Him indoors called me to come and watch Andrew Neil talking with Tommy Robinson this morning. This jaw-dropping exchange caused all household activities to be suspended.
The constraints of political correctness applied only to Andrew Neil and not his adversary, which made for a conspicuous case of asymmetric warfare. So it wasn’t a level playing field, but then Tommy Robinson was automatically playing with a handicap just by being who he is. Nevertheless, even on Andrew Neil’s terms, with language as weapons, I’d say it was game set and match to Tommy.
Realising he was being trounced, Andrew Neil resorted to belligerence and bluster, finally goading Tommy Robinson into reiterating that he was “terrified for his children about what was happening to our country” in order that, on behalf of the BBC, he could scream his prepared retort “Some people are equally frightened of the EDL”
Saying that the EDL “doesn’t speak for very many people, does it?” begs the same question of the BBC. Perhaps Andrew Neil was simply trying to reassure himself in a last man standing kind of way.
However this sort of thing is becoming par for the course. Let’s be honest, as they say.
Tommy Robinson starts making a reasonable case, people complain that he’s not being allowed air time, the BBC feels pressured into proving them wrong; each time they realise, too late, that their “far-right” “football hooligan” labels alone are not sufficient ballast against the credibility of his argument.
Andrew Neil then went on to interview a spokesman for the Muslims. Until and if iPlayer comes up with this episode I can’t recall his name, and his face was not familiar to me.
With one bound, Andrew Neil’s interlocutory manner switched from hostile to ingratiating.
The one pertinent question that was put went nowhere. It was something to do with Muslim-only areas, and lack of meaningful attempts to assimilate therein. This was deflected by a retort of such staggering irrelevance that one might assume Andrew Neil might venture the customary “You haven’t answered the question”.
Through the powers of Twitter I can reveal that the gentleman to whom Andrew Neil was so deferential is “Britain’s Stupidest Man” Farooq Murad, secretary general of the MCB.
Huffington Post is making a major issue out of this episode of Sunday Politics.
“A VIOLENT MAN MAKING VIOLENT THREATS’ screams the headline in enlarged pillar-box red caps.
Click on that and you get “EDL's Tommy Robinson Admits Real Name Is Stephen Yaxley, Was In BNP To Andrew Neil On Sunday Politics”
Jessica Elgot - oh no, a pun is half-forming - got a bit of her own ‘el in the BLT comments.
“So Tommy Robinson changed his name and was a member of the BNP...SO WHAT ?” represents the gist of them.
Hope he doesn't mind, but I've lifted a comment here from David Preiser at 'Biased BBC' which strikes me as being very sensible:ReplyDelete
"Robinson was brought in so that he and the EDL could be discredited in front of a serious BBC audience once and for all. Neil was reading either Mehdi Hasan’s list of questions, or from the same source Hasan got them. The goal was character assassination, and it was nearly accomplished. If you can’t defeat the message, shoot the messenger. Robinson fell for none of it, but there’s too much easy evidence against him.
No wonder the BBC keeps having Robinson on instead of, say, Douglas Murray, Rod Liddle, Andrew Gilligan, or Charles Moore, all of whom have espoused the same general views about the dangers of Islamist extremism in Britain.
The BBC needs to stamp down the message, so allows the worst possible spokesman for it to get nearly all the attention. It’s an old game. Perhaps Liddle and Gilligan have been invited on but declined? I suspect they haven’t been asked, but it’s easy enough to find out.
If the BBC had any real case to discredit the message other than shouting “racist” or, in Neil’s case, shouting “fascist thug”, they’d be talking to the credible pundits I’ve mentioned, or others without the baggage Robinson brings, and having adult conversations. But they don’t. And I don’t mean having them on panel shows every once in a while to debate other topics. I mean have them on in exactly the way Robinson is brought in, on the exact same kinds of shows, to discuss this topic specifically and no others."
My partner came in halfway through but luckily we can rewind So He Watched it from the beginning. Andrew Neal continually interrupted, So Intent On Getting All his questions in but then he changed his whole demeanor when Talking To The muslim He Even Said at one point "sorry To Interrupt but" we Thought the whole thing Was disgracefulReplyDelete