Category Archives: BBC

The Labour Leadership Contest: Who’s Voting? The Party Members Or The Tory Media?

Whose leadership contest is this? The Labour Party’s or the right-wing media? First, the Blairites tell us who they want as leader of the Labour Party (as if we didn’t know already), then the Tory-controlled press pipes up to tell us who should be leader. I always thought the members decided by secret ballot who becomes the next Labour leader. It seems the media gets in on the act too. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the word ‘modernizer’ prefacing a candidate’s name. For example, James Landale, the BBC’s Old Etonian and contemporary of David Cameron, will claim that “Yvette Cooper is a modernizer” and Chuka Umunna “is known as a modernizer”. It seems to me that the word ‘modernizer’ is a euphemistic way of claiming “this is a candidate who has the approval of Britain’s Tory-dominated media” but which also suggests “they won’t be beholden to the unions”.

The BBC said of Chuka Umunna.

He’s always been seen as smart and ambitious, metropolitan and a moderniser – he appeared alongside Lord Mandelson on Andrew Marr’s sofa on Sunday.

Appearing alongside the undead Mandelson was seen by the BBC as both an anointment of Umunna and a vindication of Blairism. Fuck off.

The British press has been hysterical in its coverage of the leadership election. Take this thinly-disguised hatchet job in the Daily Mail. Or this one that stokes the fires of “Red Len” paranoia.

The hardline Socialist boss of Unite – Labour’s chief paymaster and sponsor of more than 60 per cent of its MPs – has a visceral hatred of Blairite ‘modernisers’, who seek to reconnect the party with aspirational middle England following its humiliation in the general election.

And he’s doing everything in his power to drive them out.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy – a prominent Blairite – is the latest casualty.

He resigned on Saturday over what he described as the ‘poisonous’ war being waged by Mr McCluskey and his supporters against the modernisers.

It’s almost like reading a Daily Mail article from the 1920s. “The hardline Socialist boss of Unite” it screams hysterically. Notice how the word socialism is emphasized using an upper case ‘S’. Oh, scary. I’d better look under my bed to see if Grigory Zinoviev’s corpse is lying underneath. If you manage to get to the end of the article, there are a few paragraphs about Cameron’s former ‘adviser’, Steve Hilton too.

With the Labour party in deep disarray, Mr Cameron has a chance to lead one of the most reforming – and longstanding – Governments of recent times.

As the Situationist graffiti once said, ” Reform, my ass”. Hilton’s only telling us what we already know. Fuck off.

A day later, a slightly cheerier Mail article breezily declares that “Unions will not get to choose Labour leader”.

Modernisers in the Labour party want to avoid what happened when Ed Miliband beat his brother David for the job with the support of the unions.

It left the Tories able to claim the unions picked the leader, chose the policies and bankrolled the Labour party.

Ah, the damned dissembling Daily Mail, where would we be without your version of the truth? Of course, there’s no mention here of the hedge fund managers and construction companies that bankroll the Conservative Party. Unions are bad, yet JCB is good. Fuck off.

Over at the Daily Telegraph, Dan Hodges thought he knew who should be the next Labour leader, so he picked Dan Jarvis, who ruled himself out. Then Dan plumped for Chuka Umunna (with caveats), who then dropped out of the race last Friday. Poor Hodgie must be in bits. I can’t see any candidate in the race currently who’d appeal to the irredentist former Labourite, well, Blairite. Oh, hang on, there’s always Tristy. He crosses picket lines, so he’s bound to get Hodgie’s support. But then Tristy then ruled himself out of the contest and pledged his support for the Blairite, Liz Kendall while plunging the knife between Andy Burnham’s shoulder blades. Fuck’s sake.

From The [barely] Independent,

Tristram Hunt has decided not to enter the race to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader and has thrown his support behind fellow moderniser Liz Kendall.

There’s that word “moderniser” again.

Hodges was clearly tearful when arch-Blairite, Jim Murphy sort of announced his resignation as leader of Scottish Labour. He blames Len McCluskey for Murphy’s in-out-shake-it-all-about resignation. Truth be told, rank and file Labourites were fed up with him, because Jim Murphy only cares about one thing: Jim Murphy. He can fuck off.

Hodges claims with a straight face,

For the past week it looked like the wheels were coming off the Labour Party. Right now it looks as if the whole car is about to be dragged to the junk yard and pounded into scrap.

Remember this is the man who has spent the last five years kicking the shit out of the party he claims to support. This is the man who is a friend of Lynton Crosby. If the car is “about to be dragged to the junkyard”, then it’s partly due to hacks like Hodges spending so much time and effort slagging the party off in papers like the Torygraph.  In fact, the day after the election, Dan wasted no time putting the boot into Ed Miliband.

And so Ed Miliband began to grow before our eyes. He was doing all right. Actually, you know what, he was doing quite well. Blimey, he was doing very well. OK, you’re not going to believe this, but Ed Miliband could actually be our prime minister.

When I say “our eyes” I mean the media’s eyes. The eyes of his own activists. The eyes of some his own MPs.

That reminds me, Dan. Have you actually left the Labour party yet? Isn’t it time you fucked off and joined the Tories?

In this article, Hodges borrows his title from the infamous S*n headline of May 1992. He even has a ‘quiz’ that asks the truly daft question:

Quiz: can you tell the Labour manifesto from that of the Communist Party?

I saw nothing in the Labour Party manifesto that could vaguely be described as “communist” (sic) . Clearly Hodges is playing to his rabid right-wing readership that views such things as equality and tolerance as ‘communist’. Three days ago, in the same paper, “Telegraph View” claimed:

The Labour Party is in trouble. There is a battle for its heart and soul raging – and it is unclear who will win. On one side stand union leaders and Left-wing activists, who refuse to acknowledge the mistakes of the past. On the other are modernisers with their eyes on a more moderate future. Yesterday afternoon, Jim Murphy, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, became a casualty in this war.

What exactly is meant by “moderate future”? The one envisaged by the current extreme right-wing government that has Michael Gove as Justice Secretary? Fuck off.

Yesterday, The [Hardly] Independent claimed:

Allies of Ed Miliband accused Britain’s biggest trade union of trying to keep modernisers off the ballot paper in the Labour leadership election amid fears that it could be limited to a two-horse race between Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

The bitter row between senior Labour figures and Unite intensified as it was claimed that the union was putting pressure on Labour MPs not to nominate modernisers Liz Kendall, Mary Creagh and Tristram Hunt in the election to choose Mr Miliband’s successor.

The Cat doesn’t recall the British media getting so involved in the Conservative leadership contests, yet the press barons and news editors seem to believe that they have the right to decide the outcome of the Labour leadership election. Free press? In this country? Fuck off.

The insane British media caravan rumbles on. But seriously, it can fuck off.

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Filed under BBC, Free Press Myth, Government & politics, Ideologies, Labour, Labour leadership contest, Media, propaganda, Tory press

Clarkson, Cameron, The BBC And The Great British Art Of Bullying

I’ve written about bullying before on this blog and once again, I find myself writing another blog on the subject.  Bullying in Britain is a national institution. The nation’s leaders and the captains of industry, many of whom were educated at Britain’s top public (independent) schools, learnt to bully others at an early age through the institutionalized regime of fagging. Yet the rest of us, in other words, those of us who didn’t go to an independent boarding school either become victims of their relentless bullying or internalize it. This internalization often finds its outward expression in the ridicule of people for the colour of their skin, their sex, their gender, their occupation, their disability or their social status. Whether we want to admit it or not, Britain is a nation of bullies.

When Jeremy Clarkson told the viewers of The One Show a couple of years ago that public sector workers “should be taken out and shot in front of their families”, he apologised but brushed it off as a “joke”. He is not the first person to do this: Bernard Manning and the other club comics of yesteryear, used a similar excuse: “I can laugh at myself, why can’t Pakis, nig-nogs and poofters do the same”? The issue here isn’t humour itself, but the racist and sexist discourses that are couched in humour, which has the effect of legitimizing such discourses. These jokes chime with the joke-teller’s inner world. For jokes and humour, unless I am very much mistaken, are not created in an ideological vacuum; they are affected by discourse, and the joke-teller is very much aware of this. Brushing off something as a “joke” convinces no one but the joke-teller.

Yesterday, David Cameron’s feeble, almost jokey, defence of Clarkson saw the latter being recast as a children’s entertainer (sic). Cameron claimed that he “was a great fan” of Clarkson and that his children would be “heartbroken” if he was taken off the air. “He’s one of my constituents”, Cameron added. Yes, and the rest of it. Others lined up behind Cameron to repeat the same spiel: Clarkson is a national treasure; a favourite with children. Laughable.

But what about free speech? What about it? The Clarkson incident wasn’t about free speech. Clarkson punched a producer because he couldn’t get what he wanted. In the vast majority of workplaces, it’s a sackable offence to use violence towards your work colleagues. When Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made prank calls to actor, Andrew Sachs, they were dismissed. No questions asked.  Yet, Clarkson is seemingly in a different league to other workers. He punches a producer and 300,000 people sign a petition (that was started by Guido Fawkes) to have him reinstated. If you or I punched a workmate, we’d be told to leave the premises immediately and we’d be threatened with prosecution. Not Clarkson. In the end, the BBC merely suspended him,  which effectively amounts to little more than a slap on the wrists.

The Cat thinks Clarkson should be sacked with immediate effect and Top Gear should be cancelled and replaced with a new show. Preferably one that isn’t hosted by bullies and their mates. By allowing Clarkson to return after a period of suspension, the BBC sends out a message that bullying and violence are the legitimate means to get people to do what you want. Indeed, the BBC’s record when it comes to dealing with pederasts in its own ranks is woefully inadequate. It is, after all, run by members of his class who attended the same kinds of educational institutions. I’m not holding my breath for change.

UPDATE 24/3/15 @ 1940

Well, Clarkson’s been given the boot and already Brendan O’Neill has penned a paean to the man. In characteristic style, O’Neill has claimed that Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”… now prepare to suspend your disbelief because I’ll repeat that, Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”. A question: is O’Neill for real? What’s this really about? Look, Clarkson punched his producer after verbally abusing him for 20 minutes.The producer, Oisin Tymon, was taken to a local A&E for treatment for a cut and swollen lip. There’s no “liberal elite” involved here… unless you’re talking about the BBC’s management and even then, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The only people who believe the BBC is [coughs] “left-wing” are Tories, Kippers and assorted far-right knuckledraggers. But then, they’re fantasists and drama queens, so they make up stuff all the time.

This is O’Neill’s [ahem] argument in a nutshell.

Their main interest is not in protecting a BBC producer’s face from Clarkson’s fists — it’s in protecting the public’s ears, and our allegedly putty-like brains, from Clarkson’s words, from his consensus-pricking, fast-car loving, two-fingered salute to modern liberal orthodoxies.

Say what?

So, Clarkson’s on his way out. His former co-presenter, Quentin Willson, is less than flattering about the Repton Reptile, saying he was “difficult to work with”.

“If you’ve got a global audience of 350 million people hanging on your every word, then that makes you detached from your sources. It’s so sad that this is his requiem, if you like.”

Yeah, I’m all choked up.

However, that’s not the end of the story. Apparently North Yorkshire Police may want a word with Clarkson. Stick that in your pipe, O’Neill.

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Filed under BBC, Bullying, Child sex abuse, Media, racism, Sexism, Society & culture

The BBC’s Nick Robinson and, er, Britain First’s Jayda Fransen?

I saw this photo of the BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson getting cosy with Britain First’s Jayda Fransen (is that an English name?) on Twitter and had to post it here. Somehow, you just can’t see Old Nick getting that close to the Green Party or TUSC candidate.

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Ah, don’t they make a lovely couple?

The next time a Kipper tells you that there’s a left-wing bias at the BBC, you show them this image.

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Filed under BBC, Ideologies, Media, propaganda

Life on Hannan World (Part 4) or the victimhood of the British right

The right loves to play the victim. If they aren’t complaining that the BBC is “left-wing” then they’re moaning and bitching that they can’t get their own way (which is odd given the fact they’re in power). They groan about Britain’s comedians being “left-wing” and often get their knickers in a twist about the Question Time audiences. Is there no pleasing  these people? Oh, I know what would please them… the imposition of a right-wing dictatorship run by Dan and his wibertarian chums. Or perhaps our Danny would rather a wibertarian nation ruled by some semi-fascist man-of-steel like Augusto Pinochet Ugarte?

Today, Dissembling Dan Hannan has produced this blog in which he whines,

The Australian version of BBC Question Time is called Q&A. As you can see from the above clip, filmed when I was in Sydney a couple of weeks ago, the two shows are remarkably similar in format and furniture. There are, though, two differences. First, Q&A is live, which allows for real-time interaction with electronic media. I’m not sure why QT doesn’t do the same: one of the reasons it has avoided the slide in audience share that other current affairs programmes have suffered is that it was quick to understand the importance of Twitter; the hiatus before the broadcast drains much of the drama from the online debate.

This is the UK, Danny, not Australia.

While the Australian show’s viewers are perhaps a touch more liberal and metropolitan than the general population, they don’t exhibit anything like the Left-wing militancy of their British counterparts. This is true both of the studio audience (the Australian producers invite political parties and organisations to distribute places, rather than asking applicants to state their affiliation on a form); and, far more strikingly, of those following online.

“Left-wing militancy”? He’s lost the plot. He continues,

The Internet is never a place to go for subtle and nuanced debate, of course, but something about the #bbcqt Twitter tag attracts trolls and sociopaths. It’s especially noticeable if there is a Right-of-Centre woman on the panel. When Nadine Dorries was on recently, or Emma Boon from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, they hadn’t opened their mouths before a torrent of puerile, vicious, semi-pornographic abuse began. Here’s something one doesn’t expect to write very often: we should try to be as decorous and restrained as the Australians.

Aw, diddums. The Lyin’ King doesn’t like the #bbcqt Twitter feeds. Listen, Danny Boy, if you don’t like them, then don’t read them. There is a such a thing as agency or is that word too left-wing for you? I love the way he tells us that #bbcqt “attracts trolls and sociopaths”. Let me tell you something, my little capitalist cupcake, most of the trolls and sociopaths are in your own party. Some of them take umbrage at the slightest thing. In fact, many of them are too politically correct for their own good.

These “left-wing” QT audiences are something of a myth. Perhaps he missed all those editions of QT in the shire counties? Or perhaps the mood of the country is such that it can no longer tolerate whingeing, lying Tories? I think that’s it.

Perhaps Hannan would like the QT audience to be vetted by him and some of his hand-picked supporters. Can you imagine what sort of questions he’d include on the application form?

  1. Do you own a Che Guevara T-Shirt?
  2. Have you now or ever been a member of the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party or any party that has the word “socialist” in the title?
  3. Do you support unbridled capitalism?
  4. Are you selfish?

If you answered “yes” to questions 1 and 2, Hannan’s goons will take you out back, shoot you in the head and bury you in a lime-filled pit. If you answered “yes” to questions 3 and 4, you will be allowed to take part. You may even get to meet The Lyin’ King himself.

I’ve always thought that wibertarians weren’t particularly mature and this latest outburst from Hannan serves to underline my point. Hannan will only be  happy if this country became a one-party state where the left (or what remains of it) is imprisoned, disappeared or thrown out of a helicopter or plane that has been hired by a private hit squad (it’s a free market, don’t you know?).

If you were ever in any doubt about how The Lyin’ King feels about Pinochet, then doubt no more. He managed to squeeze something about Pinochet into this blog about  Tzipi Livni, the current leader of Israel’s Kadima party.

Pinochet arrived in Britain as an ally who had supported us during the Falklands War. Koussa came as a foeman, implicated in the Lockerbie atrocity and accused of arming the IRA. Guess which one was arrested.

The Tories never tire of telling us how Pinochet was our “ally” and “friend”. Yet, they’re rather fond of telling us how socialism has killed “millions”. It’s a pissing contest and Tories love pissing contests. Point out to them the millions killed by their favourite dictators and watch them foam at the mouth and swivel their eyes a full 360 degrees.

Not wanting to be seen as an admirer of the General, Hannan says,

Never mind Pinochet: ally or not, he was a harsh and corrupt autocrat.

Was he? Well, knock me down with a feather! That didn’t stop your idol Thatcher from cosying up to him – Falklands War or no Falklands War. In fact, Hannan’s party has previous form when it comes to supporting dictators… until the dictator in question develops a mind of their own. Saddam Hussein, anyone?

So when Hannan and his buddies tell you that the QT audience is too left-wing or that the BBC is “left-wing”, you know what they’re really saying and it has nothing at all to do with ‘balance’.

POSTSCRIPT

One thing that our right-wing friends have deliberately, nay, wilfully ignored is the fact that when Labour was in power, the QT audience routinely rounded on them.  Yet I didn’t hear a single Labour MP or MEP claim that the QT audience was composed of “right-wing militants” or that the programme showed bias. Grow up.

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Filed under allegations of bias, BBC, BBC, Media

Press TV, the BBC and the selective reporting of the facts

Yesterday, BBC London News ran with a story about Ken Livingstone working for Iranian-backed Press TV. As I have previously reported in this blog, Ken is not the only British politician or journalist to have worked for Press TV. Andrew Gilligan worked for them as recently as May 2010 and Nick Ferrari also once worked for them. Derek Conway, the former disgraced Tory MP is currently employed by Press TV. Here he is presenting Epilogue, a book review programme.

But the BBC have been selective with the facts: they claimed “some other politicians and journalists worked for Press TV” but they failed to tell us who those politicians and journalists were. Why?

Today, the Hon Tobes screams “Ken Livingstone takes shilling of Holocaust denier”. I think Young needs to check his facts and do some proper research before trying to make political capital out of this. But then Young isn’t much bothered by such things as facts. I also think the BBC has been utterly irresponsible for airing this report without telling us who else works for Press TV.

I really hope Ken wins the mayoral elections just to wind up Hon Tobes. Of course that won’t stop Andrew Gilligan churning out smear stories and sexing things up.

Of course those who defend the BBC’s and Young’s selective argument, will claim that “well, is Conway or Gilligan seeking to become London mayor” -which actually isn’t the issue. Gilligan uses his position as a Telegraph journalist to attack Muslims and smear Livingstone. That, my friends, is gold-plated, 24 carat hypocrisy.

You can watch the BBC London report here in BBC iPlayer.  Notice how Greg Hands, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham uses the opportunity to make political capital.  He didn’t bother to check his facts either.

UPDATE 1202

Added sentences about hypocrisy

UPDATE 1817

Added the word “former” to preface “Tory MP”. Added link for Greg Hands and reversed Fulham and Chelsea.

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Filed under BBC, Media, Yellow journalism