Tag Archives: Harriet Harman

The Crazy Upside Down World Of Helen Lewis

Helen Lewis is the deputy editor of the notionally left-wing journal The New Statesman.  Her views on Jeremy Corbyn are well known and she’s a regular on the BBC’s Sunday Politics.  Today, while Harriet Harman, Labour’s former interim leader appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, she issued this Tweet to her followers.

Come again? Harriet Harman did what?  Lewis has got this arse about face. Harman has stood up for the establishment, not “stood up against it” as she claims.  Indeed, she even ordered Labour MPs to vote for the government’s damaging Welfare Bill.  Weeks later, Harman changed her mind and told Southwark News that she’d “oppose it” – that’s after she ordered Labour MPs to vote for it.  And she’s thought of as leadership material?

In the last few weeks, the media has paraded a series of Orwellian neologisms like “post truth politics” before us.  Can we therefore regard Lewis’s Tweet as “post-reality”?  Let’s remember that Lewis herself comes from a privileged background and is, for all intents and purposes, like Harman, a member of the establishment.  So it’s unlikely that she possesses the ability to identify anti-establishmentarianism and is more likely to characterize it as something else.

Later on, and perhaps spurred on by the appearance of Harman,  Lewis went a little further and began banging the drum for Corbyn to quit.

So what was the reason for this?  Corbyn has ordered a three-line whip on the vote for Article 50, which triggers the Brexit process.  What hacks like Lewis and her colleagues in the anti-Corbyn media fail to understand (frankly odd for a political journalist) is that Article 50 is merely a Parliamentary mechanism.  The actual debate on the precise nature of Brexit takes place later.  Instead, the mass media has been misleading the public with the notion that Article 50 is the final stage in the process, thus they rely on the general public’s ignorance of Parliamentary procedures.  This is the same ignorance that was exploited during the referendum campaign itself.  It’s yet the latest stage in an ongoing attempt to remove Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and the likes of Lewis won’t rest until they see someone picked by them in the role.  That, friends, is not only contempt for the democratic process that elected Corbyn, but it is also contempt for ordinary party members.

Fake news?  You’ll get loads of it from Lewis and her fellow hacks.

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Filed under Free Press Myth, Journalism, Media, propaganda, Yellow journalism

The BBC. Left wing? Don’t even think about it!

If the bloggers at the Telegraph and their followers are to be believed, the BBC is a rabidly left wing broadcaster, whose sole objective is to inject their filthy Marxism into innocent minds. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. The BBC is the state broadcaster and as such it is a conservative institution. The BBC’s coverage of the recent riots being a case in point.

There are many examples of how the BBC turned the riots into a discourse about young black men and gangsta rap. Fiona Armstrong or Lady MacGregor of MacGregor, if you prefer, interviewed Darcus Howe on the BBC News Channel. In it, she appeared to suggest that Howe had participated in past riots and was condoning the looting. Howe was furious and so were many viewers.

Here’s the exchange between Lady MacGregor and Howe

The Voice expressed its outrage and called on the BBC to apologise. The Corporation has yet to do so.

Newsnight’s coverage of the riots was spectacularly bad. On the Monday, we were treated to the spectacle of a studio ‘debate’ between Michael Gove and Harriet Harman. Gove came across as petulant and bad tempered, while Harman was cool and measured. But Gavin Esler allowed Gove to shout and talk over Harman. Then Kelvin MacKenzie was invited to make a contribution and, surprise, surprise, he didn’t disappoint with his usual spiel about socialism and nanny states. Here is the studio ‘debate’ with Lyn Costello, the rapper Reveal (who was very good) and a student.

But Newsnight’s worst moment came on the Friday when Emily Maitlis allowed David Starkey to talk over the other studio guests after making the suggestion that ‘whites’ were turning ‘black’. Maitlis is a pretty lightweight anchor and should never have been given the job of hosting Newsnight.

Within days of the riots, the BBC aired a special edition of Crimewatch in which it asked the public to turn in rioters.  The Telegraph complained that the rioters were being referred to by the BBC as “protesters”. In this article it cites “political correctness”.  To be honest, I watched a great deal of the BBC’s awful coverage and I didn’t, at any point, notice the reporters or newsreaders referring to rioters as “protesters”. The BBC’s riot reportage was unequivocally conservative in its tone.

The BBC World Service, which is hated by the Tories, aired an edition of World Have Your Say in which it used the heading “Is there a problem with young black men”. It was forced to issue an apology.

There may be a few left-wingers working for the BBC but for every left-winger, there is a right-winger. The opponents of the BBC will claim that there is a “left-wing bias” when no such bias exists. Some will claim that the Question Time audience is made up of left-wingers but they suffer from selective blindness when the programme is recorded in the shire counties where the audiences are mainly composed of Tory voters.

There is a Guardian article here about the decline in standards on Newsnight.

John Simpson, in this article in the Telegraph said that BBC News has never been “left-wing”.

The Daily Mail recruited Peter Sissons to claim that the BBC is “left-wing”. The Mail has always been one of the loudest voices to call for the BBC to be abolished.

Here is a Telegraph-approved site called Biased BBC

Hannan moans about the BBC.

Delingpole moans about the BBC.

I suspect the reason why so many right wingers complain about BBC bias is because they want the BBC to tug its collective forelock in deference to them. But they wilfully overlook examples of real bias in order to advance their thesis that the BBC should be abolished.

John Pilger has written of examples of blatant right-wing bias on the BBC particularly in relation to Israel-Palestine. Remember Mark Thompson’s refusal to allow the DEC to broadcast an appeal in the wake of Operation Cast Lead?

Some people have very short memories.

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Filed under allegations of bias, BBC, Media

Who runs Britain? Not you, Cameron

In 1974, Edward Heath called a general election on the back of a miner’s strike. His slogan for the election was “Who runs Britain”? The voters told him, in no uncertain terms “Not you, mate”! Heath was forced to resign.

After the riots of the last few days,  Cameron, Gove and Johnson all had to cut their holidays short and hotfoot it back to London. Lord Snooty gave a press conference yesterday morning after his meeting with COBRA. Johnson popped up in Croydon, armed with a broom and Gove did the rounds on television. In each of these situations, none of them looked as though they were in charge, even though they were desperate to give the impression that they had a grip on things.

Cameron’s press conference was brief and he produced the usual spiel: criminals, law and order, punishment. He looked like he was pissed off for having to rush back from Tuscany. Hang on, didn’t a certain Tony Blair and assorted Nu Labour types have a thing about Tuscany?  And just what is it about Tuscany and right -politicians? For what it’s worth, Emperor Boris may just as well have read the Croydon locals some Cicero in Latin. His appearance was marred by heckling and he had to beat a hasty retreat. Gove thought he had  a better chance in the television studios, but came across as irritable as he hyperventilated over “gangs” and “criminals”. His head-to-head on Newsnight with Harriet Harman saw him practically screaming at her, accusing her of “relativizing” and “making excuses”. Gove was trying to suggest that Harman was somehow responsible for the riots. Gove refused to accept that his government’s deficit reduction strategy was partly to blame.

Here’s Gove on Channel 4 News

Here he is on Newsnight

Does Gove look as though he’s in charge? I don’t think he does. He comes over like a  petulant child. Harman (I’m not a fan, by the way) comes over as cool-headed and rational by comparison.

Are these people running the country or are they helping their rich pals in the private sector to trouser loads of money? Nowhere Towers thinks it’s the latter. The public sector is being smashed to pieces in order to hand out contracts to their chums under the apparent aegis of ‘localism’. in the last couple of days, many Tories have been calling for American, Bill Bratton to take over as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

The Conservatives have made no secret of their admiration for their favourite American police chief, Bill Bratton, who played a key role in turning around crime in New York in the 1990s but has now retired. Labour had their own favourite in Paul Evans, the Boston police commissioner who fought gun crime, and who was brought over to head the Home Office’s police standards unit in 2003.

While they demand that immigration be capped or stopped altogether, here they are suggesting that an American run the largest police force in Britain. They may just as well demand that George W Bush take over as Prime Minister. In not so many words, our politicians are telling us that they don’t have any faith in Britain’s top policemen and women. So much so, that they want to hire a gunslinger from out of town.

And you had to ask why this country is in such a mess?

Finally, the most vocal supporter of cuts in police numbers came from Emperor Boris.  Go figure.

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Filed under Big Society, Cuts, Government & politics, Law & Order, Policing, Public spending