Thursday, 21 April 2016

Secunder Kermani, Sadiq Khan and Zak Goldsmith

I see that Secunder Kermani's report on the London mayoral election on last night's Newsnight was unusually well-received by the Corbynistas on Twitter. (Not one of them accused him of being a 'Tory'!) 

And no wonder as his report wasn't at all helpful to Zak Goldsmith's campaign. In fact, it struck me as being a distinctly one-sided intervention by Newsnight in a key election battle.

The report focused on claims of Conservative Party 'Islamophobia' over their questioning of Sadiq Khan's links to Islamic extremists, and reinforced those claims by:

  • Showing various Labour people, including Sadiq Khan, and some Muslim 'vox pops' complaining about the 'dirty politics'.
  • Being dismissive of the allegations against Sadiq Khan, and cherry-picking the case of one that "backfired" (the Muslim preacher who has also been photographed, once, with Zak Goldsmith).
  • Strongly hinting that a dark "new politics" is being brought into British politics here by Lynton Crosby.
  • Describing Lynton Crosby as "controversial".
  • Implying that the Conservatives are playing the 'religion' card by going after the Hindu vote - cue some Hindu 'vox pops' admiring the Tories. ("Some" have said it's "patronising" and "divisive", said Secunder.)
  • Not giving the Conservatives a right-to-reply.

Was this impartial broadcasting? I very much doubt it.


  1. Good old "Some" - what would BBC reporter do without her promiscuous services!

    The reality is that Sadiq Khan is well known for his contacts. Even the BBC stated: "The US is seeking to extradite Mr [Babar] Ahmad on suspicion of running websites raising funds for the Taleban. Mr Khan has been campaigning for his release." Campaigning, note. That's clear cut.

    I am sure the BBC would have been more circumspect had they realised Mr Ahmad was going to plead guilty to conspiracy and giving material support to terror eventually.

    Still none of that is important to the BBC. What is important (stop the presses!) is that a woman has baked a cake for the Queen - OK, well a Muslim woman in a Hijab - as that makes everything all right.

    I think Kermani's report broke just about every rule on impartiality and the attempt to highlight Hindu support for Tories (no supporting evidence was given) could be misinterpreted by some as a deliberate attempt, at a very late stage in the campaign, to solidify the Muslim vote in favour of Khan.

    BTW, Kermani has a Koranic verse in Arabic on his twitter account. It's not translated. So we can safely assume it is intended that is a message to his fellow believers. The translation is "Say the truth, even if it is bitter." A shame he doesn't apply that to Sadiq Khan.

    1. Stop the presses indeed! You really couldn't make it up.

      The first 'talking head' on tonight's BBC News at Six main report? Yes, Nadiya from 'Great British Bake Off'...

      ...before any members of the public, before Prince Charles.

    2. I'll just bump that up to 'post' status, as it's just so BBC-agenda-driven.

  2. BBC News as a form of sedation...