Saturday, 11 February 2017

Myopic concentration

John Sweeney reflected on his encounters with Geert Wilders on today's From Our Own Correspondent

He described him as "the Dark Lord of Dutch politics". 

He said he was "smooth, polished, extremely articulate and very, very troubling".

He called Mr Wilders's loss of personal freedom since 2004 (due to death threats) "astonishing and grim". 

And he talked of Freedom Party leader's "myopic concentration" on "one big problem" - Islam. 


  1. On occasion I think there are those at the BBC worth doffing a cap to.

    One such is whoever created the all too easily articulated acronym that is FOOC.

  2. I heard that (and saw the Newsnight version as well).

    A few comments:

    1. The Somes family came to the rescue as they always do: "Some say you're a bit of a fascist." There are in fact plenty of people who do call him that - Leftists and Islamists - but presumably rather than quote them directly, the egregious Sweeney decided to cloak this in a "Some" so that he didn't have to admit it is those who favour mass immigration from the Islamic world (opposed by most Europeans) who call him a fascist.

    2. He didn't say where the death threats came from. Why not? Serious and significant death threats to a politician surely need to be explained. Why was he being threatened with death and who was doing the threatening? Of course this wasn't made explicit because it simply backs up Wilders' argument.

    3. Having said that the Wilders' defence (that he criticised Islam, not Muslims) was a "distinction without a difference", Sweeny ended up as you note by identifying that (Islam/Muslims) as "one big problem"...seemingly accepting (on Sweeney's own logic) that Muslims were indeed an (objective) problem. I think Sweeney is one of those journos who thinks he's very clever and likes to throw a lot of seasoning in the pot, but ends up serving contradictions. If Wilders is a fascist then surely so is Sweeney for identifying Muslims are a problem.

    4. Wilders was obviously caught out by Sweeney bit of moral deflection referring to the shooting down over Ukraine of the Malayan aircraft that led to the Netherlands greatest loss of life. Sweeney's contention appeared to be that that was a deliberate attack on a civil airliner (unproven I think - more likely to be a cock up than a conspiracy) and of course there is a big question mark over why any airline was flying over a war zone. In other words this is a completely false analogy. There is no ongoing threat to civil aviation as long as aircraft avoid the war zone; the Netherlands was not being targeted; non Muslims were not being targeted; it was not part of a campaign to create a global totalitarian state; and it was not aimed at changing Dutch culture. So Sweeney scored a goal with what I would call the equivalent of a penalty dive.

    5. Nowhere did Sweeney mention that this civilised democrat, an elected representative in the assembly of a friendly nation, is BANNED from the UK. Perhaps the subject of travel bans meant it would be injudicious for this to be mentioned.

  3. As a Dutchman watching the BBC regularly, I was quite astonished this week to see the documentary from Katya Adler "After Brexit: the battle for Europe" that delivered an nicely put together package about the rise of the right wing parties in Europe. In the past, I used to enjoy "Have I Got News for You", but since it turned into a kind of Nigel Farage bashing show and got completely politically correct, I could not watch it anymore. Therefore it was very refreshing to see this Brexit documentary which actually managed to capture and show the worries and concerns of the European middle class in different European countries and outline the reasons why people vote for these parties. Since you have voted Brexit, I hope and expect that you will see more of this kind of documentaries.

    Here in the Netherlands however, it is a completely different story. The Dutch National broadcasting service (NPO) is still infested with activist journalists and managers of the Sweeney type. The result is a relentless and daily onslaught of left-wing propaganda in the form of talk shows. The formula is to invite a right-wing public figure together with 4 or 5 lefties and turn it into a public shouting match and a triumphant display of "superior" left-wing values. A documentary such as the one from Katya Adler will never be shown, or at least be postponed for viewing until after the general election of March 15, 2017. In fact, René Roelofs has created a movie about the complete lack of proper immigration procedures for people who claim to be refugees from Syria. This movie was deemed so sensitive by the predominantly left-wing NPO, that is was postponed for viewing until after the elections.

    At this moment in time, the Netherlands have been subjected to 45 years of predominantly daily left-wing indoctrination via the NPO that is run by the state. Even our daily music radio programmes on our Classic 4 radio contain short items such as interview with left-wing politicians and personal predominantly left-wing views about any subject. Our children programs are infested with the obligatory references to the great multicultural society as are the books in schools. On the NPO radio, Trump-bashing has become very populair and of course the activist "Sweeney"-type journalists all try and "expose" any "similarities" between Trump and Geert Wilders in order to try and get indecisive voters to vote for the "morally correct" political left. Only in Sweden, where I work 1 week per month, the state-run television is more left-wing and almost impossible to watch.

    The Sweeney interview with Geert Wilders is a typical left-wing job, starting with the cowardly proposition "Some say you're a bit of a fascist". Imagine someone saying that to you in a pub or in the street. Still, he got a proper and clear reply from Geert Wilders which was merely tossed aside in order to fire of another confrontational question about a completely different topic. Unfortunately, this is a formula that is no longer working.

    Our politicians have sourced out their real jobs and sovereignty to Brussels and basically are no longer allowed to control their own country anymore. The only thing that is left for them is to try and capture the moral high ground by expressing their disgust and dislike for Donald Trump in parliament. Empty propositions containing noble words as: "no person should be a refugee", "borders are a thing of the past", "these children from Syria (while everyone can see they are grown-ups from Morocco, Albania and Romania) should all get citizen status" etc. etc. But no pragmatic and detailed plans for improvement of conditions in the Netherlands. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing with companies laying off thousands of people. It is these people that are angry, very angry, about being gagged and misrepresented by the likes of Sweeney.

    1. I used to listen to Radio Netherlands International (in English) in the days when shortwave radio was the best one could hope before the internet was invented! :) Very enjoyable - even the BBC World Service then was a reliable voice in favour of democracy and free speech.

      The modern Left's policy is very high risk. Ostensibly they are garnering votes from low income migrants. But at the same time they are cutting away their traditional voter base whilst also making Europe increasingly unsafe for progressive values. I think they have their fingers crossed, hoping it all comes right in the end but that's hardly a policy is it? Stigmatising normal everyday concerns about border control, mass immigration and cultural identity as "Islamophobia, "racism", "fascism" and "xenophobia" is despicable but is absolutely necessary for the liberal-left to keep its hold on power. If they ever allowed open discussion of the real facts about migration and Islam, the pro-globalist parties would lose millions of voters overnight.

  4. The full and unedited version of Sweeney's interview with geert Wilders you can see here:
    In fact you can see both the unedited and edited versions and make up your own mind.

  5. On Sky News now...I am very concerned about the way the MSM are discussing "fake news". This seems to be a co-ordinated campaign (we know ITV, BBC and American media outlets are coming with similar memes).

    In my experience the vast majority of people in the UK get their news from BBC, ITV, Sky, and daily and newspapers. These are the outlets they "trust", for good or bad. A minority may add to these sources with CNN, RT or a few other outlets like Breitbart. Although Breitbart has been accused of peddling Fake News, personally I find their reporting very factual. It's usually the MSM who have to catch up with their reports - like the events on Cologne New Year's Eve.

    So what's going on? Panic, I think. The MSM know there is "leakage" from alternative media...NOT fake news. It's not so much that people are using alternative media is being used as main news sources but opinion formers are using alternative media information to counter the PC Globalist ideology that BBC, Sky and ITV subscribe to. These opinion formers make their views known in forums like this, or in person in discussions in the workplace, down the pub, during leisure activities. This leakage is enough to scare the MSM, the elite and the elite's political representatives.

    However, crucially, this alternative news is NOT fake. It's about news choices. It's about emphasis and exposure. It's not fake that most "unaccompanied child migrants" are actually aged 18 and over, that's Fact. It's not fake that there have been ideologically motivated rape gangs in operation in many cities in the UK , seeing vulnerable children who are not of their religion as "fair game". It's not fake that population is growing at 500,000 per annum as a result of current and previous mass immigration and this is what is causing the housing crisis.

    Zuckerberg is now talking of "fake news AND hoaxes". That is worrying. What is the distinction? Well a hoax is a hoax. No one can have a problem with hoax info being flagged up or even censored. But what is fake news then if not a hoax? I think Zuckerberg and his mates, obviously all the MSM, are trying to blur the boundaries so that they can censor genuine information that they will label "fake news".

    This has to be resisted.