Recently, I started listening to the Iliad.
I’m in my 30’s now, but I remember precisely when I first met classical literature. I was 16 and trying to make an emotional life after leaving my abusive parents.
On my sixteenth birthday my mobile phone rang. A man contacted me and said his name was Martin Bashir.
Recognising the name, I hung up, but he phoned again and drew me into the conversation by claiming he had “information” about my violent abusive father: information which might protect my siblings who still lived with him.
He said his team had come into possession of some evidence, but it would only be possible to make it available to the police if I agreed to give an interview to “keep his producer happy”.
He provided some personal details of my family (including graphic details of abuse, names of people who had known my family when younger) so that I felt that he did have access to this information.
(on leaving home myself, I had reported my father to Social Services, but all I got was a patronising phone call from someone not wanting to do anything).
So I gave the interview to Martin Bashir. He and his producer, Miranda Peters (now at Tern TV) set it up by lying to my father at the same time to get him to give an interview, too.
They presented the interviews as if we were both sitting in the same studio, and turned it into a Jeremy Kyle style:
OXFORD PRODIGY VIOLENT CHILD ABUSE SPECIAL: WHAT THE FATHER SAYS VS WHAT THE DAUGHTER SAYS? YOU DECIDE style show.
It was humiliating in the extreme and designed to cater for the emotional voyeur.
And, a few days later, I ended up being interviewed with two professional but cynical police officers who hadn’t received any tip-offs or footage from Bashir and clearly thought I was just “attention-seeking” (my father was convicted of abuse years later).
Bashir had been planning to stalk me, manipulate me, and lie to me for a while, but specifically waited till my 16th birthday, so he could tell everyone “I haven’t targeted a child”.
Like many journalists, Bashir was (is) a manipulative, hate-filled little man with nothing in him except lying whose main “skill” is stalking and targeting people in vulnerable situations in order to whip up public emotions and make them more vulnerable.
His employers treated him like dogshit: a dirty self-loathing immigrant who would do anything to get all the stories, and he responded in kind: bragging about groping Miranda Peters who he called “the filthy blonde”
(it was disgusting what the media did to me, but in a way, what they do to themselves is much worse?)
Me? At 16, I was left looking like an attention-seeking angry teenager who liked sharing personal details of herself with media viewers and gave stories about her family and Oxford for titillation.
And all the stuff I could have been enjoying and engaging with, like classical literature and maybe connecting with a peer group, was distracted from: sidelined and contaminated by the actions of people like Bashir.
(Bashir went on to make aggressive phone calls to intimidate me into giving evidence when my father made a complaint about him when I was back at Oxford. Again, his aim was to push me emotionally off-balance for his own evil ends when I was in a vulnerable situation. I think, like many journalists, he targets and feeds off those he thinks are weak or vulnerable in order to ingratiate himself with those he “wants to impress”.
Like my father, he displayed severe narcissistic traits – very keen to present himself as this “affable bloke”, obsessed with controlling what he sees as his “public image”, but then displaying aggressive rage as soon as they are challenged or contradicted even slightly or when their “mask” doesn’t get what they want).
Stalkers like to control their victims lives.
It goes beyond just “the incident” in which they have direct contact with their victim. They want to take over, steal someone’s life.
I’ve chosen to write my next few posts on the ways in which stalkers try to do this, based on my own experiences..