Friday 20 September 2019

Er...starring Faisal Islam

Faisal Islam

Talking of Twitter exchanges, here's another between two people I 'follow' - one the BBC's editor of live political programmes, the other a not unfriendly critic of the BBC - rounded off by a comment from someone I most certainly don't 'follow' (my loss?):
Rob Burley: Coming up at 1215 on BBC2 it's Faisal Islam with Politics Live and guests Trevor Phillips, Sherelle Jacobs, Zing Tsjeng, Liam Halligan, Ann Pettifor and Matthew Syed.
BBC Waste: Can't you find anyone better than Faisal Islam? You have great talent in the ranks. Wouldn't be in my top 25 choices.
Rob Burley: I think he's an excellent presenter. Unnecessary unpleasantness.
Raymond Bennett #RevokeA50 and #MakeItStop: He is. Good choice, credit where it's due.
Now, in fairness to Mr Waste, he's long been a critic of Faisal Islam. He thinks the former Sky man isn't very good and that he has an especially strong anti-Brexit bias - a bias that he, BBC Waste, feels repeatedly gushed out of Faisal's reports on Sky like tell-tale blood strains in fifty Edgar Allan Poe short stories. 

(I've seen too many images of Boris's decapitated head today. It's informing my choice of contrived similes). 

And in fairness to Rob, I thoroughly enjoyed his programme today - a good spread of interesting guests with diverse opinions often strongly disagreeing but in such a way as to generate light as well as heat. And fun too. 

But, while trying not to be unnecessarily unpleasant myself, I must say that Faisal erred on the side of er-ing far too much - meaning that he said 'er' a heck of a lot, especially when stumbling through reading the autocue, as he did throughout. 

He really doesn't seem to have got the hang of reading the autocue. (Not an autocutie, our Faisal - at least not yet). At one point he moved beyond nervous/confused hesitancy and came perillously close to collapsing into 'dead air'. 

I worried for him. 

Still, we've all got to start somewhere. He obviously needs to practise more. Hopefully he'll soon get beyond making viewers feel tense on his behalf soon and flourish (if he isn't biased, that is, of course).  

Trevor and Sherelle

But, talking about tension...

The central discussion on 'Islamophobia' in the Conservative Party got somewhat heated, especially between Trevor Phillips and Faisal Islam.

The BBC had been gifted some 'Islamophobic' Twitter stuff embarrassing to possible Conservative members by someone who is very interested in such stuff - i.e. an activist (wonder who? an Islamist? a Corbynite?) - and was making headline news of it. 

Faisal was - as is the BBC's way - quick to shoehorn in Boris's letterbox quip about niqab-wearing Muslim women in that article in favour of NOT banning the niqab/burka. 

Trevor demanded to know what was 'Islamophobic' about the comparison and asked whether Faisal's question reflected the BBC's point of view. 

Faisal tried the old, tried-and-trusted 'Ve are arsking ze questeeonns' line...

(...actually, I meant 'tired-and-trusted' there...)

...which never really cuts the ice, does it?

Hmm. I'm not too familiar with Faisal Islam (unlike his critic BBC Waste), but I'll be nice and wish him good luck in getting to grips with reading the autocue and handling criticism better. 

And, Faisal, please don't be too biased!

Curiously, it's still (nearly four hours later) not available to view again on the famous BBC Sounds. Is something up? Are there technical problems? Has some interest group complained? (The Muslim Council of Britain perchance?)


  1. I keep confusing Kamal with Faisal.

    There seem a lot of very confident folk at the BBC, hired no doubt for such confidence.

    Maybe they like Ash too, for some reason.

  2. Is Faisal complicit in promoting Sharia? I ask because he accepted a British Muslim Award for his services to the media which was sponsored by the Islamic Bank of Britain (which offers Sharia-compliant finance).

    The whole of the British Muslim Awards palaver would seem to be Sharia-compliant. Why so? Because there are no awards for music or acting...both non-Sharia approved (while there are awards for a huge range of other activities).

    The Islamic Bank of Britain was founded by Middle Eastern investors - no surprise there. It's now called the Al Rayan bank (still operating on Sharia principles).

    The promotion of the concept of Islamophobia is a very dagger aimed at the heart of our culture. It targets free speech, historical inquiry, and ethical judgement and leaves the way open for the advancement of Sharia - one of the cruellest systems of law and social control ever devised on this planet.

    That the Conservative Party cannot see this, or chooses not to, is worrying if not surprising.


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