Sunday 31 July 2016

The Silly Season

It’s the silly season. There’s no Marr, no Neil and only an extremely silly version of Sunday Morning Live. 
I don’t usually warm to Naga Munchetti, but she and Jane Hill are more sympathetic hosts than Sian Williams; however, as far as jarring S.M.L. anchorpersons go Anita Anand takes the biscuit.

This morning’s edition looked like a hastily cobbled together cover version of standard issue. Anita Anand was understudying Naga Munchetti and the panel were subs.

It’s the silly season though. As everyone else in the country is stuck in a stationary queue just outside Dover, it didn’t matter who they dragged in to discuss how faith leaders in the UK should respond to the killing of elderly Father Jacques Hamel on his church altar.” 

Tommy Sandhu has an unusual head; his features occupy the whole face, leaving little space for forehead or chin. I’m not sure what he is on the programme for, but one of his jobs is to go ‘on the road’ to capture suitable vox pops. This time he went to the Living Islam Festival in Lincoln to accost young Muslims and film them commenting on why Islam is so peaceful, and opining upon what’s wrong with the ‘Prevent’ strategy.

His other job is to read out messages from a giant screen in the studio. But the thing is, having begged the public to join in, the messages, identified in true Jeremy Corbyn fashion by first names or Twitter handles, are so inane that they’re ignored like an embarrassing smell. Also, as they are displayed in such a large format, viewers can easily read them for themselves, so they don’t need to be read out loud. Especially by someone who doesn’t necessarily do so accurately.

Anita Anand had plenty to say. Then, all of a sudden, a near earth-shattering incident shook the studio.
A panellist, The Most Rev Kevin McDonald, made an extraordinary remark, which sounded both controversial and disarmingly honest. Nodding towards Tommy’s Islam-festival vox-pops, the Most Rev said:
”Most of those young people would not call ISIS extreme”. 

The panel staggered back in horror! Anita Anand did a double-take! The clock struck thirteen.

Disappointingly, there was a qualification. Panic over. The Most Rev Kevin McDonald patiently explained why he thought most of those young people would not call ISIS extreme - not because they’d come to terms with the fact that the ideology of ISIS wasn’t a million miles away from the ideology of mainstream Islam. No. The opposite. They wouldn’t call ISIS extreme simply because they wouldn’t even call ISIS  anything at all to do with Islam, let alone an extreme version of it”

Anita heaved a sigh of relief.

The final segment was about internet trolls. The young lady who had lost a leg in that horrible Alton Towers accident has been trolled by people who accused her of exploiting her accident, which is a bit rich, since nearly  everyone on TV is exploiting some accident or other, be it an accident of birth, like talent, good looks or plain luck, good or bad. She looks defiantly glamorous; good luck to her and long may she exploit her situation and .......Get off Twitter. 

Why am I here?

The funny thing is, she looked completely surprised to find herself sitting there between, let’s face it, some decidedly unglamorous wimmin who had either been trolled  or had opinions about being trolled. She must have been wondering  what on earth she was doing there. Some of us were wondering what any of them were doing there.

"Trolls do not watch S.M.L"

P.S. You know how people with an agenda will seize upon dissenting voices to discredit their target, e.g., when the BBC cites snippets from Haaretz to back up their own creepy anti-Israel campaign?

We all understand that natives who criticize their own country -  or for that matter family members who criticize other family members  - usually have their country’s or their family’s best interests at heart and will ultimately close ranks if challenged from outside.  Freedom of speech is paramount, but at the same time it’s probably foolhardy to cavalierly hand ammunition to one’s enemies.

If anyone thinks our criticism of the BBC is aimed at its destruction, they’re mistaken. We do not have such a charter. Our criticisms are supposed to be constructive, even if they don’t always look that way. I duly acknowledge the negativity in the above post about S.M.L. 


  1. The mainstream media has been running big with the story of Muslims attending French memorial services in Churches. But I noticed that the group featured doing that on Sky News were actually Ahmadiyya Muslims, considered heretics by most mainstream Muslims. Rather disastefully I thought, they chose to publicise their own creed, carrying a banner bearing the Ahmadiyya slogan outside the Church.

  2. With 50,000 'moderate, peace-loving' Muslims in Germany out in the square rallying in support of Erdogan (not because of his love for democracy and free speech), and it turns out that all those Muslims "all across France" who turned up in churches yesterday to show their support for peace and love and to prove that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, turn out to be a few hundred Ahmadiyya, whom all those young Muslims would consider infidels and not Muslims at all, the BBC's Narrative is collapsing before their eyes.

  3. More narrative collapse...

    I thought it was a bit suspicious that the mainstream media, like the BBC, were giving us no background on Mr Khizr Khan after his incredibly powerful intervention at the Democratic National Convention.

    It now appears he has written extensively on Sharia law - and not, of course, in a critical way.

    He has also it seems been a supporter of OPEC's actions. There is also information around he spent years in Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia and that now one of his specialisms as a lawyer is immigration.

    So what were we seeing when he stood there waving the American constitution belligerently at Donald Trump? Is that the law he lives by or is it Sharia?

  4. Apologies for being OT, but Newsnight tonight (Monday) is a disgrace. Introducing the segment on the disaster of Venezuela, Evan Davis said that the country under Chavez was seen as a success story for Socialism and "a rejection of neo-liberalism", but "it has gone badly wrong in the post-Chavez years.....

    In essence, when oil prices dropped, the money ran out."

    BS. It was always going to fail eventually because Chavez didn't invest in infrastructure or improving his oil industry or in encouraging any kind of prosperity. He invested all the oil money (after lining his pockets, that is) in largely superficial social programs that kept a good chunk of the population dependent on the State. Superficial social programs like La Sistema, which produced Gustavo Dudamel, darling of the BBC and now MD of the LA Phil.

    The drop in oil prices simply accelerated the inevitable. The country was badly run, Chavez's exuberant form of Socialism which the BBC loved so much simply didn't set the country up for prosperity, never mind being able to weather a storm. It's an outright lie to blame the current situation on a mere drop in oil prices. Why haven't all the other OPEC countries turned out the same way?

    It would be really sick if the BBC actually had the Venezuelan orchestra on the Proms this year showing off the wonders of glorious neo-Marxism while the rest of the country is starving with society in devastating collapse, wouldn't it? The BBC can't be that amoral, can they?

    Yes, they can. Sept 4, the "incomparable" Simón Effing Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under the floppy-haired one himself.

    They're probably telling themselves they didn't know things would turn out like this when they did the booking two years ago, and anyway it would be cruel and inhuman to turn them away now. It's a propaganda band, never should have been invited in the first place.

  5. You're right about giving St Hugo a free pass.

    But to be fair, at least Newsnight admitted just how far Venezuala had fallen. A lot of well fed soldiers were on view but the poor seem on the brink of real starvation, or perhaps are already there.


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