Friday 30 March 2018

Open Thread

Please find attached a brand new Open Thread (with a link back to the last one here if you're still catching up).

This week's Open Thread features a map of the rivers of Wales. 

Many thanks for your continued support, and (as my Google Translate says) cael penwythnos da!


  1. It's a good job it rains that much in Wales, otherwise those rivers would have nothing to do.

  2. Isn't it rather strange to describe someone who planted a bomb, which was meant to explode and kill many people and was quite capable of doing so, as a "fantasist"?

    From the article: "He was bored, wanted attention and, the teenager said, it was part of his fantasy." So, the BBC is echoing his defence by referring to him (without quotes) as a fantasist!!!

    But the prosecutor pointed out "You can be sure it was not an act of attention-seeking or boredom. This was someone who wanted to cause death and damage and make good his escape."

    So why is the BBC following the defence line and not the prosecution line, given the man has been found guilty. Incidentally I don't accept he is 18 and I think we should have laws in place to check on the age of defendants in terror trials.

    Also notice yet again how the BBC runs interference (as the Americans say) for the other side. Listing all the good things about him (he was shy, a model pupil at school, liked wildlife photography - no real evidence of that, though is there?) they also state: "He was religious, a Sunni Muslim, and prayed five times a day." Oh right, so clearly we are supposed to think: how could a devout religious boy ever seek to cause death and destruction?

    1. Good point. The jihadi terrorist was the one who told the court about his fantasies', so why echo that in your headline?

      "Parsons Green attack: The Iraqi fantasist who wanted attention".

    2. As noted with the Telford story home page link that consisted of no more than an out of context, edited quote (changed after being excoriated in ways even they could not brazen out on social media , the BBC are getting a wee bit too overt in their 'interpretations' of certain events to suit. It may soon haunt them.

  3. By my reckoning the firing of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe has had more prominence and reporting at the BBC in the last 24 hours than the Telford rapes story has ever had.

    Tells you something about BBC priorities.

    1. I was just looking at the BBC and Sky News websites. The McCabe story is ranked 2nd in importance by the BBC and 18th by Sky.

    2. Has Katty Kay filed her daily acronym yet?

    3. Oddly, Katty's claws aren't out today. Beautiful Jon Sopel, meanwhile, is tweeting like mad - and all from one side of the story.

    4. This is typical of Sopel on Twitter:

      "How extraordinary that it’s become the #FBI vs @realDonaldTrump when the most controversial thing they did - reopening the @HillaryClinton email inquiry and making it public 2 weeks before election - was a spectacular help to DJT, and arguably handed him the Presidency. "

      The most controversial thing they did? Only to pro-Hillary left-liberal types I would say!

      Here are some really controversial things the FBI did:

      How about giving virtually the whole of Hillary's team immunity at the outset of the investigation, so they had no incentive to tell the truth? How about interviewing Hillary with a pack of her lawyers for only 15 minutes! How about agreeing she would be exonerated before her interview took place? How about finding that she was not legally culpable because she didn't "mean" to do anything illegal by putting classified information on unofficial servers? How about putting FBI officials who were contributors to the Democratic Party on the team that investigated her? How about working with an ex British spy to put together a dodgy dossier on Trump? How about not informing FISA Court properly about the dossier's origins (paid for by the Democratic Party)?

      I don't think we know why Comey took the step he did just before the election. However, I have read that it was the NYPD who found incriminating stuff on Huma Abedin's phone relating to Hillary and were threatening to go public if the FBI hid this. It may be that Comey's hand was forced and he did the absolute minimum. Whereas, Sopel wants us to believe he is an honest cop trying to do his best and must be on the right track because he "gets criticism from both sides".

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Pet projects like
      - "Trump/Brexit/Tories must fall" are selected for #BBCbangingOn
      - Whilst "inconvenient" stories are subject the #BigBbcNewsFilter

      See Nottingham : Black girl gang attacks Egyptian : Filtered
      Yet a few days later
      : student has 50second video of racist chant : #BBCbangingOn

    7. The amount of bbc commitment to a gang of drunk Muslimas attacking a white girl (less terminally, granted) would be interesting in comparison.

      Not least for them getting excused by the judge as their faith meant they were not used to be bladdered.

      Which does seem quite a story.

  4. Did anyone hear tonight's Archive on 4' Radio 4 at 8.00pm - for an hour. Topic "Disinfomation - A User's guide" - and all centred on the Zinoviev letter. What a week to choose for that! Or what a topic to choose for this week!

  5. Anti-semitism within the Labour Party continues its unstoppable rise:

    Front page news for the BBC Website?

  6. The BBC News website has as its lead story [Vladimir Chizhov told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show]: 'Russia spy row: UK lab could be poison source, says ambassador', opening with 'Russia's EU ambassador has suggested a UK research laboratory could be the source of the nerve agent used in the attack on an ex-spy and his daughter.'.

    Few other MSM have featured this, other than Euronews, who go a step further with: Russian Ambassador: ‘Nerve agent came from UK lab’, and 'With the growing crisis in UK-Russian relations taking on a European dimension Russia's ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov spoke to euronews' ...

    I can't understand why the BBC would keep this as their lead story. Has the BBC deliberately sought an EU angle, wanting us to see this story from the perspective of continuing EU membership?

  7. Speaking of Wales, a report on Friday ( covered by BBC Wales in depth on local news programmes.
    A couple of things the BBC did not mention, the graffiti was done with chalk paint (easily removed) the day before an "anti-racism" march in the area. Also the area is well covered by CCTV, yet no images of the "far right culprits" have been released.
    There is a whiff of fake news about it certainly.

  8. There are stupid people who work for the BBC - the sofa plants who simply parrot whatever happens to be on the autocue. But most people who work for the BBC at a senior level - whether as management or "talent" - are highly intelligent. They know exactly what they are doing. Whenever they give us one of their "explainers" (as they like to call them) you can be sure they are framing the issue according to how they want it framed.
    And they do it with a lot of subtlety generally...they include the opinions of the people they hate in order to provide "deniability" - to be able to deny that they are unbalanced. But it's all about weighting, signposting, emotive language, appeals to authority (and all the other multitude of bias techniques).

    Here's what the BBC wants you to think about the McCabe firing:


    "Why was McCabe fired?

    Mr McCabe had been under internal investigation by the FBI and had already stepped down from his deputy post in January pending the review.

    He was sacked just two days short of his 50th birthday on Sunday, when he was expected to retire with a federal pension.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the "extensive and fair investigation" had concluded that Mr McCabe "made an unauthorised disclosure to the news media and lacked candour - including under oath - on multiple occasions".

    Although the decision to fire Mr McCabe was made by Mr Sessions, Mr Trump had criticised him for months.

    He has publicly pointed to donations that Mr McCabe's wife, a Democrat, received from a Clinton ally when she ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2015 as evidence that Mr McCabe was politically biased.

    He welcomed the news of his dismissal almost immediately after Mr Sessions announced it, calling the move a "great day for democracy". UNQUOTE

    What they don't want you to know:

    1. The disciplinary action applied to McCabe was recommended by the FBI Inspector General (appointed by Obama).

    2. It was confirmed by the Office of Professional Responsibility within the FBI.

    3. Sessions was simply confirming the results of the internal investigations in 1 and 2 above.

    4. McCabe was part of the FBI cover-up for Hillary.

    5. It isn't so much that McCabe had a wife who was a Democrat standing for high office and receiving huge funds from a Clinton is more that McCabe didn't think that should mean he should recuse himself from investigating either Clinton or Trump.

  9. It's laughable how the BBC do all in their power to undermine Trump.

    According to their headline "Republicans" have "warned" Trump over the Mueller inquiry.

    Reading the headline you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a majority of Republicans in Congress or a sizeable number of senior Republicans or their national committee who had issued the warning. Not at all! Not even close!! Just the usual few malcontents.

    The BBC also claim that Mueller is "highly regarded" and a "Republican". Highly regarded by whom? The BBC? Would a person who deserved to be "highly regarded" really have assembled an FBI team with so many Democrat contributors and supporters for such a politically sensitive job? And does "Republican" mean "not biased against Trump"? Of course not. We know that Republicans like McCain, Bush, Cruz and Romney are all deadly enemies of Trump and have wanted to see his Presidency fail.

    The truth is that it was simply the "usual suspects" in the Republican party who came out against Trump on Mueller. The majority of Republicans are much more in sympathy with Trump and I think are heartily sick of Mueller's never-ending and ever-widening probe.

  10. One can almost hear the grinding of her teeth as Barnier announces a deal:

    Where's Chris Morris when you need him...I am sure he can put a negative spin on things.

  11. BBC very keen to mention Cambridge Analytica, misuse of date and Trump at every possible opportunity.

    But when it comes to this revelation:

    ...well they don't want to mention that Facebook was allowing the Obama campaign to do the same sort of data mining for free, no questions asked.

    But the BBC probably think that's fine. Just like they think Clinton having a private server in contravention of numerous laws is fine.

  12. Juncker offers congratulations to Putin - written congrats in a fawning tribute.

    Trump offers congrats over the phone.

    BBC Headline?

    "Russia election: Trump congratulates Putin over victory"

    Isn't that sickening? After all it is part of the EU that has been subject to a nerve gas attack, not part of the USA.

    Even the Guardian does better at least apportioning criticism equally:

    The BBC is now officially more biased than the Guardian!!!

    [In fact I have noticed that on quite a few occasions recently. I think the Guardian reported far more openly and far earlier on the Telford scandal for instance.]

    1. Not a headline, but Jo Coburn did bring it up on Daily Politics.

    2. It was also raised on PM but then it was disguised. Instead of a specific reference to Carol Donaldsen and what she claimed, there was just a general reference by Mair to Obama and Clinton having also used Facebook data collection. There wasn't the same negative frameworking that it might have helped them in their election performance. It was more like "Well if Obama and Clinton do it, how could it be wrong..." I think he was hoping the guy interviewed would draw a clear distinction (he didn't as I recall, think he just started waffling about us being more careful about the permissions we give re data).

    3. That should have been Carol Davidsen.

  13. The BBC hold a good deal of information about UK listeners and viewers. If you leave out the licence itself, which contains names addresses etc, you cannot watch i-player without registering with your e-mail address. The BBC offers to -tailor' a package for you. Should you dare to make a complaint, you will be asked for your postcode (first half), your ethnicity, which age band you are, and your gender.

    Thus, the BBC have detailed profiles on the viewing and listening public/electorate. The possibilities for them to use this information in support of their preferred party - Labour - must be being considered, if it is not already being used.

    1. i-player registration asks for date of birth, e-mail address and gender. (TV Licence has full postal address and e-mail address).

    2. Hi, beat me to this! I was thinking about this only this morning when hearing the Today team virtue signalling about Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, and the Trump/Brexit campaigns. I am still an I Player refusenik, despite the inconvenience it causes me. The BBC work with outsiders like the Guardian, YouGov and so on...Do we really know how BBC data is being handled? They say they want to direct programming at us...but this could be used for political manipulation. Their algorithms could easily be directing people to their mind-bending dramas and documentaries designed to solicit support for mass immigration, PC multiculturalism and their brand of soft-and-silly socialism. How is that different from trying to affect an election campaign, since such BBC campaigns will also influence how people vote?

      BTW why does the BBC always say in their first sentence: " collected by Cambridge Analytics, which it was alleged was used to help Donald Trump in his campaign..." But never "Facebook, who it is known allowed their data to be used by Obama and Clinton to help their campaigns"?

      I am also interested in why the PC Globalist elite are prepared to throw Facebook overboard - Facebook who have done nothing but support the elite in every respect. Have they turned what we call "Queen's evidence" over in the US?

    3. Oh... Are you meant to put accurate information in to the iPlayer registration details then? I remember it asked me for a post code, but I put in W1A 1AA...!

    4. I have to register to make use of i-player on my laptop, but three paces across the room and I can watch i-player on the TV with just a click on 'do you have a TV Licence?'. It's clear that they need your profile for i-player for a different reason other than to make sure you're a paid up TV Licence holder - regardless of your TV Licence compliance or lack of it. They require your profile even if you're on the move with your smartphone. That's sinister.

    5. "Their algorithms could easily be directing people to their mind-bending dramas and documentaries designed to solicit support for mass immigration, PC multiculturalism and their brand of soft-and-silly socialism."

      No, we ALL get that anyway!

  14. Just looking at the R4 website and saw currently on is "Thinking Allowed" by that old BBC bore Laurie Taylor. The adverting blurb reads "Sacrifice - from Christ's crucifixion to Salafi jihadist suicide bombers." . I kid you not.

    1. Laurie Taylor - like Andrew Marr an ex Trotskyist ...member of the old International Socialists.

      A classic example of PC Multiculturalism, which holds that all cultures and religions are of equal merit and value, in operation.

  15. Reality Check - Must be where they put all the incompetent snowflake interns to produce dross.

    The main page headline:

    "Reality Check: Why are 1,000 children being expelled?"

    The story headline:

    "School exclusions: Are more children being expelled?"

    The question put in the introduction is different again:

    "But what do we already know about who gets excluded?"

    These are three entirely different question sloppily thrown hither and thither and none of them properly answered in the body of the article which (in reality!) just simply restates the issues surrounding school exclusions and reaches no conclusions.

    Caught on BBC News 24 - a 5 minute loving, approving advert for the candidacy of Cynthia Nixon (Democrat) for New York Governor. She obviously is on the BBC's list of approved candidates along with Obama, Hillary, Trudeau, Merkel and Macron (although he subsequently blotted his copy book with the Trump visit and is now viewed with some suspicion).

  16. Today on the "news" programme WATO, Radio 4, we had Jeremy Bowen being given free reign to air his personal views which have as much validity as anyone else's. I cam in at the part where he was blaming "Western powers" (there's a novelty!) for failing to support the Syrian rebels in the initial stages and thereby driving them into the arms of Jihadis, IS and AQ. I had to laugh. The idea that the rebels were democracy-loving, secularists who wanted to liberate women and gays is just absurd Arab Spring nonsense of the sort that has been proved wrong time and time again (sometimes by the fate of journalists, like the poor female journalist set upon in Tahir Square by the "lovely rebels"). If Bowen really believes that carp he is naive or deceptive. He's definitely not right.

  17. Think I might vomit...Hijabed Mary Beard on Civilisations genuflecting to Islam, promoting it, excusing it, referring to Aisha as thought she was a wife as we understand it...she states as fact that Mohammed received the word of God. Other religions - Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism - don't seem to get the same kid glove treatment. The section on Islam seems to be going on forever. Why is she wearing a Hijab in what are still supposed to be Museums in Istanbul - not functioning Mosques? PC virtue signalling? I thought we'd finished with the Islamic bit, but no - it's on to that PC Fave: medieval Spain...wonderful multiculty Islamic Andalus. Pass the sick bucket! :)

    1. She's still at it. In her displeased teacher voice she talks about the Catholics expelling Jews from Spain...oddly, no mention of Mohammed expelling Jews from all Arabia. Why not, Mary? Did you forget about that?

      Now she's on about the bad Cromwell's iconoclasm.

      Again nothing about Islam's destruction of thousands of temples and churches, in many cases building Mosques on top of the ruins (as in the case of Istanbul's super-Mosques). Why, Mary? Why does your memory fail when it comes to Islam?

  18. OK, now she is - finally, finally - addressing Islam's destruction of idolatrous temples in India. But how sympathetic. The Mosque built on the temple's ruins is "an island of Muslim worship in an idolatrous world!" lol Also she refers to Muslim Crusaders!!! lol How unhistorical is that? They are Jihadists.

  19. Just loving the way Trump hits the Fake News MSM with new punch every day so they never get their breath back:

    Now it's John Bolton appointed - yes the guy who wants to attack Iran and North Korea before they attack the USA, yes - that guy. BBC is reverting to Auntie role - she needs some smelling salts.

  20. More evidence of Trump Derangement Syndrome at work?

    Almost choked on my cornflakes this morning...heard Jon Sopel make reference (in relation to John Bolton's appointment) to "the liberal establishment" in the USA!

    Isn't that remarkable?

    I've never heard him once reference this "liberal establishment" before. He clearly thinks there is a liberal estbalishment. He wasn't being ironical. He knows it exists. And he's right, of course. Moreover, it sounds pretty important as it is an "establishment" - a description which normally implies a network of huge influence.

    So why in all his other reports about Trump and American politics have I never heard him mention this very important liberal establishment? Plenty of references to "people", "Americans", "some" (as in some say)...but I don't recall him ever having previously referred to this massively influential "liberal establishment".

    He could have helped our understanding a lot more if he had said things like "the liberal establishment has always had a problem with the second amendment and has seized on this incident to call it into question" or "the liberal establishment hate and fear Trump and are using all of their power and influence in an attempt to dislodge him" or "the liberal establishment support free trade even if it spells the death knell for many American industries" etc etc.

    But no, for some reason - until now - he has preferred to pretend this "liberal establishment" does not exist.

    Of course it raises the question: are the huge BBC team in the US part of the liberal establishment?

    I think we know the answer to that one, don't we Katty?

  21. On Radio 4 this morning a short programme in a series called Keywords for Our Time, which I hadn't come across before. The subject of this one was "Post-fact". The programme notes tell us: "David Wootton, professor of history at York University, looks at the long run history of the word 'fact'. Fact is a 17th century invention, so while we grapple with the post-fact era, most of our history took place in the pre-fact age. Perhaps there are things we can learn from it."

    Interesting, as is the selection of subject. However when the prof got to Jeremy Corbyn's hat I began to think he might be one of those professors on behalf of the BBC. He stopped short of saying in terms that the BBC was right and the critics wrong but he came as near as dammit when he said in effect that a rumour had been started and continued despite the programme makers stating that it hadn't been doctored to look bigger. So fact is presumed and rumour is too.

    For those who have iPlayer - not I, alas - and might be interested:

    1. Yes, I heard most of that. For one thing it was highly ironic that the discussion was being hosted by Michael Rosen long time member of the SWP (until 2013). He resigned over an investigation into a comrade accused of Weinsteinian behaviour or worse...similar situation to the Gerry Healy one at the WRP.

      He doesn't seem to have abandoned his attachment to Marxist-Leninism which has always been a fact-free ideology when it suits it.

      But to hear him talk you would think that the post-fact age started in 2016 with the Trump and Brexit victories, whereas we know the Soviet Union was a huge lie factory for 70 plus years. The PRC has been at it for nearly 70 years as well.

      But no, it's only now that the BBC has decided we live in a post-fact age.

    2. I was going to mention him but couldn't remember the name Michael Rosen. He does another programme about language: Word of Mouth. Of course they selected that particular word or concept because Trump Brexit. It's ingrained in them all. Do they go to sleep reciting it and dream it throughout the night?

      The other day I read an interview with a documentary maker called Vanessa Engle whose BBC documentary about Belfast funeral murders in 1988 was highly praised. Couldn't believe my eyes when in discussing polarisation she brought in Trump Brexit.
      Well hello. Trump Brexit is so relevant to NI longstanding polarisation it's probably responsible for the murders and all. I did a search but can't find the interview now - I thought it was in The Guardian - so can't post the link.

    3. They bring Trump-Brexit into everything! lol -

      The Archers - science programmes - regional news - arts programmes - cookery programmes - history programmes - drama... On Radio 4 it's pretty much 24/7, even more than BBC TV I would say.

      I actually quite like Rosen in many ways...he has a v. good radio voice, his roots in this country clearly go back a long way and he expresses himself with clarity in properly formed sentences that are connected logically. I wouldn't mind if Radio 4 balanced him out with populists, nationalists, right wingers and the like in other parts of their programming...but of course they don't. The BBC are very comfortable with Marxist Leninists on their broadcasting teams and they will have globalists, capitalists and left wing Tories as part of their mix but nationalists, populists, identarians and basically anyone really on the right are simply not allowed as far as I can see. The furthest right they have ever gone is Michael Portillo and he had to do a kind of "mea culpa" before he was allowed on, as an act of political self-castration.

  22. A number of people here have commented on the odd way that the BBC uses quote marks...well I say odd but there is method in their madness. This is on their website tonight:


    Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what Mr Macron called an act of "Islamist terrorism".


    I think we can see why they wanted to put "Islamist terrorism" in quotes. It just takes the edge off even if there was no need since the verb "called" signalled that they were quoting.

    1. Odd, erring on downright opaque.

      My last attempt, as with most efforts to clarify bbc editorial guidelines, did not end well.

  23. When the BBC report news you can always tell quickly who is in the dock. There is nearly always good and bad and the nuanced language used make it easy to spot.

    A case in point this morning and a rare event at the BBC because Jeremy Corbyn is cast as the bad guy.

    Owen Smith has been sacked and he is remainer wanting a second referendum.

    BBC are furiously broadcasting across its media channels with soundbites from Chuka Umunna and Peter Hain supporting Owen Smith and castigating Jeremy Corbyn.

    Totally one sided and pushing a familiar BBC narrative. Who would have thunk it.

  24. I was beginning to get a but worried about Katty Kay - nothing on the US-Canada page for the last six weeks.

    But she's back with a Wow!

    Things are getting Stormy at the White House...hear Katty Kay's revelations of the "ins and outs" of Trump's love life...when it came to romps in the Oval Office she was no apprentice...

    It's all in your super soaraway licence-fee funded BBC Bonkathon!!!

    1. OMG. That's almost as short as one of her tweets.

  25. Just started on BBC Parliament TV channel: replay of a programme from 19 March called Brexit: One Year to Go.
    And look who pops up first: who but the ever reliable Professor on Behalf of the BBC. Yes, it's Curtice again. Oh, we're still didn't tell us what sort of exit...

  26. Another thing I’ve noticed with the BBC is an ever increasing obsession with the US. It’s certainly been mentioned on here a number of times.

    How many times do the BBC lead with a US story on the main News or on their website?

    These events often overshadow news which arguably hold more interest for the home audience. Maybe throwing shade is the objective....

    It’s all a matter of judgement I know but this evening has been dominated by reports on huge gun control rallies in the US.

    I’m not convinced that the general pubic are as interested in US politics as the BBC think we are.

    In fact I don’t think the BBC care much what we think - the journalists, correspondents and News team management are all obsessed and that’s all that matters.

    I suspect that US stories lead on 30% of days. It would be an interesting exercise to research or monitor it.

    1. The BBC had a live feed on the US gun control march with three of their people presiding over it: Tom Geoghegan, Jude Sheerin and Courtney Subramanian - names I am not familiar with so can only assume there are even more BBC staff (last count about 25) than we thought!

      I notice that on the website the BBC are only claiming "thousands" took part in the march...sounds to me like it was probably an underwhelming attendance - I haven't see any "long shots" of the march.

      Yes, I've noted the BBC's American obsession before...odd, since the BBC's default position is that there is too much American influence in our lives and we should be more "European". They could set an example by halving the number of people they have reporting there. Obviously, foreign policy, economic performance, and latest tech developments might be of interest to us. But how Americans decide to conduct themselves regarding gun control, criminal justice, equality issues, and so on? That's for their media to cover in detail, not ours.

    2. Yes, I'm constantly noticing that. From the content of news to the selection of academics, philosophers, writers/ poets, presenters, opiners and guests on programmes, it is awash with things and people American. For all their love of the EU, when do we ever see or hear from say,a Belgian, a Dane, a German or a Dutch person, politician or academic, apart from Brexit? Guy de whatisname and the likes of Juncker don't count.

      One of the reasons for the BBC's obsession is Trump, no doubt, but before that, also Obama, which brings us to another reason, namely the opportunities for promoting causes dear to the BBC, whether it be pro or anti.

      Earlier today I looked at the Radio 4 schedule for Thursday to see what In Our Time had been discussing. Hah, it's only de Tocqueville: Democracy in America! Of more interest to the US than to us, but grist to BBC mill.

      On the same day's schedule, both the Six O'clock News and the World Tonight listings: President Trump announces / has announced sweeping tariffs...

      Another recent thing I heard was some American woman giving one of the talks for Lent. The radio was on but I wasn't particularly listening. Every so often I'd hear something about gangs. I can't remember whether it was Chicago or LA. Anyway I think it was a black woman. In a country of 60 or more million people, and in the wonderful EU of twenty seven more populous countries, why would we need to go to America for a Lent talk presenter and what interest are their gangs to a Radio 4 listener? None as far as I am concerned but it's an agenda opportunity for the BBC. I have been wondering recently if they are trying to turn Radio 4 into the World Service.

  27. Seems the BBC have a problem with describing the slef-sacrificing French Police Officer as a hero, except with added quotation marks.

    But they were happy to describe the "Surrey teenager" (to use BBC parlance) as a fantasist - with NO quotation marks around the word, and in doing so echoed his (unsuccessful) defence in court.

    1. My understanding it that the BBC use quotation marks in examples like this when the quote isn't easily attributable.

      So they were not sure who said the officer was a hero but knew the judge said Ahmed Hassan was a fantasist.

      Sometimes though the BBC exploit the use of quotation marks to cast doubt on a story or to insinuate they don't agree with the words or sentiments.

    2. I don't recall the judge calling Ahmed Hassan a fantasist and certainly in the article I read on him, they did not indicate it was the judge calling him a fantasist, they just asserted in the headline that he was a fantasist - with no quotation marks. The body of the article was strongly weighted to back up the fantasist label.

      Here's the article:

      And I can't find any reference to the judge describing him as a "fantasist" anywhere. Perhaps you are a victim of the BBC's mood music there?

    3. You are right MB it was not the judge, it was Ahmed Hassan himself who said it. From Sky News- A jury rejected his explanation that he only wanted to act out a fantasy like the Tom Cruise film Mission: Impossible and convicted him of multiple attempted murder.

      ‘Fantasist’ was used only by the BBC. It’s a clever twist of his defence to create a headline that deflects. Classic BBC territory.

  28. I feel, whatever political pundits might say, that over the last year or so there has been a profound change in how people in the UK view things.

    The British people have a lot of goodwill but it is not an infinite resource.

    You can see the change in recent events, for example in relation to the trial of Ahmed Hassan (the "Surrey Teenager" according to the BBC). The MSM now fear publicising the judge's claim that the Koran is a book of peace and Islam is a religion of peace. Not because they don't want to, but because they know it will have a negative impact.

    Five years ago they would have been blasting that all over our screens. But not now, because they know it won't wash and will only increase dissent if they try to promote that nonsense (as always, the British judiciary are about 10 years behind everyone else).

    So, some progress! :)

    The MSM can only build their ludicrous "race" wall that claims any criticism of Islam is by definition "racist". That is their bulwark. They have nothing else. They have lost all the intellectual arguments and everyone can now see that all the factual evidence destroys their arguments as well.

  29. I detect a sea-change in the relationship between the BBC and Jeremy Corbyn. The Beeb are no longer unable to defend the indefensible. The tell-tail sign for this is a transformation in the photographic image accompanying the BBC News website headline: 'Jewish groups attack Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism'.

    The photo shows Corbyn's unsmiling face, lacking his usual confidence, with no adoring crowds showing their support and therefore isolated - with the BBC trademark black background.

    These tricks of the light have so far been reserved for Theresa May and Donald Trump. This is a first for Corbyn. My guess is that from now on, the BBC will concentrate on a second referendum as their strategy for derailing Brexit, and forget the idea of an EU-friendly Corbyn led Government being swept to victory on the back of Corbyn's popularity.

    1. sorry ... 'are no longer able'... double negative.

    2. Yes, I think you may be right. They are no longer trying to bury the story.

    3. Politics tends to be a game played with two balls - one called ideology and the other called opportunism. The BBC is definitely on the field playing the game and is hacking away at both balls.

      They are promoting their own group ideology but looking as well for opportunities to cut down their enemies both on the left and right (complaints from both sides!).

      They have a problem with Jeremy. He is a socialist (tick) yes but not really their sort. They prefer a soggy left socialist like Chuka Umanna (no doubt the British Obama in their fantasies), Harriet Harman, Stella Creasy or Owen Smith. These are people who are more likely to stress the BBC's agenda: PC multiculturalism, European integration, mass immigration with no borders, gay rights, transgenderism, pro-Clintonism and globalist economics.

      Corbyn and co. might actually scrap the licence fee (replace it with government grant), raise taxes on the wealthy (ie all senior people at the BBC), stop all the dodgy tax deals, close down private medicine (used by a lot of rich BBC folk), close down the private schools that BBC senior staff send their children to and not seek to rejoin the EU. That all gives the BBC cause for concern, but worse than that, they feel he may still be unelectable, and thus hand continued power to the Tories.

    4. It's interesting to compare today's image of Corbyn with yesterday's:

      Yesterday's shows JC's serious face with an out-of-focus Labour tag-line at the front, and none of the usual adoring supporters, but here is a neutral stone coloured background cropped so that there are narrow black margins threatening to darken the light colouration. It appears as though yesterday, JC was being weighed in the scales of acceptability. Clearly, the balance went against him, and now his image has been distanced by the BBC -a solitary figure engulfed by the dark backdrop usually reserved for May and Trump.

    5. MB - I agree with what you say, but the Corbyn McDonnell economic model could not be introduced without Brexit because of the binding rules of the EU. Labour's popularity seems to have stemmed from the far-left's romanticism for a socialist Utopia. These ideas are unravelling before our eyes. It won't be long before the youth vote moves away from Corbyn to an as yet unknown.

      Corbyn has been given enough rope to hang himself by the BBC as a result of their speculative gamble on a future Labour Government - and that's just what he's doing.

    6. Yes, I agree LC, Corbyn wants to free himself of EU single market rules, which are the really binding ties, rather than the Customs Union.

      A lot of people would be disillusioned by the economic meltdown that would immediately follow a Corbyn government coming to power, which would then lead to high taxes middle income earners and abandonment of various pledges. The question is whether people are still willing to take the gamble on Corbyn - a lot depends on how the BBC intend to present him over the next couple of years. They've done Loony Left Jeremy, Uncle "Glasto" Jeremy, and now there's a bit of Jeremy "Protocols" Corbyn.

      If they think they can kick out Corbyn and get a soggy leftist in then they will put the knife in is my view.

    7. Laura K is still toeing the BBC Corbyn Labour line:
      'Jeremy Corbyn and Labour's anti-Semitism issue'

      We have an image of JC against a huge red backdrop bearing the word 'Labour'. This image of Corbyn, to my mind, became obsolete at the moment when Corbyn gave his feigned yawn at PMQs a few weeks ago over the Agent Cob story. As we know, Laura K has been keen to promote the idea of a future Corbyn Labour Government-in-waiting. She's probably between a rock and a hard place.

    8. My theory (completely unprovable, but it's mine and I like it) is that Corbyn was removed from BBC favour when he sacked Owen Smith and ruled out Labour support for a 2nd EU referendum.

      The BBC are institutionally pro Palestine and pro Islam, so aren't going to worry about a bit of anti-Semitism (and haven't done for years).

      But the EU is everything to the BBC. They were hoping that a Labour would be prodded by Starmer and co. into a 2nd referendum. Time is running out for RemainBBC and it's going to full-on stop Brexit by any means necessary for the next year - even to the extent of getting a new Labour leader in place.

    9. ... - even to the extent of getting a new Labour leader in place.... This is the BBC's dilemma. Without a change in the Labour Party constitution (over which the far-left have an ever increasing stranglehold), there will be no change in leadership - why change a winning formula - as they would see it.

      The BBC last hope will be for a cross-party move for a second referendum. For this reason, they won't mind stoking discontent within both the main parties.

  30. Reality Check again.....
    Once again I'm infuriated by a completely meaningless Reality Check on Brexit. Supposition and unsubstantiated rubbish. How does Chris Morris get away with it? I need to stop reading them, they just make my blood boil.
    click here for link

    1. Couldn't agree more!

      It should just be renamed "The Views of Chris Morris and His Team of Teenage Interns on Mainly Brexit".

      As always, Morris is trying to make things sound more complex than they are. Take one point he states: "To comply with rules of origin requirements, companies that make things need to tell customs authorities where all the component parts come from." The way the article is structured makes it sound like this will be the first time companies have ever had to do this, but of course, in reality being modern business with modern accountancy practices they will be able to reel of this data at the touch of the button already.

      Secondly, although Morris states that many vehicles produced in the UK are less than 50% UK made, the reality is that a huge proportion of those will also be made with parts from the EU so they will be covered by a UK-EU free trade deal on the CETA model.

      Incidentally, it's interesting more generally how the BBC's Reality Check has gone from "free trade deals are enormously complex and take 10 years to negotiate" to the new "free trade deals might not be too difficult to knock up but doesn't mean they're any good."

      How much is the BBC's useless Reality Cheat team costing us?

    2. Chris Morris is a liar. I refuse to listen to anything he creates.

  31. Well here's an interesting test for the BBC:

    Will they highlight the fact that the Remain side deployed the same tactic as Leave in disbursing excess cash? Remember they have led news bulletins with the allegations against Leave and given enormous amounts of time to the allegation. Will there be equivalent questions to the "Does this back up calls for a second referendum?" e.g. "Is the idea of a second referendum truly dead in the water now?"

    Hmmm...I think I know how this will go. If it's mentioned it will be briefly, probably on just the politics page and with no further comment.

  32. BBC aired another party political broadcast on behalf of the Remain Party by Tony Blair, being interviewed in the traditional soft ball manner by Emily Maitlis, ostensibly as part of a flagship news programme called Newsnight.

    Why do they never ask him some hard questions?:

    "Do you accept that the government leaflet sent to every UK household stated explicitly that the government would implement the Referendum decision?"

    "Do you accept that all party leaders and the leaders of the Remain campaign made clear that if we voted to Leave we would leave the EU? Are you saying they were lying. "

    "Do you accept that all the leaders of the Remain campaign made clear that a vote to Leave would mean we left the Single Market and the Customs Union?"

    "Why don't you accept that this difficulty over the border in NOrthern Ireland has been created by the EU who so far have not looked seriously at the proposed technical solutions? And if the EU is really so committed to hard borders, why does it let in 100s of thousands of illegal migrants every year across its southern and eastern borders?"

  33. I just posted on the ‘enough is enough’ thread why I think Tony Blair is given an easy ride every time by the BBC....

    1. Ah yes, the god theory...there was certainly a "more in sorrow than in anger" feel to the BBC's opposition to Blair on his Iraq policy. I suppose a Blair who was anti-American would have been their ultimate god. Obama, the first anti-American President in history, certainly got their vote.

    2. In BBCland Obama is definitely a 'hero' - to use one of their wordplay tricks. As is Blair.

  34. The Soaraway "Better Believe It" BBC has Stormy Daniels as their top US/Canada story with no less than SIX links on the home page to related stories! :) Who says the BBC are afraid to compete with Murdoch? (I'm not saying they shouldn't cover the story - but six links? ...suggests there is more than a whiff of wish-fulfilment going on here).

    They also have a story on a Flat Earther on the US/Canada page...until Trump's presidency, no one ever paid any attention whatsoever to Flat Earth nutjobs but they have been pressed into service by the Soros-bots to promote their version of the "fake news" narrative. I think the idea is to "prove" that people can easily - easily being the point - be misled into thinking something as daft as the Earth being flat, meaning that shows (somehow, don't know how) people have been misled into voting for Trump (or Brexit if you prefer).

  35. Terminal Moraine on Biased BBC coined a rather nice phrase, suggesting that the BBC felt its job was to "unjoin the dots". Does that sum it up marvellously.

    The BBC is always rubbing out the connections, renumbering the dots, masking dots they don't want in the picture and highlighting the dots it wants us to see. It definitely doesn't want you to see the whole picture.

    1. Yes, it's a good analogy. I would put a different slant on things. The BBC are forever trying to alter the perspective - showing close-ups of trivia which avoids showing the whole picture, and then alternatively, distant views where detail cannot be picked out.

      This is a tactic designed to distort the truth - leaving the viewer not knowing which way is up.

  36. The BBC's latest piece of mood music as you perambulate through the supermarket of quote the headline: "Why is Brexit taking soooo long?"

    This is reminiscent of the BBC campaign just prior to and in the early weeks of the Referendum campaign to persuade us that the EU Referendum was stultifyingly boring (in the hope that would dampen enthusiasm for Brexit). In the end even the BBC had to admit it was the most exciting political poll of the last 50 years with people becoming very engaged in the issues.

    Now they are trying to create a mood of vague dissatisfaction in the hope that will help their/Blair's Second Referendum campaign.

    Just look at the words they choose for their "Brexit jargon": hard/soft Brexit, cake and eat it, cherry picking, cliff edge, divorce bill. This is the discourse of the Remainer clan, not Brexiteers. If they were really interested in explaining the process, they would have things like Article 50, withdrawal treaty, free trade, Customs Union, Single Market, EU Chief Negotiator, European Council, EU Commission.

  37. I'd guess there's a BBC editor whose sole job is to ensure there is never a discussion of the EU Commission!

  38. WATO today...BBC in full funereal mode as the recognition begins to dawn that we are actually going to leave the EU. Cue Mardell's loving tribute to Ted Heath.

    What surprised me most was the contribution from Jenny Hill, the BBC's Berliner. Remember her? She was the BBC reporter who was jumping up and down excitedly (and impartially no doubt) exclaiming "Willkommen" to coachloads of illegal migrants disembarking from trains in a central city station during Mad Merkel's "One Million Migrants" moment of madness.

    The odd thing was that Jenny Hill managed to talk about the German view of us leaving the EU without mentioning the million plus illegal migrants of 2015, encouraged to try their luck by Mad Merkel's refusal to police the EU borders. There is no doubt those awful scenes from 2015, and the crazy reaction of people like Merkel, all BBC staff, Cameron etc was instrumental in delivering a Brexit vote. She managed to talk about the issue without mentioning the rise of the Far Right in Germany. She made it sound like "business as usual" as regards Merkel.

    She managed to say that Germany was "losing a trading partner"! What???? Why would Hill like like that? Absurdly, she then completely contradicted as she described how Germany wanted to create a close new trading arrangement after the UK leaves the EU! So they aren't losing a trading partner are they?

    This kind of sloppy language always works one way: to undermine Brexit and favour the EU. Just like the use of "Europe" to stand for EU, for instance. Or the claims we can stay in the Single Market if we leave the EU, which is a legal impossibility. Or the use of "Hard Brexit" to mean whatever the BBC presenter in question wishes it to mean, as long as it casts shade on Brexit.

    At least the Mardell piece was amusing, in that it clearly was causing him pain to put together.

    The Five Stages of Grief are supposed to be:

    Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

    How far along is the BBC?

    We've seen the denial, before the vote - their crass reliance on dodgy, meaningless polls, making them think that Remain would win the day, helped by the BBC's heavy hand on the scales.

    This was followed by their anger which they expressed by blaming ignorant, unemployable, xenophobic northerners for the Brexit vote.

    Then we've had the bargaining...surely Parliament won't approve Article 50...OK, but the EU will never agree to a reasonable trade deal...can't we stay in the Customs Union and Single Market, and pretend we are still in the EU?...the Tories will split, they'll never approve the final deal... etc etc

    Have we just seen the start of the depression? Could well be.

    Give it another 20 years and the BBC might actually accept we have left the EU for good.

  39. Seems like our public service broadcaster has decided to set itself up as an alternative judiciary:

    This is what the idiot BBC reporter says:

    "Many online quickly and angrily expressed criticism of the legal system following the ruling, claiming it would discourage complainants from reporting incidents due to fear of not being believed or being put through the wringer in court. "

    It's not a "ruling" it's a VERDICT FFS!!! And in this case it was a verdict of not guilty. It's really not the job of the BBC to go second guessing that without any new evidence at all.

    Is this going to be our future? Amber Rudd declaring all non-PC comments illegal? The BBC claiming the right to second guess the verdicts of our courts and effectively accuse people found innocent of being nevertheless guilty? People banned from all social media simply for voicing their opinions? Websites like this one closed down for not being politically correct? Meanwhile anti-semitism is allow a "safe space" in the Labour Party!

  40. Chris "I'm Not Funny in the Slightest Although I Think I Am" Morris is being his usual helpful self on Reality Check, answering 7 Brexit-related questions:

    7 questions and I would say six of them have an anti-Brexit spin on them...he's even back on the old "mobile roaming charges" story from last year. He's managed to smuggle in a bit of Farage-mugging (MEP pensions). He refers to Farage and Hannan as "arch-Brexiteers". But why doesn't he refer to the remainer MEPs as "arch-Remainers"? Er- because he hates Brexiteers that's why and "arch" in this sort of context has negative connotations...our "arch" enemies etc.

    So he manages only one question that could be described in any way "pro Brexit" - "couldn't we leave sooner" (Yes we can but that would be to walk off a cliff edge he claims. That's a viewpoint, Chris not a validated statement...another viewpoint is that had we simply left after the vote we would by now have a US-UK trade deal in place and be £10 billion pa better off, plus the EU would have panicked and offered us much better terms than they have so far.

  41. News at Ten on the BBC finally gets to grips with the Telford grooming scandal!!!

    Yes...and how do they do it? They have an interview with an Asian mother, disguised and anonymous, talking about how her SON (no age given I think) was being groomed by unnamed persons who were plying him with drink and having sex with him...

    You couldn't make it up...unless you were the BBC of course.

  42. Unbelievable. R4's "Week in Westminster" this morning hosted by George Parker of the FT featured a friendly double interview with someone who is not in Westminster, but is god to the BBC, a certain Tony Blair.

    His first interview was to put the boot into Corbyn over his alleged anti-semitism. His second interview was to describe how it would be in everyone's best interest to have a 2nd EU referendum.

    Of course, these two interviews are linked, because Corbyn has come out against a 2nd referendum. George, of the Remainiac FT, reminisced fondly with Tony about their times together in Brussels and treated this god with due reverence.

    To wrap it up, George asked a fake-aggressive question "you are toxic, why should anyone listen to you?". This was obviously pre-planned and Tony smoothly answered that he had a right to speak whilst everyone had a right not to listen.

    But this is the problem, Tony and George. I really don't want to listen to Tony, but he's always on the State Broadcaster spewing his devious, self-serving, undemocratic, arrogant poison.

    1. Blair is an active player on the field, directing Team Remain, and the plot to deliver a second referendum. It suits the BBC though to treat him with the traditional deference due to an ex Prime Minister. They always give him an easy ride. Instead of asking "are you toxic?" they should be asking "What discussions have you had with Peter Mandelson and Nick Clegg about your campaign for a second referendum?" Or "Why didn't you make it clear during the EU Referendum campaign you wouldn't accept the result?"

  43. Reality Check - always on the, the question on everyone's lips:

    "Did American tourism to Russia increase in 2017?"

    I can't even quite make out their motivation for it to snidely suggest Trump is encouraging such tourism,or is it to suggest we need to take tougher action against Russia in support of the Clintons or is the Reality Check team just made up on numskulls who actually think this is an important question.


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