The Yanks Are Coming

 

 

 

The wheels must be coming off Miliband’s election campaign already….he’s got himself a new axle…well, an Axelrod, imported from the US of A.

 

The BBC has noticed….telling us that:

Mr Axelrod said he had been struck by the power of the Labour leader’s ideas

[It's not the six figure payment his political spin company gets paid to do this type of work then...a commercial decision?]

…….and are giving the new appointment quite a bit of airtime…unlike when Miliband’s last American at the court of the Marxist princeling was in the news…or not (via Guido):

Illegal Foreign Worker Inside Labour HQ

 

The BBC pretty much ignored this bad news stor fro Labour, only showing interest when Labour wanted to dismisss it all as Tory smears.

 

To be fair Justin Webb did give Labour’s wee Dougy a few awkward moments when questioning the need to import such a person…..such as…‘What if he asks Miliband to apologise for crashing the economy?’

 

Shame the BBC doesn’t actually explore that rather important question a bit more….Labour’s part in bringing us to the edge of ruin.

Wee Dougy’s answer….we can’t learn any lessons from looking back…the solution to our problems is ‘The Future’.

Very philosophical…and conveniently dodges all responsibility……from Miliband and Balls…treasury advisors to the last government.

 

Guido though has spotted soemthing that must be a major embarrassment for Miliband…what does his new guru thin about intervention in Syria?:

Axelrod Said Miliband Was Wrong on Syria

Last September after Assad used chemical weapons, Axelrod wrote

After Iraq, folks are justifiably weary and leery. But this isn’t Iraq. In plain sight, Assad’s committed mass murder with hideous weapons. No response would be a green light to Assad, Iran, Hezbollah and others that the U.S. and world will look the other way. Grave mistake. A targeted strike on their delivery systems is right, just and proportionate. Failure to act would be another tragic legacy of Iraq war.

 

 

The Today programme had a look at how Syria has been forgotten and terrible things are happening there…mothers feeding their children boiled grass to survive etc……and yet made no link to Miliband’s decision to block any military intervention in Syria.

Surely that would have been a relevant and poignant question to put to Wee Dougy on the appointment of Axelrod who clearly supported such intervention when the Today prograamme is talking to him on the same day they highlight the disaster that is Syria….and important because Miliband trumpets his intervention as one of his major political achievements…bringing ‘peace’ to Syria!

 ”If you look at the decisions I have made as leader of the opposition on Libya, where I supported intervention, or on Syria where I opposed it, I think I have been consistent with those principles and they are principles that I would apply in government.

 

The Conservatives also appointed an Obama strategist, Jim Messina…but the BBC’s report was somewhat lacklustre and kept to the bare bones….this being the sole positive note for the Tories:

“I have long admired Prime Minister Cameron…….. While I will not be moving to London, nor will I be managing any type of day to day political operations, I will be offering strategic campaign advice leading up to 2015.”

 

 

Compare that with how they report the arrival of Axelrod and his thoughts on Miliband……

‘Huge asset’

Ed Miliband hailed the appointment as “excellent news” and predicted the strategist would be a “huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better”.

Mr Axelrod said he had been struck by the power of the Labour leader’s ideas and the “strength of his vision”.

He drew a comparison between Mr Miliband’s economic policies and the arguments articulated by Mr Obama in 2008, saying both have at their core “the experience of everyday people”.

He said: “I think candidates who can win are candidates who articulate a vision that speaks to the lives and concerns of the people they are running to represent.

“Ed Miliband understands the struggle that people are going through in Britain to make a living wage, to support their families, to retire with some dignity.

“He understands that a growing economy demands that you have broad prosperity and not just prosperity that’s hoarded by a few. And so I think you can build a movement.”

 

 

 

Just how bad is Miliband if, when he has the support of one of the world’s biggest news broadcasters he can’t make any headway without employing the machiavellian skills of a US spin doctor to sprinkle the magical ‘Obama’ fairy dust upon him and his election stratagems?

 

 

THANK YOU!

Can I take this moment to express my sincere thanks to ALL those very kind and generous Biased BBC readers who have contributed towards the costs of the server for this site. Following the recent appeal I can advise that we are sorted out financially and that all will continue as normal. As ever, you all prove one thing to me – YOU are the greatest asset this site has and I sincerely thank you for your support.

The Trussell Hustle And the Mirror’s ‘Starving Child’ Fraud

 

The Trussell Trust no doubt started off with good intentions when it began its food bank operations 12 years ago but it has now become a highly politicised campaigning organisation that seems no more than a Labour Party front….not helped of course by the fact that its Chair, Chris Mould, is in fact a Labour Party member….and one who receives a very good income from the Trust….we looked at the Trussell Trust a while back…..The Foodbank Is Born…..

And as we said then…no coincidence about the Trust’s timing and who it aligns with…

Just a coincidence that it made its claims just in time for PMQ’s…Ed Miliband even quoting them in one of his questions….it says the figures were released to coincide with World Food Day.

 

And it can be no coincidence that the Trust today has launched its latest publicity campaign on the day that the pay figures were released…no doubt timed to ‘rain on the parade’.

No coincidence that the Socialist Daily Mirror was primed and ready with the latest ‘poverty’ propaganda about food banks….

 

Daily Mirror front page, 16/4/14

 

A moving picture you will no doubt acknowledge…and no doubt the Editor of the Mirror thought so…so much so that the Mirror purloined the picture from a personal website….the girl is in fact an American girl from a well to do family…not starving, not British and not on the breadline….and crying because  a worm she’d ‘adopted’, named Flower, made its escape from her.

The Mirror could have used this one….

.

 

The BBC, in its look at what the papers say,  seems entirely uninterested in the fraud perpetuated on its readers by the Mirror’s editor [even when a Tory MP on Fogarty's show mentioned it...no interest]:

Poverty ‘scandal’, benefits ‘outrage’

 

The BBC does of course publish a story about the Mail  newspaper having to pay damages for publishing a photo of Paul Weller’s family……

Paul Weller children win damages from the Mail Online

 

The tears of a child say so much more than the facts….certainly for the Guardian who acknowledges the fraud but thinks that’s just fine…..

Perhaps it doesn’t matter if the Daily Mirror’s weeping child is a lie

The Mirror’s front page picture illustrating a food banks story in Britain is of a child in San Francisco. But all photographs have a problem with authenticity

 

 

The BBC has been blasting away all day on foodbanks and whether we are still suffering from the ‘cost of living crisis’ ….using the much trumpeted rise in foodbank use as evidence that the poor are suffering ever rising poverty as a callous tory led government fills the pockets of the bankers and its millonaire mates with gold.

Trouble is there is something missing from the picture, a very important piece of the jigsaw without which no genuine sense can be made of what is happening…and a lot of nonsense can be spouted as fact by the likes of the Trussell Trust and repeated with all the authority of the BBC as fact.

The BBC today publishes this:

Food banks see ‘shocking’ rise in number of users

A food bank charity says it has handed out 913,000 food parcels in the last year, up from 347,000 the year before.

 

Note this, of that 913,000 food parcels:

‘The Trussell Trust said a third were given to repeat visitors’

 

.….and yet on their website they hide that fact:

 

So in fact only 600,000 people were given support in 2013-2014.

 

 

What’s missing from that?  How many foodbanks there are….and how many there were before.

If there were no foodbanks there would be no foodbank use [and no food poverty?]….the more foodbanks there are the more poeple that can use them, all encouraged by the huge publicity that surrounds them making their services far better known….the Trussell Trust being so good at marketing its services and narrative.

 

Here are some figures:

In 2004, Trussell only ran two food banks.

Before the financial crisis, food banks were “almost unheard of” in the UK.

In 2007–2008, there were 22 food banks in the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network

By early 2011, The Trussell Trust supported 100.

As of May 2012, they had 201.

By August 2012, 252.

The rate of increase has been rising rapidly. In 2011, about one new food bank was being opened per week. In early 2012, about two were being opened each week. By July, The Trussell Trust had reported that the rate of new openings had increased to three per week. In August, the rate of new openings spiked at four per week, with three new food banks being opened in that month for Nottingham alone.

 

Here the Trussell Trust shows how many parcels it doles out:

 

 

When you compare the increase in people using the foodbanks with the increase in the  numbers of foodbanks you can see that in absolute terms numbers of people using foodbanks has risen….but the rate of use hasn’t….the numbers per foodbank now are similar to the numbers in 2005-2006….in other words there isn’t a rise in use per foodbank.

If there is one foodbank in London serving 1000 people in one year and then the next year another foodbank is opened in Brimingham and that serves 1000 people also…does that mean that as 2000 people a year are now being fed,  instead of 1000, that poverty has increased?

A stupid claim…and yet one the BBC, our prestigious and highly funded and resourced news gatherer, is happy to promulgate.

 

This rough graph illustrates that relationship…the black line is the number of foodbanks, the red line the number of people using them (’000s)

 

 

The use of foodbanks rises almost exactly in proportion to the number of foodbanks….and does not indicate a rise in food poverty and starvation in ‘breadline Britain’ as the BBC like to call it:

The growing demand for food banks in breadline Britain

 

Kind of puts things in perspective and makes it ever more apparent that the Trussell Trust is not at all trustworthy as it bangs the drum for its highly political anti welfare-reform campaign.

Just a shame that you won’t find these figures on the BBC and yet the increasing numbers of foodbanks is a crucial consideration when judging how they are being used and what that supposedly tells us about ‘food poverty’ and welfare reforms etc.

 

In this BBC story you can see the problem:

The Trussell Trust said its network of food banks across Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, and Greater Manchester fed more than 13,500 people since April. This compares to just 22 people in same period last year.

 

Is the BBC really suggesting that a year earlier only 22 people were in poverty…and sudenly…due to government welfare cuts…13,500 find themselves poverty stricken?

Poverty has always been with us…just ‘hidden’…because we had few foodbanks and no one campaigning so fervently about them….which begs the question where were all these priests in those years?…

Open letter to the leaders of the three main political parties about UK hunger

Published to coincide with the end of Lent, this letter is signed by over 600 British church leaders in addition to the 57 undersigned

 

 

From the BBC’s reporting today you’d never have known that poverty could possibly have existed before 2010….you’d never know that we’d had the worst recession in living memory…in large part caused by Labour’s policies….you’d never know that government policies now are a direct result of having to deal with the financial ruin left by Labour….

 

 

 

The BBC is even now, as I type this up, pumping out the propaganda about a ‘national hunger crisis’:

 

The Archbishop of Wales has urged the UK government to tackle a national hunger crisis as figures show a big rise in numbers using foodbanks.

The Trussell Trust said it had given emergency food aid to nearly 80,000 people in Wales in the last 12 months, more than double the 2012-13 figure.

 

The BBC does have the grace to mention this:

A UK government spokesperson questioned whether the Trussell Trust’s figures took account of return visits and defended welfare reforms, saying a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found the proportion of UK residents finding it difficult to afford food had fallen from 9.8% in 2007 to 8.1% in 2012.

 

Curious then that it prefers the Trussell Trust’s figures and narrative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shredding Carefully

 

Remember this when the BBC went to town over police corruption and the shredding of the evidence?

New details about the mass shredding of documents relating to a corruption inquiry in the Metropolitan Police have been uncovered by BBC News.

It is understood the inquiry produced a “lorry-load” of material and that the shredding took place over two days.

 

 

Ah well…seems ..er…they may have got that wrong.

Danny Shaw on Derbyshire’s show today (around 10:50) is now saying that far from it being a lorry load of documents it may have just been 4 bin bags full.….not only that but it isn’t clear, he tells us, if that was just the paper documents being shredded after having been copied to computer database somewhere.

 

 

Regardless of that the BBC’s original story ['Uncovered by BBC News!!!!'] was full of holes even then as we revealed:

Bang To Rights!

From the Ellison inquiry……

There are very few documentary records capable of providing insight into the veracity of Mr Francis’ claim that he was “tasked to find intelligence that might be used by the MPS to smear the Lawrence family”.  A number of possible explanations have been advanced as to why.

These include the suggestion that incoming intelligence reports were routinely destroyed after SDS office analysis and intermittent ‘document review’.

As with other MPS records, it does not appear that any clear records were ever kept of what was being destroyed.  Accordingly, in our view little weight can be attached to the fact that no record can be found to confirm any relevant aspect of claimed SDS activity.’

 

Routine destruction is one of ‘a number of possibilities’…but it is the one the Review highlighted…presumably as the most likely…..and the one the BBC ignores….despite the Review suggesting ‘ little weight can be attached to the fact that no record can be found to confirm any relevant aspect of claimed SDS activity.

 

The BBC is attaching quite a lot of weight to the allegations….there may be substance to them but the BBC looks to have already found the Met. guilty.

All The News

 

 

Victoria Derbyshire proudly read out an email today praising 5Live’s coverage of Cyril Smith’s activities.

The emailer said that listening to the revelations was Chilling…but why I listen to 5Live.’

 

Can only assume the listener was happy with the BBC’s more leisurely approach to reporting the Mail’s revelations about Labour’s Harriet Harman and Co at the NCCL and their relationship with the Paedophile Information Exchange.

 

 

 

 

 

Trojan Horse, Spartan Facts

 

We are hearing a great deal about the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to Islamise secular schools…there are two issues here…one the ‘Islamisation’ and second how that is achieved.

The ‘Islamisation’ attempts have long been an open ‘secret’….the MCB, in 2007, produced this document to ‘advise’ schools on how to treat Muslim pupils and be respectful of their culture and background…to help them integrate you understand….it’s definitely not a case of stealthily imposing a ‘creeping Islamisation’ using the subterfuge of ‘respect and diversity’…….

Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools
Towards Greater Understanding

 

Here the BBC reports it in 2007:

Schools advised on Muslim pupils

 

Here the Express reports it:

Muslims: ‘Ban’ non-Islamic schools

DEMANDS for a ban on “un-Islamic” activities in schools will be set out by the Muslim Council of Britain today.

 

If you think this was all done by stealth you’d be wrong…it was done with the blessing of the Labour government:

The calls for all children to be taught in Taliban-style conditions will be launched with the help of a senior Government education adviser, Professor Tim Brighouse, chief adviser to London schools.

 

The MCB itself tells us:

The MCB’s contribution in publishing its report, Towards Greater Understanding, is wholly consistent with the government’s “Every Child Matters” strategy, and complementary to it. The result of meeting Muslim needs in mainstream schools is that Islam and Muslims become a normal part of British life and that we become fully integrated in this way.

 

In that last paragraph is the heart of the matter…The MCB wants non-Muslims to compromise and adapt to Muslim ways and beliefs…so that Islam becomes ‘a normal part of British life’…..then Muslims can ‘integrate’ and feel at home….by making everyone else ‘virtual’ Muslims….by making ‘Britain a normal part of Islam’.

 

Did anybody take note of the MCB, apart from the government?

This is from Ealing Council:

 

Ealing Council reproduced the MCB’s advise practically word for word….and you can bet that councils up and down the land did likewise.

 

So are secular schools being ‘Islamised’?  Yes…and it has been seen as perfectly acceptable before now.

The difference now is that some Muslims are trying to impose these beliefs and practises by more forceful methods by taking over management of schools or adopting high pressure tactics to force out staff that won’t comply.

 

And then there are the Faith Schools themselves of course….is fundamentalist Islam a problem in such schools or not?.

 

 

But let’s have a look at some aspects of the BBC’s reporting of the latest events concerning the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot.

The BBC has given a fair bit of airtime to the plot….but seems all too ready to declare the whole thing a hoax……

The letter – which has not been authenticated and which could be a provocative hoax – refers to “Operation Trojan Horse”. This classical allusion refers to using a device to get past the defences and to take over the school system from within.

 

Victoria Derbyshire (11:52) enthusiastically screeched that it ‘May never have existed or is a fake’ on her show today in a talk with the BBC’s Phil Mackie who stated….

‘It is mindblowing how big this has become ever since the Trojan Horse letter was published…and we’re not even sure if it’s a fake or not.

 

The Guardian is on the case as well:

Alleged Islamic plot to take over Birmingham schools may be hoax

 

But if you read the explanation you’ll realise the hoax claim is complete tripe and such claims that it might be a hoax are deliberately highly misleading and intended to undermine the whole claim that there is a plot….unfortunately there is massive evidence that backs up those claims of a plot:

Byrne told constituents in a blogpost : “It is important that you know [that] the allegations which triggered the latest inspections were made by former and present staff at Park View, along with parents, and were made BEFORE the so-called Trojan Horse letter appeared in the press.”

The council has received at least 200 letters, emails and telephone calls from past and present school governors, teachers and parents wishing to complain about what they say has been going on, particularly at secular schools allegedly subject to “creeping Islamisation”.

and from the Telegraph:

Muslim parent: Radical school is brainwashing our children

Children at one of the state schools taken over by hardline Muslims are being “programmed” and have been “drilled” by their teachers to lie to Ofsted inspectors investigating the plot, according to a parent.

Mohammed Zabar, the father of a 10-year-old girl attending Oldknow Academy in Birmingham, today becomes the first person to speak openly about events at his daughter’s school.

Mr Zabar, 44, decided to break his silence after The Sunday Telegraph described how teachers at the supposedly secular school led children in anti-Christian chanting, stopped them from celebrating Christmas, organised subsidised trips to Mecca and required all pupils to learn Arabic.

 

 

 

Mackie also doesn’t like the word ‘extremist’ to describe the people who have been working to impose an Islamic agenda upon these schools…where might he get guidance on the correct language to use?……

Look at what Inayat Bunglawala, chair of Muslims4UK, and once a spokesman for the MCB said:

“The contents of this document are very disturbing. On the face of it this would appear to be part of a radical agenda by a tiny yet highly committed group of activists to impose their very conservative and bleak vision of Islamic teachings in our schools by fomenting division and distrust against the existing school leadership. It constitutes highly objectionable and unethical behaviour.”

Now have a look at what Mackie has written:

The alleged Trojan Horse plot is about claims a small group of Muslims, with strongly held religious beliefs, had co-ordinated takeovers at schools in Birmingham in order to impose a more Islamic style of teaching.

 

So Mackie, coincidentally, takes the exact same line as someone who is himself an ‘Islamist’ activist?  Someone who worked for the extremist MCB….which produced it’s own ‘Trojan Horse’ document, quite openly, but under the guise of being ‘advice’ to schools in 2007:

An agenda for integration

The Muslim Council of Britain’s new guidelines for schools can help pupils to feel fully and equally valued.

 

And look who wrote it….Tahir Alam…one of the alleged ‘Islamist’ governors at Park View School….and an MCB member…..’one of the alleged plotters, Tahir Alam – a former chair of the education committee of the Muslim Council of Britain – told the Guardian on Friday evening that the letter was “a malicious fabrication and completely untrue”.’

Mackie is playing the usual BBC game of downplaying the facts in the interests of that good old ‘community cohesion’….claiming dire social consequences if the truth came out:

The latest DfE statement on the issue uses words like “Islamist” and “extremist”.

There is a danger such language could inflame sentiment within a population which already feels isolated and victimised….and put upon.

The authorities in Birmingham have prided themselves on working successfully and closely with the Muslim community, and fear that if there is a heavy-handed intervention from London it might have a detrimental effect.

 

The refusal to use the word ‘extremist’ is a bit of a U-turn for the BBC, and in fact, by coincidence, is in the same vein as the comments made by Giles Fraser recently when he demanded an absolute commitment to your religion if you are a real believer…..no such thing as a moderate, or extremist Islam, there is just Islam, just Christianity indeed….before such people were called fundamentalists or extremists…now Mackie merely calls them ‘Muslims with strongly held beliefs’.

What Mackie is saying is that these aren’t extremists but merely people who want to live their lives using the fundamental teachings of their religion as a guide.

So how to describe the true followers of a strict Islam if no longer extremist?  And what does that make the ‘Muslims’ who were previously classified as ‘moderate’ because they didn’t follow the religious laws to the letter? Are they no longer Muslim?  ‘Muslim Lite’ maybe.

 

Mackie has a history as someone who will massage the message in favour of an ethnic minority:

BBC Plays The Race Card On Immigration

Mackie tweeted this:

The Romanian Foreign Ministry has told me some of the language being used in the UK about its citizens is “close to being racist”

— Phil Mackie (@philmackie) December 31, 2013

 

and retweeted this:

Migration: politics of fear – ‘dangerous to play with popular emotions on a matter of important national policy’ http://t.co/HdBYI5BiCQ

— Oana Romocea (@OanaRomocea) December 31, 2013

 

 

Perhaps you can get a taste for his views on people who are making these claims about the ‘Trojan Horse plot’ from this:

 

 

Below is a short run down of some of the Islamic demands made on schools by the MCB in 2007…essentially that no Muslim should be asked to do anything that he or she doesn’t consider Islamic….they shouldn’t have to compromise their beliefs…..all the very same demands that are being complained of now as imposed by the ‘Trojan Horse’ plotters…‘the school is corrupting their children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children pray Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports’ :

 

Schools are asked to respect these views and principles, which are held sincerely on the grounds of conscience, and to honour parents’ wishes by not placing pupils in situations of religious and moral compromise.
Whilst Muslims have no wish to constrain the freedom of others, they would urge schools to organise and manage physical education so that pupils can choose other acceptable forms of activity, for example, athletics, games, gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activities and swimming within the curriculum.

It is also important, in schools where there are no Muslims, for all pupils to learn about Islam.

It is not permissible for Muslims to actively participate in non-Islamic acts of worship.

Girls should be covered except for their hands and faces, a concept known as ‘hijab’.

The most suitable sportswear for boys and girls that respects the requirements of Islamic
modesty is a tracksuit and in addition for girls a headscarf tied in a safe and secure manner.

Any decision by Muslim pupils to manifest their religion by growing a beard should be respected by their school.

School makes arrangements for their Muslim pupils who wish to perform daily prayers in school.

School allocates a regular place for the daily prayers that fall within school time.

School ensures washing facilities are available, preferably in close proximity to the prayer area.

School builds or adapts a washing facility in the toilet areas where pupils can conveniently make ablution which includes washing of the feet.

Schools can recognise and celebrate the Eid festivals by highlighting the importance of the
message of Eid through collective worship and assemblies. Schools may want to share sweets amongst all children to mark this event. In addition, schools may make the normal school meals a special Eid meal for all the children

Some sports involve physical contact with other team players, for example basketball and football.   Most Muslim parents would find it objectionable for boys and girls to play such sports in mixedgender groups.  Schools can respond positively to this concern by making sure that contact sports are always in single-gender groups.

Given the choice between mixed or single-sex swimming, Muslim parents would always opt for a wholly single-sex environment for swimming.

Dance is one of the activity areas of the national curriculum for physical education. Muslims
consider that most dance activities, as practised in the curriculum, are not consistent with
the Islamic requirements for modesty as they may involve sexual connotations and messages
when performed within mixed-gender groups or if performed in front of mixed audiences.

Sex and relationship education (SRE) is taught in single-sex groups, by a teacher of the same gender.

The use of sexually explicit videos, pictures and objects are avoided as aids for the teaching of SRE.

School takes account of Muslim sensitivities and sensibilities with respect to sexual morality and includes Islamic moral perspectives when teaching SRE to Muslim pupils.

Schools should consider giving Muslim pupils the opportunity to study Arabic and/or
other languages relevant to their family background.

Wishing You Well

 

 

The BBC has dismissed a complaint that a joke based upon Mrs Thatcher’s Alzheimers and wishing death upon her was offensive…justifying the dismissal on the basis that she was a ‘divisive and controversial figure who aroused strong opposition‘……it is therefore OK to make such jokes if people on the Left hate her apparently….oh and the show is well known for its edgy comedy….so again anything goes then.

Similar jokes about Tony Benn are being prepared for future BBC comedy shows.

 

 

Summary of finding
The complainant alleged that a joke in a comedy panel show concerning the death of Margaret Thatcher (which had originally been produced and broadcast some years before the former Prime Minister’s death and subsequently repeated afterwards) was offensive.

The Committee concluded:

  • that the programme had made clear the possibility that its content may be provocative. The participants would have been well known for their banter and edgy humour.
  • that, while the exchange was open to different interpretations, its editorial purpose was rooted in the fact that Lady Thatcher remained a controversial figure among those who opposed her when she was Prime Minister and criticised her record as Prime Minster.

 

This edition of the comedy panel show The 99p Challenge was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra  on 29 March 2013 at 2.30am. The edition, which had originally been broadcast on Radio 4 in 2004, included a round that was intended to spoof newspaper birth, marriage and death announcement pages.

The following exchange took place in this part of the programme:

MirandaHart: I just want to announce, regretfully, the untimely death of my billionaire father, Rufus, in the billiard room with the lead piping at three pm this afternoon. At which time I was in the Red Lion in Chislehurst in front of 42 independent friends, sorry, witnesses. Also I would like to announce the death of Margaret Thatcher. (Audience laughter).

SuePerkins: Surely that must now be an inevitability?

Armando Iannucci: Actually Margaret Thatcher has got Alzheimer’s and is pretty senile, so her condition is satisfactory.

 

 

2. The complaint
The complainant asked if it was entertainment to wish for anyone’s death or to be glad that anyone suffered from Alzheimer’s. She asked if the BBC would make a joke of this nature about other former Prime Ministers.
The nature of the comedy was signposted by the continuity announcer describing The 99p Challenge as a “provocative panel show”

 It was clear that the comments about Lady Thatcher were said knowingly rather than with genuine malice.

The BBC said that, in common with much of the programme’s content, the panellists were engaged in exaggerated bad taste, in this case for comic representation of the divisiveness and strong reactions that Lady Thatcher provoked amongst those who disliked her policies even some 14 years after she had left office.

In terms of portrayal, the joke was clearly targeted at Lady Thatcher and the strength of feeling she provoked, rather than against people with dementia in general.

 

The Committee believed that, while the exchange was open to different interpretations, its editorial purpose was rooted in the fact that Lady Thatcher remained a controversial figure among those who opposed her when she was Prime Minister and criticised her record as Prime Minister.

The Committee concluded that although this broadcast came very close to the limits of what was acceptable in terms of offence and undoubtedly would have offended some listeners, it would not have been outside the expectations of most listeners to this programme.

Finding: Not Upheld

 

 

 

Not Big And Not Clever

 

This show is arguably the worst thing that the BBC airs.

This show is arguably the worst thing that the BBC airs.

Have to laugh at this from the New Statesman, and the fact that it comes so soon after wee Owen Jones demands the Left defend the BBC:

 

Is the BBC’s “The Big Questions” the worst thing on television?
It’s one of the broadcaster’s flagship religious programmes, yet it makes religious people look unfairly crazy.

I’m sure you’re familiar with BBC’s The Big Questions. It’s that dreadful “ethics” show that sits awkwardly sandwiched between all of the political discussion programs on a Sunday morning. In case you haven’t seen it the format is basically Question Time, with added believers.
It’s dreadful, arguably the worst thing that the BBC airs. It has production values you’d expect from a small business’s Youtube video and is presented by Nicky Campbell, a man who displays all the charisma of an eggy fart on a packed commuter train.

Every time someone gets on the cusp of a decent argument, Campbell jumps in and cuts them off, and hands the mic to someone who will make a crazier, more televisual point.
That takes me on to the second huge problem with the show. Often, the guests – especially the religious guests – are picked because they have “controversial” (read: completely barking mad) views.

The archetypal Big Questions exchange is some crazed street preacher claiming they can cure cancer through prayer, a confused scientist saying “No you can’t”, and then a female CofE vicar with a nose piercing cutting across the two to say “Isn’t the truth half way between these two places?”, and then the audience applauding.
In case you thought I was making that exchange up for comic effect, it occurred on the 23 March this year.

“How long can you air an utterly charmless, insulting show before everyone agrees to stop tuning in and turning up to be insulted?”

 

 

 

Religion Lite

 

 

The Daily Mail reports that the BBC’s favourite turbulent priest, Giles Fraser, is unhappy with politicians who merely pay lip service to the real meaning and demands of Christianity :

Here’s the problem: no-one was ever crucified for kindness. Jesus was not strung up on a hideous Roman instrument of torture because of his good deeds. If Jesus is just a remarkably good person whose example we ought to follow, why the need for the dark and difficult story of betrayal, death and resurrection that Christians will commemorate this week?

The English, of course, have always been a little bit awkward when it comes to full-throttle Christianity. Traditionally, we like the gentle and undemanding pace of Cathedral evensong and prefer the parish priest who visits the sick rather than the one who corners you and asks you if you have been saved.

These gentle people with wet handshakes are approachable community figures, helping knit together the fabric of society with bingo and Sunday school. And we also want them to be figures of fun because that is how we keep religion safe.

It wasn’t always this way. Thousands were butchered during the Civil War in the name of their different understandings of God – probably the last flowering of popular religious fundamentalism in England. I suspect it was in reaction against the deep political traumas of the 17th Century that the English re-invented Christianity as something to do with kindness and good deeds.

When religious ideology got as toxic as it did, it was an act of genius to redefine religion as being primarily about pastoral care. From the 18th Century onwards, Christianity ceased to be about pike-toting revolutionaries hoping to rebuild Jerusalem in here in England.

Instead, through the Church of England, it increasingly became a David Cameron-type faith: the religion of good deeds.

It served the English well. It was dignified, socially useful and largely undemanding. The big society in action.

But will any politician really have the gall to preach the full story of Christ’s crucifixion? As St Paul himself noted, it is offensive and scandalous stuff. It means being brave, taking risks, standing up to wrong, even when – and this is bound to happen – it is personally distressing for us to do that.

It means real belief and absolute commitment. It is so much more than a brief nod to Sunday school truisms. 

It is sad – even if it is understandable – that so much of what we hear from leading figures in politics and elsewhere is a pallid imitation of Christianity, the equivalent of empty-gesture politics. Real faith, like real leadership, means taking hard decisions and standing by them.

 

Wonder then what Fraser thinks of the Muslim fundamentalists…..they are committed to following the strictures of their religion as close to the letter as possible……and yet we are told these are ‘extremsists’ or they are perverting the real meaning of Islam.

So…is Giles an ‘extremist’ for wanting ‘Real faith, real belief and absolute commitment’?

 

Ironically a few days earlier he was lambasting Eric Pickles, a politician, for being too emphatically, provocatively Christian…too much religious triumphalism no less….Giles wants less Christian commitment (er doesn’t he?) in case it upsets…well……

When Eric Pickles calls Britain a Christian nation I side with the atheists

For Pickles to talk provocatively of us being a Christian nation at the same time as sending the coppers into a Muslim-dominated council is a whopping misjudgment.

 

 

Religious commitment or is it extremism?…….An interesting topic for Nicky Campbell to explore?

You an see why the BBC just loves Giles.

 

 

Interested though in Frasers assertion that  ‘the English re-invented Christianity as something to do with kindness and good deeds.’

Hmmm…surely that is the basis of Christianity rather than Giles’ preferred ‘pike-toting revolutionaries’ enforcing their Puritan ethics upon the world….

“I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice”

 

Maybe this sort of thing seems familiar and attractive to Fraser, so modern and yet centuries old……Cromwell’s Puritans….a Reformation ‘Trojan Horse’?…..

Puritans were dissatisfied and bent on the destroying of the dregs of popery.   They were a group of literate and often highly articulate people acting like a fifth column to undermine and radically change the Church of England through sympathisers and activists in parliament.  some aimed to reform by peaceful means others wanted to turn England to their religion completely and join their co-religionists in europe. Up and down the country they took over parishes and imposed a new belief…that they were the chosen ones and everyone else was excluded and was damned.  Where the godly would get a foothold in a parish they would often tear it apart.  They disrupted peaceful communities with their preaching and efforts to discipline those they regarded as godless resulting in bitter divisions and denouncements  of  sinners. 

 

….of course the puritans eventually had to leave England and sail off to a place where they could live by their own beliefs.

Natural Selection

 

“We are going to frame the issue of climate change as more of a distributional issue,” said Dr Petersen.

 

 

 

Remember this very negative report about gas from Harrabin, ooh what, 3 days ago?…

UN set to warn countries over ‘dash for gas

Governments are likely to be warned next week that a “dash for gas” will not solve climate change.

A draft report for the United Nation’s third panel on climate change says gas cannot provide a long-term solution to stabilising climate change.

Gas is only worthwhile if it is used to substitute a dirty coal plant – and then only for a short period, it says.

The report will offer ammunition to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, which has fought attempts from the Treasury to switch more of the UK’s energy sources to gas with the projected “shale gas revolution”.

The UK hopes to emulate the success of the US, where shale gas has slashed energy prices and stimulated manufacturing.

 

A big, eye catching claim…..Pretty clear which way his report is leaning…..any chance he is against the use of gas?

 

Let’s see what the UN’s IPCC actually says  (page 23) [getting to be a regular thing with Roger...having to read the original as opposed to his interpretation]:

GHG emissions from energy supply can be reduced significantly by replacing current world average coal-fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle power plants or combined heat and power plants, provided that natural gas is available and the fugitive emissions associated with extraction and supply are low or mitigated (robust evidence, high agreement).

 

So the IPCC says green house gases can be reduced significantly by using gas to generate power instead of coal.

Not the inference that you might take, and were meant to take, from Harrabin’s headline….where is that overwrought warning about a ‘dash for gas’?

 

As the latest BBC report admits:

One of the surprising endorsements in the report is natural gas.

And….

Natural gas is seen as a key bridge to move energy production away from oil and coal.

 

Ouch.   A surprise for some certainly.  Roger should stick to reporting rather than proselytising.

 

However not a mention of the word ‘Fracking’ in those BBC reports….the IPCC uses the phrase ‘natural gas’ but of course everyone knows this means mainly gas from Fracking these days…and you might expect the BBC to make a comment along those lines…but guess what….it sticks religiously to ‘natural gas’.

 

The Telegraph reports (and the BBC doesn’t) this comment from the IPCC about fracking:

Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the working group that drew up the report, said it was “quite clear” that shale gas – extracted through the controversial process of fracking – “can be very consistent with low carbon development and decarbonisation”.

 

The Daily Mail reports:

Fracking can help to slow global warming admit UN scientists… and so can nuclear power

 

The Times also has a striking headline:

Shale Gas could stop the world from overheating.

 

 

And yet the BBC’s science reporters are avoiding the word Fracking, or Shale Gas in relation to this….and Harrabin’s pre-emptive report was no more than a ploy to try and set the impression that Gas is bad.

Not unlike his mate Matt McGrath who suddenly finds green subsidies, and the subsequent additional cost added to fuel prices, very interesting….now highlighting the cost to the taxpayer of green subsidies claiming getting rid of wind farms will push up costs…whereas the BBC showed no interest previoulsy when claims were made that green taxes were already making energy too expensive…..

Plans to curb wind turbines onshore will push up electricity bills

 

 

And note these two interesting statements from the report:

Issues of equity, justice, and fairness arise with respect to mitigation and adaptation. Countries’ past and future contributions to the accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere are different, and countries also face varying challenges and circumstances, and have different capacities to address mitigation and adaptation. The evidence suggests that outcomes seen as equitable can lead to more effective cooperation.

In other words the developed nations must pay large sums to the poorer ones for their historic climate crimes……

“We are going to frame the issue of climate change as more of a distributional issue,” said Dr Petersen.

 

The problem, as ever, is who foots the bill?

“It is not up to IPCC to define that,” said Dr Jose Marengo, a Brazilian government official who attended the talks.

“It provides the scientific basis to say this is the bill, somebody has to pay, and with the scientific grounds it is relatively easier now to go to the climate negotiations in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and start making deals about who will pay for adaptation.”

 

So the science is settled…and they have also decided who is responsible and therefore who must pay.

 

And what will you have to do personally? (apart from handing over your taxes so that a kind politician in the UK can hand it over to a corrupt one in what UKIP might call ‘bongo bongo land’)…

Behaviour, lifestyle and culture have a considerable influence on energy use and associated emissions, with high mitigation potential in some sectors, in particular when complementing technological and structural change. Emissions can be substantially lowered through changes in consumption patterns (e.g., mobility demand and mode, energy use in households, choice of longer-lasting products) and dietary change and reduction in food wastes.

So…lower your consumption, lower the amount of food you eat and change the type of food, don’t travel anywhere, use less energy at home…essentially change your whole life.

 

Don’t worry though…if you don’t get a say in all this the BBC’s Roger Harrabin is on hand to ‘hold the dodgy politicians to account’ and challenge their outlandish claims for you…oh…no he isn’t…he’s working with them to destroy your way of life.

 

Is BBC bias important?   You can bet your life, and your lifestyle, it is.

 

 

 

Those Dodgy Gentlemen Of The Right Wing Press Are Undermining Democracy And Science

 

 

Harrabin is still out there smearing those who do not believe….

In one report he states:

[Pickles has banned windfarms because of pressure from the right wing press suggests Harrabin…..]

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has staged a minor coup over coalition energy policy.
Conservative newspapers have been demanding a cap on onshore wind farms, but the Lib Dems have refused to agree…..the Liberal Democrats, accused him of playing politics….

 

Unfortunately he offers no proof and the truth is that it is backbenchers who have been complaining…because their constituents, voters, don’t like windfarms…MPs are good with numbers, we know that, and can do the maths, especially in marginal seats…..any urgings from the Press will make little difference unless they are reporting what the voters are really thinking.

But nice of Harrabin to dismiss the concerns of the general public so readily to suit his own agenda.

 

 

In another he claims:

One senior Conservative told me many of his backbench colleagues were heavily influenced by the Mail on Sunday’s campaign to define climate change as a con trick.

 

A ‘One senior Conservative’ says Harrabin, snitched on his not so green colleagues.

Let me guess….could he possibly be Tim Yeo, head of the Energy and Climate Change Committee with many vested interests in keeping the climate change narrative on the boil and an ardent fan of the green monster?

 

And where’s the proof again?…It is merely Harrabin peddling anonymous barbs that coincidentally, and happily,  suit his own purposes.

Harrabin uses a choice selection of perjorative terms with not so subtle inferences….’Campaign’ and ‘con trick’.

The Mail frequently prints both sides of the AGW debate….but Harrabin’s use of ‘Campaign’ is meant to indicate that the Mail is attacking the science regardless of the truth and probably with some agenda.   As for ‘con trick’….if any of the facts printed by the Mail indicate a deliberate attempt to mislead the public by scientists or politicians that can hardly be interpreted as the Mail trying to falsely claim it is a con trick….because it would be a con trick.

 

Just another couple of examples of Harrabin’s sly approach to undermining and denigrating those who want to actually examine the evidence and make judgements based on that rather than being force fed a ‘Received  Wisdom’ that is based more on belief than scientific rigour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rado Times

 

 

 

 

Remarkable isn’t it….climate sceptics are denounced as unqualified bloggers or lay persons with vested interests and therefore shouldn’t be able to criticise the consensus or be given due weight by the BBC…..however someone who supports that consensus, however unqualified, is welcome to comment…in fact the BBC will go out of its way to assure you that such a person is a ‘simple, unqualified, layperson’ merely concerned about journalistic accuracy and the health of the planet with no axe to grind….so much so that they might give them a platform to tell their story.

 

Dr Joe Smith (CMEP) explains:

Channel 4’s Great Global Warming Swindle cut through what Ofcom termed the ‘current orthodoxy’ in media treatments of climate change.

I’d recommend that anyone in any doubt about the reasons to complain about the programme view the full complaint at Ofcom Swindle complaint .

But the story behind that complaint is interesting in itself. A concerned member of the public got up off his sofa after viewing the film and spent the next 18 months convening a massive effort by leading scientists that went through every frame of the film detailing its inaccuracies. His story appears on the BBC News Website .

 

Indeed it does:

Opinion: A reluctant whistle-blower

Channel 4′s The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary, broadcast in March 2007, broke Ofcom rules, the UK media regulator has ruled.

Dave Rado, who co-ordinated a formal complaint to Ofcom, explains why he felt compelled to challenge the programme’s contents.

‘I’m simply a person, unconnected with any environmental or scientific group, who believes that a public service broadcaster should not be allowed to deceive the public about science – particularly on issues that have profound implications for our future.’

 

How odd then that this simple person, Dave Rado, unconnected with any environmental group, should spend 18 months running a campaign against C4…and yet be quite so complacent about the BBC using green lobbyist material as ‘fact’…….

Here suggesting it’s dodgy but if in a good cause……

 

Himalayan glaciers ‘melting fast’, BBC:

“Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people”

‘Admittedly this article has the disadvantage that it quotes a WWF study – it would be nice to find a similar one that was independent of any lobby group. But it’s mainstream stuff and worth quoting if you can’t find a better one on the Himalayas’ glacier melt and the likely effect of this on neighbouring countries.’

 

 

Rado isn’t quite all he seems but keeps his life and connections to the greens well hidden….but the BBC’s Richard Black (naturally) let’s the cat out of the bag:

“The programme has been let off the hook on a highly questionable technicality,” said Bob Ward, former head of media at the Royal Society, who played a prominent role in co-ordinating objections to the film.

 

Guess how many of these objections were sustained by Ofcom? Just seven out of 265, none of them relating to factual errors but to minor technicalities relating to procedure….despite that Black claims...’Human hands are driving climate change, Ofcom acknowledges’…and…’I think this is a vindication of the credibility and standing of the IPCC’  Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC.

 

Ofcom actually said:

It is not within Ofcom’s remit or ability in this case as the regulator of the ‘communications industry’ to establish or seek to adjudicate on ‘facts’ such as whether global warming is a man-made phenomenon, nor is Ofcom able to reach conclusions about the validity of any particular scientific theories.

 

In other words Ofcom didn’t ‘acknowledge human hands are driving climate change’ as Black claimed.

 

So climate propagandist Bob Ward ‘played a prominent role in co-ordinating objections to the film’…..but still, Rado is a reluctant whistleblower, a simple, concerned citizen……

 

 

oh yes and…….As original complainants against the programme, we are appealing against this aspect of the Ofcom ruling on the grounds that the programme did breach the Broadcasting Code by misrepresenting facts and views, and in doing so it undermined trust in broadcasters and harmed the audience by misleading it on an important issue.’
Bob Ward and Dave Rado

 

 

….however this isn’t the only complaint he has made about climate reporting:

Complainant Name:
Mr Dave Rado

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: The Mail on Sunday

Complaint:
Mr Dave Rado of Colchester complained that articles published in the newspaper inaccurately claimed that the “green credentials” of the Toyota Prius were undermined by its use of a battery containing nickel.

 

Here he is again on a pro-climate website:

Dave Rado at 09:14 AM on 1 November, 2007

To say that climate change is definitely not even partially responsible for the loss of glacier ice mass on Kilimanjaro is an inaccurate misrepresentation of the science. As Raymond Pierrehumbert’s article that you linked to made clear, it is likely to be at least partially responsible.

 

 

Here he is urging Greenpeace to run a campaign in Feb 2007:

 

So far from being as the BBC describe him, a ‘reluctant whistleblower’ he is a serial complainer and activist…and why a ‘whistleblower’?  A word designed to give him some moral legitimacy …he’s hardly a whistleblower…he doesn’t work for C4 and the programme wasn’t a secret to be ‘whistleblown’ about…it was broadcast on national TV!

So the BBC is massaging his image for effect to give him some credibility as someone completely unconnected to the climate lobbyists.

 

He has set up a website in fact to further his campaign:

He claims this about his complaint……

The complaint is not an attack on free speech (see “About Ofcom” for more details). It was filed because the complainants believe public service broadcasters have a duty to maintain minimum journalistic standards, and that the public has a right to expect broadcasters, and especially public service broadcasters, not to set out to mislead us. Although billed as a “science documentary”, the film was in fact a slick, and very clever propaganda piece.

 

 

And yet, as stated before, he has absolutely no concerns about the BBC broadcasting what is known to be false claims about the Himalayas based on green lobbyist mis-information.

And the BBC had no concerns about him actually being a green activist and not merely a simple concerned citizen seeking to improve public service broadcasting standards.

 

Ofcom’s ruling on accuracy of the Global Warming Swindle:

In summary, in relation to the manner in which facts in the programme were presented, Ofcom is of the view that the audience of this programme was not materially misled in a manner that would have led to actual or potential harm. The audience would have been in no doubt that the programme’s focus was on scientific and other arguments which challenged the orthodox theory of man-made global warming. Regardless of whether viewers were in fact persuaded by the arguments contained in the programme, Ofcom does not believe that they could have been materially misled as to the existence and substance of these alternative theories and opinions, or misled as to the weight which is given to these opinions in the scientific community.

 

Ofcom Decision: A Humiliating Defeat for Bob Ward

Summary on the Program Complaint
In relation to the program complaint, it’s hard to imagine a more thorough stuffing of the complainants. They were lucky they didn’t have to pay costs.

 

Hardly the impression you get from the BBC’s (Black’s) excited reporting of the ruling.

 

 

 

oh…and:

Viewers expect to be adequately informed about matters in the public interest, including of course minority views and opinions. As the European Court of Human Rights has made clear, subject to certain exceptions the principle of freedom of expression applies not only to:

“… information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb; such are the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no ‘democratic society’. Freedom of expression …is subject to a number of exceptions which, however, must be narrowly interpreted and the necessity for any restrictions must be convincingly established”.