Sunday 8 February 2015

Some Sunday morning reading

Other links you might care to read this morning (if you haven't already done so) include: 
by Steven Woolfe, UKIP MEP
On Thursday night I was due to fill in for Suzanne Evans on BBC Question Time as she was unfortunately taken ill and could not attend.
Let us put some emphasis that word, ‘due’, as on the morning of the programme my appearance was cancelled as it turns out at that I am not in fact a woman.
My perception of the BBC has been affected in two ways as a result of this incident. First, it seems fairly incompetent of the BBC to have not known that a person named ‘Steven’ is a bloke, and therefore if they wanted a woman why book me in the first place. Second, focusing on a guest’s gender and not on what they actually might have to say is a retrograde step for the BBC’s public service remit.
Yes but, it's a very BBC thing to do, Steven, and didn't surprise me in the least. They've just gotta have their diverse panels or the world as we know it would end.

Also, courtesy of the Mail on Sunday, comes this:
by Chris Hastings, arts correspondent
  • BBC is under fire over its adaptation of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy
  • Broadcaster has been accused of ramping up Left-wing issues in the book
  • Scenes have been added to the drama which do not appear in the novel
  • Critics say storyline is disguised attack on the Government’s welfare cuts

The MOS article cites three examples of how the BBC has "ramped up" the left-wing issues in JK's book:
The BBC: In the opening scenes, Councillor Howard Mollison, played by Sir Michael Gambon, and his social-climbing wife Shirley (Julia McKenzie) discuss plans for a luxury hotel and spa development. A gleeful Shirley tells her husband: ‘It’s beautiful. You feel better just looking at it. You can’t let Barry Fairbrother and his tribe of do-gooders stand in the way of progress. They’ll have to accept that Sweetlove House has had its day.’
In the novel: The plan for a luxury hotel and spa does not appear at all.
The BBC: Opposing the plans, Councillor Fairbrother says: ‘That is social engineering. That’s apartheid. Herding people into ghettos because they don’t fit the aesthetic. There is a name for that, isn’t there. Bill, you stormed the Normandy beaches didn’t you, fighting fascism... That house helps people to live. The parish council is not here to make a quick buck for someone who already has more than enough... Is the legacy still of benefit? Yes. It has never been so important.’
In the novel: Councillor Fairbrother dies on page two having hardly uttered a word.
The BBC: When progressive councillor Parminder Jawanda tells her colleagues that drug addicts will have to travel to nearby Yarvil to get help, a rival tells her: ‘They would crawl on their knees over broken glass if there were drugs to be had.’
In the novel: She uses far milder language, saying addicts should have their benefits cut.
Some of that dialogue could come straight out of a parody of a typical clunking, agitprop BBC Radio 4 afternoon drama. My favourite line is "You can’t let Barry Fairbrother and his tribe of do-gooders stand in the way of progress." Tee hee!


  1. Steven Woolfe is one of UKIPs brightest stars. Channel 4 seems to give him a fair hearing but do not think we see much of him on the BBC and I simply do not believe the BBC's explanation for cutting him out of QT.

  2. If I were JK Rowling I would be having a word with my copyright lawyers. On the other hand, maybe she is colluding with the BBC. Either way, it is par for the course and we can expect a lot more as the election approaches.

  3. Grant, you can bet that Rowling approves of all of it. That line about standing in the way of progress is a ham-fisted and amateurish as the words for any of the Harry Potter magical spells, and the whole drama appears to be as cliché-ridden as a series of books about witches and warlocks with robes, pointy hats, magic wands, and flying broomsticks. Why would Rowling object?

    The BBC is only adding to and expanding the cheesy obvious message. I mean, Sweetlove House? That was Rowling's original. Does the villain hold a gun to a puppy's head at one point? And wasn't the book sort of panned as a weak class-war effort when it came out?


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.