Sunday 10 December 2017

Open Thread

The Advent of a not-so-new open thread....


  1. This Russian infiltration thing is really p'ing me off.

    Everyone knows Putin is an anti-democrat who wants to subvert the democracies in the West. He's been in charge in Russia since 1999 - this isn't a recent thing (though the BBC would like you to think it was). His interest is in conflict - deep social conflict.

    To my mind, the Remainiacs' fight for a second referendum or Brexit derailment must be music to Putin's ears. What could be more socially divisive than to overturn a democratic vote (the purpose of which was defined in legislation, the outcome of which was guaranteed to be implemented by HM Government, prior to the vote taking place and which all main party leaders agreed would be decisive)?

    Who is one of the key figures doing Putin's work for him by trying to overturn the democratic vote? Well George Osborne of course...and who does Osborne work for now? Why, the Evening Standard. And who owns the Evening Standard, why the Russian businessman and former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny Lebedev (Wikipedia) who took control in 2009!!!

    Why is it we never hear about this Russian linkage?

  2. Not BBC, but Sky on the Press Preview - usual Trumpophobic stuff...three airheads having a go at the President for dissing the FBI in a tweet...

    If you were a viewer you would have no idea what this was all about, and just think Trump was some paranoid nutjob.

    But take a look at this:

    A mountain of evidence that the FBI actively sought to protect the Clintons in direct contravention of their duty to uphold the law. This is clearly what Trump's tweet is referencing: the FBI abject failure to apply the law to the Clintons and their unwarranted attempts to protect them from justified public scrutiny.

  3. More Fake News on the BBC this morning...heard on the BBC World Service the assertion that the proposed Brexit terms had to be approved by all 27 Member States of the EU. Not the first time I've heard it claimed but this isn't what Article 50 says. It states clearly this will be subject to qualified majority voting.

    A quality news broadcaster should be making this clear.

    1. The BBC's bias all over the place. Apparently the Irish have a veto over negotiations (they don't as explained above)...and then, a more careful reporter (Kevin O'Connolly I think) indicated they had an "effective" veto. This is not simply a nicety of expression, they imply two entirely different situations: (a) where the Irish can defy the will of other 26 EU states and (b) where their opinion can in the final analysis be overriden by the other 26 EU states.

      Later heard Kevin O'Connolly (a surprise this was) refer to the EU/UK negotiations as having been professional, businesslike...I think he might even have said good natured! Classic BBC readjustment to facts? Up till now we've been told they've been strained, acrimonious, difficult, liable to fail. Were they changing tack, retreating to a new line of defence? I don't know - I then heard Adrian Chiles referring to David Davis as looking like a stressed. clapped out football manager. Can you imagine him ever referring to Juncker as looking like a rodent that has been gorging on fermented fruit for three hours or Tusk as looking like a German Gestapo officer from a 50s film? No, neither can I. Perhaps Chiles hasn't got the memo about how all BBC staff must now pretend it was always clear the negotiations would proceed to trade, and there was never going to be a big falling out of the Irish border, so this is nothing like a triumph for Davis or May.

  4. See B-BBC Comments for a link to this:,

    I saw this and thought: 'Well, that's all very pc and inclusive, inoffensive all round - that's the BBC for you', but I didn't for one moment think it was the BBC's Celebration of Christmas.

    1. This year's highlight of 'Christmas' is Elbow's version of Golden Slumbers. The plaintive voice reminds me indirectly of the time when our aged rock legends (McCartney in this case) could still entertain us.

  5. More BBC Fake Facts:

    According to the promo for a series on Invasions of Britain it was asserted that "everyone in Britain" is descended from an invader. Yes, I know the BBC would like that to be true, but the reality is that several million people living here, most of them now UK citizens, were descended from people who lived abroad, in India, Pakistan, Africa, the Caribbean, the Antipodes and Europe. I recall the figure of 13% for foreign born residents - 1 in 8 (but that was from a few years back). So the BBC's claim is out by that much and on the BBC's logic, the 1 in 8 are "invaders" (don't think they really meant to imply that).

    A small point? Yes, perhaps, but the thing is we know the BBC aren't delivering a history lesson they are delivering a kind of Key Stage 1 of the "narrative" and that is why they bend facts.

    1. I will wait with interest to see how the BBC spins this. If they are referring to the movement of people over millennia i.e. Vikings, Romans, Normans etc., well yes, but it’s a bit of a sixth form debating society level of argument. It could apply to almost any country in the world. The important point is culture. It’s complex. It develops slowly over a long period of time. Much of depends on a kind of subtle tacit agreement between the inhabitants of a country. Do we have a right to defend our culture? Can we be proud of our culture without being labeled as far right nationalists? For the most part, apparently not, according to the BBC.

    2. Yes this the nub of the problem. The BBC, through its active promotion of other cultures and through its fake presentation of other cultures is objectively diminishing our own. I can't recall the last time I saw a BBC presentation of a Shakespeare play or sonnet on BBC. It's like Shakespeare has been disappeared out of our culture as far as the BBC are concerned.

  6. Surely not - the BBC is 'Always Championing the Truth!' Well, that's what it says on the BBC World Service Website anyway - repeat a lie often enough...

    1. Shome mishtake surely..."Always Chomping on the Truth".

  7. Having returned to the BBC Complaints fray, I hit the buffers pretty quickly with a BBC post on Facebook that had no obvious route to anything that ticks the box on the BBC complaints form, which is inevitably a way for the BBC to reject anything.

    Hence I took to twitter to ask OFCOM:

    @Ofcom I wish to complain about a BBC 'news' item on their Facebook page. The BBC complaints site seems to have no mechanism for this, or other social media outlets it abuses. How do I bring this to your attention?

    Ofcom‏Verified account
    @Ofcom Replying

    Hi Peter, social media is self-regulated and does not fall within our remit. If you're concerned about something you've seen on Facebook, you may want to report it to the network directly.

    I have decided to pursue this, as it is shaping up like a combo wild goose chase into the Labyrinth of old, where they all point at each other and dodge responsibility thanks to cracks they created for just this purpose.

    Are OFCOM really saying that as the new oversight body to the BBC, the national broadcaster, whatever BBC programmes or staff put out under BBC branding as 'news' or 'opinion' on Facebook or twitter has effectively no means to challenge?

  8. Is Laura Kuennsberg an impartial reporter for the BBC or a mouthpiece for the EU.

    This is what she writes:

    "In other words, the outlines of the deal that Theresa May is likely to accept today will say that Northern Ireland will continue with more or less the same rules and regulations as the South, implying that it could, in theory, have a special deal where it more or less stays in the EU customs union and the single market.

    Lamberts told me it was a concession from the UK that we were going to have to make because of the contradiction of wanting to leave both institutions, but not build a border between North and South."

    This is pure choreography and she is presented the view of Euro MEPs as the objective version of the truth.

    I suspect when (if) we see the terms of the deal, it will be far, far more ambiguous. Would the Government really have signed up to wording before finalising it with the DUP? I very much doubt it.

    I think this is just about BBC reporters being players rather than observers: they are trying to maximise difficulties for the government.

    1. So it appears that they signed up to the wording before finalising it with the DUP.

  9. Feels like capitulation to me on the key issues. bBBC have immediately changed their reporting to a more positive tone on TV and website. What a surprise.

    1. Well I'll concede there appeared a lot less choreography than I expected...maybe its elaborate choreography.

    2. Not choreography - May was visibly shocked & shaken; yet more proof, if proof were needed, that the woman is utterly clueless. Larry the Cat could have predicted what the DUP's reaction would be!

    3. My money's still on a first stage agreement before Christmas...based purely on the logic of the situation and the mood music. I don't think the Irish negotiating position is credible...they are saying "We need a soft border because anything else would be economically disastrous for us"...Well, sorry the logic of that is that Ireland is in a weak, not a strong, negotiating position...perhaps that's what the DUP smell.

    4. Well I was right! lol

  10. Tonight on BBC1 there will be a gate-keeping issue of Panorama which, as soon as I heard about it, realised would be an attempt to circumvent the truth that is coming out about the (indirect, yet somehow direct) UK Government's funding of various jihadi groups in
    Syria over the last 4 years.

    The BBC will present this as 'news', but it isn't at all. It's just that there's simply too much evidence of
    corruption to ignore any more. The BBC's film is about the links between the free syrian police and a company called Adam Smith International, who were the bag man.

    The issues that the BBC will pretend to deal with tonight have been covered in detail and depth for 4 years by (as far as I'm concerned) a real journalist called Vanessa Beeley, who writes for 21st Century
    Wire. The BBC absolutely knows this and will give her no credit after ignoring the evidence for at least 3 years.

    Beeley, among very few others, has been responsible for exposing the White Helmets as a UK / EU / US funded outfit closely linked to Al Nusra et al.

    After 21C exposed a positive flavoured 2015 CH4 film on the white helmets as being full of jihadis and jihadi supporters serving only jihadi factions, CH4 deleted their film from YouTube.
    CH4 knows the truth too.

    The BBC's 'Saving Syria's Children' is nowhere to be found on YouTube either, because its authenticity has been questioned a little bit too much for the BBC's liking. Its narrative is full of massive,
    questionable holes which have been well documented.

    Last week Beeley spoke at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva. The meeting was at risk of an attempted shut down by various western journalists, especially Reporters Without Borders who accuse Beeley et al of
    conspiracy theories. The only news station to report on that attempted shutdown in the name of free journalism was RT. Thankfully, Guy Mettan who chairs the SPC told them all to get stuffed and held the meeting anyway. Another proper journalist.

    21C is a pretty left wing outfit. I'm not going to be making many pals here with this, but I've had enough of the lies and I don't really care about the political stripe of the liar.

    Beeley's work is all over YouTube, and here are a couple of in depth articles. The BBC should not be allowed to steal the narrative and look holier-than-thou. They've known about all this for ages.

  11. Radio 4's Today off to a flying biased start.

    Having told us that no one from the Conservatives, DUP or Labour wanted to appear on the programme (why would they want to appear on such an unserious light entertainment show?), Nick Robinson interviewed a pro-DUP person. Such a sneering, patronising interview and so stupid. He referred to an internal "tax border" being proposed by the DUP who wanted NI corporation tax to be levelised with Republic of Ireland oorporation tax. For smug, left wing Tory Robinson that was mate, gotcha, QED all rolled into one...but think about it, there is potentially already an internal "tax border" as Scotland has the legal right to raise differential income tax...and in the USA there are any number of internal "tax borders" between states that do not affect goods or people moving around internally. In other words Robinson was talking out of the back of his smug, self-regarding bottom.

    Hard to imagine Robinson being so snootily dismissive of a Sinn Fein spokesperson.

    Then on to another story...I am still trying to work out why the BBC are going on about their non "scoop" - that a local ceasefire/evacuation had been agreed at Raqqa, allowing IS fighters to withdraw (particularly since they always express concern about civilians being caught in fights-to-the-death). The Today team are - so it appears - very concerned that the Americans don't know how many European IS fighters might have slipped back into their country unnoticed. Perhaps, I mused, it's because they are fearful IS fighters might have slipped back into the UK without being given the full range of services: free housing, a job, benefits for their several wives, legal aid to sue the UK government allowing them to go in the first place and NHS counselling to help them overcome the horrors of what they have seen.

    But the more cynical side of me thinks it is because they are setting up a new extension of the "narrative" so that when the first attacks occur in Europe, including the UK, they can blame the Americans for "not stopping the IS fighters getting back to their home coutries unsupervised" - anything rather than blame the ideology or the individuals concerned.

  12. BBC 1's Ten O'clock News...have to note that they had an item on about the terrible destruction wrought by followers of a religion beginning with M...surprised? thought the BBC were afraid to point the figure at religions that get involved in politics? well no, - when it comes to Mormons (who did you think I was referring to?), the BBC are only too happy to oblige. They actually allowed a guy to say explicitly "the Mormons brought only destruction"...and the Mormons weren't even allowed to defend themselves against the charge! :) I trust they've put in a complaint.

    The item also begged the question as to why the BBC concerns itself with the minutiae of the US's national parks policy, but not doing the same with Italy, Russia, Botswana and China, to take a few random examples. What is it about the USA that exerts such a fascination? I've noted before how Emily Maitlis looks in seventh heaven when she is in the States and for the "heavyweights" like Mardell and Sackur, it's clearly seen as a major career highlight to report from there. But why - why do the employees of the BBC seem to have such a love-hate relationship with the USA...hating everything it stands for (capitalism, high consumption, free speech, gun ownership, patriotism, a core common culture) but just lurving being there! Doesn't make sense to me.

  13. Please see below screenshot of deleted tweet from Laura Kuenssberg:


    1. Why was it deleted?
    2. Was she excitedly trying to text someone, but tweeted in error?
    3. Am I alone in thinking that the deleted tweet reveals she can barely contain her delight at the current confusion over the NI border and the potential implications if it can't be resolved?

    "Oh happy day......."

    I mean really? Impartial...?

    1. Interesting...perhaps she realised it looked a bit too schadenfreudish.

  14. I am sure the males are prone too, but noticing some senior BBC lady eds (Laura, Katty...) are injecting little exclamation comments or acronyms into their tweets, usually to set a tonal scene.

    This is perhaps because, as far as the BBC and OFCOM (ex-BBC retirement home) are concerned, what says on twitter stays on twitter.

    And given the entire BBC business is conducted pretty much via twitter it seems the licence fee is a licence to say anything you want.

    Which is nice. Not.

    1. The rule now is that you can be partisan as you like, as long as you maintain at all time that you are impartial...the greatest sin is to admit to not being impartial (in the vast majority of cases it's only after they retire that BBC folk admit to being partisan).

    2. Spot on MB. The second rule is to always push the boundaries (of the BBC social media guidelines). That way more and more becomes acceptable. Pushing to the limit is a classic union trick from the 60s and 70s. It always yields significant concessions by stealth from weak employers.

  15. I like Kwarsi Kwarteng. I think he put in a good performance against the annoyingly facile interruptions from Evan Davis. Kwarsi told him off a few times for the usual offences: not allowing him the opportunity to respond to the questions, setting out false contradictions, and mispresenting what was said during the Referendum campaign.

    I see Helen Thomas has had a brace fitted to her teeth. Perhaps this is part of the ongoing internal training programme: "Make Helen Smile".

    But neither she nor ED were prepared to set out just how much Ireland depends on there being a free trade deal with the UK.

    Also - the usual Fake News was put forward that Ireland has a "veto" on all this. Article 50 shows it doesn't...all its had is reassurances that sufficient progress will have to be made on the border issue before talks can move on to the next stage.

  16. Anybody seen the “news” that the BBC is going to help students and schools identify fake news? Yeah right.

    1. Looks like everyone has, not least thanks to the BBC plastering it over everything, from BBC Otess Office Twitter to Newsbeat Facebook.

      And so far, the BBC may feel things are not really going the way they may have hoped on who produces fake news and who is least qualified to preach upon it.

    2. Fake news has two constituents - peddling someone else's story due to lack of rigorous investigation - and - selecting elements from a story to reinforce the BBC's biased narrative. It all points the same way - to a lack of journalistic integrity.

    3. Let's have a well have they done so far?

      Did they spot the fact that the Arab Spring was a Muslim Brotherhood uprising against secularist rulers? No. They represented it as a democratic revolution for human rights.

      Did they spot the fact that the vast majority(according to Swedish authorities 75% but one suspects they are being kind) of persons claiming to be lone child migrants in the 2015 wave were adult? No, they maintained the fiction they were nearly all children.

      Did they have any inkling of how public opinoin was going during the EU Referendum? Yes - they commissioned a panel of ordinary voters for their Newsnight programme that voted 9-1 to Remain. did that happen?

      Do they report on Hillary Clinton's illegal behaviour (admitted to be non-lawful by the FBI)? No they don't. They cover for her and allow this whited sepulchre to pose as a feminist, a friend of the poor and an honest supporter of democracy. They don't cover the Clinton Foundation, her connections with Saudi Arabia, the fact her closest assistant is from a militantly pro-Sharia Saudi family, or the fact she tried to destroy the credibility of her husband's accusers.

      Did they report accurately on events in Cologne New Year's Eve 2015/2016 New Year's Eve? No - for five days (despite the social media being alive with comment) they reported NOTHING about it.

      Yes, who could not want they influencing young minds? Remember through their music outlets* like Radio 1 Extra they are also promoting gun ownership, murder, maiming, intimidation, racism and theft (grime, gangsta rap and so on)...

      * I quite like a lot of rap, unlike perhaps most ITBBCB dwellers I suspect but it is highly questionable that our state-funded broacaster is promoting such violent lyrics. It's a bit like the Savile thing. They know it's going on...they know it's causing harm to children but they are tolerating it.

  17. 6pm BBC 1 News: Hot on the heels of the 'Spotting Fake News' item, George Alagiah shows blatant bias in his reporting of David Davis's grilling by Hilary Wedgwood Benn's (see what I did there?) committee; on learning that the Gov't has not investigated the likely impact of Brexit on the motor industry, Benn, pulls a face suggestive of a man chewing on a wasp while inhaling a particularly malodorous fart - "Just look at the expression on the Chairman's face!" crows Alagiah. On reflection, perhaps he didn't say 'ChairMAN' - I mean, he'd have been exiled to Siberia or Salford if he had, wouldn't he?

    1. George Alagiah gave a speech arguing we should have no migration controls. I kid you not. No controls.

  18. Jeremy Bowen smirking throughout his ‘assessment’ of Jerusalem announcement on 10 o’clock news.

    Tonight we have the Personal opinions of Bowen and Sopel and Pienaar blatantly masquerading as explaining and assessing. Free, fair and impartial - pull the other one.

    1. Yes, in the 10pm news bulletin, Pienaar used exactly the same 'Just look at...' expression as George Alagiah in the 6pm news (my post, above). Makes one wonder if the anti-Brexit news is now being handed down from higher authority.

    2. As in "Just look at the BBC - they claim to be impartial!".

  19. I found an antidote to the incessant pro EU output of the BBC in the name of Ben Garrison:

    If you check him out there's a good line in pro Trump cartoons as well.

  20. I watched a rather good documentary on BBC 4 yesterday about the weirdo Slovenian rock band going to play in North Korea. Made me think the discussions about what they could play and say in their songs must be paralleled at the BBC by similar discussions regarding the news and drama productions (not so different these days) at the BBC. "No you can't say that - it might appear transphobic." "Yes, he's an expert...but we don't agree with what he says. Let's stick with the usual guy." "Didn't she once say something offensive about Uzbekis. I don't think we'll want her." "How many times do I have explain? - the victim can be a lesbian ethnic minority person...but the perpetrator can't! Pretty obvious I would have thought."

    If the BBC allowed even a smidgeon of free speech and free thought on its services its snowflake audience would probably look as puzzled, annoyed and frightened as did the North Korean audience in the documentary.

  21. EU Breakthrough...

    A sad day for Laura Kuennesberg. Perhaps she'll wear black like she did that day when Remainers were asked to wear black in protest at the Referendum result.

    The way I look at this, it's a slow process:

    First we had to overcome Project Fear in the Referendum campaign and the bent polling (a very powerful influence tool in my opinion) to actually win the Referendum. Job done.

    Then we had to overcome the "immediate economic meltdown" claims of the Remainers. Our economy has continued to grow and is becoming more balanced to manufacturing and exporting. The BBC-led hysteria has been put to one side. Osborne and Carney have been shown to have lied. Job done.

    Next, we had to overcome the Remain claim that the EU would never allow negotiations to proceed. Job done. At a hefty price admittedly (more than should have been offered) but job done.

    The last major defence line set up by the Remainers is that trade negotiations are horrendously complex (a recurring meme of the BBC) and take a decade minimum. The reality of course, as I have always said, is that there are at least four ready-made templates for future EU-UK relations: EEA, Switzerland, Canada and South Korea. These can be cut and pasted to form the basis of an EU-UK agreement. It is not that difficult. The difficult bit is the political side. The EU will want to make it appear difficult to "discourage the others".

    1. There should be much more analysis from Laura K and her friends on how the EU will manage without the UK's major contribution to its funds, and also on Mrs Merkel's progress towards forming a 'strong and stable' coalition government in Germany.

      From oldish information, it looks as if just 9 of the remaining 27 EU countries are net contributors. The rest are net recipients. The BBC have a blind spot when it comes to the reporting EU matters that might show weakness within the EU. They prefer to promote the EU position rather than the UK's when reporting on Brexit negotiations.

    2. Indeed especially since Germany will soon (next couple of years) have to find 30 billion (yes billion) Euros a year to support the migrant wave of 2015. That bill is only going to rise and rise. Did you see how much we are spending on counter terrorism? £12 billion - rising to £15 billion!!! I bet that figure is never included in those bogus analyses of net benefit of mass immigration.

      So, yes there is going to be huge budgetary pressure. Ireland is going to become a net contributor soon - that will be a shock for them, though - to be fair - I think they have so far done v. well out of the EU and may continue to do so if they maintain their low corporation tax approach.

    3. If you look at 17.2%? below, you should notice that it is the 9 of the remaining 27 EU countries which are the most-likely destination for migration.

  22. More Fake News from BBC FAKE NEWS CENTRAL:

    "The DUP, whose opposition on Monday led to talks breaking down, say there have been six "substantial changes" to the text. "

    In what sense, did "talks break down"? When talks break down, that means people declare they are no longer in negotiation. At NO point did that happen in recent days. If the BBC were not a fake news purveyor it might have written "led to what appeared an impasse at the time".

    There is further Fake News in the BBC article. They claim the leave agreement will have to be "will have to be ratified by the EU nations". This is not true. It is a decision for the European Council (qualified majority voting) and the European Parliament (simple majority). Why do the BBC lie about this all the time? Because they want to talk up the difficulties.

  23. Noticed something from BBC's coverage today...they seem very reluctant to ask Labour for their view. PM went on about the government not sending a spokeperson to the programme but no mention of the opposition. After all, this negotiating success (especially the kind words of the EU for May) make it difficult for Labour don't they? How would they do things differently? Do they want to stay in the Customs Union? (if they want to stay in the Single Market, that means overturning the Referendum decision of course).


    Nick Robinson being his usual impartial self on his Twitter account. Remainers always "point out" things...Brexiteers can only "say". And the last word always goes to the Remainers. Plus of course he doesn't deal with the all misleading Remain propaganda from the Referendum campaign: the denial that the EU was planning to create its own army, the claim that we would in recession by now and the claim we wouldn't have access to the Single Market after Brexit.

  25. 6pm TV News: More spin/fake news from Kuenssberg - reporting on the EU talks 'breakthrough,' she says, "What about the DUP who so embarrassed the Prime Minister on Monday?" NO! May embarrassed herself by her imbecilic agreement to terms which none of the Unionist parties could possibly accept!

    1. It was one of those rules of BBC reporting. DUP can do no good. Always report them negatively. Same used to be true of UKIP...although with an ex Lib Dem in charge now who knows how they might be treated. If Henry Bolton comes out as trans and commits to a second referendum they might let UKIP off the naughty step.

    2. I don't think it's that simple. If the Beeb is suddenly looking cheerful about a 'breakthrough,' and even being defensive of May, it can only be - at the risk of getting my metaphors in a tangle - that they believe the Brexit canoe has been sold down the river and that we are up the creek without a paddle!

    3. I don't think they are looking that cheerful. They are looking peeved, put out and peed off. Kirsty Wark was in fine "Disgusted of Hampstead" mode.

      Of course, like all players on the field, the BBC are trying to do several things at once:

      1. Bring down the government in the hope that leads to an election and postponement of negation of Brexit. Hence all the talk of "humiliation" earlier in the week for May and the attempts to set Tory against Tory.

      2. Somehow get Labour to abandon Corbynista Marxism and sign up again to pro-globalist, pro-EU soggy-leftism.

      3. Make out the EU are a strong entity but without making them appear to be malign and bullying.

      4. Promote the views of anti-democrats wishing to overturn the result of the Referendum - people like Blair, Campbell, Clegg, Heseltine, and other low lifes.

      4. Disguise actual developments in the EU (so they are not giving much exposure the EU plans for its own armed force or to the German SPD's commitment to creating a United States of Europe by 2025).

      5. Pretending that the Remainers' lies from the EU Referendum campaign have not been exposed.

      6. Trying to demoralise pro Leave sentiment in the UK - hence the latest meme of "what was the point of this"?, continuing harping on the bus promise (despite the fact that even on the May deal we are likely to be at least £6 billion- £7 billion better off per annum, which then becomes £8-9 billion after 20 years),

      6. Having a fallback position of trying to tie us in to the EU as closely as possible.

      7. Not devaluing their news brand completely by denying reality. Even Goebbels admitted the Germans were defeated at Stalingrad. They do have to admit there was some sort of breakthrough or progress in the negotiations.

    4. Sorry my numbering went haywire!

    5. Numbering: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

  26. And here's an impartial view of the deal from an impartial BBC presenter, Jonathan Freedland (also of the Guardian, now there's a surprise!):

    His description of Brexit as "a national calamity" doesn't affect his impartiality or his ability to impartially present a programme comparing past events with present ones on the BBC.

    Also just because he serves up Fake News [telling us that "Norway is in the Single Market" (it isn't - only EU countries can be in the Single Market, as made plain on the EU Commission website...and Norway expressly is NOT part of the agricultural or fisheries parts of the Single Market even via the separate EEA agreement] doesn't affect his ability to pontificate about "Fake News", Russians swinging the Brexit vote, and Trump being the Spawn of Satan.

    1. The topic of impartiality was again keeping Rob Burley excited this morning.

      Probably best not to ask what it is about journalists from a low ABC, soon-to-be tabloid it is, especially on matters Brexit, that so attracts BBC bookers to them.

      And 'businesswomen'.

  27. Whilst the EU deal isn’t everything I wanted at least it makes closer union a lot more difficult without another vote.

    I dont want closer union personally, but I think my main issue was that we never voted for it to start with. If in ten or twenty years, and big if the EU is still there, the majority vote for it then fair enough.

    1. I agree. No deal is ever going to satisfy everyone but if it detaches us from the superstate project that is the main thing. The SPD in Germany, likely now to be a coalition partner in Germany's government is pushing for a United States of Europe by 2025. All the Remainer lies are now exposed.

  28. Ps I’d like to know if the £40 billion is an additional payment? Does anybody know?

    We pay between £10 and £15 billion into The EU each year so it sounds to me that it’s mainly going to be the annual payments for the 2 year transition period.

    1. My udnerstanding - I may be wrong - is that the £40 billion (the BBC say 40 billion-ish...although the government denies it will be over 40 billion) is a "divorce" settlement - settling all ongoing liabilities like pensions, commitments to fund future budgeted projects etc. A very doubtful exercise but it has an internal logic I suppor. The payments are supposed to be made as they arise, so won't be one lump sum.

      I don't think payment for the transition period has been agreed. I would expect a discount given we won't be affecting decisions. After transition we are hoping to have a Free Trade agreement. There are always admin payments for any such deal - Norway and Switzerland pay in. Looking at what Switzerland pays, I would think it would be something like £750million - £1 billion per annum for the UK. Sounds a lot, but our financial sector in particular generates huge revenues through good access to the EU, so it will probably be worth it.

      Overall, even with the ongoing divorce payments, we should be more than £6 billion per annum better off for leaving the EU.

  29. Further if the remainder is for pension contributions, intelligence link ups, unified aviation policy etc split over the following years to say 2060 that’s not actually that bad at all in the grand scheme of things.

  30. Notice BBBC is suffering from one of its occasional offline moments.

    Hopefully nothing serious.

    1. Yes, Googling as to what "Error establishing a database connection" means suggests it's quite a common issue. It doesn't seem to be sinister:

    2. Ta.

      Back on topic, have you seen what the champion of BBC impartiality has been up to today?

      "New Brexiteer split between those like @DailyMailUK who say "Rejoice" & those like @montie & Charles Moore who despair at "surrender" & "capitualtion"

      Interesting 'observation' for Nick Robinson to be making.

      I wonder if he advises Rob Burley on who to invite and, of course, who not?

  31. I'm not convinced that Theresa May's breakthrough is isn't the softest of Brexits. When do we see a better UK Border Agency, and how about scrapping the EU fishing quotas in favour of a fifty mile ban to them around our coast?

  32. TWTW - Mardell sounding like someone had taken the puff out of him, but still soldiering on with a little bit of bias here and there but his heart wasn't quite in it...he gave Norman Lamont quite a lot of scope to get his points across, unusually. Perhaps the BBC Remain Service realise the game is up? Still, having interviewed both Clarke and Lamont, the final headlines chose - surprise, suprise - to highlight a point made by Clarke about May having to take on "hardline right wing Brexiteers"...bless! They haven't given up entirely.

  33. In Rotterdam, there's a Dutch / Turkish writer called Ebru Umar. She had to move last year because she lived in West Amsterdam and it wasn't really conjusive for her to live there any more. She's not a fan of the ummah.
    She's always been feisty and clear headed about her roots. All of them. When Theo van Gogh was alive, she used to write for his De Gezonde Roker (The Healthy Smoker) website. She's a great writer, but will remain unheralded in the UK. You can probably guess why.
    In 2003, she wrote an article and included the genius sentence

    "I am singularly responsible for my reaction to the limitations life foists on me".

    How will the BBC report Malmo ? Is it (and the rest to come) really all Trump's 'fault'?
    Backbone required BBC, get a sodding backbone.

  34. Here is the video relating to my above post :

    Note the twinkling Christmas lights and the total absence of anybody who remotely understands what is being said in the name of multi-culturalism.
    What on earth is Europe playing at ?

    1. Indeed what is Europe playing at when the UK's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill QC, wants returning IS fighters given council houses, sympathy and support rather than being prosecuted for their clear crimes including treason.

      The Dutch have a death wish, prosecuting the only politician who speaks the truth about the threat.

      I think the European elite are indulging in a kind of magical thinking: "If we are reasonable and understanding and kind then they will be reasonable, understanding and kind." Of course there are plenty of Taqiyya merchants only too happy to indulge their delusions while the real menace grows. It's all around us: electoral fraud, growing corruption in public life (see Tower Hamlets), kaffir girls targetted by hate gangs, police persecution of free speech...and all the while we are subject to mass propaganda about how this is all an illusion on our part and the people concerned are happily integrated into our society, baking cakes and being patriotic.

    2. I checked the BBC's Europe page...not a sausage...looks like BBC are on another Denial Operation, like the 5 Days of Silence following the Cologne New Year's Eve mass attacks.

    3. There's a groundswell of awareness going on in Holland at the moment. People are much more socially and politically aware than they used to be.
      The Dutch don't reserve their public conversation platforms
      for the elite either, so you'll now hear many different opinions on TV.

      They also have access to a very popular web site called Geen Stijl, which in the UK would be labelled 'nationalistic' and dangerous.
      Hey-ho, it isn't. It's just that British journalists have been under their own thumb for so long, most of them can't see daylight. You've
      only got to see John Simpson's (2001?) interview with Pim Fortuyn to see the evidence.

      Ironically, it was Geen Stijl's info that the BBC used to argue that one of Trump's re-tweeted videos was fake last week. We're talking about a web-site that regularly calls salafist mosques 'Haat-Huts'. You can guess the translation.

      Thierry Baudet is a name to watch for the future. I doubt you'll hear it on the BBC until he does something 'unspeakable'.

      I agree with your 'magical thinking' paragraph. I also think that they think the roots to Islam will be diminished as muslims develop a
      prominent middle class within Western societies and become steadily secular, echoing what happened to Christians in the West.

      They underestimate the will of the ummah within the ummah at every turn. They don't get the political aspect of Islam at all. And when it
      becomes obvious, they ignore it, because what are they going to do ?

      I caught an interview with some or other reformed jihadist on Broadcasting House yesterday. He's now paid by the UK government to
      talk potential jihadists down.
      His narrative was essentially identical to that of Tommy Robinson, but because it came out of a brown person's mouth, it's okay for the BBC
      to broadcast it without accusations of racism.

      What a ridiculous state of affairs when we are arguing over the ambition of perceived outcomes (racism or the desire to help) rather than the danger itself.

      The West has no clue what to do when it comes to non-western theology and the perceived other-ness of BAME people.
      Whitehall pays ex-gang members to talk black teenagers down because they're utterly removed from the street, at the mercy of NGO narrative
      and terrified of the kick-back. It really won't be long before some bright spark suggests that inner city police should have a comprehensive understanding of sharia law and white privilege. Common Purpose, anyone ?

  35. BBC's Fake Reality Cheek is really appalling. They are supposed to testing claims against hard fact. This is what the dire Chris Morris has to say:

    "Phase one of the Brexit negotiations may be coming to an end, but phase two promises to be even more difficult."

    Promises? This is supposed to be a Reality Check...not a reading of the tea leaves.

    There is absolutely not a single reason to think Stage 2 will be more difficult unless the EU decide to make the negotiations difficult. But even they seem now aware of the risk of causing a massive negative reaction in the UK, with the prospect of a fresh General Election resulting in Remainer May being unceremoniously dumped and a Leaver taking her place.

    Reality Check is simply a BBC propaganda tentacle along with CBBC, Newsbeat, their staff members' Twitter accounts and so on.

    1. Reality Check has fared about as well as James Harding's #hasthebbcfactcheckedthisyet. Especially on twitter.

      Speaking of which, and staff members' accounts, I have had a reply from BBC DPA to my questions. I don't believe them.

      I have asked one more.

      I am going to pose another later. I have realised they they use any excuse to fudge, and multiples of question allow them to do that.

      I also have had a reply to my first complaint since the new OFCOM regime kicked in, and clearly this one needs to be kicked as far as I have energy to get it, as it is the laziest attempted belief-based blow off template as I have ever seen:

      "I understand you were unhappy with the headline ‘Embracing the far right, Trump stains a history of democratic ideals’ and note you felt it was biased against President Trump.

      Firstly, let me assure you that impartiality is central to all of our news and current affairs reporting and we ensure all our journalists are aware of this to help us deliver fair and balanced coverage for all the stories we report.

      James Cook’s analysis in this article was in keeping with his remit as our North America correspondent, part of which is to provide his insight into stories taking place there. It is not unusual for correspondents to offer their own take on developments that relate to their specific area and it was made clear that this was his analysis.

      BBC News does not have an opinion on Donald Trump’s presidency. When reporting on his actions, we have tried to explain his position in detail and to incorporate a range of views about his policies. We have featured Mr Trump’s supporters as well as his critics and reflected his own response to criticism.

      We do not aim to denigrate any view or to promote any view. Our goal has simply been to report and analyse events in order that our audiences can make up their own minds.

      The headline for this report has also been revised since the article first appeared on our site. You can view the updated version by following the link below:

      Finally, I would like to assure you... blah, blah...."

      I mentioned ages ago to Craig I was developing a forum site for people to post raw text exchanges of complaints between themselves and BBC Complaints to get them out into the public domain and shared.

      It foundered a bit on my making it too complex and being unsure of which platform to use... Blogger or WordPress... for ease of use, links, commenting, etc, plus security from being attacked by bots, well poisoned by the BBC or pulled by hosts under BBC pressure.

      I may spend Xmas revisiting this.

      Enough is enough. And I do not mean in a Mrs. May exact opposite sense.

    2. Well done, I think you have got them on a hook on this one. Nowhere can I see a reference to this being a "personal view", "personal insight", or "personal analysis". They can't have it both ways: either it is a personal view and is highly critical of Trump in comparison with other leading Americans or it is an "impartial" view forming part of news coverage.

      They are clearly going to have to admit this is a very negative critique of Trump but will claim it is part of a fair and balanced coverage of Trump across all their media. Well, where have the BBC published a positive assessment of Trump by one of their journalists?

      But anyway, they still have to justify the content.

      "He spread the racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in the US." This so-called lie was started by Hillary Clinton's campaign. Does that make Hillary Clinton a racist? Where has Cook claimed that Hillary was spreading a racist lie?

      The Obama citizenship episode actually remains very puzzling - it's mysterious why Obama didn't simply release his birth certificate immediately when he started his campaign. It took him two years I think it was before he released it. Being born a "natural" US citizen is a constitutional requirement so it cannot be "racist" to ask for proper confirmation of one's citizenship status if one is standing for the Presidency and you have declared your Kenyan roots. This has also been an issue in Australia:

      No one has claimed that was motivated by "racism".

      Although JFK said fine things about democracy, it is generally accepted he took Illinois with the help of the Mafia and electoral fraud.

      He quote Mitt Romney approvingly. Ironically Mitt Romney is a keen member of the Mormon Church, historically and even now one of the most explicitly racist institutions in America!

      Good luck with taking the complaint to another level.

    3. Yes, well done Peter for making a complaint about ‘Embracing the far right, Trump stains a history of democratic ideals’ by James Cook. You have done what most of us wouldn't be bothered to do on the basis that life's too short. I doubt, though, whether complaining in this way achieves anything. It might actually be counterproductive.

      James Cook will probably be polishing up his badge of honour, hoping for some esoteric broadcasting award, and thinking in line with the BBC's groupthink: "Wow - 500 complaints! I'm really making a name for myself here. What's the next outrageous topic I can confront those idiot listeners with?"

    4. Thanks both for the pats on the back, empathetic weary warnings own what comes next and helpful hints on what to look out for. I do not see it as counterproductive because, though small, the 500 cuts are cumulative. My Dad once found a squaddie who had tried to gain access to a tropical military base whilst drunk via a barbed wire fence.

      I am of course well aware of what awaits, but this one seemed worth a good reboot once The Trust got kicked in to touch for being untrustworthy, and OFCO takes over on final appeals.

      But this remains a six month process minimum, and hence long haul it is.

      Assuming I get past the various Complaints drones and 'Directors' in ECU, and given all they have is 'belief' the BBC is right and I (and I suspect from the template many others) am wrong, it is simply a matter of out-templating them.

      Or not getting banned for two years again, which they have successfully imposed before.

      That can only happen at OFCOM level so we'll see.

      I am of course also aware that a large chunk of OFCOM is comprised of ex BBC staff, probably from Complaints or The Trust.

  36. WATO was a font of irrelevance today. Began by trying desperately to inject some content into the David Davis "gaffe". There was none! EU spokesperson confirms the agreement of the other day is not legally binding. The Fine Gael spokesperson says the government is fine with the clarification (which was only necessary because the BBC is always looking for "TID" headlines - "Tories in Disarray" one sensible would have thought there was any issue there). Irish-born Martha Kearney (declared no interest) was not gracious enough to admit the BBC had made a mountain of moles out of a miniscule molehill.

    1. Gaffe boosting seems quite the MSM 'next big thing', especially on social media.

      But outside their sad little bubbles it seldom gets them anywhere other than having to use themselves as 'critics who say', as the rest of us are perfectly capable of seeing what the actual facts and/or heft of the story is.

      The BBC is however in the spotlight for again at best erring on the economical with the facts behind the Labour over prompted and over paid peer who supposedly 'quit' his NHS post in protest cuts, but appears was fired for not being, as such, good with public money.

  37. Whoops that's embarrassing (for CNN, BBC, the Guardian) - New York terrorist appears to be a migrant from a Muslim-majority country who entered during Obama's administration. :) Sounds like perhaps the device malfunctioned as only the terrorist was injured - good news.

    1. I see the BBC have now named the "man"...but not indicated (as I have read elsewhere) that he was a migrant to the USA from a Muslim majority country (Bangladesh) under the Obama administration. Controlled information release in operation.

  38. More Fake News from BBC Fake News Central on Newsnight tonight.

    Evan Davis claimed that Norway was "in the Single Market".

    This is absolutely untrue. To quote from the EU Commission website:

    "The Single Market refers to the EU as one territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods and services."

    Norway is NOT part of EU territory and therefore is not in the Single Market.

    Norway is, via its membership of EFTA, within the EEA (European Economic Area) and through that has a high degree of access to the EU Single Market (and the EU enjoys a high level of access to EFTA's free trade area in return).

    It's not that difficult to understand. But it's important to get right because certain politicians like to pretend we can leave the EU and remain in the Single Market. We can't. We could theortetically stay in the Customs Union (though I don't think the EU are offering that), but not the Single Market.

    Davis also claimed that Norway had to accept "EU rules". This again is not true. There is a mechanism for decides on application of EU Single Market rules in the wider EEA and the EFTA court is the relevant judicial body in the EFTA area. In any case the EFTA area is not subject to the agricultural and fisheries rules of the EU Single Market (pretty important for Iceland and Norway).

    I wouldn't mind but they get paid a lot to get things so wrong.

  39. Rearguard units of the BBC still putting up a stalwart defence as they retreat into the ruins of the once great city known as Stallinggrad (it's all about stalling Brexit now and hoping for the best, think the depressed Beeb Troops, thrown so carelessly into battle by the cynical leadership, not caring if their reputation for accurate reporting ends up in tatters)... The Aussie Remoaner business guy on Today pointed out that it took 15 years to negotiate the EU-Canada agreement...yes, well we know they had to negotiate over removal of 10,000s of tarrifs whereas there are none that require active removal in respect of the EU-UK...but don't let that inconvenient information interfere with the propagation of Fake Facts, Mind Manipulation and Remain Replication.

  40. Your Festive BBC Guide to Bias...

    1. Bias by news agenda choice. The biggie. If we don’t report it, it’s not news. And we don’t like to report things like the Synagogue attack in Stockholm or the New Year’s Eve events in Cologne a while back.
    2. Bias by news prioritising. OK, sometimes we can’t avoid reporting something but we can certainly give it very low priority. It only needs to appear for a nanosecond for us to be able to say
    3. Bias in perpetuity. If we like a story…”Tories racist says report”…we might leave it up on our website for months to make sure just about everyone gets to see it, even though we are allegedly a news organisation. Likewise we will return obsessively to stories we love like Grenfell Tower.
    4. Bias by burying. If we don’t like a story we will bury it away somewhere like “News from Leicester” which you get to by navigating four pages.
    5. Bias by headline creep. Sometimes we know a story hasn’t really got legs but by using the headline ruse we can make it sound a lot better. So Boris “racism” claim becomes…Boris claims government is tackling racism….becomes Boris has rejected a UN report claiming that racism in the UK is rising at an alarming rate.
    6. Bias by interruption. An old time favourite…if you don’t like what the interviewer is saying, interrupt them to hell and back, so that they can’t get their points across.
    7. Bias by misrepresentation. So being worried about hardly ever hearing the English language spoken in your neighbourhood becomes racist attitudes to migrants.
    8. Bias by concept merge: Neo Nazi merges into Far Right, which merges into Right Wing which merges into Nationalist (except for SNP, Sinn Fein and Plaid Cymru of course) which merges into “Tory” and Conservative. By constant mixing and association – Right Wing Neo Nazis…Far Right Nationalists…, Tories become part of a dangerous amorphous group that like to persecute minorities.

    1. ...continued...

      9. Bias by mirroring. Under this ruse we call extreme radicals like Iranian Mullahs or Chinese Communists “Conservatives”.
      10. Bias by intimidation. We tell our audience that we will report them to their employer or school if they voice opinions of which we disapprove.
      11. Bias by mockery. It’s not just something for “comedy” panel shows or the Now Show. News presenters can also join in the mockery of anything the BBC doesn’t like. But woe betide anyone who mocked say Stella Creasy or Chukka Umuna - that would be sexist and racist.
      12. Bias by complaint dismissal. As long as we keep batting away complaints in the face of the truth and the facts, we can maintain the absurd claim of impartiality.
      13. Bias by propaganda tentacle. The BBC has a long reach. Our correspondents can use Twitter to voice more extreme opinion through re-tweeting. We are now going into schools as well to brainwash children with our “Fake News” agenda.
      14. Bias by question selection. What questions get asked is vital. If you think we pull the QT questions out of a hat.
      15. Bias by simple fact denial or avoidance. For instance we will not admit even the possibility that the housing crisis might have something to do with mass immigration.
      16. Bias by expert. We choose the experts. Our experts are guaranteed to support our views. That’s how we select them.
      17. Bias by org-labelling: that think tank is “right wing”, this think tank (the one we like) is “respected”.
      18. Bias by person labelling. That person (someone standing up for beliefs that were uncontroversial 50 years ago) is “far right”, this person (a Marxist totalitarian) is the “conscience of the left”.
      19. Bias by tone of voice. Be surprised if a right wing person does a nice thing or somehow escapes justice.
      20. Bias by atypical person choice. Most female followers of Islam in Bradford may wear a Hijab and rarely go outside the family home but you are going to find one who doesn’t wear a head covering, uses make up, wears tight jeans and has set up her own business. And you are going to give her the full PR treatment on your shows.
      21. Bias by drama and soap. Very important. This is how we really buttress the news and indoctrination agenda. We use drama and soap to signal approval, disapproval and what issues the public should think are important.
      22. Bias by lifestyle show. We can make frightening things appear comforting all by the magic of lifestyle TV.
      23. Bias by over-representation of minorities. You see a lot of this on TV adverts of course. The message is “resistance is useless”. But we do our bit on the BBC as well ensuring that minorities (officially only 13% of the population) are over-represented in a number of key areas like news presentation.
      24. Bias by slow information release. We wouldn’t want you to run away with the idea there’s just been a terrorist incident carried out by an IS operative migrant who shouted Allah Akhba…so we will slowly drip feed the news and then disappear the story altogether.
      25. Bias by local news as national news. Local news is a good way of perpetuating the bias especially in areas where there are lots of Labour MPs and we can call on them to provide a steady drumbeat of public expenditure propaganda . We always favour local news with a national flavour…so expect lots of NHS cuts and not much about the County Show.
      26. Bias by survey…Our opinion polls are frequently wrong. But they always seem to favour the left for some reason. Sometimes our levels of bias are off the scale like the Newnsight panel of “ordinary voters” that voted 9-1 to remain.

    2. Good list MB. You might add 27. Bias by Decree. Here, the likes of John Simpson or David Dimbleby - once respected as cutting edge journalists - trot out the BBC narrative without appearing to have thought about what they are saying first. In the BBC world of bias, if they say so, it must be true.

    3. Yes, indeed - don't know if this is bias by decree or bias by questioning what doesn't need to be questioned:

      Dimbleby seems to think that if he poses a smugly sceptical or irrelevant question "But we don't know that was an official Mosque letter, do we?" (irrelevant - it was clearly being handed out at the Mosque in full view) or "But do you have an example of the BBC saying "despite Brexit"? " (Answer: Guy Fawkes had plenty of examples the next day!), he has neutralised the critique. Quite an effective Bias technique as he's normally sly enough to time his semi-rhetorical questions at just the right point so they don't get or can't be answered.

    4. You've not yet reached John Peel's Festive 50, but that's a fine festive list nonetheless!

    5. Sounds like a challenge! lol

    6. The John Simpson decree bias is different to the David Dimbleby version - which you have identified so clearly there MB.

      DD's should be No. 28 Bias by Obfuscation, where he deliberately muddies the pool to deflect discussion away from the point in question.

    7. OK, so:

      27 Bias by decree.

      28. Bias by obfuscation.

  41. Is the BBC biased, untrustworthy or simply dishonest? All three methinks.

    1. All three, I agree - plus a fourth: deluded...i.e. most of them I think probably have covinced themselves that mass immigration is an alloyed blessing in all cases, that Islam, properly understood, is a religion of peace, and that unrestrained public expenditure delivers happiness etc etc. It is the delusion, spread ironically by our liberal democratic culture, that makes them biased and dishonest (knowingly not giving the full or correct information), and that in turn makes them untrustworthy.

    2. Seconded... thirded? Though, in the words of a small green sage, far, far away: "Others, there surely are".

    3. alloyed = unalloyed of course!

    4. Yes. Deluded. Those at the BBC, sometimes individually and sometimes collectively, see themselves as some kind of moral compass for the nation.

  42. Two more:

    29. Bias by yawn. This was attempted during the early part of the Referendum...implying that everyone was bored with the Referendum whereas we all know the opposite was true: family and friends often ended up having passionate debates on the subject (some are still continuing to this date!). But the BBC were trying to reduce the interest in the campaign, so that the anti-EU vote would not get mobilised. Eventually they realised they couldn't get away with that, the pretend yawns stopped and it was then the desperately tried "educating" everyone to vote remain. Too late!

    30. Bias by False Friend. "So let's go over to Washington to discuss Trump's latest tweet. We have leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and Republican Governor for Wyoming..." Sounds balanced until you realise the Republican Governor hates Trump as much as the Democrat. We see similar set ups with our domestic politics "Here to discuss the Government's proposals are Chukka Umuna, Labour MP and Ken Clarke, Conservative..." only Clarke is going bash the proposals almost as much as Chukka.

    1. How about Bias by Herd Instinct - the alpha male indicates the direction of travel and the rest follow. With acknowledgement to Not a Sheep.

    2. Yes, we'll make that 31. :) They often use attractive or at least popular celebrities to get the herd following! Calais over-30s "refugee children" being a good example.

    3. There's Bias by Recruitment, where only people who have backgrounds and outlooks which tick all the right boxes, get jobs at the BBC in the first place.


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