Brussels, are subject to a clause that does not permit them to criticise the European Union. Yet the two Lords were prominent figures both in the second chamber and across UK media arguing against the EU Referendum Bill, which if passed, proposes a referendum on UK membership in 2017.

“Whether this Bill or David Cameron's stance on the issue has any credibility is one thing,” points out Farage. “But then there’s the fact that a distinct group of Lords in the second chamber will try to quash it anyway by throwing spurious amendments at it to make it run out of Parliamentary time. What I find the most galling is to see these ‘pay-to-praise-EU’ Lords trying to dominate the argument when they are essentially earning tens of thousands of pounds a year to big up Brussels.

“How can we, in a democratic society, allow this sort of thing to take place inside our National Parliament? What justification is there in giving those in receipt of conditional EU pensions any credence at all on the subject? They should both declare the conflict of interest and step far away from the debate if they want the general public to have any faith at all in UK politics. This is a debate of such national importance, attracting so much public attention, on a subject that could fundamentally change the way we are governed and yet it is being tarnished by self-serving and arrogant washed up politicians.”
I believe it highly likely that most people reading both this and my previous article that exposed this blatent and sustained plagiarism; will share my view that the credibility and integrity of UKIP Councillor Karl Williamson and his Crawley Observer local column is in absolute tatters.
However, what is perhaps more concerning is the rapidly diminishing credibility of the Crawley Observer itself. Despite being alerted to this sham, the Crawley Observer appears happy for its readers to be treated with contempt by printing a plagiarised column week after week.
It doesn't matter whose column it is or what political party they may be from - to appear to be condoning such blatant and sustained plagiarism (including from another newspaper) is not a place where any credible local newspaper ought to be.