Open Thread

General BBC-related comment thread! Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. This is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely.

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106 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Reimer says:

    “George R:
    Unfortunately there is part 4 of BBC Schama’s TV series, ‘The American Future’ screened at 9 pm GMT. More subsidised political propaganda for Obama, and for open-door Immigration policies.”

    I hadn’t seen any of the preceding parts of this series so was shocked at just how bollocky it was (I know – I’m very naive). Would love to see an opposing, comparably-resourced viewpoint given to someone competent, but hey, that’d go against the Beeb’s nominally-secret post-Hutton charter. Would also love to hear a rebuttal from an American patriot.


  2. George R says:


    Yes, BBC Newswatch’ was particularly ineffective in its unconvincing defence of its emphasis on criticising Tory Osborne rather than Labour’s Mandelson. That was a very brief item which Andrew Neil has covered better; the rest of the programme was mostly about ‘white flashes’ and teenagers, with the programme steering well clear of the broader political implications of ‘Manuelgate’. Another waste of money BBC programme. Democracy not in action.


  3. betyangelo says:

    I just don’t see how camp twat etc. are worse than a blatant “idiot” without explaination.

    So, N.O., in your perfect Oxford English, please explain. Martin and Adam are entertaining. If that’s what you are trying to be, your timing is off.

    The Force is not with you, I am afraid.


  4. Grant says:

    Martin 10:07

    Many ways to skin a cat .


  5. Adam says:

    Radio 4 going on about chaos theory.
    They never stop going on about chaos theory.

    Its so obvious how they set the whole report up to promote chaos theory.


  6. George R says:

    Re- the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ pro-Obama programme now screening on BBC 2, Ms. WARK has this revealing item from her Obama-endorsing black novelist guest, Ms.Toni Morrison:

    “and she [Ms. Morrison] volunteered something that surprised me, that for some African Americans the fact that Obama was not of a slave family, and that he was raised by a white mother and grandmother was an issue…”

    Careful, Ms. Wark, or you might drift into a discussion on a phenomenon which the BBC thinks cannot exist: racism by non-whites.

    Will Obama’s ancestry come up? I mean this:

    [Extract, from Bill Warner ‘Obama and Slavery’]

    “He is a descendant of a white woman who had slave owners in her ancestry. His African father descended from those who enslaved the Africans. Obama is descended from slave owners and slave traders, but he does not have a single drop of slave blood in him.” (Bill Warner).


  7. TPO says:

    Anyone recall the BBC’s excuse for not reporting the corruption scandals surrounding Livingstone and Jasper.
    Apparently it wasn’t ‘newsworthy’
    But the BBC do find unsubstantiated and clearly untruthful allegations as ‘newsworthy’ when it supposedly involes a Conservative

    Court hears minister bribe claim

    Former Tory Home Secretary Michael Howard was rumoured to have been bribed “about” £400,000 to release two drug smugglers from jail, a court has heard.

    Truly amazing how scummy the BBC has become.

    Grant | 31.10.08 – 4:09 pm |
    When I was in that part of the world in the early 70s we referred to the place as gutter.


  8. betyangelo says:

    “…for some African Americans the fact that Obama was not of a slave family, and that he was raised by a white mother and grandmother was an issue…”

    George R: I heard speculation recently on whites not voting due to O’s blackness, and Obama was asked if, when he gets in the booth to vote, will the white side of him kick in, “No no! I can’t do it!! I can’t do it!”


  9. David says:

    ‘Osborne blasts Brown’s borrowing’

    Osborne gets a 39 second clip, Brown gets a 54 second clip related to a completely different story – it’s just him talking in Scotland.

    The quotation box is given to Vince Cable, not Osborne, and Cable is actually quoted more than him in the article itself. The final section is then dedicated to Brown’s little speech, before topping the whole thing off with that YouGov poll in the Telegraph. The poll that the Telegraph ran as ‘Tory lead cut from 24 to 9’, which is the angle the BBC run with. Except the poll actually showed ‘Tory lead increases from 8 to 9’, based on the last YouGov. Is it me, or should an article about Osborne’s speech actually contain some of it?


  10. Jeff says:

    What is it with the f**king Beeb and Banksy!?

    Every effing time I look at their site I see and article about him! I know he’s a middle-class, privately educated socialist weble, so he must have daddy, or some other relative working their or something!?


  11. Foxy Brown says:

    @ TPO,

    “Anyone recall the BBC’s excuse for not reporting the corruption scandals surrounding Livingstone and Jasper.
    Apparently it wasn’t ‘newsworthy’
    But the BBC do find unsubstantiated and clearly untruthful allegations as ‘newsworthy’ when it supposedly involes a Conservative.”

    Yes, which is why Al Beeba ( and the Guardian) threw Ray Lewis, the short-lived Deputy Major to Boris Johnson to the lions. Lewis is of the “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and not blaming everything on institutional racism,” school. He had no truck with newspeak, and so had to go.

    Whereas that crook Jasper was apparently a jolly good chap.


  12. Kill the Beeb says:

    George, you seriously need to get a girlfriend mate. The Biased BBC site is not going to lance your sexual frustration for you.


  13. Adam says:

    BBC Londonistan likes Banksy. They report every time he does something. “The mystery of Banksy”

    They frequently report on Tate modern exhibitions also.


  14. George R says:


    Charles Moore:

    “Jonathan Ross’s theatre of cruelty must be stopped with BBC licence fee boycott”


    “People keep describing these calls as ‘mindless’, ‘a mistake’, a ‘prank’. If you listen, you realise they are none of these things.

    “They are, in a revolting way, intelligent, and they are perfectly deliberate, made by people who feel that they have impunity. What they are trying to do, in the name of being ‘edgy’, is to hurt.” (Charles Moore.)


  15. George R says:


    “Jonathan Ross may not return to the BBC, claims Terry Wogan”


  16. Barry Chubb's Sister says:

    Scientists are still baffled as to how squirrels locate their buried acorns when they come out of hibernation.

    That’s fascinating.

    One time though, I watched a squirrel burying acorns in my garden all through autumn. When it got to winter, and it went for a long sleep in a tree, I dug up all the acorns and replaced them with marbles. I wanted to see if the squirrel could figure out what the fuck had happened when it woke up.

    It couldn’t. But then squirrels are fairly expressionless creatures so it’s hard to tell.

    Scientists need to look into that a bit further.


  17. Barry Chubb's Sister says:

    Another fact that scientists tell us, is that contrary to popular belief, a saucer full of bread and milk can actually kill a hedgehog because it’s too rich to digest.

    However, I’ve found it’s a lot quicker to kill one just by running over it in my car.

    Just goes to show what Scientists know doesn’t it?


  18. Anonymous says:

    Squirrels do not hibernate.


  19. Millie Tant says:

    Ron Todd | 31.10.08 – 6:19 pm | #

    Why are you asking me a queston about English accents? And Asperger’s?

    Are you perhaps confusing me with someone else?


  20. Kill the Beeb says:

    “Squirrels do not hibernate.”

    Do you think they were faking it then?


  21. HSLD says:

    The squirrels that live in the trees around our paddock used to chatter abuse at the resident tomcat and throw nuts at him. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it myself.
    It would have made a great video clip for ” Animals Do the Cutest Things ” except for the part where the cat ambushed them on the ground, disembowelled them and ate everything except their head, feet and bushy tails.


  22. Adam says:

    Kind of like the Brand and Woss affair, hsld


  23. George R says:

    BBC report:

    “Barclays secures Middle East cash”

    ‘Independent’ report:

    “City fury over terms of Barclays bailout”

    BBC ‘Today’ (7:37 am):

    “The prime minister is in the Middle East today asking the Gulf States to contribute more money to the international monetary fund, the IMF. Professor Ngaire Woods, director of the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University, says the IMF’s reserves have not kept pace with the size of the emerging market economies.”

    The ‘Independent’:

    “Brown and Barclays go cap in hand to the Gulf”

    Not again: Brown to ‘plead’ with Gulf emirs after ‘pleading’ ineffectually with Saudi Arabia on oil prices only months ago:

    “The Prime Minister will also express his opposition to the decision of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output from today by 1.5 million barrels a day.”

    Still, you-know-who, is in amongst the Arab oligarchs:

    “He [Brown] is being accompanied by Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and more than 20 business leaders.”


  24. George R says:

    Peter Whittle’s blog:

    “The Week in Perspective:

    “Most uplifting statistics of the week:

    “A record 36 million Remembrance Day poppies have been distributed so far this year; a charity record for wounded forces personnal, recorded by X-Factor contestants, sold 200,000 copies within two days.

    “Most unintentionally funny quote of the week:

    ‘I think it is a great loss to the nation’

    Davina McCall, on the departure of Russell Brand from the BBC.”


  25. Mailman says:

    Scroll down to Arnold introducing McCain for a good laugh about putting some meat on Obama’s ideas 🙂

    Bet you wont see this or the fact McCain is now ahead on Zogby on Al Beeb!



  26. Reimer says:

    BBC Londonistan likes Banksy. They report every time he does something. “The mystery of Banksy”

    They frequently report on Tate modern exhibitions also.”

    Banksy is the Hannah Montana of the Brit-Art scene.


  27. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    Just reviewed the Real Clear Politics poll averages – showing Obama 6.5 points ahead.

    RCP seems to be generally accepted as the most impartial source of polling data in the US – but the BBC “Poll Tracker” is still stuck on Oct 29th showing “The One” 11% up.

    Drudge has now just broken that Zogby is now showing McCain ahead by 1% on the latest one-day poll

    Just imagine if any poll had shown an Obama swing of this magnitude – it would be BBC headline for a week.

    Where have we seen this selective “poll watching” before?

    Your BBC – Picking the polls to suit our agenda


  28. Reimer says:


    Let’s concentrate our fire on Peston and the BBC.”

    The Beeb’s own listings mag, Radio Times, in its preview of Paul Mason’s 5-part ‘Credit Crunch Britain’, describes Peston as “priest-like” and as has having “helped keep us all sane whilst empires crumbled daily”.


    I’m still speechless at Shama’s brazen bollocks last night.


  29. Martin says:

    Why McCain didn’t have Arnie out there for him more amazes me. Arnie is very funny.


  30. Martin says:

    Can’t find this on the BBC news website. Why not?


  31. Ron Todd says:

    ‘Perhaps we could have a thread about irritating BBC voices,’

    Point was not every body could put on a posh PR accent even if they wanted to.


  32. George R says:

    Apparently unreported by dhimmi BBC:

    ‘Jihad group claims responsibility for India blast that killed 76’

    ‘Jihadwatch’ comment on ‘Daily Times’ (of Pakistan) report:

    “‘Our initial investigation points that these attacks were carried out by jihadi forces with the help of local militant groups.’ Which do you think is more likely — that Muslims in India and the West will protest against this jihad violence, or that they will protest against efforts by non-Muslims to investigate it and to try to implement ways to head it off in the future?

    “Of course it’s a rhetorical question, for the behavior of even the most ‘moderate’ of self-proclaimed moderate Muslim groups has been consistent since 9/11 and before that as well: Islamic terrorism? Not worth noting, except with bland condemnations of undefined ‘terrorism.’ Non-Muslims speaking about Islamic terrorism and calling upon all free people to resist it? That is worth noting — and greeting with cries of ‘Hate!’ and ‘Islamophobia!'”


  33. George R says:

    The BBC report on the Child Support Agency (CSA) is so narrowly focused on ‘money’, that the BBC does not raise issues of the unfair treatment of fathers:

    “New body to replace troubled CSA”

    Of course, this is what we should expect from a BBC which dutifully only reports on Harman’s ‘positive discrimination’ for women from her Ministry for Women, and not on the unmentioned corollary: ‘negative discrimination’ against men.

    The BBC, in its biased report here, has reference on its webpage to the internet site of ‘One-Parent (sic) Families’/Gingerbread’ but has NO reference to e.g. ‘Families Need Fathers, nor to its viewpoint, such as this:

    (-from ‘Families Need Fathers’):

    “The majority of parents who refuse to meet their maintenance payments do so because they are prevented from having contact with their children. Most fathers, and mothers, DO want to maintain their responsibilities, both financially and as parents. But their path is blocked by Contact Orders not worth the paper they are written on. Many give up before they even bother with the courts. Just the court fee alone to get a valid Contact Order enforced, before you pay for lawyers, has recently gone up to £175.

    “Change that culture by adopting a presumption of shared parenting (except where there is good cause not to, such as violence or drug/alcohol addiction). Governments of right and left in Australia, Spain, Italy and Holland have recently done this. Our Government has explicitly rejected a Shared Parenting Presumption in the Children Bill, currently going through Parliament. We are mystified as to why Labour, the party of equality, has done this. We’re not talking about a 50:50 split, though that works well for some families, but equality of parenting.”


  34. George R says:

    ‘Evening Standard’, Londoner’s Diary:

    ” BBC’s Byford goes AWOL too while flak flies”


    “WHERE was BBC Deputy Director General Mark Byford during the current crisis engulfing the BBC? As the public became increasingly outraged at the obscene answerphone messages Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand left for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, the BBC’s Director General, Mark Thompson , was on holiday in Sicily.

    “As his deputy, you might think Byford would step up to the mark and take charge of the crisis. But he was nowhere to be seen. So can we assume he was on holiday, too? A BBC spokesman informs me that during Thompson’s absence, Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson was in charge. But what is Byford paid for if not to deputise for the boss when he’s away?

    “‘Caroline Thomson is a very experienced executive and she does take charge at various periods throughout the year,’ says the BBC. ‘This is not an irregular occurrence.’

    “Last year, Byford received an annual bonus of £41,000 on top of his £459,000 salary. He is also chair of the BBC’s Journalism Board, with overall responsibility for providing extensive news and current affairs services across radio and television for the UK and worldwide. As an overseer of the BBC’s journalistic output, Byford has not curbed some of the Beeb’s outspoken minions, such as blogging business editor Robert Peston and Palinbashing-North America editor Justin Webb. Now he has been noticeably silent on Sachsgate.”


  35. Little Black Sambo says:

    Nearly Oxfordian said:
    “LBS, you are not only a racist but an idiot.”
    You are being very gnomic – explain!


  36. George R says:

    Ever-present = BBC Deputy DG, Mark Byford


  37. TPO says:

    A ringing endorsement of how brilliant, how perceptive, and how business savvy the BBC are.

    Set of TV’s Eldorado preserved as ghost town in Spain
    The set in Spain once used by the BBC’s soap opera flop Eldorado is now a ghost town

    A prophetic anagram from the time.
    Eldorado; A real dodo. Sums up the BBC for me.


  38. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    Little Black Sambo is a racist name. Sorry you find it quite so difficult to follow.


  39. Millie Tant says:

    ‘Perhaps we could have a thread about irritating BBC voices,’

    Point was not every body could put on a posh PR accent even if they wanted to.
    Ron Todd | 01.11.08 – 11:42 am | #


    Er…as I hsven’t said anything about accents, let alone posh ones, you appear to be waving a large bundle of straw at me. Oh, and Asperger’s was dragged in as well, for some reason. I wasn’t aware that there was an Asperger’s voice or if there is, what it has to do with.


  40. George R says:

    This BBC uncritical report indicates just a beginning of European Union enlargement:

    “Croatia set to get EU thumbs up”

    (And, read on, so too is Brown’s endorsed 75 million Muslim Turkey)

    And then on to greater expansion plans for EU membership: Islamic Middle East Mediterranean states, and even, dreamed by some EU bureaucrats: Russia:

    “Building the European Empire”

    [Concluding extract]:

    “Some leading politicians in Europe are not only dreaming of, but also working towards the establishment of a European Empire, a nuclear superpower with a Muslim population of 50%, extending from the Sahara to the North Pole and from Ireland to Vladivostok.”


  41. Little Black Sambo says:

    Nearly Oxfordian said: “Little Black Sambo is a racist name. Sorry you find it quite so difficult to follow.”

    (I love that “quite”!) Is it because you are only nearly Oxfordian that you feel the need to be supercilious?
    LBS is a classic children’s book (I am assuming you do not know this) and by no stretch of the imagination racist. The hero is an Indian boy who braves great dangers in order to look after his mother. Read it some time.


  42. Kill the Beeb says:

    See if you can stomach this crap from the Times.

    India Knight on why the public are morons, that everyone is a mysoginist and that Russel Brand fancied her.

    Gonzo journalism at it’s very worst.


  43. Kill the Beeb says:

    The Times report is already an indication of the law of diminishing returns at work among the media.

    They’ve spent so much time telling us how wrong Ross and Brand are, now it’s time to tell us how right they are.


  44. betyangelo says:

    Little Black Sambo was a hero, indeed! Turned those tigers to butter by their own foolishness.

    The book was not available to us in the US when my kids were little, but I remembered and recited by heart. It was one of their favorites.


  45. Ron Todd says:

    LBS and NO why not just use your real names?


  46. Ron Todd says:


    ‘irritating BBC voices’

    If irritating voices is not about accents what is it about?


  47. Millie Tant says:

    I fail to see why my flagrant rug munching should be of any business to you Ron Todd.

    And NO I DON’T shave under my arms before you ask. I merely plait the hairs.


  48. Ron Todd says:

    Ok Millie you win I cannon see any connection between my comment and your reply.


  49. Millie Tant says:


    Voices are about the quality of the sound, among other things.


  50. Millie Tant says:

    Millie Tant | 02.11.08 – 11:55 pm | #
    Ron & Moderators: The above post was made by someone impersonating me.

    Clearly, someone is really fascinated by me – and I can’t blame them (heh, heh)- but really, this blog is not about mememememememeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    Moderators may be able to identify whichever troll is doing this, by reference to IP, I presume?

    PS: I will be away from the computer on my hols from Wednesday this week until beginning of December, so there will be NO posts from the REAL Millie Tant during the rest of November.