It’s me again

, just stepping in for today and tomorrow before I go on holiday.

What stopped me blogging? As I said earlier, first I was busy, then I was ill. However I have been pretty much recovered for the last week. The thing that repeatedly made me decide that I would get back online tomorrow rather than today was the fact that I was frightened of my by-now enormous pile of unread emails. Eventually I realised that the dragon that lay across my path had to be slain if I was ever to return to the blogosphere. So I deleted them.

You may rebuke me. Be assured that I rebuke myself. But it was the only way.

Meanwhile, I see that in my absence Biased BBC has been tackling high profile, controversial subjects and making national headlines. I too must do my part. I was sorry to see the other day that the actress Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie in Dallas, had died at the age of 82. Whoever wrote the Ceefax report about her life and death knew that the first priority was to tell us that she was a heavy smoker and that this caused her fatal lung cancer.

Those Ceefax boys never let a chance for moral instruction pass by. Incidentally, the US average female life expectancy is 80.67 years.

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74 Responses to It’s me again

  1. Susan says:

    Welcome back Natalie! We were told that you had been “overthrown” in a “messy coup” “by Andrew”. Can’t think what that was about. But I think the person reporting that “fact” works for the Beeb, so consider the source.

    Don’t worry about the pile of emails. I once collected a pile of dry cleaning that cost me $350 to get cleaned when I finally faced up to it. I kept telling myself it was cheaper just to buy a set of new clothes than have all the others cleaned.


  2. Jim Miller says:

    Welcome back. (And you make me feel a little better about my backlog of unanswered emails.)


  3. Eamonn says:

    The Today Programme.

    As part of their celebrations at the demise of Jewish settlers in Gaza, the Today team is broadcasting from Gaza, including contributions from Hamas.

    It is a sobering thought – a representative of Hamas is interviewed at 7.35am and gets an easier ride than any member of our elected Government would. Nick Cohen recently said of the BBC:-

    “Since the Iraq war, ministers who were previously flattered as models of moderation have been savaged, while isolationists and excuse-makers for tyranny have been presented with questions so soft you could curl up and go to sleep in them.”

    I wonder if any of the Today team has bothered to read the charter of Hamas? Perhaps worse, they have, which is even worse.

    Who gets a harder time on the BBC these days – members of an antisemitic organisation which wants to murder Jews and overthrow a sovereign democratic state, or someone who claims that children are better off in families with a father?*

    *If you don’t believe me, you should have listened to Radio 5 Live yesterday.


  4. ed says:

    Welcome back- briefly- and you make me glad I didn’t return to an old practice and send you emails with my thoughts/enquiries, sensitive flower that I am to become fixated on receiving replies.


  5. Fran says:

    Great to hear from you again Natalie.

    Odd post about ‘a coup’ from ‘Hannah’ wasn’t it? Does anyone know of someone called Hannah who has a blog which regularly links to that prime source of accurate information, the BBC News website and who occasionally sends sneering posts this way?

    Back OT. The Beeb certainly do know that Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction, or Ed Stourton does anyhow, because he reminded Sh’mon Peres about it in an interview at 8.22. Of course, that did not in any way affect his anti-Israel questioning. How dare those Jews have their own state!


  6. Rob Read says:

    I bet they’re still calling it Palestinian land when it’s accurately “formerly Egyptian land”.

    Accuracy and the BBC. If the BBC likes it, you should hate it.


  7. Squander Two says:


    I’ve blogged about some BBC bias of a different type, if anyone’s interested.

    Glad you’re feeling better, Natalie.


  8. dan says:

    Israeli settlements in the occupied territories must always be prefixed by “illegal” by the BBC etc.

    The “Today” programme at 6:50 had an explanation of the law by an Israeli expert (so it can be ignored I suppose).

    She pointed out that the settlements had been declared illegal by bodies relying on the 1949 Geneva Convention which prohibited the deportation & transfer of people into occupied territories. Sounds more like a measure brought in to ban the type of action by Germany in WWII (forced transfer) rather than voluntary colonisation.

    Guess her argument will just be lost in the ether.


  9. marc says:

    Welcome back Natalie!


  10. Methinks says:

    Actually Rob Read, it’s not formerly Egyptian land. It’s disputed territory under UN Resolution 242.

    So, congrats to Fox News for this one.
    Where the hell are our overpaid bbc “journos”?
    “The United Nations bankrolled the production of thousands of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the slogan “Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem,” which have been widely distributed to Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip, according to a U.N. official.

    The Arabic slogan, which refers to disputed territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has become ubiquitous in Gaza. It’s served as the central message of a Palestinian Arab effort to spin the withdrawal as a victory.

    A special representative of the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip, Timothy Rothermel, told Fox News that his office provided financial support for the production of materials that make up the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda campaign, timed to coincide with the Gaza pullout. “The Palestinian Authority’s withdrawal committee developed and produced the posters and other items using U.N. money,” Mr. Rothermel said.


  11. Cockney says:

    Is it not a good move to portray the withdrawal as a ‘victory’ for the PA (i.e. resulting from political negotiation and restraint) rather than Hamas (i.e. violence)? Helping the Palestinians believe that they are moving forward by peaceful means seems like a pretty sound investment to me.


  12. Cockney says:

    By all means produce a few Islaeli bumper stickers saying ‘we’re not doing it for you you b*stards’ as well if it stops some ultra-hard liner getting voting in and we all have to put up with (and pay for) another 50 years of hopeless gridlock.


  13. Ritter says:

    OT re CBC strike (Canada’s public sector broadcaster)

    Replace ‘CBC’ for ‘BBC’ and dream…

    When nobody looks


  14. Ritter says:

    Ashes fever reignites row over TV rights

    “Also, by 2009, it is possible that the BBC will have their own dedicated sports channel.”

    No. No. No. No more BBC channels that I am forced to fund whether I watch or not. BBC hegemony knows no bounds.


  15. Nicholas Wood says:

    “Also, by 2009, it is possible that the BBC will have their own dedicated sports channel.”

    No. No. No. No more BBC channels that I am forced to fund whether I watch or not. BBC hegemony knows no bounds.

    I doubt it (hopefully). Christ alone knows what they’d show. The BBC doesn’t have enough high quality sport to justify Grandstand on most Saturday’s.

    Perhaps they’ll use it as a vehicle to foist ‘minority’ sports upon us. Wheelchair basketball, etc


  16. Nicholas Wood says:

    Saturdays, even.


  17. Rob Read says:


    Time for Canadians to end the “- for now”.


  18. Rob Read Reader says:

    Nicholas Wood

    LOL your comments re wheelchair basketball. You give me wood.


  19. dave t says:


    When The Today Show sprung a surprise this morning – an unannounced trip to Iraq by Matt Lauer – one US soldier had a little surprise of his own for Today and the media at large.

    Lauer interviewed a group of soldiers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, and at one point asked about the state of morale. After getting two responses to the effect that morale was good, Lauer had this to say:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re probably telling the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that might be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the insurgent attacks you’re facing.”

    If Lauer was the advocate for the anti-war case, he then made the cardinal mistake that no advocate should make: asking a question to which you don’t know the answer.

    Asked Lauer: “What would you say to people who doubt that morale could be that high?”

    Captain Sherman Powell nailed Lauer, the MSM and the anti-war crowd with this beauty:

    “Well sir, I’d tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I’d be pretty depressed as well!”

    Powell went on to add that, while acknowledging the difficulties the media face in getting out into the field in Iraq, “For those of us who have actually had a chance to get out and meet the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police and go on patrols with them, we are very satisfied with the way things are going here and we are confident that if we are allowed to finish the job we started we’ll be very proud of it and our country will be proud of us for doing it!”
    (From USS Neverdock and many others)

    And the reporter implied that an Officer was probably telling the truth? Calling an officer a liar? Who the hell does he think he is? Now I know where Gloomy Hawley and Orla get their reporting style from!


  20. dave t says:

    Question: who is the prolific B-BBC commentator mentioned on Tim Blair’s blog as wanting to move to Oz from “Blairistan……” ?

    Honestly some people just can’t keep a secret! Do they still charge you £10 to go and if so shall we have to have a whipround to help him out? Or shall we make him stay as Britain needs him!??


  21. Ritter says:

    Police shooting – the discrepancies

    “Leaked documents from the independent investigation into the shooting of a man whom police mistook for one of the London Tube bombers, suggest key differences between the original police and witness version of events and subsequent reports.”

    Hmmm. Actually the Police said very little at the time. The BBC was happy to broadcast any speculation that eyewitnesses and anyone else wanted to say.

    “One eyewitness, Mark Whitby, said Mr Menezes was wearing a thick padded jacket, despite the warm weather, which could have been used to conceal something underneath.
    Another witness said he had a black baseball cap and blue fleece.

    Scotland Yard had said on the day that his clothing had added to suspicions but had not elaborated further.”

    I do chortle when the BBC state “some reports suggest…” as those ‘reports’ are mainly speculation, gossip, or eyewitness claims that, as look like has turned out, have been unreliable to say the least and plain wrong in many cases.

    “One eyewitness said at the time that Mr Menezes had vaulted over the ticket barriers just inside the entrance to Stockwell station as he was being pursued.

    “CCTV footage is said to show the man walking at normal pace into the station, picking up a copy of a free newspaper and apparently passing through the barriers before descending the escalator to the platform and running to a train.”

    If the eyewitnesses have been mistaken, the BBC should think twice about airng such gossip & speculation at the time – the “Were you there – what did you see?” requests for info.


  22. Another Anonymous says:

    Dave T: “Honestly some people just can’t keep a secret! Do they still charge you £10 to go?”

    Old joke time: A chap goes to Australia House to apply to emigrate to Australia, fills in all the forms, does various interviews, and then is asked the crucial question: “Do you have a criminal record?”, at which point the chap pales, thinks for a moment, and then says “I’m sorry, I didn’t think it was still necessary…” – Boom boom!


  23. Alison Figueiredo says:

    Ritter – good post. The media circus has made an awful and tragic situation that much worse.


  24. Teddy Bear says:

    Welcome back Natalie, I’m glad you’re well again and wish you a lovely holiday.

    O/T Apparently Michael Buerk the former presenter of the BBC Nine O’Clock News, has been complaining about how women have been taking over the BBC, as well as the rest of the world
    It’s a woman’s world, moans Michael Buerk
    Of course the women responded rapidly with some thoughts of their own about him Buerk ‘is bonkers if he thinks women are taking over the world’

    I couldn’t help thinking that after helping to create this situation, via BBC propaganda, suddenly the broadcasters wake up to see what they have done. How long will it be until they complain about living in a Muslim society with everybody who claims to be an asylum seeker let in, and that the USA have broken diplomatic relations with us.

    Shows the intelligence of these broadcasters.


  25. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    On the news on Radio 4 tonight was a discussion on the issue of what it means to be British. Two guests were on: Peter Oborn of The Spectator and some woolly fluffy lefty sloganiser. Asked by the presenter (Eddie Mair) what ‘British’ meant, the lefty said the usual multi-culti buzzwords – tolerant etc. Peter Oborn cut to the chase saying that all the lefty’s descriptions could apply to Germany or France or any other country and that Britain was defined by its great historical institutions, particularly our monarchy and armed forces, “all of which are being trashed by Blair’s government”. That part tied in perfectly with last night’s Newsnight where the cruelty and barbarity of Britain’s armed forces featured as the opener. Let’s not forget that a horde of ‘human rights’ lawyers is currently hunting down our troops; the former includes the Prime Minister’s wife.


  26. dave t says:

    Another Anonymous: good one!


  27. Rob Read says:

    Dave T
    All donations received with thanks.


  28. Cockney says:

    Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Frank Bruno, Rob Read….

    Is there no end to this threatened exodus of our top talent?


  29. richard says:

    there is no one ,not by a long distance who dislikes the state of israel more then the bbc’s brian henrahan.yesterday he outdid himself on the gaza pull-out.


  30. D Burbage says:

    I am very surprised about the blanket amount of coverage it is getting. How many people are still dying in Sudan? What coverage of the German elections? Why no frequent diatribe about Mugabe (like there used to be endless coverage about South Africa)?


  31. richard says:

    the massive tragedy of mr menzes the brazilian killed recently.

    1 i blame no one.perhaps the police were rather young and inexperienced.

    2 the stories of how he ran and was wearing bulky clothing is a big problem.he did not run and did not wear bulky clothing.

    3 his family has to be compensated however inadequate that may be.

    4 the media has given the police a reasonable benefit of the doubt.

    then it occured to me what would have happened if this had happened in israel.there would certaimly have been no benefit of the doubt.there would have been baying for blood led by brian henrahan of the bbc.


  32. dave t says:

    Actually it is sad when the good guys like Rob and many others start even thinking about leaving the “Auld Sod” and I’m not talking about one’s grandfather..

    Reminds me of the 70s when everytime Labour were in power people DID flee the country as they saw their lives controlled, money taken and children’s chances for success removed. It is happening again….do Labour never learn?

    And damm those ageist Aussies for keeping the upper age limit at 45! I’m in my prime I tell you!

    Best of luck Rob – please come back when we manage to overcome the socialists!

    PS Melbourne mate. Or Perth. Nice wee cities with good facilities and not as much crime etc as in Sydney.


  33. Jon says:

    A fascinating little article on BBC online about the American Dream A particularly good ending line as well when he asks an Ethiopian immigrant why she didn’t go to Europe and she says

    “Europe,” she said disdainfully.

    “What do they ever hope for in Europe? Here they have a law that you can dream to be happy.”

    I know that the normal european response is to dismiss americans as ignorant about anything outside their own borders but the more I see the more I think that most of us are just as clueless about the American culture and system .


  34. Roxana Cooper says:

    “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Seriously radical stuff here! Better still unlike the socialist Utopia it actually works. However our system also makes it difficult for the enlightened few to control the lives of the rest of us – a fatal weakness in the Left’s eyes.

    The European intelligentsia and media are very happy with their stereotype of America and don’t want to be bothered with a reality that doesn’t match it.


  35. Susan says:

    The article does not mention the many government-funded social programs we have, to the tune of $600 billion per year, or more than the entire budget of the United Kingdom; it makes it sound like we have none at all. And that is only Federal expenditures on social programs; the individual states — and large cities — spend more out of their own revenues.

    It’s funny that in the sidebar to this article, there was a link to another article proclaiming record US jobs growth in July.

    But you see, the American dream doesn’t really exist. The record number of jobs being created here are a mirage. France, with its 10 percent unemployment rate, and Germany with its 13 percent unemployment rate, are the enlightened, exemplary models we should all be aiming for.


  36. Susan says:

    Oh, and who are the Centre for Economic Performance in London quoted in that article as claiming that you can’t move out of poverty in the US?

    The usual lefty quango.


  37. PeterN says:

    Re American Dream,

    I can’t say it better than this


  38. Cockney says:

    Stereotypes work both ways. Having had the pleasure of working in the US for long periods I’m always amused by the standard left wing image of a nation of insular religious nutters trampling on the poor. Equally I’ve encountered many ideologically minded right wingers who perceive America to be a faultless utopia, utterly devoid of the problems facing the UK and Europe, to which they are itching to emigrate at the earliest opportunity. Funnily enough, usually neither group has ever actually been at all….

    Similarly I wonder if Susan has ever actually been to France or Germany? Reading the comments on here you’d expect them to be something like Ceaucescu era Romania (I had the misfortune to go there as well) rather than the generally incredibly pleasant places that they actually are.

    Sense of perspective please!


  39. richard says:

    someone should suggest to the bbc’s silly lys doucette (she sounds like a character from “ann of green gables”)
    that she read un resolution 191 which refers to negotiations over “territories” without the definite when she refers to “occupied territories” she is not being entirely truthful.
    she too has never been a lover of zion in keeping with the rest of her cohorts at the bbc.


  40. Rob Read says:


    Outside the Ski-resorts, France is quite awful and lots of its towns do look (to me) like soviet era eastern europe.

    I dread to think what the Islamist crescent of social housing surrounding Paris looks like!


  41. Susan says:


    I have not only been to Germany and France, I have a brother who has lived in Germany for 35 years.

    I agree that Germany is generally a pleasant place to live in, but a 13 percent unemployment rate is unconscionable. If the US had such a high unemployment rate there would be rioting in the streets.

    If you are into concepts of “social justice,” I think that the systematic long-term unemployment that is seen in most of Europe is one of the worst miscarriages of “social justice” possible. But the socialists in Europe never seem to care much about that type of social “injustice.” They’d rather make up stupid, untrue stories about rampant US “poverty” to make their own systems look much better in comparison.


  42. dave t says:

    And Susan gets a slapdown! Bamm! Man that’s gotta hurt! Poor Cockney!

    I’m enjoying this – this blog in the main seems to have interesting arguments without getting totally yip yip or arf arf; just people having a discussion. Nice.

    (apart from the usual cowards with no names who dive in, squeak and then run) If you want to discuss things then be brave and stand up for your opinions!


  43. Cockney says:

    Susan, many apologies for my false assumption.

    Rob, dunno where you’ve been but most of my experiences of France (rural and urban) have been extremely pleasant. Sure there’s some uninspiring (to say the least) bits, but nothing that any other developed country couldn’t equal if you stuck a pin in the map. I can confirm from behind firmly locked car doors that the Parisian Islamic ghettos are extremely unpleasant to an extent unmatched in the UK.


  44. Susan says:

    Cockney, no problem. For the record I don’t think the US is a utopia (I don’t believe in utopias) — I just think that our various problems are not any worse than in any other Western developed nation, and some of our strengths are being deliberately ignored.

    What makes me mad is how the Euro media constantly focuses on US social problems and uses them to drive home their ideological agenda — “see, they wouldn’t have these problems if they had big fat welfare states like we do.” When in fact, Europe does have many severe social problems depsite having big fat welfare states — chronic double-digit unemployment being one of them.

    You’d never see the BBC holding up the Muslim ghettos in France or Sweden as an example of how the sacred European “social model” doesn’t work. But some homeless guy in Seattle — that’s “proof” that the US is a nation that divides people up as “winners and losers.”


  45. Ritter says:

    BBC accused of bias in Canadian dispute

    Ho ho ho. Hey, maybe BBC UK staff could come out in a ‘sympathy strike’ with CBC staff?, just like the BA/Gate Gourmet strike…. that would be coooool.

    Difficult choice for the Beeb. Solidarity with the comrades or world broadcasting domination..?


  46. dan says:

    The BBC gets the struggling US economy in to this article

    If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports.

    As well as benefiting the animals –

    According to Dr Donlan and his colleagues, the re-wilding plan would offer ecotourism and land-management jobs to help the struggling economies of the Great Plains and Southwest.

    Did the doc really say this? I don’t know much about the “flyover” Great Plains, but the Sunbelt struggling?


  47. Rob Read Reader says:

    The degree of success enjoyed by lefties having control of the broadcast media in Britain is evident in the fact that there is even a discussion about the existence and superiority of the American Dream.

    In any sphere, the US is a world leader not by accident but by adherence to certain principles whose inclusion specifically excludes certain other principles (i.e. the Life Sapping Socialism and Mind numbing authoritarianism enjoyed by Europeans)

    High Tax, Socialist Europe with authoritarian models for the broadcast and dissemination of information and IDEAS nmust naturally pretend that its model is the best, otherwise, what the hell is Clare Short for? and Diane Abbott? and Ken Livingstone? and Orla Guerlin? Jim Naughtie? Babs (Cry Baby) Plett? Sarah Montague? Eddie Mair? all cheerleaders for a status quo in which THEY reign supreme whilst YOU cower and PAY.

    F**k Socialism and F**K Authoritarian Socialists.


  48. Cockney says:

    Susan, I agree with you. There was a genuinely interesting article in the Economist a few months back comparing social mobility between percentiles of the population in the US and various other countries (not based on the same survey I think). It concluded that opportunities for comparative social advancement are no greater in the US than elsewhere (and considerably less than in many places), which seems to be what the BBC is attempting to ‘illustrate’. Of course if overall income levels and growth is higher than elsewhere then to some extent this doesn’t mean diddly squat, which is what has conveniently been left out – although it might store up problems for the future if nepotism and protection of interests starts counting for more than merit.

    As regards media coverage generally, in the UK at least, it does go both ways. Whilst some like the BBC will gleefully extrapolate any obese/ultra religious/violent/plain wierd story to smear the whole population, parts of the UK media genuinely do present the US in an unrealistically positive way.

    There was an editorial in the Sun last week positively raving about the runaway success of Bush’s tax cutting, free marketing economic policies whereas I suspect that you’d agree that the picture has been somewhat more mixed (both in action and outcome). I also recall Richard Littlejohn being apoplectic with rage that Blair had chosen Tuscany rather than Florida for his hols a couple of years ago and that he thus couldn’t copy it in every way. The fact that somebody might prefer Tuscany or that there might already exist parts of British culture which wouldn’t be improved by a Floridian makeover was inconceivable.

    Hence the wholly unrealistic picture held by the untravelled on both sides of the political fence depending on choice of media.


  49. dan says:

    In the linked item on the CBC lockout

    Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) which represents the locked-out workers, said: “The BBC runs the risk of losing its international status as an impartial and highly regarded news service by so openly being associated with one side in a dispute between CBC and its staff.”

    First the BBC is accused of being pro-Israeli by Sacranie & now biased in favour of the bosses by the unions.

    You see, we are right, the BBC is biased.

    (Wonder if the BBC will have to tone down their attitude to Gate Gourmet now that they are seen to be anti-union.)


  50. richard says:

    sorry that should have been un resolution 242 not 192.
    and the wording is “withdrawl from territories conquered” without using the definite article.
    so the continued use by the bbc of the phrase “occupied territories” is erroneous and biased.