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COMMENT 11

Interview with a suspect: was the TV appearance of Gable Totsee insensitive? Emily Murray

The interview is played out like a blockbuster, insensitive to the families affected by the case.

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hannel Nine aired a 60-minute interview on 13th November with Gable Tostee, an Australian man, whose tinder date Warriena Wright was pushed to commit suicide by jumping off of his 14-foot high Gold Coast apartment balcony in August 2014. When the date turned sour Tostee locked Wright outside on to his balcony. Family and friends say that Wright felt that she had no choice but to jump because of the violence that Tostee showed towards her. Only weeks after Tostee was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter, Australia’s 60 Minutes show on Channel Nine announced their interview with the acquitted Australian. The interview aired on 13th November, in which the 30-year-old seems entirely devoid of remorse and un-phased by the questions put to him. They play back the tape which Tostee recorded of the night where the girls audible screams can be heard sending chills down the audience’s spine. Tostee claimed that he would often record nights like this – a habit which suggests a streak of sadomasochism in a man whose defence appears weak in light of evidence such as this. The carpet layer admits, “I used to go out quite a lot drinking” following this statement by “I don’t have the best memory when I drink.” On the tape Tostee can be heard saying “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you

off my balcony you goddamn psycho little b****.” Most people, I would argue, would immediately call the police if they saw something out of the ordinary happen. Not Tostee. His first point of call was a lawyer. A not guilty man has nothing to worry about, so why would he immediately seek a defense lawyer as soon as Ms. Wright is dead? Defending his course of action Tostee claims, “Nobody is trained for a situation like this” but I beg to differ. From childhood we have it imbedded in our heads that if something bad happens we should immediately call the police. But to Tostee he believes that, “there is no right or wrong way to proceed from there.” In that situation to not call the police seems to me to show a man of a calculated nature, more interested in getting himself out of blame than seeing to Ms. Wright. What makes this night and his course of action even more chilling is that he had had sex with Wright just before he forced her onto his balcony, and went to buy pizza just after the incident happened. “What had happened had happened, and there’s nothing an ambulance could do to change that” The lack of remorse he feels towards the girl speak volumes through his actions on the night of her death, emphasised more now in his cold, almost bored manner in the Channel Nine interview. He even tries to defend him-

Pictured: Totsee called the lawyer before the poilice.. (Source: Tony Webster via flickr)

self when asked if he could understand why people believe him to be cold and heartless, retorting, “the media can make people think what the media wants people to think”. The interview is played out like a blockbuster, insensitive to the families affected by the case in turning what should be a very serious and unembellished interview into an entertainment show with dramatic sound affects. Reflecting so soon after a case that is so distressing for Wright’s family seems disrespectful to say the least. But to pay Tostee $150,000 to sit there and provide not one word of comfort to the families affected by Ms. Wright’s death is an outrage. Whether he is guilty of not the fact remains that had Tostee

not locked the New Zealander out onto his balcony she would not have jumped. Social media cried out at the interview, with an uproar on twitter. The South Australian Labour treasurer Tom Koutsantonis tweeted: “I can only imagine the horror Warriena’s family is experiencing having their little girls last moments broadcast for money by #GableTostee” @Tank999 tweeted: “Did anyone establish what was in #GableTostee’s “Home made Vodka”?? Perhaps that would explain #WarrienaWright’s “strange” behaviour” @Burgers61 tweeted: “How many people have a lawyer in their contacts on their phone? #GableTostee #60mins”.

Social media cried out at the interview, with an uproar on twitter.

Boxing day exploits retail workers

A petition to ban the Boxing day sales has passed 300,000 signatures

Abigail Wilson

In some cases, this is the only time of year that students will be able to see their families.

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hhhh Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time of celebration and relaxation. Time to get the family together and make lifetime memories. But is it? Not anymore. Many companies are currently hiring Christmas temps to work through the festive period. Students in particular, those at University, sixth form, and college, are particularly likely to apply for these roles, in desperate attempt to earn some extra cash and experience in the run up to Christmas. These jobs are good for earning a bit of extra money, but are usually long hours. So is it all worth it? Christmas temp jobs are changing the nature of Christmas as we know it. In many cases, students are being forced to work throughout the Christmas period, sacrificing valuable time spent with family and friends. These jobs are often demanding and require students to work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, keeping students stranded at University, away from their family and friends. Trains home are extortionately expensive, and the traffic is absurd, meaning that many University students will be spending this Christmas alone.

Is it fair that students and workers have to miss Christmas and precious family time, just to earn some money? Are companies exploiting people desperate for a job?Most of the time, students have no choice. Many companies require employees to work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as part of their contract. Some students are vulnerable and will agree to working these long hours. If they don’t, in the majority of cases, they will not be hired or could even be fired. But students are deciding to make these sacrifices for the greed of retailers. It’s not fair and needs to stop. Christmas Day isn’t enough time to see all of your family, from all areas of the country, if not the world. It’s definitely not enough time to catch up with friends either. In some cases, this is the only time of year that students will be able to see their families. Boxing Day sales are a key event for many UK stores. Not only is the busy environment of working Boxing Day stressful for workers, shops such as Next and Matalan open their doors at 6am on Boxing Day, meaning that workers are compelled to do ridiculously long, tiring hours. Two petitions calling for retail to

close on Boxing Day have been created and they now have over 300,000 signatures. The petitions call for retailers to respect Christmas day as a religious holiday and to enable retail workers to enjoy some family time over this period. The petition was created by Ian Lapworth, a baker and former DJ from Kettering, who argues that the Christmas holiday should be respected by retailers so that staff can have “some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else. “We managed 30 and 40 years ago when shops were sometimes shut for a whole week. Let’s get back to the way it was.” Although over 300,000 individuals agree that closing stores on Boxing Day is a worthwhile idea, a similar petition was launched last year, also calling for stores to remain closed on Boxing Day. It received an official response from the Government saying: “We do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.” However, this year’s petition has

smashed its 150,000 target, meaning that the government will now have to consider debating it in Parliament. But will it ever change? Will we ever get to enjoy Christmas with our whole family again? Not only is having shops open during the festive period damaging for the workers, it is also harmful to the family unit as a whole. No longer are individuals spending time with their families. Instead, people are rushing out to the shops in hope to bag the best bargain. Running around the shops is increasingly seen as a normal Boxing Day activity, with increasing numbers of individuals forgetting their families and ignoring the traditional meanings behind Christmas. Christmas has become commercialised, and for many, it is more important to make money, than to spend Christmas with loved ones. Lapworth wrote: “Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love.” Stop shops opening on Boxing Day. Some things are needed over the festive period. Retail isn’t one of them. Let families enjoy this precious, festive period together.

Increasing numbers of individuals forgetting their families and ignoring the traditional meanings behind Christmas.

Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016  
Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016  
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