Sunday, 17 March 2019

Open Thread

Apologies if things are a little quiet hereabouts for a while, but please pour yourself another large glass at the BBC licence fee payer's expense and settle down with your favourite slippers for the latest open thread.


Don't mention it

Shall we mention Shami Chakrabarti now? Andrew Marr completely forgot to mention antisemitism. It must have just slipped his mind. 
At first Shami did that eyes-to-the-sky thing that Diane Abbott does. It’s her ‘thinking’ expression. They’re waiting for inspiration from above. But she soon settled in and got into her stride. 

I didn’t see the Newsnight that caused the controversy, so here it is in case you didn’t see it either.

Oh. I now see that the offending passage was the contribution from the leader of “Generation Identity”.

This person was declaring his group’s fundamental opposition to the use of violence at all times and in all circumstances, as well as its opposition to Islam, which they believe is incompatible with western countries.
I daresay they’re antisemitic as well, I don’t know. Didn’t the terrorist say his role-model was Oswald Moseley?

Perhaps it was mainly the insensitivity of the particular timing of Newsnight’s airing, “the same day as the atrocity” but these are the views that Shami and her co-Islamophiles think should be no-platformed.

I did see Jeremy Corbyn on the Sophy Ridge programme.  My mind had drifted off, but my ears pricked up when I caught him uttering the phrase “5 Pillarz”. He wasn’t advertising that particular website though  - it was the name he’s given to some new fangled Labour policy related to Brexit.

Any Questions. The one about Islamophobia

This is pretty much the same topic as the previous one, but I might as well create a separate post for the edition of Any Questions already noted below the line, in which Iain Dale disgraced himself with some unadulterated gobbledegook about Islamophobia:
 “Everybody knows what it means, and just because someone has a different coloured skin and prays to a different God it doesn’t make them your enemy” 
But what if they are pale-skinned, and their God has stated unequivocally that they are your enemy and they should hate you?   And what about Andy McDonald MP, who expressed exactly the view I mentioned in my previous post, namely that all written or spoken criticism of Islam automatically implies the author's approval of murder.
“look at some of the writings that take place. it’s not just on social media. It’s on our Main Stream Media! Where people are writing with bile directed at people of the Islamic faith… […] but it seems to have got into the box of “It’s ok to say this”. We have got to eradicate (the rhetoric) from our national and international life otherwise these things will happen again.

 Even Jonathan Dimbles noticed what he did there. 
“Andy McDonald, those individuals whom you describe who write in a very ugly and prejudicial way, clearly are not the individuals who would commit the kind of atrocities that occurred in Christchurch. Are you saying that you think there is some kind of linkage between their writings and the uh uh um disordered, demented behaviour of the people like this person who is going to be charged very probably with this crime?

Undeterred, McDonald expanded his point thusly:
“I think undoubtedly so, if people who are writing for what are otherwise respected publications and which have wide circulation, and there are many people who have been on panels such as these, who’ve had those views and have written articles in those terms, I think they’ve got to look at themselves in the mirror today and say what contribution does that make in fomenting that level of antagonism and prejudice and discrimination against people, and they are playing a very very active role in that and I think they’ve got to question how they behave and the sorts of languages (sic) that they indulge in and I really do urge them to think very carefully about this because they are part of the issue. 
Perhaps realising the serious implications of what he just said, he appeared to row back:
“I’m not saying for one minute that they would sanction or approve such horrific events, but it’s the sort of environment that they establish, of acceptable discrimination or denial of the problem of Islamophobia, and those are the sort of things that have got to be addressed.
On antisemitism, it’s quite a different story.
“While the incidences of antisemitism are restricted to what is thankfully a very tiny proportion of what is a huge membership of over half a million, when accepted for what it is, we’re not in denial about it, and we will deal with it and we’re doing everything in our power to eradicate from our movement we have an absolute zero tolerance, what I would - I think that’s how we should approach it but I would - in terms of Islamophobia there’s a different attitude to it - it’s almost ‘casualised’, as if it’s acceptable, and Baroness Warsi has spoken out very loudly and long about that being rife in the Conservative Party and I just would urge colleagues across the house to take that seriously and root it out because at the moment, not enough is being done.  
Responsibility rests with politicians, responsibility rests with the media as well - to express themselves in appropriate terms, because it’s ‘othering’ and scapegoating of others is disastrous for a cohesive society.

Andy McDonald has some gall. As if antisemitism hasn’t been rife in the left for years.  As if it's restricted to a very small proportion of the party. As if the Labour Party hasn’t been in the business of ‘othering’ Jews for years. As if the Guardian hasn’t been spouting antisemitic bile for years. As if Seamus Milne isn’t a rabid Jew-hating anti-Zionist fanatic. As if antisemitism hasn’t been "casualised" as if it’s acceptable. As if the Corbyn’s Labour Party hasn’t  got to look at themselves in the mirror today and say what contribution does that make in fomenting that level of antagonism and prejudice and discrimination against Jews and Israel, and playing a very very active role in that.” As if Baroness Warsi expressed herself in appropriate terms.

Above and below: examples of people slamming each other.

As for double standards on 'terrorism', well,

I couldn't listen to Any Answers all the way through - but as far as I could tell, they skipped this topic altogether and leapt straight to Brexit. Correct me if I'm wrong, please do. If not, I can hardly believe that no-one at all had anything to say about the tenor of this discussion. Even the M.P. who is always identified as "of Palestinian origins" (impeccably sacred credentials there) avoided answering the question in a similarly Islamophillic fashion. She deviated, almost immediately, onto a mini-diatribe about poverty and deprivation. 

Mice will play

Craig’s away / mice will play; (you picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille) Oh well; I’m in the driving seat; hang on tight.

The best piece I’ve read so far or at least the piece that most represents my own feelings about the Christchurch atrocity (which it undoubtedly was) is by Laura Perrins.

However, expressions of revulsion at the violence, or sympathy for the victims have been received with extraordinary bitterness if they happen to come from individuals or groups who’ve criticised Islam. That sours things even further. When criticism of Islam is maliciously assumed to equate to actual advocacy of terrorism and slaughter, it starts to look like projection. 

Some of the stuff I’ve read and seen online is utterly appalling, especially on Twitter. I could single out the video of Chelsea Clinton being confronted with the accusation: “Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there”. And what was the ‘rhetoric’  that Clinton ‘put out there”? Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism, is all; and this finger-jabbing assault occurred at a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch shootings. (I see they've copyrighted the clip I've linked to. I don't know if one is allowed to just link to it.) The matter is fleshed out further in this BuzzFeed piece, where the perpetrators attempt to rationalise their bullying behaviour. 

Or, I could also mention David Liddington stating (to Nick Robinson on the Today programme) that “Islamophobia is evil” which is an ominous and sinister type of a thing for a politician to say. Violence, murder and terrorism are generally considered 'evil', but “Islamophobia?” 

And one can’t forget being  directed to the nasty, nasty, nasty spat between   Nesrine Malek of the Guardian and Julia Hartley-Brewer and even worse, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s spiteful response to Melanie Phillips 

and this.

I am a critic of Islam, primarily because of something that most Islamophiles rarely acknowledge, namely the antisemitism that runs through that particular religion, and in particular the religiously-inspired desire to erase Israel from the map. (After all, by rejecting peace with Israel Arabs deny themselves economic and cultural benefits in a way that is entirely self-destructive)

However, I oppose all violence and terrorism unless it’s in self-defence or as a last resort in the face of constant provocation. And just to be clear I unequivocally condemn the atrocity in Christchurch.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

The NZ massacre: an appeal for calm and moderation

The appallingly cruel anti-Muslim terrorist atrocity in Christchurch, New Zealand proves - if proof were needed - that far-right, white supremacist terrorism is now a serious menace and that the ideology behind it as vile as its mirror image, Islamism. 

Both need crushing.

Of course, no terrorist atrocity these days would be complete without armchair warriors on various sides of our many culture wars vying viciously to score points off each other. 

The wilder shores I'll ignore, but within mere hours one 'respectable' side was trying to smear prominent critics of Islamism - from Melanie Phillips to Boris Johnson, from Maajid Nawaz to Julia Hartley-Brewer, from Sajid Javid to David Aaronovitch - with the Christchurch killer's murderous evil, while the other 'respectable' side was furiously countering that this was obscene opportunism. 

(You might notice a certain bias on my part in the way I phrased that).

And, of course, no terrorist atrocity these days would be complete without the authorities thinking that the first thing needed is to crack down on social media.

On these points, here's an appeal posted yesterday (as events were unfolding) from North Northwester at the They're Joking. Aren't They? blog:

The NZ massacre: an appeal for calm and moderation

In light of the unconscionable and apparently anti-Muslim attacks in New Zealand that may have been inspired by anti-Islamic sentiment and which all decent folk everywhere will condemn without demur or qualification (as do I ), now might be an appropriate time to point out that not all anti-Islamism activists and commentators are inspired to or approve of illegal violence.  
As our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the bereaved, it is important that just condemnation of these criminals should not be used as an excuse for counter-attacks and blaming the innocent. 
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of Islam sceptics are simply decent, law abiding people who wish to go about their lives at peace with their neighbours while reserving to their consciences the basic human right of expressing condemnation of the 34,725 documented deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11, 7/7, the horrors of Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Telford and the rest of such events and who harbour – for whatever reasons - deeply held convictions critical of the motivations behind the Ariana Grande concert massacre and the ISIS-led attempted genocide against (amongst others) the Yazidi people. 
Please try not to make this sad situation worse by blaming, quite without evidence, any or all of Islam’s present day critics and detractors for fear your intemperate words might inspire violence or legal persecution against this much-maligned and diverse group of individuals: no matter how much you might personally disagree with their opinions and obsessions. 
Thank you.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Open Thread

Time for a new Open Thread. Thanks to one and all for your comments and support. Here's to us! And Cheers!

Forgetting the victims

Under the headline Ex-jihadist jailed for murders in Jewish museum in Brussels Sky News reports:
A French citizen told a jury "life goes on" as he was jailed for killing four people in a Jewish museum in Brussels. 
Mehdi Nemmouche was sentenced to life over the murders of tourist couple Myriam and Emmanuel Riva, and two museum employees, Dominique Sabrier and Alexandre Strens in May 2014. 
Nemmouche staged the attack shortly after coming back from Syria, where he had been fighting with Islamist factions in the civil war. 
It was the first attack by a Western European who had fought with the factions, and raised concerns about jihadists returning to their home countries.
Under the headline Brussels Jewish Museum murders: Mehdi Nemmouche jailed for life BBC News reports:
A Frenchman who murdered four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014 has been jailed for life. 
Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, opened fire with an assault rifle and a handgun, killing three people at the scene. A fourth person died later in hospital. 
He had previously spent a year fighting for the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. 
A man who helped plan the attack and supply weapons, Nacer Bendrer, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
One thing that immediately struck me here was that Sky News listed the terrorist's victims in its second paragraph, while BBC News - in a long report - only mentions Mr and Mrs Riva in connection to their children's testimony in court and completely omits the names of the other two victims, Dominique Sabrier and Alexandre Strens.

A second thing is that where Sky notes that his attack "raised concerns about jihadists returning to their home countries", you won't find any such mention in the BBC's article. 

As for the obvious antisemitic aspect, Sky reports that "Two French journalists told a court they remembered Nemmouche as deeply antisemitic, sadistic and full of hatred", whereas the BBC only reports his disgraceful defence team's argument that he "could not be considered anti-Semitic because he wore Calvin Klein shoes - an apparent reference to Mr Klein's Jewish heritage".

"The teenage female Bradford boxer fighting stereotypes"

The BBC is relentless. This is one of the top news stories on the BBC News website this morning:

Monday, 11 March 2019

Other side of the coin

It must be because I’ve clicked on a Tommy Robinson video once or twice, but I keep getting unsolicited Tommy Robinson-related alerts on the iPad. Well, I suppose it’s just as well, otherwise, I’d never get to know what’s informally known as ‘the other side of the story’. 

It’s not that the MSM is completely silent about the comings and goings of Tommy Robinson formerly known as Stephen Yaxley-Thingy.

Did you read that piece in the Sunday Times (£) penned by, of all people, famous journo Andrew Gilligan?

I’m surprised. Why would Andrew Gilligan write a piece that clearly implies that Tommy Robinson is in it for the dosh and that the ‘punters’ who shower him with donations are gullible idiots?

The article includes a couple of pictures of Robinson’s “House in Bedfordshire worth almost £1m”, which look as if they’ve been snatched from some estate agent’s brochure. Is that how investigative journalists go about their business, like riffling through celebs’ dustbins for ‘evidence’? 

What was the point in that? Anyway, for those of you without The Times subs, the comments below the line are divided, but on balance I’d guess they’re slightly towards the “could be going better’ end of the spectrum.

One of the unsolicited TR live-stream type selfie-films I was sent the other day was of Tommy outside the home of a certain Mike Stuchberry in the middle of the night banging on the front door loudly and relentlessly.

Tonight he paid me a visit. Twice. 
“After tweeting the news that he was about to be served papers for defamation at his home in Central Bedfordshire, I got to see, in response, what his customary “doorstepping” was like for myself.”

Mike Stuchberry, "Educator, Writer and Thinker"

According to Tommy Robinson, the door-knocking exercise was retaliatory, as previously 'a drug-addict' had been employed to serve the above mentioned ‘papers’ in person to the home of TR’s wife and children “where I do not live” accompanied by various individuals and newspaper reporters. I gather the police intervened before the troupe accomplished the mission.

TR felt this behaviour was intimidatory as well as cowardly as at the time he himself was abroad on a well-publicised trip. So, own medicine.

I don’t know if any MSM outlet has published “the other side” as outlined above, but it doesn’t seem very fair to publish one without the other.

As far as fearing the creeping Islamisation of the world goes, I’m with Tommy. The way he goes about disseminating his message is often both impulsive and reckless. However, just sitting on one’s arse blogging like I do has zero impact and comparatively little influence.

It obviously takes impulsiveness and recklessness to make an impact, not to mention considerable personal courage. I do wish he’d rein in some of his less defensible activities, but even so - power to his elbow.

As Nicky Campbell said on The Big Questions, Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion. Dozens of Islamic countries already exist, and Islam has infiltrated almost everywhere else, including Britain, with ever-increasing persistence. Antisemitism is rife throughout the western world, especially Europe. Meanwhile, your BBC is out and about, garnering the views of the people of Bradford.

Breaking News!!

Breaking News!!

Rolling Banner: "Shamima Begum’s mother has written to the Home Office asking it to reconsider the decision to remove Shamima Begum's citizenship."

Comments could be going better” (as some people say).

Politics Live

A post about snowdrops

That's the translation of its part-Greek, part-Latin scientific name, Galanthus nivalis.

Fair enough, but its more traditional nickname, 'the flower of hope', gets closer to why it means so much to me.

First seeing their bobbing white blooms always cheers me up, and I've long looked out for them at the beginning of each year - this year even more than ever.

And I first spotted them next to a busy Morecambe road less than a week after New Year's Day, and have been obsessing about them ever since.

(Obsessing even more than about BBC bias? Probably not). 

As the BBC would be the first to tell you though, the snowdrop isn't an English native (it was first recorded as naturalised in the UK in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in 1770), and if you eat it you could end up spending a huge amount of time fearing to stray too far from your toilet lest its consequences manifest themselves in unfortunate eruptions from your stomach via either your upper mouth or your much lower rear mouth, so to speak.

But aren't they beautiful? And now, alas, they're leaving us for another year.

The deeply unfashionable (though beloved of In Our Time's Lord Wig of Braggton) poet William Wordsworth wrote a poem about them. (Yes, WW wasn't just some pro-daffodil bigot, whatever David Lammy MP might say about him):
LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend:
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
The late Miles Kington once compared them to a demented little white corps de ballet that dances out along the roadside, through fences, coyly back into woods, everywhere you go.

Cue Tchaikovsky, who made them represent April in his The Seasons. 

Eat your heart out, Sarah Sands of Today!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Begum the question

The opening discussion on this morning's Sunday programme has attracted interest. 

StewGreen, for example, characterised the discussion as being a ‘Bring them home Muslim’ vs a ‘Keep em out Muslim’, the latter being in favour of deprogramming camps “on the Turkish border or in Cyprus”. 

I thought Ismael South (the latter) was a thoughtful, engaging fellow but he did cast Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins as bogey-people, and the main reason for not letting Shamima Begum & her elk/ilk back into the country was that it would help their cause. 

(WTF...those 2 don’t do anything wrong, they are not terrorists", commented Stew to that.)

William Crawley was, of course, very BBC throughout.

Here's a transcript.

[My transcription was done with the help of TV Eyes - not that TV Eyes works well for radio. It kept mishearing the name 'Shamima Begum' and came up with several best-guesses: 'Jimmy Bacon', 'shimmy of bacon', 'some bacon' and 'mum Baker MPs'. ]


William Crawley: The death of Shamima Begum's baby son has reignited a political row and a moral debate about the Home Secretary's decision to revoke the 19 year-old British citizenship for travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State terror group. Miqdaad Versi is with us from the Muslim Council of Britain. Miqdaad, good morning to you and welcome. And, as you've just heard in the news bulletin, it's also been reported today by some of the Sunday papers that two more jihadi brides from the UK have been stripped of their citizenship, apparently living in refugee camps in Syria and being named this morning as Reema Iqbal and her sister Zara Iqbal. What's been the reaction within the Muslim community here to this unfolding and developing story?
Miqdaad Versi: I think that, in general with most of these issues, the reaction within the Muslim community is always mixed. There will be different perspectives across the country. But what's really important is that we as a country look and consider our commitment to justice and the rule of law in these areas. We have to be very careful about what the implications are of removing citizenship of those who happened to have dual nationality, which affects minority communities disproportionately. It will mean that those who have dual nationality - you know, especially those from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities - will feel and have expressed the view that their nationality as a British citizen is somehow less than others and they have fewer rights than everybody else. And that's something that is not ideal for our society
William Crawley: I see in The Observer today the Bishop of St Albans, Dr. Alan Smith, being cited and quoted saying "This is a human rights issue" and challenging the Home Secretary's decision to exclude Shamima Begum from the UK by taking away her citizenship. Do you share that sentiment that this is a human rights-focused issue?
Miqdaad Versi: I think we agree entirely. Human rights, the rule of law and justice are core principles for all of us, and it's important that the actions that are taken are those that are in the national interest and in line with the values that we believe in as a society and aren't in view of specific choices that are made by a Home Secretary for whatever reason that might help their own personal ambition. We can't know that for a fact. What we have to care about more, what we have to ensure is the case, that this is about the rule of law, justice and our commitment to human rights.
William Crawley: Let me also welcome Ismael South to the Sunday studio, director of the Salam project - a youth and community initiative. Good to see you. Good morning to you. And big questions today also about the potential implications in the United Kingdom for deradicalisation work of the kind you've been involved in in response to this case. Are their implications?
Ismael South: Definitely there are implications, but what it is that I would like to put across there, Shemima Begum and these two that you heard about today, according to our research, there's over 450 British people in prison camps, in Kurdish prison camps, around Syria. And not only that, there's thousands more from around Europe, thousands more including America, Oceania (that's Australia and New Zealand). And I believe the way...yes, we might not agree with what the Home Secretary has done but the reality is that we need to look at the solutions, because there's over 400 British citizens who are stuck in Syria. So I believe, because the British Muslim charities, they make over a billion pounds a year in the UK. Those are British Muslim charities. The top 40 British Muslims charities make over a billion pounds a year. And if we all be honest, around 35% of that is due to red tape and waste. So I believe if Sajid Javid and Theresa May want to look at a solution, not little plasters, if they were to ask the heads of these top 40 Muslim charities and say, look, we can have a facility on the Turkish border or in Cyprus and we want you to pay for it, and this is a place where these people can be debriefed, they could be used for Intel, counselled (because they're going to be suffering from trauma) and they could be risk-assessed and they could be utilised for research, and they also can be facilitated through various deradicalisation projects...
William Crawley: (interrupting) Alright, so you're suggesting that that should be done there, as it were? You're not, you're not, supporting bringing these people back to this country?
Ismael South: To be straight with you, I'm 50/50, because I see both sides. I believe if Shemima Begum was brought here to the UK it would give more power to people like Tommy Robinson Katie Hopkins, that type of elk, because they would use that as a horse, as a Trojan horse, to promote their rhetoric. And I believe... 
William Crawley: (interrupting) Can I  just bring Miqdaad Versi in on that?
Ismael South: Yes.
William Crawley: Just to test where you are on that question, Miqdaad. Do you agree with that?
Miqdaad Versi: I appreciate that perspective but I think that our commitment to the rule of law has to take priority over those perspectives. For example, someone like Anjem Choudary - an individual who is considered quite...massively negatively across all Muslims communities and across the country as a whole. He come out of prison. Like, should he have been kept in prison because it would have been "good" for Muslim communities or would have stopped Tommy Robinson and his ilk, etc. We shouldn't, of course we shouldn't do that. We need to follow the rule of law because those are the things...the commitment to justice, human rights, the rule of law, that's what makes us as a country. We should not be some stopping these values just because of these individuals. It doesn't make sense...
William Crawley: (interrupting) Ismael, very briefly?
Ismael South: With respect to Miqdaad Versi...I love Miqdaad Versi. He's a good man. He's done a lot of good work, and is very intellectual, but if it was up to me people like Anjem Choudary, his passport would be revoked and I would ship him back somewhere else because he's caused so much destruction, so much rifting communities, he's broken up so many families, and he makes it harder for Muslim communities around the UK.
William Crawley: Ismael South, thank you very much. Thanks also to Miqdaad Versi from the Muslim Council of Britain.. 

The M-word

Listening to this morning's Sunday on Radio 4, Jane noticed something I also noticed:

Now, to be strictly accurate, the programme's interviewee, Amanda Spielman (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools) did mention the M-word midway through the interview. It was presenter William Crawley who went out of his way to find ways not to mention it. 

Comparisons and Contrasts

First came John McDonnell:
Andrew Marr: Let me ask you about one other thing that happened this week. The Equality and Human Rights Commission announced that it was thinking of investigating the Labour Party into antisemitism. Would you welcome that investigation?  
John McDonnell: Yes, and let's get on with it now because I think we...One, I'm hoping we'll get a clean bill of health about how we're handling things. If there's issues that the EHRC can advise us on I welcome that, because I want us to be a shining example of how you tackle issues like antisemitism both within your own party but also in wider society. So let's get on with that now. and let's get it done. Because we will learn lessons from it, and I hope other political parties as well, how they deal with the racism that they've experienced in their own parties, learns from this too.  
Andrew Marr: John McDonnell, thanks very much for talking to us this morning. 

Then came Jeremy Hunt:
Andrew Marr: I asked John McDonnell just now about antisemitism in the Labour Party. Does the Conservative Party have a zero tolerance attitude to Islamophobia?  
Jeremy Hunt: We do, and we have a zero tolerance policy to all racial prejudice. And that is demonstrated by the fact we have suspended the membership of 14 people for posts that they put on Facebook.  
Andrew Marr: But you've got a councillor, Mick Murphy, who compared Muslim children to rubbish bags, and he was suspended and then he was allowed back into the party. And there's lots more examples like that. What is really going on?  
Jeremy HuntWe act quickly and decisively. I don't know the details of that individual case, but there is a very big difference between us and the Labour Party, and that is that in the Labour Party's case, the problem goes right to the very top because Jeremy Corbyn thinks that the foundation of Israel was a crime and that is why he's unable to distinguish between antisemitism and Israeli foreign policy. When it comes to Islamophobia, I don't pretend that we don't have...  
Andrew Marr(interrupting) You've got some very,very  extreme views inside the party, Baroness Warsi, who is one of yours, a leading Muslim Conservative, says there is institutional Islamophobia inside the Conservative Party.  
Jeremy HuntWell, I have a lot of respect for Sayeeda Warsi. She's been a lifelong campaigner against racism . We're engaging with her. We're not going to close our ears to what she says. But as I say, we are determined to do something but in the case of the Labour Party, I'm afraid because of Jeremy Corbyn's views on foreign policy, the problem goes right to the top. 
Incidentally, the very wicked Mr. Murphy (whose ears must have been burning) got into trouble after sharing a couple of jokes.

He should have known better because if there's one thing we know for certain these days it's that jokes aren't a laughing matter.

They could lead to your name being blackened on The Andrew Marr Show:

"It's a British establishment problem, and the BBC's worst at it"

And here's a little more from the 'hardcore' David Davis's interview with Andrew Marr this morning:
David Davis: Look, you had on this programme last week the past master of political tactics. He had Tony Blair on here. He didn't make much concealment, as it were, of his wish to see this whole thing reversed, right? What was his first step towards that? A deferral. And then a second referendum. And then, he hopes, a reversal. Well, that's what this is about and the British people understand very clearly what is going on, they understand better than the commentators...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) So you are hoping really for no deal at this point? 
David Davis: No, no, I'm not. The reason I've always said that no deal has got to stay on the table is because it's what brings the European Union back. Now...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) Sorry, so the choice for you might be this deal or no Brexit at all?
David Davis: No, no, I think... That is what we are going to be aiming to avoid in the tactics...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) But if that is the choice, what's the answer? 
David Davis: Frankly, this deal is worse than current membership in one sense because we can't get out of it, but I don't think that is anything like the best outcome. And what we have to do...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) So you would rather stay in? 
David Davis: No. No, no, no. I...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) Well, these are the choices now ahead of you. 
David Davis: No, it's not, this is one of the problems, you keep... It's a British establishment problem, and the BBC's worst at it. You keep posing this as though these are choices that we make. No, they're not. They are stepping stone in a negotiation. And so what would happen...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) But Parliament is going to have to make these choices.
David Davis: Yes, it will have to make the initial choices and then the Government will go back to negotiate. If it says no deal is still on the table, I don't think no deal will happen. I think the European Union will come back and say 'Let's take another couple of weeks to negotiate'. Why? Because whether it's the German Halle Institute or the IFO or any on them, they all say the damage to the European Community is much, much greater than the damage to Britain, much, much greater by order of magnitude difference...
Andrew Marr: (interrupting) We will wait and see with great interest. 
David Davis: They won't do it. They won't do it. 
Andrew Marr: Thank you very much indeed for talking to us. 


Watching The Andrew Marr Show, I was struck by how Andrew introduced David Davis as a "hardcore Brexiteer", and it quickly turned out that I wasn't the only one:
Andrew Marr: So, as we wait for official confirmation of whatever the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has or hasn't brought back from Brussels, the Prime Minister's chances of getting her deal through still hang on the attitudes of Tory hardcore Brexiteers. One of them is David Davis,  former Brexit secretary, who joins us now. David Davis, first of all, what would she need to bring back to bring you over? 
David Davis: I'm not sure I would agree with the characterising of "hardcore Brexiteers", but by the by...
It's good to see pro-Brexit people pushing back against the BBC over this kind of thing. 


Talking of Peter Hitchens, his latest Mail on Sunday column has another BBC-related section:
The Beeb’s scandalous addiction to Profumo
Here we go again, this time it’s the BBC making a series called The Trial Of Christine Keeler in which the sad 1960s call girl will be beautifully impersonated by Sophie Cookson. 
You’d think nothing happened in that era apart from the Profumo Affair, which didn’t matter at all. But it was packed with scandal. 
A decent drama about the Suez Crisis or the anti-railways Transport Minister Ernest Marples, who actually skipped the country (in a train), are badly needed. But they don’t involve sex. Could that be the problem?
That sent me looking up Ernest Marples as, beyond a vague recognition of his name, I know nothing about him. It turns out that he was the man behind Dr. Beeching and his notorious railway cuts (plus premium bonds, postcodes and the M1), and that he ended up fleeing the taxman and bolting to Monte Carlo in 1975 before ending up on his 45-acre vineyard estate in the Rhône Valley. Alas for Mr Hitchens though, Wikipedia has a section which says:
Use of prostitutes 
When Lord Denning made his 1963 investigation into the security aspects of the Profumo Affair and the rumoured affair between the Minister of Defence, Duncan Sandys, and the Duchess of Argyll, he confirmed to Macmillan that a rumour that Ernest Marples was in the habit of using prostitutes appeared to be true. The story was suppressed and did not appear in Denning's final report.
So even if he got his BBC Ernest Marples drama - presumably to be called Marples -  Mr H. would still be unable to escape the Profumo affair, or the sex. 

In fact, the BBC - should they learn about this - will doubtless think that Marples is a cracking idea. I should probably start writing it now:
Marples: Dr. Beeching, I'd like to see you take an axe to the national railway system.
Beeching: (in the style of Sid James) We'll can do it together Ernie. I hear you're very handy with a chopper. (Dirty laugh)

"Am I serious? Perfectly. Will their response be? I doubt it"

Listen up! I've applied to run Radio 4 
I have just applied for the post of Controller of BBC Radio 4. My application form went in on Thursday. Am I serious? Perfectly. Will their response be? I doubt it. 
I was partly motivated by rumours of the names that were being considered – a collection of liberal establishment figures of the sort who are already strangling the BBC. 
My view is that, in return for the licence fee, the BBC owes a duty to listen to, and treat seriously, the views of people who are not in that establishment. 
And they don’t do this. Many of them don’t even realise there is any other view of the world than their own. I have promised that, if appointed, I will most certainly bring equality and diversity to that great radio station. Just perhaps not the sort of equality and diversity the BBC has in mind.