Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Dire Straits

The main news today is the Supreme Court’s decision  (8 - 3) that the government cannot use its prerogative to trigger article 50 without putting it to a vote in parliament. Therefore the decision about ‘triggling aritcer 50’ (as certain BBC reporters and politicians are apt to Spoonerise) will be up to our MPs.

 See Guido’s provisional list of MPs who will vote against.

Triggling aside, I do think the media is presently running the country. Theresa May’s hesitant performance on the Marr Show exposed her genuine and understandable fear of the media, as much as anything else. If she had fallen into Marr’s little trap of admitting “she knew” that there had been a faulty test, we all know how the media would pounce. Of course her feeble attempt at obfuscation didn’t do her any good either. Lose-lose.


As for the anti-Trump fest, it does remind me of the Arab Spring. The media had to apologise for its embarrassing premature ejaculation on that topic.

One hopes Trump’s political agenda trumps his personal one, and if things work out for America, let’s assume the media will be magnanimous enough to recognise it. But ah ha’e me doots.

mean, The Donald is all the things the media says he is. Well, maybe not all. Because the one thing the media has pounced upon is not really what the media will have us believe. Not at all.

They discovered that infamous ten year old video, and all they had to do was light the blue touch paper and sit back and gloat with satisfaction as the lefties and feminists grabbed the baton and sped off with in all directions. 
The pussy thing - a boast - was not a sexual assault. The pussy thing, as far as I can tell, was one celebrity’s surprise and delight at discovering the power of celebritydom. Like a child with free run of a toyshop. Yes it was babyish. Yes, it was quite repulsive. The pussy thing was an embarrassment, a childish example of verbal incontinence, and almost an expression of astonishment and disbelief at at his own power.  It. was. not. a. sexual. assault.
Now I’m sounding like Bill Clinton and the ‘that woman’ speech, but how many feminists reacted with horror when Mark Knopfler sang “Money for nothin’ and chicks for free”?


Thus endeth the variegated stream of consciousness observations; now for something completely specific.
Yesterday I took the trouble to transcribe the whole of Sarah Montague’s interview with Israeli spokesperson Tzipi Hotovely . (Click on 'read more')
I didn’t set out in detail which particular words and phrases exposed the flaws in Sarah Montague’s line of questioning because I am tired of reiterating the same old things over and over. Anyone who is familiar with the situation will “know” just by reading the transcript. 

Perhaps this was the BBC’s attempt to redress the balance, but this morning someone must have decided to show ‘the other side of the story’ by bringing another interviewee onto the Today programme. The running order has:
“What do Palestinians make of the new American President? The mayor of Jerusalem believes the United States is serious about moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Haneen Zoabi is a Palestinian member of Israeli Knesset.”

This illustrates the BBC’s laughable idea of balance. Commissioning one hostile interview with an Israeli spokesperson one day, then a gentle interview with an anti-Israel spokesperson the next. Heads I win; tails you lose.

Yesterday’s interview was ostensibly about settlements. Today’s was about the possibility of the US Embassy being moved to Jerusalem.

Although the BBC mentioned it on their website, (in the above running order) Mishal Husain didn’t make much of the fact that Zoabi is an Israeli Arab and an MP in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. She certainly didn’t tell listeners that Zoabi is opposed to the ‘two state solution’ (she wants a one-state (Arab) solution) and that she opposes Israel being recognised as a Jewish state. Despite the fact that as an MP she is hugely benefiting from its democratic system, she is ideologically opposed to Israel’s existence. How mad is that?

Haneen Zoabi’s young relation Muhammad will tell you more in English, Hebrew or Arabic, whichever you prefer. 

Not to mention his mother Sarah, another ‘proud Zionist.’

I won’t be transcribing this interview. Please listen yourself

Haneen Zoabi was given plenty of space to express herself without let or hindrance. “What will happen if Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem? Mishal asked hopefully. “Will it be a red line?”

Mishal did interrupt a particularly long rant to ask Zoabi what she thought about settlements being “not the only issue”,  and citied other issues, which (she said)  ‘Israel sees’ as additional ‘obstacles to peace’, namely: The status of Jerusalem, refugees, Israel’s security. 
Issues effortlessly glossed over by Mishal, but hugely complex, contentious and nearly always misrepresented.

“650 units is ‘a crime against humanity’ “ said Zoabi, “It’s a war crime”.
"If you want peace, you want justice, and you must make Israel accountable to its crime” she opined. Another lengthy rant unchallenged, including the customary Palestinian rewriting of history and imaginative interpretations of various wrongdoings of the state that so generously provides her with the opportunity to spread anti-Israel propaganda to those that hunger for such a thing.
Palestinian intransigence, rejectionism, incitement, violence and visceral hatred of Jews didn't get a look-in.


  1. Re: the wonky Trident episode, the media aren't all bad, Sue - today's Times tells us that the Cameron administration hushed up the missile failure at the request of one Barack Hussein Obama. Deep Joy! - This presents the Beeb with the sort of dilemma that causes Beeboid heads to spin through 360 degrees with green slime spurting from their mouths: how can they use the 'scandal' to attack the Tories without besmirching the reputation of their living Saint? My guess is that they'll either downplay it or just not mention it at all.

  2. I suspect Theresa May is more afraid of a challenge from within her own party than from the media.

    As for the Supreme Court vote, cynical me thinks that this is just the excuse she needs to wash her hands of the whole thing and let Parliament vote against Article 50. Not her fault, she did her best, even appointed the three 'Big Brexit Beasts' to key positions as proof of her sincerity. MPs themselves made the decision. Gosh, if only Corbyn had done a three-line whip to get his party to vote for it, etc.

    There is already law on the books that the sitting Government can make certain extra-EU decisions without having to get a Parliament vote, including making the decision to leave. So this is all a farce.

    The explicit promise in the Government's published explanation to the public was that they would follow the result of the vote, full stop. Of course, that was another Cameron lie, but it's still technically the same Government, so no excuse there.

    1. I think Cameron chose her as Home Secretary because she has marshmallow in lieu of a backbone & you are probably right about her preferred outcome, but I think 'Leave' will win the vote whether she likes it or not. See Guido, 'Leave Tories Expect 400+MPs to Back Article 50.' Many moderate pro-Remain Labour MPs know they will be de-selected if May is forced to call an early election; and she would be forced to do so or watch the Tory Party self-destruct.

    2. I always assumed Cameron chose her because she could be relied upon not to brief against him and to dutifully lecture the public about Islamic terrorism having nothing to do with Islam whenever required.

      May would win a new general election. The only danger is the Tories losing more than a couple seats to UKIP while Labour loses several to UKIP and the Lib Dems. The SNP might even lose a couple seats after Nicola Sturgeon's recent embarrassing performances.

    3. That's what I meant by lack of backbone; sadly she could also be relied on to do nothing while streets in London and our major cities were burned and looted, and to avoid upsetting the left-wing press by ensuring that water cannon could not be used in the future!

  3. One thing I dont understand and the BBC and others don't seem to have covered - what was the vote about before Christmas that was callled at the same time as the original court case ruling? I seem to remember that being abot activating article 50 and several commentators saying that the government had been a bit clever?

  4. We need an edit function for the well educated children of the 80's like me....

  5. It was a motion of the house - had no legal effect but the Government accepted some Starmer amendment I think and then Labour felt obliged not to vote against it, I believe.