: 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 be moderated
You have to wonder about the type of employee working at the BBC! What prompts this is the news story that suggests a BBC Radio 4 presenter drugged and raped a man he met at a New Year party after inviting him back to see his art collection, a court heard today. Nigel Wrench snorted cocaine with the man at the party in south London and offered him the chance to sit in on his show, the Old Bailey was told. Back at the PM presenter’s flat he poured them both a glass of champagne but when the 26-year-old man took a gulp he realised “not all was well”, a jury heard. Mr Wrench denies the allegations. Now, let’s not go into the specific details here since that is a matter for the Court to deal with. But I wonder has the PM show covered this story? It is always quick enough to publicise the alleged misdeeds of others, so I wonder if this story has been given due prominence on PM?
Whenever the Church of England gets a favourable headline on the BBC, you can be sure that it will relate to it embracing leftist causes. Global warming hysteria is one of the Left’s favourite causes – in fact I would suggest it has taken on quasi-religious importance to those who worship at the church of the Rev Al Gore. So maybe it’s no big surprise to see the prominence the BBC gives to the story that two senior bishops are urging people to cut back on carbon for Lent instead of the conventional chocolate or alcohol.
The Bishops of London and Liverpool, Dr Richard Chartres and James Jones, are launching the Carbon Fast at Trafalgar Square with aid agency Tearfund. They hope to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint for 40 days. Bishop Jones, who is vice president of Tearfund, said: “It is the poor who are already suffering the effects of climate change. To carry on regardless of their plight is to fly in the face of Christian teaching.” One Tearfund employee will camp outside the charity’s offices in Teddington for a week in an attempt to reduce his emissions to that of an average Malawian farmer. God preserve us from liberal angst. Dr Chartres called for “individual and collective action”.
OK, so these two Bishops buy into the global warming alarmism so assiduously cultivated by the BBC. But why is that EVERY person who the BBC allows to comment on this story all share the one viewpoint? Whatever happened to plurality of opinion? Is there no-one that the BBC can find to oppose the AGW hysteria? There are MANY in the scientific community who do not buy into the carbon emission obsession, there are many within the religious community who also do not see it the same way as these two Bishops do. But time after time, when it comes to this topic, the BBC ONLY allows one view. That is neither fair nor balanced and it’s high time that the high priests of global warming hysteria in the BBC were held to account. We need less hot air from them.
One of the enduring aims of the political left is to seek to continually grow the size of the Welfare State. The child poverty industry has become quite an effective propagandist tool in this regard and true to form the BBC swallows and then regurgitates several myths. As this story over on the BBC’s Scotland news site proclaims, child poverty could be assisted if means testing was abolished. I bet. It then repeats the claim that a mere £4 billion a year – what a bargain – would help ease this awful problem in Scotland, where 250,000 children are living in poverty. (That’s almost one in four of all Scottish children living in this dire state) You should check out the report – it only puts forward arguments in favour of all imagined neo-Dickensian squalor. Just one problem – it’s deeply flawed.
For starters, the political left have changed the definition of child poverty to one that is no longer absolute but relative. A family is thus considered to be officially poor if it is living on less than 60% of Britain’s median (average) level of household income. This economic sleight of hand sets up an endless narrative in which the stormtroopers for socialism can gripe just how unfair it all is and how we need to redistribute income to those that they define as needy. If the UK median income was £100k tomorrow, poverty would then be located at £60k. Who in their right mind believes this to be a credible formulation? Of course there is child poverty, we see the terrible images of kids starving in Africa and frankly it is insulting to suggest that because some UK families can’t afford two holidays a year or the latest computer game, then they sunk in poverty.
The BBC should seek comment from those who do not buy into this socialist dogma and who are quite able to challenge it – but it does nothing of the sort. Instead it allows the child poverty industry a very public platform from which it can pump out this socialist propaganda. The drip drip drip of bias comes in many subtle forms.
I was struck by this BBC headline “Rare suicide bombing hits Israel” prominently displayed on its Middle-Eastern news page. Consider the details and then ask yourself if “Rare” is the word you would choose to describe what has happened.
“A suicide bomber has killed a woman in the southern Israeli town of Dimona, the first such attack in over a year. Police said a second suicide attacker was shot dead before he was able to detonate his explosives belt. “We heard a large explosion and people started to run. I saw pieces of flesh flying in the air,” a witness told army radio.
Several point here. Despite what the BBC alleges, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terror group is an integral part of the Fatah organisation, led by Mahmoud Abbas. So why does the BBC try to distance it from their favourite “man of peace”, the holocaust denier Abbas, by claiming it is some sort of “violent off-shoot”? Next, this is a SAVAGE terrorist attack. The frequency of it is neither here nor there. By suggesting this is a rare event (which it isn’t since Palestinians have carried out many homicide bomber attacks over the years) it is in danger of being seen to try and somehow ameliorate the barbarism and naked hatred that lay behind this outrage. Finally, I note that both Hamas and Fatah get to comment on this, both of them predictably explaining that the bad Jews brought it upon themselves. Curiously, comment from the Israeli government is missing. Fair and balanced????
p.s I also note that the BBC initial report makes no mention of those other people who were injured and traumatised by this vicious act of terrorism. More amelioration?
Update by Natalie:The word “rare” has now been stealth-edited out.
Sadiq Khan, the Muslim Labour MP, dominates the BBC news agenda this morning. Press reports suggest that Khan’s conversation with his constituent (and long time friend) Babar Ahmad, were recorded twice in Milton Keynes’s Woodhill Prison. The US is seeking to extradite Ahmad on suspicion of raising funds for the Taliban. The BBC fans a palpable sense of outrage that a Member of Parliament could have his conversations bugged. Personally, I would be outraged if Khan’s conversations with an alleged Taliban fund-raiser were not bugged! Surely the safety of our fellow citizens is the primary concern here, not the tender sensitivites of Khan or any other MP?
The BBC then turns to… another Muslim MP for a reaction and bang on cue Khalid Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, declares that this bugging sends out a difficult message, not just for Muslim people but for British people. (I don’t think so, the only “difficulties” remain with those who deny that a section of Muslims in Britain constitute a real and present danger to their fellow citizens) In Beeb world, the decision by anti-terrorist officers to bug Khan or indeed any other MP who seeks the release of this alleged terror-enabler Ahmad is always going to be wrong. Notice how they choose to only seek comment from a person that they know will fail to endorse the decision by our anti-terrorist police. Where’s the balance?
Islam is always going to be the offended party through the Beeb prism – as this previous report on Khan’s activities demonstrates. One year on from 7/7 Khan was declaring how “disappointed” many Muslims (ie he and his pals) were at the failure of government to engage “more constructively” with them. At the time, one year from that savage Jihad attack on our capital city, I was disappointed that more of those behind the plot had not been arrested. But hey, victimhood is not always reserved for victims, sometimes aggressors can have it bestowed upon them by a craven and gutless media which fails to understand the dangers that face our country from Islam and instead shills for the ROP.
The BBC has long been a convenient echo chamber for left-wing propagandising over the war in Iraq. For years now all we ever heard from Al-Beeb is the steady drum beat that the war was “illegal” and “immoral.” The talking heads were declaring that it was going to be “another Vietnam” scarely after our forces went in. Then we were told that Iraqis did not want our military there, that the Ba’athists were not really that bad , and that it was all doomed to be a quagmire anyway. I often thought that poor old Saddam must have had friends in the BBC such has been the outrageous revisionism of the Baghdad Butcher’s reign of terror. He got what he deserved of course and Iraq is the better place without Saddam and his thuggocracy. But of course we all know that Al Queda have declared this the front-line in their war on civilisation (Well, all of us except Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the “troops out” siren chorus) and so it is vital we prevail.
The US surge, so ably led by Gen Petraeus, has worked wonders over the past six months, to the evident chagrin of the “cut and run” brigade. But it is impossible to completely eliminate the sheer evil of Al Queda and this has become evident in the massacre that took place in Baghdad yesterday when the Jihadi used two women suffering from Down’s syndrome, getting them to wear explosive vests and then detonating them by remote control – causing carnage. The malign intent behind such an act is almost beyond words.
But I wonder why the BBC seems unable to accept that Al Queda would stoop so low? In their report of the massacre yesterday the BBC stated categorically that the two women used in this attack were mentally disabled. Today, I note that the BBC is now suggesting instead that “allegedly” two mentally disabled women carried out this. I was wondering if the BBC fear Al Queda sueing them? Why so coy?
I am also interested in the statement the BBC makes that these atrocities have “shattered” the “fragile peace”which has descended on Baghdad care of the actions of the US military and local Iraqi forces over the past six months or so. Obviously they have caused a temporary and understandable sense of horror but the truth is that Baghdad has been transformed by the Surge and there is no evidence that all of this has been lost despite these horrific Al Queda terror attacks. But to admit this runs contrary to the BBC “Quagmire” narrative and that is the problem. The BBC fails to define Al Queda as terrorists even as they conduct this sort of depraved act. If detonating women suffering from Down’s Syndrome is not terrorism, what is it? What stops the BBC accepting this?
Did you watch last evening’s edition of the BBC’s “Question Time” programme? Wasn’t it a laugh? I mean IF you want to see BBC institutionalised bias in all its unfettered glory this is the must-see each week because it is always a challenge to work out whether it will be the panel or the audience which contains the greater number of foaming-at-the mouth lefties.
Last night, true to form, the panel was as unbalanced as ever. We had the Labour Minister and Conservative traitor Shaun “Where’s my butler” Woodward. (There’s nothing the BBC likes more than a Conservative defector) Then we had rabidly Europhile Conservative MP Ken Clarke, the man who seeks to increase the power of the State, who seeks to ensure the UK loses any vestigial national soveriegnty to the EU superstate, the man who fails to understand the war on Islamic terror. To add “more balance” we had comedian John Sessions who seems to have not yet outgrown his “Student Grant” set of leftist values. Then we had uberleftist Bonnie Greer, (a BIG contributor to BBC, natch!) who left me open-mouthed when she declared that whilst she did not seek to glamourise crime (Oh yes) nonetheless she was very unhappy about the way that New York had successfully tackled crime! Finally, we had the commentator Amanda Platell, who holds what I would define as mild conservative values. So, a panel of four leftists and one centre right conservative. Balanced The audience were the usual anti-war anti-US pro-Welfare rabble that so distinguishes this programme. There were a few sensible souls but they were outnumbered by the moonbat fraternity who seem drawn to Question Time like moths to a flame.
As for the content of the show, we suffered the BBC’s view of the US election being rammed down our throats. In essence the big debate is whether it will be Hillary or Obama. The panelists all focused on the Democrat side of things with scant attention on the Republican side. Even then, liberal Republican John McCain appears to be the only candidate for the GOP nomination IF one listened to the garbage being talked by the panellists. Mitt Romney did not merit any discussion at all. He is evidently persona non gratia with the Beeb. Comedian John Sessions expressed his loathing for Ronald Reagan, to audience approval. In essence, the BBC is once again rooting for a Democrat in the White House which is why even in a political debating programme like this, it’s all about one side, the side of which the BBC so approves .
I find David Dimbleby a likeable chap and have met him and feel he is a professional presenter to compare with the best of them. The problem however is that the BBC lacks the guts to allow a balanced panel. They permit the occassional right of liberal commentator like Melanie Philips or Peter Hitches to make the odd token appearance but then unbalance this with a gaggle of leftist opinion. Unlike the excellent political debating programmes on Fox News, the BBC will not balance a panel, instead it weights the panel outrageously. The audience is then brought in as a prop. It’s all a great pity since real debate would be more interesting. Do you share my view of Question Time?
Listening to BBC Radio 5 live is always good for a laugh. Earlier this morning, I listened in the Breakfast programme with Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty. The item under discussion was in respect of a plan from some supporters of Liverpool FC to raise enough money to buy the troubled club from its American owners. The idea being contemplated is to see if enough fans would be interested in putting up £5000 each and thus buying 1 share each. Apparently Barcelona use this same method and it has kept them out of the hands of speculating capitalists! (Always bad in Beebview) What raised my eyebrows however was when Nicky Campbell asked the Sports correspondent what was to stop someone from investing more than £5000 – would this not entitle them to a greater level of share ownership for example? “No”, came the instant response, “it’s a good communist system” of one man one share. This was met with approval. Power to the people, eh comrades? I don’t know about you but Five Live is bias incarnate, do you ever listen to it and if so, would you agree?
It’s always entertaining to read virtually any BBC report on matters concerning Israel to gauge the disgraceful bias that runs through BBC coverage. Take this summary of an Israeli government-appointed inquiry into Ehud Olmert’s handling of the 2006 confrontation with Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogates in Lebanon.
For starters we are informed that it was Hezbollah “fighters” whose actions in July 2006 precipitated the ensuing confrontation. Wrong. They were not fighters, they were terrorists. These are the people who hide behind women and children in order to conduct their vicious attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. Hezbollah is a terrorist cabal but we all know the linguistic trouble this causes the moral equivocators at the BBC. It gets worse though because the BBC report then blandly asserts that “In the conflict that followed, more than 1,000 Lebanese died, mostly civilians, along with 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers..” Where does this authoritative “more than 1000 Lebanese died, mostly civilians” come from? We know that the Lebanese government does not distinguish between terrorist and civilians so surely the BBC was not relying on it as the source? Out of this putative 1000, how many Hezbollah terrorists were killed? Al Beeb is coy on this but the IDF estimates 532 Hezbollah thugs were killed, more than half of the total number quoted by the BBC. Of the remainder, how many died either because they gave refuge or were forced to give refuge to Hezbollah? The picture is far from that portrayed by the BBC, although I am sure you will note that the final word on this report goes to a Hezbollah spokesman. Fair and balanced?
Interesting report carried by the BBC today on the news that Muslim police officers are being prevented from playing a role in fighting terrorism, according to a senior Muslim Officer. Supt Dal Babu was speaking at the first annual conference of the National Association of Muslim Police Officers. (Looking forward to the first conference of the National Association of Born again Christian Police Officers) Tony McNulty, the supernaturally inept Home Office Minister who attended this delightful exercise in victimhood naturally agreed with the views expressed by the Superintendent. Once again, the BBC delights in reporting how unfair our institutions are to followers of the Religion of Peace. But why is effective policing to be determined on a racial or religious head count? Shouldn’t it be a question of ensuring the most able officers be promoted to ensure that the Islamic Jihadists are tracked down before they can repeat what happened on 7/7? Are we really to believe that some sort of institutional bias is holding back all these intrepid Muslim officers? Why is is that this entire article pushes the one view – namely that Muslim police officers are being discriminated against? Isn’t this just more instance of the promotion of victimhood through the obliging BBC prism?
What could be more innocent than the BBC obtaining substantial low-interest loans from the European Unions’ “long-term financial institution”? I mean it’s not as if the fact that the BBC is now in hock to the tune of £141m to the European Investment Bank might in any way cloud its nominal neutrality on the topic of the EU, is it? You can read the gory details over on EU Referendum. I wonder at the mindset that prevails at the highest level in the BBC in that it fails to see how the pursuit of such a loan clearly jeopardises the perception of BBC impartiality on EU issues. The EIB, like it’s Euro-weenie masters, is committed to bringing about ever closer convergence of the Euro-superstate. Borrowing this large sum from it creates the impression that the BBC may itself share a similar agenda, as any follower of its “coverage” (Propaganda is a much more accurate term here, I feel) will know. It is said that he who pays the piper calls the tune. In this case, the BBC’s squeaks of protestations of innocence at this deal seem designed to stop us hearing the relentless pro-EU tune it plays.
The cliched definition of a news story is that “man bites dog!
I laughed at this BBC headline on it’s Breaking News “Man admits plot to behead soldier”. This relates to a vicious plot to kidnap and behead a British soldier. The BBC tells us that this “man” Parviz Khan (an unemployed charity worker, natch. Nice to see he had a caring sharing side) has pleaded guilty to wanting to enact his very own decapitation scene, using an unnamed Muslim British soldier as his victim. Yeah, well we already know just how barbaric the more enthusiastic adherents of the Religion of Peace can be, but what surprises me is why the BBC just cannot come out and state that Parviz himself is a devout Muslim. How about a head-line that states “Muslim admits plot to behead Muslim soldier”? Is this not pertinent to the fact that the Jihad section of the Religion of Peace is as much a threat to those many decent Muslims, some of whom serve in our armed forces, as they are to us infidels? But then again, might that spoil the BBC narrative that all of Islam is pitched against us, when in fact it is obvious that the Jihadi are a threat to every civilised person.
With Al- Beeb, it is always necesary to look out for the missing words in their allegedly fair and balanced reporting. Often these words are missing for a very good reason and I have a small example to share with you today. In this BBC report on the background of the four new “Victims Commissioners” created by the Northern Ireland devolved administration we read about Patricia McBride “whose brother was killed by the SAS.” The BBC chooses not to amplify on how this killing took place but instead leaves the impression that this was just one more death during the long decades of violence. How did he meet his end? Was he perhaps strolling down the street minding his own business when he was suddenly cut down by those bad SAS guys?
Not quite. You see Patricia McBride’s brother, Tony, was an IRA terrorist. He was on an active terror mission in 1982 when he was intercepted by the SAS and killed before he could bring about the murder of others. I would have thought this was more than a mere detail but it is left out of the account for very good reason. To have a neo-Orwellian Victims Commissioner who is there by virtue of the fact that her brother himself belonged to an organisation that created thousands of victims might be a hard sell if openly stated. So better to cloak it and then imply a form of moral relativism between terrorist and terrorised. Since the BBC itself has such trouble in defining a terrorist, this is perhaps understandable, after all moral relativists and moral bankrupts have so much in common.
When it comes to our political class, I think the best maxim to remember is that if you see their lips moving, you know that they are lying. Problem is that their contempt for us is sometimes hard to fully appreciate as is clear in the news that was reported the other day.
You will remember the favourable headlines such as “MP’s choose sub-inflation pay rise” which greeted the decision taken in Parliament following a call by Commons leader Harriet Harman for “discipline”. Our ever so modest MP’s voted themselves a mere 1.9% pay increase even though the..ahem..Independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) had recommended a 2.56% salary rise from £60,277 to £61,820. How more responsible could our elected representatives be?
Quite a lot as it happens. You see along with the 1.9% increase in salary, they also voted themselves another £12 million in a year to further gild their already gold-plated pension scheme and also insisted that expense claims WITHOUT receipts be accepted.
Funny old world, isn’t it? The pigs plunge their snouts in the trough and yet it is presented to us as modesty incarnate!
Hat-tip to Disinterring Bad News.