I’m not quite sure …

whether this piece, on the withdrawal from the party leadership contest of Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten, says more about the BBC or the Liberal Democrats.

In Parliament since 1997, Mr Oaten is seen as being to the right of many in the party, having promoted a law and order policy of “tough liberalism”.

Mr Oaten has campaigned for prisoners to be given the vote, a policy which his then leader confirmed would apply to child murderers.

He also believes that the best way to punish car thieves is to give them go-karting lessons.

Do the BBC have a very distorted view of what a tough law and order policy looks like ?

Or are they accurately reporting the current political spectrum in the Liberal Democrats ?

If the latter, the BBC should be reporting on what the ‘left’ candidates’ policies are. A law and order policy to the left of Mr Oaten is surely newsworthy.

The Nonsense Parade

– I am sure readers can add a lot to this post. There are many examples of where the BBC just spouts nonsense for no apparent reason- one suspects just a dilute form of PC is at work.

This article was a typical one for the Beeb– post-colonial handwringing. I am not saying that it is unimportant what went on in the past- not at all. However, one point struck me. Peter Biles reporting genocide in Namibia under German colonial rule says that the estimated deaths involved were 40,000 (he gives before and after figures). Then he goes on to say that

‘Close to the centre of town, there is an old German church, with a powerful reminder that the Germans too, took casualties in the fighting with the Herero in the early years of the last century.

The graves of more than 50 German soldiers are laid out in a neatly kept cemetery, and on the granite headstones are recorded the names of those who perished in a far-flung land.

This was not an altogether one-sided conflict.’

But how absurd. 40,000 v 50 is not one-sided? What’s he trying to say here? And why? Mystifying, and typical.

Expanding on Ed’s post re Jeff Randall,

I’ve always said that the BBC are neutral betwen Tories and Labour – they’re happy to attack the Tories (from the left) or Labour (from the left).

Good to hear this from ex-BBC business editor, Jeff Randall.

But surely the BBC’s journalists give the government a hard time?

‘They attack Labour ministers, but usually for not being sufficiently left-wing.’

On the BBC and immigration :

‘Whenever we had an anti-immigration interviewee, it was a Nazi with a tattoo on his face who looked like he’d just bitten the head off a cat. I pointed out that it’s the white working class who have to make immigration work. Immigrants don’t move to Hampstead, mate’.

It’s this mindset which gives us “the self-styled Migrationwatch pressure group” – a prefix more usually applied to comedy terrorists – or Tories.

and on BBC bias :

‘It’s not a conspiracy. It’s visceral. They think they are on the middle ground’

Aunty Learns Nothing; Reports Little

Aunty was very anti- the Iraq war. We all know that. Yet, in the wake of Hutton and in the light of numerous gaffes that astounded even their own, she seemed to be learning something. Yet, like a misshapen dingy filled with gas, the BBC keeps righting itself idiot side up.

Today you can find the BBC reporting how Gen Musharraf has come under pressure over the US air strike. We’d already had the (very direct and clear) reporting of the demos. It flabbergasts me how the Beeb can just choose selectively which demos to cover and which not to. After all, in the Middle East we’ve had plentiful anti-Al Quaeda demos largely ignored, despite being nationwide according to the Guardian. When the BBC covered it you probably missed it. After all, who’d think that ‘Jordan Mourns Victims of Bombing’was actually news?

But which is news, really, that Pakistanis from an Islamic stronghold demonstrate against a US bombing, or that Jordanians! reject Al Quaeda’s Jordanian! lieutenant?

But speaking of photos, and Pakistan, why is it that the Beeb can report the demos, report the angry Pakistani minister pleasing the crowds, yet omit the obvious orchestrative detail which is (or would be) news to most westerners? I don’t know who really rumbled the fake bombed-out photograph. I think all of us did, in one collective raspberry. But the BBC? Naaagh, nada. An isolated instance? I think not.

And back to our theme of the BBC learning nothing; reporting little- do you remember how in the run up to the Iraq war the Beeb were always spewing forth messages of caution from enlightened countries like Russia and China, without heeding any of the hidden politics which actually would have been news? Well, they’re at it again, despite the fact that Russia, for one, has been found to have been hand in glove with the Iraqi regime, canoodling through the Oil for Food scam.

As Richard D. North puts it ‘I caught on a BBC bulletin today, a comment that Russia was anxious that economic sanctions should not be imposed on Iran, because “it might damage her trade”, but – of course – the Beeb failed to state that a massive amount of that trade was in arms.

Read the rest, because if you’ve been attending to the BBC you might want to catch up on some news.

BBC impartiality?

This incident requires an explanation. Memo to Beeb: there are some attentive listeners out there. Enough to catch you out if you behave just as you like.

Then, this is also an important testimony from Jeff Randall : ‘On the whole, they treated business as if it was a criminal activity’

Of course, his arrival made some impact, but if that’s so, then what about the impact of a whole news channel via the Al Jazeera link-up, which continues to develop according to USS Neverdock?

Which should be borne in mind when people like Clive Davis make points like this one.– about John Simpson and the ‘resistance’.

Satire Still Dead,

says Mark Holland, in a piece on the new Channel 4 (non-BBC) output which takes a sideswipe at BBC ‘comedy’ (which on Radio Four means Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and a host of public-school lefties, one of whom must be called Sally for some reason).

These days we all know how to read between the lines, Pravda style, during any BBC news broadcasts we’re unlucky enough to catch. On the radio mostly. But it’s getting that way with the Radio Times too. One only has to spot a few tell tale keywords in the listings to know that a cavalcade of cobblers is looming onto the broadcasting horizon. ‘Satire’ is the big one for me. Take the BBC4’s The Late Edition;

Marcus Brigstocke hosts BBC FOUR’s studio audience comedy show, a riotous half hour of intelligent satire and debate with contributions from leading comedy writers. Strong language..

If Roy Castle were to rise from the dead in an effort to discover just how many George Bush is thick “jokes” it’s possible to squeeze into the back of 28 minutes of air time it just might be worth bothering to tune in. Otherwise forget it.

Bare-faced headline for a bearded dictator.

Not that I disparage Iranian democracy of course, it just seems that there’s a niche in the market left by certain mainstream broadcasters.

But today the BBC have held the frontpage for Ahmadinejad to proclaim that ‘Iran ‘does not need nuclear arms’

What this is is full-on propaganda from the terrorist-in-chief. What Iran doesn’t need, of course, is nuclear energy. As VDH comments aptly:

‘Any country that burns off some of its natural gas at the wellhead while claiming that it needs nuclear power for domestic energy is simply lying.’

So given that this is obviously an inversion of reality by the Islamofascist, that Iran doesn’t need nukes (by implication needing nuclear fuel instead), why do the BBC broadcast it as though it were a real newsworthy statement? I’ll leave you to supply the reasoning on that one. I just think the BBC are on the other side.

The Small Sacrifice of Truth

The sanitisation and idealisation of the religion of Islam proceeds apace at the Beeb. It must- as this culture is being more and more forcefully advocated by its adherents, so it requires greater and greater efforts to retain management of the news in a way that the Beeb feels is responsible.

After writing this post originally, I heard of the terrible stampede at this year’s Hajj. I am naturally sorry for the people involved, but it only really highlights the terrible realities that the BBC is ignoring in the general course of things.

Lets look at what that means. No mention on the BBC of the appalling carnage of this incident of slaughter and sadistic chaos. Reuters filed this under ‘oddly enough’ when I think ‘sadly predictable’ would have been more accurate. Also no mention of this incident (on European soil too), where some modern day reality came into contact with medievalism. This is not any cull we’re talking about, such as fox-hunting facilitates, but sacrifice- blood for some mystical quality of blood’s sake.

Instead, from the BBC we had a picture sequence of a mass-slaughter fair which doesn’t even include any notion of during or after the slaughter. I am not sure ‘livestock fair’ was the appropriate term to use to describe it, myself. No wonder the animal rights people in the UK are naive, when their Auntie shields them from the big wide world.

As the Wall Street Journal recently observed: ‘Political correctness, for all its awfulness, is an effort to save souls through language.’ But not animals, obviously, lest the Islamic audience be offended.

Second example: the Hajj. The BBC’s coverage is, save the unavoidable reporting of the annual Islamic Hillsborough-style event which is a tradition for this time of the year, utterly nicey-nicey (this sentence written pre-stampede btw). The boy scout article I linked earlier is a good example, but the BBC are pleased to report organisational glitches, safety measures etc..

Yet what about these Iranians in Mecca? Not so nicey-nicey, eh? Somehow the BBC manage to make a sacrifice and omit the death to America, infidel-hand chopping rhetoric from their coverage.

I am not saying that what I’m outlining is not a dilemma for broadcasters, but what I am saying is that the BBC’s chosen output is not news, but cultural sensitivity, aka pandering. The fact that they have decided a priori on ideological grounds that Muslims are to be protected from criticism is their problem.

Something about the picture

Something about the picture in this article reminds me of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s the utopianism I think.

So, as multiculturalism (and lifestyle choice) becomes religion, religion becomes problematic, though, as Ritter points out, Sir Iqbal and Mr Jones get different treatment.

And no, it’s not just the media treating the two cases differently. There’s no mention of Mr Plod actually knocking on Sir Iqqy’s door.