What you do and what you don’t get.

Just a little comparison. A profile of Chirac on the BBC spent half of its time praising him, and the other half being respectful and/or mealy-mouthed. Soft-pedalling corruption; omitting oil-for-food; forgetting the famous quote when Chirac told Poland they missed a good opportunity to remain silent. Very Old Media.

For some fresh air, you have to go elsewhere. To get quotes like this:

“He won’t go to jail. My bet is he’ll go to the UN.”

And that is surely closer to the truth of French politics, and l’escroc.

Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to What you do and what you don’t get.

  1. The Fat Contractor says:

    My wife informs me that Chiracs name rather conveniently sounds like ‘chier’ the French verb ‘to shit’.

    Says it all really.


  2. A Lurker says:

    So that would be the left wing biased BBC writing an unreasonably flattering piece about a right wing French President?

    Where is the left wing bias in this?


  3. deegee says:

    A Lurker:

    Where is the left wing bias in this?

    As mentioned in earlier threads, I consider left wing to be an obsolete term. However Chirac is a vigorous proponent of expressing French influence through the EU; a name-calling anti-Israel Arab appeaser; above the law in his corrupt use of public funds and facilities, as Mayor of Paris and he believes in Global Warming.

    He supports enough of BBC’s pet obsessions for the piece to be unreasonably flattering 😉


  4. Bryan says:

    Perhaps the BBC is so far left and Chirac so far right that they join in agreement at the extremes of the spectrum.


  5. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    The best comment on Chirac was made in the title of a French newspaper’s comments page: Tout ca pour ca? – that is, all of that just for this? Here is a man who has been all over France since he was in his twenties, who has done everything in his power to become president ever since he was old enough to act, whose ambition make Lloyd George, Nixon and Napoleon rolled into one look modest and unassuming – and what, exactly, has been the result? What has he achieved, other than two terms in one of the world’s genuine great palaces? In what is France different since he took office? In effect, the name of his game since he became president has been survival. I could excuse his being a crook if he had done anything to seriously contribute to his country – but even as a crook, he is no Andreotti, no Richelieu and no Bismarck. His ambition had no substance.

    Incidentally, an interesting anecdote about Chirac is that, according to a French acquaintance, the overambitious young architect in Goscinny and Uderzo’s Asterix and the Mansions of the Gods was supposed to be a caricature of his younger self.


  6. BaggieJonathan says:

    The assumption that you have to be right wing to be appalled at BBC bias is utterly false.
    It is just a cheap shot and the (mostly) very reasonable posters on this blog who point out the apalling bias of the BBC.

    Having reached middle age now I can say that I have always registered my vote (if you include on some occasions a spoilt ballot paper) and have never (yet) voted conservative or for those to the so called right of the conservatives.
    It does not stop me posting here.

    I am not even certain these days that right and left are very useful terms, things are more splintere and anyway we have much better ones: liberal, conservative, radical, socialist, pro Islamic, anti Jewish and so on.

    State media has had its day – it can’t help itself. It is high time the poor tax aka license fee was abolished and the BBC privatised or abolished.


  7. Andrew Zalotocky says:

    If he goes to the UN he’ll be mixing with worse criminals than if he goes to jail.


  8. IngSoc is doublethink says:

    Baggies on the money right there.

    You see Luker we are not talking “party” politics but the “cultural” biase that BBC is craven with,but to understand that you have to back to the late 1950’s:


    You see all those card carrying members of the CPGB at the LSE had a problem-The Soviets had just invaded Hungary,so it wouldn’t do to be associated with a nasty thing like that so they “reinvented” themselves with E P Thompson providing the theorectical backdrop with his “revisionist”,”humanist” and “socalist” ideas in striving for a “better socalist world”.

    For want of a better word:Champaign socalism or “capitalist socalists” as one Beeboid whom I knew discibed himself?

    See if you can spot the common links with the idea’s back then and whats happening now:

    -Less focus on labour issues.
    -A move towards groups like CND or STWC.
    -A constant appeal to the “youth” section of society.
    -Moving away from electorial politics towards social activism (Street protests,strikes and civil disobedience)
    -Advocacy of income redistribution either on a national level or international level and a more “egalitarian individualistic” (the so called non-conformist)world view.
    -The focus on “alternative lifestyles” “Identity politics” or “socail justice” and the support of the anti-hero or underdog/class.
    -The use of Counter and Pop Culture to sell the message.

    This in a nutshell is the New Left mindset from the 1950’s in pratice in 2007,unelected and unaccountable.

    Not a problem per-se?

    Now the cynic in me is inclined to think that now Marxism has “failed” with the end of the Cold War all those (ex)CPGB members all ended up in the media, in pressure groups, lobbing indusry or as PR people.Making money is more of a priority than “unity” nowadays,but boy discontent sells as Green Day (Geffen) or Rage Against the Machine (Sony) would tell you.

    This is known as the infotainment industries.

    Also seeing as the “counter-culture” with “anti-Government/anti-politics slogans” is owned lock stock and barrels by the infotainment industry,then there is only one political voice.This suits people like the BBC who loath oversight (one of principle of the free market is that the market must be properly regulated so its an level playing field so investors can invest with confidence),while at the same time undermine those tasked it is to provide that (Government of what ever colour) with a drip drip message “don’t trust the Government”.

    X-Files,24,Time Trumpets,Dr Who,BBC 24,Newsnight etc…get the picture.

    At the same time you have democratic parties who’s memberships are down (I wonder why) having to undertake very underhand things to pay for the air-time and coverage (Hmmm…worth looking into?).

    I’m not saying for one moment that Government should not be held accountable or that it wouldn’t do nasty things,but for too long accountablity has been seen as an attack on free speech by those who control it.

    At the same time you get presented with a narrative that sometimes makes even poor old Winston Smith’s efforts seem lame,but hay as long as you are entertained.

    People like Tariq Ali,Jello Biafra,Alan Giensberg,Bob Dylan have more political “weight” because they understand the media or are the media.It is this version of “soft” socalism (and the money making potential) that is the agenda of the “progressive” BBC.

    How for one minute the BBC pretends to operate within the Charter is beyond me!


  9. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    IngSog Is Doublethink: I cannot imagine why you should associate Bob Dylan with the rest of your champagne socialists. The man has been kicking against the reputation brought about by a couple of very early protest songs for forty years, having rejected overt politicking from even before the Summer of Love. Already in 1968, while everyone else was talking about revolution, he delivered one of the most memorable condemnations of the egotism it involves: “Advertising signs they con/ you into thinkin’ you’re the one/ who can do what’s never been done/ who can win what’s never been won./ Meanwhile life outside goes on/ all around you!” Since then, he has from time to time made songs about specific injustices – “Hurricane” and the pro-Israeli “Neighbourhood bully” – but he has never done any “let’s change the world” items. If you wanted a truly great artist who has unfortunately flirted with this sort of thing, you would have done much better to mention Bruce Springsteen. I am a great fan of both, but it is Bruce Springsteen who is resurrecting forties Communist propaganda (the Almanac Singers – check them out!) and singing about bringing “the boys” home (whether they want to or not), and it is Bob Dylan who is singing about the complexity and imperscrutability of the world, and about liberation being a religious and eschatological rather than a political idea.


  10. Little Black Sambo says:

    Lurker: “That would be the left wing biased BBC writing an unreasonably flattering piece about a right wing French President?”
    French establishment politics is all left wing, to a greater or lesser degree.


  11. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    LBS, name change please. I’d suggest ‘formerly LBS’. Seriously though, your name is the sort of item which nit-pickers like Reith would use to attck the integrity of the contributors to and opinions on this site.


  12. lucklucky says:

    Chirac is only “right wing” in France.
    If you want at most he is a statist right wing.


  13. Chuffer says:

    IngSoc is doublethink – a polite request for you. If you’re going to contribute long and complicated postings, please give the grammar and spelling a bit of work. We love to read them, but sometimes they aren’t half hard work – which is a shame.

    And Bob Dylan – he’s the one who can’t sing, isn’t he?


  14. Bryan says:

    And Bob Dylan – he’s the one who can’t sing, isn’t he?

    The very same one. But there ain’t too many who can beat him as an inventive songwriter of extraordinary poetic imagination.

    I tend to agree with Fabio that Dylan left his youthful socialism behind long ago, instead of dragging it with him like so many other ageing stars.

    However, I believe I heard his nasal drawl in that collective “We are the World” number.


  15. Peregrine says:

    French politics is very odd and rather like US politics we should not compare their system to ours. For one they have far more local control than we do; the power of a French Mayor or US State Govenor would send shivers up the spine of a modern British politician.

    Another odd aspect in France is that the farmers tend to vote to the left, a real difference from nearly every other EU country that I know about (perhaps excepting German hobby farmers).

    There is a fudamental misunderstanding about nationhood in Europe by the British. It is thought by some historians that England was the first real nation state, and was in place centuries before the idea arose in the rest of Europe (my take is that it really took hold in revolutionary France in the late 18thC and in post-Napoleonic Europe later).

    The right in Europe is a statist ideology and therefore it is no surprise that the BBC can find common ground with them when “something must be done”. The fear that fills the BBC and the EU is that individuals can make their own decisions and choose to fail (as determined by the self created establishment).


  16. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Bryan – The original “We are the world” was a response to a specific emergency, namely a frightful famine in Ethiopia. Everybody took part. Fortunately, neither Dylan nor Springsteen took part in the recent event that claimed to replicate it in order to achieve the abstract goal of “abolishing poverty”, which is nonsense.


  17. IngSoc is Doublethink says:


    Thank you for pointing that out 🙂

    In my defence I’m also in between blogging TRYING to grapple with the finer points of Dutch spelling and grammer (I’m on a computer which is set up for Dutch language with no English spell-checker)……

    So if my posts are a little hard going then I’m sorry.

    Jez I’m sounding like a Beeboid now……


  18. IngSoc is Doublethink says:


    I’ll put my cards on the table and say I’m not really an expert on pre ’77 music (punk,electronic and new wave are my cups of tea),so I think Dylan might not be the best example of what I mean.

    Prahapes the a better example is John Lennon (with Yoko Ono) with such ditties as ‘Happy X-mas (the war is over)’ or the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band LP?


  19. IngSoc is Doublethink says:


    A good piece but I do challenge the idea that all European right wing parties are “statist”.

    In Holland both the CDA and VVD are more along the “English” speaking version of conservative politics, and I think that also is the case in Scandinavia as well.

    I do think the “Latin” countries however have a different take on what it is to be “right wing” which I suspect is for historical reasons,but I think your right to point out that each country has its own traditions.


  20. BaggieJonathan says:

    John Lennon would be more like it.

    “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can” – inexplicably constantly voted at the top of polls for best song, when it is not only trite in the extreme, but it was written by a multi millionaire.

    Same for most of them I’m afraid; sing a charity or protest song about poverty or the environment then go and spend a fortune on drugs, fast gas guzzling cars, private planes, and designer clothes.

    As usual from them its so as I say not do as I do!


  21. GCcooper says:

    Auntie’s acting as ZaNuLabour’s press office again (or do I mean Pravda ?).

    This morning the lead story on our favourite funded-by-threats website is yet more fiction from Princess Toni’s dept. of eye-catching initiatives, this time invented statistics about the amount of food being ‘wasted’ by homeowners.

    Naturally, in an atempt to convince us of the need for ‘action’, ‘Global Warming’ is invoked, but the real reason is to soften us up, so that ZNL can whack in unopposed, massively increased charges for domestic waste collection – in other words, raising council tax still further or, if you prefer, charging us twice for the same ‘service’.

    A properly independent news organisation would either spike a story like this, or fisk it.

    The BBC just trots along, happy to play its own part in the thriving waste generation industry of “Green ” rubbish and doing the government’s dirty work for it.


  22. A Lurker says:

    Allan@Aberdeen wrote:
    “Seriously though, your name is the sort of item which nit-pickers like Reith would use to attck the integrity of the contributors to and opinions on this site.”

    Kinell Allan you don’t hide your prejudice do you? You think it is “nit picking” for someone to object to the use of the name “Little Black Sambo.” Personally speaking (and I’d actually guess for quite a lot of the posters on B-BBC) objecting to this would not be seen as nit picking but as a legitimate concern about the use of an offensive term.

    As to some of the uses of the word socialist on this thread I think folk should try Wikipedia to get a proper definition of the term and then you’d see why trying use terms such as “capitalist socialists” is just pure nonsense.

    I know it is easier for knee jerk reactionaries to fulminate agaisnt the great evil of “socialism” and throw the term around willy nilly – but is plain wrong.

    I think most of the people that you want to fulminate against would best be described as some of the following:

    socially liberal
    economically interventionist
    possibly authoritarian in some cases
    social democrats


  23. GCcooper says:

    Apologies – I sent my last one to the wrong thread.


  24. Martin Belam says:

    >> In my defence I’m also in between blogging TRYING to grapple with the finer points of Dutch spelling and grammer (I’m on a computer which is set up for Dutch language with no English spell-checker)……

    >> So if my posts are a little hard going then I’m sorry.

    Yeah, I know the feeling. The last six months I have been working on a computer using XP all in German with no English spell-check. Or understanding how to get an English one installed

    >> Jez I’m sounding like a Beeboid now……

    And there was I was being sympathetic up to that point 😉


  25. Martin Belam says:

    Re LBS name – people are free to choose their own names and that isn’t down to the B-BBC site, or reflect on other contributors in my view – but it is the kind of thing that just makes me ignore any comments written by them.


  26. IngSoc is Doublethink says:


    Can I honestly say but I detest the Beetles!!!

    I fully understand that they pioneered the 3 minute “pop song” and then developed the “concept “album (you can thank them for being the inspirations of some of the more excessive ELP and Jethro Tull numbers) but the sickly qualities of the “fab” four fills me with an underwhelming feeling of why bother?

    That he has gone on to be a pin up boy for every sixth form Marxist sort of defeats the idea of socialism as Lennon was one of the pampered elite (witness Amsterdam and Yoko)…..spoilt, uncaring, anti-social, and rich.

    Snap Kurt Cobain or Oasis.

    I personally like the more amusing rock gods like Lemmy, Lydon, Dickinson/Harris or if I am feeling a little more po-faced then Cave, Bowie, Curtis, The Macc Lads…..


  27. Archonix says:

    Martin: what if he’s black?


  28. Rueful Red says:

    Lennon was the middle-class one with the synthetic anger. The others just wanted to play music and chase girls.


  29. Bryan says:

    Martin: what if he’s black?

    Well, that certainly cut like a knife through all the PC nonsense that people were on about on this thread re pseudonyms. He probably is black.

    Martin Belam, you can put your nose in the air and ignore Little Black Sambo but you should rather be evaluating him through his comments.


  30. Martin Belam says:

    Archonix & Bryan – sorry – genuinely quite astonished that you can find fault with what I said.

    My points, to make it quite clear:

    – He/She is free to choose whatever name they want, whatever colour they are. I don’t object to that.

    – B-BBC is free to moderate the board and usernames as they see fit, and how they do that doesn’t reflect on any other commentator. I don’t object to that.

    – As a fellow visitor to B-BBC its entirely up to me which comments I read, and I’ll happily ignore what I like – whether it is because I don’t know anyting about the topic, am too lazy to read long posts with lots of quotes in them, or because I don’t like the commentators choice of name.


  31. Bryan says:

    Well, Martin, naturally it’s up to you what to read or ignore. It just seems a trifle judgemental on your part. What if LBS addresses a comment to you? Will you not respond?

    As an example, I don’t like the pseudonym ultraviolence. But I don’t presume to judge his character or motivation for using it without reference to his comments. And if I feel moved to respond to a comment of his, I’ll do so.

    John Reith has his nose pointing skyward frequently on this blog. It’s snobbish, and does him no credit.


  32. Martin Belam says:

    >> It just seems a trifle judgemental on your part

    I thought the whole point of the comments threads on B-BBC *was* to be judgemental – that’s why I generally enjoy it here 🙂


  33. Bryan says:

    I prefer to think of us as being judicious.


  34. IngSoc is doublethink says:

    Hmmm….but what is in a name.

    LBS is offensive-but if that is the viewpoint taken then it’s there to be challenged.

    If a neo-Nazi or other moon bats come here and spout nonsense then I expect that most right thinking people will question that point of view.

    Afterall isn’t that democracy?


  35. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    LBS’s comments don’t indicate a racist nutter, but it is the kind of thing that someone like Lurker or Reith would jump at – as we read.


  36. IngSoc is doublethink says:

    Sorry Allan,

    I should of made it clear-LBS’s name.


  37. John Reith says:

    Allan@Aberdeen | 15.03.07 – 7:02 pm and again at 16.03.07 – 5:42 pm

    Sorry to nit-pick but I have no objection to Little Black Sambo at all.

    As with much else that you allege – any ‘political correctness-run-mad’ qualities that you claim to detect in me are entirely in your own imagination.


  38. A Doctor says:

    Political correctness is mad.

    It means “correct by the standards of leftists/feminists”. For example, the type of people employed at the BBC.


  39. will says:

    Big, black Samba scored for Blackburn before 2 dubious decisions gave victory to West Ham.


  40. deegee says:

    When I was really, really small I too had a Black Sambo Doll (stuffed toy, if doll is too gender specific) who disappeared. My parents came up with the weak excuse he must have wandered off and would turn up later. He never did.

    Many, many years later my mother admitted she threw him away because he was too torn and dirty. The trauma that my mother was both kidnapper, murderer and did not believe in rehabilitation of the weak and poor remains to this day.

    I suppose he would be a collectors item today. Is it a sign of the approaching senility of B-BBC contributers that we even know who Little Black Sambo represented enough to be offended by the reference ❓


  41. GCcooper says:

    deegee writes:

    “Many, many years later my mother admitted she threw him away because he was too torn and dirty. The trauma that my mother was both kidnapper, murderer and did not believe in rehabilitation of the weak and poor be remains to this day.”

    When I was really, really small I too had a Black Sambo Doll (stuffed toy, if doll is too gender specific) who disappeared. My parents came up with the weak excuse he must have wandered off and would turn up later. He never did.

    Many, many years later my mother admitted she threw him away because he was too torn and dirty. The trauma that my mother was both kidnapper, murderer and did not believe in rehabilitation of the weak and poor remains to this day.”

    It is hard, from a Marxist perspective, to decide which is the more appropriate: that you be tried and found guilty (by a people’s revolutionary court, naturally) of being a slave-owning capitalist exploiter of black labour and sent to a re-education camp for 50 years (there is a good one in White City, I hear), or that your mother be tried as an imperialist racist lackey, who secretly abducted your black companion (no doubt with the help of the CIA – and I shouldn’t wonder if a secret rendition flight!) and she be sent to Pyongyang for rehabilitation.

    You then could stand as a Socialist Workers Party candidate for the London Assembly or, if you found the work a little challenging, perhaps you could get a job as an environmental science correspondent on the Independent ?

    There is, of course, another dimension. Little Black Sambo should immediately change his name to a suitably Arabic one of his choosing, so as to cast-off the shackles of white oppression. There are many training programmes for new careers as auto-demolition executives all around the Middle East and he would be assured of a glowing future on one. He might also be able to claim reparation from the British or US government.

    Yours in solidarity with the proletariat,

    Lucinda Engles (Ms!)


  42. Biodegradable says:

    I too had a Golliwog as a kid, but I also had a light coloured teddy so I suppose I was an early example of multiculturalism.

    I also had an enamel Robertson’s Golly badge


  43. GCcooper says:

    Biodegradable writes:

    “I too had a Golliwog as a kid…”

    That’s it, son, you’re nicked!


  44. Biodegradable says:

    That’s it, son, you’re nicked!
    GCcooper | 18.03.07 – 1:54 pm

    As my first witness I’d like to call my light-coloured teddy bear…