Monday, 3 April 2017

Open Thread

Let your mice play:


  1. Your 'beauty' Samira Ahmed was on 'News Watch' this morning to tell us that some viewers were concerned about whether the BBC should have reported lloyd'a of London moving staff to Brussels. The way she brought it up continued the BBC 'fake news' that it will be a post-Brexit abandonment of London rather than setting up a 'name plate' within the EU. As the FT reports:-
    "The new EU base will not require a significant movement of staff. Lloyd’s employs just over 1,000 people, but the Brussels office is likely to number less than 100."

    Yet again we heard that 'impartiality' can't be measured by stopwatch and that the 'balance' has to be judged across the whole output. Pity Samira didn't ask for specific instances of pro-Brexit, pro-marriage, pro-normality, pro-fossil fuel, pro-fracking, pro-Israel etc. etc. output, it wouldn't have taken long to read the list!

  2. I think there's a bigger question about the way the BBC (and other media) are reporting Article 50. The Article sets out a reqirement for the EU to negotiate with a departing member state. It does NOT say the EU has the right to impose the agenda order for the negotiations.

    This is a basic fact that is ignored. For the purposes of the negotiations the UK is an independent party and has as much right to raise issues in negotations as the EU.

    And yes, Ahmed's bias is completely off the scale: observable in her tweets and Radio 4 Front Row (how did she get that gig?). It is laughable that someone like that should be put in charge of News Watch.

    1. Indeed. Article 50 is a protection for the departing member, placing a limit on how long the EU can spin out the process. The two years isn't absolute though as the time can be extended by mutual agreement.
      The BBC is, as always, totally negative. It is the EU that has the hard task, it has to hold 27 parties together against what should be the single UK side. Perhaps that is why the BBC is so keen on supporting the SNP line of letting the devolved governments have a say. Perhaps the Remoaners and Academics should have a seat on the UK side too!

    2. Unfortunately the Remoaners - people like Alistair Campbell, Nick Clegg and Peter Mandelson - do have a place on the UK side at the negotiations. Through their media influence (particularly the BBC - FFS we had Clegg acting as a Newsnight reporter the other night...still not explained what all that was about) - through such influence they make it much more difficult for the UK government to play the walk-away card, which is basically what we should be playing if the EU are going to play silly buggers, trying to dictate what we are allowed to talk about during negotiations.

      BTW the UK media never ask the interesting questions like who the F are going to chair these negotiation meetings? Sounds like the EU think they are in the chair. Why? If I was leading for the UK, I would say it's going to be 50-50 either alternate chairing or joint chairing.

    3. Presumably Nick left his politics at the door?

      Or is simply drafting in advocates the BBC's way of steering round that claim too?

    4. Speaking of Nicks, and left politics...

  3. I feel inoculated to it all now.
    Had this systemic, institutional bias and drive -bys for so long that I`m immune to it and hate them all the more for it. Only wish the Tories, the true patriots would ask the BBC how much of their cooked up figures include
    a) the pensions of the likes of Mandelson and Kinnock
    b) whether these figures are audited-seems to me that they`ve not had their accounts signed off in my lifetime.
    c) how much the BBC hacks are getting from us(and hence the EU) to peddle their lies and ritual moans re our choosing to leave their fetid brothel in Brussels.
    And one more thing-how come the views of Hollande or Merkel are taken as holy writ by the likes of Campbell and Clegg-ones dead, one`s dying as far as I can see, so don`t think we need to know do we?

  4. On the topic of BBC anti-Brexit bias, listen to Pienaar's Politics on R5 this morning.

    First a friendly and overlong discussion with Luxembourg PM pushing the idea that the UK voters will come to see how they were lied to, how difficult and undesirable Brexit is, and so will change their minds and cancel article 50 after the inevitable 2nd Referendum. I guess we can call this the BBC strategy for Remain.

    Then another friendly chat with the deputy German Treasury minister. Pienaar suggested that a "divorce settlement" of 50 billion or so was possible. The rather sensible, measured German agreed it was possible but also downplayed it said there would be negotiations. I got the impression that he thought 50 bilion possible but unlikely.

    This "divorce settlement" with all the negative implications of divorce, is now a BBC / Remain standard trope. Some people may call it "breaking free" ...

    Anyway then it was on to a Leave person, no doubt for balance (sort of). A Tory. Not such a friendly chat now of course. Pienaar straight up informed him that the German Treasury minister had said a bill of "40, 50, 60 billion was not out of the question". Unfortunately for Pienaar, the Tory had been listening and pointed out that it was Peinaar that had made up that those figures. But Pienaar kept repeating the figure, as did the next News item! So News is now whatever a BBC employee can get an interviewee to not directly contradict.

    I noticed another BBC line of attack during the program, that I'm sure with continue. That Brexit is backed only by the Tories now. So it was back to the good ole "torysplitzovereurope" trope.

  5. Good analysis Ozfan!

    So many memes, relentlessly pumped out day after day: the Russians won the US election, and also Brexit; negotiations will be "difficult and complicated"; hate crime has exploded since Brexit...on and on it goes.

    But let's not forget the memes they have had to abandon: that there would be an immediate economic coallpase following a Brexit vote; or that the House of Lords would stop Brexit.

  6. Here is something to think about. The BBC reported the violent attack on a young man in London yesterday. It was reported that this was a Kurdish refugee, but it is becoming clear that the attackers were not "white" youths. If they had, how much air time would have been give to Brexit, hate crime, right wing thuggery etc. and comment by labour and liberal politicians about hate fueled anti-immigrant feeling following the EU referendum been given by BBC news ? Instead, just a brief mention that police are treating it as "hate crime" ....

    1. By describing this (via the Police's comments) as a hate crime but by failing to say who it was doing the hating, but concentrating only on the victim's ethnicity, the BBC are allowing an assumption to develop that it would of course be white Brexiteers who were to blame for the crime.

  7. Being downplayed and buried as we speak. Mail Online has photos of suspect perpetrators. BBC has kept photos under wraps, as would contradict the fake news operation.

  8. Justin Webb on Today R4 this morning interviewed the FT editor about his exclusive interview with POTUS Donald Trump. Justin wanted to concentrate entirely on Trump's personality and instability. Unfortunately for Justin, the editor had been quite impressed with Trump and his team.

    Justin turned the discussion to North Korea. Wasn't Trump dangerously sabre-rattling by saying the US had military options? Well said the editor, the Obama administration also had prepared military options. And had told Trump that NK would have nuclear missiles capable of hitting the west coast of the USA within the next few years. This to me was news and quite serious news (and an admission that Obama's team had done little). Webb's response was to immediately change the subject back to Trump's personality. Stunning from Webb. How would he feel if Kim was loading a gun to hod to his family's head?

  9. Marine Le Pen: Who's funding France's far right?

    Who's funding the far left? The centre? The absence of stories about these questions demonstrates something, doesn't it?

  10. The BBC in another life expressed no interest in the number of Morning Stars imported into the Soviet Union for the benefit of their avid readership. :)

    Today we had the grotesque spectacle on Newsnight of John Sweeney suggesting the St Petersburg bombing was orchestrated by Putin...based on no evidence whatsoever.

    We also had Kirsty Wark coming out with a load of fake news questions to John Brennan (ex CIA and well known Trump hater). It was noteworthy that when she gave him an easy lob about GCHQ he did the full range of body language tells...fingers going to the eye and ear, indicative of concealment. But the uninquisitive Kirsty had no follow up questions...she knew what she had to do.

    1. The BBC seems to have decided that actual substantiation is so last reporting cycle.

      Just punt out an accusation and gather a few who agree with it.

      Job done.

      Shame about the professional #editorialintegrity

    2. Yes, I noticed that. Gabriel Gatehouse was having to ladle on "mays" and "mights" to his report on the Le Pen "allegations", and relied heavily on the word of her nonagenarian estranged some-say-fascist father. I wouldn't be altogether surprised if there was a connection but vague allegations are hardly the place for the main news, and in any case do we need to follow every in and out of other people's election campaigns? Or is the BBC trying to affect the result? Hmmm...


    Nick Robinson is becoming increasingly gung-ho in his pro-Remain propaganda. Is he demob happy knowing he is leaving the BBC soon? He doesn't seem to care.

    I admire his cheek in rewriting of history by claiming the BBC gave "balanced" coverage during the Referendum campaign. This from an organisation that had a representative panel of ordinary people on its Newsnight programme that voted 9-1 FOR Remain!!! Numerous analyses here of alloted time, interruptions and so on, showed objectively there was bias. And the BBC never said - as Robinson implies - that it couldn't anlayse the claims of the two Referendum sides during the campaign.

    Robinson is spreading fake news, just like John Sweeney ominously intoning on BBC News (not a discussion programme) that the St Petersburg bombing could have been a Kremlin job.

    The BBC is appalling. I heard again Pienaar (useless) yesterday claiming all 27 non UK EU states have a veto over the Article 50 agreement, when the BBC website's Reality Check for once gets it right and makes clear the decision is one for qualified majority voting in the Council and a majority vote in the EU Parliament.

    The BBC have become a joke: Piennaar, Robinson, O'Brien, Ahmed, Munchetty...such low graders now setting the standards!

    1. Is Robinson taking another job? He's not going to be chancellor of some university, is he?

      It's hard to tell what Robinson is playing at here. We know he's anti-Brexit from his referendum vote night coverage. There's no question about that, and anyone who would like to give him the benefit of the doubt ought to watch footage of his performance on the night, and then check out his faux apology for the BBC getting it wrong on immigration, followed by viewing his dishonest documentary about it. But he seems here to be saying that the vote is over so there's no reason to give equal time to anti-Brexit voices.

      I think this bit gives us a hint:

      Our job, instead, is to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the audience as a whole – the people we serve – who, in the main, are not members of political parties or campaigns or, indeed, people who would dream of defining themselves by how they voted in the referendum. They are viewers, listeners and readers who want the most significant policy decisions to be taken in decades explained, analysed and scrutinised.’

      Yes, we already heard your explanation, analysis, and scrutiny on the vote night. It was largely crap, and very biased. And he certainly isn't saying that the BBC needs to give more time to Remoaners and the scumbag 'big beasts' who have a ready platform to call for a block of Brexit any time they feel like phoning up a BBC editor. His further tweets say that the BBC's duty is to prevent the public from misunderstanding. Meaning whatever the Beeboids feel is correct is what they should be telling the public.

      While hiding behind an impartial "it's a fact on the ground now" shield, Robinson may very well be saying that all the Project Fear and claims it's still possible to drop Brexit is now within the BBC's remit. There's been precious little explanation, analysis, or scrutiny the other way, so this is what's left.

    2. Ominous intonation is but one of many BBC ways to polish the turd that is their narrative over facts.

      Another is coyly asking a question out of the ether, intended more to to damn the subject than worry about an answer.

      Hence, despite all that has preceded the mess that is Syria, they ask if Donald Trump is 'partly' to blame.

      This is very sharp editorial practice.

  12. The BBC has gone to town on Marine le Pen's funding, but I note from the French press that Macron has refused to set out his where is his coming from? Saudi? Soros? We don't know do we?

  13. BBC Fake News at Ten...

    1. A lovingly soft focus piece on Muslim Imams meeting the Pope. All part of the ongoing daily fake news operation to present Sharia to the UK public as a religion of peace and enlightenment.

    2. Followed up by the corollary...a piece on GCHQ representing online radicalisation as the real source of Islamic terrorism...nothing to do with the ideology at its heart.

    Pretty much standard fare on the BBC now.


    Unbelievable bias against Trump, from pro-Arafat Barbara Plett...apparently she is the "BBC State Department" correspondent. How many of this anti-Trump propagandists are now being paid by us to work in the USA?

  15. The BBC lay claim to "good judgement" (which also, by some weird alchemy guarantees "impartiality" according to them). But how good is their judgement?

    1. The BBC represented the Arab Spring as a general democratic revolt across the Mid East. In due course it was shown to be driven more by the Muslim Brotherhood and others wishing to restore the Caliphate. The BBC with its poor judgment still plays down the influence of Islamic ideology among the Syrian rebels.

    2. The BBC failed to predict or take seriously that Trump would win. He did.

    3. The BBC has promoted multi-culturalism. Is that good judgement? Or is it storing up trouble for the future?

    4. The BBC gave the impression that the vast majority of Germans were happy to accept the one million migrants of 2015 and that their integration into German society and economy would be essentially unproblematic. Wrong on all counts.

    5. The BBC did little or nothing to counter Project Fear claims during the EU Referendum campaign despite subjecting pro-Leave claims to fierce scrutiny. In the light of the failure of Osborne's predictions to materialise, was that a wise judgement?

  16. Lord Hall has whined that BBC 'balance' on Brexit cost them the election. Giving too much credence to one side was wrong. Come see the bias inherent in the system.

    After the Brexit vote last June, Robinson’s boss, Lord Hall, went round the London dinner circuit wailing that BBC balance had “lost us the election”. It had given too much credibility to leave.

    "Us". And if the BBC's Brexit coverage was balanced, I'd hate to see what they think is bias.