Sunday 24 March 2019

Dammit, Jim!

It's BBC impartiality Jim, and just as we know it

Having been on holiday this past week, previous holidays returned to my memory, including a late teens family coach tour to Oban, Skye and Dunblane, my main memory of which was the coach driver endlessly replaying a cassette of Scottish folk songs as we crossed and re-crossed Scotland. 

It was one of those coach tours where the coach driver is out to flog you something at each and every opportunity and after a week of this same cassette being endlessly replayed he offered it us to buy, surprise, surprise.  

Unfortunately, this coach driver also drove at heady speeds across the lower, twistier parts of the Highlands and I, as a teenager suffered from travel sickness and, thus, (via my parents) had to get the coach stopped in the middle of my least favourite song on the cassette - the one with the irritating refrain 'Nickety nackety noo, noo, noo' - and sped out the coach door to spill the contents of my stomach back out through my mouth and over the edge of the wild and windy road to Skye - though, thankfully, I was followed by at least three adults, who'd been bravely holding back their vomit up till that point, one of whom followed suit and let it all out right next to me.

I later learned that the offending folk song was called 'The Wee Cooper O' Fife' and was a Dame Jenni-and-Jane-offending affair about beating your wife so that she does the housework, beginning:
There was a wee cooper lived in Fife
Nickety nackety noo, noo, noo
And he has tae'n a gentle wife
Risselty-rosselty, hey, pomposity
Nickety nackety noo, noo, noo.
And why am I telling you this? Because, besides happy memories of vomiting my insides out on the way to Skye whilst loathing the music I was being forced to listen to, 'Nickety nackety noo, noo, noo' now always inevitably make me think of James Naughtie. 

I wish I could tell you that this isn't a true story, but it is. I've been blogging about BBC bias for a decade now, so fitting BBC reporters names into spew-inducing folk songs from my travel-sick youth is surely only natural, wouldn't you agree?

But, look, onto matters closer to home and, look, alas. the wee BBC special correspondent who lived in Milltown of Rothiemay - namely Jim Nickety Naughtie noo, noo, noo - has drawn fire this week for saying (on Today):
Look, in any other European country, the Conservative Party would not exist in its current form. The ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg's group, in France would be in the National Front, because that's what they believe, and in Germany they would be in the AfD. 
From that it appears that Jim Naughtie thinks that all right-wingers look alike, so to speak. However, the sonsie-faced BBC fellow, after an outburst of outrage, subsequently issued an apology that some say is merely a half-apology ('risselty-rosselty, hey, pomposity' perhaps?): 
I was wrong to say in a live discussion this morning that members of the ERG would be happy in a far-right party. That was not my intention, because I don’t believe it. I was trying to make the point that if our parties fracture in some way after Brexit – on Right and Left – we could see a political landscape emerge that looks more like the rest of Europe than it does at the moment. But my words were ill-chosen and I’m sorry for any offence caused.
The ERG clearly doesn't believe what, say, the Front National thinks. Compare their economic policies for starters and they are worlds apart. The Front National has a 'left-wing', anti-globalist economic outlook while the ERG is firmly in the globalist free market camp. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Marine le Pen, despite being Eurosceptic, are not ideological soulmates. James Naughtie was simply wrong and speaking from his own bias.


  1. Steven Pinker said, "The left pole is the mythical spot from which all directions are right."

    I think most of the BBC lives there.

  2. The rythm of his apology reminded me of this:


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