Making Allowances

Often you have to make allowances for things you see or hear, especially when the topic is you-know-what. For example, when you suspect that English isn’t someone’s first language, or in certain cases, that human isn’t their first state of being.

When evaluating their choice of Richard Ingrams as guest editor of today’s Today, you have to take into consideration that the BBC is institutionally antisemitic, but even after making such allowances, his particular edition merits a thumbs down.
Even if we were all obsessed with proving James Hanratty’s innocence, the handling of this item, by any standards, was shoddy.
The DNA evidence was flawed because it was kept in a folder with hairs, fluff, toenail clippings and other detritus?
What sort of a folder was this? Cardboard? Even in the days of Dixon of Dock Green it seems odd that evidence collected with surgical gloves and white suits would then be shoved into a hairy old folder and shaken up. Later, someone called it a container. What sort of container?
But most of all, we heard a sound clip in which the rape victim swore the rapist was Hanratty. Why did no-one subsequently refer to that?

Whenever I hear the name Richard (I have developed a habit, when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government, to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it) Ingrams I automatically assume it’s crap. In fact I have developed a habit, when confronted by the voice of Richard Ingrams, of finding it pompous, high-pitched and repressed. The poor chap is stuck in the Britain of schoolboys with short trousers.

Talking of voices, another peculiar item that avoided the nub in the way they often do on Today, was the discussion about the pitch and tone of voices we find annoying, which avoided analysing the real reason, which is of course the delivery and idiosyncratic pronunciation as per Robert Peston and Neil Nunes. So never mind that Peston draws out random words like a bleating lamb, and pronounces others with a strange explosive stutter, it’s merely the pitch we find unattractive.
So Sarah Montague and Corrie Corfield get letters telling them to just shut up? Oh hilarity, they frame them and put them in the bog.

And another thing. The man who saw ghosts. He himself was obviously the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Ingrams didn’t spot it because he was too busy going hahahahahahah in an annoying high pitched manner.
Then we had that great orator George Galloway, who has made so many wonderful speeches, who’s to say which was his finest? Could it have been the one he made to the indefatigable Sadaam, or when presenting his generous cash donation to Ismail Haniyeh, or at a rally where he said something like “If anyone dares to touch a hair on the head of a Moslem burka I’ll personally ….something or other blah blah.”

You have to make allowances for the BBC. What variety of racist other than a hate-filled antisemite would they deem a worthy guest editor?

Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Making Allowances

  1. Umbongo says:

    On a tangential note the entitlement and “f*** off, I’m well-connected” genes are strong in the Ingrams clan.  Richard’s late brother, Leonard, moved into a large house in Garsington and a few years later started an opera festival there against the wishes and to the vast inconvenience of his neighbours and the rest of the village.  Much like the reluctance of local councils to confront illegal traveller sites, the local council for the Garsington area concluded that the opera did not constitute a noise nuisance.


  2. deegee says:

    And finally, an aspiring organist himself, Richard visited the Royal Festival Hall to have a go on their organ. Well it is the BBC.


  3. Natsman says:

    Neil Nunes?  Is he the geezer that’s turned BBC linking into Radio Bong Jamaica?  Awful.  When I first heard him, I nearly swallowed my teeth.  Daren’t complain, though, ‘cos it’s “racist”.

    And as for Peston, I thought he was a robot…


  4. Millie Tant says:

    I didn’t know his name either. When I first heard him I thought What the heck has happened to the radio? Because I hear him very rarely, with long intervals between (as I don’t listen very regularly to Radio 4 any more) on the occasions I do hear him now, I still get the same sense of shock and dislocation. His voice is so extreme and the delivery is strained and unnatural. It jars. Just because the Beeboid Corporation wants to make some sort of point doesn’t mean that it is right.


  5. David vance says:


    Good post.I also heard the Ingrams episode. Appalling – did you catch the Hitler admiration from one of his special guests? 


  6. Allen says:

    What was wrong with the section on Hanratty in the Today Programme edited by Richard Ingrams is only one side was presented, with no one to challenge the claims made. All the assertions made about the possible contamination of the DNA samples were carefully examined and rejected by the 2002 Court of Appeal. Statements about how the samples were kept, and about alleged witnesses supporting Hanratty’s alibi, were allowed to pass without challenge, although these too were rejected on careful examination of the evidence.

    An excellent book by Leonard Miller, *Shadows of Deadman’s Hill: A New Analysis of the A6 Murder*, published in 2001 before the results of the DNA tests were known, undercut the main claims made for Hanratty’s innocence, especially the supposed evidence that he was in Rhyl at the time of the murder. (This was a second alibi put forward by Hanratty, only told to his legal representative about a week after the trial had begun after he had been advised that his first alibi would not withstand prosecution challenge. This meant that the prosecution had no opportunity to investigate the new alibi until after the defence team had done so in order to find supposed witnesses. If one want to look for contamination of evidence, there’s plenty to be found in this circumstance.)

    Miller’s investigation demonstrates that the notion that the only serious evidence for Hanratty’s guilt was the DNA evidence, as we were led to believe by Ingrams, is quite simply false.

    Incidentally, it is important to also be aware that eye witness evidence such as that of Valerie Storie, raped and then paralysed by a bullet fired by the murderer of Michael Gregsten, is not reliable.


    • sue says:

      You obviously know a lot about this case, and of course my point was that the item on Hanratty was merely a platform for one of Ingrams’s obsessions, dealt with in the incomplete and superficial way that Today specialises in. They have the knack of frustrating anyone who is actually interested in any given subject and confusing anyone who isn’t.


    • 1327 says:

      I presume Ingrams is just carrying on the work of his old mate the now dead Paul Foot who campaigned for Hanratty. I read a few articles by Foot on this subject and he always seemed to make Hanratty out as some kind of saint fitted up by an evil establishment. I could never work out of Foot knowingly lied about Hanrattys character to make his cause seem better or if he managed to delude himself.

      Sadly Hanratty reminds me of several characters I have come across in my adult life. An impulsive criminal with a low IQ who is unable to tell the truth even when his life depends on it. Probably paid to carry out a simple beating Hanratty couldn’t but help himself turn into a murder and rape. An evil little sh*t he got what he deserved.


  7. Millie Tant says:

    I didn’t hear the Today programme but having listened to the clip on here, was interested to hear about the Hanratty case being brought up again and will read further about it if it does go to another appeal.  I read a book about it years ago but had forgotten about it. 
    Having looked at the running order I saw several things of interest to me and listened to a couple of other clips. Was surprised to hear the Webb Monster Obama Worshipper question whether The One was as good an orator as they, i.e. he and his fellow worshippers, said. I thought I was the only person in the world who found him an awful speaker with flat delivery and a rough voice, as I said on this blog. Maybe the Monster reads it! Shouting a lot and sounding rough, as Gordon Brown used to do, doesn’t make a good speaker.  The Ingrams Today was interesting and from what I have seen and heard, one of the better editions by guest editors.