Sunday 12 February 2017

The lowest form of wit?

Mark Mardell was in sarky form today. 

In his introduction to The World This Weekend, he played a clip of Donald Trump saying that the US would stand behind its "great ally" Japan "100%" and then asked, "What does a 100% policy look like?". 

And, later, introducing a section on "platinum-haired" Geert Wilders, he began, "A questionable hairstyle and blunt views on Islam might turn out to be a winning election combination over here as well as over there".

Update: In his preview on Broadcasting House, MM said Mr Wilders "was attacking Islam and having a dodgy hairstyle before they [the "hard-right" Freedom Party] became really famous". 


  1. Well, he's not wrong about Wilders. Speaking of which, he's got a similar problem to Farage. Both parties have sound, small-government economic policies, and would be fairly accommodating on immigration in general if given half a chance. But they spend so much time on playing hardline on the single issue that they don't earn the chance to demonstrate a reasonable approach. Farage blames traffic jams on immigration, Wilders wastes time trying to get the Koran banned, and they become easy targets for lazy extreme Lefties like Mardell, who have the bully pulpit.

    It's a shame, really, because intellectually bankrupt socialists like Mardell are so easily defeated if anyone could bother to play a game of two halves, so to speak.

  2. My personal take:

    1. Wilders has to be seen in context - the context being an extremely left-liberal country. Banning the Koran might not be to our taste, but I think it is true that Mein Kampf is banned (or there was a proposal to ban it) in the Netherlands. So that is the context in which he proposed the ban.

    2. Economic policy seems a somewhat peripheral issue to me in the sense that the menu of a democracy allows a range of options from major state intervention to hands off economic liberalism. I think the issue for populist parties is to make sure they have a credible policy. That is sometimes difficult for populist parties to achieve because they are discontent magnets, and they may find it difficult to identify common interests among their followers. Like or loathe Trump, he does seem very good at constructing and communicating his economic policy.

    1. Agreed about #1. I would also agree about #2, but you never hear about it. Granted, that is largely due to the questions asked of him, but nobody was stopping him saying, hey that's not my main thing, let's talk about the economy and deregulation.

      Same with Farage. If he spent the majority of his air time giving the same great rants he did in the EU Parliament instead of talking about immigration, it would have been far more difficult to marginalize him.

    2. One of my main complaints against the BBC's Trump coverage was that they spent a good 6 months or more pretending that Trump had no policies. This line was reflected by Sky and ITV as well.

      I knew this wasn't true from accessing some of the "far right fake news" websites as the BBC and CNN would call them. He seemed to have quite a few policies.

      However, it was only because I happened to tuned into Bloomberg Radio by chance that I learnt he favoured major state-funded infrastructure programmes. You could see why the BBC would not want the British people to know that! :) In fact, I don't think I have ever heard the BBC refer to that aspect of his policies. Possibly ITV or Sky but not BBC.

      I admire Farage for his courage, his tenacity and his good humour. But he is nowhere in Trump's league. I think the BBC/Globalist elite sense this, which is why we are being served up so much anti-Trump propaganda even though he's not our elected leader. I think they realise Trump is a far greater danger than Farage. If Trump is successful then that would be a really huge reversal for PC Globslism.

      The stakes are very, very high. Which is why we the BBC are prepared to gamble their reputation, bet the house as it were, on defeating Trumpism.

    3. I don't understand the BBC's obsession with this anti Trump rhetoric whilst at the same time flooding our airwaves with US culture and news - politics, NFL, Hollywood celebrities, films, music etc. The reason is that 'news' of US events is dished up very conveniently by the US media, thus avoiding the need for BBC reporters to search out stories themselves. After all, the BBC News teams and programme makers rarely venture out.

  3. David,

    "Same with Farage. If he spent the majority of his air time giving the same great rants he did in the EU Parliament instead of talking about immigration, it would have been far more difficult to marginalize him."

    Which air time was this? In the EU Farrage gets time to say his bit, on the BBC he gets asked to defend what he did in secondary school or comment on a carefully selected quote from a parish magazine by a 'racist' UKIP candidate for a village that the BBC couldn't even find on a map. Farrage's best weapon as been his humour in such situations. The BBC, and others, have ready-made labels for Wilders, Farrage, Trump and Le Pen and the aim always of the media is to get them perform as per label.

    1. I understand your point. But there were times when other issues were allowed a moment in the sun, and he still seemed to derail all on his own.


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