Monday 12 December 2016

Tell you later

Black macaque reserving judgment

When I first started blogging I often used go through my ‘prose’ and take out all the “I”s and “me”s because I thought too much first person in a blog was naff. As you can see, I no longer bother. Let the naff all hang out.
I’m not intentionally trying to make myself look virtuous - you, know, virtue signal alert - but the reason I tend to confine my opinions to the one issue is because - on broader, party political issues - I keep seeing both sides of the story. That might sound like a boast, “look what a good person I am”, but in fact it’s a bit of a drawback.

The one issue I don’t see the other side of is antisemitism and anti-Zionism. 
I hate being labelled, particularly when the label is ‘right wing’ and when it’s just because I defend Israel against the BBC’s unfair depiction of it. 

Here’s what Charles Moore has to say about labels:
“I am not offended by being called right-wing, because I don’t agree with the left-wing view that right-wingery is a mark of personal turpitude. I don’t much like the term, though, because it suggests a rigid ideological position.”

And a bit further down he says:
“Those who protest at immigration levels ten times higher than 30 years ago are treated as racists. Even the ballot box itself is seen as ‘populist’.
This piece and the comments beneath it are worth the sub to the Speccie. If you can’t access it, tough.

Muslims Like Us.

I think I’ll reserve judgment on the upcoming two-parter ‘Muslim Big Brother’ that’s going to be aired on BBC 2 tonight and tomorrow. I’ll see it first. However, I did hear an item about it on Women’s Hour earlier. I didn’t like the sound of it. 

There were a couple of participants - ‘housemates’ - in the studio, and the BBC’s commissioning editor (the person who nursed it into existence)
“On the surface, Britain's 2.7 million Muslims are united in faith. In a two-part BBC Two series, Muslims Like Us, ten British Muslims with contrasting world views move into a house together. Their passionate debates, honest disagreements, humour and insights reveal what is like to be a British Muslim today. Jane is joined by Zohra and Saba, two of the women who were filmed for the show and BBC Commissioning Editor, Fatima Salaria, to explain why she wanted to create the programme in the first place.”
Don’t just sit there reading this, listen to it.

Fatima Salaria explained to the listening ignoramuses what she actually does, in her job as a BBC commissioning editor:
“I have really good ideas”
(such as commissioning a Muslim version of Big Brother.) It turns out that the idea came, in fact, from “Love Productions” the controversialist production company who stole back their most lucrative creation (GBBO) from the BBC and sold it to Channel 4, oh, and they also produced “Benefits Street’. Oh my. 
It just occurred to me that this could payback - stealing the Big Brother concept from Channels 4 and 5, adding Islam for extra ratings, and tendering it back to the Muslim-friendly BBC. 
One of the carefully chosen housemates was a convert aged “nearly 77”, who said her motive for participating was that it is “high time to normalise Islam” and “To see that Islam is for the entire planet “ (!)
However, the general idea was to show that the one radical housemate (a fundamentally good person) doesn’t represent real Muslims and ideas such as his are really challenged by the Muslim community, but “We do it behind closed doors.”
As you can see I’m reserving judgment.


This labelling malarkey can be most unhelpful. The BBC has been headlining Theresa May’s latest ideas about antisemitism. The government is to adopt the latest definition of antisemitism, as determined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

So, once it’s labelled, then what? Is it going to be made illegal? I hope not. That would have all sorts of ramifications. Every time someone clamps down on Islam it has a knock-on effect on ‘the Jews’. 
Not that I wish to defend extreme religiosity, not at all. In fact, what I gather from the little I know about it, orthodox Judaism seems to be constructed solely for the maximum inconvenience of its adherents.
I’m no expert on the topic but I do know that the orthodox Jew is not the same as the ultra orthodox Haredi type of Jew, images of which the BBC always chooses to illustrate ‘The Jews”. Some may say that the BBC has itself committed a tangentially antisemitic act by using the illustration here.


“A Downing Street statement said the intention of such a definition was to “ensure that culprits will not be able to get away with being antisemitic because the term is ill-defined, or because different organisations or bodies have different interpretations of it”.
So what does this announcement hope to achieve? It is a nice idea to proclaim that there will be ‘zero tolerance’ of antisemitism, but there is still potential confusion over where anti-Zionism stands in the equation. I think there is also a possibility of creating martyrs, and I’ll be quite surprised if the ‘culprits’ in the Muslim community will be held to account in exactly the same way as others might be, following this government announcement. And will it make the BBC try any harder?

I’ll reserve judgment on that too.


  1. A panel on Victoria Derbyshire this morning - including two from Love Productions - made it clear that the main purpose was to show how warm, welcoming and wonderful Islam is. The only concern was that an 'extremist' had been included in the programme. That, it was feared, would result in further wrongful 'stereotyping' of the Religion of Peace.

  2. From the examples given of this defined anti-Semitism:

    Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

    Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

    So most BBC staff can be considered anti-Semites. Stephen Sackur's angry moment with Chris Patten over the appointment of James Harding can now be defined as anti-Semitic. Paul Mason's claim that the truth about the Turkish Gaza 'Flotilla" was suppressed by the BBC due to pro-Israel bias can now be defined as anti-Semitic. The bit about "justifying the killing or harming of Jews" can be used to declare Tim Willcox an anti-Semite.

    Any Corbynista who says the Jews are trying to undermine Labour is an anti-Semite, according to this.

    I hope it gets traction.

  3. I watched the first programme out of interest WRT bias.

    Apart from the two baddies and the gay the BBC were doing their best (to show British Islam) in a good light. Don't forget the obligatory down and out racists - they would probably blamed the rest of the country as well.

    I must be an awful waycist myself as I found the rest of them to be carefully selected apologists.

    Not the case if the examples I have met in recent years.


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