Boris Johnson broadsides the BBC in today’s Daily Telegraph

– as spotted by one of our ever observant commenters. Here’s a taster:

Do you remember Today’s James Naughtie, who gave the game away in the run-up to the general election by referring to Labour as “us”? Do you remember on election night how Andrew Marr said that things were going “worse” than expected, when what he meant to say was “worse for Labour”. You have only to imagine Marr saying that things were going “better”, meaning “better for the Conservatives” to see how unthinkable that is, and how the mental default position of the BBC journalists is essentially Left of centre.

All their instinct and culture is to support state funding over the private sector – which is not surprising, since they are state-funded themselves. They are all located on a political spectrum running from Ken Clarke, via Menzies Campbell, towards Robin Cook and Clare Short. They are instinctively anti-American, though they of course make much of how they “love” American culture. It is an axiom that Bush is a dangerous lunatic, the war in Iraq about oil, and so on. They are anti-Israel, but also find Christianity – or any strong expression of Christian faith – deeply embarrassing. In any argument, they will instinctively gravitate to what they think is the most civilised and liberal option, irrespective of the merits of the case; so they tend to be completely caught out by events such as the re-election of George Bush (all the fault of loony Christians, says the Beeb) or the total failure of the British economy to suffer in any way for the rejection of the euro.

Do read it all!

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20 Responses to Boris Johnson broadsides the BBC in today’s Daily Telegraph

  1. Pete_London says:

    “Indeed, he says, he can come at any time during the day, the evening or at weekends. He can use any technology he chooses. He can caution me, take a statement, and file a report which may be used in proceedings before a local magistrates’ court culminating in a £1,000 fine.”

    Johnson may have realised, though gives no indication of it, that this is all bluff. So someone has obtained authority to ‘visit’? Bring it on! No mention of a warrant, nor a search. It’s no more than one big empty threat.

    When I saw the headline I had hoped that Johnson was simply refusing to buy a licence instead of not actually having a TV. What a shame, but at least one Conservative has woken up to the threat.

    By the way, has anyone any idea of what he means by ‘Lillibulero’?

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  2. Airbrushed by the Commissars says:

    Lillibulero is a piece of music- which I have to say I thought Irish not English, but I maybe wrong. Kubrick uses it a fair bit in Barry Lyndon, if that helps.
    As for Boris’s broadside: lipsmacking stuff.

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  3. peter says:

    The BBC is indeed locked in a pre-1997 mindset. It’s still in the 1930’s, the heyday of the well-heeled, fellow-traveller, patrician socialist who knew what the masses should want, and knew how to give it to them.

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  4. Natalie Solent says:

    Lillibulero is, or used to be, one of the theme tunes used in the World Service.

    There was some fuss some years ago because it was originally an eighteenth century anti-Catholic ballad.

    However the BBC quite reasonably said that they just picked it because it’s a nice tune.

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  5. Eamonn says:

    11. Dere was an old prophercy found in a bog,
    An Lile ba léir é ba linn an lá
    Dat our land would be ruled by an ass and a dog,
    An Lile ba léir é ba linn an lá
    Chorus:

    12. So now dis old prophecy’s coming to pass,
    An Lile ba léir é ba linn an lá
    For James is de dog and Tyrconnel’s de ass,
    An Lile ba léir é ba linn an lá
    Chorus:

    James here is of course the despised James II. Best not to whistle the tune in West Belfast.

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  6. Cockney says:

    As Boris ends up with a fair amount of licence fee cash in his pocket due to frequent appearances on the Beeb I’m sure he’d avoid the potential PR disaster of illegally withholding payment!

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  7. Anti Aunty says:

    Have just done a Google search on “Lilibolero”.Originally an Irish tune it was taken up the English/Irish Protestant supporters of William III. as their tune after the defeat of James II.

    I knew there was a connection with the defeat of James II in Ireland but I wanted to be sure before posting. .

    There is also a nursery rhyme-“There was an old woman tossed up in a basket” which can be sung to the tune.

    Gay also used it in the Beggars’ Opera

    Lilibolero is the signature tune of the World Service.I don’t know why the Beeb chose it, other than it being a catchy tune.It used to be played at the top of the hour every hour after the words “This is London”. As an ex pat it always sent shivers down my spine and made home just that little closer

    Sadly although the tune can still be heard on the very PC World Service it seems to be being phased out.

    I think that is why Boris mentions Lilbolero in his excellent article

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  8. Rob Read says:

    Now that the old Soviet Union anthem has fallen out of use, perhaps it’s like minded fellow traveller, the BBC can use it for the World Service tune?

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  9. Natalie Solent says:

    OK, so it was seventeenth century. Still, I cannot believe that the Beeb had any sectarian purpose in choosing it. It’s been in use for decades.

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  10. Joe says:

    Natalie, the only people in Northern Ireland (apart from in concert) I’ve heard singing words to lillibulero are catholic (in Belfast!) …and it is a tune played by folk musicians fairly often.

    As far as I’ve been aware its an old tune thats always been used on both sides of the divide… most protestants just know the tune because its a catchy tune that protestant bands play for the very reason that its such a catchy tune (like “The Great Escape” or “The Dambusters” etc which are other catchy marching tunes they also play) – they don’t sing words along to it… very few protestants could tell you all (if any) of the words to lillibulero!

    To call it sectarian is to take offence at something for the sake of finding something to take offence at.

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  11. JohninLondon says:

    Al Zarqawi is in the news, but the BBC does not spend endless hours on him, re-running the scenes of beheadings he was in. No endless replays on news progs, or Newsnight, Breakfast Time etc.

    Marked contrast to the endless-loop of Abu Ghraib coverage that went on for weeks and weeks and is still brought up whenever the BBC can find any sort of pretext.

    “Whose side are they on ?” The sailors on the Ark Royal had it about right.

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  12. Verity says:

    Well said, Peter, above! Astutely observed, because that is exactly what it is. A holdover from forelock tugging obedience to people with posh accents!

    Of course, they’ve moved with the times, and gone downmarket with the accents, but it’s still the same outdated patrician crap so beloved by communists.

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  13. jon livesey says:

    “Marked contrast to the endless-loop of Abu Ghraib coverage that went on for weeks and weeks and is still brought up whenever the BBC can find any sort of pretext.”

    Let me play devil’s advocate here. We don’t *need* to be reminded of Al Zarqawi’s role in beheadings. I think we all – if we are sane – accept that Al Quaida is a bunch of pathological thugs.

    However, we do need to be reminded of the failings on the allied side. Americans in particular live in a mind-set where democracy equates to decent behaviour. They read about Abu Ghraib, and then a sort of cognitive dissonance sets in, and they forget.

    We all need to be reminded that our armed forces are currently the West’s interface to Islam. The armed forces are what Moslems see of us.

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  14. Rob Read says:

    jon livesey

    Unfortunately (until the advent of Blogs) what the west see’s of their Armed forces was filtered by the MSM left wing prism.

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  15. JohninLondon says:

    We do NOT need endless reminding of Abu Ghraib.

    Oh and how many times has the BBC reported that guards at GITMO hve very explicit instructions about the careful handling of the Koran. Why don’t they stress that incidents like Abu Ghraib are an aberration, which was already under investigation ? Answer – they LIKE portraying the US in a bad light. They applauded Galloway – nowhere on the BBC has there been any dissection of the deceptions and half-truths that Galloway hid behind.

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  16. Denise W says:

    Excellent article. Can Johnson or anyone else this happens to not file a harassment suit about this stuff?

    Jon,

    Just because we don’t go on and on about Abu Ghraib doesn’t mean we have
    forgotten. It gets quite monotonous after a while and we have other things to think about. What does dwelling on it accomplish?

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  17. william says:

    ‘Lillabullero’ also has quite neutral connotations though. This from Sterne: ‘Tis a pious account, cried my father, but not philosophical–there’s more religion in it than sound science. ‘Twas no inconsistent part of my uncle Toby’s character–that he feared God and reverenced religion.–So the moment my father finished his remark–my uncle Toby fell a-whistling ‘Lillabullero’ with more zeal (though more out of tune) than usual.- (end of ChXLI, TS)

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  18. Susan says:

    I’ve heard a lot more about Abu Ghraib than about the gulags in North Korea and Cuba put together.

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  19. Alpinglow says:

    The only gulag in Cuba is Guantanamo Bay, torchering peolple without rights courtesy of the American Government. No wonder there is little appetite amongst americans for supporting a world court…

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  20. JohninLondon says:

    Castro’s Cuba has a long record of killing political prisoners – not just torture.

    There hs been no proven case of torture at Gitmo. And certainly no political executions.

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