Stop the War!

George Galloway is currently being fawned over by BBC Radio Scotland, on of all things football programme ‘Off the Ball’.

‘…It’s a pleasure and a privilege…’

‘…You showed them…’


‘…Americans are thickies, just look at the president!…’

UPDATE ADDED 29 MAY: USS Neverdock saw this post and expanded on it, including an audio clip.

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101 Responses to Stop the War!

  1. Nigel Holland says:

    Slightly OT

    Michael Yon has a good article about the media’s war coverage including this

    “Frantisek Sulc, a Czech journalist for Lidove Noviny , told me the BBC did not believe it when he reported that American troop morale was high. They were concerned he was making friends with soldiers.”


  2. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Good ol’ George, battling for Scotland. This is exactly how the BBC portrays him.


  3. Dave says:

    The problem with Galloway is that nearly everyone in the media under-estimates his intelligence. Paxo and friends think they can go in there and demolish him without thought… they can’t, Galloway is smart. He is an odius little man. He is a venomous, nasty, vicious creature. But he is smart. Far smarter than he is given credit. This is his overwhelming strength – his enemies *always* under-estimate his political strength-.


  4. PJF says:

    (off topic)

    “And don’t forget the welfare state!”
    Instructions for getting the future right (as if Richard Wilson would forget…).

    In response to theft by children:
    …I think it’s great; it’s either marxism in action…”

    I know it might seem churlish to condemn the Dr Who show for displays of blatant left-wing bias; but hey, rude peasantry does seem to be the order of the arbitrary time period. Those are a couple of reasonably accurate quotes from the last two-parter.

    What a complete bunch of indulgent tossers the crew of the BBC overwhelmingly are.


  5. Stuart Dickson says:


    Independence Blog is New Entry Number 10

    excerpt: – “… I find it hard to believe that I am more cited than such well-read, and well-written, blogs as jonnyb (No. 40=), Laban Tall (No. 40=), Guardian Unlimited (No. 47), Blithering Bunny No. 48 and Biased BBC (No. 60).. but there you go.”


  6. alex says:


    Natalie has already posted regarding her feelings about the strike and offers compelling reasons why it is of little relevance to our purpose here.

    did anyone watch Any Questions from Paris and marvel at the selective powers of recall of the entire panel, none of whom could credit the post war seurity guarantees of the United States with providing peace in Europe since 1945. They all trhought it was the EU for Christs sake!.


  7. steve jones says:

    ‘What a complete bunch of indulgent tossers the crew of the BBC overwhelmingly are.’

    it’s sharp, acutely observed, intelligent analysis like this that keeps the BBC on their toes.

    Well done, PJF! This is how to protest in an adult manner. How come there’s still a licence fee when people like you are on the case?


  8. Ken Kautsky says:

    “The problem with Galloway is that nearly everyone in the media under-estimates his intelligence. . . This is his overwhelming strength – his enemies *always* under-estimate his political strength-.”

    Good comment Dave. Dedicated Marxists(which obviously includes the BBC staff/army) are very smart, although hopelessly misguided on most issues of the day (i.e. you can be both).Also, they very organised and active. They put some hard yards in. They also socialise exclusivly amongst themselves.

    Those on the Conservative side of politics are usually much more correct with their world views; but they’re incredibly lazy, often going to sleep for decades at a time.

    It is probably only the recent Eastern European immigrants to Britain that actually see the real danger and ominous threat in a nation inhabited by smart and organised Marxists, and incredibly lazy and scattered Conservatives.

    These Marxists have already captured the nation’s one publicly funded broadcaster. So, perception is now largely in their hands. After all, they have the microphone.


  9. marc says:

    You can listen to it here:

    click on “Listen on Demand”.

    Absolutely disgusting.

    It’s worse than the original post notes. They even refer to the Senators who questioned Galloway as “American twats”.

    Email the BBC and complain. I am.


  10. Jon Malcolm says:

    ‘…Americans are thickies’

    I used to get this lazy argument from some of the people I worked with. When you press them on how a nation full of thickies could be the most technologically advanced nation they fall back to ‘Americans are all fat’. I usually give up at this point.


  11. DumbJon says:

    Well done too, steve jones: you’ve certainly rebutted the idea that Beeboids are incapable of engaging in adult debate and have to resort to selective quoting, faux outrage and patronising sneers.


  12. Bill says:

    ‘Americans are thickies, just look at the president!’

    God save us if us Brits are ever likened to Blair.


  13. marc says:

    I can tell you people are paying attention to this.

    My post on it is currently getting 1300 hits an hour! Thanks to Instapundit. 🙂


  14. Garry says:

    I feel you might have taken this slightly out of context. Here’s the BBC description of “Off the Ball”: Stuart Cosgrove and Tam Cowan bring you the most petty and ill-informed sports programme on radio.
    These two are well known in Scotland for extracting the urine out of all and sundry. The US senators aren’t the first people to have been called twats and they certainly won’t be the last. Please calm down. It isn’t political bias, it’s a joke, (as is taking seriously the comments of two semi-humorous Scottish football pundits).


  15. thedogsdanglybits says:

    OK, Gary,
    And I’ve got this great selection of Nelson Mandela jokes that I’ve been just itching to tell on radio. D’ya think the BBC could find a slot for me on 5Live or maybe Radio 4.


  16. Garry says:

    No, but “Off the Ball” might let you use them. Have you ever listened to the programme before? Politically correct it is not.
    PS, it would make me take your opinions more seriously if you took the time to spell my name correctly. I don’t mind myself, but it does make you look rather rude.


  17. Alpinglow says:

    I don’t see the problem. American leadership is almost exclusively populated by twats. Except for far less appealing….

    If America stood for anything apart from its own self interest, apart from the ‘values’ it purports to espouse, then there could be a different narrative…

    As far as how they have gained their technological advantage, its easy: On the backs of slaves and the poor around the world.
    Alpinglow | 29.05.05 – 11:10 pm |


  18. PJF says:

    steve jones, you seem to have missed the ‘cultural’ context in which my comment was presented. Please refer to the main post this comment thread is attached to.

    Perhaps if I’d called the BBC a bunch of twats you’d have twigged. But then again, perhaps not.


  19. Roxana Cooper says:

    Alpinglow writes:

    “I don’t see the problem. American leadership is almost exclusively populated by twats. Except for far less appealing….”

    We are in the process of voting out the twats but it takes time. I sincerly hope the American electorate goes on scaring European lefties for a long, long time.

    “If America stood for anything apart from its own self interest, apart from the ‘values’ it purports to espouse, then there could be a different narrative…”

    If Europe stood for anything apart from its own self interest…..George Washington warned us about ‘entangling alliances’.

    “As far as how they have gained their technological advantage, its easy: On the backs of slaves and the poor around the world.”

    Whoo boy! You’ve *got* to be American! Surely only one of our own could be that irrational and hate filled.

    BTW: If slaves and poor serfs are what’s needed to get ahead technologically why isn’t the Islamic world the techie superpower??


  20. espresso says:

    Why go to America to find twats? Alpinglow is twatting for England and he’s right here.

    Only 70 words and he manages to demonstrate ignorance, stupidity, sanctimony and pomposity all in one neat leftoid package.

    C’mon man, admit it: you’re also a wee little fella in build-me-up shoes. You’re George Galloway ain’t ya?


  21. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Sorry about your R’s there. Didn’t realise you were so sensitive . I promise not to touch you there again.

    ‘Politically correct it is not.’ Yeah, I’ll bet. Reckon they could refer to the entire US population as paedophile homophobic serial killers and the BBC would quote the ‘petty & ill informed’ and it’s all a joke stuff. Let’s see them say something equally offensive about say our muslim buddies and see how long it takes before the excrement hits the air-conditioning.


  22. grant says:

    Can you post some of the Mandela jokes here please?


  23. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Garry with the two r’s and the hamster fixation (s’pose Richard Gere can’t have all the fun, more on that here: )
    Took the liberty on checking out your homepage: to see where you’re coming from on this.
    Your second question ” 2 Have you read this story?”
    takes us to wonder of wonders the BBC website and the old story about Coca Cola re-bottling tap-water.
    So what’s your point here?
    That the commercial media wouldn’t carry the story?
    Whether the BBC actually broke the story is a matter of conjecture ’cause I can find references to the product here: a few days before but so what? It was certainly in every national daily the day after as a swift Google will show.
    On the other hand the BBC was the publicly funded “mainstream news source” that almost failed to notice 400,000 Countryside marchers clogging the streets of the capital a couple of years previously:


  24. Garry says:

    The point of Qu2 is that the filtered tap water is still for sale in almost every other country. The citizens of the US can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. I’m not trying to question their intelligence but I wonder how popular it would be if the US TV media were to run a similar story on the subject? It won’t happen because all US TV media gets huge amounts of funding from the drink maker in question. Every UK media source knows that the BBC isn’t constrained in this way. Thats why they can also report the story in this country (as your quick google shows).

    (And yes, I know US tap water isn’t quite as pure as UK tap water. The bottles don’t say “filtered tap water” though.)

    BTW, have you ever heard “Off the Ball” before?


  25. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Try Google again. There’s references to Dasani & bottled tapwater all over the US Media. CNN,Time & Business Week all ran the story and that’s only getting to page 2 of a 55,000 search result.


  26. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Oh, and no I havn’t thank God. I try and avoid all things Scottish on principle. It’s bad enough having to live under a foreign government…..


  27. Garry says:

    I love your commitment to reasoned debate. Normally I wouldn’t do this but I do wonder if it’s wise to try to make a gerbil joke about my curioushamster nickname when you call yourself thedogsdanglybits? Just at thought.

    The point I originally made still stands. If you listen to “Off the Ball” expecting anything other than cheap shots aimed at all and sundry you’re going to be disappointed.

    And Dasani – any mention of it on the that bastion of impartiality, the Fox News website?


  28. Andy Whittles says:

    Garry, you’ve missed the point a bit.

    I listen to OtB most weeks – I know the programme. However on Saturday they were covering politics – end of story. And doing it very badly, I might say, with the usual BBC bigotry.

    As I said in the post, fawning over Galloway was sickening.

    It is also incorrect to describe it an non PC. The usual co-presenter is Stuart Cosgrove. Do some googling! Stuart is without question one of the most PC men on the planet. The usually funny programme is carried solo by Tam Cowan.


  29. thedogsdanglybits says:

    You are utterly and totally correct. Try as I might I cannot find any critical mention of Dasani by Fox News.
    But as followers of this site will be quick to remind you, Fox News costs me precisely nothing. It may be a crap TV Channel but because I don’t choose to watch it, I don’t have to pay for it. I also don’t HAVE to pay for CNN, ITV, ITN, Sky or a whole host of other TV channels.
    However to watch any of them I HAVE to pay for the BBC which uses the money to finance stuff like ‘Off the Ball’
    I’ve no objection to two radio presenters “extracting the urine out of all and sundry” I quite enjoy that sport myself.
    When they do it at public expense it’s another matter because then we have to start looking at whether it is “all & sundry” or just the usual targets of BBC ‘comedians’.
    Here’s a little experiment for you.
    Call a BBC Radio phone-in show and work a few anti Bush gags into the conversation. They’ll clap hands and bay for more.
    Now try one on , say, Kofi Annan- you know , the guy who was so fond of the ‘Oil for Food Program’ he gave his son a piece of it – and see how long you’ll stay on the air.


  30. Garry says:

    Andy, I understand what you’re saying.
    I just think it’s a bit OTT to say that this is evidence of BBC Bias.
    OtB isn’t listened to for it’s reasoned political debate and they often fawn over their guests in the spirit of sending them up.

    I suppose it just depends on your perspective.


  31. DavidTheTraducer says:

    Well I’m sorry I missed all this urine extraction that is somehow mistaken for a fawnfest.

    It would have been the perfect time to phone in the salute George Galloway for his indefatigability. Plus he has such an amazing vocabulary – he really should consider working on the Oxford English Dictionary.


  32. thedogsdanglybits says:

    I gather Gorgeous George is full time employed there redefining words. The ones he’s working on currently include fraud, charity, benefit, truth……….


  33. Anonymous says:

    “I also don’t HAVE to pay for CNN, ITV, ITN, Sky or a whole host of other TV channels.”

    Of course you do. That you don’t pay through a subscription doesn’t make them free. The costs are simply hidden from you as you pay through another mechanism.

    As consumers, we all pay for advertising funded TV through a de facto tax, built into the price on goods and services. Even if you don’t watch CNN, you may contribute to its running costs through purchasing from its advertisers.

    You can choose not to buy those products and services without risk of punishment, of course, but this eventually reduces your choices almost to the point of absurdity in many cases. No major bank or major car manufacturer, or supermarket chain, or insurance provider, for example does not advertise extensively.

    Furthermore, the “marketing cost” levied on your purchases is spent relatively inefficiently, hence the old adage:

    “50 per cent of my advertising is wasted, but I don’t know which 50 per cent.”

    And therein is fallacy of one of the main arguments against the licence fee: that without it you get to choose what you pay for, and that you only pay for what you want.

    The alternatives largely involve you paying once for a host of channels you don’t want in order to get the ones you do. And then often paying again as a consumer for the advertising supporting those channels.

    The fact that you aren’t legally obliged to pay these costs is scant relief when alternatives like Sky costs £40/month, the ad/programming ratio rises and you understand that your programming is funded through a significant cost built into the price of your goods – in some cases (such as cars) – of several thousands.


  34. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Are you sure you’re not posting to the thread above? Sounds like there’s been some sort of time dilation foul-up and your coming from the German Democratic Republic circa 1972. For others who missed the fall of the Berlin wall and the bit where Marxist theory got chucked in the trash:
    With advertising: 4 months of average income will buy you a nice little run-about, CD player, air-con, the works. Ford, Toyota, GM’ll fight for your money. Sign on the line & drive it away.
    Without advertising: for 2 years of av inc you just might get a Trabent after another 3 years on the waiting list or a bit quicker if your cousin works in the allocations bureau and knows who to bribe.


  35. Susan says:

    I found this on Fox News search function, a link to a CommonDreams article (CD is a US Guardian-like “progressive” publication)

    So Fox News links to stories on CommonDreams. I wonder if CommonDreams links to stories on Fox.

    Besides it was not Fox that Garry indicted with his inaccurate claims about the Dasani story, but the entire US media. He was shown to be completely wrong; then moved the goal posts mid-game when his shot went wide.

    A typical ploy.


  36. Anonymous says:

    I’d see the analogy if there was one between a broadcasting service and a car manufacturer.

    However, if you will. At the moment, you’re advocating swapping a basic, but generally well-regarded car with one that comes bundled with more features than you could ever use or need, costs 4 times as much, and which stops every 12 minutes to tell you that cornflakes are delicious.

    Anyway, back to the original point: that the cost of advertising, just because we can’t see it as easily as a formal tax, still exists, and to claim that something is “free” when it patently isn’t is a misrepresentation.

    Whether advertising is good or bad is immaterial. Similarly, it is too basic a conclusion that above the line advertising necessarily stimulates true competition nor is as effective as advertising agencies believe.


  37. Rob Read says:

    Of course the BBC could run on a subscription model with no advertising, so this point is totally moot.


  38. Tom P says:

    digsdanglybits – you opined that the BBC wouldn’t broadcast a bunch of Nelson Mandela jokes that you have, however the BBC is more than happy to broadcast offensive, and even racist material in the name of comedy.
    As a perfect example, take last week’s Have I Got News For You, where William Hague, who was guest presenting (clearly because of some Marxist plot to make him look stupid, or something), made a series of racist jokes, primarily at the expense of our European neighbours.

    Simon Hoggart, while hosting The News Quiz on Radio 4, has also been known to make offensive anti-European (mostly anti-French) jokes whose only humour derives from the offensive nature of said jokes.


  39. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Responding in reverse order.
    Dead right Tom, with anti-american jokes at the top of the list. I’ve been after Radio 4 for an apology for a Sandi Toksvig one liner on that self same Friday night show for a couple of months.
    Oh Hell, let’s do the gag.

    ST -” Now here’s a little something. A survey has just been published showing that 80% of Americans think Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife” canned laughter.
    Rest of panel – ” Guffaw, guffaw. ”

    Now think about this one. With way over 50% regular church attendance Americans are probably the only english speaking nation where the majority do know who Noah’s wife was.
    Without looking it up, do any of us?
    This is the sort of gag that a Yank might crack about the Limey’s but wouldn’t. And with proportionally more Danes volunteering for the Waffen-SS during WW2 than any other occupied country, maybe the sort of joke that certain people should stay clear of.

    “At the moment, you’re advocating swapping a basic, but generally well-regarded car with one that comes bundled with more features than you could ever use or need, costs 4 times as much, and which stops every 12 minutes to tell you that cornflakes are delicious.”
    And I’ve driven a Trabant. It did stop about every 12 minutes although I don’t remember it replying to what ever I called it.
    You were the one who said “significant cost built into the price of your goods – in some cases (such as cars) – of several thousands ” Trabants are what you get when you don’t need to advertise ’cause there ain’t no choice.
    Anybody here old enough to remember BBC TV before commercial television came along? If not there’s probably some who tuned into Caroline when the only alternative was the Light Program.
    You are however right in the sense that there’s no free lunch and very aposite if you know where that expression comes from. Dine in the free market and you have to pay the service charge. Eat at the BBC soup kitchen and you get somebody’s belief system rammed down your throat.
    Thanx for the research. I never found that


  40. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Back to our anonymous friend and by coincidence I just got my cable bill in.
    According to them, for a fiver less than your 40 quid they’re offering 39 channels of digital plus 1meg broadband a phone-line and all the weekend calls I can make for zilch.
    Oh sh*t I think I just advertised them, that wouldn’t be right would it?


  41. Garry says:

    I just can’t resist. The Dasani thing: Are you saying that the US news media gave the same prominence to the story as the BBC did in this country? I say not and I’ve yet to see any evidence to the contrary. (How long did it take to find that link to commondreams? It took me 1 search to find several stories about Dasani on the BBC website). Unless you believe Americans are just happy to choose to buy filtered tap water at X% profit(I can’t remember the exact figure) to Coca-Cola, I don’t see how you think this story got widespread media coverage in the US. I don’t subscribe to the “Americans are stupid” idea myself.

    And as far as choice in TV media, if anyone is seriously arguing that the market for TV is even close to being a perfect market then they’re sadly misinformed. At best, the mainstream TV industry is an oligopolistic market in which normal market conditions are distorted by the enormous barriers to entry. That’s why a certain billionare Australian owns so much of the best live sports coverage, for example.

    The point I made on the original post still stands: if you’re trying to make a serious political point based on the output of “Off the Ball” then I think you’re clutching at straws.

    BTW, I don’t think the BBC is perfect, but it’s a lot better than many other stations and worth keeping IMO.


  42. Rob Read says:


    We aren’t stopping you paying for it, you advocate making us pay for it. Dig deep so we don’t have socialism forced from our pockets and down our throats.

    The BBC could run EXACTLY as is, just using a subscription model.


  43. Garry says:

    I understnd why people are reluctant to pay the licence fee but consider this:
    In a subscription model the BBC would be in competition with it’s rivals.
    This would not be free market competition. As I noted above, mainstream TV is a very distorted market. Oligopolistic industries are often uncompetitive and tend to behave in a monopolistic manner to some extent. Without vast initial investment from a wealthy benefactor the BBC could not compete with Sky. It would become a minority channel, not due to the free market, but due to the distortions in the market which already exist.
    Our choices would be restricted, but in a different way. There isn’t a “no lose” situation here.


  44. Teddy Bear says:

    I understnd why people are reluctant to pay the licence fee…. At least you think you do, but judging by your arguments I doubt very much if you do.

    In a subscription model the BBC would be in competition with it’s rivals. Perhaps that would make it trim its fat bloated infrastructure that feeds off its own self importance because of FORCED FUNDING.

    Without vast initial investment from a wealthy benefactor the BBC could not compete with Sky The BBC has had VAST INITIAL INVESTMENT and instead of giving a return to the society which established it and created its mandate, it pursues its own stinking agenda and betrays those that paid for it. What do you think this site is about?

    The BBC has power because it operates under the banner of an independant state media organisation. It is precisely this which it has betrayed, but this banner permits it to go on. If it was a private organisation its bias and agenda would be very clear, and no-one would give a shit, and it would cease to have the power it does. As it is, it’s pure evil.


  45. Garry says:

    Any comment at all about the actual points I made about competition in the mainstream TV market?

    My initial point about this post still stands BTW. If you’re using anything said in “Off the Ball” to make a serious political point then you are probably clutching at straws.

    I love the calmness with which you are prepared to discuss this though.


  46. thedogsdanglybits says:

    There’s a lot in what you say but you neglect to look behind the oligopoly for the factors that bring it about.
    In a free market there is no rest state.
    Any market can slide into an oligopoly but then some crafty outsider will enevitably come along and do it cheaper and better and the stasis dissolves. I dare you to find an oligopoly that hasn’t got a government propping it up.
    It’s the presence of the BBC that serves to preserve the status quo. Because of the Corporations much abused remit to balance and impartiality any other provider is obliged to jump through the same hoop.To be all things to all people & pay the state large amounts of wonga for the priviledge.
    Satellite, digital and broadband are killing it now, while we discuss it. In five years time anyone will be able to get a thousand channels of anything whenever they want. You may have very limited tastes but with 6 billion other people out there, a hellavu lot of people are going to share them and someone will want to cater for them. And with that large an audience, costs per subscriber will be minimal. They’ll have to be or some other joe’ll come along and undercut them.
    The BBC as it’s constituted just can’t survive in a situation like that. How do you collect a TV licence fee when you start having trouble defining what a TV is? The Japanese will soon be marketing a flexible screen the thickness of a piece of paper. Say you make it into a T-shirt and wireless bytes to it. If you feed it this page does that make it a web page? If you put MTV on it do you get a detector van chasing you down the street?


  47. Garry says:

    I dare you to find an oligopoly that hasn’t got a government propping it up.
    Supermarkets. Petrol Retailers. Chemical Soap manufacturers (eg, washing up liquid, washing machine powders), High Street Banks, Soft Drink retailers.
    In all of these industries the barriers to entry are extremely high. It is very difficult to enter and compete due to the settled and dominant nature of a few oligopoly firms. You need a massive initial investment which comes at a huge risk. Eg: Coke and Pepsi have dominated soft drinks for perhaps, 50 years. They have smaller competitors and niche market fillers but those two are dominant. It is pretty much a settled market. Government is nowhere to be seen.

    I hear what you’re saying about the spread of TV and how it will be defined. I suppose you could say blogs are a part of that too. The BBC will have to change. My own opinion is that it is worth saving as a public service. I think the bias depends on your viewpoint. I’ve seen comments on my blog and elsewhere about the BBC being a Bush supporting, Iraq war supporting, ID card supporting, right wing organisation. I don’t think that is the case, but I don’t think they do that bad a job. Every morning I’ve got to listen to tedious nonsense about the stock markets on the news. I’ve never once heard the presenters saying “Here is the news from the stock markets. All private ownership is intrinsically evil. The workers should rise up and seize control of the means of production”.
    OK, I’m being a bit silly, but if I was a socialist that’s what I’d want them to say. (I’ve read socialists saying just this, in fact.)


  48. Garry says:

    Oops. Forgot to close the italics code or something in the above comment. The first line was quoted from the previous comment.


  49. Susan says:

    How long did it take to find that link to commondreams? It took me 1 search to find several stories about Dasani on the BBC website)

    It took me one search to find the CommonDreams story on the Fox News search function. In fact it was the first or second link to come up, I don’t remember exactly. Does using the BBC search function turn up links to Fox News BTW?

    Try again, Garry. I’m sure your attempts to move the goal posts ever closer will eventually do the trick at some point. I’m sure even you can eventually kick one over a goal post that’s only two feet away.


  50. Garry says:

    So the story got the same exposure in the US mainstream media? I’ll admit it if I’m wrong but one link doesn’t convince me. You couldn’t supply me with the address for the Fox page with that link on could you?

    BTW, why are people in the US still drinking it? I’m not trying to be funny, but if they’ve been well informed about what it is and how much profit Coke makes on it, well, why is it still so popular?