Sunday 31 July 2022

July Open Thread


July by Edward Thomas

Naught moves but clouds, and in the glassy lake
Their doubles and the shadow of my boat.
The boat itself stirs only when I break
This drowse of heat and solitude afloat
To prove if what I see be bird or mote,
Or learn if yet the shore woods be awake.
Long hours since dawn grew, - spread, - and passed on high
And deep below, - I have watched the cool reeds hung
Over images more cool in imaged sky:
Nothing there was worth thinking of so long;
All that the ring-doves say, far leaves among,
Brims my mind with content thus still to lie.

Thank you for your support and comments.

Here we go again

Some things never seem to change. Rod Liddle’s article in the Sunday Times has a segment about a Jewish student at Leeds university who ‘failed’ her sociology degree.

“Danielle Greyman had written about the use of human shields by Hamas and clearly failed to qualify her arguments by adding the rider “which is the legitimate voice of the oppressed Palestinian people in their righteous fight against the Zionist entity”. An outside examiner said the 23-year-old’s essay should have passed.

You get good grades these days only by agreeing with the adolescent views of the lecturers."

Never mind “These Days!” Because ..........

in 2005 “right-wing journalist Melanie Phillips” published an email on her website which she had received from a student at Aberystwyth. The student complained that:

[T]he only way to really succeed within the university industry is to pander to the prejudices of the academic staff; anything that differs with the anti-Semitic orthodoxy results in rather harsh marking. When I first went to university, I came with the naive belief that study at such an institution was about the pursuit of knowledge and truth; it is about lies, propaganda and the worst sort of prejudice. [2]

The student claimed that ‘most of the academic staff [believe] that all the world's current ills can be attributed to the activities of the US and Israel, and those that can't are the result of our colonial legacy.’ 

2005 is what, 17 years ago? Yes, that was Aberystwyth rather than Leeds, and the academics whose political agenda tainted the course were  convener Dr Marie Breen Smyth and Dr Richard Jackson rather than the academic who assessed the Leeds essay, namely 

 “Claudia Radiven, studied under Shaikh and Sayyid, specializing in Islamic law, Islamic theology, and Islamic finance, with a special interest in rehabilitation of convicted terrorists.”

I looked at other reports about the latest incident.

Under the header: “Jewish student sues Leeds University 'after being given fail in sociology assignment for not criticising Israel’” the Daily Mail, for example, has published a substantial number of readers’ responses, the majority of which defend the university and criticise the student for ‘one-sidedness’.

Yes, her essay was one-sided. Perhaps the commentariat in their wisdom couldn’t grasp the idea that her study had a specific brief: “crimes committed by Hamas against Palestinians” and not (thanks for small mercies) “a study of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.”

In any case, would the demands for ‘putting the other side’ be equally abundant had the essay been titled “the Israeli state carries out acts of violence” or any similar ‘adolescent’ left-wing idiocy? 


As discussed on the open thread, here's the running orders of the main BBC One news bulletins since Friday...

Friday News at One
1. 'Wagatha Christie' trial
2. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Friday News at Six
1. 'Wagatha Christie' trial
2. Calls for compensation in blood scandal
3. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Friday News at Ten
1. Commonwealth Games
2. Calls for compensation in blood scandal
3. 'Wagatha Christie' trial
4. Cost of living
5. Ukraine War
6. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Saturday 1pm Weekend News
1. Train strikes
2. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Saturday 5pm Weekend News
1. Train strikes
2. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Saturday 10pm Weekend News
1. England women's football final the next day
2. Fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old girl in Lincolnshire

Get offa ma TV!

The Sunday Times reports that Eastenders has dipped below one million viewers for the third time this month - “ratings to make BBC bosses quake” - and quotes former producers, writers and directors describing it as in “terminal decline”; “unsalvageable”; “toast”. 

The problem with pulling the plug though is that the BBC overspent to the tune of £86.7 million on a new set, which one former executive calls “the broadcaster’s HS2”. 

What's the issue? Well, here are some suggestions from the Sunday Times report:
There is a disconnect between the audience and those making EastEnders. One called it “a series for Brexit Britain written by Remainers”. He says: “There are too few people sympathetic to the concerns and experiences of characters in the show — they don’t know what it’s like to sign on or do a manual job.” Another former producer adds: “EastEnders is no longer a show reflecting audiences lives back to them . . . It has lost its identity. It’s also sensationalised.”

I did watch it for the first ten years then gave up because it was so miserable - which, to be fair though, it always had been.

“Will you stop that coughing?”

The Mail on Sunday reports that “BBC chiefs” blocked plans to bring back The Fast Show's coughing Bob Fleming “over fears his affliction may offend Covid sufferers”. The character was cut from last year’s Christmas special of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. “A production source” told the paper:
A decision was taken to drop the sketch. It is important to remember Covid was really rampant at the time.

A lot of viewers would have found the sight of a man persistently coughing unfunny and upsetting.

Consequently, both the production company and BBC decided not to go ahead with the sketch.

It was very disappointing as the whole production were thrilled to have Charlie Higson join them on location. But under the circumstances, it was the right decision.

I suspect one of Bob Fleming's colleagues, Jed Thomas, would have summed this up perfectly:

Saturday 30 July 2022

Roger, Over and Out

Roger Harrabin is no longer the BBC's environment [activist] analyst. It was his final day this week.

Earlier today, he tweeted:
I've finally left BBC after 35 years on the environment. Thanks everyone for the tributes. Many brought me to tears. The one I like best was from UN's Nick Nuttall: "BBC without Roger is like solar power without sun, gin without tonic, the Muppets without Kermit."
Among the tributes he received this one stood out for me from green campaigner Jonathon Porritt:
You’ve been a total star, Roger - thank God the idiotic BBC didn’t know what you were up to during all those dark days of them insisting on ‘balance’ in their climate coverage! 
Roger replied, "Thanks".

I think it's fair to say that even if "the idiotic BBC didn't know" plenty of people on blogs like this were well aware of "what [he was] up to".

Talking of which, I've lost count of the number of times I've recycled that 'the BBC's environment [activist] analyst' crack over the years - a crack it's now time to finally retire and turn into regenerative compost. 

“Neighbours, Everybody needs diverse neighbours”

Thursday's Newsnight marked the end of the sunny Australian soap Neighbours. Kirsty Walk's introduction contained this modish take, worthy of a Guardian column:
Although it became more diverse in later years, its heyday was just bland, mostly young, usually attractive heterosexual white Australians living unremarkable lives.

Lots of people loved it nonetheless. 

Wednesday 27 July 2022


Guest post by Arthur T

The BBC’s coverage of the World Athletics Championships 2022 finished on Monday 25th July. The problem has been that coverage was a day old throughout (perhaps BBC Sport hadn’t paid for live coverage) - we heard of medal successes in the news bulletins hours beforehand - quite bizarre as in the next day’s programmes the pundits breathlessly enthused, apparently in advance of each event, over the chances of their favoured few in a programme that was clearly recorded - but acted out as ‘live’ - pretending to build up the drama of a live event.

Here is the Radio Times trailer: 'World Athletics Championships presenters on BBC: Meet the pundits and commentators. Your complete guide to the presenters, experts and commentators guiding you through the World Athletics Championships live on BBC this summer. Who is presenting World Athletics Championships coverage on TV? Jeanette Kwakye – Team GB Olympic sprinter.’ Other presenters were (in RT order) Denise Lewis, Colin Jackson, Michael Johnson, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Steve Cram, Steve Backley and Paula Radcliffe.

The only GB gold medal was won by a Scot, Jake Wightman (born in Nottingham), who hadn’t featured very much in the build-up - this, in the 1500m - an event made famous in the past by Coe, Ovett and Cram, and in which Team GB have an outstanding record. Wightman beat Norwegian Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigsten into second place.

The only Team GB silver medal was won by Keely Hodgkinson in the 800m. The other five medals won by Team GB were bronze. The information is available from BBC Newsround:

Saturday 23 July 2022

'BBC Betrayal'

'The Thunderer' thunders:

The Times view on Tiggy Legge-Bourke and Panorama: BBC Betrayal
The corporation treated Princes William and Harry’s former nanny disgracefully

That the former nanny to Princes William and Harry should have been defamed by a false rumour that she had become pregnant by Prince Charles is scandalous. That this rumour should have emanated from the BBC is appalling. And that in order to extract an apology from the corporation she has had to wait a quarter of a century and take it to court is beyond belief.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke, as she was called when she worked for the royal family, was a victim of a scheme cooked up by Martin Bashir, a BBC reporter, in 1995 to persuade Princess Diana that those around her were in league with her husband and conspiring against her. Bashir hoped this would persuade the princess to grant an interview to the BBC’s Panorama programme.

The plan involved spreading a false rumour that Ms Legge-Bourke, now known as Alexandra Pettifer, had had an abortion as a result of an affair with Prince Charles. According to a joint statement by Pettifer and the BBC, released as part of a court settlement, Princess Diana believed this rumour; not even the sharing of private medical information would persuade her it was untrue. Ms Pettifer says that her life was scarred by it. Ms Pettifer was one of many harmed by Bashir’s wicked scheme, most notably the princess and her family. Prince William said last year, when Lord Dyson’s report into the deceit and cover-up was published, “it brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to [my mother’s] fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her”.

Other victims included those brave enough to question Bashir’s methods. Matt Wiessler, a graphic designer who became suspicious about how his work was being used by the reporter, was never allowed to work for the BBC again. Mark Killick, a Panorama producer, was fired 24 hours after raising concerns about how Bashir had got that interview, and was subsequently defamed.

The financial cost to the BBC is considerable. It is to pay Ms Pettifer £200,000 in damages; it has paid Commander Patrick Jephson, Princess Diana’s former private secretary, £100,000, and Mr Killick £50,000; last year it agreed a settlement with Mr Wiessler worth potentially £750,000. Lord Dyson’s review cost £1.4 million, and the BBC has paid £1.5 million to a charity chosen by the royal family.

The cost to the corporation’s reputation is incalculable. At a time when the rise of streaming platforms is undermining the BBC’s economic raison d’être, one of the main justifications for its continued financing through the licence fee is a moral one. The BBC should represent, at home and to the rest of the world, the highest standards in broadcasting. In the lies told and the pain caused in the making of this programme, it has fallen far from that aspiration.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s director-general, took the opportunity of the settlement with Ms Pettifer to apologise to her, to the Prince of Wales and to William and Harry. The Panorama programme, he said, would never be screened again, in Britain or elsewhere. After many years of near-silence from the corporation’s leaders, Davie’s profuse apology is welcome, but it is not enough. The BBC has yet to come clean about who was to blame for the cover-up of Bashir’s duplicity. If it is to regain the moral authority that a public-service broadcaster should enjoy, it needs to do so now.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

'hasta la vista, baby’

This post has little to do with the BBC. I'm not speaking for Craig here, but I rarely watch it now so I’m afraid that might be the direction this blog is veering towards. But you never know.

I don’t think I’m the only one who’s suffering from buyer's remorse. I’m talking about Boris, obviously, but I didn’t particularly buy into Boris's defenestration in the first place, at any rate not enough to cause remorse. I am genuinely sorry to see him go, even if I do think he is starting to look gleeful about it himself.  I was beginning to wonder if the Ukraine business had an element of deflection about it. 

I never bought the argument that it was the ‘lying’ wot done it, and I wasn’t completely persuaded by the  'lack of political integrity’ argument because I think charisma all but overrides the rest of it. 

Maybe it’s all Carrie’s fault. (The wallpaper! And that ain’t the half of it.) 


Several commentators seem to be expressing regret too.  Because just look at who we’re left with. 

Rishi reduced his chances in one fell swoop in the ITV ‘debate’ (It wasn’t a debate) by posing a pair of questions that gifted Liz Truss a massive open goal, which she duly took advantage of, simultaneously hitting the back of the net and revealing a worrying lack of perspicaciousness in her suddenly sheepish-looking interlocutor.

Penny Mordaunt has excellent hair, but it just wasn’t enough to counteract that MCB blunder. 

Kemi Badenoch is the most promising, but maybe she’s positioned herself even better (fortuitously) for the future. 

Anyway, it’s too late now. If it’s Liz, a good hairdresser can do wonders. A bit of body; that’s the way to do it.

Too even-handed

I should have called my previous post “If you didn’t laugh you’d have to cry.“ Was I being a bit too hard on the Guardian yesterday when I criticised it for giving equal credence to both sides of the antisemitism debacle during the Corbyn era? 

Who bears the blame for not grasping the fact that antisemitism is actually more troublesome than the retaliatory unpleasantness it engenders? The report itself? Martin Forde QC? The Guardian, Labour List?  One might even consider giving the Guardian a small Brownie point for being the first to mention the report at all. (When I was in the Brownies there wasn’t much emphasis on the badge-attaining side of it, but the uniform had a certain je ne sais quoi)

I see that the BBC has now weighed in. 

Anti-Semitism used as factional weapon within Labour, says report

Surprise. Firmly on the Guardian side of the fence. The Beeb’s version seems more Guardinista-like than the actual Guardian’s version. Illustrated with a massive Labour Party red rosette, the BBC’s emphasis is firmly placed on the principle known as “a plague on both their houses”.

"The dossier found "no evidence" of anti-Semitism being handled differently from other complaints and blamed "factional opposition" towards Mr Corbyn. "

This morning’s Times seems less equivocating and the picture they’ve used to illustrate the piece says quite a lot too. The uniform also has that je ne sais quoi.

So far the btl comments in The Times seem to be mainly from folk who abhor antisemitism. Their ‘takeaway’ from the report must be similar to mine. (That antisemitism is real and it’s not pretty)

I  don’t know if any of the aforementioned left-wing platforms allow comments, but I fear they would be as ‘even-handed’ about the matter as ever. 

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Let's go back to the old days.

This is a blog about the BBC, but as you probably know, I  do tend to wander off-topic. However, here’s something that definitely does concern the BBC.  It’s an op-ed by Peter Baum, published in Israel National News Arutz Sheva.

The BBC – Way past its sell by date

The BBC has a problem with the truth. The BBC has a problem with the Jewish State of Israel. Blacks do not matter to the BBC either. Op-ed.

This headline, if not the article itself - is a tad sensationalist, but never mind. It’s worth a read, but it’s also worth mentioning that on other occasions the author has come in for criticism from the Board of Deputies for making ‘unacceptable remarks’ 

While the Board (and its president Marie van Der Zyl) is inclined to be excessively cautious - some might say verging on obsequious and/or appeasing - one can almost understand the desire not to rock the boat at a time when antisemitism is on the rise and the dwindling number of British Jews in the UK feel uneasy.

It took Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and those egregiously antisemitic shenanigans in the Labour Party to (finally) draw outright criticism from the Board, but arguably, that made their intervention a lot more significant than if they’d squandered their credibility by firing off accusations willy-nilly.

Now another bombshell has dropped, and I don’t really know what to make of it. Actually, it popped into our sidebar in the form of a new piece in the Guardian! 

Antisemitism issue used as ‘factional weapon’ in Labour, report finds.

Well I never! 

But if you read the actual article, the Guardian seems to give equal credence to the two opposing “factions”.  Correct me if I’m wrong because I haven’t got the stamina to digest it properly at the moment (Too hot) but my personal ‘first glance’ summary boils it down to:

"Faction A accuses faction B of antisemitism, while Faction B’s counter-accusation is that  - I don’t know - faction A is being mean and spiteful."

Possibly a little more nuanced than that, but this remark makes the whole thing look ridiculous:

“In simple terms, each faction believed the other had ‘started it’ ….”


Come on kiddies! Get a grip!


  In a similar vein, I ploughed through most of the Oldham Council meeting in which members of the council (plus Andy Burnham) were made to listen and to express regret and contrition over the way everyone mishandled the grooming gang scandal. 

I have to admit that shocking as this was to watch, there was a comical element to it. In fact there’s a massive politically incorrect comical element to all of this. The characters are outrageously lampoonable, as are all politicians, councillors, perpetrators  and even victims.

I wish we could go back to the olden days when we could get away with a really vicious “Spitting Image” ridiculing the whole lot of it. Could do with a laugh.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Where's Timmy?

Q; Is Tim Davie still there? I understood that the remit - the principal raison d’être for installing a fresh DG  was to address, (and rectify) the BBC’s bias. Or the public’s perception of the BBC’s bias.

Oh, I think I’ve answered my own question.

A; The public doesn’t have much of a perception of the BBC’s bias because where certain topics are concerned (e.g., Middle East politics) the ‘perception’ in question is largely gleaned via (Through the lens of) the BBC. A self-fulfilling, circular chicken-and-egg scenario.

(Sorry for all the parentheses.) (It’s because of  the heat)

Now, let’s begin with our old friend (Well, the BBC’s old friend) Abdel Bari Atwan. (On Dateline they like to call him ‘Barry’ - a sign of affection.  (For some reason) 

He was temporarily cancelled (allegedly) for saying some pretty nasty things while accidentally using English rather than Arabic, the language in which he expresses his real feelings about the Jews. 

As Craig mentioned, I’ve speculated about this temporary absence already. 

“Oh yes, and has anyone noted the recent absence of the BBC’s most ubiquitous guest on Dateline London recently?   One of his rants has apparently been removed from YouTube but does anyone know if his recent (semi) withdrawal from our BBC screens is a coincidence or part of Tim Davie’s nascent decontamination project? Yes, I’m talking about “Barry Atwan or ‘arry Batwan.


 Haven’t seen Mr Atwan lately. Did he creep away quietly, or was there a showdown? (Asking for a few million friends.)"

This is getting just like that post all over again. I seem to have just regurgitated (from the same post) the following:

This is almost unbelievable when you consider that Tim Davie was supposed to be addressing the bias. I understood that the BBC’s entire raison d’être for co-opting Tim Davie to the maelstrom  — bringing him aboard - was to iron out the bias once and for all!  But when? This year, next year, sometime never?  

Never mind. We are as repetitive as needs be. And it seems my speculation was nowt but wishful thinking. Barry hasn’t been cancelled.

Neither has our old friend (Well, the BBC’s old friend) Jeremy Bowen. One might also call him ‘friend of this blog’ in the sense that typing Jezza’s name into our search box brings up pages and pages of content. 

Nothing changes. Nothing is ever properly “addressed”. 

Jeremy Bowen is widely known for his pro-Palestinian take on everything connected with the topic. His well-documented grudge against Israel after the killing of his Palestinian driver, which came about largely because of Bowen’s recklessness. (Are there echoes of a similar recklessness in Shireen Abu Ackleh’s “wrong place at the wrong time” shooting?)

It was probably wishful thinking on my part that gave Bowen’s transfer to Ukraine a benefit-of-the doubt-like passing fancy, namely that he’s been whisked away from one (metaphorical) potential danger zone (sullying the BBC’s reputation with his dreadful bias against Israel) to another (physical) one. A fresh start with a comparatively clean slate. 

But no. He’s back, yet again in the same old danger zone, stirring up antisemitism for all he’s worth.  Tim Davie, what are you thinking?

David Collier and Hadar Sela have gone into detail about this particular report of Bowen’s. 

Ostensibly covering Joe Biden’s visit to the region, Bowen’s communiqué shamelessly manipulates language while sidestepping the actual news (The Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration) to reiterate what -  in his own words- “has all been said before”.

Here we are. Blatantly biased images, highly selective and misleading film clips, and the same old distortions - they’re all back - with a vengeance!

Tim Davie, are you there? Wake up! 

Of course, writing this is a complete waste of time. Take the killing of Shireen Abu Ackleh, who is fast turning into the new Mohammad al-Dura. Even the Guardian’s forced retraction, following the same breach of the Editors’ Code of Practice (importance of distinguishing between fact and opinion), couldn’t deter Bowen from boldly repeating the same violation. 

He’s becoming increasingly audacious because he knows he can get away with it. The public (new generation) 'doesn’t know any better, and it’s not hard to see the BBC’s cavalier 'free pass' to disinformation as a contributing factor to the news that antisemitism is on the rise.

I wanted to make a nod to Harry’s Place. I don’t think many (any) of the regulars over there are aware of this blog, but we’re aware of theirs. (Nods) 

Saturday 16 July 2022

New Normal

I gather Jeremy Bowen has been snatched from Ukraine to cover Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia. 

I rarely listen to the BBC. I’m finding it increasingly unbearable. I have Radio 4 as the default wake-up alarm, but always have to turn it off in dismay. It’s beyond repair. What is Tim Davie doing? Nothing has changed. People are still calling for the Balen Report to be revealed. As if!

The Jewish Chronicle asks:

Why did BBC ignore 99% of attacks on Israelis?

Meanwhile, the corporation reported 89% of Israel’s responding counter-terror operations

"I’ve been reading a fascinating report from the Israel Security Agency on terror attacks, which took place last month and how these were reported. Or, more accurately, not reported.

There were 189 terror incidents against Israelis in June — which was more than six per day. These included 117 attacks with petrol bombs, 42 with pipe bombs, 16 arson attacks, 11 shootings and two stabbings. There was also a rocket attack directed at the southern city of Ashkelon."

The Muslim narrative has irreversibly taken hold. It’s too late to bring the BBC back to something resembling reasonableness, fairness, and normality.  Antisemitism is the new normal.

Who’s sorry now?

Can we talk about Telford now or must we wait till the Conservative leadership race is over?

I don’t think (at the time of writing) any of the Conservative leadership candidates have set out their policy on culturally sensitive issues surrounding the grooming gang phenomenon?

At least - or at last - the BBC has acknowledged the “Telford” report. Telford child sex abuse went on for generations, inquiry finds

Up until now, vociferously politically correct ‘anti-racists’ have, with mind-boggling hypocrisy, stifled and suppressed campaigners against the grooming gang phenomenon. People have long been dismissed as Islamophobes for trying to raise awareness of C.S.E. (child sexual exploitation) by “predominantly Pakistani Muslim men.”

From 2020

  A new Home Office report admits grooming gangs are not a ‘Muslim problem’. 

"If we really want to tackle this issue, we have to stop fixating on the lurid and false distraction of “Muslim grooming gangs”.[…]

The past decade has shown that too many people in power are insufficiently concerned when sexual abusers are not from Asian or Muslim backgrounds. Their hypocrisy fails victims and damages prevention efforts."


Okay then. If you say so. It’s imaginary; and racist.

Recently the redoubtable Mark Steyn has featured CSE victims Samantha Woodhouse and Samantha Smith on GB News. Good for him. Better late than never.  

Still, no respectable anti-CSE campaigner can risk being associated with bad-boy Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) whose ‘political awareness’ originated long ago in Luton alongside fellow Lutonian Stacey Dooley. 

Robinson appeared to be his own worst enemy. Accused of "bringing hatred and division to the town.” he played into the hands of his detractors. Various bad choices led to him being pilloried, imprisoned, and bankrupted  On the other hand, Stacey Dooley shot to fame, fortune, and BBC stardom. 

 Jan 31, 2022

 1,000 girls abused and raped by Asian gangs while police looked the other way.

Tommy Robinson brought Telford to the public’s attention way before the press and the media were forced to acknowledge the problem let alone admit the scale of it. Might Robinson deserve a glimmer of recognition from the likes of Mark Steyn? Had the media done ‘the right thing’ in the first place might things have turned out differently?

'Complaints from both sides' time again

This week's Newswatch, minus Samira Ahmed, began with a classic example of 'complaints from both sides'.

First, entering Stage Left, came viewer Paul Morgan writing:
BBC News appears to have become campaign HQ for the leadership contest of the Conservative party [sic, for the lower case 'p' there]. Huge swathes of your bulletins and news channel handed over to the campaign and a breaking news alert from the BBC app every time one of the candidate sneezes. How much would all this free electioneering cost the Conservative party [sic, again] if they had to pay for it.
This, of course, is silly. Whoever wins this will become Prime Minister, and that matters. And the BBC always goes OTT for leadership races. I remember vividly the endless post-Gordon Brown BBC Labour leadership coverage in the opening years of David Cameron's coalition government - the one that so triumphantly results in Ed Miliband becoming leader. That, despite the BBC's lavish coverage, didn't help Ed's Labour win in 2015. And this Conservative leadership coverage won't be 'free electioneering' either if all the squabbling results in an impression of disunity and leads to electoral disaster in 2024 under someone who can't win over the public - especially if the media steers it against them.

Meanwhile, entering Stage Right, came other viewer Peter Staker, writing:
With bated breath I turned on at 6pm to see which of the candidates were progressing to the first round of voting. What did I see? The first item was about Sir Mo Farah being trafficked as a child to the UK - an advert for the BBC's programme tomorrow night. The second item was regarding possible murders committed by the SAS in Afghanistan years ago, an advert for tonight's Panorama programme. Who progresses with the opportunity of being Prime Minister IS news, hearing about forthcoming BBC documentaries isn't.

Peter's points - unlike Paul's - are perfectly sensible. The BBC's obsession with adverts for itself seriously risks getting in the way of proper news reporting.  

Eilidh Barbour will need smelling salts

Wonder if Eilidh Barbour and her BBC team were watching the World Athletics on BBC One this afternoon? This winning Dominican Republic team was 100% non-diverse:
And the presenting/commentating team in the BBC studio was also 100% non-diverse:
It's almost as if black people are too good at running fast and beating everyone else. And too good at presenting and commentating on athletics.

Over to Eilidh: “All members of the winning Dominican Republican team and all the people presenting and commentating for the BBC were black, and that does point towards a lack of diversity both in athletics in the Dominican Republic and in BBC presenting/commentating on athletics programmes. What is to be done? Over to Alex Belfield for a report.”

Glad to be back?

It goes to show that you can't keep a not-so-good man down...

Back in April, Sue wondered whatever happened to Dateline London favourite Abdel Bari Atwan, the Palestinian journalist with a very, very deep hatred of Israel?
We dared to hope but, alas, he was back on Dateline London today, being invited to talk about Israel.

He's back in the BBC fold then.

He was on his best  behaviour though. No praising terrorism, or wild ranting, and laughs and sweetness and light with Shaun and 'Abdel Bari'.

His comeback tour won't last long though as the show's being cancelled by the BBC.

BBC Scotland's former lawyer complains to Ofcom about BBC pro-SNP bias

Alistair Bonnington, Head of Legal at BBC Scotland from 1992 to 2008, used to fight off claims of BBC bias from angry Scottish nationalists. Now he's made an official complaint to Ofcom about what he describes as the BBC's “slavishly biased” coverage of the SNP, saying:
If a "breach of the duty of impartiality" case were brought against the BBC in the Scottish courts tomorrow, I would expect the BBC to lose, and lose comprehensively. That's because BBC Scotland is so obviously partial in its political news output today slavishly biased in favour of the SNP who now form the devolved Holyrood government.
The Scottish Daily Mail also quotes Prof. Tim Luckhurst, a former BBC editor, saying:
My impression is that the BBC is under extreme pressure to do as the SNP wishes it to do. Many of the BBC's young journalists appear to have nationalist sympathies. Several former BBC staff have joined the cause. Alistair Bonnington is astute and brave - he has identified a flaw that others have detected but chosen not to name.

It will be fascinating to see where this leads. 

Is this the right time to try it? Part 2

The BBC has spoken. Marco Silva, the corporation's Climate Change Disinformation Specialist, has ruled that claims on social media and from “various right-wing US and UK outlets that green policies” - in the form of the Rajapaksa government's 2021 seven-month ban on imports of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides - caused the collapse of the Sri Lankan economy are FALSE

If put like that, it's obviously false. Lots of factors contributed to the collapse. The question is did this move to promote organic farming play its significant part too?

It's a peculiar article. As well as its line-up of experts, claiming it wasn't a sincere policy and that the problem with it was that it was brought in too quickly, you get those little words like 'just' doing their work of nudging:
The government dropped the policy, just seven months after introducing it, following widespread protests.
But seven months of a complete ban on the imports of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides is hardly a short period of time for such a drastic policy, is it? And note the use of the word 'old' here:
But this week, as the presidential palace was stormed, many were quick to blame this old policy.
It's not that old. It ended just over half a year ago and had a major impact on the entire growing season in 2021. And half way through you get this:
And while banning chemical fertilisers indisputably hurt the economy, experts say several other factors contributed.
So if the ban indisputably hurt the economy and was a factor that contributed to the collapse, then how much did it contribute?

Isn't this Reality Check a spot of BBC greenwashing?

Here's what the BBC wrote about it in May under the headline Sri Lanka: Why is the country in an economic crisis?: