Not What You Know But Who You Know

 

 

BBC coming under political pressure to silence climate sceptics (as if it needs it):

From the Guardian:

The BBC has come under fire from the chairman of an influential committee of MPs for favouring climate change sceptics in its coverage – and, according to documents seen by the Guardian, replied by saying that putting forward opinions not backed by science is part of its role.

That has enraged MPs further. Andrew Miller, chair of the science and technology committee, told the Guardian: “At a time when poor editorial decisions have dented trust in the BBC, the organisation should be taking much greater care over the accuracy of its reporting – especially in the area of science where misreporting can cause disastrous results, as the MMR media scare has shown.”

 

Apparently this is the BBC’s reply and here are some interesting extracts:

The BBC remains committed to the principles, set out in its Charter and Agreement, of due accuracy and impartiality, and to applying them to coverage of all the issues around climate change.

BBC Editorial Guidelines
The Editorial Guidelines (www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines) set out numerous considerations for content producers. To ensure our audience is clear about the background and expertise of interviewees on news programmes, content providers must abide by the following guidelines: We should normally identify on-air and online sources of information and significant contributors, and provide their credentials, so that our audiences can judge their status.
(3.4.12)
We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made. (4.4.14)

 

In 2011 the BBC Trust published a report it had commissioned from Professor Steve Jones on the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science. It covered a range of topics including climate change, his assessment was that the BBC had continued to give undue prominence to climate change sceptics and had not kept pace with the debate: “The real discussion has moved on to what should be done to mitigate climate change. Its coverage has been impeded by the constant emphasis on an exhausted subject whose main attraction is that it can be presented as a confrontation”.

 

The BBC’s Science Editor, David Shukman, was appointed following the Professor Steve Jones review of the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s science coverage. David’s role is described in some detail in the BBC Executive’s follow up report (December 2012): http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/our_work/science_impartiality/science_impartiality_followup.pdf.

 

College of Journalism science training
As part of the BBC’s response to Professor Jones’ report, the BBC’s College of Journalism set up and runs a course called ‘Reporting Science’, which is open to all staff. During the course, delegates discuss issues raised by the Jones report, and work on ways to ensure that future BBC science coverage complies with our accuracy and impartiality requirements. BBC News has made the course
compulsory for assistant editors and above (i.e. all those with editorial responsibility for programmes and web pages), and highly recommended for other grades.

 

Extensive discussion with scientists and the scientific community took place during the preparation of the course material. Most notably, we spent an afternoon with the President of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate, Sir Paul Nurse, and interviewed him about science reporting, how science works, pitfalls and opportunities and so on.

 

The BBC Editorial Guidelines set out our due impartiality and due accuracy requirements. In essence, interviews should be conducted on the basis of reasoned argument. However, so long as ministers have to face arguments based on misunderstandings, even ignorance, they will be given the opportunity to rebut them on the BBC. This is recognised in the Editorial Guidelines, which say “Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right. If an issue is controversial, relevant opinions as well as facts may need to be considered. When necessary, all the relevant facts and information should also be weighed to get at the Truth” (Section 3: Accuracy).

 

 

 

If nothing else it shows just how influential Prof Steve Jones has been in corrupting the BBC’s reporting on climate change…as well as that other climate change fanatic Paul Nurse…who appointed Jones to the Royal Society ….undoubtedly for his good work at the BBC on climate change.

 

 

This might also be news to most of us:

But earlier this year in a select committee hearing David Jordan, head of editorial standards, told MPs that the broadcaster had decided not to follow Jones’ key recommendations on climate change: “[Jones] made one recommendation that we did not take on board. He said we should regard climate science as settled … we should not hear from dissenting voices on the science.”

….Thought they thought it was settled:

The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].

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Comic Capers

 

 

As comedian Robert Webb  re-joins Labour the New Statesman tells us:

With Eddie Izzard and John O’Farrell already among the party’s celebrity supporters, it looks as if Miliband has the comedians’ vote sewn up.

 

Who’d a thunk eh?

 

Webb’s move was one of the unexpected consequences of panto dame Russell Brand’s guest-edit of the New Statesman

 

In the same issue Slavoj Žižek tells us:

“Most of the idiots I know are academics”

 

He clearly hasn’t met Russell Brand who graced us with a 4,000 word polemic in the New Statesman:

Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”

 

Essentially it says… Tories…boo hiss…Occupy and looting rioters… hurrah!

Take to the streets kids!  Revolution is the solution.

He doesn’t get round to telling us what comes after the revolution.

Direct from the mind of Russell Brand:

Meditate, direct our love indiscriminately and our condemnation exclusively at those with power. Revolt in whatever way we want, with the spontaneity of the London rioters, with the certainty and willingness to die of religious fundamentalists or with the twinkling mischief of the trickster.

 

 

Great though that the BBC thinks his drug addled brain has produced such original thought that he merits a place not only on one of the supposedly prestigious current affairs programmes, Question Time, but also grants him an audience on Newsnight.

I imagine this is Ian Katz trying to connect with the Kidz and shore up his dwindling audience.

 

Rather than bore you with Brand’s appearance on Newsnight here’s Brand as you’ve never seen him before (it’s kind of not very PC….don’t say you’ve not been warned):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nvg3S4xn8A

 

 

 

It’s him isn’t it?

 

 

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The Wrong Sort Of Islam

 

I haven’t watched this yet:

Quitting the English Defence League: When Tommy Met Mo

 

…..but Douglas Murray has a write up in the Spectator:

‘When Tommy met Mo’ revealed how far we have to travel before Islamism is uprooted

Islamic extremism is not only a policing fault. It is also the fault of ‘Muslim leaders’ and others. It remains a melancholy fact that very few actual Muslim ‘leaders’ or individuals are willing to properly deal with the priorities we all face in the appropriate order. Many spend so much of their energies criticising ‘Islamophobia’ that they leave themselves only the occasional moment to nod to their disagreements with the fundamentalists in their own faith. If rather than spending 95 per cent of their time criticising the EDL and so-called ‘Islamophobes’ these people actually spent 95 per cent of their time not just criticising but actually stopping the extremists in their own religion and perhaps the remaining 5 per cent defending their religion against its perceived critics then not only might the primary problem be solved but we wouldn’t suffer such secondary problems either.

 

 

Murray notes this interesting reaction from a ‘moderate’ Muslim to a suggestion that the fundamental texts of Islam need to change:

There was a fascinating moment of congruence towards the end when Muslims and non-Muslims agreed on the need to tackle Islamic extremists. Then Robinson said that one of the things that Muslims must do is to tackle the problems in Islam’s foundational texts – at which point one of those Muslims who had previously been in agreement with him became furious with anger.

 

 

Which brings me onto this from the BBC:

Thinking Aloud and Muslim fundamentalism.

Muslims against Muslim Fundamentalism – Laurie Taylor talks to Karima Bennoune, US Professor of Law and author of a groundbreaking book which addresses resistance to religious extremism in Muslim majority contexts.

 

Once again the BBC discusses ‘Islam’ but practices a sleight of hand….redefining Islam as something not as it is actually described in the Koran and the Hadith but as whatever someone thinks it is….a spiritual religion of peace and tolerance….there is no single definition of Islam apparently.

 

If you know anything about Islam you will know that is impossible….there can be only one Islam.  That is the whole point of the religion (and why Sunnis attack Shias and Ahmadis etc who aren’t considered Muslims).  That was why it was revealed to Mohammed….because the Christians and Jews had corrupted their own scriptures and become divided into different sects worshipping God in many different ways….to his annoyance.

Therefore claiming Islam is whatever you want it to be, or that you can reform it, is nonsense.

 

Islam is what the Koran says it is.

Anything else isn’t Islam, and if you don’t follow the Koran you are not a Muslim.

 

Here is Karima Bennoune‘s lecture upon which the interview is based:

“Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here”: the human rights struggle against Muslim fundamentalism

 

 

It is interesting if you get over the obvious problem….as mentioned above…she claims to be a Muslim…but here denounces much of what makes Islam ‘Islam’.

First thing of note is in the introduction when Fundamentalist Islam is described as coming from the Muslim ‘Far Right’.

Bennoune herself uses this description and states that the Muslim Brotherhood are no different to the Greek ‘Golden Dawn’ party…except whilst the BBC issues ‘warnings from history’ about the Neo-Nazi Far Right in Europe they ignore or even cheerlead the Muslim Brotherhood’s extremism.

 

She claims that the Right in the West believe all Muslims support terrorism.

She claims that the Left think terrorism is blow back…a reflection of genuine Muslim grievances and is therefore acceptable.

But she says the real victims of that terrorism, the vast majority, are Muslims….and they are ignored by the West.

Is that true?  Are they ignored?  Not really…just look at the Left’s reaction to casualties in Iraq or caused by drone strikes….of course that is purely political point scoring rather than genuine concern for the actual victims…so perhaps she has a point.

 

She asks ‘why are all those Muslims who stand up to fundamentalism ignored by the West‘?

She says there is a failure in the West to understand what Islamism means for the human rights of other Muslims….and Islamism isn’t the same as Islam …of course!

That raises a question…..the Koran lays out the fundamentals of Islamic ideology….therefore is she saying the Koran and its teachings undermines human rights?

She must mean that….because she goes on to say that the problem is not just the violence but also the ‘moderate’ ideology being propagated.

 

She also lays into the West for supporting the Fundamentalists, in Afghanistan against the Soviets for example…but also for supporting regimes like Saudi Arabia which is spending huge amounts of money spreading fundamentalist Islam around the world…including of course the UK.

 

But of course she claims that Fundamentalist Islam is not the true Islam which is a religion of peace and tolerance.

And yet every word she utters denies that statement….she attacks what are established Islamic laws and values as ‘unIslamic’.

And that is the same position that the BBC takes.

Which is ironic because she does exactly what she accuses others of doing…by ignoring the true cause of the violence and intolerance.

 

It is curious that Tommy Robinson, who was basically reading from the same script as Bennoune, was denounced as an extremist…..and even now when he has said his marching days are over he is criticised for not renouncing his anti-Islamic fundamentalist beliefs…and yet they are the same beliefs as many of those held by those the BBC present as respectable, spiritual, true representatives of Islam…..as Douglas Murray noted…the reaction of a ‘moderate ‘ Muslim was ‘furious anger’ to suggestions of any fault with the Koran’s teachings.

 

The BBC wants to have it both ways…..’respecting’ what are essentially fundamentalist Muslims and their religion (whilst presenting them as moderate, normal, everyday Muslims) and attacking those like Robinson who criticise their beliefs, whilst at the same time bringing on other Muslims whom the BBC also claims are the true Muslims who wish to reform Islam…..some like Bennoune who are better described as ‘cultural Muslims’ and those conversely like Tariq Ramadan and Mehdi Hasan who are in fact fundamentalists posing as moderates and reformers in order to gain credibility and respectability in the West and be allowed a constant platform on the Media to win influence and spread their message.

 

So who are the True Muslims?  Those in the everyday community who react with ‘furious anger’ to any criticism of the Koran, or those like Bennoune who are looking to strip the heart out of Islam?

The BBC will have to make its mind up one day and choose….is the Koran ‘Islamic’ or a fundamentalist Far Right text as Churchill claimed…not much different to ‘Mein Kampf’?…“the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.”

Does the Koran hold within its pages the values and beliefs of the Islamic ideology or not?

The BBC seems confused about that.

 

Finally she states that she has no truck with the term ‘Islamophobia’...criticism of ‘fundamentalist’ Islam is essential if extremism is to be tackled……hope the BBC are listening.

 

 

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Sloppy Or Just The Same Old Same Old?

 

From the Spectator:

 

Didn’t the BBC know that Will Straw is a PPC before his dad told them?

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was on today’s Daily Politics, gushing with pride that his son Will is Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat of Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire. Yet it seems that this piece of dynastic info was news to Auntie.

Will Straw was on the BBC News Channel this morning, discussing energy prices, and there was no mention of his being a PPC. The presenter simply said, ‘Will Straw is Associate Director of the centre-left think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research.’

Mr S would have forgiven the presenter had he not asked: ‘the Labour Party is talking about a freeze on energy prices for two years. Would you go along with that?’ Straw is a candidate seeking office under Miliband’s banner; of course he goes along with the price freeze nonsense. But he neglected to mention his candidacy, and gave this reply:

‘I think it is an idea that has really caught the imagination of the public. It is the only policy so far that looks like it can actually put downward pressure on these price increases. And it is now in a sense supported by former Prime Minister Sir John Major because the windfall tax that he proposes is pretty similar to a price freeze.’

Tory chairman Grant Shapps declared open season on the BBC last weekend, and it’s sloppiness like this that riles the blue team.

 

 

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The Enemy Within

 

That old subversive Andrew Neil goes off message:

 

afneil Andrew Neil   Isn’t it difficult for politicians to attack energy cos for rising prices when Commons voted to raise prices by 40% by 2020.

 

And another subversive, Paul Hudson (via Bishop Hill)

Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’ says leading scientist

It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe.

The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions.

 

Paul Hudson is not a favourite of the Climate Change alarmist tribe…having previously (2009) stated that there had been no global warming since 1998 and that we may get a period of cooling…here Michael Mann complains (as revealed in the CRU emails):
‘…extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd,
since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from
what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for
the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here?

 

 

And at least ITN are fact checking what Ovo Energy are claiming:

itvnews ITV News Ovo Energy boss claims the firm cut prices last year – but firm’s website says it put prices up in April http://t.co/VUnsJU5OHu

 

Shame the BBC didn’t bother.

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Miliband’s Very Own Pravda

 

 

There’s no Truth in the News and , for the BBC, no News in the Truth.

 

You might have thought that something like this would have mobilised the investigative journalists of the BBC:

Miliband urged to reopen union vote-rigging probe: Email cache ‘shows Unite plotted to subvert Labour inquiry’

  • Labour leader under pressure to reopen vote-rigging investigation
  • 1,000 emails appear to implicate Unite in thwarting original inquiry
  • Unearthed by bosses at Ineos, company that runs Grangemouth oil refinery

 

The Sunday Times revealed that there is a stash of 1000 emails that indicate that Unite did indeed try to rig the election of candidates to become Labour MPs.

 
However the BBC isn’t interested and never were…they were only too happy to announce that there was ‘no evidence’ against Unite when Miliband caved in to their threats and the GMB withdrew its funding of the Labour Party.

Miliband knew, and presumably approved of Unite’s operation from the start…..Party officials in Falkirk reported their beliefs that procedures were not being followed, candidates to be Labour MEPs also complained about Unite’s activities and were told to shut up or face disciplinary action from the Party.

 
The BBC showed no interest in all of that.

 
Just as they show absolutely no interest in these 1000 emails that explicitly indicate that Unite were rigging the election.

 
I can find no reference to the emails at all on the website.

 

Naughtie interviewed  MP Eric Joyce this morning (Tuesday…tucked away at 07:21) but made no mention of the emails…and when  Joyce raised the matter Naughtie claimed the BBC hadn’t seen them……and then went on to try and pour cold water on Joyce’s claims.
Here is the BBC Website report of that interview:

Labour fears Unite leaders, says Falkirk MP Eric Joyce

 

Not a single mention of those extremely damaging emails…but look what they do say…not once, not twice, but three times….

1.  Stevie Deans was accused of trying to rig the selection of the next Labour candidate in Falkirk, although an investigation cleared Unite.

2.  Mr Deans was suspended from the Labour Party but was later cleared by an investigation and reinstated.

3.  The union’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray, told Today Mr Joyce had given a “wrong reading” of the situation. He added that there was “no evidence” that “anything untoward” had taken place.

 

 

How can the BBC report that two days after 1000 very incriminating emails have been revealed…emails that were found by the company Ineos….and so presumably would be available to the BBC if they could be bothered to contact the company and ask for them?

 

 

Here is what Dan Hodges thinks:

Falkirk’s sordid cover-up damages the credibility of the unions, the Labour Party, and Ed Miliband

Labour’s leader must reopen the investigation, suspend the individuals at the centre of the scandal and clear up this while sordid mess once and for all. It’s no longer about the rigging of one CLP selection. It’s about Ed Miliband’s credibility as a leader, and as a potential Prime Minister.

 

Clearly this is a matter of some importance with Miliband being exposed as a liar,  as someone controlled by the Unite union….someone who made a big show of being tough on the Unions but in fact was always doing their bidding and when forced to take action against them was instead ‘forced’ to back down by those same Unions.

As Miliband is trying to become Prime Minister such weaknesses, vulnerabilities and suspect loyalties are surely relevant….especially as Unite’s Len McCluskey’s ‘Vision’ of the sort of Britain he wants to mould is a vision shaped by the writings of one Ralph Miliband…Ed’s Marxist Father.

 

It is blatantly apparent that the BBC are desperately trying to keep the lid on this story and limit the damage to Miliband and his electoral chances.

The BBC is attempting to manipulate the election in 2015, yet again.

 

 

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Lah Lah Land

 

Always interesting what the BBC employees find of interest….not necessarily in the course of their work but in a personal capacity…which is perhaps all the more telling…as on Twitter which they usually claim the views expressed are their own and not the BBC’s…and in the case of Huw Edwards he disclaims the retweets…which is just as well really:

 

Here he retweets the BBC’s favourite economist who tells us:

Inequality Is a Choice

By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ
 
 
 
 

 Joseph Stiglitz@stiglitzian 14 Oct “Inequality Is a Choice” by Joseph Stiglitz http://nyti.ms/GWGrnq 

Retweeted by Huw Edwards

Here’s a taste of Stiglitz’s thinking and expertise:

Europe seems all too eager to follow America’s bad example. The embrace of austerity, from Britain to Germany, is leading to high unemployment, falling wages and increasing inequality.

 

Really?

We  know the BBC doesn’t like to admit the British employment figures are on the up….but what about Germany….is unemployment rising because of austerity?

 

Germany Unemployment Rate

In August, Germany’s adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent, its lowest level in more than two decades. A total of 2.17 million people were unemployed, a decrease of 108,000 or 4.8 percent on a year earlier.

 

I’m no economist…but er…..obviously there’s something I don’t understand about that graph.

 

However the heroic up and coming countries are booming and making tremendous efforts to reduce inequality…aren’t they?

On the one hand, widening income and wealth inequality in America is part of a trend seen across the Western world.

Chile, Mexico, Greece, Turkey and Hungary managed to reduce (in some cases very high) income inequality significantly, suggesting that inequality is a product of political and not merely macroeconomic forces. It is not true that inequality is an inevitable byproduct of globalization, the free movement of labor, capital, goods and services, and technological change that favors better-skilled and better-educated employees.

 

 

Of course you could argue there is nothing new about inequality…..perhaps it has lessened….as more people become super rich rather than the super rich becoming poorer.

 

But how about those countries he claims have reduced inequality…Greece?  Well..it’s a basket case and can’t by any measure be included in the statistics.

 

What about Mexico?: (The country where Carlos Slim is the world’s 2nd richest person…after being the richest for 3 years)

Julio Don Juan makes $400 a month at a noisy, cramped Mexico City call center. Without a raise in three years, he says he had to pull his 7-year-old son out of a special-needs school he can no longer afford.

In some places he might seek another job. Not in Mexico, where wages after inflation have risen at an annual pace of 0.4 percent since 2005 — worse than other nations in the region including Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, according to the International Labour Organization. Close to a third of Mexicans toil in the informal economy without steady income. Julio Don Juan says many would envy him.

The cheap labor that is helping Mexico surpass China as a low-cost supplier of manufacturing goods to the U.S. — and lured companies including Nissan Motor Co. (7201) — has restrained progress for many of the country’s 112 million citizens.

 

 

How about Chile…oh, there’s Mexico again:

A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed income inequality in Mexico and Chile were among the widest of the 33 nations surveyed.

 

Oh..and what about Turkey..and Chile, and Mexico again?

Global Income Inequality: GlobalPost Puts America’s Gap Between Rich And Poor In Perspective

Among developed nations, only Chile, Mexico, and Turkey have higher income inequality than the U.S.

On the Gini Index, zero equals perfect equality and one represents absolute inequality in which one person owns everything.

Well…he got Hungary right, I’ll give him that one.

 

 

Good of course to see a BBC employee taking an interest in what is essentially the Labour Party narrative….the apparent ‘cost of living crisis‘ and inequality….but also perhaps learning their lines from one who has quite clearly mastered economics to such a high level that he doesn’t feel the need to base his thoughts on what is actually happening on the ground.

Is inequality the result of political decisions rather than Globalization as Stiglitz claims?  Just what are the major causes of a ‘cost of living crisis’?.…food prices and fuel…neither of which the government control to a great extent…and of course ‘Quantitative Easing‘ which raises inflation by devaluing the currency….introduced by Labour’s Gordon Brown…..it may have been necessary but the effects on spending power are being ignored, conveniently.  Globalization moved jobs to countries like China and India with very low labour costs…..reducing employment and incomes in developed countries.

In one respect Stiglitz is right…Labour’s immigration policy destroyed job opportunites and incomes in the UK….thus producing a generation without jobs or hope and even those in work found they were competing with low wage immigrants for their jobs…no wonder wages don’t rise.

So that is one political decision that increased inequality….but you won’t hear it from the BBC.

Stiglitz is wrong about austerity and unemployment, he is wrong about inequality and the countries which he claims are cleaning up their act….let’s hope no one at the BBC are formulating their news bulletins and current affairs programmes based on Stiglitz’s witterings.

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Licence Revised

 

Quite a few people have picked up on Grant  Shapps comments about spreading the Licence Fund around a bit more.

A good portion is already doled out to Channel Four, but of course that is merely the BBC’s inbred cousin with fewer inhibitions and a disturbing tendency for showing off in the rudest way possible.

Hardly a balance considering together they pretty well dominate political broadcasting in this country.

It didn’t take long before the BBC struck back in its report…11 lines in and they came up with this:

A BBC spokesman said transparency and freedom from political pressure were key to the BBC’s future.

 

Clearly trying to paint this purely as ‘political interference’  rather than a measured and appropriate scrutiny of the BBC when it has shown itself to be out of control over the last year.  The BBC weren’t so keen on ‘freedom from political pressures‘ when it jumped aboard the Leveson band wagon and joined in the highly political attempts to stop Murdoch buying up BSkyB.

The trouble with that position is that the BBC plays politics itself, it inserts itself into the political arena not merely reporting but attempting to pressurise politicians to change policies by painting them in as bad a light as possible as often as possible…it is almost a political party in its own right….even admitting as much during Thatcher’s era when it positioned itself as the ‘official opposition’ because Labour were so dire.

At the very least the BBC has become the broadcasting arm of the Labour Party when it comes to undermining welfare reforms…the ‘bedroom tax’, or knocking any economic success…the ‘wrong sort’, questioning employment rates …a ‘puzzle’, or attacking ‘rotten’ free schools.

 

Last week we had a minor classic of an example of the BBC trying to influence events and policies as Mishal Husain (Husband, Meekal Hashmi…an ‘active Lib Dem’)  was interviewing William Hague who was talking about peace talks on Syria in Geneva next month.

Husain seemed intent on a particular point…getting Iran into the peace talks……

She asks:  What about Iran where there are positive signs as far as the leadership (?) are concerned?  Is that the key? [to the peace talks]

Hague says:  If Iran could play a more constructive role it would be helpful…and if it accepted the same criteria for the negotiations as all other parties did……

Husain goes on:  So are you inviting the Iranians to Geneva then…it would be the obvious thing to do if you’re serious about bringing them into the fold and using their influence.’

 

Hague’s answer was essentially ‘no’...unless Iran entered into negotiations starting from that common basis, which they haven’t so far agreed to.

 

However the BBC news bulletins straight away began reporting that Iran was likely to be included in the talks.

Husain tweets:

Mishal HusainVerified account@MishalHusainBBC  Iran could be invited to next month’s Geneva talks on Syria @WilliamJHague #r4today

 

And yet that wasn’t what Hague said…he came into the interview with no such intentions and you could tell from his answers that he had no intention of inviting Iran if at all possible.

This is the BBC making up news as it goes along, creating stories that it then headlines….this ‘Iran to be invited to peace talks’ was a story purely created by the BBC.

Maybe it was Husain, first week in the new job, trying to make a splash.

 

 

What was also of interest was this from Husain:

‘…the pressure has been taken off Assad, he’s very comfortable…more comfortable than ever before since this conflict began’

 

Well yes….he’s pretty much safe now from military action to topple him by the US et al.

 

But why?

 

Essentially because Miliband ducked the military option:

MPs have rejected possible UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to deter the use of chemical weapons.

David Cameron said he would respect the defeat of a government motion by 285-272, ruling out joining US-led strikes.

The US said it would “continue to consult” with the UK, “one of our closest allies and friends”.

France said the UK’s vote does not change its resolve on the need to act in Syria.

Russia – which has close ties with the Assad government – welcomed Britain’s rejection of a military strike.

 

 

Will the BBC be asking Miliband to explain how he has allowed Assad to stay in place and reinforced both Russia’s and Iran’s influence in the region?

 

Not so far.

 

 

 

 

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THE WRONG SORT OF GROWTH

UK GDP figures for Q3 are due later this morning and it seems they will be positive, further underlining UK economic recovery. This is bad news for labour and bad news for the BBC. I caught an item on the Today programme this morning where the idea was being floated that ALTHOUGH growth did seem to be happening, it’s the wrong sort of growth apparently. I wonder do the BBC listen to British Rail? Anyway, watch what happens as we go through the day and see how long before the BBC trots out the “cost of living” meme being retailed by Miliband and co. Now that Plan B is dead an buried, the Labour party and it’s broadcasting arm are out to ensure that welcome economic news is pricked by all kinds of inane accusations about “cost of living” trials and tribulations.

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I SPY…

You would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the collective mindmelt the BBC finds itself in as its former hero, Obama, is accused by Merkel and Hollande of outrageous invasion of privacy via telephone spying. Can you imagine the BBC anger had this revelation came out has Bush been President? But it’s President Narcissus in the White House so the BBC has to be nuanced and so it tries to keep Obama and the NSA well apart, even though the buck clearly stops on his desk. In a sense this is a non-story since nations have spied on each other throughout history, but the BBC likes to take a pro-European position on most issues but this one is a tad tricky for them.

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TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK!

Folks, I am reminded that the Common’s Select Committee on CMS announced on 22 October that it is to hold an enquiry into the future of the BBC. The deadline for written submission is 6 December. Anyone seeking to make a submission should note that they have until the 6th December to address the future of the BBC.

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Perhaps Robert Pigott should stay off Twitter a while longer

In his first tweet in over a year BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott seems to think that a parody article about Sarah Palin at the Daily Currant is real:

He’s in good moronic company – Piers Morgan fell for it too (and then pretended he knew all along it was fake).

It’s not the first time a BBC journalist has been duped by a bit of lame satire that fits newsroom groupthink prejudice about US conservatives. BBC Brazil had to apologise when its lefty US correspondent Lucas Mendes wrote an article about a Texan GOP senator without realising the original information was a parody.

And in the all-too-likely event Pigott claims he knew the Palin article was a parody, why choose this as the topic of his first tweet since September 2012?

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