Sunday 4 September 2016

Open thread......

By now Craig will be well on his way to a very reasonably priced continental holiday he found on Airbnb.  He tells me it’s in Calais, France, in a complex called ‘the Jungle’. 

Two weeks on safari, maybe? Sun and sangria for him, then, and back, refreshed and raring to go in a fortnight. 

Bon voyage Craig!

Meanwhile, in case of posting hiatus,  let's call this an all-purpose Open Thread.


I’m dedicating this cartoon  to Ed Balls.


  1. I'll have a go - G20 negative Brexit coverage or "they don't have a plan" as the BBC like to say. Meanwhile ignoring the fact that it has been clearly stated on numerous occasions that we won't activate article 50 until 2017 whilst government departments are working on the various negotiating positions and reviewing options - which is a plan + it's not a good idea to publicise such things prior to actual negotiations.

    Meanwhile I'm not sure if Anti "Zionist" Labour have officially announced there position or plan for anything for the last year? even before the current leadership battle.

  2. You can all stop wondering when the BBC was going to begin the Ed Balls image rehabilitation plan. They do it every time. With Labour figures, that is. I would sum up most of Marr's interview with him thusly:

    MARR: Gosh, you're so humble, aren't you?
    BALLS: Indeed I am. Politicians are human, and sometimes it takes courage and leadership to show it.

    The BBC better prepare themselves for yet another onslaught of angry attacks from Corbynistas about the closing bit of the interview. Marr led Balls along a "The three pound membership vote" was a disaster for Labour routine. It was something from the Blairite side that backfired, apparently, but it was a horrendous mistake. Marr didn't bother to play devil's advocate at all, except for a perfunctory line about how it's a good thing that membership was increased. Balls couldn't agree enough, of course.

    I've said before that Marr has displayed anti-Corbyn bias, and that the Corbynistas do have a valid claim sometimes. This is one of those times.

    Baroness Shami of Whitewash is on Marr's paper review panel this morning. It's great hearing all these Leftoids praising a female Tory Prime Minister for a change.

    Marr did ask the obligatory, "Was it in exchange for the Labour report you did for Corbyn?" questions.

    "I wrote the report to try and civilize discourse in the Labour party." What a load of BS, no challenge from Marr. It was supposed to be about the significant influence of anti-Semitism, and she immediately watered it down to a blanket issue. It was all gentle, obligatory questions, from Marr, softballs for her to smack into the bleachers. They can claim they asked challenging, important questions, all complaints of bias dismissed. I don't care what anyone says, there is a clear, objective difference between this sort of session and an actual challenging interview. Plus doing it on the paper review sofa makes it a much less pressure-filled environment than a one-on-one session.

    Ever seen Marr seriously go after a guest on the sofa? Of course not. It's the first episode of the fall season, and I'm already unsure if I can stomach another half hour of it.

    His interview with Theresa May is starting out as a continuation of the honeymoon period of her premiership. Cue Complaints From Both Sides that the BBC is a Tory mouthpiece.

    Marr's toughest question: "Why did you water down the obesity strategy?"


    Gonna go play a desert island survival PC game for an hour or so instead.

    1. Looking forward to how the BBC polishes the Vaz.

    2. Unfortunate verb choice there. Ewww.

    3. I intended to post a quickie on that topic, but I hadn't time. David P's summary is very good.
      I thought Shami Chakrabarti was noticeably subdued this morning.

      As she spoke she turned back and forth nervously, first towards the two other guests then back to Andrew, head bobbing from side to side for reassurance. Were they approving of what she was saying? Were they even listening to her?

      Andrew went through the motions - politely asking when she had been offered the peerage. Was the offer made before her diluted enquiry, or, perchance, after it was completed?
      What did he expect? She was going to own up to any wrongdoing at such gentle questioning? Not very likely, is it. We’ll just have to take her word for it because she’s a good person.

      I noticed she took great pains to be nice about Theresa May, as if she was on her very best behaviour. That’s probably why she resisted the temptation to take a sly dig at Keith Vaz when she had the chance. I bet she’s still smarting from his admonishment about those little yellow notes.

      Andrew Marr was like a limp rag throughout.

  3. Oh, dear, oh, dear. Apparently the BBC investigated Keith Vaz last year:

    team of BBC journalists was given high-level clearance to investigate serious sex allegations concerning Keith Vaz last year. The special unit was led by a reporter who specialises in sex crime stories. It interviewed a number of witnesses and found evidence that Vaz had cheated on his wife with young men. The team was reportedly given significant resources and director general Tony Hall was informed..

    But they never aired it. Can't imagine why....

  4. An amusing, very brief interview on BBC Business Live with Wetherspoons CEO, Tim Martin:

    Profits well up for the pub chain since year end, meaning Brexit has been good for him so far, just as he predicted. He listed several of the high-profile doomsayers and said this was proof they were wrong about disaster, and Sally Beeboid jumped on him.

    "It's early days, though, isn't it, let's be honest." Brexit hasn't actually happened yet (as I keep telling everyone), and there could still be a really bad deal which would hurt his business. Project Fear continues. Maybe they can tell the rest of their BBC colleagues it hasn't happened yet, as they all seem to be laboring under the impression that it has and Britain is doomed.

    I guess the BBC had better hold Theresa May to account and make sure she gets the best deal for Britain possible, right?

    Fortunately, Martin was unfazed and calmly riposted that the scare stories focused on the early days after the vote. He went on to say that the recent statement by the BBC economics editor (unnamed) that if Britain didn't quickly get a trade deal with the EU it would be a disaster, was untrue. Britain doesn't have an official deal with the US, yet does all kinds of business anyway.

    And what do you know, they cut him off saying they're out of time.


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