Wednesday 29 November 2017

A retweet is not an endorsement!

“Donald Trump, POTUS, has been sharing videos - reTweeting videos which were originally made by the deputy leader of a far right group in Britain called Britain First. Ah, many people regard Britain First as a fascist organisation - certainly on the far, far right, and these tweets purport to show Muslims committing crimes.

Okay, it’s true. Many people do see Britain First in the way Neil described, and yes, the videos are unverified, so they may be less than accurate. (But, hey, as the BBC is wont to say, retweets are not endorsements.)
“He retweeted three posts by a Jayda Fransen today. i assume when he woke up this morning, Washington time. The posts include unverified videos tilted ‘Muslims destroy a statue of Virgin Mary, Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches - I think you get the sense of the kind of things there -  
Franzen is 31, I think she’s the deputy leader of Britain First, she’s facing four charges  - she’s currently out on bail - facing four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court in May. 

This might sound like clutching at straws, but being charged by Kent police isn’t exactly conclusive proof of guilt. Why, only a few moments ago Paul Bacon, the solicitor for  Michael Stone, the man imprisoned for a brutal murder that now appears to have been committed by Levi Bellfield, was on BBC News telling the world that Kent police have lost evidence and been decidedly unhelpful to his investigation.

It’s a bit disturbing, too,  that Andrew Neil (purportedly) hasn’t heard of Britain First, since the BBC made a documentary about it - featuring Jayda Fransen and co. - only a couple of years ago. . Isn’t that a tiny bit remiss of Saint Andrew?  He’s supposed to be on top of the news, surely.
“She’s also due to appear in court in Northern Ireland, charged with using threatening and abusive language in a speech she made in Belfast in August. Mr Trump has 46.3 million followers who will have now been sent these videos from Britain First.

I think I’m right in saying, you may know better - that the man who murdered Jo Cox - who struck her down in cold blood - wasn’t he shouting ‘Britain First’? 

Yes, Andrew, as everyone but you seems to be aware. 
“Brendan Cox, the widow,(sic) has tweeted ‘Mr. Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours, spreading hatred has consequences; the president should be ashamed of himself.”  
In addition to the bizarre nature of the president of the greatest democracy in the world doing this sort of thing it’s a real problem for the British government now, is it not?”

Laura Kuenssberg says everyone would find this completely and utterly repellent. The conversation moved on to the issue of Trump’s forthcoming visit.  Needless to say, everyone present was not enthusiastic. 

Several people have remarked that it doesn’t really matter if the videos are accurate or not, because they represent the sort of thing that does actually happen. 

However, that is the very defence used by Charles Enderlin of France 2, who was responsible for publicising the clip of Mohammad Al Dura all those years ago. If you don’t know the story, Google Philippe Karsenty

And, yes, such things do have consequences.  For example, Daniel Pearl’s murder was ‘justified’ by his killers as revenge for Al Dura. That iconic image has been round the world many times while the truth is still having difficulty tying up its bootlaces. So, yes, if you’re in a position of responsibility you need to be truthful and you need to be accurate. Such a pity Trump chose to reTweet dodgy videos of Muslim aggression when there are plenty of genuine ones available. 

Of course we mustn’t forget Jon Donnison’s infamous tweet, which did such a good turn for the Israel-bashing brigade, and his apology was too little too late. In fact, let’s not forget the way that the BBC wallowed, and still does, in unverified footage of “what Israel is doing”, yet I haven’t heard anyone from the BBC condemn this for “having consequences”.  The BBC is unrepentant, where indirectly stirring up antisemitism is concerned. It’s ‘Islamophobia’ that must not be encouraged.

The rise in antisemitism in the UK coincides with the increase in the Muslim population, but I haven’t heard Andrew Neil getting vocal over that. Israel-bashing has become mainstream at a time when Jeremy Corbyn is interviewed respectfully and his past and present affiliations with antisemitic groups is no longer an issue with the BBC’s two Big Andrews.  

Instead of examining the logic of his own position, Andrew Neil views anti-Islam advocacy as fascistic and far, far right, when logic tells us that the opposite is the case. It’s Islam’s hatred of Jews that most strongly resembles ‘Nazi’ hatred of Jews, whereas  anti-Islam sentiment is based on a preference for western-style democracy and freedom. Acknowledging this is presently deemed politically incorrect by the people that run the BBC. 

Of course the circumstances behind those examples of ‘fake videos’ are very different, but there’s enough similarity in the weakness of the argument (that "It doesn’t matter because we know that sort of thing goes on anyway!") to dismiss it out of hand. Yes, it does matter. Trump should never have done it, and really, he should give Twitter a rest altogether. 

That doesn’t let Andrew Neil off the hook though. The one thing that stands out (for me) most of all is that Andrew Neil sees critics of Islam as ‘fascists’ and far, far right.  Is he unaware that Islam’s teachings about Jews bear a striking similarity to that of the fascists and the 'far, far, right' of 1930s Germany? In fact they are near identical. For anyone who values western democracy, criticising Islam’s worst excesses and most antithetical tenets is entirely rational. Hating a religion and hating a people are very different things and equating Islamophobia with antisemitism is cowardly and wilfully ignorant. 


  1. Listening to BBC R4 News at 5 pm and 6 pm yesterday I was struck by how interested the BBC were in what the Pope didn't say in Burma.

    There's never been sooo much BBC news devoted to what he actually does say especially if it's to do with Christianity.

    But when the Pope doesn't speak in direct support of religionists of another faith, well that's headline news for AlBeeb.

  2. Excellent post, Sue. My comments:

    1. Virtue signaller Emma Barnett on Radio 5 Live sounding increasingly mad, panicked and ready to go to war with the USA over the re-tweet. Showing absolutely no impartiality whatsoever - not even allowing that it might have been an honest mistake by Trump for instance.

    Egregious Barnett asserting the BBC is only concerned with delivering the truth to the public. Yes, and the tooth fairy is going to leave a £10 note under my pillow tomorrow.

    2. I don't support Britain First - they seem more than slightly bonkers. But they are being persecuted by the UK state in ways that, for instance, Class War, nasty nats in Scotland or the SWP have never been. Whether they are a front for right wing totalitarianism I don't know - but what they say is no worse than what the governing parties in Poland and Hungary say about protecting the Christian civilisation. Even Richard Dawkins know admits he values the tolerant forms of Christianity found in the UK as a basis for a good society. A few decades ago, nearly the whole of society thought Christian civilisation is a "good thing" that needed to be protected. So what they say, per se, is not completely off the scale.

    3. The BBC can't make up its mind whether to say the videos linked to by the tweet are all fake, fake in part or not fake at all but none the less somehow "r**ist". This is a strategic concern, not a concern for the truth.

    4. It's a case I think of "First they came for the..." in teh words of Neimoller's poem about Germany before the war. Whether you agree with Britain First or not, we can expect the power of the state to be used eventually against ANYONE, including those more on the left, who question PC multiculturalism.

    1. The BBC and its merry band of 'views my own' staff seem to see this S their latest opportunity to deal with DT, and are hence are more than usually deranged.

      Katty Kay will be quite something unless no one has yet found enough smelling salts to revive her past an three letter acronym.

      The funniest I have seen is the BBC sharing the po-faced wisdom of Diane Abbott, a lady of Labour, in full flow speaking for the nation as to what offends us, as colleagues in the dressing room remain remarkably untroubled by things barely reported that I do view of national importance.

  3. We now live in such a weird world. A few decades ago, the BBC couldn't give a sod about Soviet subversion in our media. Now they have gone completely bananas about the fiendish influence of Russia Today or RT as it now is. And yet - talk about turning a blind eye - they have shown hardly a jot of concern about the influence of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the Emirates among others, trying to promote Sharia, weaken our defences, inflitrate academia and control our media. Thank God for social media and the internet or this ongoing subversion would be completely invisible. The BBC also turns its overused blind eye to avoid seeing the influence of Soros, numerous "charitable" foundations and China - again all big and engaged in highly dubious enterprises of influence.

    Then we have this completely fictional narrative of Islam in history and in the contemporary era. The most liberal, most secular voices in Islam - representing only a tiny minority - are promoted as somehow representing the true faith while the BBC shows absolutely no interest in what is taught in the great Islamic institutions in Cairo or in our Mosque schools in the West. The BBC have built a huge Potemkin Village populated by the likes of Mona Siddiqui to fool the public.

    But I think BBC hysteria comes from knowing this isn't entirely in their control. People have access to alternative, more accurate sources of information about what is taught by nearly all clerics and what is believed by the Umma.

  4. My weekly 3/4 hour drive, livened up by some snow (but hey it’s the north so that’s not really covered by the Beeb) but utterly ruined by PM on radio 4.

    Why exactly does our PM have to say anything at all about the actions of a foriegn leader? - it’s all to do with those who now despise America for its perceived actions in the world and little to do with the actions of DT.

  5. The issue here is that Twitter, (in the hands of DT who is a clever strategist), is a weapon that threatens by going direct to exclude the BBC and MSM from carrying out their perceived role as guardians of political opinion by filtering out any material that does not support their narrative.

    This storm has been over the process - who sent what to whom - and not about the content. The BBC are desperately trying to deflect attention away from the horrifying subject of the videos.

    1. There was some humour to be found in the BBC's confusion about how to refer to the videos...fake, partly fake or genuine but not justifiable.

      You're right I think that the political-media elite in the UK hate the idea that there can be alternative conduits for information to reach the public.

      They have few ideas on how to cope with the nightmare created by PC multiculturalism but one is to ensure there is an information straitjacket placed on the populace.

    2. On the News Channel yesterday, Simon McCoy was indignant that the lout who beat up a man on crutches was described as an 'immigrant' when he had, in fact, been born in the Netherlands - he did not appear to be at all bothered by the fact that he had attacked a disabled man.

  6. Meanwhile, a book-publicising meeting involving Katy Hopkins has to be called off because of violent assaults by Hate Not Hope alt-left fascists. The Police made no arrests (though, no doubt, they may be considering arresting Katy Hopkins for causing offence).

    Liberty is truly dying in this country. It's pretty much gone I think. People only have the ballot box left. But even that might go soon. Anti-democrats like Bercow actually support quotas for Parliament. It can't be long before vetting procedures are introduced for MPs and non-PC MPs are not allowed to take their seats. Seems far fetched? Well it would have seemed far fetched that a perfectly law-abiding woman couldn't hold a meeting about a perfectly legal book a few years ago. Such vetting did used to take place back in the early 1800s when landed interests ensured no voice opposing them could get a hearing. All it would take would be for the oath to be altered to include a couple of lines about "equality", "tolerance", "fairness" and any MP opposed to PC multiculturalism could be ejected from the Chamber.

    1. I share MB's concerns for our liberty. For all his crassness, Trump has found a way to rattle the cages of the MSM and the BBC. We need an equivalent alternative political movement here - one that isn't labelled as far-right and strangled at birth.

      It's a geographical problem as well. London alone is not the UK and the UK is not London alone. The London based media and the Westminster Bubble need a good shake-up to draw from a wider spectrum of opinion.

    2. " that isn't labelled as far-right and strangled at birth" - that is the treatment that the BBC now metes out to even the slightly Right-of- Centre.


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