Following my earlier post on ‘mappex’ I received an e-mail from a trade union official acting on behalf of Councillor Gez Kirby . . . who is also a trade union official, with the same trade union. The e-mail came, ostensibly, from a Darren Williams, who is Acting Wales Secretary for the Public and Commercial Services Union. For the same outfit he also serves as National Officer for the South West. (Pembrokeshire?)
To recap: In February 2009 someone using the name ‘mapexx’ went on a BBC Wales message board making the comment shown here. (Click to enlarge.) Now of course, ‘mapexx’ could be a complete fantasist, making it all up in order give some credibility to his / her obvious contempt for the Welsh language. But there must also be a possibility, perhaps a strong possibility, that ‘mapexx’ was, as he / she says, a census enumerator, and even did follow-up interviews. If so, then ‘mapexx’ has broken the contract of his / her employment and may have committed a criminal offence. Consequently, we have every right to expect that the Office for National Statistics, and indeed the Public and Commercial Services Union (representing the staff at the ONS), would want to find out the truth, and to identify ‘mapexx’. But following my complaint to the ONS in March 2009 I had a brush-off letter and heard nothing more.
What I said in my post of September 2nd was, ” . . . there are enough grounds to suspect that Councillor Gez Kirby, an employee of the Office for National Statistics, abused his position to post comments on a BBC blog, under a spurious name, claiming to be using confidential information gained through his employment.” (“Grounds to suspect”, Mr Williams.) I would welcome having those suspicions dispelled. But that can only be done by identifying ‘mapexx’ and establishing that it is not Gez Kirby. Darren Williams’ e-mail to me, plus my reply, can be found here.
UPDATE 25.09.13: After writing the above and the earlier piece on the mysterious ‘mapexx’ I also wrote to the Office for National Statistics. Yesterday I received a reply. You can read both the e-mail from the ONS – Room 101! – and my reply below. Quite honestly, I think that what the ONS is saying is a load of old bollocks. Here’s why:
- An organisation with the resources and reputation of the ONS should – if it so desires – have no problem in getting the information from the BBC, or anywhere else, needed to identify ‘mapexx’.
- An organisation like the ONS, dealing with sensitive information entrusted to it, should be duty-bound to hunt down someone like ‘mapexx’.
- Yet here we are, over four years on, and the ONS admits it has made no progress. Perhaps because identifying and prosecuting ‘mapexx’ would result in embarrassing publicity. (The same disincentive applies to the Public and Commercial Services Union.)
UPDATE 07.10.2013: I have now received another e-mail from Ms Byard at the Office for National Statistics in Newport. This, together with my reply, can be found below. If anyone has problems then this correspondence can be accessed here in PDF format.