Turning to the Evening Standard’s webpage, there’s an interesting picture of a sad balding has-been whose world collapsed last May and whose frequent subsequent ramblings about have been increasingly shrill and out of touch.  Yes, it’s Andrew Gilligan’s byline photograph, on a classic hatchet article about the Starlight Music Academy and Lee Jasper.  Boris has incurred the wrath of the Great Journalist by failing to have SMA thrown out into the street.  Indeed, the ever-generous Mayor has allowed them to stay on, for a bit.

Leaving aside the text of the article, the tone of which I’m fairly sure I could get a moderately bright 5 year old or even a computer to impersonate, I’m struck by the photograph of Jasper and the Offley Works building at the top.  ‘Looks photoshopped’, was my first thought.  ‘I wonder if we can find the original’ was my second thought.  So I went hunting.

Here’s the very first image in a Google Image Search for ‘Lee Jasper':


It’s from this Standard piece last year, and is presumably a library photo, since I’m not sure Mr. Jasper jumps for the Standard when they ask for a photoshoot.  Here’s today’s illustration by way of comparison.  It’s captioned ‘Leases: Lee Jasper and the Offley Works in Kennington':


Now, either Mr. Jasper suffers from OCD and thus routinely wears exactly the same grey scarf knotted exactly the same way over exactly the same suit and very pale blue tie with the same pattern of light and dark hairs in his beard, or those photos were taken on the same day, which is at least six months ago.  Now, to be fair, perhaps the first photo was taken at Offley Works facing the other way – fortunately with Google Streetmap we can find out.  Offley Works, if you want to sing along at home, is at 44-46 Offley Road, Oval, SW9 0LS, a stone’s throw from the residences of both my partner’s uncle and a senior cabinet minister I’d better not identify but whose name rhymes with ‘shameless, lying whore’.  The building is at the bend in the road.  Now spin Streetmap round and look at the other side.

Ahem.  So, is the first picture taken in Offley Road?  No, the houses there are handsome three-storey classic London yellow/grey brick affairs with substantial steps up over basement areas.  Probably about 1860 or so.  The first photo seems to be in front of late Victorian quasi-gothic red brick buildings with lots of ornamentation, probably about 20 years newer.

I therefore call shenanigans – I reckon both images were taken on the same day, although they aren’t the same image.  Someone’s then photoshopped the six-month plus vintage image of Jasper onto a stock shot of Offley Works, then captioned it to make it look like he’s directly connected when, presumably, he isn’t so much these days and it’s Boris Johnson’s LDA that have made the decision.  Shoddy stuff, I reckon, verging on outright deception but what did you expect?

Update – Anton Vowl rips Gilly a new one.

Second Update: correspondent Wireman writes:

“The printed version of this story (pdf attached) shows the genesis of the pic on the Standard website.”

Indeed it does, as the print version shows two photographs, from which it’s quite clear that the website image is photoshopped from a photo of Jasper outside the red brick residences and a stock photo of Offley Works, as suspected.  The caption is also different:

Leases: the Offley Works in Kennington (left), and disgraced ex-mayoral adviser Lee Jasper

So, on the plus side, they’re only being wilfully misleading to website readers.  On the negative side they’re still being wilfully misleading to readers, and they’re still printing Gilligan’s rubbish.

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25 Responses to Photography Corner: Andrew Gilligan and Lee Jasper *UPDATED*

  1. Leon says:

    Photoshopped was my first thought also…typical ‘journalism’ from an gutter hack like Gilligan…

  2. Mark Lee says:

    Now I like to bash Gilligan as much as the next chap – and there’s a lot wrong with the article (casting aspersions about the number of people attending, despite clearly seeing this himself first hand, invoking irrelevant accusations about Mr Jasper, etc) but I am slightly troubled by the fact that Starlight isn’t (apparently) a registered charity. Should buildings in public ownership be given to a non-charitable organisation rent-free? Personally I feel that that privilege should only be afforded to those organisations who have jumped through the necessary hoops and offer the transparency of accounts that are required of a registered charity.

    That’s not to say that I don’t think Starlight is a valuable organisation (TBH, I know precious little about it other than what I’ve read here and on other blogs), and there is clearly a group of people who find it immensely valuable (as witnessed at PQTs in Bethnal Green), but I do question why they aren’t registered, and it makes me feel a little ill at ease.

    Anyone who knows more about this care to shed a bit of light?

  3. Tom says:

    I suspect the truth is something more prosaic around the redevelopment of the building being delayed, possibly due to the change of regime and possibly due to the credit crunch. I always prefer cock up to conspiracy on these matters.

    You do have a point though – even the PTA I’m a member of is a registered charity, and the demands are hardly onerous (four of us had to trot along to the bank and present proof of our identity, IIRC, which I think is a yearly requirement, plus various things are banned under the rules of charities, which from memory are mostly reasonable). In Gilligan’s determination to find evidence of corruption which I don’t think exists, I think he overlooks small matters like this. Proof again that his attitude actually prevents meaningful journalism and accountability. An article saying ‘From my visit I concluded that SMA do good work and it would be great if they had a stable future going forwards with proper charitable status under a Mayoral-approved scheme to offer funding and shelter to charitable organisations working in specific fields’ would be perfectly acceptable. Instead we just get bile and dross.

    Of course, a lot of his audience wouldn’t approve of public money going to black people anyway, and I suspect he knows who he’s writing for.

  4. Anton Vowl says:

    The Photoshop is pretty dismal. I don’t know what they gain from cutting him out and slapping him in front of the building. How does that improve the reader’s understanding of the story?

  5. […] pm     This post by Anton Vowl is a work of art. Update: Tory Troll has more, as does BorisWatch.   |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   function […]

  6. Peter says:

    I think the fact they chopped of his arm and both ears shows what they think of their readerships ability or willingness to question articles and in this case photo’s too… Maybe one to send to Photoshop Disasters


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