"But I stole this for you,"says the plunderer

Further to Natalie’s excellent fisk of Dr Runciman, here’s King Banaian at Hot Air:

Responding to the election of Scott Brown, the BBC carries a column by David Runciman, a British academic political scientist of high birth (how else to describe someone whose Wikipedia entry notes his viscountcy?) that cannot understand why town halls are filled with people repulsed by Democrats health care reform… My friend Marty Andrade tweeted this link with the comment “But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?”

Recommended

As an antidote to the BBC’s take on American affairs I can recommend the first Ricochet podcast with Rob Long, Peter Robinson and Mark Steyn. On the evidence of this opening broadcast, in which they’re joined by former Dubya Justice Dept lawyer John Yoo, it will be a weekly must-listen.

THEY DON’T GET IT…

This was sent to me by a B-BBC reader and you should give it a read if you have a spare moment. From the image used to illustrate the story through the commentary, the BBC just cannot understand how it might be that Americans reject Obamacare. If only Town Hall meetings were attended by the sort of sophisticates the BBC uses to pack their Question Time audience, all would be well!

HAVE MERCY?

See that the BBC is pushing the merits of “mercy killings”. A poll for Panorama seeks to inform us that almost three quarters of respondents would support assisted suicide for the terminally ill. The liberal BBC agenda has been a fervent advocate of the death cult of assisted suicide and this Panorama poll is but the most recent manifestation of it. I do appreciate the sensitivities surrounding this issue and the great pain people go through, including the families of the person with the terminal illness but I have to say that the BBC persistently pushes just ONE side of this debate, as it chooses death.

UN TO THE RESCUE!

Good old BBC, always giving us the facts. It reports today that the United Nations is to begin a major food distribution programe in Port-au-Prince, a mere three weeks after the earthquake. Meanwhile doctors voice concern that the US has halted evacuation of the critically injured to the US. Get with the meme; UN=good. US = Bad.

BIGGING UP PAGANISM

Just watching Nicky Campbell bigging up Paganism and Islam on his truly grotesque “Big Question” programme, Christianity is painted by Nicky as the great evil and the brave pagans and Islamists out there are fighting for our freedoms. Amazing. Nicky also took the opportunity to inform the audience that George W Bush was wanting to dig up “the whole of Alaska for oil”. Fair and balanced?

HARRABIN OBN – WITH BARS AND STARS!

Harrabin’s at it again. Damage limitation. The Sunday Times today contains another damning indictment of the IPCC, this one hinged on that it used WWF hype to reference claims that 40% of the Amazon rainforest will become savannah thanks to decreased rainfall caused by ‘climate change’. But our Roger is not phased. His view is that the IPCC referencing might be wrong, but the ‘science’ is correct:

My guess is that NGO reports often offer an easy synthesis of already-published evidence. In my experience, NGO papers are often both accessible and accurate – though clearly written from a point of view.

Read it carefully. What I think he means – astonishingly, even by his standards – is that no matter what greenie fanatic NGOs say about decisions that involve billions of pounds, it’s OK, because they mean well and they know what they are doing. Equally, that it’s fine if the IPCC lifts such material to pressure governments into panicking about non-existent climate threats. Now we see what the whole lying BBC edifice aound ‘climate change’ is built upon. The ‘experience’ of a dough-brained BBC reporter (who doesn’t even have a a science degree) and who admires greenie activists so much that in his book, whatever they publish is probably correct. For that, I think he deserves Private Eye’s OBN – with double bars and stars.

Update:
Today’s MSM – the Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Times – is awash with stories about the IPCC scandal. For the BBC’s newspaper reviewer, however, the key story is rather different: it’s Ed ‘let’s have a tax scam orgy’ Miliband wailing in the Observer that the the sceptics are wrong, the science is settled and he’ll go on imposing those taxes and building windfarms come what may.

Baying For Blood

The groundswell of hatred and resentment against Tony Blair is at fever pitch, so that anyone who dares to raise their head in support of him or his performance at the Chilcot inquiry will be pelted with dogshit and disemboweled.
The BBC had a queue of talking heads lined up, eager to add their bit. “He showed no remorse, no contrition, no respect for the families,” they bleated. “He took us to war on a lie, he disregarded the legality, he ignored Robin Cook and Clare Short, he promised undying loyalty to Bush, he switched the justification for war from WMDs in 24 hours to regime change” etc etc.
Suddenly Robin Cook and Clare Short are reinvented as heroic martyrs. If only they’d been listened to, albeit resigning making that a little difficult, everything would have been fine and Saddam and Iraq would have lived happily ever after. No one would have needed to be radicalized, no one would have insurged, and Uday and the other one would have mellowed and given out posies of roses.
The BBC’s disproportionate fascination with the new-age under-age protesters ratcheted up the ante; various interviews and analyses consolidated the consensus that Blair was an insensitive self-obsessed delusional war criminal, and an Oscar-deserving actor to boot.

Today ran an interview with the former ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton. You can guess what he had to say about Blair’s allusion to confronting Iran. It caused James Naughtie to remark, “The Devil Incarnate would like that” – sorry, that should be, “Benjamin Netanyahu would like that” – to which Dalton replied, “That’s not in the UK’s interest.”
Naughtie referred to rogue states with access to nuclear weapons, but was assured that Iran having nuclear capabilities doesn’t necessarily mean it would ‘hand secrets to terrorists.’ After all, Iran has chemical weapons and hasn’t done such a thing and never would. Not counting Hamas and Hezbollah of course. If the former ambassador to Iran says they don’t arm terrorists, well, he would know. Or did he mean to say they don’t harm terrorists?

Those crazy Republicans explained: a BBC bias masterclass

I felt the following article on the BBC website, “Why do people often vote against their own interests?”, based on the first of two radio programmes collectively called Turkeys voting for Christmas, offered an instructive example for the young writer or broadcaster who aspires to produce material for the BBC. I hope that a few selected quotes will provide some useful tips.

Political scientist Dr David Runciman looks at why is there often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters.

Focus now, on that “appears to be”, for it is masterful. It – er – appears to be a marker of impartiality. But what it actually does is get that impartiality tick-box done and out the way with a quick, grey, forgettable phrase. The question of whether the appearance of obvious benefit is correct is not subsequently addressed; it is simply assumed.

Last year, in a series of “town-hall meetings” across the country, Americans got the chance to debate President Obama’s proposed healthcare reforms.

What happened was an explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence.

At this point the radio programme has some people shouting. (Note for the style guide: people never shout at left wing demonstrations because of barely suppressed violence; they are just passionate.) The great thing about the phrase “barely suppressed violence” is that it suggests violence but you don’t have to provide any evidence for it. No one accused of being full of “barely suppressed violence” can disprove it.

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

The inclusion of the word “godless” here is exquisite. Godliness or the lack of it has not greatly featured as part of advocacy for or against Obama’s plans for healthcare. (In fact my personal impression is that most of those bringing religion into the issue are liberal Christians saying that Obamacare is what Jesus would do. Such rightwingers who have opposed Obamacare on religious grounds have mostly done so in the belief that it would mean more abortions.) The word “godless” functions merely as a probe to twitch the right neurons when mentally picturing those who oppose. Note that the two phrases on either side of “godless”, the two concepts that have indeed featured in the debate to a significant digree, are never analysed.

Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system that leaves them with premiums they often cannot afford?

Why are they manning the barricades to defend insurance companies that routinely deny claims and cancel policies?

A lesser article might actually try looking at some potential answers to this question. For example, could it be because they suspect that the insurance companies are happy enough to take a bit of public abuse from Obama in exchange for a whole new pool of captive customers? However the author here knows better than to take that path. Note also that this sentence frames opposition to Obamacare as being a defence of insurance companies.

It might be tempting to put the whole thing down to what the historian Richard Hofstadter back in the 1960s called “the paranoid style” of American politics, in which God, guns and race get mixed into a toxic stew of resentment at anything coming out of Washington.

Admire the ju-jitsu with which the author gives us a pleasing whiff of paranoia by warning about that scary toxic stew of right wing paranoia which has been bubbling poisonously in the background for decades.

All that we have seen so far was merely the appetiser to this superb bit of technique:

If people vote against their own interests, it is not because they do not understand what is in their interest or have not yet had it properly explained to them.

It sounds so good, doesn’t it? It appeals to the disquiet that even the most liberal reader might have felt in reading the patronising BBC coverage of the tea parties. You think you are going to get a bracing defence of the tea partiers as being independent adults. This defence could be along the lines that even right wingers sometimes vote for what they believe is the wider good against their selfish interests, or it could be along the lines that they do not believe that what is claimed to be in their interest really is in their interest, and here’s why.

Of course no such argument is actually put forward. That might involve talking to these ghastly people and even worse, listening to them. Instead we have a portrait of the Republican voter as an overgrown teenager in a sulk against the grown-ups:

They do it because they resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best.

There is nothing voters hate more than having things explained to them as though they were idiots.

And then the rest of the article explains that they are idiots.

UPDATE: There are some very good comments to this post. Please take a look in particular at the comment from Martin. You know the anecdote in the article about how Bush responded to Gore’s sober figures with nothing better than a silly little crowd-pleasing quip? It turns out, if you go to the source (as I should have thought of doing myself), that Bush went straight on to give some figures of his own.

RATS’ NESTS…

Whenever you turn over a stone involving reports about ‘climate change’ at the BBC, it reveals a whole new rats’ nest of other problems. Take this report designed to show that, even if the IPCC has got it wrong about Himalayan glaciers, changes to rainfall patterns caused by ‘climate change’ will wreak havoc. It’s part, of course, of the BBC’s damage limitation efforts to shore up climate alarmism in the face of the growing revelations of lies and fraud. The reporter is Navin Singh Khadka, a Nepali journalist who files for the BBC World Service as well as online; over the years, he has written numerous ‘climate change’ panic stories. Mr Khadka, it transpires, is also a member of the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMD), which exists – as far as I can see – entirely to spread warmist alarmism:

Just 11% of the 1500 journalists accredited to the 2007 Bali climate change summit were from developing countries, highlighting the urgent need to provide training and opportunities for journalists from these countries to report on climate change.

CCMD is supported, among others, by the International Institute for Environment and Development (the IIED), which receives funding from the UK government (DfID)and also Comic Relief. The BBC is therefore indirectly a supporter of both these organisations because the vast majority of Comic Relief funds come from its BBC exposure, and also senior BBC staff are trustees.

Thus Mr Khadka, I would contend, is yet another ‘climate change’ fanatic employed by the BBC. He recently gave an interview to the Nepal Monitor in which he stated:

But treating climate as a ceremonial issue (that is paying attention to it only when conferences take place or, say, when the world is observing environment day) has been our greatest weakness. The media need to wake up to the fact that it is an issue about our lives and the issue has to be conveyed effectively to the people.

It’s striking also that in his report about the Himalayn glaciers, the first authority he turns to is Mats Eriksson, a senior hydrologist with the Nepal-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). I checked out this body and guess what? Like Mr Khadka, it also supports warming alarmism, with this among its primary goals:

Globalisation and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues.

I know I write about thes issues often, but it’s simply staggering to behold the extent to which the BBC is in bed with ‘climate change’ in all its lying, fanatical manifestations.

HEADS IN SAND….

It’s endlessly fascinating to watch how the BBC wriggles and turns to ensure that it keeps churning out ‘climate change’ lies. One technique used with obdurate single-mindedness is to report only the views of those who agree that there is ‘consensus’. Thus when the government’s chief scientist, Sir John Beddington, says that’s the case, that’s what the BBC reports. Never mind the latest revelations about the IPCC lies about the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035; never mind that Bin Laden is now using ‘climate change’ as a basis for the need to wreck the Western economy (I wait with bated breath to see how the politicians who support climate lies spin that one); and let’s also ignore that it was propaganda from Greenpeace (and WWF), rather than scientific research, that underpinned the IPCC latest report.

Let’s get on instead with wasting vast amounts of BBC licence fee payers’ money – £1.74m of it – on sending 177 BBC boys and girls to Glastonbury. That’s what our public service remit is all about!

Question Time 28th January 2010

Question Time tonight comes from Basildon and the panel will feature Culture Secretary Little Ben Bradshaw, Lord Lawson, Baroness Tonge, The Sun journalist Jane Moore and Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion Douglas Murray.

Those wanting to get an idea of the political feel of the area – these are the General Election results in the 1997 Basildon constituency (Angela Smith, Lab).

SOTU on Today

For Mark Mardell there was only one word to describe Obama’s SOTU speech, and boy did he use it on the Today programme: “striking phrases… striking phrase… striking passage… the words were striking” (that last one appears on his blog, too). His colleague Paul Adams preferred a different cliché, telling the Today audience it was Obama’s “most important speech to date”. Of course it was Paul – they always are. Later in the programme Jim Naughtie discussed the speech with two commentators, both from pro-Obama publications – Newsweek’s Stryker McGuire (check out the response to the speech from the magazine’s Obama-worshipping Senior Editor) and the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland (or “Johnny” as Naughtie called him – nice and cosy).

Note to Today editor – other viewpoints are available, please check internet for details.

Update. Craig made similar observations before I did.

State Of The Update 2: It’s always about him, just like every other “most important speech” he’s given.