Sunday 28 January 2018

I don't know what to call this post

Following Craig’s post, I wonder, did Andrew Marr leave an open door for Dan Hodges to deploy the ‘handing over editorial control to your interviewee’ manoeuvre?
Can I read you what Amnesty International has said?” asked Marr, whereby Corbyn’s counter-attack (you've been reading too much Daily Mail) was effectively: “No, please don’t read something out that makes me look foolish and / or hypocritical”, which is the equivalent of McDonnell’s “no need’ remark (albeit from the opposite direction.)
Of course, Amnesty International is hardly a suitable body for Andrew Marr to bring in as a beacon of moral righteousness or whatever it was he was trying to imply, even if all he meant was:  ‘if an alt-Left outfit like Amnesty International even thinks Iran’s HR record is beyond the pale, shouldn’t you, too?’
Following Craig’s post (again) see Harry’s Place for Habibi’s forensic, fully fleshed-out exposé of Jeremy Corbyn’s deviation from the actualité on the Marr show.
It’s all there, including a lovely video of his speech ‘marking the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran'.

I’m afraid Rob Burley is looking a little bit like someone who ain’t totally au fait with the actualité. Think  those interested in JC position on Iran will have more to go on as a result of Habibi's article.


Never mind. I also want to mention that I was mistaken when I said that the BBC hadn’t noticed the HoC debate on proscribing Hezbollah. At the time I said it, I hadn’t seen Friday’s Daily Politics. Well, they brought it up, though in a somewhat perfunctory way.  
Claire Fox from the Academy of Silly Ideas explained that she was against proscription because “Banning people because of their politics is unhelpful and illiberal”. 
Had she not absorbed the case for proscribing Hezbollah, which, in its own words, is explicitly and unequivocally that there is no distinction between imaginary ‘wings’ of this overtly terrorist organisation? It's a unified entity. Terrorist through and through.
This makes one wonder if half the people we hear on the BBC opining on issues like this are totally au fait with the actualité.

I’d hate to think they’re really not.


Now for The Big Questions. The biggest question of all is what did the programme makers hope to achieve by bringing in one of the most offensive “asaJew” Israel-hating, pro-Palestine campaigners to discuss the problem of antisemitism in the left?  I contend that the programme makers were completely uninterested in achieving any form of civilised conversation. All they wanted was the TV equivalent of click bait. “Let’s have some fun with this”.

Well, the discussion certainly wasn’t fun. To give the benefit of the doubt to those responsible for commissioning or inviting the ‘front row”, perhaps they were inspired by Idrissi’s LBC interview with Nick Ferrari but didn’t listen hard enough to predict she would steer the discussion in the direction of a tirade of highly dubious pro-Palestinian propaganda from the ill-informed antisemites  in the room.

Perhaps they didn’t anticipate that the audience would be whooping and cheering at the sweet sound of cries like “apartheid state” and  “Jew-only roads”. 

Geordies for Palestine
The only contributor who was allowed to speak without being interrupted was Anna Turley MP, and her little bit showed what a balanced, civilised discussion on this topic might have been like.  

As for the rapt, adoring nodding from the pro-pornography advocate sitting next to Naomi Idrissi, the twisted, Israel-bashing, sheer nastiness of Chris Mullin “They’re in the process of setting up an apartheid state”[…] “They’re starting to ethnically cleanse east Jerusalem” and the nonsensical bile from the lady lawyer with  the PSC  brooch: “I witnessed —— I spoke to mothers who were forced to give birth at Israeli checkpoints” […] “I’m not denying that there’s a problem with antisemet — antisemitism, however the majority of antisemitism is coming from far right groups” and the clapping and nodding from the baying mob of an audience, the whole thing was sub standard. Even by TBQ's normal standards.

Nicky Campbell, perhaps bruised by his highly publicised reduction in salary, seemed subdued. He pleaded for the discussion not to turn into a shout-fest. But what else did he expect? Yes, I’m doubting the integrity of the programme makers. It’s Jeremy Kyle territory, and Nicky Campbell knows it. He even had to (effectively) apologise at the end, by promising they’d be back to this subject at a later date. 


  1. Just to blurt out a secret to our loyal readers, but I emailed you (as you know!) to hope it wouldn't be a 'bun fight' about two minutes before Nicky Campbell expressed his equally forlorn hope that it wouldn't be a 'shout-fest'.

    It turned out to be both a 'bun fight' and a 'shout-fest'.

    The programme's more-heat-than-light strategy has kept it going for eleven series now. They don't look like changing it. If Nicky was sincere in hoping it wouldn't turn into the usual 'bear pit' (and he seemed just as sincere about that to me as he did to you), well, the ship has long sailed on that!

    I should have known better too.

    Anna Turley MP was very good. I don't know much about her or her views on other matters, but she displayed decency and reasonableness here, and stood out like a sore thumb among all the usual TBQ flame-throwers, shouting across each other and bursting their every blood vessel with every word.

    Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi is certainly quite something. 'Guido Fawkes' describes her as "a real piece of work" and has a small archive about her.

  2. Someone should at least have pressed Chandni Chopra about the allegation that she’d witnessed mothers giving birth at Israeli checkpoints ‘because they were Palestinians’, as she’d started to say, before correcting herself just in time; she said, instead, that she “spoke to” mothers who told her this, probably realising - as apparently some sort of lawyer - that it was a load of baloney and a bit risky.

  3. That image capture of Ms. Chopra seems about as apt as it gets.

  4. To use a Cathy Newmanism what Chris Mullin and Chandni Chopra are saying is: There isn’t any substantial anti-Semitism in the Muslim community (or from Idiots on the left). It’s all shadowy far right groups. But in order to justify our anti-Semitism, which isn’t really happening, here is a list of inflammatory and untrue statement about Israel - which are in themselves anti-Semitic. Putting aside the questionable morality, the stupidity of these people is mind-boggling.

    1. I meant "statements" (plural). Not a good idea to make a typo when questioning another person's intelligence!


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