Better late than never, over to you…

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86 Responses to OPEN THREAD…

  1. John Horne Tooke says:

    “TheForeign Office has apologised for a “foolish” document which suggested the Pope’s UK visit could be marked by the launch of “Benedict-branded” condoms.

    The junior civil servant responsible had been put on other duties, it said.”

    I wonder if he had insulted a leader from another religion his punishment would have been the same.

    Seems the Foreign Office is quite similar to the BBC.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      How is it the the BBC say a “junior civil servant” was to blame – when the Telegraph says a  “senior official was found responsible and has been transferred to other duties. “?


    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri says:

      That is the least of it.  Has anyone seen this morning’s Andrew Marr horror?  He had Sue McGregor lined up to say that the real shame was that the Pope had “never” apologized for whatever her limited intellect could ever understand of ecclesiastical sin.  This is not only a downright lie, but a lie that a supposed journalist like McGregor should never have had the nerve to present, nor another supposed journalist like Marr accept without telling her to her face to go back to school and learn to read.  Even  the most tin eared, empty headed members of that profession had heard, if nothing else, of the apostolic letter to the Irish bishops.  The BBC has crossed the line from mere misrepresentation and silencing into outright, shameless lying.


    • Millie Tant says:

      And look what this retired “diplomat” and Labour Party member has strained to come up wiith to justify the crass stupidity and juvenilia emanating from the FCO. Wouldn’t be trying to save the Labour government from embarrassment I suppose?

      Defending the indefensible doesn’t say much for the judgement or calibre of FCO diplomats. Join the FCO for jolly japes and a laugh a minute, all paid for by those mugs known collectively as The Public.


    • Millie Tant says:

      Oops! I forgot to post the link:


  2. hippiepooter says:

    Here is an interesting piece on Sue Inglish, the person in charge at the BBC of the 3rd and final Leader’s debate:

    Here is a bit about her on the BBC site.  You’ll note that at the bottom, among the Declaration of personal interests they are meant to include those of family.  The BBC tell us this will be published shortly.  From a random check it does’nt look like anyone has.  I wonder what it would reveal about just how many senior BBC News Group Executives have senior Labour spouses?


  3. Ronald Todd says:

    The way the BBC workes the simplest of braodcasts seem to involve a huge number of people. I doubt if the BBC could even if it wanted to, put together a team to do a major broadcast without at least one of the seniour people having links to Labour.


    • Guest Who says:

      No argument. But in light of its recruitment policies and methods and corporate culture, it might be interesting to see how it stacks up with other broadcasters, as media as a career does to attract those of a more liberal persuasion anyway.

      Especially those in positions of public commentary and/or editorial control, such as the merry moderator or uni-mocking editor.


      • Ronald Todd says:

        Except at the moment there is little liberal about the Labour party and I would not expect a unison dominated party to be any better.


  4. stopcp says:

    With the general election campaign underway, here are some ideas for questions to ask candidates about Common Purpose:


  5. fred bloggs says:

    News headline:  Economic Revovery!  – With only a 0.2% increase would not an honest headline would be: Economy Stagnant.  However that would expose their political masters also the country to the truth.  BBC News and the truth an oxymoron.


  6. Martin says:

    I wonder if we can expect the BBC to pick up on THIS story in their favoured paper?


  7. John Anderson says:

    How green is my broadcaster ?

    Talk about mote and beam – the BBC is bloody shameless !


  8. George R says:

    BBC on its ‘diverse’ Tower Hamlets, London.

    BBC provides little information on the Bangladeshi/Islamic nature of this London borough’s population.

    Some information from Tower Hamlets council:

    [Extract] –

    “Over half of Tower Hamlets’ population are from non-white British ethnic groups. A third of these are Bangladeshi, of whom over a third are 15 years or less old.
    “According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2006 population estimates:
    fifty six per cent of the population in Tower Hamlets belonged to an ethnic group other than white British thirty per cent are Bangladeshi eight per cent are from other white backgrounds ”

    No BBC discussion of Labour’s mass immigration ‘policy’.


  9. George R says:

    BBC’s World Cup in South Africa: don’t forget the political propaganda.

    Following the BBC’s Obama bus in the U.S. election, BBC licencepayers now fork out for the BBC’s South Africa World Cup bus and its 6,000 km journey.

     All BBC casual political propaganda, en route, for Mandela, Zuma, ANC, and against whites, will be provided free.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Andrew Marr sure didn’t like it when Nick Clegg said that Labour shouldn’t be allowed to form a government if they come in last in the election.  Marr tried to say that Clegg was being hypocritical because the LibDem leader had earlier said that a party which didn’t have a majority should still be allowed to form a government, but Clegg corrected him.  Marr tried to misrepresent Clegg’s earlier statement about a party with the most seats and votes – even if it wasn’t a majority – should still be considered the winner.  Clegg stopped him, even against Marr’s repeated attempts to interrupt and spin it away.

    It’s as if Marr momentarily didn’t understand the difference between coming in dead last and just not getting a majority.  Or pretended to, or just tried to lie about it to the viewers.


  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Now some Beeboid female is talking to Lord Owen about the whole majority/coalition issue.  She keeps trying to get him to say that Labour could survive one way or another, or at least something good about a Lib/Lab coaltion, and he’s not having it.  Pretty funny.

    Unfortunately, he’s really there to support the BBC Narrative that a hung parliament will be good for the country, and that’s what he spent most of his time on.


  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC News channel is still repeating the segment about how a hung parliament is inevitable, and trying to spin the idea away from the LibDems supporting anyone but Labour.  Vicky Young keeps saying that none of the party leaders want to talk about what they’d do in a hung parliament, yet the whole segment is about Nick Clegg saying specifically what he wouldn’t do:  support a third-place Labour.

    Young still said that none of the party leaders would talk about it, but “unfortunately he (Clegg) did fall into that trap today.”  Unfortunately for Labour, she means.


  13. George R says:

    Foreign Office (F.O.), BBC, the Pope, and Muhammad.

    Following the F.O.’s jokes against the Pope and Roman Catholics, perhaps the F.O. will even things up with cartoons against Muhammad, and jokes against Islam, to be dutifully report by the BBC ?


  14. George R says:

    Not for BBC:

    “Tories open up 7-point poll lead”


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Gordon Brown is getting desperate.  Nick Robinson is reporting that Labour has sent a letter to the Tories and LibDems asking them to join in signing a complaint against all the networks for their election coverage.  It seems that Mr. Brown is unhappy that they’re spending too much time saying he’s behind in the polls.

    I’m told that Labour has asked the two other big parties to sign a joint letter to broadcasters criticsing them for covering the debates and the polls too much and claiming that the news bulletins had “failed to deliver the usual specialist examination of specific policy areas”.

    Unfortunately, the BBC will sieze on this as proof that the BBC is not biased in favor of Labour.


  16. Biodegradable says:

    Hamas releases a disgustingly sick cartoon of Gilad Shalit and how do the BBC headline the story?

    Israel blasts new Shalit cartoon released by Hamas

    Right, Israel is the protaganist, blasting.

    See also
    BBC bias in report on Gaza girl

    Could Hamas Be Any More Disgusting?


  17. David Preiser (USA) says:

    From Beeboid Brian Wheeler’s report on the BNP manifesto launch party:

    They say they’ve changed but all this stuff about “countering jihad and the Islamic colonisation of Britain” sounds like straightforward prejudice.

    Countering jihad is now an act of prejudice.  Don’t tell the troops in Afghanistan, or the police or any other authorities investigating Islamic terrorist plots that they’re a bunch of nasty bigots.

    You’re just supposed to take his word for it, based on a couple of out-of-context generalities.  No direct quotes for anyone to judge for themselves.


  18. It's all too much says:

    Gove shows his ire

    re the entirely artificial issue – 1st on BBC news running order of course as ordered by the dark lord – when a Tory council leader says that he was concerned that LA budgets might shrink if the public are allowed to set up their ‘own’ state schools.  That is of course the point….But The BBC can’t see the “sharp elbowed middle classes” being empowered.  [scorn and sneering quotient off the scale 07:10 this morning]

    lovely line from Gove this morning on being goaded by Humph [scoff]

    something like in ‘I appreciate the BBC’s enthusiasm to create a story’… and
    ‘I am always disappointed when I hear Labour smears passed off as opinion on the BBC’

    Well worth listening again as this was one of the most blatant ersatz attacks I have heard so far this election.  BBC clearly cannot envisage any deviation from bog-standard comp education for everyone apart from their kid…


    • Heads on poles says:

      I heard this too. As hippiepooter says, well worth listening to – at last, somebody not kowtowing to the mighty BBC adn giving as good as they get.


      • Roland Deschain says:

        Of course it was Gove who fired a warning shot across Kirsty Wark’s bows on Newsnight during the height of the Ashcroft saga.  He at least appears to realise the BBC’s bias, even if others in his party don’t, or won’t.


    • sue says:

      Yes, it was hilarious. Today gleefully headlined with Paul Carter’s criticism of the Conservative schools policy, but Michael Gove deflated an even more than normally puffed up John Humphrys. “I know that you’re better than that!” Ha! Way to go! Even you can’t argue with that Mr. H.
      Something tells me Michael Gove has noticed the BBC’s bias.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        So the public wants to send their children to “a decent state school”.  Not just any old good schools, or wherever they can get the best education for their children, but specifically state schools.  Spoken from on high.

        And good for Gove for calling a smear a smear.


  19. George R says:

    Well, here’s someone who won’t be in the BBC’s TV audience in Birmingham on Thursday:

    “Brummie balti boss ‘is terror kingpin'”


  20. Heads on poles says:

    Always happy to praise the BBc when it needs it.
    Brilliant interview with Harriet Harperson –
    1 hr 46 in, clearly somebody is not long for the BBC but full credit to Stephen Nolan for a proper interview.
    I do hope he is at the BBC for as long as possible.


    • John Anderson says:

      good link – Noilan skewers Harman,  shows her as shifty, evasive,  ducking questions all the time.


  21. Guest Who says:

    As part of the BBC (on the part of you, the people) vs. BAD FOLK, we seem to have this interesting spin:

    Politicians and the People vs. MSM

    Not quite clear where he sees the BBC in all this, but as a person I am a tad bemused by being lumped in with ‘politicians’, who I tend at the moment to despise quite equally.

    That various media weigh in on evident, obvious faults is fine by me. So long as they are fair, objective and consistent, at least when paid from the public purse.

    Hence, on reading Rory’s – rather vague – version of events I was bemused to find it might have been ‘selective’ at best. 

    Now, in whose favour, or against whose interests… I do wonder. 


  22. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    Same old, same old on The Toady Programme.

    Justin Webb interviewing Tory Nick Herbert and a couple of others I’d never heard of about The Countryside.

    Webb straight into Nick Herbert with…

    Can I ask you if you’re the party of the hunt?

    And how important is the re-instatment of hunting with hounds?

    Let’s get hunting out of the way.

    Your party leader, Nick Herbert, wants it back

    But he personally wants it back…

    Yeah alright, Justin, we get it.  The Tories are very bad people who want to kill foxes.  Now if you want to talk about the countryside how about the economy, housing, education, services, farming etc.  You know, relevant, important stuff rather than stuff you can use (you think) as a stick to beat the Tories with.

    Credit to Nick Herbert who swatted Justin away.

    Message to David Cameron – I’m sure an avid reader – when you get into power, cut the BBC’s funding by 90%.  The easy way to do this would be by making the licence fee voluntary in much the same way as Sky’s ‘licence fee’ is voluntary.  That would certainly see 90% of the BBC’s income disappear.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I noticed that Justin Webb couldn’t work hard enough to stoke enthusiasm about voting for the LibDems and a hung parliament.  Everyone he spoke to in both his segments on Today got the same treatment.  A hung parliament will be good for the country, people want a hung parliament, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for….


  23. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    Ok me again then.

    I heard an interview a couple of weeks ago on the BBC with one Alex Mcbride, a barrister, plugging his book which struck me as a fairly juvenile. Here’s what jolly japes we got up to while we were qualifying and here’s the so-clever tactics we use in courtroom to get our clients off – send them round to John Lewis for some casual wear.  No problems there – he’s written a crappy book and he’s marketing it.

    Imagine my surprise when it turned up as Book of the Week this week.  Two minutes googling showed me he’s a regular on the beeb, legal consultant to their dramas (acc. to Amazon) contributor to From Our Own Correspondent, etc.

    Not bias then, but I’ve got to say it’s just a bit whiffy.  I mean they could always pick their Books of the Week on.. you know… merit.

    And if they did select their Books of the Week on merit they ,ight have spared the nation convicted criminal Ali Dezaei’s dreary cryathon, Not One Of Us.


  24. Biodegradable says:

    Alan Sillitoe, the ‘non-Jewish Jew’

    Alan Sillitoe, the novelist, who has died aged 82, often spoke of his love for Jewish culture and Israel.

    Married to American Jewish poet Ruth Fainlight, Nottingham-born Mr Sillitoe was one of Britain’s best-known novelists and famous as one of the 1950s “Angry Young Men”, though it was a label he disliked.

    Mr Sillitoe’s father was an often violent factory worker, and his mother, frequently attacked by his father, sometimes resorted to prostitution to feed the family.

    Yet, in his 1996 autobiography Life without Armour, Alan Sillitoe wrote that his impoverished childhood compared favourably with the lives of the destitute Jewish refugees he met.
    “Their faces tell me that compared to them, my early days went by in absolute paradise,” he wrote.

    Nearly 20 years after the success of Mr Sillitoe’s 1958 novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, he became heavily involved with helping Soviet Jews and campaigned for the release of Soviet Jewish activists Yuli Tartakovsky and Yuri Podriachik for them to be allowed to live in Israel.

    He later wrote a play The Interview based on the story of Russian Jew Ida Nudel, who was then struggling to go to Israel.
    He believed very strongly, despite not being Jewish, in the right of Jews to return to Israel, describing himself as a “non-Jewish Jew” in 1976.

    He often spoke of how his religious upbringing and his discovery of Zionism had led to his philosemitism and his support of Israel.

    The only hint of any of this from the BBC is this:

    The award-winning writer was married to the American poet Ruth Fainlight, with whom he had David, and adopted daughter Susan.

    No mention that his wife was Jewish…

    Although he tended to spend most of his time in London, they also lived in France, Spain, Tangier and Israel.

    Of the BBC doesn’t say a word about this great man’s love of the Jewish people and his support of Zionism… perish the thought!


    • Biodegradable says:

      Last para should read:

      Of course the BBC doesn’t say a word…


      • Bupendra Bhakta says:

        Come on, BBC, do the decent thing for once. 

        Declare force majeure and boot (your regular contributor) Alex McBride’s ‘hilarious’ book off Book of the Week and put on Saturday Night, Sunday Morning instead.  There’s still four days left.


  25. George R says:

    “BBC under fire for claiming Tories are divided over flagship schools plan”

    Read more:

    -And a recurring BBC poliitically biased feature today on BBC News TV was a 20+ year old  BBC ‘reporter’ interviewing 3  20 year old students sat on a bench, two of whom mentioned they were likely to vote for Lib Dems, the other likely to vote for Labour; Tories non-existent in biased BBC item.


  26. George R says:

    Pro-Labour BBC very reluctant to show latest polls on BBC News TV.

    BBC is still hostile towards the Tories, as it campaigns for hung Parliament, without giving details of Labour’s deteriorating position in the polls.

    In contrast, Sky News has the poll numbers in the bottom right-hand corner of  liveTV screen.


  27. David Preiser (USA) says:

    BBC News Channel just introduced a report on party policies by stating that “Gordon Brown said” that everyone needs to focus on policy and stop trying to predict the election based on polls.   “Gordon Brown wants” the topic to be policy, and is “frustrated” with the focus on polls.

    No mention that he sent a whining letter around, no mention that he was actually criticizing the media, no mention that it’s an act of desperation because Labour is last in the polls.  Instead, this is presented as a good idea, Mr. Brown is right.

    Now some Beeboid is saying that the Prime Minister “really has a point, doesn’t he,” that he was in fact complaining that the LibDems are talking too much about the possibilities of a hung parliament!


  28. David Preiser (USA) says:

    News Channel Beeboid in Wales just now telling the Welsh Conservative rep that the fact that the Tories want a clear majority means that they would not be happy working with the LibDems in the event of a hung parliament.  Which is not the same thing at all, but the BBC must press the narrative.  The Welsh Conservative guy replied that they’re simply working for a real majority.  The Beeboid immediately interrupted him by saying that the polls show that there will be a hung parliament, so it’s bad for the Conservatives to keep talking about a majority.

    This followed on the previous segment, in which Peter Hain was given free rein to slam the Tories about devastating cuts and the Beeboid emphasizing that Labour happily works with other parties.

    So the Narrative continues openly:  There will be a hung parliament, end of discussion.  Nasty Tories won’t work with the other parties – and everyone really wants the parties to work together for once, yeah – but Labour will happily work with the LibDems.  The choice is clear.


    • Jack Bauer says:

      The Beeboid immediately interrupted him by saying that the polls show that there will be a hung parliament, so it’s bad for the Conservatives to keep talking about a majority.  

      Based on the logic that if the polls show a Labour win, it would be bad for the conservatives to keep talking about a Tory win.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Based on the logic that the BBC’s Narrative is that there will be a hung parliament, and Tory claims to the contrary don’t help the Narrative.

        It’s been really annoying listening to the constant drone of “hung parliament” and endless stream of talking heads saying that it would be a good thing, and pointing out other countries with successful coalition governments.  There’s another one babbling about it right now.  “It’s the people’s will,” etc.

        All partisan politics aside, this method of coverage is simply bad for democracy.  One of the things I hate most about the US elections is that they last for so long that the media predictions often end up turning people off.   Why bother voting if the outcome is a given?  With only a couple of exceptions, it happens way too many times.

        Of course the BBC should keep the idea of a hung parliament in the discussion, but no way should they be telling politicians and viewers alike that there will be a hung parliament and they need to stop talking about other outcomes.  Every single segment not having to do with sports, nasty Tory plans to harm state schools, or chemical burns from dodgy Chinese sofas, is an effort to play up the hung parliament angle.  All day long.  I have yet to hear a single Beeboid ask anyone what might need to be done for the Tories to get a majority.

        It’s bad for democracy to discourage people from voting by telling them a given outcome is inevitable.  The BBC needs to back off this anti-democratic attempt at a Narrative.


        • John Anderson says:

          I don’t normally bet on elections – but as the BBC seems to be making Labour voters blase,  hung Parliament and all that,  I reckon the Labour vote could really be in the low 20s, Libs around 25 – so my bet wil be for an overall Tory majority.


        • dave s says:

          “Hung parliament” is really code for a liblab government. The BBC libleft mindset cannot conceive of a libcon government and they are right. It is a contradiction in terms even allowing for the perceived flakiness of Cameron.
          The licence tax will be safe. The jobs and salaries will be safe. What is there not to like about a liblab government if you are a good card carrying member of the gibbering classes?
          Poor old Brown is disposable. A new dawn awaits and  the libleft can continue on it’s grand predestined march to victory and everlasting happiness.
          It is all completely unreal and the most dangerous of illusions but this will not stop the hive regrouping around the kitsch figures of Clegg and Milliband and Harman and the rest of those idiots whose grasp of reality makes a drugged out 60s style hippie seem coherently sane.
          They would be well advised to read Homer and pay particular attention to the end of the Odyssey where the suitors are confident that at last  they will destroy Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, win Penelope and take the kingdom of Odysseus for themselves. 
          Reality as always intervenes and it is they who are destroyed.


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            The Beeboids seem to accept that Labour has no chance, but there is still every hope for them to weaken the Tory result as much as possible.  They were ridiculing the “Hung Parliament Party” red rosettes a little while ago.

            Of course, just as I’m writing this, Nick Robinson is on saying that the polls show the parties are very close, “only a couple of percentage points” away from each other.  It’s a brand new election, he says.  Who is he kidding?  And he’s still pretending that Mr. Brown’s complaint wasn’t about the media but was about the other parties – even though Brown said it straight to his face this morning!

            Robinson is too wrapped up in the feelings of politicians and is not interested in giving the viewers what they need to hear.


  29. Lloyd says:

    Just been reading the latest developments in the Cowan story on Guido’s blog  and it has to be noted that the man is a political liability, and if he had been a Tory candidate (which he could well have been) the beeb would be all over the story and I would wager that it would lead the evening news calling into question Cameron’s judgement.


    • Jack Bauer says:

      Have you seen a picture of the “fat bastard”?

      I guess Labour’s “wellness” programmes aren’t working.


  30. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC spent the entire run-up to the US presidential election openly suggesting that there were probably too many white racists in the country to elect a black man.  The racism of whites was the number one concern of all Beeboids during their election coverage, especially near the end.

    Once that was proven to be a lie, and the Tea Party movement was born and grew to oppose not only The Obamessiah’s policies but really the policies of the Democratic Party leaders, the BBC constantly focused on the racialist angle of the Tea Party protesters.  The Beeboids never failed to point out that the protesters are mostly white, as if that on its own was a valid reason to discredit, or at least be suspicious of, their views.

    Now the President has released a video message to His supporters that includes the following statement:

    “This year, the stakes are higher than ever,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Democratic officials. “It will be up to each of you to make sure that young people, African Americans, Latinos and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again.

    White Republican males will harm blacks and Latinos and women.  Who’s the racist now, BBC?  This is one of the more divisive statements I’ve ever heard from a US President in my lifetime.  It’s the kind of thing a serious news organization with a real desire to report honestly on US issues would be covering, rather than being little more than a mouthpiece for the policies of a foreign government.


    • Millie Tant says:

      There is a certain mindset prevalent among the establishment and the indoctrinated in England nowadays that regards white skin with suspicion – and any activity, gathering, event, institution or even town or area of the country that happens to be wholly or predominantly white is seen as akin to a BNP convention. 

      I like the way women have been tacked on to his motley list like an afterthought but I suppose they should be grateful for any crumb – majority males don’t even get that.

      Surely lots of women voted for Hillary, not to mention those who voted Republican. But, in any case, he would never have been elected without majority males voting for him in considerable numbers. So what the heck is that about?


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        55% of Tea Partiers are women.  I doubt His divisive message will affect that.


  31. Julio says:

    Compare and contrast :

    Labour MP suspended and possibly sacked for saying that he wouldn’t want his kids to marry a muslim.

    Civil servant allowed to keep his job after insulting the entire Catholic church.


  32. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Hard sell for the hung parliament still going strong.  It’s not the BBC’s place to reassure anyone about any particular outcome.  This is bias.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      The BBC have been saying all day that “once again talk of a hung paliament dominate the 3 main parties” – but it is the BBC that is pushing this, it is they who are dominating the news with this single issue. Nothing is of interest to the BBC policy wise unless some Tory can be smeared. How can people possibly make up their minds who to vote for when all the BBC is interested in is the outcome and not informing the licence fee payers with the issues.

      Personally I cannot stand any of the “main parties” – but at least I want a chance to see what their policies are. And I want to hear it from them, not the BBCs talking heads.


      • Guest Who says:

        but it is the BBC that is pushing this,

        All media do it, but the BBC has epic form in creating an issue from within, especially when it cannot find any tame FoB (Friend of BBC) to fob off with a degree of separation.

        ‘A row has erupted..’ ‘Criticism mounts..’ ‘The BBC has learned..’ is all well and good, but downright dodgy when it transpires that they are the one whipping it up based on some editor’s personal agenda.

        Usually topped off with a nice bit of approbatory commentary from the only ‘guest’ that can be found whose provenance is often mysteriously vague. 


  33. David Preiser (USA) says:

    At last someone asked what the Tories need to do to get those votes they need to get a majority.  Only it wasn’t a Beeboid who asked, but Tory-lite Matthew D’Anconia.


  34. John Horne Tooke says:

    Now I don’t support this party – but it is a good example of what the BBC is interested in when questioning a politician. She just doesn’t want to talk about policies.


  35. George R says:

    Pro-Labour BBC censors Labour’s sordid oil deal with Gaddafi (written by Shell):

    “Shell drafted letter Tony Blair sent to Gaddafi while Prime Minister”


  36. George R says:

    BBC relegates the importance of insults by Labour’s Foreign Office (F.O.) -under the responsibility of D.Miliband-   to Christianity.

    Although Labour and the BBC play down the F.O.’s insult to the Pope, there is more to this insult than has previously been revealed. And BBC’s Paul Reynolds’ account is outdated and inadequate:

    The BBc will not want to embarrass Labour by following this up, but here is today’s informative ‘Daily Mail’:

    “Revealed, the papal visit chief who wrote memo mocking Pope”

    “Mr Noorani, 31,[who was in charge] is far more senior than the Foreign Office has made out. Officials desperate to limit the damage have tried to play down his role, insisting he was merely a junior worker who acted without any authority.
    “But in fact Mr Noorani’s title is ‘Head of Papal Visit Team’ and he is in charge of the staff preparing for the visit.”

    “None of the Foreign Office’s Pope memo team is understood to be Catholic, according to senior sources within the Church. ”

    “They have privately expressed dismay that they were having to arrange the papal visit with officials who ‘seem to know next to nothing about Catholicism’.
    “Mr Noorani is understood to be British Pakistani – but colleagues say he is not a Muslim.”

    Read more:

    Plus, Melanie Phillips:

    “Infantile and horribly offensive – the FO’s insult to the Pope is a dismal reflection of what Britain’s become”
    More…CHRISTOPHER MEYER: “Imagine the furore if the Foreign Office had insulted insulted the Prophet Mohammed


  37. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    Crime the issue of the day on The Toady programme. Postie Johnson was wheeled on, laid on his back, had his stomach stroked, and gently purred.

    The Narrative? – again, the daily memo from Peter Mandelson gave the BBC its Line du jour – Crime Has Fallen OK Geddit.  And of course they duly ‘got it’.

    I was genuinely surprised then when they cut to a vox pop from a lady who lives in a council estate – expecting, as I was, to hear about kids running riot, groups of youths, vandalism, public drunkenness etc.

    But no – they had managed to find the only council estate in Britain where things have improved markedly in the past ten years and/or found a Labour activist to interview.

    Point being I should not be ‘genuinely surprised” that the BBC might play a clip that is not ‘on message’.  Which of course it didn’t.

    Anyway – must dash – I’ve got £4,800 to spend on taxi fares in the next 90 days, and as you can imagine, that’s going to take up a lot of my time (and your money).


  38. John Anderson says:

    A report on Sky’s plans for broadcasting from Cape Town during the world cup.

    Leaving aside transmission costs and in-stadium costs – it looks from this as though Sky is setting up its “HQ” a damn sight cheaper than the BBC.

    Hang the expense is the BBC’s motto.


  39. John Anderson says:

    Here is a useful summary of the salaries of dozens of BBC “management” – it excludes the sums paid / overpaid for “talent” eg presenters :

    And here is the ACTUAL job advert for the replacement for Mark Damazer as Controller of Radio 4 :


    During the election period I have found myself listening quite a bit to LBC’s election coverage.  Much more varied,  more interesting than the BBC’s coverage.  And any “vox pop” is truly a mixture of views.   And most importantly,  a sense of the need to maintain political balance.


  40. George R says:

    Journalists starting to turn on Labour’s Lord Mandelson.

    Adam Boulton (‘Sky News’) confronts Mandelson [video clip]:

    (Note the exchange where Mandelson tells Boulton that he (Boulton) is not standing in the Election, and some wag reporters replies: ‘neither are you’.)


  41. John Anderson says:

    Silly question ?  Why is Blair Peach the BBC’s top or next-to-top story all day ?   Top item right now on News at One,  then into a big discussion led by Kearney.

    In the middle of a general election – why does the BBC big this up ?   Is the BBC infested with wannabe-demonstrators ?


  42. ap-w says:

    Did anyone hear Gordon Brown on the phone-in on The World at One. The BBC host a chance for people to ring in to speak to Gordon Brown and what do you get? One caller asked him to rule out a VAT rise. When he gave the usual waffle, notably stopping short of giving such an undertaking, the caller seemed very happy with the “positive” response and started telling Brown that he thought the Tories were an unknown factor when it came to running the economy. Then we had a Liberal Democrat supporter who told Brown he would nevertheless be voting for the excellent local Labour candidate to keep the Tories out, closely followed by a Labour supporter who was also terrfied of a Tory government but wanted some reassurance from Brown that she should vote Labour rather than for the Lib Dems in her constituency. Next up was someone wanting an apology for the war in Iraq, before Brown was tackled on the key issue on everyone’s lips – why he hadn’t done enough to reverse the trade union legislation of the “hated Thatcher government.”



  43. capriole says:

    Guardian writer Afua Hirsch getting her BBC DGs confused!

    General election 2010: If Britain is really post-racial, why is the election so white?
    “The presence of minority MPs in the palace of Westminster is progress that any minority person who achieves a level of success recognises. All the UK’s elite institutions – Oxbridge, the bar, city boardrooms, senior positions in the media – are still, to repeat the phrase of BBC director general Mark Thompson – “hideously white”. To be an ethnic minority person in any of these institutions is to stand out, which also means that more is required to succeed, and less is required to fail.”

    Guardian writer Afua Hirsch getting her BBC DGs confused! It was Greg Dyke in 2002 (May 3) strange. 


  44. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Just a saw a report about the Tory MP candidate who was forced to stand down because he wrote some unapproved veiws on homosexuality on his own website.  BBC all over the story. But they have been utterly silent on the Labour guy Cowan who had to stand down yesterday for his own offensive remarks.

    Double standards and bias.


  45. David Preiser (USA) says:

    BBC News Channel showing a clip of Cameron getting an earful from a voter with a disabled child about a Tory policy for special needs education.  Due to a techinical error (presumably), there’s background music playing so loud that Cameron’s responses – his back is to the camera – can’t be heard at all.

    Now back to the studio, and suddenly the music is off.  Since we didn’t get to hear Cameron’s explanation for why he wants the “inclusion” policy changed, we have to listen to these Beeboids explain it for us.  No points for guessing which side they come down on.

    Off to a clip of Gordon Brown kissing babies at a shopping center.  There’s a “scrum” of people surrounding him, says the Beeboid female .  He’s meeting real people after all, contrary to what the complainers say.  “A lot of excitement, to be honest”, ever time people see the PM, people calling their friends on their mobiles, “I’ve just seen the prime minister!”  So says Beeboid Jane something-or-other.

    Now there’s yet another uninterrupted clip of Gordon Brown explaining his economic policy again, helpfully followed up by the Beeboid female.


  46. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Second mention in the last 20 minutes of the Tory candidate who had to stand down for making unfortunate remarks.  I had the News Channel on this time yesterday, had it going for several hours, and there was no mention whatsoever all day of the Labour candidate who had to stand down for making unfortunate remarks.

    Nothing on the News Channel for several hours on a Labour candidate, but the Tory gets two mentions in 20 minutes.


  47. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Remember when the BBC made report after report telling you all how great The Obamessiah’s Health Care Plan For Us was going to be?  And how so many people – including Mark Mardell and a defender of the indefensible here – cheered when it was passed?  Remember how the BBC told you that The Obamessiah’s Health Care Plan For Us was going to reduce the deficit?

    It turns out that this was a lie.  The Health and Human Services made a report saying that costs would in fact rise, many people would actually lose their health insurance due to the Plan, businesses would take a huge hit, and there won’t be any spending reductions, so no lowering of the deficit at all.  Medicare’s chief actuary made a report saying the same thing.

    The report was suppressed by the White House until after the House voted on the ObamaCare bill.  They knew this was all a lie, and went with it anyway.

    The BBC did not do any reporting or journalism at all.  They parrotted the talking points of a foreign government in order to promote the domestic agenda of a foreign leader.  Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.  Ever.


  48. David Preiser (USA) says:

    BBC making a big deal now about an argument between a “voter with a disabled child” and David Cameron about inclusion policies for disabled children.  The “voter with a disabled child” said the Tories’ manifestowill stop his child from going to a normal school and will be forced to go far away from his friends to a specialty school.  Cameron says that’s not so, that his policy is about giving parents with disabled children more choice of where to send their children.

    The Beeboids in the studio said Cameron was wrong, now they’re giving the guy free rein to explain his position and how the Tories are wrong.

    He says he’s a “floating voter”.  His name is Jonathan Bartley, and he is a progressive Christian activist and – surprise – Guardian contributor.  He said he’s head of a thinktank, but didn’t say which one it was.  In fact, he’s co-director of Ekklesia, a progressive Christian activist group.  He also regularly appears on the BBC on Radio 2, 4, and 5live.  What a shock.

    This was a total setup.  An ambush, falsely presented by the BBC.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Search results for Jonathan Bartley’s many appearances on the BBC can be found here.


  49. Simon Fay says:


    I shouldn’t be shocked to read of the Beeb’s brazen charade in attempting to present Mr Bartley as some kind of process-virginal third party but I still get amazed at what devious hard-faced bastards they are. I have seen this fellow’s telegenic mug on Nicky Campbell’s Sunday morning show several times and heard him just a few days ago as a talking head on the R2 lunchtime Vine show. The guy is obviously on speed-dial thanks to his proposing a brand of Christianity so liberal and watered-down as to be meaningless. IIRC he recently mused upon the desirability of Britain disavowing its predominantly Christian heritage so as to deprive the BNP of a point to campaign upon.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The thing is, I don’t believe it would detract one bit from his credibility as a parent with a disabled child if they mentioned his regular appearances on the BBC, including Thought For The Day.  He has as much right to have his own opinion on what’s best for his child as Cameron does, even if he is a BBC contributor.  After all, they let Justin Webb openly state his personal reasons for using his position at the BBC to advocate in favor of embryonic stem-cell research, so why not Bartley?  Not that I thought ol’ Justin’s behavior was appropriate or professional – I’m just saying there’s a BBC precedent for it, so they must think it’s okay.

      In any case, the female Beeboid in the studio made it worse by highlighting ancient Tory connection while completely hiding the rest of Bartley’s political activist life.  I gave her credit for correctly stating that Cameron’s policy was not what Bartely said it was, especially as she did so in response to her colleague in the studio suggesting the Cameron had his own policy wrong and that Bartley was right.

      But except for that brief moment of honesty, they let Bartley go on and on misrepresenting the Tory policy, as if he were an innocent voter and not an activist with an agenda to push.  Even if the BBC is going to be dishonest in the way they present Bartley to the public, they know who and what he is, and deliberately let him do his thing.  Again, I realize that he set up the ambush himself and was not a BBC plant as I first thought.  But the BBC certainly made every effort to abet his activism.