Sunday 12 January 2020

Open Thread

Time for a new open thread. Thanks for your comments.


  1. ‘The assassination and the law’

    Oh dear - the headline link on the website says it all - the BBC are virtue signalling their left/ liberal faux outrage. I’m beginning to tire of unpatriotic BBC narrative.

  2. When Iran sends some missiles into Iraq to hit American bases, there is no outrage about illegal assassination of US servicemen or contractors or plain Iraqi citizens. The BBC commentators and reporters don't question the legality of these attacks. Same when Hamas and Hizbollah send rockets over the border into Israel.

    When a missile hits an Iranian general it's an illegal assassination. as if he is a target when the others targeted by Iran and its allies are mere casualties rather than having been assassinated.

    In Human Rights terms every human being has an equal right not to be assassinated so why the extraordinary fuss about an old general close to retirement compared to an Iraqi or Israeli civilian with years of life ahead of them?

    1. Exactly, they don't care. It's the same with everything:

      1. Australian fires - lots of concern. Beggars dying of cold on Delhi streets - a few words and then move on.

      2. Thousands of serious assaults on young women and girls across our major towns - no interest. Someone says something deemed sexist - hours of coverage and acres of print.

      3. Russian meddling in elections - outrage! Chinese or Saudi meddling in elections - nada.

      4. Some theoretical but unproven health risk from eating chickens washed in chlorine - interest and concern. Huge increase in autism and life-threatening food intolerance cases causing untold suffering for hundreds of thousands of people - no interest (because vaccination programmes might be implicated).

  3. The BBC always surprise with their choices where they support rather than attack.

    Carols Ghosn seems to be the latest wealthy man to get the softest of rides by BBC reporting. Everything I have seen is uncritical and factual. His wife is seen as enterprising, powerful and supportive. He is portrayed as the successful businessman wronged by a harsh and rigged Japanese justice system.

    Why do some like Ghosn and Branson get the red carpet treatment whilst others like Murdoch, Weinstein and Green get the full hairdryer treatment.

    Surely they are all the unacceptable face of capitalism by any BBC measure. Or is it just the typed nature of transgression that determines the treatment?

    1. Competing hierarchies of merit...I think Carlos Ghosn is backed because he is seen in many ways as a representative of the EU. Japan is seen as unreliable, particularly under Shinzo Abe, too populist and reactionary.

      Branson is seen as a social progressive who promoted a lot of the lifestyle choices the BBC likes (whether true or not - he's a bit of a poseur).

      There's normally some logic to who gets the massage and who gets the hairdryer.

      The one I like to cite is Ken Clarke. Up until the EU Referendum, he was a target...a "right wing Chancellor" from the Thatcher-Major era who subsequently went on to sell cigarettes to Third World countries with no concern for health effects. Come the Referendum, the BBC turned him into Cuddly Ken, and gave him unrestrained broadcast time to speak at length with no hostile interventions.

    2. I haven't been following the Carlos Ghosn story, but I've just seen this tweet from John Simpson:

      "Carlos Ghosn’s performance here in Beirut was hugely impressive. And though he’s a fugitive from Japanese justice, he’s reminded us that 99.4% of criminal cases in Japan depend on confessions of guilt - obtained how?"

      It's clear whose side Big BBC John's on.

    3. ‘Here in Beirut’ he tweets. The BBC must have flown John in to cover Ghosn’s press conference. As befits his senior status, I bet he demands First Class.

    4. They certainly get about, how dare they, these BBC frequent flyers.

    5. Japanese culture expects wrong doers to confess and ask for forgiveness. Failure to confess equals guilt and the book thrown at you, whether a traffic violation or major fraud.

      There is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty in Japan. The justice system works on the basis that those found out are guilty and have to confirm their guilt by confessing. Proof of guilt is by confession, and you can be banged up until you confess, so whoever makes the accusation doesn't lose face by making a false accusation. When someone makes true or false allegations against Ghosn, the duty of the State prosecutor is not to prove the facts but to get the accused to confess, because it is dishonourable not to admit guilt and ask for forgiveness.

    6. In the old days the shame of being accused, whether falsely or justly, meant hari-kari for the accused. That was all sides were satisfied. The accuser always wins and the accused is dead so he won't face being dishonoured any more.

      Not much has changed, except instead of hari-kari, the accused is expected to confess and be sentenced to serve a long prison sentence. If the accused is innocent, he will be forgiven his "guilt" and let off!!! However then accusers lose face and that is unlikely if they are in positions of influence. Ghosn was never charged after a year and was never likely to be charged until he confessed.

  4. Lewis Goodall is only a few days into his new BBC job and he has managed to upset Len McCluskey by tweeting fake news about Barry Gardiner.

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

    1. The full thread with Lewis’s Newsnight exclusive - I wonder if he will pull it now that Len has replied. Rather embarrassing for his first big exclusive.

      Comments could be going better.

    2. When Big Len's after you, you've got a problem! :)

    3. Goodall doing his bit for the Blairite wing...

      Having to admit that both McCluskey and Gardiner are denying his story!


    Maitlis's introduction and Newsnight give us three choices for what prompted Meghan and Harry's decision: tabloids, racism or a valid quality of life choice.

    Are those really the only three possibilities?

    Maybe Meghan never really intended to make her life here. Maybe she wants to restart her Hollywood career. Maybe she's given Harry an ultimatum. Perhaps they simply can't cope with legitimate criticism.

    It's quite unacceptable I think to blame the press and "racism". Meghan was welcomed to the bosom of Britain, so to speak - I don't recall any racist comments. The press could hardly be expected to ignore genuine stories about fractures within Meghan's family. Once Meghan and Harry became a preachy, well they have to accept they cannot be seen to be hypocrites. The press were quite right to call them out on multiple private jet flights when they are moralising to the rest of us about carbon emissions.

    1. :::NEWSNIGHT WATCH:::

      Further evidence of how out of touch they are...

      Maitlis sums up discussion of Meghan and Harry saying something like "Well maybe the public reaction will be different...maybe there will be an outpouring of love and support for them."

      BS. The British people will generally be thoroughly p'd off with them. For the following reasons:

      1. They have become preachy but when caught out in their hypocrisy, try to blame those who point out their hypocrisy.

      2. They have turned their back on Britain.

      3. They have disrespected our much loved Queen by not giving her prior notice of their decision.

      4. The mention of money doesn't sit well - it's like that's at the forefront of their minds.


    How does this work? As I understand it Samira Ahmed is a BBC employee. The BBC produces podcasts. But Samira Ahmed also presents a non-BBC podcast.

    This seems a rather odd and negligent arrangement.

    Did she get the BBC's permission to do this? If so the BBC is effectively supporting her, a full time BBC employee, in competing with the BBC for an audience. Don't BBC contracts preclude that sort of thing? Otherwise, what's to stop going off and working for Sky in her spare time?

    And isn't it ironic that Samira who wanted to deplatform Nigel Farage from the BBC, has so many platforms herself and dloubly ironic that despite complaining of being underpaid she has so many nice little earners going.

    1. Her LinkedIn page describes her as "Freelance journalist/broadcaster", so she's one of those 'BBC freelancers'. Yes, she's presented umpteen BBC shows since 'going freelance' in 2009 and has two on the go now and doesn't seem to broadcast for anyone else, but I bet that's her get-out-of-jail-free card here.

      Quite what John Simpson's excuse for HIS non-BBC podcast is though seems to be another matter entirely!

    2. Thanks for the clarification Craig. I should have checked.

      It's unusual for a freelancer to bite the hand that feeds them with an "equal pay" claim, which is what Ahmed has done. I assumed from the coverage from the coverage of the equal pay claim she was on the BBC payroll.

      I really don't understand how the pay claim can be justified in those circumstances, because there must be many cases where female freelancers have been given loads of dosh by the BBC, in excess of what some male presenters get. But I will leave that to the lawyers.

  7. Are BBC reporting this? The pro-Trump Covington student falsely accused of intimidating a Native American protestor has taken CNN to the cleaners:

    The Guardian is also being sued. Good to know that.

    I seem to recall that Nick Bryant pointed the finger at the poor kid as well.

    1. I can't see anything yet.

      The BBC got the initial reporting of that badly wrong.

    2. It looks from the comments there on that link that BBC Fake News spreaders Hugh Sykes and Nish Kumar piled in on twitter to condemn the student. I still have a feeling Nick Bryant did as well, as part of his (own) book promotion strategy (what's become of the America I once loved - that sort of thing), but I may be wrong.

      If anyone's on twitter perhaps they should ask Hugh Sykes if he is going to apologise. No point in asking Kumar.

  8. The BBC website has "Labour leadership: Long Bailey, Nandy and Phillips secure nominations". But at the bottom there is a explanation of the voting system. It shows the possibility of two females and a male inline for the election. Guess who is the winner - Yes! thats right a female.

  9. A great observation from Bill Rogers - trading as WDR;

    From BBC DG Lord Hall's New Year message to staff: "BBC Sounds is also surging ahead. Launching a new service like that is never easy. It is particularly encouraging that it's proving so popular with young audiences - with half a million listeners aged 16-34 from a weekly audience that’s now around three million."

    One of the grounds for closing iPlayer Radio down in the UK was that it was only reaching 3% of UK citizens aged 16-34. I make that 505,000.

  10. Another one of the BBCs favourite companies who they often quoted as part of Brexit project fear has done an about turn.

    In place of its repeated threats to leave the UK, the chief executive of Airbus has said the future of its British wing plants is "secure" and there is "great potential to expand" post Brexit.

    1. Charlie, thanks for that...that really makes me angry. It shows (if needs showing) what BS was being shovelled in our direction by the BBC, not once or twice but day in day out, on the news, on Newsnight, Daily Politics, in local regional news, news "comedy" programmes...for 4 years.

      The BBC reporters and presenters all knew they were serving up BS, of that I am sure. I really don't accept they genuinely believed in the veracity of the claims...some of them were so absurd (we'll run out of sandwiches! farmers would slaughter their sheep and bury them in the ground rather than sell them!! we won't be able to fly in European airspace!!!) no one could have believed them. But that didn't stop them promoting Project Fear Marks I and II at every opportunity.

      What will be the comeback on all that Fake News pumped out over nearly 4 years? Nothing. Ofcom won't be investigating, of that you can be sure.

    2. No problem MB.

      It infuriated me too which is why I shared it. I think the majority of claims were backed up by an army of academics and professional that the BBC likes to calls experts. They clearly weren’t really experts at all, just people prepared to parrot the BBC view and get a handsome appearance fee.

    3. Yes, they often went to organisations like the Institute for Government (set up and bankrolled by Arch Remainer and billionaire Lord Sainsbury - its board stuffed with Remainers) presenting them as non-partisan, respected and objective, for supposedly "neutral" comment on the claims.

      The BBC have badly misused public money to further a pro-EU agenda. It's disgraceful that Katya Adler is still in place. She's spent the last 4 years canonising Angela Merkel, praising the EU and underwriting every absurd claim from the EU Commission.

    4. There was a BBC News website report on Airbus's statement yesterday. It was on the Business page but not on the Home page. Checking TV Eyes, it didn't make any of the BBC One news bulletins yesterday and 'Today' hasn't covered it this morning either.

  11. BBC in full battle mode using all the usual tricks to try and disprove the claims that arson is behind many of the Australian bush fires.

    Some of the tricks:

    1. Start with an absurd claim on social media (all fires started by climate activists).

    2. Include some reasonable qualifications - not all fire-related offences are purposeful arson. Who could disagree with that?

    3. Suddenly switch from the whole of Australia to New South Wales to get to a figure of 24.

    4. Don't make the obvious extrapolation that for every crime where an offender is identified there will be a higher number where no offender is identified. So if we get down to 24, the number of actual arson cases might well be double or 50, 100 or even 200 for all we know. We do know arsonists get a taste for multiple offences are quite likely and even if they get caught on one offence, they won't necessarily confess to all their crimes.

    Of course the icing on the cake is you can then state you have "debunked" the claims in the headline...which is the take-home message for most people.


    Katya Adler BSing away as per usual...but maintaining her usual pro-EU line.

    Air has gone out of the balloon hasn't it?

    Adler looks all the time like she's been found out...up until the Conservative victory, she could BS away. Now she can't. Doesn't look at all comfortable. Happier talking about some politician's hair.

  13. Something the BBC and the rest of the MSM never seem to understand - Trump's phenomenal energy he is after the Iran crisis - looking as fresh as a daisy.

    More than that, his speeches are not the demogoguery
    the BBC would have you believe. They are actually very cogent and logical narratives - simplified clearly but not dodging issues. He takes people through the issues step by step and explains all his actions carefully.

  14. So, another Project Fear edifice collapses to the ground - it seems that the Good Friday Agreement is NOT going to collapse after all, despite fascisto-populist hate crimer Boris Johnson winning the election and taking the UK out of the EU.

    I'm sure this will be a cause for great joy in the corridors of the BBC.

    So that's two major Project Fear temples of doom that have collapsed in as many days...Airbus leaving the UK and GFA going into meltdown.

    The BBC Propaganda Department is doing its best, Goebbels-style, to censor mention of these huge defeats for the Remainer armies, or make out they are orderly retreats that do not undermine the general strategy.

    Someone needs to start making a list of all these Project Fear redoubts that are falling to the enemy.

    - Not able to fly over Europe.
    - We will run out of sandwiches.
    - NI farmers will slaughter their sheep and bury them on their farms.

    They went long ago.

    - Airbus.
    - Good Friday Agreement.

    More of these to follow!

  15. Very woke;
    BBC/State funded security service "shaming"
    Where will it all end ?

    1. Not extreme? I'd say a death cult that claims humanity will become extinct because of carbon emissions and argues for ending all fossil fuel use by 2025, while also dismantling the capitalist system - which would lead inevitably to the collapse of the economy. our infrastructure, the NHS, farming, food supply and transport, and thus bring about the deaths of millions through lack of medical and social care, poverty, starvation and malnutrition - is definitely extreme. In fact in terms of negative impacts on people, it's possibly the most extreme of all political movements. Its methods are also extreme - seeking to bring whole cities to a halt, endangering lives, causing massive stress for millions and preventing people going about their lawful business. If anyone else apart from ER tried it they would be arrested within 5 minutes not the 5 days we have seen.


    The obvious bias was dialled down tonight as Mark Urban was in the chair...but I noticed the odd language. Whether it Urban's words or words he had been given to read, I don't know.

    Apparently the Ukrainian plane was in an "air crash"...really? a crash? A crash suggests the cause was accidental with no external human agency. If a car was hit by an object thrown from a motorway bridge we wouldn't say it had been "in a crash".

    This is a case where you have to choose. To call it an "air crash" is to suggest it was not downed by a missile. The ordinary use of "crash" suggests an accident or some sort of mechanical failure or (on board) human error. It does not suggest an aircraft was deliberately taken down.

    There is so much evidence of what happened, that I think BBC presenters and reporters should use the correct phrase and refer to the "downing" of the plane, not a "crash". If that's too much for them, they could soften it with "suspected downing".

    Then there's that use of "accident". According to the BBC it was an accident that the Iranians targeted the aircraft! The Iranians might not have intended to take down a civilian aircraft but they clearly intended to take down that particular aircraft which they were tracking on their radar, so it makes no sense to talk of an "accident". An accident would be where they fired their missile at a totally different target but it somehow intercepted the plane.

    No, this was intentional but it was probably a case of mistaken identity. So the BBC ought to say something like "it looks as if the plane was mistakenly shot down owing to it being misidentified as an American warplane".

    BBC people aren't stupid - they can understand these gradations of meaning. But I think their hatred of Trump, their general distrust of the USA and their wish to appear "PC-balanced" between a democratic ally and a tyrannical Islamist regime, makes them reluctant to spell out what they know to be true.

    1. Note that, like the BBC, Corbyn refers to the incident as a "plane crash". As you can see from the comments, a lot of people agree with me that to use that phrase is to imply it was an accident.

    2. Here's the link:

  17. There's been a lot of online discussion of Melanie Phillips' Jewish Chronicle article on "Islamophobia". I think Sue linked to it before.

    This is of course relevant to this site because the BBC have fully accepted that there is a genuine phenomenon called "Islamophobia" that equates to Antisemitism and other race hate ideologies. The BBC have done this in a vacuum of debate or analysis. It is now "settled science" as far as the BBC is concerned.

    Having now read MP's article, my thoughts are that once again she seeks to occupy a space where she can still get invited to polite dinner parties...

    She avoids any mention of Islam's foundational texts (Koran, Hadiths and biography of Mo) which is where the real problem lies, because sincere Muslims have to accept them as true (in varying degrees - the Koran and many Hadith absolutely). And, of course, the problem is they are shot through with hatred of the people Melanie identifies with. But she carefully avoids saying that, preferring to stick to "Islamphobia" and "Islamic extremism" as a way of avoiding stating the truth.

    I don't blame her for being reluctant to state the truth. We see what happens to anyone in public life who does: they become social pariahs (certainly within the circles Melanie and Joshua move) and also very real targets for vengeful violence (which is why Geert Wilders has to have 24/7 police protection).

    But overall of course I fully approve of the thrust of her article. Islamophobia is a political scam designed to make it impossible to resist the advance of Sharia. The whole concept has to be vigorously opposed at every opportunity.

    We know our Prime Minister agrees as he wrote an article saying that very clearly. But sadly he is a politician so can't be relied upon to follow up on his beliefs.

    But we need to send the message loud and clear: we know Islamophobia is bogus and we know why it is being promoted by manipulators like Warsi. It has been invented to protect a doctrine full of hate for just about everything we hold dear: democracy, free speech, our Judeo-Christian heritage, our classical heritage from the Greeks and Romans, the arts, music, gay culture, gender equality... and that's just the short version of the list.

    1. Playing devil's advocate here; I pretty much agree with everything you said BUT with regard to 'our classical heritage from the Greeks and Romans', I've seen it said many times that Arabic scholars were at least partially responisble for the translation and re-entry of many classical texts so that they could be brought back into Western Europe. Also perhaps 'back in the day' people in Muslim societies weren't as narrow-minded when in comes to other cultures as many in Muslim 'communities' are now.

    2. Yes, from what I've read, there is at least a little truth in what you state. The Islamic world, being relatively at peace within its borders, did help preserve classical texts.

      However, a lot of these were coming to them through looting of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, against which they waged an unrelenting religious war (Jihad) over a period of some 700 years. Had the Islamic world been at peace with the Byzantine Empire, the classical texts would likely not have been under threat.

      Also they destroyed many classical buildings (though Christians had done the same previously, it is true).

      I think it is misleading to claim that people in Muslim societies were less "narrow-minded" in past centuries. It's a complex picture I think.

      We have to remember that in much of their territory, Muslims were for decades or centuries an occupying force, ruling over a majority non-Muslim population from what you might call their "Green Zones" - fortified areas where they lived separately from the general population - and punishing any rebellions ruthlessly. People gradually converted to Islam to avoid having to pay the Jizya tax levied on non-Muslims, to avoid the humiliations placed on non-Muslims by Sharia law and to gain social advancement.

      Islam was more open to debate, discussion and inquiry in the first few centuries until further interpretation of the Koran was declared closed by one of the Caliphs.

      But Islamic society was always based on the idea that Muslims were superior citizens and non-Muslims were second class citizens, subject to all sorts of legal and informal depradations. Sharia law has always been clear that Christians and Jews were to be subject to oppressive treatment. Polytheists, such as Hindus, could not even expect to be allowed to live (although in reality, they were permitted to live and treated similarly to Jews and Christians).

  18. H/T to Guest Who on the "other channel"...

    Hugh's got his handbag out and has just walloped Andrew Marr.

  19. Looks like they had to swiftly take down the BBC Reality Check Team's inconclusive examination (yesterday) of whether Iran shot down the Ukrainian airliner.

    The Reality Check team have become as embarrassing to the BBC as the Revolutionary Guards have become to Iran's Mullahs.

    It's time they were disbanded, and the licence fee reduced accordingly.

    1. The BBC Reality Check twitter feed is absolutely appalling. Their bleating biases are obvious for all to see. There is no impartiality, hardly even the pretence of impartiality.

  20. More outrageous stuff from Sopel.

    He claims to be "impartial, free and fair".

    So he calls his account of the Trump presidency "A year at the circus" and the accompanying graphic shows the White House dressed up as a circus tent.

    FFS! Trump is probably one of the most effective Presidents ever (as we've just seen with the Iran crisis) and the ex University Labour Club chair is trying to make out he's a clown in a circus.

    This should be a sackable offence. How can he do his job effectively if he is spewing juvenile invective in the direction of the President of the USA?

    What would we think of a BBC journo who made fun of President Xi in books and on twitter while the BBC's Beijing resident correspondent? Can we imagine Katya Adler ever writing a satirical book about Juncker and Tusk or making fun of the EU Commission?

    Also - Trade Descriptions Act - he subtitles the book "Inside Trump's White House". One thing we know about Sopel is that he is persona non grata within the White House. He's just "Another Beauty". He has no special access to what goes on in the White House. Trump has complete (and rightful) disdain for him.

    This BBC bias has got to stop! Just sad, that we know Boris won't make it stop.

    Final point - how come do ALL BBC correspondents in the USA have so much time on their hands as to be able to publish regular books which they promote via their BBC connection? Is it because they really don't have to do much. I think that's the case.

    1. "‘From Kim Jong-un and Kavanaugh to Merkel and the Mueller Inquiry – this is your insider guide to the Washington Circus. Roll up, roll up…" - Jon Sopel.

    2. From the introduction to his book: "Yes, there are things that happen where you do sort of think that maybe Donald Trump is a Bond villain, stroking a white pussycat, while carefully figuring out every move that will ultimately deliver him world domination. But there are other times when this presidency is more Austin Powers than Ernest Blofeld".

  21. The BBCs favourite sportsperson has gone back to work after becoming a mother. Not only they, she has won her first title after having a baby.

    Wow, amazing. A long time ago my mum had a baby and yes, she went back to work. It was never reported though.

  22. Peter Hitchens is infuriated by the BBC:

    'Bushfire facts the biased BBC ignores

    ...I am sick almost to screaming of the BBC’s incessant coverage of the forest fires there.
    They do it only because it supports their fanatical preaching about man-made global warming. Actually, it doesn’t....'

  23. Prompted by Charlie's comment above, I had a look at the BBC's Tennis page on its Sport website.

    There's a news article about Roger Federer being taken to task by climate activists for his links with Credit Suisse. Okay.

    Then an image and a tweet from Federer about raising money for Australia and a paragraph explaining that. Fair enough.

    But this is the BBC and it isn't content to leave it there as a news story. There follows a heading 'More on the Australian bushfires' and a graph with a larger bold heading
    'How years compare with the 20th Century average' - followed by
    '2019 is on course to be in the top three warmest years'

    No opportunity must be missed to push the agenda.

    1. If is getting ridiculous. The key narratives are all pervading and are now linked to sport, business, celebrities, entertainment, TV programmes and just about everything else.

      That is propaganda rather than education.

  24. I saw a bit of Dateline today. When they began to discuss the Royal Family situation, a woman called Isabel Hilton - she's something to do with China - started going on about terrible racism blah blah. I groaned. A Canadian-born man now living here for ten years, informed us that the Royal Family is not important to most people and the Hilton woman added that the Royal Family is a soap opera, only to be crisply corrected by the man from Die Welt (Thomas?)pointing out that the monarchy is indeed important and part of British identity, at which she quickly back pedallled, claiming to have meant that was the tabloids' view. The Iranian woman on the panel said that contrary to the alleged racism, she had never experienced any and that the British were so open and warm.[Will she be asked back?]

    On looking up the Hilton woman, I see that she used to work for the BBC presenting radio programmes on the World Service and Radio 3. And has worked for the Independent and the Guardian among others.

    1. Isabel Hilton has also worked for openDemocracy, a PC Globalist proganda outfit, funded by George Soros amongst others. No surprise there, then!

      I have getting heartily sick of the way the BBC (and most of the MSM) are facilitating the charge of racism directed at Meghan Markle.

      The pattern usually follows:

      1. BBC journo raises the issue in a vague "Some say..." sort of way, maybe mentioning specifically that Meghan was mixed race.

      2. Someone involved in the discussion agrees this is a problem. They ramp it up by using words like "shocking" or "disgraceful".

      3. Someone else might point the finger at "the tabloids" or the "media" or - more tellingly, "social media".

      4. Now, the amazing thing about all this is (and I have seen several versions of this) no one ever - ever - gives a quote or cites a specific example of the alleged "racism". Of course, I can believe there is racism out there in social medialand, but then there always is, together with extreme class hatred, religious intolerance, criminal activity and so on. But you would think if there was racism at the heart of our society they would be able to give examples.

      5. Personally, it seemed to me that the tabloids pulled out all the stops to be kind and welcoming to Meghan. The froideur developed I think because inevitably the press had to follow the story of the fractures within Meghan's family, which led to the drama of her father not attending the wedding. The stories were reported in a nasty way - it was pretty factual reporting. However, it would be understandable if she didn't like her family difficulties being exposed in that way. It's nothing to do with racism. In the past nearly all the Royals have found themselves under such scrutiny.

      I think the disenchantment with Meghan Markle started when she became so very, very preachy about all manner of things. We don't respond to that very well. People didn't like it when Prince Charles started getting preachy. It's the hypocrisy that people don't like. Prince Phillip (minimum 4 kids) lecturing the world on overpopulation; Prince Charles, with all his wealth, calling for greater spirituality and less materialism.

      The pattern of disenchantment has been seen numerous times. Fergie fell into disfavour. Prince Andrew - once our favourite Royal - has now been cast into outer darkness. Princess Pushy was hated for seeking to cash in on Royal status.

      Given all those other examples, it is absurd to claim that disenchantment with Meghan has been motivated by racism. The fact is people are p'd off by their hypocritical preachiness (flying everywhere in private jets while moaning on about climate change), their rudeness to the Queen (despite their lying claims of loyalty to her), the suspicion that they are planning to exploit their Royal connection commercially, and their turning their back on this country. Also, I think people are very disappointed that there has been a rift between William and Harry. No one knows what has caused it but obviously it did follow on Meghan's appearance on the it's a bit like the Beatles and Yoko...she is going to get some blame for the break-up fairly or not.

    2. ...meant to write the stories were NOT written in a nasty way...there was clearly nastiness within the Markle family. It's not the fault of the British tabloids if that nastiness existed and was brought into the public sphere by family members. Remember, for all her "openness" about emotions, I don't think Meghan has ever talked openly about the problems within her family. Had she done so, I think she would have received a lot of sympathy, since such fractures are not exactly unknown to the population at large.

    3. Some people are obsessed with race, not least the BBC so when it became serious and they got engaged, it soon started, with the BBC interviewer asking them about race / mixed race or whatever term (which, they replied, wasn't something they'd focused on), Rachel Johnson writing some daft comment about enriching thin blue blood and various other media chatterers going on about a new modern more representative /inclusive etc monarchy, so it was never going to be left alone and she was never going to be treated by these 'woke' racially obsessed folk as simply an individual.
      Now they've turned it into some imagined or invented? racism of the UK / British people / the media once the relationship with the Royal Family and the media broke down.

    4. Forgot to mention there's a piece about it on Spiked

      No surprise to see an example of those using it as an opportunity to bang on about racism - does Afua Hirsch ever do anything else?

    5. Prince Harry and his runaway wife have given Rod Liddle a blueprint for his future career:
      'In my progressive new role, I'm stepping back from writing but keeping my salary'

    6. The only time I've ever seen Afua Hirsch looking happy rather than aggrieved was when she was dressed as the Fairy Princess on "The Pledge".

  25. A warning from the near future?

    The racialising BBC has started calling some of us "indigenous Britons" (reminds me, must get some woad in). Is that a first? I think it might be. I presume they mean by the phrase those with historical family roots in the islands but with a reprehensibly pale pigmentation.

    Apparently we are simple, pleasure-seeking folk too inebriated for work, a contrast with those industrious migrants from other climes who have come here to save our economy from certain collapse:

    "Around this time, Sunny often notices three distinct groups around him. It's a neat survey of modern London. There are those who came to this country for a better life, rushing to their pre-dawn cleaning jobs. Another group - mostly indigenous Britons - heads home from the nightclubs, talking loudly and cramming down fast food. And finally there are the homeless, those who have nowhere else to go, for whom buses are a place to rest."

    1. This article by Venetia Menzies shows us how the BBC expects us to accept life in London as the new norm. Where are the houses in London for all people like Sunny? It appears to me that London is under attack from third world culture, living standards and economy. Venetia Menzies seems to be Algerian? Her galleries are full of photos seeming to promote strong nationalism. As for Sunny:

      ...For more than two decades after his asylum application was rejected, Sunny found a safe haven aboard the buses that zigzag across London at night. What's it like to spend every night on the lower decks?...

      .... He sees his younger self, kneeling in prayer between the concrete walls of a Nigerian prison, waiting to be executed. His offence: struggling for democracy.

      A guard barges into the cell, lifts him to his feet and rushes him down silent corridors, out into blinding sunlight, where a car is waiting.

      Family and friends have bought his freedom, paying off everyone from the prison officials to the air hostess on the flight to London....

      It fills me with despair that Sunny can be considered to be a worthy role model. Perhaps this is the world-view message from the BBC - come to London - you'll get by - and you can rub shoulders with the "indigenous Britons".

    2. Is Venetia a journalist or an actress?

      Seems she has an acting career...

      I know she doesn't like people making assumptions but as there's nothing about her bio online one has to assume it's not a good "back story" as far as PC values go...she's probably from a very privileged background, independent school, wealthy family, and she realises her only chance of getting anywhere these days as a pale-faced ginger in acting or photography or indeed journalism is to go full-on pro PC, pro no borders, pro migrants, pro African peoples. If some interpret that as "anti-indigenous", all the better for her career.

      Still, anyone can call themselves a journalist. I am surprised (well, not really) to see the BBC allows someone on their news pages without making it clear they are not a member of the BBC staff.

      How do they vet that Ms Menzies is working within BBC editorial guidelines? Did she have someone standing over her the whole time from the BBC?

      Surely this should be dealt with under "the arts" as an art project for Will Gompertz to laud.

  26. Beeb Folk love referencing George Orwell don't they?
    Is it some kind of sick in-joke?

    Orwell left the BBC in part because he was disgusted with its lack of respect for the truth. Back then that had more to do with the Stalin's regime and the UK's hypocritical addiction to Empire while claiming to be fighting for liberty. Many of the motifs from 1984 relate directly to the BBC.

    We can never know for sure but I strongly believe that if Orwell were alive today he would be highly critical of the BBC's craven attitude to Islam and its promotion of PC weirdness (Orwell was strongly critical of the Fabian social progressives of his own time). He would also I think be shocked if not surprised that the BBC was now one of the strongest voices against free speech in the land.

  27. There are many ways to check the BBC's impartiality score...Here's one I prepared earlier:


    "Roger Scruton: Conservative thinker dies at 75"


    "Historian Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95"

    Yep, just "historian" not "Communist Historian" .

    And that's how they do it folks, drip by drip, dog-whistling when required.

    1. I thought Roger Scruton was a philosopher.

    2. Only lefties can be philosophers. Conservatives have been downgraded to thinkers. Or "bigots" as they would prefer to write if they thought they could get away with it...


    John (Simpson, not the mad one), thinks that only "elements" of the Iranian Mullah regime are "nasty, rebarbative & vindictive". So when you're getting your 100 lashes, just remember that: "Most of them are very nice."

    Incidentally I remember an Iris Murdoch novel where a pompous, vain and insecure schoolboy made frequent use of the word "rebarbative" in a desperate attempt to suggest maturity of thought where it was entirely lacking...

    Wise old bird that Iris!

    1. I used to be an avid reader of Murdoch's novels but didn't recall that until you mentioned it.
      It's not a word you see very often and I doubt the teenagers currently inhabiting the BBC would know it.

    2. A word I would use to describe Simpson himself.

  29. BBC in full genuflection mode:

    "Tributes pour in as Oman mourns Sultan Qaboos"

    From Wikipedia:

    "Oman is an absolute monarchy in which all legislative, executive, and judiciary power ultimately rests in the hands of the hereditary sultan, and in which the system of laws is based firmly on Islamic sharia. "

    " In the 2014 Global Slavery Index, Oman is ranked #45 due to 26,000 people in slavery."

    "Omani citizens need government permission to marry foreigners."

    "Female genital mutilation is permitted and widely accepted and practised"

    "The descendants of servant tribes and of African slaves who are considered to be of non-Arab blood are the objects of widespread discrimination."

    Sadly, the "world class" news gathering operation at the BBC seems not to be aware of any of this and has only been able to gather the news that the dead Sultan was "widely respected".

    Next week: why the Kims are good for Korea.

  30. Who says the BBC doesn't do comedy any longer?

    h/t BBBC:

    I guess there is within the BBC a pidgin phrase book with essential information: 'the' translates as 'di', 'talks' translates as 'toks' etc.

    1. I often listen to Pidgin Minute when I feel like a laugh.

    2. I thought Pidgin was mainstream on the BBC. Aren't we all supposed to be watching 'box sets' on 'Ahplayah' now?

    3. Yes, I've been wondering how best to write that particular word. Here's mine: 'Eye-playah'.

  31. The couple are the embodiment of multiculturalism and progressive values - said the voiceover on the BBC One news at 6pm when reporting about Harry and Meghan.

    The short sentence explains why the BBC have given the story such a soft ride since it broke. The BBC have neatly side stepped many of the contentious issues that should have been explained to the viewers. The entire organisation has been supportive and sympathetic.

    I’m struggling to think of anyone else in the public eye with such privilege and entitlement who would get this treatment.

    1. There's definitely more to this than meets the eye.

      I heard Harry's biographer, Angela Levin, indicate that the Harry and Meghan would be moving to Canada awaiting a change in the Presidency before moving to the USA (or, in Meghan's case returning there).

      This raises the interesting question of (a) whether her decision to seek out an English husband (something she told friends before Harry came on the scene she was looking for) was motivated by a desire to leave Trump's America (as many celebrities had claimed they would leave) and (b) whether her decision to relocate to Canada (and I believe it is her decision in effect) is motivated by Boris Johnson's election win - remembering that nutjob social progressives like her generally think Boris is a fascistic hate-crime propagator.

      Some of the above confirmed in this article:

  32. Oscars 2020: 9 snubs, surprises and snippets you may have missed.

    When I saw the headline on the BBC website tonight, I thought I might get to read something interesting.

    But instead I got your typical BBC virtue signalling, agenda driven, box ticking nonsense that drives me mad.

    It’s not clever, it’s not entertaining but instead the self conscious hand wringing is intended to stir up left wing liberals by dog- whistling identity politics.

    He is the list as it appears - you couldn’t make this one up Even if you tried very hard.

    1. 'Congratulations to those men' - No women have been nominated for best director

    2. Going backwards on diversity? - Nineteen of the 20 acting nominees this year are white

    3. Erivo in line for an EGOT - If Erivo does win, she will become only the second black best actress winner

    4. Jenny (JLo) from the block is blocked - It would also have been rare recognition for a Latin American performer.

    5. Rocketman fails to launch - the British actor has missed out on an Oscar nod.

    6. Beyonce's Spirit is broken - Not only have the Oscars missed the chance to get Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet, but they have also passed up the opportunity to give Beyonce a ticket.

    7. Frozen II frozen out - it's been left out in the cold when it comes to the best animation category

    8. The return of the Oscar darlings - Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks, Renee Zellweger

    9. A country for old men -
    In the best supporting actor category, the average age of the nominees is 71. Brad Pitt is the baby at 56, and will go up against Hanks (63), Joe Pesci (76), Al Pacino (79) and Sir Anthony (82)

    1. Caution: Teenagers at play.

  33. Over the last couple of years or so, Piers Morgan has become a pretty doughty defender of common sense.

    This is Piers blowing apart all the rubbish about criticism of Meghan Markle being motivated by racism. His sparring partner here is serial PC offender Ayesha Hazarika race-baiting away like there's no tomorrow - and there won't be if people like her come to dominate our country. We will become one big boiling pot of division and hatred if the Ayeshas get their hands on the levers of power.

    You can check in at 2:00 mins...first two mins are just warm-up.

    1. Alun Cochrane on the News Quiz last Friday informed the studio audience that the real reason for the criticism of Meghan Markle was racism. Predictably, the audience erupted in whoops and cheers. I am afraid the hunger for virtue signalling amongst the wokesphere is so great that race baiters like Ayesha Hazarika will always be free to shout down any voice of reason. There comes a point when the self-hatred of liberals becomes a hatred of everyone. This is the destructiveness of the left.

    2. It's a shame...Alun Cochrane is actually a better than average observational comedian. Very non-ideological really. But there must be some part of him telling him: "It's no good being just funny. You've got to signal your virtue!"

      The Left - for all their faults - were once, at least, interested in creating a strong society. But, as you suggest, they have now become a kind of perpetual hate machine.

      I really don't think socialists realise now how far they have made a devil's bargain with PC Billionaire ideology. PC Billionaires really don't have much interest in creating strong societies. For one thing, it's against their financial interests and, for another, strong societies are less influenced by their ideology.

      But it's the PC billionaires who fund most of the Far Left websites, who determine the direction of ideology (one moment Russia is your friend, then it's moment China is your enemy, then it's not), who determine what can be protested against and what cannot be protested...

      So, yes, Hazarika is allowed to spout her hateful bile with no real recriminations.

      But at least Piers Morgan did call her out.

      Is he getting to the end of his career one wonders?...he does seem to be talking more and more common sense as time goes by...

    3. This is rather relevant to the above:

  34. Daniel Sandford likes a film that covers up the Jihadist nature of the opposition to the Assad regime:

    "It has received criticism for being partisan (the filmmakers are supporters of the anti-Assad Syrian opposition). Journalist Rick Sterling noted that the film ignored or hid the nature of Al-Nusra Front, and accused Waad of foreign support: "Waad claims she is a citizen journalist but she has been paid and supplied by governments which have long sought the overthrow of the Syrian government." "

    Hardly surprising that a resident of the BBC Compound should like a film that misdirects people about the reality of the so called "Arab Spring" - essentially a pro-Caliphate Islamic uprising.

  35. BBC broadcaster John Simpson has accused the Government of 'limbering up' for a 'major attack' on the corporation.

    The BBC's world affairs editor, 75, believes the Conservatives want 'payback time' because the Prime Minister and his party 'feel bruised and damaged by the broadcasters.'

  36. It was most refreshing to see Dan Walker interview Boris this morning. Dan asked the questions and Boris replied. What could be simpler? Let's hope that Andrew Marr takes note of this innovative interview technique.

    All was well until soon after the interview, on the pavement outside No. 10, John Pienaar sought to deconstruct Boris's answers giving plenty of negative spin to them. Sorry John, that boat has sailed. We can all make up our own mind from what the PM said - without interruption.

    1. Yes, I saw that - civil and sensible but not afraid to ask tough questions. Just as it should be.
      I wonder how long before the Twitterati accuse Dan of giving him an easy ride.

  37. I've noticed something on Twitter. People with the #FBPE hashtag are quite mad but the ones who also add the spider symbol are even more deranged, one might say seriously pyschotic.

    1. And there's ex-BBC Clive Lewis. Don't know what hashtag he goes by but I see from the comments on Spiked that he's a Dalek - I don't know who they mean by the other Dalek MP in the Labour Party.

  38. Did this tweet clinch it for Darshini David, now appointed as a Global Trade Correspondent?

    Taking the p out of a senior Conservative Cabinet Minister can't have done her any harm.

    Also, creepy retweeting of all her senior colleagues' tweets must have helped.

    Also, finding the time to write and publish a book while on the job (to show her colleagues she's got the BBC work ethic) would have brought approbation.

    Looking through her twitter feed, it's otherwise all the usual stuff: anti-Tory spin on all economic news...good news followed by a "but" or simply explained away; pro PC, pro globalist beliefs on display. She welcomed the nonsense appointment of June Sarpong as the BBC's "Director of Creative Diversity" -or was it Diverse Creativity.

    1. BBC work ethic...when Orwell was at the BBC he wrote about how disorganised it was and that it was 'so overstaffed that numbers of people have almost literally nothing to do.' It was a long time ago but still there are people in high posts writing novels and others tweeting and twittering trivial stuff, eh John, to pass the time, so what has changed?


    Are Anna Soubry and Grace Blakely really the most qualified people in the country to comment on the Government's commerical policy (bailing out FlyBe)?

    Were they brought on because they could both relied upon to lay into Johnson whatever he's done?

    We know the BBC love the Far Left and telegenic Grace but Anna Soubry is a clapped out ex MP who has been proven wrong on just about everything. Why give her airtime? I think it's because they are trying to save the Soubry Brand...laying down a bit of groundwork for the forthcoming BBC Rejoin campaign.

    1. They like the Soubry because she used to be a television presenter or something like that in the media but I expect the excuse would be that she used to be a minister for business, which she loves to bang on about and Blakely is an economics spokesperson for it the New Statesman or some think tank?

    2. I do remember Soubry was a defence minister who didn't even know where some of the Royal Navy's ships were being built. Her ministerial responsibility when she was involved in business policy was for small businesses. I don't think FlyBe counts as a small business. All her predictions about Brexit have been wrong so far. She's not a credible commentator.

      Yes Grace B is with the New Statesman as an economics commentator - she's also a Labour Party apparatchik (sits on their National Policy Forum) - don't know if that was mentioned.

      I don't think she's a major figure in the world of economics. But she is very left wing.

  40. David Shuckman was banging the drum for climate alarmism on BBC News tonight - whole world will soon be burning with forest fires!

    As a counterbalance to that alarmism take a look at how well the Canadian government did with its predictions of similar dire consequences, dating from 2001. Six out of six predictions were wrong - by a very wide margin.

    This isn't to say climate isn't changing - it's always changing! But it is to say that, as the presenter observes, climate is complex and we don't really understand how all the causal factors interact.

    The BBC, like the Canadian government in 2001, has decided that the science is settled and we simply have to give credence to the most alarming predictions.

    1. We'd better not be planting all those trees for the good of the planet then.


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