Monday, 5 November 2018

...and on and on...

Meanwhile, following Sunday's The Andrew Marr Show, the War of Arron's Ear rumbles on...

spiked's Brendan O'Neill has written what I think is an absolutely spot-on defence of the BBC over at the Spectator. (And Rob Burley will love it).

Brendan rails against the "self-important" enemies of free speech - and a free media - who want to force the BBC to permanently exclude people whose views they dislike, and contends that such people's "unhinged Banks-bashing" is merely a cover. Remember, remember, he argues. "Remember it is voters they’re really hating on" - Brexit-voting voters:
It is the role of a news organisations to decide what is interesting, to arrange interviews, to interrogate people who are involved in politics or business or some other important public pursuit. That is exactly what the BBC is doing this morning. It is contributing to a healthy open society. Those trying to starve Banks of the oxygen of publicity are doing the opposite: they want to limit media freedom, freeze difficult discussion, and force broadcasters to conform to their worldview. They are a menace to democracy and open debate.
Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, those very people are out in force. There's Lord Adonis, of course,  who described Andrew Marr's treatment of Arron Banks as "pathetic", but also Suzanne Moore (who I can never think of without thinking of Germaine Greer's infamous description of her "hair bird's-nested all over the place, f*ck-me shoes and three fat inches of cleavage"), who talks of "Marr’s failure to press Banks" - which certainly isn't what I saw - and of the BBC having "the Ukippy right circles around it" - which is just plain silly (as anyone who saw Jo Coburn's recent interview with Gerard Batten will testify).

'Complaints from both sides' arguments are shown up again here. The likes of Lord Adonis and Suzanne Moore are talking complete nonsense. One side is merely frothing (or fake-frothing) at the mouth.

P.S. Arron Bank's would-be nemesis, Carole Cadwalladr, wasn't happy with The Andrew Marr Show:

  • Nice work BBC. You just provided a platform to a liar. Who has just smeared me on live tv. Thank you so much.
  • Add it to the bill.
  • This whole episode is utterly shameful. And you owe me an apology.
  • I had to be pre-recorded to go on BBC R4 Today to talk about Arron Banks . Why wasn't he? #Marr. Serious serious editorial mistakes here.
  • I am genuinely shocked and upset about this. If you value what The Observer has been trying to do for the last 2 years, please consider supporting our work. We don't have a licence fee. We have a fraction of the BBC's resources. And we need your support. 
  • Or give money to openDemocracy. Proud to have worked with @PeterKGeoghegan & @maryftz on these latest revelations. Their work (and @AdamRamsay) has been exemplary.
  • The editor responds. I don't even know where to start with this. The last few minutes were a car crash. Lies upon lies. All unchallenged. He lied about Eldon, what had been declared to Electoral Commission, the "emails", me.
  • Banks is happy though.

Comments could have gone far better for her though. 

Lots of people picked up on her "give money to openDemocracy" tweet as revealing something they think she's not been straightforward about (which given her complaints about transparency might be considered hypocrisy on her part). 

openDemocracy's largest funders are organisations belonging to a single foreign donor who, coincidentally, is campaigning in the UK to stop Brexit - namely He Who Mustn't Be Mentioned, one George Soros.

Maybe Rob & Co. at the BBC can investigate that?


  1. The BBC goes out of its way to act as Soros's PR agent, describing him as a "philanthropist". The life, opinions and purposes of George Soros would genuinely make for a fascinating documentary but I can't see it being made by UK media outlet. I think the BBC might already have done a hagiographical piece on him - I'm thinking a warts and all documentary.

    1. Yes, a few months back there was a Radio 4 Profile on Soros. As you say it was hagiography.

  2. It's funny how she complains about him smearing her, while she is smearing him.

    Unchallenged? Goodness, he kept asking him the same question over and over as if he hadn't already told him where the money came from. It was so repetitive and pointless I got quite bored and began to find the Marr right hand waving like a palm frond a more fascinating development than the actual interview.