Tuesday 29 October 2019

Open Thread

Emily welcomes you to a new Open Thread. She can try to interrupt you as much as she likes but she won't succeed here.

Thank you for your comments. 


  1. "Emily welcomes you to a new Open Thread. She can try to interrupt you as much as she likes but she won't succeed here."

    Emily responds with her trademark hyena cackle followed by: "So really you're setting yourself up as a dictator here, telling women what they can and can't say, and encouraging your acolytes to heap abuse on dedicated and impartial female journalists. Isn't that the very definition of misogyny? I'll give you five words to reply before I interrupt again..."

    1. (interrupting) Sorry, Emily, we'll have to leave it there. We've run out of time.

    2. "Hello, Emma Barnett here...now, Craig, if I could just patronise you for a moment, as though you are a bit slow on the uptake...I'll speak very, very slowly - like you do when speaking to a very old and confused individual...now, Craig, if I can use your first name again to make this very personal, you promised, faithfully and solemnly, that Emily couldn't interrupt, but she has, hasn't she? So why should anyone have any faith in your promises? It's a matter of trust isn't it? She interrupted and you said that wasn't going to happen...so you've broken trust with the British people...some might say you haven't been honest with them...what do you say to that? I'll give you five words to reply before I interrupt with "a lot of people would dispute that"..."

    3. "Hi, Emily here. So what you're saying is that Craig is just willy-waving when he says he won't let me interrupt here? In truth, he's delighted that I'm so biased because he can get angry about it, that’s his currency, he gets everyone up in arms."

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. That's my last Emma Barnett reference. It's over. Period.

  2. As usual ClockworkOrange turns off the TV in disgust at “Hi”!

  3. Pinning that to the top of the page? Come on, I just ate!

  4. Emily was going for the Repetition Record yesterday...I think she said "But you're a Labour donor" to pro-Leave John Mills about 5 times. John Mills is 81 by the way - just the sort of age that the BBC likes it Leave spokespeople to be. When was the last time they had on an octogenarian political donor who promotes Remain in the UK? Quite - all they have to do is get George Soros on - that would be balance wouldn't it?

  5. BBC: "Boris Johnson's Brexit bill clears first hurdle"

    They should have added: "...despite the BBC having laid across the track, put down tin tacks and screamed off-putting insults from the sidelines."

    On to the programme vote...

    Will there be champagne bottles being uncorked at BBC HQ or will there be tears flowing into the flutes?

    1. Champagne all round in Broadcasting House!

  6. From today's coverage of Brexit is a telling comment from Laura K:


    ... 'Just as Parliament doesn't trust the prime minister, the prime minister and his team don't trust Parliament.

    Opposition parties have no interest really in helping Boris Johnson to complete the passage of this bill. They want to disrupt it for perfectly obvious and legitimate political reasons.' ...

    It's quite clear to me that LK has sided with the Opposition Parties and has ignored the overarching question of delivering on the result of the 2016 referendum. She calls these wrecking tactics legitimate - really? She too has convinced herself that clever people like her know what is best for the 17.4 million Leave voters - sickening.

    The arguments from Labour MPs have unaccountably switched to 'protecting the hard-working people of my constituency' ie those Leave voters who are being betrayed. They know best what's good for their constituents as well also sickening.

    1. LK fails to enlighten us about why the majority of the UK electorate no longer trust parliament.

    2. Very similar words used by Simon McCoy on the Lunchtime News:

      .... Parliament doesn't trust the prime minister, [and] the prime minister... doesn't trust Parliament...

      We never hear from the BBC the reason for this distrust - Parliament is intent upon wrecking Brexit and will use any untrustworthy means to achieve that outcome.

    3. To say nothing of the lack of trust between the BBC and its audience. LK should spend her time building trust with the licence payers.

  7. The BBC and MSM are plugging a fake news interpretation on Newsnight of the terrible deaths of would be migrants in the lorry travelling from Purfleet. The fake news interpretation suggests that efforts to control migration into Europe are doomed to failure and can never succeed and that attempts to control migration led to this disaster.

    The reason migrants risk their lives to get to European countries such as Germany,Sweden, France and the UK, is that once the target country is reached there are no adverse consequences, or so few as to make the risk-taking rational.

    We need an Australian style migration system. Under their system, you get taken out of Australia on to not so nice territory, in secure conditions, where your claims and application are subject to detailed processes that can last years and may end in failure and deportation.

    Not surprisingly all their boat people invasions came to a sudden stop once they introduced the policy.

    The problems in the countries of Western Europe is that the people are so brainwashed and the political elite so pusillanimous that they won't adopt similar policies. So Europe acts as a magnet to migration, drawing in millions of people with few if any skills but lots of needs (for accommodation, health treatment and so on). This sustains the illegal trafficking and also modern slavery operations. The result, apart from increased overpopulation and declining quality of life in Western Europe is awful tragedies such as these.

    1. Mark Steyn made an excellent observation in a recent podcast. The migrant/immigrant story is always told in the MSM from point of view of the migrant (their hardships and needs), never from the point of view of the host population who suffer decreased quality of life.
      The BBC are prime exponents of this. It's certainly not accidental. It's a deliberate policy.
      I've come round to believing in a global elite who agree the policy and instruct their broadcasters.

    2. Yes. The problem - maybe the key problem - with the left-liberal PC ideology is that it is really built on sentiment rather than cogent analysis. It's for this reason that PC ideology is a kind of runaway train with no brake.

      Whatever the issue, sentiment wins out and there is always a kind of bidding war going on with the largest dollop of sentiment winning each round.

      We all know the world is not fair, and that hurts on a personal level; PC ideology is essentially a rebellion against unfairness - not just in the present but in the past as well! It holds out the false promise of equality of outome at some future, yet to be determined, date.

      The ideology is also tied to personal reputation and sense of worth - virtue signalling - which is like putting rocket fuel into the ideology's "tank". So, we have ended up with our state broadcaster and nearly all our political leaders backing what is effectively a "no borders" policy which has ruinous consequences.

      One ruinous consequence of mass immigration is the appalling housing crisis in the country, which is much worse than is being reported. Even when reported on, the BBC and other MSM outlets lie about its causes, never once mentioning mass immigration.

      While PC ideology is built on sentiment, it is of course used by people with a far narrower glint in their eye - capitalists, communists and caliphatists, you might say - as a lever for advantage, whether it be cheap labour, untaxed income flows, building up the strength of a particular community, increased taxation, limiting free speech or eroding a sense of national identity. These cynical players form shifting alliances, making use of PC ideology as they please, despite the contradictions beween their ultimate goals.

    3. Agreed. Part of the problem is also that a rational rebuttal of the easy sentimental knee-jerk reaction takes time and a calm discussion. Neither of these often happen. Usually as soon as someone departs from the sob-story narrative then they are immediately branded a monster, shouted down, shunned, accused of things they don't believe and the subject is changed.
      Even if the solution they proposed would actually be more humane in the long run it doesn't matter because they are unlikely to be able to make their case in full and the truly brainwashed are almost certain not to change their adopted worldview in the course of a single conversation.
      So most of us, most of the time, hold our tongue because the circumstances are wrong to have a long detailed, probably heated, discussion anyway.

  8. Whilst mentally ticking off all the common diversity targets in Holby City this week, I noticed something new. Ric Griffin one of the most senior surgeons had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He opted for a risky new treatment which might, if successful, extend his working life. During the surgery he underwent near death experiences in which he met his dead son. Where was this - with the brightest of lights shining through tunnelled visions, as we have come to expect of near death? It was paradise, not heaven. We were told twice it was paradise.

    1. Very good spot. They are completely Godless. I’m sure this was deliberate in line with erasing our Christen heritage and done so not to offend the ROP.

    2. It's amusing how the soaps "get religion" when it comes to some faiths.

    3. Yes, 95% of the population would have called it heaven, but in the curious world of BBC editing, the term heaven[ly] is reserved for cakes and deserts.

    4. The BBC bend over backwards to signal their liberal credentials and political correctness in everything they do. But they are signalling only to themselves. The conservative viewing public throw up their arms and become ever more exasperated.

  9. BBC-Guardian-Labour "nativity narrative"...

    This morning I heard a Labour spokeperson mentioning how the Conservatives' attempt to hold a General Election would disrupt "Nativity plays" in schools.

    Now this is an obvious attempt to get a "Brenda - oh no! - not another election!!" meme-moment going so as to damage the Conservatives' chances. And of course, the BBC is fully on board with this - devoting a lengthy segment to the issue by some lefty writer on WATO.

    It's interesting, bearing in mind the above discussion about paradise/heaven, how the BBC will use traditional Christian motifs when it suits them.
    On this occasion you are supposed to read into all this: "Nasty Tories want to spoil Christmas, just like the Grinch. Ooh - those Tory Bastards."

    My questions:

    1. Why does the BBC feel the need to amplify Labour talking points, but never Conservative talking points?

    2. How many inner city primary schools in the UK still have "Nativity Plays" as opposed to Winterval style Snowman performances and the like (for obvious reasons)?

    3. Aren't Nativity plays normally put on very close towards the end of the term - in the second half of December rather than on the 5th or even 12th December (most likely dates for a December election)? But to mention that would spoil the narrative, so it won't get mentioned.

    The BBC - purveyors in prime bullshit since 1927.

  10. Point 1 was to the fore again just now on Outside Source, which was reporting how Boris Johnson had "broken his promise" to the British people to leave the EU on 31st October come what may (and not "do or die" which were words put into his mouth by a talkRADIO interviewer, as far as I remember). We'll hear enough from Labour et al about Boris being untrustworthy in the coming weeks, we don't need the helpful BBC to ram the notion down our throats too.

  11. Newsnight..no Far Right representatives on but Far Left is represented by crypto-communist pro-IRA Ken Loach, arguing in favour of carbon emissions and global warming, stating that the coal mines should never have been shut down. So Ken, you'd still like us to be sending hundreds of thousands of young men down the mines where they can acquire life threatening lung conditions?

    Of course Ken is allowed to spout this nonsense without any intervention from the chair whatsoever.

    1. Sorry not Newsnight...I was just watching that...I meant Question Time of course!!!

    2. QT again - after stirring denunciation of zero hours contracts from Ken Loach, three out of four audience members say they like them and find them helpful! Someone in the BBC Audience Selection Department will be in the doghouse tomorrow.

      Fiona Bruce clearly embarrassed and in response to Norman Lamont says "That's just the way it was here..." when he mentions the audience members speaking favourably. Why does she feel the need to intervene to query Norman Lamont's viewpoint but not Ken Loach's view that we should still have hundreds of thousands of young men working deep underground inhaling coal dust?

    3. And we all know that if hundreds of thousands of men (somehow doubt that the feminists would be screaming for equality there) were still coughing their guts up down a mine, then Ken would be making a film about how ghastly it was.

  12. Interesting item on ITV News earlier re Ofcom report on BBC, calling into question the future of the licence fee. Though we all know that Ofcom is a nest of left-liberal vipers, it was encouraging to see the issue of the licence fee is now becoming a live one. Even the BBC cannot completely avoid their own Reality Check when young people watch 64 mins of You Tube a day and only 15 mins of BBC 1.

    The licence fee is on the way out...the only question is what alternative trough-snaffling model the BBC will opt for. If I was a Beeboid I'd start lobbying for an across the board tax on TV subscriptions to continue subsidising the life to which they have become accustomed. You heard it first!

  13. Current events are reinforcing me in the view that the problem with the UK is we don't have enough ideology. Of course there is plenty of ideology on the Left, of that there is no doubt. But in opposition to the Marxist interpretation of society there is a political vacuum. I think this goes back to the days of Empire.

    When you are "top nation" you don't really need an ideology. Look at China now - are they really Marxist? Hmmm...No but they are getting close to being "Top Nation" and so won't need an ideology when they are. They will simply be basking in the sunshine of success.

    So, back to the UK, I think many of our ills result from us not having proper ideological position outside of the Marxist Left. This is what dismays me so much. We see the Conservatives doing quite well in terms of seeing off the Remainers, but it all seems very precarious. But what do Conservatives really believe in? Capitalism? Their own wealth and privilege? Economic success? Globalism? Free trade? Democracy? Sovereignty? Nationalism? - and if so which nationalism? Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? I really don't think they know.

    Much as I like Boris I keep getting drawn back to that period of indecision before the Referendum when he wrote the two articles (one pro Leave, one pro Remain) and according to his sister Rachel's account was only persuaded to opt for Remain because he noticed the Nike trainers he was wearing were made in S Korea or some such fable!

    My point really is that anyone with a clear ideological position on this subject would have understood completely that we could not stay in the EU and we should never have joined in this undemocratic superstate project. A democracy has an intimate connection between rulers and people - there is no such connection in the EU.

    When I say "clear ideological position" I mean what I would call a democratic populist position. This is the only ideological position consistent with modern society that can offer a clear and consistent alternative to the Marxist Left and also to capitalist exploitation, ethnic nationalism and the racism.

    Democratic populism, means a strong attachment to democratic processes, including referenda (which should become part of our constitution as in Switzerland), a strong commitment to the existing culture and a wish to maximise human wealth and happiness, by controlling capitalism and avoiding the excesses of coctrinaire Marxism.

    It differs from other positions such as the now mis-named "liberalism" of the Lib Dems in that it keeps faith with the wisdom of the people. It trusts their collective judgement (based on the mass of individuals' views of their interests) rather than the judgement of experts.

    Democratic populism favours free speech over the speech-control of the Leftist elements. For democracy to work well you need free speech. Free speech rights encourage open debate, which in turn enable the mass of people to reach good judgements.

    1. Unfortunately politics in the West is now centred on the pole of the Extreme left and so all other directions are Extreme Right and 'bad'.
      Consequently politicians of all shades, if they aren't inside, cluster around the walls of Castle Sinister wailing 'me too'. The media has a big responsibility for causing this.
      Oh for someone brave enough to turn away from this pole and seize personal responsibility rather than extract rights from others! More masculinity and less faux feminity.

    2. Switzerland may longer be the great bastion of sovereign independence within a PC ideologically driven Europe. The population is said to comprise 5-10% Muslim: identical to that of the UK. Minarets, burkas, and face coverings are said to be banned, but it's hard to find up-to-date information on this. National service is mandatory in Switzerland. Special arrangements are made for Muslims entering the armed forces in terms of food and prayer-time. Again, recent information on this is somewhat scarce.

      This major change change in the Swiss demographic has occurred very quickly - in the last few decades when firstly mainly Saudi money and influence was introduced to the Geneva area initially through UN diplomatic activity, and subsequently as a result of Kosovo Sunni Muslims seeking refuge in Switzerland away from the war in their own country. Unlike the UK, the Muslim population is spread pretty much evenly throughout the country.

      Landlocked Switzerland depends upon France and Germany (and to a lesser extent Italy and Austria) for its economic trading success - all EU countries. It would be foolish to assume that it could genuinely follow its own sovereign 'populist' path given the two above mentioned constraints.

    3. Yes Anonymous - a renewed emphasis on personal responsiblity, allied to cultivating personal resilience rather then dependence - would be very helpful.

  14. Arthur T. -

    Well Switzerland is certainly interdependent with the EU, but am sure they could get by on WTO if necessary ...the EU needs Switzerland as well.

    As for the influence of Islam - I think that 5% figure is for the Swiss resident population, which includes non-citizens. I suspect the figure for citizens is much lower. A lot of rich Arabs have residency status in Switzerland but aren't citizens and so can't vote in General Elections and Referenda, as far as I understand.

    Of course, any growth in the number of people who sincerely believe in Sharia law and a global Caliphate in any country should be a cause for concern, whatever BBC propaganda may tell you.

    No political system is perfect but the Swiss system is highly decentralised and has a number of important checks and balances. The fact we never know who the Swiss PM is, I take to be a good sign. :)

    1. Decentralised yes, referendum votes can refer to regional (Canton) issues - such as to prohibit the eating of dogs not so very long ago. Also, the MPs are not full time - they have 'proper' jobs as well as 'duties to the house'.

  15. I think the tragic migrant deaths should encourage us to think about what sort of country we are becoming. Our politicians, our police and our populace swear blind we are all against modern slavery. And yet exploited Vietnamese are here working in nail bars, care homes, so called "massage parlours" and other locations up and down the country, Roma women are selling Big Issues or begging on the street (money going to their male controllers), special needs adults are used as slaves by traveller families for work such as putting in drives and Arab families employ "servants" who are actually slaves. All this is known to the authorities, just as FGM is known to the authorities, but nothing (beyond the occasional bit of PR)is done.

    1. Couple more questions:

      1. Why is it that yesterday we were being told the victims were "Chinese nationals" and today that they are "Vietnamese"? Unconscious racism?

      2. Why is it only today that Daniel Sandford is telling us this illegal migration trade is highly organised with families in the UK, who back this illegal migration trade, in contact with the victims all the way by Smartphone? A couple of days ago the BBC were maintaining a kind of omerta on how the trade operates. But I can't believe that BBC correspondents such as Sandford have not been aware up till now of how the trade operates or how families in the UK are conniving in these serious criminal offences. The idea of migrant families in the UK backing criminal attempts to circumvent our border controls is not really part of the BBC narrative is it?

  16. Why does no one ever query the legal basis for the EU applying conditions to extensions of Article 50?

    Paras 1-3 from Article 50 (with my comments in square brackets after each one).

    "1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. [This is clearly unconditional except with respect to the requirement in para 2.]

    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. [A Withdrawal Agreement is not a requirement of an Article 50 exit.]

    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period." [The original Article 50 notice was given unconditionally, and nowhere in this para is there any reference to conditions. It is purely a matter of whether the EU in agreement with the exiting Member State wishes to agree a time extension.]

    It's amazing how our laws and governmental actions are subjected to minute judicial scrutiny by the EU Council can do what it likes, safe in the knowledge that the corrupt ECJ will back them whatever they do.

    I'd also say that "taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union" means in plain English that the Withdrawal Agreement should take that framework into account and not leave it to one side for a future trade agreement. However ,that is perhaps less clear.

  17. Why so coy BBC? Apparently "some religious faith groups" have a problem with vaccination.

  18. Is Nick Bryant having a breakdown? He filed a positive report on Trump's popularity in rust belt America for BBC TV News. In fact it was so positive I don't think he had one vox pop expressing any dislike for Trump. Maybe that's just the reality on the ground. Still full marks to the standard issue presenter for giving us the tutorial on the meaning of "impeachment". You'd think no one had access to Google.

  19. Phew! I was getting worried. I'd only heard Ash Sarkar once on the BBC today, but she's on Newsnight now...so all is well. It's always worrying if she doesn't appear at least twice a day on the BBC. Of course for all I know she could be on Radio 6 Music, C Beebies, and BBC America...

    Earlier I heard her claim she was weighed down with debt and nowhere near the median wage...really? She's "Senior Editor" of a major news outlet - Novara Media! lol

  20. Nick Robinson fake-newsing on Twitter: "Johnson is waiting for Corbyn to back an election. Corbyn is waiting for the EU to offer an extension. The EU are waiting to see whether Johnson calls an election. Johnson is waiting ...It’s the Brexit not at all Merry Go Round"

    Er - no, Corbyn is NOT waiting for the EU to offer an extension. They've already made it clear they will do that. And surely the EU know that it is not in the power of Johnson to "call" an election.

    Nope, the Merry Go Round is a Labour construct that finds a happy home in the rose-tinted mind of Nick Robinson.

  21. Glad to see that the BBC is doing well in the Dividing Britain Awards:

    "The Asian Media Awards are open to newspaper, radio, TV and websites dedicated to serving the British Asian community. " OK - sounds a bit weird but everyone likes an award I suppose.

    How does a report on the French Yellow Vests serve the British Asian community? Hmm...well I suppose I can think of some ways.

    Nothing untoward about this ceremony, unlike all those sleazy Hollywood awards events...


    1. The award has been given to a Newsnight film focussing on the chumps you were defending 6 months ago. You remember: freedom of speech and all that.
      It's an open goal with chumps.

    2. Your saying Katie is a Yellow Vests supporter? lol No, of course not. So what are you saying?

      I don't think I've ever "defended" the "Yellow Vests"...I may well have criticised the lack of UK MSM reporting on them. I would certainly defend their right to protest as much as Antifa protest about things they don't like.

    3. Your = you're

    4. The award was for a report on the 'yellow vest' UK facsimile led by James Goddard.
      The UK yellow vests have nothing to do with the French yellow vests. You were defending Goddard 6 months ago. It's quite simple. LOL.

    5. I certainly defended James Goddard's right to be as abusive towards MPs as Left Wing mobs have been to MPs such as Mogg and Johnson without being arrested - besieging their homes in fact, which is by definition intimidating. In fact he was being far less offensive than those mobs. And there's a video on Guido Fawkes where you can see Steve "Loud Voice" Bray get in a GF journalist's face and call him a "fascist". Why is there one law for one sort of person and another law for another sort of person? and...more importantly...why didn't the police warn Goddard that he was acting illegally. Policing passionate demonstrations is always difficult but normally in such circumstances the Police warn demonstrators about their behaviour.

      All I argue for is one law on behaviour agreed democratically and applied equally to all demonstrators. If you think that's a difficult concept to take on board, that's your problem.

      Apart from the BBC, and you obviously, I think few people associate the term "Yellow Vests" with the possibly two man Goddard "Movement".

      The fact that the BBC tried to big him up really shows how Fake News they are.

  22. Emily Maitlis retweeted without comment a Mark Francois parody account.


    Was it because:

    (a) She's so thick she didn't realise it was a parody account?

    (b) She's so thick she can't see that it damages the "impartial, free and fair" brand to retweet from parody accounts targetting the Right but not the Left?

    (c) She's so arrogant she thinks she's getting another RTS award and can put up a finger to the idea of impartiality.

  23. This is how Lib-Left gross hypocrites behave...from Canada but could be from the UK (if we had as much freedom as they do in Canada):


    Interesting... the school-based allegations have never been aired in the UK MSM or on the BBC as far as I know...I thought it was all about Blackface...

  24. The writings of one Manish Pandey, a BBC Newsbeat reporter seems to be forming something of a pattern. His reports on international cricket have ben mentioned on this site before:

    ... 'England v India at the Cricket World Cup: A clash of cultures.' ...

    That was in June 2019, but today we have another contribution:


    ... 'Brexit: Will the Falkland Islands wildlife suffer?' ...

    The piece contains the following:

    ... 'The Falkland Islands sit in the south-west Atlantic Ocean - and remains the subject of a dispute between Britain and Argentina who fought a war over it in 1982.

    It held a referendum in 2013 and opted to remain an overseas UK territory - which means the Falklands are self-governing - but the UK is still responsible for foreign and defence matters.' ...

    I find it incredible that BBC reporters are free to put out inflammatory wording, which in the case of Manish Pandey always seems to take a tone which is essentially anti English or anti UK. Newsbeat is aimed at Radio 1 listeners presumably young. Why are they being fed this skimmed version of events? Why are they being indoctrinated into the view that English or UK history must be treated as suspicious?

    1. 'Why are they being indoctrinated into the view that English or UK history must be treated with suspicion?'

      It's the wording: 'Britain and Argentina who fought a war over it in 1982.' that makes me think that Manish Pandey hasn't studied the matter and doesn't realise that Argentina invaded the territory - and that the UK were forced to defend the action. ' fought a war over it' is written as if the Faulklands war was somehow akin to a cricket match. This is a shallow uninformed view which fails to convey the gravity of that defensive action.

  25. Breitbart allege that the BBC are suppressing news about the EU-sponsored scheme to bring in migrants from countries like Somalia, directly into the EU.


    The BBC News Europe page has lots of pro-migration stories but nothing about this.

  26. Good video from Daniel Hannan...


    When he's good, he's very, very good. :)

    1. in three and a half years... the bbc has never even gone down this road once!!

    2. Very true non-Leavers in Parliament and anti-Leavers in the EU get soft treatment. Their statements are always taken at face value as being honest and credible by the BBC (Katya Adler and Nick Robinson to the fore). When have you ever heard a BBC reporter remind Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen that they both said they wanted to see the Brexit vote implemented and opposed a second referendum? Or reminded Nick Boles and Sam Gimiyah what manifesto they stood on in 2015 and 2017? Or suggested that the Speaker is actively seeking to frustrate Brexit? Or quizzed Blair and Campbell about their contacts and discussions with Macron?

  27. There is another fine example of the BBC News's contempt for the Christian message today. Ben Brown on the BBC News Channel interviewed the French Auctioneer who is charged with the sale of an early painting - 'Christ mocked by the Italian artist Cimabue. It is a painted panel - one of a set of three - one of which is in the National Gallery in London. ie a very important piece of work. Galleries from all over the world are represented at this afternoon's auction.

    To be fair, the BBC featured a story in September about the discovery of the artefact:


    ... 'Cimabue: Long-lost €6m artwork found in elderly woman's kitchen.' ...

    But look carefully at the image on this story. I believe the religious context of the painting has been obfuscated (in the true sense of the word). Compare it with:


    .... 'Un tableau de Cimabue, génial primitif italien, refait surface à Compiègne.' ...

    The image in this report shows the content wonderfully well - and yet it is the same hand in the same position holding the painting for the photo to be taken. My suspicion was confirmed when Ben Brown was interviewing the Auctioneer who was describing fully the religious significance of the painting and its place in the world of religious art. BB was keen to move the conversation onto the monetary value and the circumstances in which it had been found. He didn't want any of 'that religious rubbish'.

    In the BBC poorly reproduced image the caption reads: 'The painting had been hung above a hotplate in a kitchen in the French town of Compiegne'.

    In the French: 'Le tableau de Cimabue sur le thème du "Christ moqué".

    1. The story of today's forthcoming auction is nowhere to be seen on the BBC News website. Maybe it will be later when the monetary value instead of artistic value can be reported.

    2. I had similar thoughts when reflecting on the BBC's reporting of the aboriginal sacred site - the Uluru Rock. The reporter spoke in hushed reverent tones, reminiscent of 1950s Richard Dimbleby at his obsequious best/worst. I am pretty sure there is absolutely no chance of the modern BBC treating matters of Christian spirituality and sacrality with such reverence!

    3. The reluctance of the BBC to allow any coverage of Christian religious art of this early form might be because of RoP aniconism.

    4. itv.com at 3.59 pm:

      ... 'Masterpiece found in elderly French woman’s kitchen sells for £20.7 million' ...

      Nothing yet on BBC News website.

    5. Arthur, I can't find the story yet on the BBC website. PC or incompetence? Who knows...But I think you could be right. Jesus is considered a Prophet in Islam and so showing him is just as bad as showing Mo, in theory at least. Have the BBC received complaints one wonders?

    6. Yes, I suspect this won't be a painting featured on Fake or Fortune. The BBC are denying their audience an insight into a fascinating art story. That's a disgrace.

    7. The story has appeared on the Arts and Entertainment pages:


      ...'Cimabue painting found in French kitchen sets auction record'. ...

      The article still has a poorly lit (on purpose?) image of the painting with no mention whatsoever of the religious aspect of the painting. What's the betting the story will disappear quickly.

    8. Yes, the article is remarkable for the absence of any explanation of the subject matter of the painting. Putting in oblique references to the "passion" which the general public are unlikely to understand is not helpful. It would only take a line or two to explain the mockery that took place, as set out in the Gospels - being dressed as a King and then spat on, and so on - prior to his Crucifixion.

      But of course Muslims firmly believe that Jesus was not crucified.

      While I was a little sceptical to begin with, I must admit you appear to be right Arthur. The BBC appear to be tiptoeing around trying to avoid any reference to Jesus that Muslims might consider offensive or blasphemous. Have they been advised to do this by the new Religion Editor one wonders...

  28. I am guessing Jimmy Carr must be banned from the BBC by now...


  29. The BBC's politicisation of art is truly relentless. A new day and a new story on the BBC News website about an artist - instead of artist read political activist:


    How this can be described as art I don't know. It is little different to burning the flag of a country. What's more, the people interviewed are bemused. Why might the BBC consider this to be newsworthy? Right in one, it reflects their narrative.

    1. Yes and the narrative is:

      1. That all European Empires were irredeemably bad in all respects.

      2. That Western prosperity was built on Empire and exploitation of indigenous peoples.

      3. That indigenous peoples of the Empires were ethical in their approach to life, unlike Western Europeans.

      4. That each of us individually bears responsibility for Empire.

      This narrative is supported every day by hundreds of articles, reports and passing references.

      But is it true? Of course we have no idea, since the BBC does not allow a counter-narrative. However I would point out:

      1. Whilst it is true that Empire did result in huge oppression across the world, many people's lives were improved or at least saved. Activities such as human sacrifice and cannibalism were suppressed. The medical doctors of these Empires saved many lives. Empires exported their modern technology as much as they imported raw materials. The lives of many women were improved immeasurably by the Empires and from the mid 19th century the British Empire was actively suppressing enslavement and slave trafficking.

      2. Clearly there is something to the exploitation narrative. Another way of putting it is that indigenous peoples had different expectations. If you buy some land with what you consider to be pretty worthless cowrie shells is that exploitation or a fair exchange if the people you are buying from value cowrie shells?

      But more generally, I would say that Western wealth was really based on technological advance. So it was technology that enabled Empire rather than the other way around. That is why countries without significant Empires such as Norway and Sweden were able to progress as well, because they had the wherewithal to exploit technology.

      3. This is of course utter rubbish. West Africans were enthusiastic slavers, as were the Arabs. Indians had been fighting bloody wars since time immemorial. Native Americans were disrupting the eco system of the plains through use of horses and rifles and indulged in gross torture of POWs. So on and so on...

      4. The BBC's favourite Bible verse must be the one about visiting the sins of the father on the third and fourth generations...or, in the BBC's case,the 10th, 11th and possibly 30th generations.

      Does this make moral sense? Of course not. But the BBC is very inconsistent in this area.
      It considers the descendants of Arab and West African slave traders to be innocent of historical crimes but the descendants of Quaker anti-slavers prepared to undergo great personal sacrifice in opposition to slavery to be guilty of benefitting from slavery. It thinks we shouldn't blame the modern German generation for the gross crimes committed in their name in the 20th century but we should feel guilty for crimes committed in our name in the 18th century.

      The odd thing as well is the way the BBC view that "we" - sometimes their "we" includes the descendants of victims of Empire lviingin the UK as citizens, which is unfair on them, and sometimes it doesn't, which is kind of R word.

      I would point out as well that the UK was not a fully democratic nation until 1945,with all the adult populace being able to partake in an election. As soon as we reached that position, we started dismantling our Empire, and we became much,much wealthier during that period of Empire-disposal. So it can certainly be argued that Empire was really an elite project (a bit like the EU) designed to create lots of prestigious-sounding jobs and other opportunities for the (younger, in particular) sons and daughters of the elite and it retarded wealth creation.

    2. With this example and yesterday's 'Le tableau de Cimabue sur le thème du "Christ moqué"', we see that the BBC highlights either monetary value or political opinion when reporting upon art. IMHO, the Singapore work lacks credibility. The wrapped up headless limbless torso, hung like a piece of meat borders on barbarism and depravity. There is no obvious visual link between the object and Raffles. Art should be self-evident - the observer shouldn't need to be told who the object relates to. If it's meant to be a reproduced section of the statue, it would have similar proportions to the statue. All in all, this isn't a work of art it's an activist's stunt.

  30. Heard a "two way" between an Emma Barnett stand-in and Kevin Connolly on Radio 5 Live today.

    As always, the EU's "position" was taken at face value as credible and justified. For one thing Connolly said (with a straight face I presume, though this being radio I couldn't swear to it)that the EU is strict about not interfering in Member State internal politics!!! lol You've got to be kidding! Tusk, Verhofstadt and Juncker have all made interventions in UK politics, telling us amongst things that they would prefer for us to stay despite our democratic Referendum - that was Lib Dem policy. We also know that behind the scenes, Macron - a key player in EU politics - meets with Tony Blair, Dominic Grieve and others, and discusses internal UK politics, including strategies for frustrating Brexit.

    Dividing up the negotiations into an (unlawful) two stage process was specifically designed to undermine the popularity of Brexit within the UK, so we got the bill before we got the menu.

    Likewise, lying by claiming that the Backstop and WA could not be reopened or jettisoned was another intervention in UK politics designed to weaken Boris Johnson's position.

  31. If the election is coming, it's time for the Brexit Party to stand aside in the national interest. What I think they should do is this:

    1. Announce that in the national interest, in order to avoid a rigged rerun of the Referendum that will be manipulated by Labour and the Lib Dems to achieve a Remain vote, the Brexit Party will stand down in all but 35 constituencies. The 35 constituencies will be Leave constituencies where Labour hold the seats, mostly in the North and East Anglia.

    2. They will make clear they are not entering into any pact with the Conservatives.

    It would then be the job of the Conservatives to mount ghost campaigns in those 35 constituencies, having first given assurances to their candidates that they will be the first in line for safe seats in the future.

    1. That assumes that the Conservative party actually wants a clean break/no deal Brexit.

      All the evidence suggests that they want to sign us up to a re-titled Albanian Accession Treaty so that whichever Conservative, Labour or God forbid, the il-Liberal non-Democrats win the next election we will re-join in full Euro/Schengen mode with all UK-resident EU migrants fully established on the electoral roll.

    2. ... That assumes that the Conservative party actually wants a clean break/no deal Brexit... Boris and the Conservative Party have given ground too easily throughout. They could have talked out the Benn Bill in the Lords. I suspect that No Deal was never an option - just a bargaining chip.

    3. It's not the deal I would have wanted, for sure, not least paying out billions for liabilities but getting virtually none in return for assets we will no longer be using, but I think it does consitute something like Brexit from a legal point of view, which is why - I presume - the ERG accept it. There will be scope for improving upon it in future.

      The alternative to Boris's deal is No Brexit At All, ie staying in the EU. I preferred that option when it was May's deal as the only deal on the table (BTW did you read that May allegedly cried when she heard the Referendum result!*). But now we should seize the option - it's not perfect but otherwise, we will stay in the EU. TBP can never win a majority in the commons as things stand but they lose the Conservatives lots of seats. Once you have a SNP-Labour-Green-Lib Dem coalition in power they will move rapidly to install votes for EU Citizens and 16-17 yeard olds in Referenda and General Elections.They will then add in a 2/3 clause on future Referenda involving "consitutional change". They will entrench us in the EU, joining the Euro and Schengen. Plus they will turn on the migration tap full again, and rapidly convert migrants into citizens.

      That is the reality of what we face. This is our last chance.

    4. *re May crying on hearing the Referendum result - I suspect at the time that was because she thought it had stymied her chances of ever becoming PM...Boris would now be a shoo-in. Of course in the end, things turned out far better than expected for her post the Brexit vote. But it shows the essential shallowness of May, that she should cry for being deprived of her life's ambition, rather than ever for her country or her failure to control mass immigration, say, as she had promised to do.

  32. When I was a child I used to love watching wrestling on a Saturday afternoon with Kent Walton and my aunt Emma. I knew the matches were fixed and I recognised it as theatre. And there was something illicit watching it at my aunt’s – it was on ITV and ITV was seldom on at our house. And this morning, listening to Today on Radio 4, I realised the Today interviews were filling the gap, the gap left by Big Daddy and the rest of them, the gap that I’d never noticed before. And it felt good.

    1. Yes, instead of a pretend half Nelson it's "I'm going to pretend to be a neutral and objective interviewer who might have voted Remain or Leave, who knows, and you can pretend to answer my questions, which will all be dummy, harmless questions because you're a Remainer".

  33. The only way that Boris is going to be stopped from achieving a huge victory in the General Election is if the big guns of the BBC, Sky and ITV are all trained on the Tories...you can bet they are.

    As always, the BBC is showing the way: tactical voting is their concern de jour. Not an objective assessment of how tactical voting might affect the election. No sireee! On the evidence of Today on Radio 4 today we are going to bombarded by free adverts for an anti-Brexit tactical voting website while to "balance" those free adverts (disguised as interviews, albeit the sofest ever interviews that pull every punch and have all the bite of a sedated chihuahua) they will be giving lots of publicity to The Brexit Party and SDP to help them take votes off the Conservatives. How many people in this country knew there still was an SDP? - and yet I've seen or heard them on the BBC twice in 24 hours...they are miniscule, so that is a complete joke).

    The BBC policy is clearly to try and shave off 5% of Boris's vote by handing it to TBP and the SDP, aachieve a hung parliament again and then promote an anti-Brexit coalition that will deliver a Rigged Rerun Referendum. Job done! In the EU forever. Tony Hall can then retire a happy man.

    Justin Webb seemed to have the most bloodlust but Martha Kearney was doing her bit, sniping from the trenches - I've heard about 4 references to "Brenda from Bristol" not wanting another election. This whole "Brenda from Bristol" nonsense - disguised as humorous banter - is being used to damage the Conservatives as it damaged May.

    However, Boris is made of better stuff so the BBC have their work cut out.

  34. Anon/MB - Back in the days when there was only one TV in the house, as a spoiled brat I used to moan at my Dad who loved his Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo and especially the tag teams.

    One day I let fly when it clashed with Dr. Who or something... 'you know it's all rigged!'.

    He turned to me and, with a look I did not wish to see repeated said, "Oh I know it's rigged. I saw real. I don't want to see real ever again, or for you to either'.

    Wind forward to 2019.

    1. Your dad had good taste and obviously knew his onions, to use an old fashioned phrase!

  35. This day's checklist at the BBC:

    1. Tactical voting.

    2. "Some say" Boris broke his promises.

    3. Brenda from Bristol won't be happy.

    4. Labour Party formidable campaign machine.

    5. Labour Party now united around election campaign.

    6. SDP. We don't care if you never heard of them before. All Labour Brexiteers should vote for them.

    7. TBP are the proper repository for all Conservative pro-Brexit votes.

    8. Conservative Party no longer a one nation party. Now Far Right and crypto fascist as confirmed by Major, Clarke, Little Worwee, Ann Soubry et al).

    9. Boris once propositioned a female vicar at a charity event (I made that up but presumably they have something in the safe they can use).

    10. When, Boris, are you going to line up with the leaders of ten other parties in an impartial, free and fair TV debate moderated by the incomparable Emily Maitlis and with questions from a panel made up of Nick Robinson, Jo Coburn and Emma Barnett. You won't? Is it cos you is frit, boy?

    1. Yes, and of course, in the eyes of the BBC, the GE won't be about Brexit - it will be about an agenda agreed as anti-Conservative but pro anti-austerity voices. Cue privilege, big business, private education versus far-left Marxist dreams - offered as normal practical solutions without the need to justify.

    2. They'll have lots of things planned. Sam Coates was salivating about the OBR economic forecasts coming up in December before the GE. The OBR is of course a Remainiac Stronghold, so can be relied upon to put out a strong anti-Brexit statement.

      The OBR, along with the Ofcom, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Electoral Commission, the Law Commission, and the Supreme Court should all be abolished by a sensible populist government. They serve no useful purpose and simply create overpaid jobs for the anti-populist elite.

      Of course we need an ultimate arbiter in the courts, but that could maybe done on the basis of High Court judges being empanelled on a random basis. We have seen real dangers in the Supreme Court coming to see themselves not as arbiters but a power centre themselves.

  36. Paul Mason is currently making it very hard for the BBC to get him in as an impartial expert.

    But one is sure they will find a way.

  37. Why is it that all the female Labour MPs who put up their bogus complaints about receiving hate mail seem to have faces contorted with hate and rage and act in the most aggressive manner when they are supposed to be victimised saints dedicated to the ways of peace and understanding?


    I say bogus complaints because Paula Sherriff read out some of these alleged examples of "hate mail" and the one I caught in full sounded what I would call "robust" and certainly no worse than what Labour MPs say about Boris, calling him a liar, saying he is a predator, saying he was wants to make people poorer, saying he is not a patriot, saying he only cares about himself, and saying he is encouraging hate. When these Labour MPs are on the receiving end of similar abuse, they start crying foul!

  38. OK - I have a question for people:

    Do you think there should be TV debates in the run up to the General Election and if so, how do you think they should be organised?

    I certainly think the Conservatives must avoid being set up in the way the BBC tried to set up Boris Johnson during the Conservative leadership debate.

  39. So far the BBC seems to be working its way through the ten point action plan I put up above...

    Listened to Today briefly this morning and they were covering 1, 3 and 8. I am treating 3 broadly - it's really about encouraging voter antipathy towards the Conservatives for having called an election in the first place. So we have Martha Kearney saying: "Boris Johnson got his wish for a Christmas election" before adding in some gratuitous stuff about how busy we all will be. Firstly, it's not a Christmas election, it's a pre-Christmas election.
    Secondly, elections in the holiday season, when people are packing suitcases and boarding planes to fly out of the country, are more inconvenient for people. Finally is it really too much to ask of voters to spend 10 minutes popping into a polling stations or posting a ballot paper?

    Still, everything for the narrative at the BBC so don't expect logic.

    Re 1, it's amazing how hard they are pushing tactical voting to (a) boost the Remainer MPs in Parliament and (b) ensure Conservatives lose seats where TBP is a strong challenger. This is pure intervention, not reportage.

  40. Yasser Dasmebehbi (ho-ho) has a good post up on Biased BBC:

    "If the Conservative party or Brexit Party have any tactical sense they will take advantage of their opponents weaknesses which has devolved into outright stupidity, and make sure every voter knows certain things.

    1) All the opposition parties want open borders and increased immigration.

    2) They want the voting age limited to sixteen years or lower.

    3) They want foreigners to vote in our elections.

    4) They want Britain to have increased subservience to the EU.

    Tell it like it is and don’t prance around like a pack of plonkers is my advice for the coming contest. The Remainer crowd have shown just how dirty they play. Exposing their ridiculous policies would be very effective in my view. And it is the duty of the two pro Brexit parties to do so, because you can be damn sure that the BBC won’t be doing it."

    Looking at people like Richard Graham one has to wonder if the Conservatives are in any way capable of such an approach...However if Dominic Cummings is playing a role in this campaign one can at least hope that such an approach will be to the forefront of his mind.

    These points need to be put forcefully, in every debate, and in the case of Labour one needs to add a couple of their madcap economic ideas.

    Might be a good idea to lump the opposition in a catch-all phrase like "the Remainer alliance" - Corbyn's party and their mates. Just as with Labour it's always "the Tories" and never "the Conservatives", the Conservatives shouldn't refer to "Labour" but "Jeremy Corbyn's Labour".

    1. Expect plenty of coverage of homelessness during the winter months - especially at election time. There won't be any depth of investigation as to why - causes such as addiction, debt, family breakdown, difficulty in accessing benefits - or, specific causes such those attributable to armed services veterans will all be lumped together and presented as Conservative Government failings. The BBC will hope to trigger an emotive response (conveniently avoiding any in depth study of causes and remedies) so that the predicament of these under privileged people for whom we all have compassion can be laid at the door of Boris Johnson. "Let's boot Boris out of No. 10" will be the cry.

    2. Yes. There will be a lot of that sort of Labour-friendly guff, especially on the regional news programmes, which have a lot more influence than people sometimes realise.

      There are genuine issues with homelessness, but they have very little to do with the professional beggars on the street as I see around my part of London.

      Yes, the BBC will be pressing a lot of emotional buttons. We've seen that done a lot recently in (successful) attempts to limit debate. So the horrors of hate crime and Jo Cox are used to justify limiting political debate. It's fine for Labour to talking about Boris being a liar, about the Tories victiminsing the poor, or deliberately inflicting damage on the country and so on but for some reason it's illegitimate to call the Benn Act the "Surrender Act".

      So all four of Yasser's talking points will be countered by the BBC with emotion and misdirection: 1. It's wrong to talk about genuine refugees as illegal migrants. It's not nice to talk about migrants having negative effects on the country. 2. Young people aren't stupid. 3. EU citizens contribute a lot to this country. Why shouldn't they have the vote? 4. Remainers are just as patriotic as Leavers.

      The Conservatives need to be ready to parry those thrusts of emotion and misdirection. The best way is by direct verbatim quotes: 1. Stella Creasy (or whoever it was) said we should let in all the migrants in Calais...2. Find some Labour nut who wants it reduced further to 15 or 14. 3. Find someone who wants it extended to non-EU migrants as well, across the board. 4. Reference Juncker's statement that the EU is an Empire, emphasising that was teh President of the Commission speaking. The Remainers want us to be a small part of that Empire.

    3. It will be interesting to see how the much loved by the BBC rent-a-crowd are now deployed. XR and Cancel Brexit will be shelved for the moment. My guess is that vaguely defined anti-austerity protests will be forthcoming with angry banners of the Jon Snow school of thought 'f*** the Tories' displayed in place of the EU flags and featured unashamedly by the BBC.


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