Thursday, 13 September 2018

Open Thread


Here's an uncharacteristically cheerful-looking Yasmin Alibhai Brown to welcome you to an ageing open thread.

She must have been in a good mood that day. Maybe she'd just been chuckling over an old episode of 'Allo 'Allo!?:


Thank you our little ITBB family - and anyone else! - for your comments.

That's me and Sue saying that, of course, not Yasmin, lest Yasmin pops by and assumes we're retired cast members from 'Allo 'Allo!.

124 comments:

  1. Today’s lead BBC scare story

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-45387687

    In an interview with BBC Scotland, Mr McEwan said: "We are planning, unfortunately, for the worst.
    "If there is no agreement and we fall out of Europe, we have to be ready for our customers.”

    Hmm ..I didn’t realise we are leaving Europe Mr RBS Head Banker. Perhaps because you are a New Zealander you didn’t realise that it’s only the EU we are leaving. You need to adjust your plan.

    Shame you didn’t plan for the worst when the Government had to bail you out and lost £26 billion!

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  2. That face is funny.

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  3. YABber-dabber-doo! A new thread!!

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    1. I think her face says YABber-dabber DON'T!

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  4. I thought Ben Wright did a pretty good job when live reporting Labour’s Anti-semitism woes and The Governments Brexit issues on the main BBC news tonight. Balanced and fair.

    The big blot on the News tonight was using Theresa Mays ruling out comments to launch into a blatant supportive advert for the second referendum. Biased propaganda.

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  5. BBC still playing their headline games.

    Front page headline (with pic of Jeremy looking pensive but concerned, ready to do the right thing) is: Labour can "end anti-semitism row quickly". Positive, eh?

    Go to the story and the headline is weirdly different:

    "Anti-Semitism row: Corbyn has been misinterpreted, says close ally"

    Close ally? Who's this? Owen Jones? Fazia Shaheen? Er no...

    The "close ally" is the Shadow Chancellor and fellow extreme leftist! lol Well yes, you couldn't get much closer an ally could you in this case! lol

    Odder still, the main photo is the ex Chief Rabbi.

    Then as you read in, you find this is a real BBC hotch-potch, trying to satisfy various pressure groups: the Corbynistas, the Soggy Left of the Labour Party and the UK Jewish community. The BBC policy on this (the BBC always has a policy on everything) is that Corbyn is not a real anti-semite but has said things which have upset the Jewish community but that doesn't mean things can't be set right if, as Oor Gordon recommends, the Labour Party adopts the whole of the IHRA declaration.

    The BBC will not accept that the real problem with anti-semitism in the UK relates to the growing influence of Sharia, or that Corbyn stands in a long tradition of socialist anti-semitism, dating back to people like Henry Hyndman and even Marx himself. More than that, they will not accept it is legitimate for anyone to make such claims.


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    1. With regard to the photo of Jeremy Corbyn used as the headline for this story, I have noticed that this unusual background has been used more than once - with JC posing with differing expressions against this florescent background. As you say MB, in this one he was pensive, but in another with the same background he was looking relaxed and confident - smiling. Obviously, JC smiling might well be misinterpreted in the case of the Labour Party's and his own accusations of antisemitism. It might be interpreted as his trademark smirk.

      As the background is s unusual, it has led me to the thought: 'Do they find a suitable background and photoshop onto it the desired facial expression?'
      Perish the thought! No, they must have taken several photos of him in these unidentifiable surroundings, and be pulling them out of the hat to suit the story. Either way, JC is shown as aloof from the Labour red background and slogan - much more of a cult figure now. When you have a cult following, you don't need to answer questions any longer.

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    2. The use of unidentifiable surroundings has become much more prevalent lately. It avoids that awkward issue of context.

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    3. These photos of Jeremy Corbyn with a bright florescent background I find were taken in The One Show studio when he gave an interview on 30th May 2017.

      .... 'Jeremy Corbyn ended the day with an interview on BBC1's The One Show that focused on personality rather than policy,'....

      There must be quite a few stills in the library from this interview that the BBC can dip into in order to promote the idea of him as a cult figure without giving away any idea of context.

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  6. Radio 4 has a series called The Tyranny of Story which I've only just come across. Today's programme by John Harris, a journalist, is about the role of storytelling, narrative, fact, truth, objectivity etc in public and private. I'm tempted to laugh.

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  7. The BBC's new Politics Live launched today, with Craig's favourite BBC editor, Rob Burley on the receiving end of a mixture of garlands and pelters on Twitter for a 6 strong, all female panel.

    Those in favour of what Rob himself presents as mere coincidence are lauding how refreshing they found it, with those less enthusiastic accusing them of virtue signalling, whilst they in turn are accused of being insecure men.

    I'd probably take more issue with the balance of one Brexiteer versus one Remainer myself, though can see why the (non) balance of the panel would stir comment on both sides, and I did allow myself a Thornberry style eye roll while thinking 'how very BBC'.

    Statistically speaking, there is a 64-1 chance of a 6 strong panel all being of a single gender, so Burley's assertion of coincidence is just about within the realms of plausibility, and it would only be fair to point out that two of the 6 were the presenter and the BBC's political editor, which takes the odds of the 'external' panel all being female by sheer coincidence down to 16-1.

    All that is statistically speaking of course, as this would go out of the window if we consider the chances of an all male panel having been approved for this program launch. Not so much a search a needle in a haystack, but more finding a specific grain of sand on Morecambe Bay one suspects.

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    1. Gah - 'one Brexiteer versus three Remainers'.

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  8. This is a main story on The BBC website.

    He has an unusual name - along with tens of thousands of others. Is this even a story?
    Someone at the BBC believes it is. What? How? Why?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-45374443

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    1. It's certainly not an interesting story.

      If your family moves thousands of miles to start a new life in a new country, don't expect the new country to necessarily be familiar with your culture's naming system. Do people in India and China pronounce William correctly? I very much doubt it. Even within the UK, lots of people with Welsh, Irish or Scottish Gaelic names find English people don't pronounce them correctly or substitute something that trips of an English tongue more readily. Do they get acres of space on the BBC's website to whinge and moan about it and make a big deal of their otherwise unremarkable names?

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    2. I see BBC One is showing Celebrity Apprentice USA as double episodes on Mondays at around midnight.

      They can't get enough of Trump even with the army of correspondents in the USA constantly reporting his every move.

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  9. So as always on the first Monday of September all the usual old faces are back in the BBC Newsroom. It's all so predictable. Huw Edwards was back presenting The News at Ten. He as always dashes off around mid July for his usual six week break along with the annoying Laura Kunsberg who emerged earlier today.

    The mystery is why during every August both Rita Chackrabati and Clive Myers dominate the August Newsroom. Don't they ever take their Holidays in August like everyone else.

    Couldn't help noticing that Rita Chackrabati was seen almost daily in August 2014. We thought that there was a fold up bed behind the Newsdesk that August. And for a solid whole week in August 2011 during the Summer UK riots we saw Clive Myers reading the News virtually every day. What was going on there. I find him quite scary and unfriendly... not very televisual unlike the lovable Trevor McDonald.
    I just wish they'd mix it up a bit. Huw Edwards every night then making way for Fiona Bruce on Friday night.The routine predictability can be tedious which is why I watch ITV News at Ten. Tom Bradbury's aprehensiveness is quite entertaining.
    And I suppose David Dombelby will be presenting his zillionth series of Question Time next week. Will he ever give way to a new presenter?
    Now of course they'll all be fighting over Chris Evan's Radio 2 morning slot.
    Yes, a new season at the BBC Newsroom, but sadly the same old faces.

    John.... North London.

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    1. Does Huw Edwards really go away with Laura Kuenssberg for six weeks in the summer? Surely this is news.

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  10. David Dimbleby is still a young man at 91. The current retirment age for BBC men is 100. For women on TV it's 37. For women on radio it's 95.

    The ITV shoestring news operation is quite amusing..."Right who's doing economics today...Allegra?" "No, I'm doing crime..." "Where's Emma Murphy? I thought she was in Bangkok..." "She's in Dehli isn't she? Well she was yesterday." "No, I think she's down in Salisbury doing the Skripal thing."

    Plus seeing Robert Moore work himself up into a frenzy about Trump is as amusing, perhaps more so, than the BBC equivalents. Moore has been predicting final disaster just around the corner for "an increasingly beleaugered" President and has been characterising his administration as "chaotic, perhaps terminally so" for nearly two years now. I always imagine him being carted off periodically to the sanitorium to have his Trump Derangement Syndrome treated.

    I'm OK with Clive Myrie. At least I can understand what he says, even if he does sound constantly bemused or surprised. "...here's our report from Canberra - in Australia!" as though it might be located somewhere else.
    I have fond memories of when he was a cub reporter and some b**tard put him in the plane with the paras going into Iraq in the war. The terror in his eyes spoke volumes.

    The BBC lazies do have long holidays don't they? And then it's not as though they are working 9-5 for 5 days a week...plenty of time for personal appearances, and £5000 a time inspirational speeches. As for John Simpson - "World Affairs Editor" - he doesn't seem to doing anything at all except moan about Trump and the Tories on his twitter account at our expense.

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  11. Any thoughts on what Anthony "Berzerker" Zurcher means by this gnomic tweet?

    https://twitter.com/awzurcher/status/1036352307288518656

    Has his Trump Derangement Syndrome subsided and is this meant to signal he now accepts that Trump might be triumphant after all?

    Or is this a death wish on the President?

    Or does he think "America" (current GDP growth rate over 4%, unemployment falling, other indicators looking good)is going to die...somehow?

    Whichever he means, one has to be concerned for the health of someone who has been suffering from a very severe case of TDS. Or have I missed some alternative interpretation that can be placed on his words?

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  12. I think there is a simple interpretation:
    When Trump goes Trumpism/populism goes with him. Replace fever with Trump.

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    1. Thanks. I missed that possible interpretation but it's not a very good allusion is it?...Surely the idea is that America, not Trump, is "suffering" the "fever" of Trumpism...

      That objection also applies to the death wish interpretation, but then he might have wanted to somewhat camouflage such a sentiment...even BBC reporters have their limits.

      Maybe someone will ask him to explain his ambiguous tweet.


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    2. I think he means that the fever's symptoms belong to the populist pro Trump redneck voters - the people Ed Balls went to visit recently. Their fever will break - ie they will recover from the bout of populism, settle back into their life of irrelevance watching Fox News and the liberal left elite will be able to take over the reins once more.

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    3. Yes, that's another interpretation...when a part of America (the red neck patient) dies...ah yes, now I am thinking he is alluding to the anti-Brexit meme about there being a pro-Remain majority once all the Brexiters have died off.

      I think you might be right there. It's the sort of weirdo argument the dewy-eyed Martian might think is clever.

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  13. Lovely discussion on Newsnight tonight: Is free speech a good thing or should it be abolished? Next week: Is it a good idea to allow adults to elect MPs or should they be chosen by a Committe headed up by Laurie Penny? And the week after that: how long should people who have voted UKIP in the past serve in prison?

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  14. If you were told that someone had made a "withering attack on Brexit process" who do you think might be making that attack? Lord Heseltine? Peter Mandelson? Tony Blair? Sarah Woolaston? Anna Soubry? Ken Clarke? George Osborne?

    How about one of the most eminent pro-Brexiters - Mervyn King, Lord King, ex Governor of the Bank of England? Yep, only Simon Jack and the BBC could present this as a pro-Remain story! :)

    Current headline on home page: "Former Bank chief in withering attack on Brexit process"

    Wouldn't be surprised if it's changed by morning.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45400994

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  15. Unusually, I find myself in agreement with Radio 2's Chris Evans, who has said he is leaving the bosom of Auntie because: 'having climbed to the peak, I have the choice to stay there and become an observer, or to leave and find another mountain to climb - I'm a climber not an observer'.

    There are many at the BBC who should heed this message. John Simpson for example - The World Affairs Editor title carries with it an implication that he should travel the world, and not become a sedentary observer in London.

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    1. I kind of imagine John Simpson being carried around London in a sedan chair from one coffee house to the next, where he pontificates in sub-Johnsonian manner while adjusting his powdered wig.

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    2. What's he on about with his mountains to climb? Didn't he leave the BBC before and go to Virgin and come back and again now leaving for Virgin? Sounds more like a re-tracing of steps and even more money rather than any grand and noble quest.

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    3. Yes Anon, it looks like the same old mountain. Maybe, despite his BBC salary, he has realised he can't reach the heights of an Attenborough or Dimbleby, or even a Wogan, Simpson or Easton, and his way to the gongs are barred whilst he remains at the BBC. He can't possibly compete with the BBC Establishment figures. 'noble quest' might sum up his motives nicely - Isn't 'Sir' the bottom-most rung of the nobility ladder?

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    4. He's climbing a new money mountain.

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    5. Maybe it’s about the sex allegations from a year ago - and they all mutually decided he would go at the end of his current contract. Or maybe he has had another big pay cut forced on him that isn’t public yet. Either way I’m glad he’s gone.

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    6. Well remembered Sir Topham...if it was a Tory supporting celeb, the BBC would be reminded about this every five minutes! And it's not just him...his mate Branson has also been the subject of several very similar allegations.

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  16. Another poorly researched BBC Reality Check, this time on Anti-Semitic crimes.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45409151

    Of course the article completely dodges the question :
    Why are they on the rise?

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    1. If the BBC Reality Check's purpose was to provide a coherent unbiased fact-checking service it would be very embarrassing for the BBC and its allies. Its illogicality, incoherence, inconsistency, lack of focus, and poor standard of English didn't happen by accident! :) It's all necessary to disguise the truth.

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    2. Indeed. "Writing in the Evening Standard, Jeremy Corbyn said the number of cases of anti-Semitism over the past three years represented less than 0.1% of Labour's membership."

      What does that even mean and what point were they trying to make by quoting it?

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  17. The BBC wants us to believe that Bob Woodward is "above the fray"...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45415158

    If he's "above the fray" why did he give Clinton and Obama (unlike Republican Presidents) such an easy ride? Bryant disingenously tells us: "His book on Bill Clinton focussed not on the drama of Monica Lewinsky or impeachment but rather discussions on the budget deficit, welfare reform and healthcare. With Obama, it wasn't the romance of America's Black Camelot, but the handling of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the quest for fiscal rectitude."

    Why didn't he investigate the pattern of Clinton assaults (against their will) on women or the missing jigsaw pieces in Obama's life story involving Communists, Islam, membership of a race-based Church and close contact with Louis Farrakhan's anti-semitic Nation of Islam.

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    1. Just seen this on Biased BBC from "Celtic Mist" (showing just how emboldened, two-fingered and defiant the BBC are in their bias now):

      QUOTE:

      I placed two complaints with the BBC:

      “At 18:12 on BBC One Nick Bryant said, “Listen to these quotes from White House Chief of Staff…” This can be taken to mean that the quotes are factually accurate and therefore I have submitted a complaint”

      “At 22.16 on BBC One Nick Bryant said, “Many readers will see in this book an accurate rendering of history”. My Complaint is that the BBC is not in a position to endorse the accuracy of the material in the book and therefore Nick’s statement must be withdrawn.”

      This is their reply –

      “Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC One’s ‘News at Six’ broadcast on 04 September.

      I understand you were unhappy with the content of the item in which we reported on the release of excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book about President Trump’s Whitehouse. I also note you have submitted a second complaint on this issue (CAS-5074288); the following response will address both cases.

      We appreciate the time you’ve taken to raise this with us, however, we would explain that a Bob Woodward expose book has been a rite of passage for presidential administrations since the storied investigative reporter first made a name for himself by breaking Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal.

      Nick Bryant’s intention was to cover Donald Trump’s turn under the microscope, and discuss the potential implications of the book’s content. It was clearly explained by both Sophie and Nick that the quotes mentioned are from Mr Woodward’s book.

      We would also point out that Nick concluded the report stating, “Given Bob Woodward’s standing in Washington […] this is going to be hard to write off as fake news. Indeed, this feels like real, authentic history”.

      As the BBC’s United States Correspondent a fundamental part of Nick’s role is to give our audience an informed and impartial analysis of key political events, using his experience and judgement. We believe that his reporting has been entirely consistent with this.

      Nonetheless, please be assured, we appreciate your feedback on this issue and I have passed your comments forward on a report which will be read by senior BBC management and the programme’s production team.

      Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.

      Kind regards

      Emma Duff

      BBC Complaints Team

      END QUOTE

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  18. Are we really supposed to believe the lie that Anthony Zurcher is an impartial, free, fair, disinterested observer of the political scene in the US, and not a radical supporter of the Democratic Party? Not on this evidence:

    https://twitter.com/awzurcher/status/1037501941931290624

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  19. Things the BBC and the MSM don't want you to see:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U5N9wAFpms

    They will only give you dishonestly edited versions.

    This guy is on top of his game. :)

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    1. This story has reached the BBC News website:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45427838

      ... 'Trump senior official: 'I am part of the resistance' ...

      It has been given the full treatment by Anthony Zurcher. I watched the full Youtube version (thanks for the link MB) - it lasts for some 14 minutes. Zurcher's story contains a paltry 33 second extract.

      This is a clear case of partisan reporting. Both Zurcher and Sopel and any other BBC reporter are destined never to be invited to a White House press conference - the pavement outside the White House is as close as they will get. They are several steps removed from the seat of power and are able only to serve up cold fare supplied to them by their pals in the anti Trump US media.

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  20. Warning: US Economy Is About To Collapse Says…

    It’s shocking but true…

    The world?????????’s biggest economy is about to collapse.

    US dollar is going down and there is no way you can stop it.

    Worst of all? This news has been confirmed by Goldman Sachs and the World Bank also.

    That’s why you need to watch astonishing documentary by American Financial Council.

    >>Watch this shocking Documentary Here<<

    Watch this video before the ruling elite makes it inaccessible.

    The video contains various controversial facts that mainstream media is trying its best to hide from you.

    Watch The video now: >> The Collapse of US Economy exposed<<


    Best,

    [Mr Mark Fidelman]

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  21. Heard some of Lord Sachs programme on AI today (Radio 4)...I thought it was very good. He seems to understand the challenges ahead and referenced Yuval Noah Harari's excellent books on the subject.

    But heard a bit yesterday on diversity issues. Really concerns me that he seems to be giving it the old PC spin...he seems to peddle this idea that religions have some innate right to be treated with "respect". I don't buy that...for me free speech is the overriding concern. If you don't put free speech first you allow bad ideologies to make progress, under this camouflage of "respect" - it's in reality "respect me or you'll regret it" - bit like the Pope's reference to people being perfectly justified in punching you on the nose if you insult their mother.

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    1. I saw the programme notes for yesterday's programme but didn't hear it. The theme was society and the individual: going from a shared moral code to individual morality but ending up with identity groups.

      One of the contributors listed is Jonathan Haidt.
      I've just been reading a review of a book he has written with Greg Lukianoff, described as a champion of free speech, about the whys and wherefores of the state of speech in American universities. https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind-by-greg-lukianoff-and-jonathan-haidt-review-a3923611.html

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    2. Well I didn't hear the whole programme...but I got the strong impression (and it accords with the dreadful "Thoughts for the Day" that he used to deliver), that he is signed up to the PC notion that religious ideologies (I don't think he extends the courtesy to political ideologies) have a right to respect, as do all cultures and indeed all people who identify with specific religions or cultures however bizarre or unpleasant. I think such an approach is in direct conflict with free speech and damages our society, allowing bad ideas and bad people to prosper.

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  22. Heard on Radio 4 Today - brief part of Justin Webb's (think it was him) cosy chat with Joe Klein about how to get rid of Trump (outrageous when you consider they are talking about a democratically elected head of a friendly ally). Webb calmly makes reference to a course of action which might not be advisable because it would make Trump "MORE reckless". So, there you have it: Webb is of the " that impartial, free and fair" opinion, which we are paying him to give us, that Trump is a reckless leader. No bias there, then.

    Short of discussing how to assassinate Trump, it couldn't get much worse in terms of bias.

    Much like Corbyn, Klein (a Time "journalist")accuses Jews who back Israel and strong action in the Middle East to tame dangerous powers like Iran of having "divided loyalties". Don't know if that came up in conversation...I doubt it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Klein#Jewish_neoconservatives_and_divided_loyalties

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    1. If you work for the BBC, especially if you are a reporter, presenter or journalist it’s pretty certain that you are also a left leaning liberal with a metropolitan view. With that in mind, Trump is everything they despise and then some and he is POTUS.
      Emboldened by pushing the boundaries of what can be said on air without any push back by their seniors, they are now in a position that anything goes in an effort to discredit, remove or destroy. The moment he was elected the BBC were on the offensive. Fair, balanced and unbiased reporting on Trump has never happened at the BBC.

      The liberal left are righteous and so no other views can ever be tolerated without robust rebuke and ridicule.

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    2. I remember some time ago reading an article in the Mail online in which Webb was departing from script and saying quite favourable things about Trump. He almost seemed to like him. He may have changed his mind, of course. Or maybe he's one of those freelancers whose views are his own when writing elsewhere.

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    3. Sir Topham - they were completely anti-Trump before he even he got elected, and they were cheer leading for those (John Brennan included) who were trying to prevent his inauguration.

      Anon -

      Accepted perhaps he is not standard issue liberal leftie...more nuanced. He think he is telling the liberal left a lot of the time that you've got to be smarter if you want to beat Trump...but I do think he wants him removed, and along with him the roadblock to Liberal America taking over the whole country.

      Here's what he is summarised as saying in the Times:

      "Well-heeled liberals must learn that the president did not win because he is nice, or honest"

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-america-that-elected-trump-still-loves-him-t6lj2dsmf

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    4. This is an interesting take by Dick Morris (no longer a Clinton ally) on the NYT Op-Ed piece. At 1:00 he says "There is no better manifestation of what I and many people call the Deep State." I would agree!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ez-Iwugp4Y

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    5. Going back to Webb, I note with interest (from Wikipedia) that apparently "He raised eyebrows within the BBC in 2006 when, at a seminar on impartiality, he claimed the corporation was anti-American and treated the US with "scorn and derision", according it "no moral weight"." Well that sounds about right!

      So, it would seem he not an anti-American but he does appear to me to be fully anti-Trumpian, according him respect only in the sense Montgomery respected Rommel as a general.

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  23. That was probably while he was in America. I remember his blog and his reports when he went full-on for Obama during the campaign and was embarrassingly sycophantic in an interview with the new president.

    That's partly why I was so surprised to see that article about Trump. On doing a search I discovered that he's written several for the Mail and seems to have a regular slot there. Here is one similar to the one I was thinking of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4115638/Bad-news-Trump-haters-bonkers-popular-writes-JUSTIN-WEBB.html

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    1. He has a more accurate take on America then many prejudiced leftists over here, but I've read other stuff that makes clear he feels an opposition between his "European" values and those more libertarian values of Americans. I think he is clearly anti-Trump and his bias in that respect is clearly expressed in his presenting for Radio 4. Hence, what I originally referenced: his "more reckless" comment, assuming that Trump was reckless, which I don't think he is.

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  24. Katty Kay thinks we "gotta laugh"...that's not an invitation, it's an instruction, since she assumes we are all brain-dead BBC-brainwashed Airheads like she is...

    https://twitter.com/KattyKayBBC/status/1037737249163632642

    Nope you only laugh if you believe it's true...which it isn't clearly since the USA is enjoying 4%+ GDP growth, record low unemployment and amazing foreign policy wins. :)

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  25. The BBC have brought in their favourite multi-millionaire (ex) politician again this morning to create their headline news for the day. Tony Blair on Corbyn and Labour. Despite all of his grubby money making since leaving office, I suspect most at the BBC still hanker for the glory days of Blairism. Ten years on, every time he says anything he still gets top billing.

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    1. Yes, looking relaxed and happy to be back amongst his friends at the BBC. The BBC are starting to panic, because it has dawned upon them that Corbyn will be pushed aside ruthlessly when the hard left of the Labour Party decide he has outlived his usefulness.

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    2. And let's not forget his Buddy in Chief, David Miliband, has been given his own series on Radio 4 much like people such as David Aaronovitch, Ian Hislop, and Ed Balls get their own series on BBC channels to spout at length serving up reheated Blairism.

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  26. In the last 24 hours Anthony "The Berserker" Zurcher has tweeted - on his private twitter account - a grand total of 21 times...presumably we're paying him via his BBC salary to engage in this private activity. But why are we? I understand that he is in the final stages of Trump Derangement Syndrome and it can't be long before four beefy guys turn up to take him off to the state sanatorium, but even so...surely someone at the BBC should step in and make him do some proper work.

    https://twitter.com/awzurcher

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  27. Rubbishing Trump on Twitter is his proper work. He will be lauded for it, no one will step in so long as he is on message promoting liberal globalism or trashing its opponents. This is now the purpose of the BBC propaganda machine.

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  28. A briefing note by Fran Unsworth on climate change has been leaked and it is very illuminating and speaks volumes about its editorial positioning :

    If science proves it we should report it. The BBC accepts that the best science on the issue is the IPCC’s position,
    Be aware of ‘false balance’: As climate change is accepted as happening, you do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate. Although there are those who disagree with the IPCC’s position, very few of them now go so far as to deny that climate change is happening. To achieve impartiality, you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken. However, the BBC does not exclude any shade of opinion from its output, and with appropriate challenge from a knowledgeable interviewer, there may be occasions to hear from a denier.
    There are occasions where contrarians and sceptics should be included within climate change and sustainability debates.

    I suspect this is how the BBC approaches its key issues. It has a position where the referee has spoken.

    For example ‘Brexit is bad’, it allows a few deniers and contrarians on but, by and large it doesn’t need to impose false balance.

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    1. "The BBC has a policy on everything." is one of my lodestars.

      There are very few people, scientists or otherwise who deny "climate change" is happening...it's happening all the time, which is why we had the Medieval warming period and the Little Ice Age of the 18th century. There has been warming in recent decades. But the issue is how much and how much can be attributed to anthropogenic effects.

      We should also remember that in the early 70s, there was a strong scientific consensus that we were in a period of cooling temperatures.

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    2. The BBC is extremely concerned about and opposed to man-made climate change...except if it's climate change they approve of:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45435593

      Delete
    3. Included in the same BBC memo, according to the Guardian story:
      “common misconceptions” used to deny manmade warming, including that “not all scientists think manmade climate change is real” and “climate change has happened before”. The second "misconception" is, of course, a true statement--the most recent glaciation, ending less than thirty thousand years ago, dropped sea levels by more than a hundred meters and put ice over the present location of London.



      Delete
    4. Also BBC your misconception is to use phrases that infer that all climate change is man made.

      Delete
  29. The BBC have downplayed and buried the following in the last couple of days and I should have posted about them when they happened. They could have used either as a major news story but chose not to. BoJo's marriage woes, giraffe attacks and Burt Reynolds have had more coverage.

    1. Corbyn trying to add an amendment at the Labour NEC saying “It cannot be considered racist to treat Israel like any other state or assess its conduct against the standards of international law. Nor should it be regarded as antisemitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist because of their discriminatory impact, or to support another settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

    2. Corbyn refusing the condemn Russia for the chemical attack at PMQs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true. Imagine what fun they would have had with both, if they had been uttered by say Jacob Rees Mogg or Boris Johnson.

      Delete
  30. BBC 10 o’clock news lapped up Obama’s speech and Nick Bryant sneered at Trump whilst doing another hatchet job. Just report the facts please Nick, I don’t want to see Obama worship or disbelief about Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obama had the cheek to say "We don't need a new Messiah"...when the whole of his "Yes We Can" (most vacuous political slogan of all time) 2008 campaign was built on him being a Messiah figure, leading the American people to the promised land! Remember how he got the Nobel Peace Prize for doing...er, nothing, except being the new Messiah?

      Of course the absurdity of Obama's claims is passed over by Trumpophobes like Bryant. As are the numerous missing jigsaw pieces in Obama's life, education and career. The Obama Gaps are completely unprecedented in the history of the Presidency and again pretty much ignored by MSM biographers who seem to have no curiosity in them at all - in fact I think I am right in saying that something like a real biography did not appear until after - yes after - Obama completed his second term, and even that didn't seem to go where the evidence led.

      Delete
    2. In case you're wondering about the missing jigsaw pieces, to take just one point, Obama was very, very closely linked to the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan when he first entered politics. Farrakhan talks about it in one of his speeches in mocking tones about Obama's subsequent desertion of his sect. The MSM have completely underplayed or just simply ignored this uncomfortable truth.

      Delete
    3. I didn't know about that Farrakhan link. There's a good piece on it here:

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/02/01/had_news_media_done_its_job_obama_would_not_have_become_president_136153.html

      Delete
  31. Big child rape case at Sheffield Crown court this week. You would never know if you rely on the BBC for your news.

    They did report it, tucked away in the Sheffield pages but you have to search for it.

    By under reporting these crimes and calling the men ‘asian’ , the BBC are manipulating the news once again.

    Most of the MSM are guilty of ‘news by omission’ on this topic. It’s a tragedy for the victims and our society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed Sir. 100s of cases all over the country with same type of perp and MO. There has to be collusion . But the BBC never links the cases. Doesn’t provide the information with which targets may prevent themselves becoming victims. Oh and the victims are all the same type too. Easy to identify and warn. But our State broadcaster prefers to look away. If shut it down for this issue alone.

      Delete
    2. They never really delve into the MO...v. true. Takeaway food shops, minicabs, B&Bs...probably all cousin-related...then protected through the "community groups", police and local government.

      Delete
  32. Good news is Sir Andrew Davis is back for the last night of the Proms. Bad news is all those remainer flags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the changed words to the National Anthem (second verse).

      Delete
    2. Oh yes. I wondered about that.

      Delete
    3. The BBC did have a go a few years ago at completely taking apart the last night of the Proms...but they faced so much opposition they backed down and decided to make of it a complete parody...well they have tried but I am not sure if they have succeeded. The enthusiastic regional crowds don't seem to treat it as a parody, despite what might be happening in the Albert Hall among the super-rich who can afford the tickets.

      Delete
    4. There were some purpose-made hats worn by a good many Prommers which had the EU flag represented by a ring of yellow stars around the rim. A BBC initiative? I should say - yes without a doubt.

      Delete
    5. That's the first time I'd seen those. A new way of promoting the message as you got a good view of them from overhead shots when the flags weren't so visible.

      Delete
  33. The two lead stories on BBC radio this morning are

    1. The TUC are backing a second referendum - written and read in supportive language and tones.

    2. Leading Tories are criticising Boris Johnson for his attack on Theresa May - written and read in unsupportive language and tones. Note the subtle phrasing to make the story negative for Johnson not May.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sitting on an Edinburgh bus this morning I thought I’d have a read of the site. To find you blocked by Lothian Buses wifi. Just thought you might want to know.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Telegraph headline
    Serena meltdown - Williams in verbal abuse storm

    BBC headline
    Osaka beats angry Williams - Serena Williams accused the umpire of sexism

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BBC was all set for a Williams victory so they could gush all over the place for the next week and indeed the next year. Instead she was getting pasted and called the umpire a liar a thief and all sorts after being penalised. The worst thing was spoiling her opponent's greatest moment of her life. How sad to see her covering her face with her cap to hide her upset.

      Delete
    2. And the tennis page is working overtime on Williams. Headline article Tennis is the loser but Williams had a point - Barker and a photo of Williams.https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis

      No photo of the champion. No article. BBC news values writ large.

      Delete
    3. It's not all about Williams though on the BBC website...the main story on the football page is the start of the Women's Super League...not even at the level of the nether reaches of the National League in terms of ability, but the very binary BBC thinks it deserves Premier League style coverage.

      Delete
    4. The post match interview was even worse than her appalling behaviour on court. She seems to think she is Rosa Parks rather than a multimillionaire sports star with a huge fanbase all over the world. Other players have behaved badly, and almost always they apologised afterwards. Not Serena Williams apparently, who instead played every card from racism to sexism to justify herself. Amazingly, she didn’t include ageism. Victim culture personified. Sue Barker has always been in thrall to Serena Williams, so it’s not really a surprise that she should defend her. “Tennis is the loser” is frankly, laughable. The correct response would be to say that even the greatest players are not above the game itself, but as ever the PC point is the only one that matters to the BBC. This is where Western culture is now.

      Delete
    5. The BBC tennis page still hasn't put up a photo of the winner holding the trophy. No, they are holding to Tennis is the loser.

      Here's is the kind of photo of a joyous Osaka we should have been seeing today. That's her looking thrilled after her win in the semi-final.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-6144197/Who-Naomi-Osaka-Serena-Williamss-Open-final-opponent-revealed.html

      Delete
    6. Ah, is this why they don't want to post that winner's photograph with trophy? The shocked drained face of a downcast winner almost in tears tells the story and does not reflect well on the one who stole her moment of glory.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-6148835/This-wasnt-MeToo-just-Sexism-No-Serena-Williams-rightly-punished.html

      See the comments reported in the article of the USTA top woman for a display of sickening sycophancy.

      Delete
    7. Naomi Osaka is for the BBC "the wrong type of Asian" being Japanese...even though her father is Haitian...you'd think the BBC would be interested in her mixed race background.

      Delete
    8. The BBC are still banging on about it today. Full support for Williams's stance. No criticism of her outburst whatsoever. No coverage at all for the winner, nor any sympathy. Liberal attitudes encapsulated.....

      Delete
    9. This was the first time in history that a Japanese player had won a tennis grand slam tournament. It's disgraceful that the BBC do not give Naomi Osaka the credit she deserves.

      From Wiki:

      ... Ōsaka has dual Japanese and American citizenship...

      ... Osaka moved to the United States at the age of three with her family and currently resides in Florida....

      Osaka is a product of the US coaching system - as so many world class players are. I can't see any reason why the BBC might want to belittle her achievements. Surely, she represents the genuine face of cultural diversity and racial integration - maybe her roots just don't carry the pedigree of oppression that Serena's do.

      Delete
    10. Fully agree about the disrespect shown, by Serena Williams and the BBC, to Osaka. For me, yesterday was a special day, in the light of events at the Oval. Role model for youngsters; Serena Williams v Alastair Cook? No contest.

      Delete
  36. Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite - Trevor Phillips
    Labour is institutionally racist - Chuka Umunna

    Both widely reported everywhere today except at the BBC (I searched but I can’t find any reporting).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like Howard Jacobson agrees he's an anti-semite as well...

      http://notasheepmaybeagoat.blogspot.com/2018/09/howard-jacobsons-on-jeremy-corbyn-and.html

      Delete
  37. It was amusing to hear Adam Gopnick sounding peeved on 'A Point of View' about snooty academics condescending to him by the use of humble prefixes. That unassuming little word 'So' has a hidden power to put him in his place. Who'd have thought it?
    From there he branches out to other words with secret power and meaning. I grew up in a family where 'Well' (one of his prefix words) reigned in every encounter and served every purpose from greeting to question to humorous observation or suggestion.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bgt9vq

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fine is a good one...especially if you want to irritate your spouse when they ask "how am I looking?"...

      It's a fine day, I'm feeling fine, fine with me, that's a fine looking roast, "Fine! Let's leave it there". Fine boy, fine girl, fine man, fine woman. It's gender neutral! :)

      I'm from a fine family, so to speak.

      Delete
  38. So...that should be Gopnik.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The parents of Anthony Zurcher have asked the public to pray for their son as he enters on the final ravaging phase of Trump Derangement Syndrome...

    https://twitter.com/awzurcher?lang=en-gb

    It can't be long now...before he's hauled off to the sanitorium! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. MP Electoral Boundary changes

    The first BBC story on this subject is fairly innocuous but even this has a one sided quote from an MP saying it is unfair.

    I predict that the BBC will ratchet this up on subsequent stories and create hostility for the proposals. I wait with anticipation to see if they are even handed.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45468142

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it's important to the BBC plans that the constituencies aren't reformed and that the current indefensible disparities continue into the future.

      Delete
  41. Oops. It looks as if the BBC is in trouble with the law again.

    'BBC Asian Network's head of news has been charged over a live radio bulletin in which a reporter allegedly revealed the identity of a Rotherham sex abuse victim.'

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6152453/BBC-Asian-Networks-head-news-charged-naming-victim.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well we know someone got 13 months in prison after a summary charge, prosecution and trial, all in the space of the next 24 hours, with no recourse to his own lawyer, just a court appointed one...be interesting to see what happens in this case.

      Delete
  42. The BBC seem to have put their full weight behind Chequers today following Barniers comments.
    Even Katya Adler was positive on the outlook tonight.
    I suspect they now see it as the least worst option if Brexit has to happen but will still put considerable effort behind the second referendum as their favoured outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's probably right I think...Chequers is their "back stop". They are of course anti-Boris, that's a key priority for them, stopping the most popular Conservative in the land from leading the Party.

      Delete
  43. Newsnight have got a new bias conduit going...an innovatory approach, whereby they cherry pick "commentators" to come on and discuss their views on political development, unopposed by anyone...perfect for ensuring that the BBC's views can be loud-hailed to the whole country while Emily nods her approval.

    It's a kind of "Here's What We Really Think" section. The embodied equivalent of retweeting.

    First up - Rachel Sylvester of the Times, a sufferer from Boris Derangement Syndrome. She gets a lot of nods as she accuses Boris of being a low amoral being and a narcissist whom all his fellow Conservative MPs hate.

    The Remainiacs in the Twittersphere are loudly applauding this Newsnight innovation for obvious reasons. This is just what they have been calling for - completely onesided pro-Remain broadcasting with no requirement for the much loathed "balance".

    A few other columnists were quoted in rather disorganised fashion in this segment...you may have been expecting some quotes from across the papers but think again, this is the BBC so only the Guardian, Financial Times and Times were quoted. Emily asked us (the viewer) to suggest other papers we might want quoted. Is she claiming the Newnsight production aren't actually aware of other titles!?! It was an absurd invitation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that invitation made no sense at all.

      Delete
  44. The BBC have published a glowing report on ‘film star’ banker Mark Carney that borders on adulation.

    Apart from an early and brief mention of his prediction of a Brexit vote recession that never was, the rest reads like a teenager with a crush.

    Balanced it is not....no mention of the continually poor forecasts under his watch or of accusations that he talks down the economy. No mention that he never talks about opportunities for the UK post Brexit. And no acknowledgment that he had been overly political as Governer of the BoE and has nailed his remainer flag to the mast. No mention that critics say he is too pessimistic. In fact, no mention of critics at all.

    It’s not hard to see how the BBC view him. St Mark of Carney.

    Dear, oh dear.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23050597

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have the BBC ever explained how Carney, a non-EU citizen, has got a job in the EU when we are being continually fed the line that come next March, as non-EU citizens, we won't be able to go on a day trip to France?

      Delete
    2. Hagiographers now have a new standard to work to! An economic genius who got EVERYTHING wrong in his economic predictions just six months ahead!

      Delete
  45. The worrying thing about this latest revelation is that it will result in nothing...Corbyn will still be leader tomorrow and the day after...

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6156275/Jeremy-Corbyn-praised-activist-smeared-pro-Palestine-graffiti-walls-Warsaw-ghetto.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes.

      There's more on that story too:

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/momentum-speaker-ewa-jasiewicz-bump-off-israeli-mps-670vbvrnh

      Delete
  46. I am disappointed that Peter Hitchens is appearing on the new Fifth Column (as I'm calling it) segment on Newsnight. He should know better.

    But Hitchens is really a comedy conservative act. The BBC are quite happy to have him on as he seems to exude a rather musty aroma of 1950s Christian Conservatism crossed with nostalgia for the days of steam trains and British Rail cuisine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He seemed way too cosy and content chatting with Emily... He seemed to say nothing controversial...maybe he wants to get invited back. Oh well the BBC are now safe to book 5 left-liberal anti-Brexit Boris-haters in a row. They will be pleased he agreed to take part.

      I hope Quentin Letts says no if they ask him.

      Delete
  47. Has anyone else noticed that the highest rated BBC below the line website comments are against Brexit, anti Conservative and pro Corbyn? It was the other way round until a few months ago but there has been a 180 degree turn.
    Either the audience has changed, opinions have changed or it has been hijacked by left wing sock puppets.

    The BBC will know if lots of new accounts are regularly voting and posting but it probably suits them to have the comments turned on their head from predominantly right to left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something odd happened at Mail Online soon after the second referendum campaign (and massive funding for it) was announced...suddenly the usually reliable pro-Brexit comments were being overtaken by full on Remain. The likes were being manipulated for sure. I strongly suspected "bots at work". Ive noticed there does seem to be some relationship between time of day and pro-Remain comments as if the bots are working out of a particular country in s specific time zone for part of the day. But who knows?

      The Mail is now a pro-Remain paper and its comments section has been gradually neutered in a fashion similar to the BBC's. The Mail tactic now is to moderate anything "controversial" which in practice means comments simply don't appear...well you might get 3 or 4 on a big story. Loads of my comments never appear now. They just seem to vanish into the ether...and I can assure you there is nothing offensive in them.

      Delete
  48. The BBC has been absolutely obsessed with the Russian collusion story. We now learn that one of the key links in all this - Professor Joseph Mifsud - is apparently "missing or dead"!

    It's been reported in the Independent and the Times.

    But NOTHING on the BBC website!

    And this is a Professor at Stirling Uni BTW.

    I think this is one of the most suspicious things about the whole Russian collusion business, about how little interest our media have generally paid to the "Britsh connection" which stands out like a sore thumb!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a link to the Independent story.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/russia-investigation-trump-campaign-collusion-joseph-mifsud-dead-professor-a8531421.html

      Delete
  49. Reality check - the Irish border problem

    Another joke of a reality report which tries to unravel the ERG proposal. No experts, no facts, no sources. I would welcome a forensic analysis of this proposal to see if it stacks up. No good looking here though.

    A typical example of BBC reality checking is in this article with the following unattributed sentence to dismiss WTO equivalence.

    “However, many trade experts believe this overstates the particular strength of that (WTO) agreement.”

    Many? Experts? Overstates? Who, him many and what exactly....

    Enough said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To quote from the "analysis"...

      "The Irish border is the single biggest sticking point at this stage of the Brexit negotiations." Fake Fact. It's not a genuine sticking point. It's a negotiating ploy. A sticking point is when there is genuine difficulty on one or both sides.

      "The prime minister has pledged to leave the EU's customs union and single market but at the same time has promised no hardening of the border.

      That means no new physical infrastructure and no new checks or controls for customs or product standards"

      Fake Fact. No new physical infrastructure at the border perhaps, but I have never heard May admit that you cannot have more checks or controls.

      Meanwhile the allegedly objective analysis doesn't mention one of the key ideas of the ERG that animal checks can be undertaken up to 20 kms from the border, as is now the case with animal imports through the port of Rotterdam.

      Delete
  50. Craig I’d (not) recommend you listen to the BBC media show on at 16:30 today. It’ll make an excellent blog post, especially the bit about the over 75’s and licenses.

    ReplyDelete
  51. The Evening Standard informs us that Jonathan Dimbleby is not happy and 'he implied that sitting in the middle of panellists while they hurled vitriol had become unbearable in the age of Corbynism, Trump and Brexit.' Note that bit is their words, not his.

    He said “But I actually find it deeply depressing. I think we are going through the worst political times in my professional lifetime and I’m not enjoying it.”

    Another piece of what he said: “We are now driven too much by the rages of social media, and politicians seem to me to be competing with social media for attention. This does nothing to enhance debate and quite a lot to help it to degenerate.”

    We all know who / what organisation is mad keen on social media, don't we? And whose quality of journalism has been declining steeply.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/the-londoner-dimbleby-politics-is-now-full-of-hate-a3933946.html

    ReplyDelete
  52. The Evening Standard - the paper bought by an ex KGB/FSB officer and his son? What an appropriate bit of collusion.
    I find the AQ and QT panels most depressing for the uniformity of opinion normally found there - everyone virtue signalling like mad.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Newsnight Fifth Column Watch:

    Day 1 Rachel Sylvester - BHS (Boris Hater Supreme) Anti-democrat, anti-populist, pro Remain.

    Day 2 Peter Hitchens - CC (Comedy Conservative). Curiously ineffective. Seems to have given up a bit. Certainly not a populist.

    Day 3 Owen Jones - Far Left Multi Millionaire.

    Score so far Liberal-Left 2 - Comedy Conservative 1

    ReplyDelete