Sunday, 17 July 2011

Creative Integrity - Last Stand or Last Breath?

Good grief, what a week we've had here in London.  On the one hand, the final section of the last ever Harry Potter film premiered to riotous but peaceful success in theatre land. Fans young and not so young swarmed into the 'West End' of the city. They dressed up, they sat on the lions in Trafalgar Square and generally made no trouble at all.

On the other, Wapping Station stands deserted in the wake of the 'News of the World' phone hacking scandal which grew daily. The senior staff were declared to be the 'No. 1 Priority', while 200 or so clerical  and portering staff in the paper's offices in Wapping lost their employment. Wapping's not a rich part of London - at one time it was the site of the great London shipping trade. Fortunes were made from trade and export then, but not by the local people. They're not likely to prosper out of the demise of a newspaper empire either.

That's before we even start to consider the victims of this alleged atrocity - the families of murdered children, bereaved parents of serving soldiers, the Royal family - how the list grows and grows. Well, the truth pf it all will come out sooner or later.

It is, of course, easy to be sanctimonious after the event, and perhaps this is the moment to take stock, and ask if there's anything I am currently doing, or paying lip service to, 'because everyone else does.'

One thing I do remember is that J. K. Rowling, a decade or so ago, was ridiculed by some of the very journalists who now have time on their hands.  Rowling's crime? She stuck to her guns about what she would, and would not, put in her books. She was choosy about sponsors, about merchandising, caring more about the content of young minds than about money.  Yet what riches it brought her, in the end.

Jennifer Pittam is a winner of Coast to Coast Writing Competition and is working on her second novel.

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