Friday 21 August 2015

The jokes on them. Or us.

Last night's Newsnight began with the Labour leadership contest. 

Newsnight viewers have been treated to many such features in recent weeks. Out of the last seven editions of Newsnight six of them (yes, 6/7) have focused on the subject of Labour leadership contest (this Wednesday's edition was the exception to the rule).

Last night's programme focused on the issue of entryism (again).

It included a report from new Newsnight reporter James Clayton (featuring anti-Corbyn Labour MP Neil Coyle), and then a double- interview with non-Corbyn-supporting Labour MP Ben Bradshaw and a disgruntled chap called Pete Sinclair. 

The aforementioned Pete said he'd voted Labour up until the Iraq War and only voted Green in 2015 as a protest vote. He'd return to Labour like a shot if Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader and might even become a member again. Unfortunately (for him), Labour have rejected his vote, suspecting him of entryism.

A quick bit of Googling shows that he's not just some random voter though. He's actually the Pete Sinclair who co-wrote one of my favourite BBC comedies (with Jack Dee), Lead Balloon. 

And he's also a writer for Have I Got News For You and Mark Steel's in Town. (Does he write all their anti-UKIP jokes?)

It's odd that Newsnight didn't give its viewers any background information on Peter Sinclair, isn't it? Kirsty merely introduced him as something whose vote was rejected by the Labour Party and he was also merely captioned by Newsnight as 'Pete Sinclair, Excluded from Labour Leadership contest'.

Also, it's a small world, isn't it? Kirsty Wark of the BBC interviewing former BBC Berlin correspondent Ben Bradshaw and Pete Sinclair, writer for the BBC (among others), about the Labour Party?


Incidentally, I see (from Pete Sinclair's Twitter feed) that he was also on the Victoria Derbyshire show today, appearing as a "life-long Labour supporter" (well, according to the BBC feed anyhow):

The Victoria Derbyshire show also captioned him, 'PETE SINCLAIR, Labour leadership vote blocked', 

But at least Naga Munchetty gave BBC viewers a bit more information about him, calling him a "comedy writer" (though nothing to connect him to the BBC in any way, shape or form).


On a similar theme (as some of you might already be aware), another BBC left-wing comedian, Jeremy Hardy, has had his vote for Jeremy Corbyn rejected by the Labour Party too and appeared on the BBC complaining about it. 

More revealing than with Pete Sinclair, the BBC website actually introduced him with the words:
A left-wing comedian has said he was told by the Labour party that he could not vote in its leadership election.
Jeremy Hardy said....
Poor Jeremy. Not getting his vote for Jeremy counted. Oh dear. Snigger.

Update 23.38: Actually make that 7 out of 8 of the last editions of Newsnight that have dwelt on the Labour leadership contest. Tonight's Newsnight also led on it!

And, for good measure, our Kirsty was talking about it with former Scottish Labour leader Jack McConnell, with whom - as you may remember - she got into a spot of serious bother a decade or so ago (over concerns about bias), after going on holiday with him.

Could you have made it up?


  1. Have you heard the joke about the UKIP voting right wing comedian who worked for the BBC? No? Neither have I. That's because there isn't one. Not the joke - obviously this is such a joke - I mean such a comedian.

    1. I've probably been listening to too many of Jeremy Corbyn's jokes recently, but:

      Q: How many UKIP-supporting comedians does it take to change a lightbulb at the BBC?

      A: That's a meaningless question. There aren't any UKIP-supporting comedians at the BBC and none will ever be let into the premises.

    2. UKIP voter walks into the bar at BBC Broadcasting House. Guy at the bar says "We don't get many UKIP voters in here." UKIP voter says: "I know - that's why I voted UKIP." Guy at the bar says "OK, perhaps you did but you didn't really mean to."

  2. Nice catch, Craig. Rule #1 in effect, as usual.

    In any event, doesn't this seem like more evidence of the schism within the BBC over Corbynmania?

    1. Thanks David. I thought of Rule #1 while I posted it.

      That schism is fascinating, isn't it? Just from what I've seen and heard, some programmes (such as the 'Victoria Derbyshire' show) are featuring a preponderance of Corbynites while others (like Newsnight) are absolutely piling on the Blairites (and Brownites).

      The other political parties (including the governing Conservatives) seem to be barely getting a look-in at the moment.

    2. This Labour war should be the main story for some time, but one does get the feeling that it's very, very important to the Beeboids. The higher-profile, establishment Beeboids versus the entertainment side and the lower ranks, maybe?

  3. Not everyone's taste but I am a fan of the late and great Bob Monkhouse.
    " When I was a boy I told everyone that when I grow up I want to be a comedian and they all laughed at me. Well,they are not laughing now ".

    1. I love that joke too. A contender for the best joke ever.

    2. That's deffo a contender for the Top 10 jokes of all time.

      My personal favourite (quick version) is the one where the WW1 French soldier who wins the (one sous per ticket) lottery to sleep with the best French prostitute and is able to when he hands over the 10,000 Franc fee (courtesy of the lottery win). Afterwards she says in a fit of patriotism that she cannot possibly take money off a poor French soldier - and then...promptly returns him his one sous fee.

    3. No that should have been "the original price of his lottery ticket ie one sous." That's why I never attempt to tell jokes.

  4. Given today's news about men on trains and possible ww3 breaking out in Korea, it is lucky for Ian Katz the weekend has intruded so he can pick up where he left off on monday with the real stories of interest to the British public.


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