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Thursday, 30 August 2007

BBC Bias - and an expert contributor (part 2)

I blogged yesterday about the BBC's often used Middle East expert - Abd Al-Bari Atwan and his comments that "by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square,and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel." The BBC responded to criticisms of their use of Abd Al-Bari Atwan by saying that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines. “We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint.”

It would appear that Mr Abd Al-Bari Atwan is not a stranger to such remarks and that moderate Muslim journalists have concerns about his outbursts. Thanks to Shield of Achilles for drawing our attention to the following.

"Munir Al-Mawari, a moderate Arab journalist wrote of Atwan: "The Abd Al-Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abd Al-Bari Atwan on the Al-Jazeera network or in his Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily. On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al-Jazeera and in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, in which he whips up the emotions of multitudes of viewers and readers. Abd Al-Bari Atwan is part of the problem… and our problem is that it is not only America that we hate. Our Arab societies are societies of hate; we were raised to hate each other even before we hated others…""

Another piece of the Main Stream Media that doesn't know its arse from its elbow


The AFP published a brief article with an associated picture - "Tuesday August 14, 2007: An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City." The accompanying picture, as you can see, shows an elderly Iraqi woman holding the two bullets which had been fired at her house following a coalition forces raid. All very clear cut; what a lucky escape this woman had and what were the coalition forces thinking acting in such a reprehensible way...

Not quite, the objects being held up by the elderly Iraqi woman are not bullets, they are cartridges. Is that important? Yes it is, they are what exists before the bullet is fired. The bullet is the pointy bit at the end of the cartridge. To be more specific, these are unfired cartridges, they have not been fired by coalition forces or anyone else. If they are in this elderly Iraqi woman's hands, she didn't pick them up after they "hit her house", the only way they could have hit her house is if someone threw them at her house, or used a catapult or dropped them. Maybe, and this is just an idea, someone gave the cartridges to the elderly Iraqi woman so as to create another anti-Coalition forces story. What you have to ask is how did the AFP "reporter" fall for the story? What is such a "reporter" doing reporting from a war zone without any understanding of the difference between a bullet and a cartridge?

Thanks for the spot must go to The Dissident Frogman for the spot. If you want to see a nice piece of video by The Dissident Frogman explaining the difference between bullets and cartridges via the medium of mime then look at the video here.


There are other points to be made here:

1) regarding the blogosphere militaria pointing out that the cartridges are not US issue and look like AK47 cartridges, I cannot comment on this not knowing the differences between different ammunition types.

2) regarding AFP changing the ext to now read "An elderly Iraqi woman holds up two unspent bullets at her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, 14 August 2007.”
So AFP have had the mistake pointed out to them and they have tried to cover their tracks. However this still leaves the problem that the original piece said that "An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house". The bullets obviously didn't hit her house so was she lying? If she didn't make the claim then maybe the photographer made the claim up, maybe he even gave the elderly Iraqi lady the cartridges to hold? Maybe the photographer is not an AFP staffer but a local stringer, maybe he is not entirely unbiased in his "choice" of photograph?

3) regarding the elderly Iraqi lady, she has "form", she has appeared in similar situations before. There was an article here but it is currently down. This elderly Iraqi lady is in fact an old favourite of mine and one of the prime examples of the MSM's gullibility. I will link to some more examples later.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

BBC bias - and an expert contributor

Some interesting video of a frequent BBC "expert contributor" to news programmes regarding the Middle East has come to light. Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the UK based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, told a Lebanese TV interviewer he will dance in Trafalgar Square when Iran nukes Israel. You can see the interview fron June this year here where Abd Al-Bari Atwan gives his views on any forthcoming conflict between the US and Iran. When discussing Iran's retaliation he concludes "and Allah willing, it will attack Israel as well. If the Iranian missiles strike Israel - by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square,and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel."

The BBC have reacted to the video by saying that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines. “We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint.” I wonder if the BBC (or Sky who Abd Al-Bari Atwan also contributes to) will preface any "expert views" from Abd Al-Bari Atwan with the video or the text as above? I think we all know the answer to that. The BBC probably think he is a moderate anyway.

BBC hypocrisy

There was a segment including interviews on yesterday's Radio 4 Today programme about the huge discrepancy between the total benefit package of FTSE 100 Company directors and the average pay of their staff, a factor of 67 was quoted by the Fabian Society report. The presenter was pushing the this is quite disgusting angle, and it set me thinking that John Humphries and James "If we win the election" Naughtie are quite highly paid so I wonder how much more than the BBC average they are paid. I raised this as a query at Biased-BBC and waited...

"Arthur Dent" has come to my assistance with some figures, apparently the BBC Accounts for 2005/6 show a total staff number of 25,377 and a salary cost (not including other costs such as pensions) of approx £1,373,600,000. This gives £39,000 as the simple arithmetic mean average wage. In fact the median will be much lower because of the inclusion of some of the very high salaries at the top (Mr Ross's £18,000,000 will raise the mean by over £700 by itself). The median is probably nearer to £25,000 and that the lowest salary in the BBC is nearer to £15,000.

Jeremy Paxman is reputed to earn £1,000,000 which, if true, gives him a multiplier of 67 when compared with the lowest earning BBC staff. I wonder what John Humphries and James Naughtie do earn.

This isn't just hypocrisy it's funded by the licence fee payer hypocrisy.

Monday, 27 August 2007

The BBC caught out again

An article "Why saving Earth is not the BBC's job, by Newsnight boss" appeared in yesterday's Mail, you can read it here. In the article, the Newsnight producer, Peter Barron attacked the BBC's attitude to climate change. "He said the BBC was going beyond its remit by planning an entire day of programmes dedicated to highlighting environmental worries. In remarks that will embarrass his bosses, Mr Barron said: "If the BBC is thinking about campaigning on climate change, then that is wrong and not our job. "People are understandably interested in this, but it is absolutely not the BBC's job to save the planet. There are a lot of people who think that, but it must be stopped.""

The article continues "The proposed day of programmes will be called Planet Relief and feature stars including Ricky Gervais and Jonathan Ross helping to "raise consciousness" of the issue. It is likely to be broadcast next year."
Is there any need to "raise consciousness" of climate change, can there be a sentient human in the UK unaware of climate change? Worryingly there probably are such people and even more worryingly they have the vote.

"Despite claims by BBC chiefs that the day will not be about campaigning, news executives are already criticising the moves. Peter Horrocks, head of television news, warned that the corporation should not be influencing people. He said: "We should be giving people information, not leading them.""
Will the BBC listen to their own people on this issue? Of course not, the BBC are by definition in the right on all matters and will continue to promote their world view until their funding is cut.

"During a discussion of the issue at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the corporation was accused by a filmmaker of being biased in its coverage of climate change. Martin Durkin, who produced Channel 4's controversial The Great Climate Change Swindle, called the BBC "soft Left" and "soft green" and said it no longer adequately reports challenges to the consensus... Mr Durkin said: "The thing tha disturbs me most is that the BBC has such a leviathan position in Britain. If it decides that it is going to adopt climate change as a moral purpose, I have got a lot of trouble with that. "I don't think it is the role of the BBC to spend my money on a moral purpose. "If a certain idea becomes taboo it is a really unhealthy state of affairs." He added: "The BBC is run by people who are soft Left and soft green.""
The BBC are the consensus anyone to the "right" of their position is at best sadly misinformed and more likely stupid and will be portrayed as such.

"Hamish Mykura, the Channel 4 executive who commissioned Mr Durkin's programme, said he was astonished at the suggestion that the BBC was impartial."
As are we all Hamish, mind you you might also look at Channel 4 news, which is at least as bad as the BBC.

"But Mr Horrocks denied that the BBC refused airtime to sceptics. He said: "We have heard sceptics' voices very regularly on our programmes, but I think having this range of voices has made people think there is more doubt about climate change than there actually is." "We still need to have the voices of sceptics, but in terms of what matters to the viewers most, now a scientific consensus has emerged the policy choices that will affect people's taxes are more relevant to their concerns.""
Is there really as much of a consensus as the BBC make out? Here is a list of over 17,000 US scientists who have signed up to this "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

What sceptics do the BBC allow on their airwaves? How seriously will they be taken once on air? The BBC have a "position" on Man Made Climate Change and push that view whilst attacking heretical sceptics.

"Only two months ago, the corporation was criticised for promoting single-issue campaigns in an internal report. It said that while there was no conscious bias, individuals sometimes exercise a largely unconscious self-censorship out of a misguided attempt to be "correct" in their thinking. The BBC said last night the aim of Planet Relief is to debate the issue and not campaign on a single view."
This is what people like me have been saying for ages, now parts of the BBC accept it might be true BUT the BBC will not listen, they are just so sure they are right on everything...

John Prescott's long lost neice?

I know this has appeared on many blogs already but it is quite funny and yet a sad indictment of educational standards as well. From the US Miss Teen Beauty Pageant -

An integrated Transport Policy

Do you rememeber 1997? The Labour manifesto promised better "connections, through ticketing and accurate travel information". Today we can read on the BBC that "Public transport has too many weak links making it difficult to switch from one mode to another, a report by an environmental group suggests. Travellers polled for a Transport 2000 survey said buses did not connect with train times and stations had insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths."

One of the arguments that people used to justify voting New Labour was that there was no longer a difference in ideology, all parties believed in "the Market", the difference was one of management of the ecomnomy and that New Labour would manage everything better. 10 years of failure in Transport policy and we are back where we started.

Here is a Guardian report from December 2002 looking back at the first 5 years of the Labour Government's performance on Transport. 5 years on are we any better off?

Sunday, 26 August 2007

C30 C60 C90 Go

The observant amongst you will have noticed that I now have a FineTune playlist on my website. 45 songs that appealed to me at 01:30am Saturday morning. One song I still love but whose lyrics seem somewhat outdated is Bow Wow Wow's "C30 C60 C90 Go".

"Every day I get a brand new show
off TV record and radio
I breeze with the sleaze on my cassette
'cause I got the affirmative

C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60
C30 C60 C90 Go
30 60 90 Go

A bit bam-boogie and a booga-rooga
my cassette's just like a bazooka
a bligger a blagger a blippity-blop
well I'm going down to the record shop

Yeah!

And the boss said
"LP, single, picture cover or plain
I've got all the hits and all the big names
I've got biggest discounts in my store
if you buy three records, I'll give you four"

C30 C60 C90 Go
off the radio I get a constant flow
hit it, pause it, record it and play
turn it, rewind, and rub it away

C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60
C30 C60 C90 Go
30 60 90 Go

It used to break my heart when I went in your shop
and you said my records were out of stock
so I don't buy records in your shop
now I tape them all, 'cause I'm Top of the Pops!

Yeah!

Now I got a new way to move
it's shiny and black and don't need a groove
now I don't need no album rack
I carry my collection over my back

C30 C60 C90 Go
off the radio I get a constant flow
hit it, pause it, record it and play
turn it, rewind, and rub it away

Policeman stopped me in my tracks
said "Hey you, you can't tape that
you're under arrest 'cause it's illegal"
So I shoved him off and blew his whistle
I'm a pirate and I keep my loot
So I blew him out with my bazooka

C30 C60 C90 Go
off the radio I get a constant flow
hit it, pause it, record it and play
turn it, rewind, and rub it away

You're rich enough to have a record collection
I'll bring my bazooka round for inspection

Sometimes it better get hit twice as fast
so I press my playback to make it last
I breeze with the sleaze on my cassette
I've got the affirmative

C30 C60 C90 Go
off the radio I get a constant flow
hit it, pause it, record it and play
turn it, rewind, and rub it away

C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 C60 C90 Go
C30 360
C30 C60 C90 Go
30 60 90 Go"


A song extolling the virtues of home tapeing on cassette tape, ah the memories...

The BBC at it again (part 2)

"Israelis kill seven Palestinians" is the BBC headline, oh no you might think, those horrible Israelis have killed more innocent Palestinians, I bet they were unarmed civilians and probbaly children. From the following BBC article here are what the BBC say and my commnets:

"Troops were sent to the Erez border crossing after two gunmen scaled an eight metre (25ft) wall using a ladder, the Israeli military said."
So the Israeli's were reacting to an incursion by "gunmen".

"In an ensuing gun battle, at least one Israeli soldier was lightly wounded and the Palestinians were killed."
Nice touch there "lightly wounded".

"The militants were 700m into Israeli territory when they were killed, the Associated Press news agency quoted the Israeli army's Maj Tal Lev-Ram as saying."
An incursion by "militants" according to the Isreali army. Are the BBC sure Major Lev-Ram said militant?.

"The two dead men were on a "martyrdom operation" against Israel, a spokesman for a Palestinian militant group said."
"martyrdom operation", what does that mean BBC? A suicide bombing mission by "militants" into Israel?

"In Jenin, Israeli forces said they killed three Palestinian militants when they opened fire on a car."
Again, did the Israeli forces use the word "militants"?

"According to army officials, the three militants had two assault rifles and ammunition in the car."
Armed "militants", did the army say "militants"?

"Israeli troops have killed at least 20 Palestinians in the last week."
How many were armed terrorists/soldiers or in BBC speak "militants"?

"The army says the operations are needed to protect Israeli civilians from attacks."
The army "says"? If the two "militants" on a "martyrdom operation" had not been stopped, what do the BBC think they would have done? Might they have killed innocent Israelis in a Pizza parlour or a Cafe? Maybe the BBC under the guidance of its Hamas friends thinks that no Israeli is innocent?

That's five of the seven killed, what of the other two. The deaths of the other two are at summarised at the top of the article but unlike the other two incidents there is no detail. From the following BBC article here are their words and my commnets:

"Palestinian officials said two teenage boys were also killed by Israeli troops in an unrelated incident in Gaza."
Even the BBC doesn't still think that all teenage boys are all sweet and innocent, even in Enland quite a few seem to be armed and dangerous and I imagine that guns are even easier to obtain in Gaza than Manchester, Liverpool or London.

"Medical officials said the two were civilians aged 15 and 16, who were shot close to an Israeli observation post near the town of Beit Lahiya."
"Civilians" close to an Israeli observation post, what were they doing there?

The BBC at it again

This from the BBC is a peach. Might it not be possible that the US military bought a load of footballs as kids like football as a nice act and that was that. Surely the story here is that some Muslims will take offence wherever they can and that the BBC will manipulate it if possible especially if it means they can accuse the US Military of insensitivity.

A change to my Gordon Brown policy

I know I promised here that "from now on every mention of Gordon Brown on my blog will be accompanied either by a link to the video of Gordon Brown picking his nose or by a picture of the nose picking". I now realise that this can lead to too many photos of the "great clunking fist" snacking. From now on there will no more than one bogey eating photo per article. To make up for this disappointing news, here's the photo
and as a special treat, the video as well ...

Now Gordon Brown has a funding scandal of his own

Gordon Brown
has his own personal Labour party funding scandal breaking at present. It would appear that "LABOUR is facing an official inquiry into an alleged front organisation, financed by millionaire Muslim businessmen, which has donated more than £300,000 to the party. The electoral watchdog, which polices political funding, confirmed that it was investigating donations to Labour from a group called Muslim Friends of Labour. Its findings are expected to lead to a full-blown inquiry — the first potential sleaze probe to hit Labour since Gordon Brown became prime minister in June."

Read the whole article and ponder if Gordon Brown is as "whiter than white" as Tony Blair was.

Any sign of this being covered by the BBC? A story that puts Gordon Brown and the British Muslim community in a bad light, what do you think?

Some news about Hamas that you won't see on the BBC

This from The Telegraph includes (my emphasis)"With both legs badly bruised from a vicious beating, Shaher Abu Oda can only move around with a painful shuffle. In the town of Beit Hanoun, on Palestine's Gaza strip, however, he is just one of many young men bearing limps, plaster casts, and stitches - the black and blue aftermath of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent by the strip's new rulers, the Islamist group Hamas.
Its officials snatched Mr Abu Oda off the streets two weeks ago as he was trying to find his younger brother Miqbil, himself badly beaten after club-wielding Hamas policemen broke up a wedding party. The revellers' crime had been to sing a few songs associated with the Fatah party, the rival Palestinian faction which Hamas ousted from the Gaza Strip two months ago. "They threw me in a room," said Mr Abu Oda. "From 11.30 to 3.30 in the morning, they came in every 15 minutes and beat me with sticks, fists, kicks, and a black leather crop."
As many as 50 people are thought to have been arrested in Gaza's Beit Hanoun district around the night of the wedding, and similar sweeps have taken place elsewhere in Gaza since then. The detentions and beatings appear to mark the end of a relative honeymoon period for Hamas, which seized control of Gaza after five days of battle in June."

Also "Now though, human rights groups and ordinary Gazans say Hamas is committing exactly the same crimes as its Fatah predecessors, whose corruption and brutality were one of the main reasons why support for Hamas grew. "We are receiving reports of political detentions every day," said Mahmoud Abu Rahma, of the Gaza City-based Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights. "Hamas is conducting wide sweeps and interrogations to collect information. The interrogations include harsh treatment, and in many cases, torture and beatings."

At a protest in Gaza City on Friday, Hamas gunmen broke up a demonstration by Fatah loyalists by firing on the crowd and smashing journalists' cameras. Similar treatment is often meted out in the opposite direction in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, where dozens, if not hundreds, of Hamas activists have been jailed - but since Hamas has long portrayed itself to the Palestinians as an upright alternative to decades of corrupt Fatah rule, such behaviour rankles all the more.

"Fatah arrested and tortured people too," said a senior official from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an independent political faction. "But during Fatah's rule we could give our opinions, and say anything we wanted about the Fatah leadership. Today people are afraid of saying anything about Hamas."

"At least two detainees have died in Hamas custody since July 11. In the most recent case, Waleed Abu Dalfa, 45, was arrested on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. Thirty masked militants from Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, arrested him and his two brothers in the night. Seven days later his dead body was dumped at a Gaza City hospital. The doctor on duty reported "bruises on the hands and the legs, haematomas in the legs and signs of stranglehold on the neck."

"On August 13, Hamas broke up a peaceful protest rally that included a number of different Palestinian political groups, beating protesters with sticks and confiscating cameras from journalists. Newspapers have been banned, critical television talk shows have been pulled from the air, and a new Hamas decree prohibits demonstrations and even outdoor weddings without approval."

Now the BBC have reported on the Hamas crackdown at the demonstration mentioned above, however the report seems a little sketchy on details. The report is here and here are some excerpts "Hamas security forces have fired over the heads of rival Fatah supporters, to disperse an opposition rally in Gaza. Witnesses say the gunmen opened fire when demonstrators started hurling rocks at a former Fatah compound, now occupied by Hamas forces. Reuters news agency reports it was the biggest Fatah rally since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June. Four cameramen were arrested during the scuffles but were later released. Journalists later staged a separate protest against the crackdown outside a building which houses many media outlets. Since taking power in June, Hamas has tried to stop journalists filming pro-Fatah gatherings." So according to the BBC (vote Labour, we are all Hamas now) the demonstrators started the problem by throwing some rocks and so were properly dispersed - would the same hold true in England if some anti-capitalism demonstrators threw rocks at the police and were "dispersed", I think the BBC would react with less understanding of the police position! "Four cameramen were arrested during the scuffles but were later released" No mention of what happened to the cameras there...

The BBC love them or hate them, you can't ignore them - unfortunately.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Bizarre BBC interview

I was about half asleep but I believe I did just listen to John Humphries interview Jeremy Paxman about the future of the BBC. Some nice moments including Humphries claiming that their wage levels were determined because they ask for pay rises and Paxman taking the wind out of his sails by saying that he doesn't ask for more. Humphries hurumphed and said something along the lines of "I bet you do". Interestingly Paxman didn't come back at that remark. This interview was followed by Humphries interviewing someone from Channel 4 who vigorously defended his Dispatches programme Undercover Mosque. I presume the interview with Jeremy Paxman was following his lecture in Edinburgh.

Friday, 24 August 2007

"The BBC has squandered trust. But we will win it back" - a comment

The Guardian Comment is Free page reacting to Mark Thompson's article is garnering many comments. You can read my earlier take on this here.

I particularly liked this short but pithy one from RogueMale - "I'm afraid the BBC has become a joke in our household. In particular, the news and current affairs output is trivial. It's like watching Jonhn Craven's Newsround without the gravitas and intellectual thrust of the original presenter."

The comment is only spoilt by the misspelling of John!


I also like this one "The political coverage is so soft on Labour as to be a joke. Remember Little Ant and Dec interviewing Blair? Brown refused to go on Question Time. John Humphrys says there's no point having him on the Today programme because he just reads from a script irrespective of the question."

You couldn't make it up...

Which country would you not put on your list of 20 to plan an anti-racism conference? The UN have decided that their committee to plan the 2009 UN World Conference against Racism (known by some as Durban II) will comprise the following countries. Libya (chairman), Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Norway, Russia, Senegal, South Africa and Turkey. This committee will decide on the modalities and objectives of the 2009 conference. Let's take a look at the members and see if we can work out what their priority will be... Libya, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Cuba - I think a denouncement of Israel and much vituperation about Zionism will be approved along with an attack on Islamaphobia.

Libya is a country that is "a racist regime that gave its highest award in 2002 to convicted French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, brutalizes black African migrants, and tortures Bulgarian and Palestinian medics for the crime of being foreigners.” according to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, executive director of NGO Monitor.

Iran under the vehemently anti-semitic President Ahmadinejad is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons while calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. President Ahmadinejad is expected to attempt to use the opportunity to further foment anti-semitism on a global scale. The Organization of the Islamic Conference has already given indications that it will seek to drive through an agenda that would create international rules which would greatly expand concepts of Islamophobia while severely limiting freedom of speech, diminish concern over anti-semitism, and seek to cast Israel as another apartheid South Africa.

I could go on about the other Muslim countries on the committee but I frankly am losing heart.


In 2001, the UN hosted Durban I - an anti-racism conference held in Durban, South
Africa, which degenerated into a platform for some of the worst anti-Semitic propaganda witnessed since Nazi Germany. The final document of the NGO conference which led into the government forum declared Zionism was racism and the government declaration found Israel to be the one and only racist state in the world today. That's Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle East where Muslims have the vote, sit in Parliament, have served as Ministers, have freedom to practice their religion etc. etc. Not Saudi Arabia a country where you may not bring a Christian (let alone Jewish) Bible, where it is forbidden to practice Christianity (let alone Judaism), where non Muslims are forbidden from accessing areas of the country reserved for Muslims only. Not any of the Muslim countries in the Middle East where Jews have been persecuted and expelled over the last century and this one and where you may not enter if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. This really gets to me, I am a generally calm person but the injustice of this sort of thing really makes my blood boil.

When asked how a state which openly denies the Holocaust could find itself in such a role, a UN spokesperson said "The Preparatory Committee is an inter-governmental body, meaning States were chosen freely to sit on the Prep-Com. It is the Member-States who decide." In fact the countries were selected by the UN's Human Rights Council which has effectively been taken over by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) thus allowing Iran and Libya access to key roles. The majority of seats on the Human Rights Council are held by the African and Asian regional groups and the OIC has a majority of seats on each of these groups. Western states do not have the votes to block this and so we have Iran and Libya on this committee.

That's it, I have had enough for today, after this load of tosh I need a drink...

John Redwood sounds a bit despondent about the BBC bias over the EU

Take a read of this from John Redwood's blog. There are several passages that seem to sum up the problem with BBC bias and I reproduce them here...

"The BBC do not invite me on to put the case for a referendum. Maybe because I have given a seminar series in Oxford University on the Constitution, and have written three books providing a British critique of political integration, I know too much for them to allow me on. If they did, they would doubtless introduce me as a “right winger”, whose right wing view was proven by my Euroscepticism. They would then probably spend most of the interview discussing whether this showed the Conservatives had lurched to the right."
I have noticed that the BBC would rather interview someone who has strong views with little to back them up or someone who is inarticulate about the subject, rather than someone who knows the subject and is articulate about it. This policy makes it easier to write off supporters of a policy that offends their delicate liberal sympathies as "odd" or "right wing" or "out of touch".

"They did not attempt to claim that Ian Davidson (backed by up to 40 other Labour MPs) was lurching to the right because he shares our view that we need a referendum. Instead they dismissed his position as a “challenge to the authority of the Prime Minister”! All Mr Davidson was doing was speaking up for the 80% of the British public, including many Labour voters, who want the PM to honour his pledge to give us a referendum on this most important of matters. Mr Davidson very honourably reminded us all that all Labour MPs were elected on the promise of such a referendum."
The BBC "narrative" is that Gordon Brown is the new Prime Minister and has started from scratch, he cannot be held responsible for the policies of Tony Blair's government and he should not be held responsible for any of the last manifestos, even though his courtiers always made a big point of telling the media and public how Gordon Brown was in charge of the election campaign.

"The BBC has squandered trust. But we will win it back"

"The BBC has squandered trust. But we will win it back" so says Mark Thompson in today's Guardian. You can read the whole article followed by, mostly, considered responses here. One of the responses is mine which I reproduce here, because I want to...


"The BBC's political bias has become the subject of much comment and is well documented by many blogs. I will not advertise any particular blogs here, but a Google search for "BBC +bias" brought up 1,900,000 links.

The BBC's bias is not always party political although it has been anti-Conservative for some years now; as Andrew Marr wrote in October last year "it is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias". Many of us can list the BBC's bias on most subjects as they are clear and obvious, often they are most obvious by looking at the stories that the BBC chooses not to cover as much as those that the BBC does choose to cover, the BBC is guilty of sins of omission as well as commission.

The BBC's coverage of John Redwood's report the other week was a classic of BBC bias. The BBC felt it had to cover John Redwood's report but that did at least give it an excuse to dust off the footage of John Redwood failing to sing along with Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Yes it is a funny piece of video and it does the job of making John Redwood look a bit odd, which the BBC believe he must be as he is a Tory, but was it relevant? Yes the BBC have subsequently apologised but it was a very forced apology and the damage had already been done. Strange how the BBC have been much less keen to show the footage of Gordon Brown picking his nose and eating the results, footage that is just as watchable, more relevant and just as insulting. The difference is that the BBC don't want to pour ridicule on Gordon Brown whilst they do want to do so to all leading Conservatives. How many times has the John Redwood footage been shown on Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week? How many times has the Gordon Brown footage been shown?

The BBC's coverage of the 40 Labour MPs demanding a referendum on the EU Treaty is also interesting. I just went to the BBC news website so I could quote from the story but the story is not on the front page or the Politics page. How much coverage would the BBC have given a story about 40 or even 20 or even 5 Conservative MPS who were opposing David Cameron over Europe? Would the word "split" be used and used often? Would the story be a lead or at least third lead on the web and all news programmes? Why the difference in coverage?

How about Wikigate, the BBC story initially centred on edits made by the CIA and others whilst completely ignoring the edits made by BBC. Eventually the BBC published a rather weasely comment at the end of the article that "BBC News website users contacted the corporation to point out that the tool also revealed that people inside the BBC had made edits to Wikipedia pages." No examples were shown and no apology made there.

How about Jane Garvey's recounting of Election Night 1997 at Broadcasting House "I do remember I walked back in - we were broadcasting then from Broadcasting House in the centre of London, all very upmarket in those days - and the corridors of Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles. [Hearty laugh from Peter Allen] I'll always remember that. Er... not that the BBC were celebrating in any way, shape or form...

Peter Allen: No not all...

Jane Garvey: ...and actually I think it's fair to say that in the intervening years... er... the BBC, if it ever was in love with Labour has probably fallen out of love with Labour, or learnt to fall back in, or basically just learnt to be in the middle somewhere which is how it should be. Um, but there was always the suggestion that the BBC was full of pinkos who couldn't wait for Labour to get back into power. That may have been the case - who knows -... Wish I hadn't started this now."

Jane Garvey started recounting a story that she felt was amusing about the joy at the BBC that great night when the hated Tories fell from power and nasty Portillo got shafted. Then she realised that it wasn't an intra BBC conversation but being broadcast and that so tried to row back "BBC was full of pinkos who couldn't wait for Labour to get back into power. That may have been the case - who knows" We know Jane, we know.

The other area where the BBC bias is so obvious relates to its coverage of the Middle East. The anti-Israel bile that flows from the BBC contrasts with the generally pro Palestinian, and recently incredible pro Hamas coverage. That along with the BBC's refusal to publish the Balen report leads many to assume that you are institutionally biased against Israel and maybe Jews as well. Face facts, if the Balen report had concluded that there was no bias the BBC wouldn't have fought so hard to stop its publication.

The BBC is biased in its coverage of politics, religion and much else and sees itself as the rightful promoter of the "correct" liberal mindset and as a bulwark against "conservativism". The BBC is institutionally biased and unless it faces up to that bias and starts recruiting staff from outside of the normal pool of "believers" then it will never change."

The BBC and Gordon Brown

The BBC are verbally felating Gordon Brown on a regular basis, something that irritates me hugely as it does many others. I will be writing about this soon, but in the meantime here is a comment from Charley on the Biased-BBC blog which I think makes some very good points, thanks Charley.

"Charley:
The most irritating thing is the "Clean Slate" the BBC seem to have given Brown. He was a very powerful(arguably over-powerful) No. 2 during the Blair era and wielded enormous influence in every area, from the Iraq War to Social Policy. Without his support, nothing the Government did would have happened. All the volte-faces now being performed, from withdrawing troops from Basra to blocking super-casinos seem extremely cynical in light of this. If he found the policies so reprehensible why didn't he resign, as Michael Heseltine, Geoffrey Howe, Robin Cook (to name just a few major players) did? Was it self interest, knowing a leadership bid from the backbenches would be far more difficult? And why aren't the BBC asking these questions, instead of their current lickspittle approach?
Charley | 23.08.07 - 7:12 pm | #"

Do you think the BBC will ever raise these questions? Or might that be quite tricky with their collective mouths so full with Gordon Brown's
metaphorical cock?

Another anti-Israel "report" on the BBC

Here is a short article from the BBC. To save you the bother and pain of looking at the BBC website, here is what it says. "Israelis deny killing Hamas man

A Hamas fighter has been killed in what the Palestinian militant group says was an Israeli aircraft-launched missile strike on the Gaza Strip. Another Hamas militant was seriously injured in an explosion that occurred just east of Gaza City.
Hamas said the missile strike had targeted a group of its members in the area.

But an Israeli army spokesman denied that the military had carried out any such operation in Gaza.

Israeli troops have carried out a number of strikes and raids against Palestinian militants in Gaza in recent months. "

Let's examine this article, my comments are in italics

"Israelis deny killing Hamas man"
Not Hamas claim Israel killed one of their men, so the proof must be strong that the Israelis did do this.

"A Hamas fighter has been killed"
A fighter, not a militant and certainly not a terrorist

"in what the Palestinian militant group"
He was a "fighter" but Hamas is a "militant" group, the important thing is that neither has anything to do with terrorism

"says was an Israeli aircraft-launched missile strike on the Gaza Strip."
Hamas say there was an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, is there any verification for this claim?

"Another Hamas militant was seriously injured in an explosion that occurred just east of Gaza City."
This one was a "militant" not a "fighter"

"Hamas said the missile strike had targeted a group of its members in the area."
But this "militant" was a member of a "group of ... members"

"But an Israeli army spokesman denied that the military had carried out any such operation in Gaza."
BBC - We have to put this in but we don't believe it and neither should you

"Israeli troops have carried out a number of strikes and raids against Palestinian militants in Gaza in recent months."
They are "militants" again. Maybe some context would be useful here BBC, what have these militant members been doing? Playing football, organising creches, throwing political opponents off of office buildings, shooting other militants from a different group of members, firing rockets into Israel...


The BBC - there are no terrorists except for Israel, America (so long as George Bush or another Republican is President), Tony Blair (Gordon Brown
is a lovely man, vote Labour), Protestant gangs in Northern Ireland (the IRA were freedom fighters), etc. etc. etc.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Taken out of context

It seems that whenever someone is caught saying something that they shouldn't, they defend themselves by saying that what they said is "being taken out of context". The next time someone says this, ask yourself in what context it would have been OK to have said what was said. Even better maybe the interviewer could ask the question "you say you have been quoted out of context, please could you explain the context in which you said what you said".


Here are a couple of examples of the "taken out of context" excuse being used.

First the principal of the King Fahd Academy in Acton, an Islamic school in West London, who admitted that the school uses textbooks which describe Jews as "apes" and Christians as "pigs" and has refused to withdraw them. Dr Sumaya Alyusuf was interviewed on Newsnight back in February when she said that the quotations about apes and pigs had been taken out of context. I would like to know the context and how Dr Alyusuf thinks that it was alright to liken the majority of people in this country as apes. You can read more about this story here.

Second let's examine the Channel 4's Dispatches documentary Undercover Mosque, in the programme a preacher called Abu Usamah spread his message of inter-communal respect and understanding thus "No one loves the kuffaar! Not a single person here from the Muslims loves the kuffaar. Whether those kuffaar are from the UK or from the US. We love the people of Islam and we hate the people of kuffaar. We hate the kuffaar!" In case you do not know, 'Kuffaar' is a derogatory term for non-Muslims used by many Muslims. As Andrew Anthony's article from The Observer about the police action against the Channel 4 programme makers here made clear "Usamah was not asked to cite any examples of misrepresentation. Nor was he confronted with the recordings of his sermons broadcast in the documentary. Now that would have made for a compelling piece of radio. The police and CPS suggest that comments like these were taken 'out of context'. I've read extended transcripts of Usamah's quotes and I'm satisfied that they were perfectly 'in context'. But let's ask what conceivable context could make these quotes acceptable or reasonable? Was he rehearsing a stage play? Was it a workshop on conflict resolution? Or perhaps it was the same context in which a spokesman from those other righteous humanitarians, the BNP, might attempt to aid community relations by repeatedly stating that his followers 'hate Muslims'. Yes, you can well imagine their excuses if they got caught at it: 'No, we don't really hate Muslims, we just want them to leave the country.' Except no one in the media swallows it, much less gives them air time."

You can see Abu Usama defend his comments here including a lot of "out of context" comments. Listen to his excuses and make up your own mind; do bear in mind the interviewing that makes even James Naughtie interviewing a Labour minister look rigorous.

Undercover Mosque was made by Hardcash productions. David Henshaw, its managing director, said it was "one of the programmes I'm most proud of. It's absolutely copper-bottomed and everything was properly contextualised. It's hard to understand what the proper context for some of those comments could be."


You can read more about this subject at these links:

BBC

Via Google

A concerned Blogger

A concerned blogger

LittleGreenFootballs - LGF's articles are generally interesting although sometimes harshly expressed, however some of the views expressed in it's comments sections are not always acceptable to me

LittleGreenFootballs again - LGF's articles are generally interesting although sometimes harshly expressed, however some of the views expressed in it's comments sections are not always acceptable to me

A new way to while away some time

We all loved Google Earth and looked up where we lived and worked and were about to holiday. Now you can examine the heavens as well with Google Earth Sky Objects as Google Earth now allows you to view heavenly objects, including stars, constellations, galaxies, planets and the Earth's moon. To view these objects, click View > Switch to Sky or click. In Sky view the Earth is hidden and the 3D viewer presents a view of the sky. Even cuter the sky you see is the sky above the Earth location you were currently in when you swapped views. This is going to end all argument about what constellation is what and is that the Milky Way.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

BBC's hatred of Israel/support for Hamas

Tonight's BBC 6pm news and a long'ish video piece about Mariya Amam. It concerns a now 5 year old girl, Mariya Aman, who was paralysed in an Israeli air attack on militants/terrorists in Gaza 15 months ago. She lost much of her family and has been receiving treatment in a Jerusalem hospital paid for by the Israeli government. Now the Israeli's want to send her back to a Gaza hospital that does not have the facilities of the Israeli hospital.

A truly horrific story and one that makes me feel sad for the girl and despondent about the Middle East. However why did the BBC show this report? There is no British angle, it is a "human interest" story but why show it? Any link to Alan Johnson being "freed" by Hamas? Has any similar story about children severely injured by a Hamas terrorist ever been given such prominence by the BBC?

Will the BBC be covering this story? "Five-year-old Youssif is scarred for life, his once beautiful smile turned into a grotesquely disfigured face -- the face of a horrifying act by masked men. They grabbed him on a January day outside his central Baghdad home, doused him with gas and set him ablaze." That's a boy of a similar age to Mariya Aman who was deliberately set on fire back in January; will the BBC be examining how he is being treated in hospital and raise questions about the callousness of those who targetted him? Take a look at the photos of Youssif at the CNN link above and ask yourself why the BBC might not cover this story.

Marks and Spencer advertising

Do you think that M&S's current adverts are just thinly disguised porn? Well here's something to change your mind, or not.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Quote of the day

"Go on, have a rich dessert...before Labour makes it illegal."

Michael Jennings, Samizdata contributor and epicure, at dinner earlier this week

Global warming = hotter drier summers ... Well that was last Summer's story

I know I blogged about this before but with the news today that "Britain is facing a flooding timebomb this autumn and winter, with huge amounts of underground water stored up by incessant summer rain ready to burst out as floods the next time heavy rains return." and "The Environment Agency is giving warning of “an enhanced flood risk” for England and Wales, although where and when any flooding strikes will depend on the weather patterns. Forecasters are predicting a wet autumn across much of Britain." I thought a reminder was in order...

Remember the Guardian 22 July 2006 - "scientists know a lot about how events will unfold...which means that whatever we do, our climate destiny is fixed for the next few decades...Rainfall will decline in the summer and the increased deluges in winter will struggle to replenish thirsty reservoirs because much of the water will run off the baked ground."

The Guardian were so certain last summer, I haven't noticed an apology this summer, have you?

BBC Bias

I was working, as promised, on a more complete list of BBC Bias but someone has beaten me to it. USS Neverdock is a website that I used to visit a fair bit but have recently got out of the habit, I will start once again as this list of examples of BBC bias is exceptionally detailed. Take a look at the list, read the links and wonder why we have to pay for such a biased broadcaster to exist.

Monday, 20 August 2007

More Onion humour

If you fancy a bit of satire and don't mind some sex talk then take a look at this from The Onion.

Subprime mortgages

I found this at The Onion and thought you might appreciate it.

The BBC at it again, via the ever unbiased James Naughtie

The Today programme on Radio 4 this morning and the "hug a hoodie" slur rears its head again. The interviewer is James "If we win the election" Naughtie, who uses the line "let's not get into whether you actually said it". Slur, slur, slur against any Conservative; come on Jim, why don't you come out with it, say it, "Vote Labour".

This is a transcript of what was said and by whom:-
JN - "I can hear a lot of people sitting at home in a rather frustrated state saying 'here he goes again', you know, 'if it's not "hug a hoodie"' now let's not argue about whether you actually used the phrase

DC - "Well I never used that phrase"

The two talk across each other ending with DC saying "the people at home need to know that"

JN - "I think if people walked down the street, and you walked up to them and said 'did David Cameron ever say "hug a hoodie" they would say 'yes' because you got saddled with this idea that you are talking in the long term..."

You can listen to this yourself at the Labour Party Broadcasting Service website here this extract starts at around 5 minutes 25 seconds into the interview.

Now Mr Naughtie answer these questions:

1) Did David Cameron ever actually say "hug a hoodie", except in response to claims that he had?

2) If you know the claim is false, why do you repeat it?

3) Where did these claims originate?

4) Why do you think that "if people walked down the street, and you walked up to them and said 'did David Cameron ever say "hug a hoodie" they would say 'yes'"?

5) If David Cameron didn't say it then shouldn't you as an unbiased broadcaster, not a mouthpiece for the Labour party, disabuse people of that view?

6) How do you think David Cameron got "saddled" with the "hug a hoodie" idea?


This is like the John Major tucks his shirt into his underpants claim. That one was an allegation made by Alistair Campbell and eagerly taken up by Spitting Image and other satirical programmes as a way of making people laugh at John Major. It wasn't true, it was a lie; but a very powerful, and so useful, lie.

However take a read of these four quotations "a lie told often enough becomes truth" and "...when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it" and "The key-word here is blackwhite... Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.” and “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…”. Strike any chords? The first is from Lenin, the second from Goebbels and the last two from George Orwell's "1984" describing how The Party manipulate news.

So which of the above sources is your inspiration Mr Naughtie? Do you want a proletarian revolution, the death of all jews, homosexuals and other degenerates, or just the permanent rule of this country by a single party? What are you Mr Naughtie, a Communist, a Nazi or do you see yourself as an important worker in the new Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) making sure that everyone believes that everything that the Party says is true? Or is it just the methods used rather than the aims that you you approve of?

For the record, I don't believe that James Naughtie is a Nazi or a Communist, or that he wants the death of all jews, homosexuals and degenerates. He may even not want one party rule, so long as the party or parties in power agree with his political view. However I do think that he is a supporter of the Labour party and often incapable of hiding this bias when "interviewing" or "reporting".

UPDATE - You can read more here, apparently the "protesters" took down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag. I assume that less Greenhouse gasses are emitted by exports from the Palestinian Territories than by exports from Israel...

Sunday, 19 August 2007

"The City" and the EU

I read this article by Ruth Lea in the Telegraph on Friday but forgot to post a link then. The article is about the EU's propensity to regulate everything it can. Read the whole article, it is very well written, and then worry about the EU screwing up "The City" as it has our fishing industry, farming etc. etc. etc.

"The statistics relating to London as the leading global financial centre are awesome. For example, the daily turnover in foreign exchange is more than $1,100 billion (32 per cent of the global total), London has 40 per cent of the global foreign equity market and trades 70 per cent of all Eurobonds. It is also the world's leading market for international insurance.

It hardly needs emphasising that Britain's financial sector is also hugely important to the domestic economy. Indeed, some would argue that the financial sector is too dominant and distorts the economy, making it especially vulnerable to squalls and setbacks in the City.

They may be right. But whether they are or are not, it is impossible to deny the economic significance of the financial services sector. It pays one third of all corporation tax, generates nearly one million jobs and contributes a surplus of nearly £20 billion to the trade balance. It accounts for eight per cent of GDP."

"Britain, of all European countries, cannot afford to be complacent about its attractiveness to international business. In particular, Britain cannot afford to be complacent about the EU's Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), which is intended to complete the EU-wide single market in financial services.

The FSAP is monumental and comprehensive. It covers both the retail sector and the global wholesale markets, which are crucially important for London. It comprises 42 detailed measures. Frankly, it is a monster.

According to an estimate by Open Europe, the plan could cost the British economy at least £14 billion to implement by 2010. But, shockingly, there has been no comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to enlighten us about its potential benefits. It therefore comes as no surprise that many financial businesses, especially small ones with no cross-border trade, regard the FSAP measures as dead-weight costs. "

No cost-benefit analysis by this government, quelle surprise!

"An EU-wide financial regulator, a European Securities and Exchange Commission (ESEC), is already being widely discussed and attracting growing support. An ESEC would probably largely replace the individual member states' regulators, including our respected Financial Services Authority (FSA).

If the ESEC were to go ahead, its location would overwhelmingly be determined by political considerations. Despite, or perhaps because of, London's financial supremacy, the ESEC's central location would probably not be in London.

It is unsurprising that some believe that the EC's harmonising ambitions in financial services are, at least partly, about controlling the City of London. To put it crudely, it is a power grab."

and now the killer fact ........ "The prospect of having a financial regulator regulating London's financial markets that is based outside Britain and operating a set of rules originating in Brussels, with Britain as one voice among 27, should be sounding alarm bells in the City... Moreover, the new City minister is unlikely to be raising any alarms either. She is Kitty Ussher, who was previously the chief economist for the now defunct and ardently pro-EU campaign group, Britain in Europe. Just who will raise the alarm?"

Why am I not surprised?

More BBC crap

I really haven't the energy to try and detail this one, it's on various websites but here is the article from today's Daily Mail. Here's the text "The BBC has been forced to remove statements from its website referring to Jesus as a 'bastard'.

It is the latest in a string of offensive comments that BBC editors have allowed members of the public to post.

The remarks have been allowed to remain for weeks, despite complaints from religious groups.

It has led to claims that the BBC is allowing its output to be hijacked by extremists while censoring anti-Muslim sentiment.

.
.
.

Colonelartist is a regular contributor to the BBC site.

He has also written: "The jews in much remembered concentration camps had even better qualitity of freedom that these palestinians have...'

One website user wanted to see if BBC editors were allowing these offensive remarks to remain while blocking others. He wrote: "No one can surpass the Muslims for denial of their role in Terrorism and Suicide bombing." The remarks were almost immediately deleted. "

There is a word I want to use to describe the BBC, but I'll let you guess what it is...

Climate change protesters - the news the BBC don't report

You can read on the BBC that climate change protesters from the Heathrow camp broke into a warehouse owned by Agrexco - "Police said up to six arrests were made on Saturday after protesters locked themselves to the gates of an Israeli firm which flies produce to the UK.
A 22-year-old man was later arrested outside the protest site on suspicion of harassment and causing actual bodily harm, police said. About 70 officers were sent to the Carmel Agrexco warehouse in Hayes, close to Heathrow. Amos Orr, general manager of Agrexco UK, said doors had been broken at the warehouse." No actual quote there, just a rewording of part of what he actually said "they broke doors".

What the BBC don't include is what else the Amos Orr said "They broke in. A lot of them were drunk, they broke doors, spread papers everywhere and they were very aggressive. They were singing about Hamas." from BreitBart.

Why so coy BBC?


UPDATE - You can read more here, apparently the "protesters" took down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag. I assume that less Greenhouse gasses are emitted by exports from the Palestinian Territories than by exports from Israel...

Friday, 17 August 2007

Bill Deedes RIP

The veteran journalist Lord William 'Bill' Deedes has died aged 94. You can read potted biographies of the great man in many places including here on the BBC. I will remember him as a great columnist and for his love of an area of Britain of which I am very fond, Romney Marsh.

HIP extension

HIPs are to be extended to 3 bedroom or larger propoerties from 10 September 2007 according to the BBC and we know how reliable their news presentation is. "Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps called the plan "pointless red tape", adding that it would lead to extra costs and bureaucracy. "Pushing ahead with Hips will just make life harder and more expensive for people buying and selling property," he said. " Mmm just what the country needs as we head towards a massive recession, heck let's call it what it is - a depression, an extra tax on labour mobility as house prices crash around us. I don't think the income to the Treausury from HIPs will make up for the loss in income from stamp duty as house prices fall.

By the way, has anyone seen Gordon Brown since the financial markets started to fall? Surely he has some comforting words about how he has ended boom and bust for ever...

No Ken, don't even think about it

Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life

Thursday, 16 August 2007

More on the BBC versus John Redwood and a promise from me re Gordon Brown

I blogged recently about how the BBC covered John Redwood's policy announcements by showing the footage of him not correctly singing along with Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Insulting and irrelevant to the story but indicative of the BBC mind-set. Helen Boaden has commented on this story here by saying "In retrospect we weren't right to use that footage again, which came from a long time ago". It did come from a long time ago, but the BBC mind-set is - John Redwood... ooh ooh there's that funny video of him making a prat of himself when he was Secreatry of State for Wales, let's show that it always makes me laugh and it will remind people of how horrible and strangely funny the Tories were and that they must vote Labour, especially now that lovely Gordon Brown is in charge...

The discussion at the bottom of that BBC page is interesting, I especially like James K's comment "Why do you include "The secretary of state for business, John Hutton, said the Tories were now more right wing than they had been under William Hague and Michael Howard" at all. It has no relevance to the story whatsoever. If John Hutton had said "The Tory Party is now the Fascist Party and also they beat their wives", would you have repeated that. You are biased and you simply cannot ever see it."


Also William Batterby's comments appeal to me "If I was a member of the Labour Party, I'd be entirely happy with the way you reported John Redwood's announcement, and I'd also be happy with seeing old footage of him making a fool of himself as that's waht I'd want to see. But I'm not. I'ma Conservative Party member (or 'Tory') so I don't like any of this and the story to me was seriously biased. And since I'm forced to pay you a large poll tax each year in order to own a television, I'd like to see you adopt an non-Party bias in your news reporting"


Roland Deschain wrote "Next time Gordon Brown makes an announcement, will you consider broadcasting pictures of him picking his nose? If not, why did you consider showing these pictures of John Redwood?"

This is a point that I have been making for a while and it does give me the opportunity to make this promise; from now on every mention of Gordon Brown on my blog will be accompanied either by a link to the video of Gordon Brown picking his nose or by a picture of the nose picking - here's both


More BBC bias

There is a new word sweeping the blogosphere and starting to impinge on the consciousness of the MSM, that word is "Wikigate". In case you are new to this concept, I will explain; Wikigate concerns the politically biased editing of Wikipedia entries by organisations or people working within organisations. If you do not frequent the blogosphere then the first you may have heard about this in the UK would probably have been from this page on the BBC web site. This page within the technology subsection of the news area started by concentrating on claims that the CIA had been editing Wikipedia entries on the Iranian President and others. The page has now been amended to include claims that others have been doing the same, including: the Vatican, the Democratic Party in the US and Microsoft. One example this page does not include is that of the organisation that was the first to be accused this week of amending entries - the BBC.

Take a look at this page from the Wikiscanner website, it shows the ip addresses used by the BBC and you can dig into the Wikipedia edits made from these addresses. Now we know that the BBC is unbiased and reflects the full spectrum of the British people so these edits must have been to correct factual errors only, mustn't they? Don't be daft...
Here is one edit made from a BBC computer, the changing of George Bush's middle name from "Walker" to "Wanker".
Here is another changing "terrorist" to "freedom fighter".
Here is another where changes were made to Tony Blair's entry to make it seem as though his heart problems were brought on by drinking "vodka" rather than "coffee" and by exercising too much in the "bedroom" rather than the "gym".
Here is one that shows the level of BBC journalism off beautifully; a long diatribe against Islamophobia containing such phrases as "last year during the 7/7 attacks all muslims in britain were under threat. the media managed to hang a hook on them and whenever they refer to terrorists its allways Muslim terorists" and the beautifully crafted "just like how the press make up stuff about celebrities, they also make up shit about muslims. just because 4 people decided to something because of their own personal beliefs does not mean all muslims beleive the same way"; don't forget, it's our licence fee paying for these entries, do read the rest of that "edit" it's a real insight into the BBC mindset.
Here are some edits to the Wikipedia entry on the Balen report that tones down the original.
Here is one regarding the expulsion of Syrian Jews, changing "The Jews slowly left Syria after years of torture at the hands of former president Hafez Al-Assad and his government{{fact}}. Most were not allowed to leave and had to pay government officials to get out, or risk their lives by sneaking across the borders." to "Many Jews left Syria after agreement with the US in the 1990s allowed them to immigrate to Israel, although important Jewish communities still thrive in Damascus and Aleppo. Jews in Israel maintain ties to their homeland". Another insight into the BBC mind-set there.
Here is just the addition of a "?" after "Economic competence" on the page concerning the Conservative party.
Here is an addition to the entry on Tariq Aziz regarding George Bush's Christianity.
Here is an addition to the page on the Jewish National Fund which adds "Palestinians regard it as a key element of what they call Israel's 'apartheid' character in that its existence prevents non-Jewish use of the land it controls." and other claims of apartheid to the entry - I wonder if any claims regarding the apartheid nature of Saudi Arabia where non Muslims have no rights to religious assembly etc. have ever been made by someone at the BBC.
Here is a nasty one that tries to depersonalise Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by a Palestinian terrorist organisation in 1994, by changing references to "Gilad" to "Shalit" or "he".

There are more to be found and I will try and put a list up when I have the time to collate one, some are major, some are minor but they are all posted from a left wing, anti-Bush, anti-Blair, anti-USA, anti-Israel stance. For an unbiased organisation their employees do seem to all post from one political point of view.

As a nice bureaucratic organisation, the BBC do have a policy on "the responsibilities of all staff when using the email and Internet. The main principle is to safeguard the BBC network and its data." You can read it along with links to the "Obligations for Users policy" here.

The BBC has "form" in it's political bias, watch this video regarding a poster comparing George Bush to Adolf Hitler being on the wall of a BBC news room.

The bias is relentless and the licence paying public are now catching up with the blogosphere and are realising and resenting what is being promoted in their name and with their money, more strident protests may not be far off.

UPDATE:
The BBC have added a rather weaselly recognition of their part in Wikigate, right at the end of the original article is this sentence - "BBC News website users contacted the corporation to point out that the tool also revealed that people inside the BBC had made edits to Wikipedia pages."
Come, come BBC - some examples would be nice; there are some within this article, please use them.

UPDATE:
Take a look at the News Sniffer records of the changes to the BBC page on Wikigate as time has passed. A lovely change occurs between version 1 and version 2 which shows how the BBC are still smarting from George Bush's victory in the 2000 election. Version 1 includes this sentence "One in particular is Diebold, the company that supplied electronic voting machines for the controversial US election in 2000.", version 2 drops the attitude and reads "One in particular is Diebold, a company which supplies electronic voting machines in the US.".

A query on News Sniffer, why does this page show a highlighted sentence in each version when they are the same?

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

More old BBC bias

An incredible piece in the second half of this article from Biased-BBC of Neil Kinnock exploding during a not live interview with the BBC and being guided as to what he should say when the interview restarts. The original tape was not broadcast at the time, can you imagine the BBC not broadcasting an explosion by Margaret Thatcher then or any Tory politician since? Of course the interviewer being so solicitous to Kinnock is James " If we win the election" Naughtie. The BBC as biased as ever they were.

Inflation down, Gordon up

Further to my previous posts about Gordon's tricky decision, I see that inflation is down or at least is down on Gordon Brown's favoured measure of inflation that actually excludes housing costs (as if they don't impact on our lives). Food prices will be on the rise again soon as the wet weather takes its toll on farming output so Gordon may be unwilling to risk a snap election on one set of favourable economic data, albeit fiddled, however the general outlook for the economy is poor so maybe he will. I am so glad that I am not Gordon Brown; not as glad as my wife though!

Monday, 13 August 2007

BBC - Labour's mouthpiece again

The Conservative party announced their plans for cutting red tape on business over the weekend. I missed the TV and radio news over the weekend, attending the Prince event at the O2 on Friday left me a bit befuddled, so here are what I have read of the coverage on Iain Dale this morning...

"How the BBC Does Labour's Dirty Work

I don't know how this is being covered on other networks, but the BBC are starting all their news bulletins about John Redwood's Competitiveness Commission reports with the words...

The Labour Party has today criticised...
This has happened many times before. Instead of concentrating on the substance of a Tory policy announcement the BBC seem to revel in giving Labour Ministers the microphone to explain how whatever the policy happens to be is making the Tories more right wing than Michael Howard. It is a disgrace. This morning they wheeled out John Hutton to slag off Redwood's report, without even carrying any information about the report itself or indeed any comment from John Redwood or any other Tory.

A commenter called Tone Made Me Do it makes the point well.

The Conservatives today launched their new deregulation policy.How has the BBC
addressed this?By giving the microphone to the labour party who then denounce the Conservative party as being more "right wing" than they were under William Hague.No discussion about the policies of business and trade at all - just an "oh my god look how right wing the Tories are now (it will be the cattle trucks next)" cry from the Labour party and their friends at the BBC. This is precisely the sort of bias that the BBC is guilty of. Its a "when are you going to stop beating your wife" slur.
I'd love to see how this kind of news judgement is justified by a BBC news producer. BJ, where are you?!"

Typical BBC, a Conservative proposal immediately begats a Labour response which becomes the lead news rather than the original proposal. The BBC bias is hardly even disguised these days, it's blatant and will become more so leading up to the General Election as the BBC fear a Conservative revival. Gordon Brown will be portrayed in an almost entirely positive light, except if he keeps the troops
in Iraq, whilst David Cameron will be portrayed as lightweight - it's the narrative...

This deregulation policy has been proposed by John Redwood's policy group; cue the BBC describing John Redwood as "one of the most senior figures on the Tory right" and a reprise of the footage of John Redwood failing to sing Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau - see here for my earlier article on this matter (last paragraph) - I wonder if the BBC will ever show this video of our heroic leader in action?

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Learn some history BBC

The BBC have an article on their news pages reporting that "Some 80,000 Islamists have met in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, to press for the re-establishment of a caliphate across the Muslim world." Unfortunately at least one fact is a little suspect namely "A caliphate - or single state for Muslims - last existed in 1924." Really, which countries were formed into this caliphate? I thought it was just that the ownership of the caliphate was held then by the Ottoman Empire

Is this for real?

From Theo Spark, is this for real?

One country?

Here's a nice piece from Waking Hereward on how the BBC report matters that affect just England. A trifle exaggerated but only a trifle...

A Gaza wedding

This video footage is of a Fatah supporters wedding in Gaza that Hamas supporters took exception to. Watch it and wonder if the MSM would have given more publicity to the incident if it had been Israeli soldiers breaking up a Fatah or Hamas wedding.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Labour policy generator

Below please find the version of this policy generator from when David Blunkett seemed a draconian Home Secretary. Of course since then successive Home Secretaries have competed to appear "stronger" than the last, Jaquie Smith MAY be an honourable exception although it is quite early to tell?

Strong on Crime policy generator.

The right to free movement

Take a read of this, it is yet another move from this Labour Government to move us towards becoming a police state. The "Home Office ... gives some early indications of who, other than suspected terrorists and international criminals, will be on the British no-fly list and be banned from travelling to and from the country. It floats the idea that provisions should be introduced to ban travel overseas for the tens of thousands of offenders who have not paid outstanding court fines or failed to discharge confiscation orders made against them. Although no official estimate exists of the number of people who have to pay court fines the amount they owe has now reached a record £487m, with a further £300m in unpaid confiscation orders." All this travel data will go into a database that will in the future be linked to the NIR. So what could they use this data for? They will start with the unobjectionable - stopping people leaving the country to avoid a court case or whilst on bail, they will move to the hard to object - stopping people leaving the country who owe court imposed fines, move on to the trickier - stopping people from leaving the country who have unpaid parking tickets or haven't paid the BBC licence fee. From there is is not a huge jump to imagine people being prevented from leaving the country to go on holiday because they have: flown already this year and not offset the carbon yet, or have a doctor's appointment during the period they are planned to be abroad, or who have failed to separate their rubbish correctly on more than 3 occasions in the current financial year, or who have not lost the amount of weight that their doctor had advised them to, or who were late in submitting their tax return for the last tax year, or who have library books that have not been returned yet and would become overdue whilst they are away, or who have contributed to non-Government approved blogs, or who voted for an unapproved party at the last election, or who voted for a party other than that of our Glorious Leader in the last election, or who have missed the Two Minutes Hate too many times this year, or who have committed a ThoughtCrime ...

It is a slippery slope that we are embarking on and who can say that I am exaggerating the possibilities?

Global Warming, or maybe not

Here's something that the MSM will play down. NASA have had to revise their climate data because of the Y2K bug, one of the few things that was affected. Of course NASA didn't find the problem themselves, it was discovered by Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.org who noticed some oddities in the graphed data. The revised data means that some of the climate change industry's touchstones can now be gainsaid. The new facts include that the warmest year on record is now 1934, 1998 (long trumpeted by the climate change industry and so the media as record-breaking) moves to second place whilst 1921 takes third place. In fact 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Read more about this matter here.

I also would like to bring your attention to the way that temperatures are recorded and where the weather recording stations are situated. Most are situated in cities, which are generating more heat as they expand and the siting of these weather recording stations is often poor. Take a look at this article from 2001 that shows how temperatures are rising in urban Miami but not the rural areas around it; guess where the official weather recording station is situated... Talking of weather recording station locations, here are some pictures of such US stations and I think the location problems are fairly clear and hence the reasons why the temperatures reported may be unreliable:








So that's temperature sensors near air conditioner exhausts or newly tarmacked surfaces or BBQs or parked cars with hot radiators, you can see more examples here.

Global warming, not man made and not even warming?

AIDS in South Africa

I think this cartoon says it all re the South African governments attitude to AIDS over the years. Thanks to Harry's Place for the spot.




If you want to read more then this article would be a good place to start.

Priorities - blogging versus fantasy football

This is my first year of blogging and I have a difficult decision to make now. The football season starts today and my various fantasy football teams in sundry leagues in different competitions normally take up a lot of my time, some of the leagues are VERY competitive, but I also have been enjoying blogging this year. I think that as a sign of increasing age, if not maturity, I should concentrate on blogging but the competitive instinct is strong...

Poor Gordon, poor us (part 3)

Further to my previous blogs on this matter, Iain Dale's Diary: Scottish Poll Could Mean Early Election Is Less Likely points out a factor that might cause Gordon Brown to pause in his early election plans, namely the SNP riding high at 48% in latest opinion polls. Mind you I still think that the economic factors are worrying him more and the signs of him putting an advertising team on standby may prove me right.

Friday, 10 August 2007

The EU and education

I couldn't put this any better than Devils Kitchen, so I won't try - read The Devil's Kitchen: Do you want what the EU teaches?.

Foot and Mouth - will this government ever learn

This Labour government messed up spectacularly over the last foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 which cost the UK around £8bn and look as though they have not learnt the lessons of that outbreak. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate should be the policy; instead this government impose control zones but forget to shut footpaths through the zones, rather than kill the infected cattle on-site and bury under lime, they transport them across the country to be burnt - en route they let the cattle out to have a drink and feed in an empty field, BIO-SECURITY, do these people have any idea? If we do not take action soon then this outbreak will be as bad as the last and the British cattle farmers will move another step closer to extinction.

I suppose I should point out that this government are hampered because they cannot do much on dealing with this outbreak without the permission of the EU, but since this government has rolled over and submitted to the EU so often I see no reason to cut them any slack.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Poor Gordon, poor us (part 2)

I blogged last Friday that Gordon must be beside himself with indecision as to whether to call an early election in October/November or whether and risk losing the election and so becoming the shortest serving Prime Minister or to wait and risk the economy going phut. As the economic signs look worse so the chances increase that Gordon will overcome his natural hesitancy and call a snap election, probably under the pretext of wanting a renewed mandate. I see that he has appointed an election director. The same Labour Party Mouthpiece BBC article manages not to mention the worsening economy as a possible reason for a snap election, presumably because in BBC land all is sunny under Gordon Brown's premiership - "Never a frown with Gordon Brown". Any mention of the worsening economy is linked to the "evil empire", not the USSR this time but, the USA, whose fault any crash would be.

You will notice that there is no mention of Gordon Browns' "No more boom and bust" slogan. This could be because he has spent ten years stoking up the economy with a huge amount of credit and now we are heading towards a crash like we have not seen since the 1930s. If credit becomes harder to get, see my earlier posts, then the housing market will fall which will lead to massive negative equity, much worse than in the 1980s as this time more has been borrowed at low rates of interest that are now rising and have further to go. At the same time unemployment is rising, it is now heavier than it was in 1979 and that is without taking into account the NEETs who this Government have deliberately allowed to rise in number to massage the unemployment figures. Also there has been a huge rise in the numbers of university students since this Labour Government came to power. Much of the increased numbers are there on a lie, they have been told that University Graduates earn more than non-graduates, whilst this was the case before the massive increase in numbers, it isn't now. The reasons for this are two-fold, first because of simple numbers and secondly because the calibre of these extra graduates is so low; A levels have been made so much easier to allow more to get good A level results so as to get to University. We are churning out lots of low quality graduates who end up in the same sort of jobs that they could have entered in earlier times without a degree, except now they have a student loan to pay off; they have however done this Labour government a great service by staying off the unemployment register; to paraphrase JFK, "Ask not what the Labor Party can do for you, ask what you can do for the Labour Party"

So we have the UK and much of the world economy heading for a fall. The Chinese could accelerate this and bring down the US economy if it withdrew investment but this is unlikely to happen. Gordon can see this and knows that he should hold an early election but he has to spin it into a brave determined solution. I predict that he will go to the country in October and aided by the faithful BBC he will win albeit with a reduced majority. I actually hope that he does win because like the 1992 election (but more so) this is the election to lose; when the economy fails the government in charge will be blamed. So don't campaign too hard David Cameron, hold back on you Brest shots and let Gordon get back in. I so much want to see his face as the economy that he has talked up for so long tips over into recession. The blame for the misery this will cause for millions in this country will have to laid upon Gordon Brown and even the best efforts of the BBC and the rest of the MSM will persuade the public otherwise. The crash will be painful and many will suffer but that is a given anyway (it is all but unavoidable), the important thing is that Gordon Brown and the rest of this sorry government take the blame and the opprobrium of the British public.

Split Loyalties Gordon?

I blogged recently that if the EU Treaty is agreed then Heads of Government when sitting as "The European Council" are required to owe their primary loyalty must be to the Union and as such their primary aim will be to "promote its values, advance its interests, its objectives, serve its interests."

Now I read at English Democrats that Gordon Brown was one of the Scottish MPs who in 1989 signed the "Scottish Claim of Right". This stated (my emphasis) that ""We, gathered as the
Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign
right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount. We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends: To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland; To mobilise Scottish opinion and ensure the approval of the Scottish people for that scheme; and To assert the right of the Scottish people to secure the implementation of that scheme."

For a man who has made such a big play of his Britishness this pledge should raise eyebrows.