Did you watch last evening’s edition of the BBC’s “Question Time” programme? Wasn’t it a laugh? I mean IF you want to see BBC institutionalised bias in all its unfettered glory this is the must-see each week because it is always a challenge to work out whether it will be the panel or the audience which contains the greater number of foaming-at-the mouth lefties.

Last night, true to form, the panel was as unbalanced as ever. We had the Labour Minister and Conservative traitor Shaun “Where’s my butler” Woodward. (There’s nothing the BBC likes more than a Conservative defector) Then we had rabidly Europhile Conservative MP Ken Clarke, the man who seeks to increase the power of the State, who seeks to ensure the UK loses any vestigial national soveriegnty to the EU superstate, the man who fails to understand the war on Islamic terror. To add “more balance” we had comedian John Sessions who seems to have not yet outgrown his “Student Grant” set of leftist values. Then we had uberleftist Bonnie Greer, (a BIG contributor to BBC, natch!) who left me open-mouthed when she declared that whilst she did not seek to glamourise crime (Oh yes) nonetheless she was very unhappy about the way that New York had successfully tackled crime! Finally, we had the commentator Amanda Platell, who holds what I would define as mild conservative values. So, a panel of four leftists and one centre right conservative. Balanced The audience were the usual anti-war anti-US pro-Welfare rabble that so distinguishes this programme. There were a few sensible souls but they were outnumbered by the moonbat fraternity who seem drawn to Question Time like moths to a flame.

As for the content of the show, we suffered the BBC’s view of the US election being rammed down our throats. In essence the big debate is whether it will be Hillary or Obama. The panelists all focused on the Democrat side of things with scant attention on the Republican side. Even then, liberal Republican John McCain appears to be the only candidate for the GOP nomination IF one listened to the garbage being talked by the panellists. Mitt Romney did not merit any discussion at all. He is evidently persona non gratia with the Beeb. Comedian John Sessions expressed his loathing for Ronald Reagan, to audience approval. In essence, the BBC is once again rooting for a Democrat in the White House which is why even in a political debating programme like this, it’s all about one side, the side of which the BBC so approves .

I find David Dimbleby a likeable chap and have met him and feel he is a professional presenter to compare with the best of them. The problem however is that the BBC lacks the guts to allow a balanced panel. They permit the occassional right of liberal commentator like Melanie Philips or Peter Hitches to make the odd token appearance but then unbalance this with a gaggle of leftist opinion. Unlike the excellent political debating programmes on Fox News, the BBC will not balance a panel, instead it weights the panel outrageously. The audience is then brought in as a prop. It’s all a great pity since real debate would be more interesting. Do you share my view of Question Time?

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129 Responses to QUESTION TIME WATCH

  1. johnse18 says:

    I often watch QT but some weeks I just look at the names on the panel and canot bear to switch on. I simply feel that I know in advance the sort of things that will be said. Last night was one such.

    It’s funny isn’t it that whenever there’s controversial EU business going on (currently the .NOT.constitution being rammed and whipped through parliament) Clarke and Heseltine seem to get lots of BBC gigs. I wonder why?

    As far as the audience slection is concerned, there is an online application on the QT homepage which asks various questions about opinions, political alliegences etc so in theory they are supposed to ensure a balanced audience. Doesn’t seem to work in practice though.

    One of the questions is “Are you broadly pro-Europe or sceptical?” What a politically illiterate choice of words, confusing Europe, a continent, with the EU, one particular political project. Also equating “sceptical” (i.e. expressing rational doubts) with firm and considered opposition.


  2. koop says:

    Clarkson is a hero among the staff because he has ratings so he can say what he likes and says what a lot of us think.

    the fact that you can only think it
    says alot.


  3. Hugh says:

    koop makes a good point. If the BBC is so full of socially conservative and right-of-centre employees, why is Clarkson such a hero to you all? Surely he just reflects mainstream opinion in the BBC.


  4. Sarah-Jane says:

    Hugh I get koop’s point but not yours. I will try and answer both…

    The way the power in the BBC works is particularly corrupting. On-air talent can say and do what they like and Senior Managers worship them. Whereas the rest of us spend our time fighting the various programme prevention departments which are riddled with PC in order to keep the SMs safe.

    I’m exaggerrating, but it’s not far from the truth. People like their jobs and want to keep them, there is always someone else willing to do it.

    I followed the money and gave mine up. There is far more money to be made in the City. But I still do quite a bit of freelance work there, which means I am much less outspoken compared to before and anonymous on here.


  5. jeffD says:

    David Gregory….you stated that…”There are two political parties in America. The Republicans (like your Conservative Party) and the Democrats (like your Conservative Party)”………
    Like ‘our’ Conservative party.’Ours’ and not yours?
    Also noticed you avoided answering the question of bias on QT.


  6. Benny says:

    johnse18 | 01.02.08 – 3:32 pm |

    “One of the questions is “Are you broadly pro-Europe or sceptical?” What a politically illiterate choice of words, confusing Europe, a continent, with the EU, one particular political project. Also equating “sceptical” (i.e. expressing rational doubts) with firm and considered opposition.”

    The BBC deliberately confuse the difference between the political Europe (the EU) and the geographical Europe. They want people to think that the political EU is the same as the geographical Europe and therefore inevitable and unstoppable. Notice how they also try to redefine Europe as including Turkey, as seen in Micheal Palin’s “New Europe” a few months ago, in order to fit in with the EU’s plans for expansion.


  7. Hugh says:

    My point is not much different than Koop’s. As I’ve understood you, you have on numerous occasions rejected suggestions that a left of centre viewpoint prevails among BBC staff or implied this isn’t true. It seems odd therefore that your programming departments have become “riddled with PC”, a generally left-wing trait, and that those holding a majority opinion feel the need to consistently bite their tongues. To be blunt, I don’t believe it.
    You can of course still argue that, despite being packed to the rafters with lefty liberals, the BBC almost always employs staff professional enough to put aside their personal politics and produce balanced, impartial reporting. I don’t believe that either, personally, but I can at least accept that some genuinely do.


  8. LogicalSC says:

    “What’s his current approval ratng?
    Roland Thompson-Gunner | 01.02.08 – 1:31 pm | # ”

    Of course you realize his approval rating was about 29% according to the liberal media here just before the the 2004 elections, as they were pre-celebrating the Kerry presidency.

    That was before more than 60 million people turned out to vote for him. More people than have every voted for a president in history.

    Bush is not a conservative and has loss some support among conservative Republicans because he pushed a couple of liberal positions on illegal immigration. He has lost no support from most Americans in the areas which would shock most leftist at the BBC, the war on terror, economics and protecting America.


  9. Sarah-Jane says:

    “It seems odd therefore that your programming departments have become “riddled with PC”, ”

    I wrote programme prevention departments Hugh – big difference.

    Society is riddled with PC – every big corp I’ve worked for has far too much H&S, diversity, EU and HR bollocks for anyone’s real good.


  10. Hugh says:

    Do your programme prevention departments recruit in a different manner from a different pool, then? And how has the BBC – with no active policy in place to do so – managed to end up with a majority in other departments that are socially conservative and right-wing while still recruiting from the Guardian (left-wing readership, reflective of a tendency for media professionals to be so) to work in London and other major cities (which don’t tend to vote Conservative)? It seems very surprising.


  11. Sarah-Jane says:

    And SJ recently defined someone as ‘the lovechild of Ian Paisley and Melanie Phillips.’

    pedant | 01.02.08 – 10:02 am | #

    You make that sound like it is a bad thing 😉


  12. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    jeffD: Sorry, it was a direct quote from a Beyond The Fringe sketch. Thought I made that clear.
    Sorry, what was your QT question? My direct association with the show being I’ve walked past the studio when it was being recorded. But I’ll try to answer.


  13. Sarah-Jane says:

    Hugh – you are exagerrating things I have said in the past but fair enough.

    I don’t like the politics of the Guardian – but I buy it on a Monday because that is where a lot of media jobs are advertised, plus Matt Wells has good gossip. It’s really not that difficult to comprehend is it?

    People who don’t like PC don’t work in PC departments. This will be as true of Unilever, Goldman Sachs, IBM as it is of the BBC. There are people who do the job of making things or money and there are those who administer.

    I will admit there probably are more lefties at the Beeb compared to eg a merchant bank but it is nothing like the way it is characterised on this blog.

    In any case you seem to understand that people are able to put aside their personal opinions when making programmes.


  14. Hugh says:

    Fair enough – I think we’ll agree to differ a bit. I am sorry to have been boorish.


  15. NotaSheep says:

    I watch QT about 4 times a year, the bias is so obvious that it seems pointless to watch an advert for Labour and political correctness..


  16. gordon-bennett says:

    Once the audience has been selected for a given QT programme then the breakdown of their statistics should be published so that we can all see how the criteria are evaluated and come to our own conclusions.

    It would be interesting to see if the audience is chosen differently according to who is on the panel.

    Of course, if the analysis would prove embarrassing the programme makers could always adopt the Blue Peter Competition tactics and publish false figures.


  17. yoy says:

    David Gregory ”That you won’t see a Democrat candidate (on Fox) because they’re all boycotting the channel after it made up stories about the childhood of Obama.

    Sorry but that is BS of the highest order.
    They’re not on it because they don’t have to go on it
    There are plenty of other US TV stations whose interviewing techniques make Andrew ‘how great exactly are you Gordon’ Marr appear like Roger Cook, so they appear on those instead.

    The fact that they might be shown up for the charlatans they are keeps Obama and Clinton etc off Fox

    Nice try though David


  18. Martin says:

    Actually Democrats DO appear on fox News. Where does this idea they don’t come from?

    Hillary Clinton has been on with Chris Wallace at least twice in recent times, Obama spoke to Bill O’Reilly and has said he will come in and do a full interview with him.,2933,297746,00.html

    The only Democrat that won’t appear is john Edwards and no one gives a F**k about him anyway.

    This is a myth put around by the BBC in particular that Fox News is somehow a right wing news organisation.

    I don’t see the BBC commenting that CNN or CBS is left wing (which many people say it is) nor do I see the BBC ever admitting that is it a left wing news organisation.

    Some time back a prick in my local pub was gobbig off about Fox News about the “Murdoch empire” etc etc.

    So I asked him to name one Fox news show or one presenter. He couldn’t and in the end he admitted he’d never seen Fox News.

    So where did that view come from? The BBC and the leftie media.

    The other question is why in the USA is it that ONLY right of centre talkshows and stations survive? Air America had lots of money pumped into it, but failed. It just shows how the BBC would go if it has to fund itself.

    I like Fox News. Yes it’s pro the USA but that’s how America is if you’ve ever been there. There is nothing wrong in believing in your Country, shame the rubbish at the BBC don’t think the same about the people that pay their wages.

    They always have a liberal and conservative view and liberals get a far better time off Fox than Conservatives do over here from the BBC. FACT.

    Fox also has some very cute female presenters 🙂 (Sexist but true)


  19. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    ,,,They always have a liberal and conservative view and liberals get a far better time off Fox than Conservatives do over here from the BBC….Martin | 01.02.08 – 8:03 pm | #

    Spot on Martin.

    The Hannity & Colmes show was a model for even handed political TV. Two journalists from openly right and left persuasions taking turns to interview the same people.

    On the beeb we get four left wingers agreeing with each other while pretending to be politically neutral.

    I think Murdoch tried to model Sky on Fox when he had people like Tebbit and Littlejohn on regularly – but basically it’s hard to find right leaning journalists in the UK because most of them were trained by the BBC juggernaut.

    Even Adam Boulton is deeply enmeshed in the New Labour establishment.


  20. Mark says:

    How much of this episode of Question Time did the BBC allow to discuss the EU? How much was about American democracy? The BBC don’t want us to look too closely at what is important for all British people. look over there • don’t look here… this sort of EU by the back door has been going on for years now, the BBC are complicit in the fact they are Pro-EU biased and would rather we don’t discuss it too much. There are only 2 questions on the Question Time which directly ask about your feelings in a specific area no surprise one is “Are you pro Europe or sceptical?”.


  21. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    yoy: Really I thought it was because Fox lied and said Obama attended a madrassa that all the Democrat Candidates decided to boycott Fox.

    Clearly though I was wrong about Hilary and she has been in. She refused to take part in the Fox debate though, didn’t she? As did all the Democrat candidates.

    Martin: “Obama spoke to Bill O’Reilly and has said he will come in and do a full interview with him.” Caution! you are entering a no spin zone! C’mon, Martin. Pappa Bear had to go and stalk and ambush Obama to get a word with him! And it didn’t go very well

    Obama isn’t setting foot inside a Fox studio any time soon.

    I like Fox, but as I said it does seem a bit lost at the moment.

    I realise I’m not going to get away as a “biased” BBC employee saying this, but really guys, can you not see just how Fox might be a bit slanted to the right? Just a tad?


  22. Martin says:

    Yes. Sly News is very different from Fox (although the idiots at the BBC and prats like Galloway won’t agree)

    Fox News is based around a series of shows fronted by “Commentators” with rolling news sort put in as needed.

    Sky News is basically a rolling news service. Sky in my view have never really been able to make the 1 hour commentator show work. They tried it with Littlejohn and as much as I like reading Littlejohn’s articles (they can be VERY humerous and cutting at times) he’s not a TV presenter in my view.

    Sky have tried it with the 1/2 show format, such as Jeff Randal on a Monday and the Sky Internet show.

    But I like the Fox style, I do like Hannity and Colmes. I also like Fox Newswatch where a load of talking heads (from the right and left) discuss the media and the reporting of stories for that week.

    Why Sky can’t get that sort of thing to work I don’t know.

    When Bill O’Reilly does a political piece he always gets two people on from both sides, unlike the BBC who will have two people on from the left.

    Even if someone refuses to come on Fox, they will usually find someone to come on and make a defence of that position, not perfect but better than the BBC that simply ignores the opposite point of view (such as the war in Iraq or climate change)

    The fact that the left leaning media in the UK and USA attacks Fox just shows how frightened they are of it.

    As you say if someone goes on Hannity and Colmes they get a rough old ride from one side or the other, not like the cozy little chat that McBean does with “Andy” Marr.


  23. Martin says:

    David Gregory: Yet again the BBC spin machine roars into life.

    A couple of Fox News presenters originally commented on a right wing report that claimed Obama was educated for part of his life in a Madrassa. I think the report went out on their breakfast show and the presenters started talking aobut what if Obama “was” a muslim.

    The report was later corrected. It was a poor piece of journalism.

    I can think of many occasions when the BBC reproted a story that later turned out to be wrong. Anyone remember the BBC reporting on the story of the British soldiers that were supposed have been beating up Iraqi’s in the back of a lorry? You know the ones that cost that prat Piers morgan (who now works for the BBC of course) his job?

    I find it interesting that the BBC were quick to report this, but the BBC have failed to mention the shit digging that the Clintons have been doing on Obama themselves.

    If I were Obama I’d be more frightened of the comments that the Clintons threw at me (like the whole race thing) than what a small cable News channel put out.

    As for the Bill O’Reilly thing, that was an utter fuss over nothing, as a news organisation they were entitled to photograph the Senator.

    Yet again I see you are quick to try to throw “right wing bias” at Fox, a news provider I don’t have to pay for under fear of imprisonment by the way yet you continually deny the clear left wing bias at the BBC.

    Even if Fox News is right wing, so what?

    The difference is with you lot at the BBC is that “I” am forced to pay £140 a year to you muppets. So you should be even handed, which you are not.


  24. Joe (The Netherlands) says:

    I realise I’m not going to get away as a “biased” BBC employee saying this, but really guys, can you not see just how Fox might be a bit slanted to the right? Just a tad?
    David Gregory (BBC) | 01.02.08 – 10:43 pm

    David you are absolutly correct, Fox is clearly to the right in how it reports news, the BBC is clearly to the left in how it reports news.

    I am fully aware of this and try and watch different news stations to try and get some ‘balance’, Question Time seems to me to usually find the correct balance in both it’s panellists and the questions asked, however, like any current affair programme it sometimes gets things wrong.

    The BBC in general seems to find the middle ground, it only fails when it is reporting on Israel and the Middle East, on this emotive area it seems to bias against the Israelis.


  25. tom h says:

    The most interesting moment in the program came when Greer casually referred to a fellow black woman as a ‘sister’: I wonder would a white panelist dare to indulge in this kind of racial exclusivity and what the punishment would be?

    The BBC is a bit hamstrung in its choice of panelists in that it almost always invites one from each of the main political parties, which automatically these days means three leftists. Of course, members of the treasonous Respect party such as Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway and various other terrorist sympathizers are welcome, but any correspondingly rightwing views are beyond the pale for the BBC. So I suppose that leaves Peter and Melanie ….


  26. Mr Anon says:

    Joe from Nederlands, google Balen Report


  27. amimissingsomething says:

    Sarah-Jane | 01.02.08 – 3:15 pm |

    thank you, sj, for pointing out (why there must be?) specific reasons for some bbc-ers read the sun and the mail

    now, can you please enlighten me further with what (specifically?) motivates them to read the guardian, apparently in numbers that bear no relation to the popularity of said newspaper amongst the population at large?

    many thanks


  28. WoAD (UK) says:

    Because the Guardian is the Newspaper of the Civil Service and the Civil Service is the Hitler of the Now.


  29. The People's Front of Judea says:

    Actually, Sarah Jane makes a good point (for once):-

    “Whereas the rest of us spend our time fighting the various programme prevention departments which are riddled with PC in order to keep the SMs safe.”

    Who once referred to the BBC as an inverted pyramid? All the talent on the bottom and all the dossers on the top.

    And the problem is the BBC is absolutely RIDDLED with senior management. Nepotistic and self-serving, they are attracted to the river of easy cash coarsing through Broadcasting House like dogs to vomit. And it truly is these people that are making the BBC what it is. As Sarah Jane points out, political correctness is enforced so willingly by these people purely so they can keep their jobs.

    The BBC is a mirror image of our modern police force. Controlled by people who care about nothing that happens in society other than their own over sized incomes, and ultimately it’s the greed of these Oxford and Cambridge leeches that will ultimately bring this country to it’s knees. If they haven’t already.

    The only thing I disagree with Sarah Jane is the suggestion that there are plenty of renegades on the staff fighting against the P.C enforcers. I’d say most of the BBC staff are just like their lazy incompetent Senior Manager peers. Happy to toe the BBC P.C agenda to protect their jobs, and who knows, maybe one day they’ll get to sit behind a big desk on the top floor dishing out the orders.


  30. Bryan says:

    The BBC in general seems to find the middle ground, it only fails when it is reporting on Israel and the Middle East, on this emotive area it seems to bias against the Israelis.
    Joe (The Netherlands) | 01.02.08 – 11:12 pm

    It also fails, and fails miserably, because of its bias against:

    *UN critics
    *Gobal warming sceptics
    *Death penalty advocates
    *EU sceptics
    *Critics of Islam
    *Critics of immigration policy
    *Queen and country

    (And that’s just for starters.)


  31. Fran says:

    David asked

    “Do you share my view of Question Time? ”


    David Gregory asked whether another commenter might agree that Fox News was slanted just a tad towards the Right wing of politics.

    My answer (again) would be “Yes. So what?” Fox News (unlike the BBC) is not funded by a compulsory levy on everyone who wants to watch TV – and therefore has no financial obligation to viewers to maintain a balanced political stance. Neither has it a moral obligation – it hasn’t ever denied it’s right wing stance, therefore it’s a case of caveat emptor for viewers. Unlike the BBC, however, Fox makes a CONSCIOUS effort to have balanced debates and interviews on current affairs to compensate for its default stance – Hannity and Colmes, for example. Fox therefore highlights aspects and perspectives on current events and provides real debate for views on those events – qualities which are sadly lacking on the BBC.

    Why? The reason is that the BBC also has a default pretty-far-left editorial position on the majority of world issues – as listed by Bryan above. This position is glaringly obvious to those of us who do not share it, but unlike Fox, the BBC is so self-referential and their left wing bias so reflexive that its executives are entirely unable to discern their imbalance, or acknowledge their responsibility to take unwelcome criticism seriously.

    For that reason, David G, I feel that you should take a step or two back before making smug quips about a news organisation the like of which we could sorely use on this side of the pond.


  32. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Martin: And here’s the clip!

    So this fake story went from Insight, to Fox to talk radio and yet there was nothing to it. It was a lie. That’s why Obama won’t appear on Fox.
    What’s bizarre is that you call me the “BBC Spin Machine”! As I said I like Fox and watch it a lot. But that doesn’t stop me discussing it’s problems. But it’s just me.
    Commentator lead news has clearly revolutionised the market in America and it makes for great programming. But it also leads to a point like this where if the political wind appears to change, suddenly a vibrant station like Fox just doesn’t seem quite so relevant any more.
    The reason Littlejohn struggled on Sky is that he had to be balanced because that’s the law.


  33. Martin says:

    David Gregory wrong again. I didn’t defend the story as reported by Fox, however you seem to defend the poor reporting of the BBC time after time.

    You don’t know that Obama won’t appear on Fox News in the future.

    You are also wrong about Littlejohn (again)

    He used to try to be a bit like Bill O’Reilly in that he’d start his show with his own “Talking points” but just like O’Reilly he’d have people on to argue both sides of the point.

    The reason Littlejohn failed in My opinion was that he’s not a good TV presenter.

    And for you as a BBC employee to throw around accusations of bias really is the biscuit.

    Get real and stop your whining.


  34. Martin says:

    Tom h: Well Jon Gaunt has been apporached a couple of times to appear on QT but for some reason they’ve never actually given him a go (although he’s been on Newsnight a few times)

    I can’t stand the man personally, but Richard Littlejohn has been on occasionally, but not often enough.

    There are far too many of the “usual suspects” on QT. Tony Benn (the man who flew bombers in WW2 but somehow never managed to drop a bomb on anyone – thank god he wasn’t in the Dam Busters then) Galloway et al.

    Oh and the usual drug taking “pop star” who has no intelligent position on anything.

    Very good BBC.


  35. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Martin: I’m wrong about Obama because I’m not psychic?
    You got me there!


  36. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    Good post at Harry’s Place (IMHO the only useful leftie blog) about BBC Question Time regular Salma Yaqoob – the Islamic world’s answer to Nick Griffin (who we won’t ever see on QT of course).

    Salma Yaqoob: Time to Apologise
    Posted by david t

    Most readers will be familar with Salma Yaqoob: a Birmingham councillor for the far right Jamaat/Respect Renewal party.

    Salma Yaqoob has been involved in extreme islamist politics for a number of years. She cut her teeth on a campaign to defend relatives of Abu Hamza, who had been arrested in Yemen where they were engaged in jihadism. She also wrote for Inayat Bunglawala’s “Trends” magazine, and penned a fantasy vision of Great Britain as an Islamic Republic, with Salman Rushdie fleeing for his life.
    Salma Yaqoob is the spokeswoman for the lunatic Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, Dr “Dancing Cows” Naseem, the conspiracy theorist and advocate of capital punishment for homosexuality, who is the largest single funder of RESPECT. Her own press officer is a RESPECT activist called Adam Yosef, who has been in trouble for his outspoken homophobic abuse of Peter Tatchell.

    Notoriously, she described the 7/7 London Bombings as “reprisal attacks” against American aggression.

    Salma Yaqoob’s entire political career has been devoted to stirring up sectarian hatred.

    A case in point is Yaqoob’s response to the anti-terror raids in Birmingham, one year ago. You’ll remember that, at the time, it was reported that the raids were in connection with a plot to kidnap a British soldier, cut his head off, and then place the video on the internet.

    A responsible politician would have taken the opportuntity to condemn terrorism, and call for support for the police.

    A sectarian troublemaker would say something like this:

    Yesterday Councillor Salma Yaqoob (Respect Sparkbrook) said speculation over an Iraq-style kidnap and execution only served to heighten tensions between the police and Muslim community.

    Ms Yaqoob said: “The reality is that people are asking why are we being picked on, why are we being persecuted, because that’s what it feels like when all they want to do is get on with their day-to-day lives.

    The reason people are so fed up and cynical of the whole process is because the raids are so high profile. The area was full of reporters and television crews yesterday, but they will disappear quickly and when charges are dropped they’ll be nowhere to be seen.

    “That said I think there would be a huge public outcry if these latest raids fail to turn up anything that results in a successful prosecution”

    Well, the raids have today resulted in a guilty plea and a conviction, for a really appalling crime:

    A 37-year-old Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to plotting to kidnap and kill a British soldier.

    Parviz Khan, an unemployed charity worker, intended to seize and behead the unnamed Muslim serviceman “like a pig”, Leicester Crown Court was told.

    Three other men, Basiru Gassama, 30, Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, have admitted other offences connected with Khan’s plot.

    The jury was told how Khan, of Alum Rock, intended to kidnap the soldier while on a night out, behead him in a lock-up garage and then release footage of the killing on the internet.

    Nigel Rumfitt QC, prosecuting Mr Mahmood and Mr Iqbal, who both deny two offences relating to the plot, told the court that Khan had planned to seize the serviceman in Birmingham’s Broad Street entertainment quarter.

    “He would be taken to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off like a pig,” he said.

    “This atrocity would be filmed… and the film released to cause panic and fear within the British armed forces and the wider public.”

    Khan, who also admits intending to supply equipment to terrorists on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, pleaded guilty to the plot earlier this month…”

    Salma Yaqoob is invited to write op-eds for the Guardian. She is a favourite of the BBC, and is repeatedly invited on programmes like Question Time, where she is presented as a serious politician and a spokewoman for Britain’s muslims. In reality, she is a marginal politician, for a tiny party, whose interventions in local and national politics have been poisonous.

    Let us hope that we hear a lot less of Salma Yaqoob in the future.


  37. The Fat Contractor says:

    Benny | 01.02.08 – 4:21 pm |
    Notice how they also try to redefine Europe as including Turkey, as seen in Micheal Palin’s “New Europe” a few months ago, in order to fit in with the EU’s plans for expansion.

    Erm, Turkey is in Europe (geographically speaking) and has been since ancient times …


  38. The Fat Contractor says:

    Hugh | 01.02.08 – 4:24 pm | & others

    I think Sarah-Jane may well be telling the truth about peolple keeping quiet over the way the BBC is run.

    IME if you are unfortunate to work with a cabal of leftists then you have to keep your mouth firmly shut otherwise you become the target of their hate. The one thing the left cannot abide is opposition and anyone who dares nay-say will be hounded out of their job. It’s not therefore suprising that lowly BBC employees keep their political opinions to themselves and spout PC sh*te. They have to to keep their kiddies fed …


  39. Martin says:

    David Gregory: More nonsense. Your “original claim” was that Democrats were boycotting Fox News, not just Obama. Can you remember? Oh and Hillary clinton is on Fox News again this Sunday.

    You then (in your usual BBC way) twisted your own story to conentrate on Obama only.

    In the short conversation with Bill O’Reilly Obama said he would come into the studio to talk to Bill, are you saying Obama lied?

    You then focussed on the Fox Report about Obama being a Muslim, yes it was a poor piece of journalism. however, Fox News is not alone there is it David? I noticed you ignored my comments about the BBC reporting of the lies spouted by Piers morgan and the Daily Mirror over the British soldiers abuse claim.

    Oh and what about the lies spun by the likes of CBS? I remember the BBC slavering at the lips when this “faked” letter came out.

    Funny that it’s OK to make false allegations about George Bush but not Obama? or is it OK for leftie News Organisation (like CBS) to lie?

    Answer please?


  40. The Fat Contractor says:

    Martin | 02.02.08 – 11:09 am |
    Tony Benn (the man who flew bombers in WW2 but somehow never managed to drop a bomb on anyone – thank god he wasn’t in the Dam Busters then) Galloway et al.

    IWUTIT he was a RAF pilot but then on one QT he said that he fought in the ‘great war against fascism’ and that he served in Rhodesia. It always struck me as somewhat disengenous of him as there can’t have been that many Jerries in southern/central Africa during WW2 …


  41. George R says:

    I am reminded of Martin Amis’s comments after appearing on BBC ‘Question Time’ over a year ago:

    “We are drowsily accustomed, by now, to the fetishisation of ‘balance’, the groundrule of ‘moral equivalence’ in all conflicts between East and West, the 100-per-cent and 360 -degree inability to pass judgment on any ethnicity other than our own (except in the case of Israel). And yet the handclappers of ‘Question Time’ had moved beyond the old formula of pious paralysis. This was not equivalence; this was hemisperical abjection. Accordingly, given the choice between George Bush and Osama bin Laden, the liberal relativist, it seems, is obliged to plump for the Saudi, thus becoming the appeaser of an armed doctrine with the following tenets: it is racist, misogynist, homophobic, totalitarian, inquisitional, imperialist and genocidal.”

    (Martin Amis, ‘9/11 and the Cult of Death’ The Times, 11 Sept. 2007; this article is no longer available online there, but for update of Amis’s views, see his new book of essays, ‘The Second Plane’.)


  42. Cockney says:

    “Erm, Turkey is in Europe (geographically speaking) and has been since ancient times …”

    Well a bit of it is although arguably most of the land mass is in Asia, however they play in the European zone in World Cup qualifiers and in the Euro Championships so that’s good enough for me.

    Back to QT I think this post is b*llocks.

    A left wing Tory (although to the right of Dave Cameron on many issues).
    A right wing Labour (arguably an opportunist Tory in many respects).
    A left winger
    A right winger
    A token d*ckhead

    Whilst the token d*ckhead probably sways the numerical balance 3 to 2 left of the imaginary central Tory/Labour line, you could also say that you have an extremely eloquent Tory heavyweight against a wholly inadequate Labour irrelevence. Or you could say that you have three people with essentially Tory political background, and two pillocks with no political background. If you start with some sort of Mel Phillips wet dream ticklist and decide anyone not 100% in line is ‘left wing’ then you’re always going to find imbalance but there isn’t one here.

    Re: the audience leftys for some reason always seem to turn out to sit in an audience (probably no proper job to go to) whereas rightys always seem to be big on writing to people (HYS albeit an amusing antithesis of the Beeb’s liberal hue is definitely more right wing than the country as a whole whilst the Ceefax letters page is a retro classic full of rampant Thatcherism circa 1985). Although if the Beeb actively seek a ‘balanced’ audience through profiling and end up with that then there’s no hope for them…


  43. Aussie Bystander says:


    “These are all issues discussed on the BBC and elsewhere, none of which have anything to do with republicanism in the British sense of the term. Nor in France, incidentally. I don’t know about Germany.”

    Then there’s a deep problem with your understanding of republicanism, not with republicanism itself.

    “And if we were to use your understanding of the term, I am pretty sure David, and I, would say, “Bring ’em on”. I would dearly love to see greater representation for those arguing for smaller government, less state interference and greater accountability in government. It just so happens that in the UK these positions are not in any way linked to the Crown’s role in our constitution.”

    Complete rubbish. The Crown in Parliament is EXACTLY why the UK has a near absolute state with no possibility of rolling back that state of affairs. It is for those reasons that the American colonists rebelled.

    The Framers of the US Constitution put in clear amendments to prevent Congress becoming a new version of the British Parliamentary absolute state.


  44. David S says:

    Martin –
    Good points about Fox. I was also a bit puzzled by David Gregory’s comments; But it does indicate something about the BBC. Whether it be politics, climate change, etc. – there’s a certain, “everyone knows…” mentality at the BBC, which undermines their reporting and their ability to provide insightful analysis. They just don’t question received wisdom from the Left of the isle. For someone who spends most of their life in the BBC, it is accepted that Fox must be radically partisan; that of course the Dems are boycotting because they ‘lied’ about Obama. Of course, they don’t bother to check the veracity of these truths. As was mentioned, Clinton has been interviewed on Fox, as has Obama – both after the Madrassa story last January. Further, Obama, Edwards and Clinton boycotted two debates planned by Fox – one was co-sponsored by Fox and the Nevada Democratic Party, the second was co-sponsored by the Black Caucus. The decision not to participate was not – as David asserts – some sort of impromptu boycott prompted by the Madrassa story, but rather a response to a letter writing campaign by the Move On group . American politics is so much more nuanced than the picture painted by the BBC.

    As for the story of Obama’s Muslim roots, one of Clinton’s campaign people was quoted as saying “it’s strange that we can’t even utter Obama’s middle name.” Indeed, some Democrats here in the US believe the Republicans want Obama to win the candidacy. Then we’ll hear a lot more about Barack Hussein Obama, coupled with discussion of whether Barack would be considered a Muslim under Sharia, as his Grandfather (and presumably his father) was.


  45. David S says:

    Obama in a brief interview by a Fox correspondent after the State of the Union address (January 29th, 2008): (scroll down)

    Seems the boycott is over, David?


  46. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “Erm, Turkey is in Europe (geographically speaking) and has been since ancient times …”



  47. Hugh says:

    Aussie Bystander: “Then there’s a deep problem with your understanding of republicanism, not with republicanism itself. ”

    Perhaps, but it’s an understanding of the term shared with every UK political commentator and layman I’ve ever come across. There are many terms that have evolved in meaning over the last 200-odd years, and I’d suggest Republicanism is one. Mention the term in relation to British – or even American – politics in any setting in the UK and I promise you a discussion the US founding fathers will not be what follows. The reality in the UK is that the Government holds the power; the Crown’s role is symbolic. When Lizzie turns round and refuses to sign an Act of Parliament, I’ll change my mind.

    And discussions on limiting the power of the executive in the UK are simply not framed in terms of republicanism. If you want to see that this is true, look at Gordon toying with the idea of giving Parliament a vote on going to war – previously the prerogative of the government. Constitutionally, that’s the Royal prerogative, so in theory they are talking about limiting the power of the Crown. In practice, though, those discussions have not been dominated by a discussion of the merits of republicanism, because everyone understands we are talking about limiting the power of executive.


  48. Hugh says:

    Incidentally, the fact we’re having a discussion about ensuring parliament has a vote before going to war also suggests that the possibility of rolling back the power of the executive is not quite so remote as you make out.


  49. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “Then there’s a deep problem with your understanding of republicanism, not with republicanism itself”

    Or perhaps with your understanding of how the term is used in this country? Lack of sensitivity to the nuances of terminology in a country you have been visiting for … how long exactly?

    Republicanism is understood in a particular way over here. We don’t quarrel with the way you define it in Oz, or how it’s defined in America. Isn’t it just a wee bit arrogant to tell us how we should define it for the purpose of political discourse in the UK, and that we ‘don’t understand it’ if we dare define it differently?


  50. The Fat Contractor says:

    Cockney | 02.02.08 – 2:36 pm |
    You forgot the Eurovision Song Contest – a much greater indicator IYAM!