Friday 18 June 2021

June Continuing Open Thread

It's very much time for June and a new open thread. 

Hello all, and thank you all for continuing to comment.

GB News (?)


I quite like GB News. Once they've sorted out the sound. And the vision. It isn't really "News" though, is it?

Personal Feelings Matter.

What an idiot I am; and an absolute fool for wasting all those precious hours-I’ll-never-get-back trying to be forensic and scrupulous and providing evidence in links that no one can ever be bothered to click on. 

Why on earth did I mistake diligence for persuasiveness? I was mad, probably visualising justice, like in the good old black and white days when truth prevailed, and all 12 angry men came round in the end against all the odds even though they were impatient, tired, and dying to get home to snap at the wife and kids.

I’m prone to over-thinking and quite slow on the uptake but thankfully I’ve seen the light praise be!  I now realise that no one cares about facts. Sorry, “facts”.

I accidentally watched part of a special parliamentary inquiry into MartinBashirGate on T V.  The one where a select committee of MPs sit in a socially distanced horseshoe in order to humiliate certain hand-picked individuals and make them squirm. It reminded me of a cross between a severe dressing down by a committee of headmasters, and an interrogation by the European Court of Human Righteousness.

To be fair It was shown on the actual BBC. Tony Hall, Alistair Burt, and the current D.G. Tim Something-or-other came in for a grilling. 

“Nowt to do with us, gov” 

they declared, one by one. 

“It was that rogue Bashir. How could we have known? None of us had ever even heard of him”. 

(Funny dat. I’d heard of him and I’m not even a Director General of a major broadcasting organisation) 

“and anyway” 

they continued, 

“Bashir’s errant Panorama was a one-off, because believe me (us) Brand Panorama represents gold standard BBC.”

 But what about a certain Mr. Savile, asked no-one whatsoever, and a certain John Sweeney? Weren’t they Panoramas too? Or Panodramas as per a recent, witty jest.

You may well think that all Panoramas Matter, but poor little Martin Bashir was thrown under the bus and hung out to dry; don’t feel too sorry for him though because he’s still on full pay! Not that I can be arsed to check that out as a fact, what really matters is it’s how. I. feel.


This individual no longer works for the BBC.

Early reports of Tala Hawala’s departure from the BBC didn’t say she was sacked (this headline seems to have been added as an afterthought) but we can assume that she has been. Or perhaps she fell on her sword; who knows.

Don’t let’s compare historic Tweets.  I didn’t bother to find out what Ollie Robinson’s offensive Tweets actually were. For all I know, he too Tweeted “Hitler was right”, perish the thought,  and even if he did, it probably wouldn't have affected his cricketing expertise, whereas Ms. Hawala’s Hitler Tweets directly compromised her ability to report on Palestine/Israel affairs with due impartiality in accord with her employers' charter obligations. 

 I don’t think Naz Shah needs to be impartial - in fact, the opposite - her role is to represent her constituency. The media has shown little interest in the disingenuousness that has dogged her political career, but I guess that’s up to them. I watched her speaking in an HoC select committee debate. It seems it was one of those online ‘e-petitions’ that MPs are obliged to debate when a certain number of signatures have been reached. Is it 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? 

Shah’s speech was so selective with the actualité that she became a one-man select committee all on her ownsome. This link takes you to Hansard but watching it might help you understand why l found it utterly repugnant. 


As Melanie Phillips noted, 

During a debate on “Israel-Palestine” on Monday, Labour MPs called for a boycott of Israel.[…] Bradford MP Naz Shah, who has a history of anti-Jewish remarks, described Israel’s understanding of the right to self-defence as “perverted” and said if any more “Palestinian blood” was “unjustly spilled” she would push for Israel to be tried for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.

I think as many as two whole MPs stood up for Israel. One was Cornish MP Steve Double. Good for him! This disproportionality (to coin a phrase) largely stems from the media’s (Not only the BBC - Sky is as bad if not worse) one-sided reporting, which often amounts to rabble-rousing. I truly believe that this accounts for and has emboldened an increasingly overt resurgence of antisemitism.

Steve Baker was disappointing; Afzal Khan was predictable and Rushanara Ali was lazy enough to do little more than articulate how sorry she was that not enough Jews were killed by Hamas but one must assume that’s exactly what their constituents ask of them.

While I should be pleased that the BBC’s Tala has been cancelled I find her martyrdom curiously uncomfortable. Maybe she should have been given a chance to repent, just like Naz Shah pretended to do after being called out for her own embarrassing Tweet. Perhaps Shah’s short-lived repentance was short-lived and disingenuous enough to discredit the entire concept of repentance. 

As for the heavily anti-Israeli weighting and the dearth of opposing viewpoints throughout that grim HoC debate, I blame the BBC.  Several generations of viewers have been swayed by over 60 years of biased, borderline antisemitic news coverage.