138 Responses to Surely ….

  1. simo says:

    Been a long time since Shearer raised his hand, Shearer’s raised hand.


  2. Lizzie says:

    OT – I’ve just been browsing the BBCNews site, and on the same page as the story “More W Bank settlements ‘to go'”, the Key Stories about the region are:

    “More W Bank settlements ‘to go’

    Egypt begins fresh Gaza mission

    Number of W Bank settlers rises

    Israeli guard stabbed in Hebron

    Five dead in West Bank camp raid”

    That last, about the “West Bank camp raid” has a datestamp of last Thursday. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there was a pretty big incident in Beersheba yesterday. I’d think that would be a “Key Story”, wouldn’t you?


  3. Rob Read says:

    Here’s some real news.


    just read the BBC to see what the left doesn’t want you to know, by noticing its absence.


  4. Anonymous says:

    To return to cricket.

    Blow-ers & co may well have been grooving to “Golden Brown”, perhaps having a slice of hash cake sent in by a listener, but it would appear that not everyone at the BBC is so hip.

    Channel 5’s “Greatest TV cock ups” featured the ace Stone Roses on “Late Night Line Up”. As they cranked up their amp, bingo, their sound was cut to zero. A power failure was blamed. not so, it was down to health & safety. The BBC crew had to be protected from loud noise, the works automatically cut out.


  5. Rob Read Fanclub says:

    I do hope that Paul Reynolds is not going to make a habit of posting here, he`s like the BBC Thought Policeman earnestly toeing the Corporation line.

    If we want BBC cant sir, we know just where to find it.


  6. Rob Read Fanclub says:

    Mark Steyn in todays Telegraph

    If memory serves, the last British hurricane warning was the one delivered – or, rather, non-delivered – by Michael Fish on the BBC: “A lady’s just called in to say there’s a hurricane. Hur-hur,” chuckled Michael dismissively, shortly before it swept in and destroyed all seven oaks in Sevenoaks.


  7. Denise W says:


    You said, “But the occupation of post-war Iraq has yielded remarkably high casualties by historical comparison.”

    The numbers are no where close to those killed in Vietnam, which the left love to keep comparing Iraq to with this “quagmire” nonsense.


  8. dan says:

    Denise, not only no comparison with Vietnam, the US troop deaths in Iraq (regretable as they are) can be compared thus

    The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context (link provided in original): between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.



  9. Denise W says:

    I have to agree on the “Bring Your Husband to Heel.” It sounds disgusting to me. Talk about extremes. We go from equal rights for women to women treating men like dogs. It just isn’t right. I know some women who are like that, though.

    BTW, Dave t, that was hilarious!


  10. Denise W says:


    Thanks for the link. That’s stuff I didn’t know. Interesting.


  11. mortis says:

    Michael Fish was a dreadful weather man who might as well have been on heroin. Another abomination payed for by the licence mortgage yet hailed as some kind of hero when he retired.


  12. Rob Read says:

    much as I hate to defend the BBC, AFAIK the weather men and women were paid for by the Met Office, not the BBC.

    I think they might be over-compensating with the regular “some people doubt that humanity has much if anyhting at all to do with climate change, hur-hur” type statements.


  13. JohninLondon says:

    On the Today programme it was finally admitted (maybe because UK officials in Iraq were sying so) that the Sunni “leaders” in the constitution negotitions are not all against the document and its intended compromises. Some are keeping their heads down for fear of attack by terrorists/insurgents, but will quietly endorse the document before the October referendum, urging Sunnis to vote in favour and not to block it.

    Surely all this was OBVIOUS to any genuine observer ??? Why did we have Stourton saying yesterday that it was virtually certain that in the referendum Sunnis would reject the constitution ? With its hge resources, can’t the BBC get the story right ? Or is it jst playing the “Iraq is quagmire” track.

    The new theme on the Today programme is to attack anyone who talks for free trade in clothing and footwear – suupporting the southern EU nations blocking Chinese imports and refusing to restructure after many years of transitional arrangements. The BBC prefers the EU protectionism to the World Trade Organisation arrangements and agreements.


  14. JohninLondon says:

    I spoke too soon. James Naughtie is back to raking over dead coals about what happened just after the invasion. Like the Scots character in Dad’s Army, he is all doom and gloom, as usual.

    Why can’t he talk about what is happening now ?

    Aggressive interviewing, constantly interrupting – Naughtie is trying to prove that HE is right and Jack Straw is wrong. And then switches to the tack of “Iraq caused 7/7”.


  15. Alan G says:

    “But the occupation of post-war Iraq has yielded remarkably high casualties by historical comparison.”

    Could you give some examples to illustrate your point please Shearer?


  16. Dan Rather says:

    “But the occupation of post-war Iraq has yielded remarkably high casualties by historical comparison.”

    This is a sign that the BBCs “key phrases” propaganda is working to make people come to wrong and false conclusions, that match the BBCs political agenda.


    OT: Which nest of tranzis should be destroyed first? The BBC, the EU or the UN?


  17. Simon says:

    Test Match Special should be provided by a private radio station or be scrapped. Cricket commentatry is not something I should help pay for just because I want to watch live football on Sky TV. Why aren’t the mainly middle-class TMS listeners forced to help me with my Sky Sports costs?


  18. Cockney says:

    Further to Simon’s moan I strongly object to paying for access to vast amounts of mind numbing, spirit draining crap from Sky to enable me to watch live football and boxing, purely because Rupert has a virtual monopoly and thus no pressure to provide cheaper and more specialist packages of channels. Aren’t there supposed to be political bodies to deal with this sort of thing?


  19. JohninLondon says:


    Murdoch offered the BBC a partnership at the beginning of satellite TV. They scorned him, wold not even meet to discuss.

    THAT ARROGANCE and the fact tht he had the balls to risk his whole company on Sky is why he has football etc. The BBC never used to pay properly for football rights. Sky’s money has greatly improved the game.

    It is called competition. Swallow it.


  20. Rob Read says:

    “Murdoch offered the BBC a partnership at the beginning of satellite TV. They scorned him, wold not even meet to discuss.”

    Lucky break for British TV watchers and Murdoch!

    Hopefully market pressure from Sky and lobbying from the likes of us lot can start to get the BBC from coercion funded QGO to a provident association funded by subscription with the board elected by subscribers.

    The number one thing is to break the link between extortion and entertainment.


  21. Ritter says:


    Naughtie was a disgrace this morning. R4 Today presents very unbalanced reporting of ‘so-called’ “News”, characterised by aggressive questioning (tone, disrespectful manner, sneering & background ‘humphs’ etc) constant interrupting, and one-sided agenda driven questions, the agenda being as we all know,….wait for it “The War In Iraq Was Wrong”…….

    Wake up Today team, that’s yesterday’s news.

    How long do we have to put up with this cr*p??


  22. Scott at Blithering Bunny says:

    Cockney, you know perfectly well the State does not force you (on pain of imprisonment) to subscribe to Sky.

    Anyway, there is competition around in the area — NTL, and that ITV one that folded because most people preferred Sky.

    (But if the government is stopping other possible competitors from entering the arena, then shame).


  23. Neil Cakes says:


    Don’t know whether anyone has read this:



  24. Ritter says:

    End of TV licence fee ‘a sad day’

    Anyone know where Birt is coming from when he says

    “But poorer households would end up the most deprived if the funding moved to a subscription model, he added.”

    Poorer households are currently forced by law to pay £126 annually to the BBC whether they like it or not. Moving to a subscription model gives poorer households a choice. Pay the same, pay less, pay none, or pay more. A choice. I’m guessing some households would go for a BBC ‘Entertainment’ package of BBC1 & BBC 3 on TV plus say Radio 1 & 2 + internet (maybe). This would be cheaper than the full package. Or a News & Factual package of BBC News24, BBC2 & Radio 3 & 4 + internet. Want a Kids package – just add it on. You can make up your own package, but it should be cheaper to buy less than all Beeb output that we have to each pay for just now, as with Sky. Infact BBC output fits into the new Sky ‘mixes’ quite well.

    Q. In what way does subscription leave poorer households most deprived?

    p.s. Also with subscription, the poorest won’t end up in court/jail regularly for not paying their telly tax, cause there won’t be a telly tax with subscription. And TV Licensing can be scrapped releasing £££s for new programming.


  25. Pete_London says:

    Tonight we have a prograame entitled Children of Beslan:


    Children Of Beslan, produced and directed by Ewa Ewart and Leslie Woodhead, will be broadcast on 30 August on BBC Two at 2100BST.

    If the programme soft soaps the Islamic terrorists who murdered 171 children and more than 200 adults then it’ll be a waste of time. The piece above describes them as pro-Chechen gunmen.


  26. Ritter says:

    Straw gave a reasonable performance with Naughtie this morning, but he lack the knock-out punches of Reid that leave Naughtie ‘on the ropes’. Typically the BBC today news headline following the interview was “Jack Straw has denied [insert accusation here]” Jack Straw disagreed with Naughties ‘suggestions’ contained within the questions, but ‘denies’ implies he has been ‘accused’ of something. Naughtie isn’t in a position to ‘accuse’ anyone – so why Straw ‘denies’???

    Hurry up & invite Reid in again.

    Also – why is the constitution in Iraq being reported through the prism of the Iraq’s Sunni minority. When was the last time BBC R4 commented on the views of the majority Kurds and Shias? How do the BBC think democracy works? Elected representatives discuss and take a view on subjects, and these elected reps are subject to re-election on a regular basis. What don’t they get. But with the BBC it’s all Sunni’s this and Sunni’s that.

    It’s relevant but it’s by far not the whole story. The Beeb drop the ball regularly on giving an unbiased picture on what is going on. The ‘Kerry’s going to win’ delusion is the classic example. Based on reading various non-MSM I think that the Iraqi’s will agree their constitution by majority (as it shoudl be) and that will be an amazing achievement in the current climate. Take the USA (13 years) and EU (don’t hold your breath) in constitution terms and the Iraqis are working at break-neck speed. I for one say to all involved in gaining agreement and moving it forward “well done”. I don’t underestimate your achievement at all. Not that you’d find anyone allowed on the BBC to put forward that view though.


  27. dan says:

    Re Ritter’s comments – Birt assumes that their is some compelling reason for “the poor” watching BBC. He is wrong, there is nothing distinctive about the BBC output. “The poor” wouldn’t be poorer for not receiving the BBC.

    On other comments above – The range of services offered by rival TV &
    radio broadcasters is severly skewed by the existence of the BBC leviathon. For example commercial radio stations find it impossible to outbid the tax resourced BBC for sports commentary.

    The guardian of competition, the EU, doesn’t seem to care about the BBC squeezing out the competition, its only gripe is against Sky getting all the Premier league football.


  28. Anonymous says:

    Tory Newsnight complaint rejected

    Firstly, why is the BBC quoting ‘The Guardian’ as its source for this story?
    “According to The Guardian, the BBC’s head of editorial complaints Fraser Steel rejected Tory concerns that the show was “derogatory”.”

    This is a complaint submitted to the BBC about a BBC broadcast, which has been investigated by the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit. So what have The Guardian to do with it and why is The Guardian quoting the results and comments from the BBC’s ‘head of editorial complaints’ Fraser Steel, before the BBC response to the complaint has been officially published on the BBC Editorial Complaints website???

    BBC Complaints – Responses

    So BBC ‘NewsWatch’ reports the outcome of it’s own organisations complaints investigation from the Guardian? Shows you how intertwined BBC & the Guardian are.

    Secondly, when are we going to get an independent BBC complaints commission, like PC plod has? I think we have established that big public sector organisations cannot be trusted to ‘investigate’ themselves so when do we have an IBBCCC (Independent BBC Complaints Commission)?. If it’s good enough for the Police it should be good enough for the BBC. Shouldn’t the whole thing be handed over to OFCOM?


  29. Anonymous says:

    The BBC response to complaints about the sexist tripe ‘Bring Your Husband to Heel’


    “Bring Your Husband to Heel plays on the long-standing stereotype of wives nagging husbands about their failings and attempts to explore, in a humorous way, whether it is possible to find solutions to the stalemate using a different and unique method of instruction.

    Now imagine….

    “Bring Extremist Muslims to Heel plays on the long-standing stereotype of Muslims and their failings and failure to integrate into British society, in a humorous way, whether it is possible to find solutions to extreemism and terrorism using a different and unique method of instruction.

    Yeah, that would be a fun programme.

    BBC Complaints – Bring Your Husband to Heel


  30. Ritter says:

    Better news from The Guardian…

    BBC1 records worst ever monthly ratings

    Channel 4’s Ashes coverage over the weekend hit rival networks’ ratings hard once again, with BBC1 slumping to what is believed to be its lowest ever daily audience share on Sunday – at the end of its worst ever month.
    The network’s audience share for the four weeks to Sunday fell to 21.5%.

    Channel 4 on Sunday achieved the rare feat of being the most watched broadcaster, attracting a 21% audience share over the day – more than double its normal ratings, as 8 million tuned into the climax of the fourth Test match.

    On the same day, BBC1 slumped to a 16.8% audience share, while ITV1 attracted 17.9%, according to unofficial overnights.

    This continued a lousy run of Sunday ratings this summer for BBC1, which is now thought to have recorded its four worst-ever daily audience share figures – all on a Sunday – since July 24.

    And BBC1’s two previous monthly lows were in June, with a 22.6% audience share, and July, with a 22.7% share.

    Can I stop paying for this failing public sector broadcaster now?


  31. marc says:

    The BBC’s overall viewing figures are in decline.



  32. Simon says:

    Cockney, Sky offers a take it or leave it product. The BBC offers a pay us if you want to take us or Sky or anyone else package. If I want the BBC, I can pay for the BBC. If I want Sky, I must pay for the BBC and also Sky. When it comes to extorting money from people for things they don’t want, Murdoch is a rank amateur compared to the BBC. Not a surprise really, Rupert doesn’t have TV detector vans, their vile staff and the court system to back him up. I have subscribed and unsubscribed to Sky a few times. When I stop paying them all I get is a polite letter thanking me for my custom, and expressing the hope that I will a customer again in the future. Letters from the BBC’s bully boys, the TV licencing agency are not only impolite, they are insulting and theatening.


  33. marc says:

    Someone here said it best. It goes something like this:

    During WWII people in Germany were threatened with imprisonment if they were caught listening to the BBC.

    Sixty years later, people in Britain are threatened with imprisonment if they don’t pay the BBC – even if they don’t watch the BBC!

    So much for freedom.


  34. Pete says:

    It is precisely because the BBC is failing that the licence fee will remain. If the dross the BBC serves us was producing sensatioanl ratings they might be tempted to ditch the security blanket.


  35. the_camp_commandant says:

    Paul Reynolds wrote:-

    As you admit the BBC is not alone in reporting the problems of Iraq, why do you single it out for attack?

    Er, Paul – because we don’t have a choice of whether to support the BBC or not.

    If I don’t like the Telegraph‘s Iraq coverage, I can just not buy the Telegraph. If enough people do the same, the Telegraph will go out of business.

    It doesn’t get the option of keeping itself in business by forcing me to buy a “newspaper licence” and then sending me to jail if I refuse to pay. Unlike the BBC, its revenues are not protected by judicial threat or legalised extortion.

    Because of the unique way the BBC is funded, i.e. in much the same way as the Mafia’s business ‘ventures’ are funded, the BBC is uniquely deserving of total scorn, and for exactly the same reasons.


  36. AW says:


    Can the BBC stop using the metric system deliberately in place of the Imperial system? THe EU is constantly trying to destroy our useful, natural and often infinitely more practical system of measures.

    e.g. Wind speeds – “kph”
    Heights in “metres” not feet.

    Sheer propaganda. Not a reflection at all as Mr.Paul “no case to answer” Reynolds might claim.


  37. the_camp_commandant says:


    Very interesting about the BBC’s pisspoor market share despite its colossal income stream and effectively limitless budget for progamme making.

    If that 21% market share (are 21% of the viewing populace really that dim / left-wing?) were the BBC’s paying audience if it went subscription-only, then to keep the BBC elite in the stylee to which it has become accustomed, the licence fee would have to go up to around 600 pounds a year.

    Gee, I wonder if anyone would maybe not want to pay that after all, when the cross-subsidy from non-customers ended and the real cost of their choices became clear?

    I think the BBC would be reduced to a part-time DIY show channel and a nostalgia shop on the Strand in about 6 weeks flat.

    What a lovely thought!


  38. Rob Read says:

    The whole of the left has a conceit that their views are more important than your own.

    That’s how they rationalise extortion, “it’s for your benefit”, even if we think it’s harmful, they know better.


  39. Susan says:

    This dreadful piece of pro-Pal propaganda (about “artwork” covering the separation barrier in Israel) goes on and on about the wall’s injustice to Palestinians without a single mention of WHY the barrier was put in place:


    Just disgusting. What does the BBC expect the Israelis to do? Get rid of the checkpoints and tear down the wall so that the Palestinians can kill them much more efficiently?

    That’s really what the Beeb is plumping for here.


  40. Susan says:

    I sense a pattern here. Holocaust stories that don’t mention Jews. Israeli barrier stories that don’t mention suicide bombings against Jews. What’s next I wonder?


  41. Cockney says:


    Given the impending demise/merger of NTL and TeleWest, the restricted choice on Freeview and the obvious barriers to new entrants to the market, Sky pretty much operates a monopoly as a digital platform provider in the UK as far as sports goes. This makes it uncomfortably easy for them to rack up prices by bundling up the sports channels with a load of unwatchable unmitigated sh*t. This would appear ripe for investigation by competition watchdogs, however given the (debatable in my view) importance of keeping The Sun onside……

    Not really comparable to paying the licence fee admittedly (although a lot more expensive) and from November I’ll be able to watch big fight action and football first in the pub at 5am and never bother Rupert’s accountants again.

    As far as the future of the BBC goes, I’d be in favour of limiting entertainment output to high quality and intellectually stimulating original programming with far more use of external producers, and coverage of important national events. I see no reason why this couldn’t be squeezed onto one channel. The market has proved that it is incapable of producing anything of reasonable quality that educates and informs. There’s clearly a need for this given the state of the country. That’s what the public service broadcaster should be for.

    News wise I think there’s a need for an authoritative, in depth, impartial British news source and certainly a continuing benefit in exporting this overseas. As pretty much everyone agrees though there’s a requirement for a truly Stalinesque purge of political correctness and indulgence of buffoonery. Bring back blokes with voices dripping with authority. Bring back a withering contempt for anyone indulging in unBritish behaviour.


  42. Cockney says:

    Er…Susan – the front page says ‘(Israel) argues the measure is necessary to prevent Palestinian suicide attacks’. How much more categorical do you want??


  43. sunbonnet says:

    US ‘harming’ Uganda’s Aids battle

    Now this doesn’t make sense… If the Ugandan government, at US urging, has been de-emphasizing the use of condoms, then why have the price of condoms ‘tripled in price’? If condom use had dropped as a result of some anti-condom government policy, wouldn’t condom prices drop too?

    IF Uganda’s infection rate has fallen from %15 to %5 percent then what did they do to get such success, and why aren’t other African countries doing the same? Was the drop caused by encouraging abstinence? I don’t know about that. But whatever they’re doing to get their infection rates down, I’d really like to know, it would be incredibly useful information. Why doesn’t the BBC look into it and give us a report?

    If the UN envoy says the US religious right is somehow discouraging condom use in Uganda, but the Ugandan government and the US flatly deny any change in policy, why does the report make no effort to give evidence one way or the other so the reader can decide who to believe?

    Shouldn’t the reporter ‘speak truth to power’ and hold the UN envoy accountable for baseless rumor-mongering?


  44. Susan says:

    Okay Cockney, sorry, I did miss that paragraph. However you can’t deny that scrolling through this slideshow the captions are are only focused on the “suffering” the wall causes the Palestinian — no mention of the “suffering” that suicide bombs cause Israeli families.


  45. Cockney says:

    Yeah, you’re right that the rest of it isn’t particularly balanced. They could have shown the (actually quite interesting) art and linked to a more in depth analysis of the wall.


  46. David H says:


    I think you were right the first time – the sentence which Cockney points to ‘It [Israel] argues the measure is necessary to prevent Palestinian suicide attacks..’ is no more than a token attempt at balance. The article is massively slanted towards the Palestinians – there is no mention of any of the bomb attacks which led up to the construction of the wall. Or, indeed, any mention as to how the death toll due to suicide attacks has plummeted since the wall’s construction. As usual the Palestinians are portrayed as passive, peaceful victims.


  47. dan says:

    Cockney “News wise I think there’s a need for an authoritative, in depth, impartial British news source”

    But why is that necessarily funded by compulsion? We don’t have, or need, a compulsory funded newsprint or book media.


  48. Simon says:

    Cockney, you say ‘News wise I think there’s a need for an authoritative, in depth, impartial British news source’. Well why not band together with some like-minded people and produce one, and you could test its impartiality by going subscription so that only those that trust you pay your wages. Why do you need a system that forces me to pay as well? And we’ve managed all this time without an impartial British news service. Why do you need one now? I don’t. I’m a big boy now, and I don’t need protection from naughty, partial TV news makers even if you do.

    As for Sky bundling in rubbish with stuff that people want like football, I have no problem with that. Murdoch can sell what he wants, and I can choose to buy it or not. What is rubbish to one person is someone else’s favourite program.

    With an important purchase such as dental or medical care, I’m happy to have experts control what I can and can’t buy and who can and can’t sell it to me, but for something as trivial, superficial and unnecessary as TV I feel able to do without the protection of those who know better than me what is good TV and what isn’t.

    Cockney, you’re an authoritarian aren’t you? You don’t want everyone to decide things for themselves while there are lots of clever people around who can do it for them.


  49. IB says:

    Hi everyone, its not really a surprise is it that the BBC rejected the Conservatives legitimate complaints?

    I mean, lets face it whilst i think Paxman is a funny interviewer and lets face it he needs a sense of humour to do the job, it is the producers who really pull the strings.

    Like Question Time, the producers, constantly whisper into the ears of the hosts, to prompt them and set the scene.

    I think the Paxman feature with Howard was undermining, he did try to publicly chastise him. I think on the one hand you could understand him interviewing and reporting fine. But the way he did it, and the grin’s he had on his face at the time, when Howard was on walkabout was a little nasty.

    I mean come on JP, admit it, Howard is an alright guy. And as for Blair, well, when JP interviewed him, he had a brief go, but alot of the time, didn’t destroy his character as with Howard.

    I dont blame JP, he was just the messenger, its the producers who need calling in and need a dressing down.

    But at the end of the day, the BBC seems to make such an emotional fuss over everything, including the news.

    It should be called the 6 o’clock “drama” starring whoever they can find out of the thousands of reporters they have on their books for the day.

    By the way, another interesting note, Nick Robinson and talk of him moving to the beeb. Some eyebrows have been raised, primarily i think because he so cleverly undermined the PM.

    As a result the BBC and government cant have him out of their control. So by hiring him he is essentially under the thumb. But with ITV he was brilliant.

    A little like Janet Daley who was poached by the Times, the old friends of Blair. She has since become alot quieter, and dare i say that would be Tory “Portillo” who lets face it shouldnt be on this week with Andrew Neal because well, he isnt a tory.

    Get someone else in i say who will stand up for the conservatives. I also heard he was a new labour fan? is that true? i suppose it might explain his anti tory stance? working for the times and all…

    Overall, Paxman interview not a surprise. just wish they’d not be so obvious next time when they want to undermine the conservatives.

    Forget impartiality.


  50. Rob Read says:

    The idea of Philosopher Kings cranking out unbiased news will work about as well as the Philosopher Kings running the EU for the benefit of the peoples of Europe.

    i.e. not at all