On The Wrong Track

Jeremy Paxman’s behaviour on last night’s Newsnight was staggering. Perhaps his astonishingly aggressive demeanour was his way of bluffing the audience into thinking that social media gossip was a credible substitute for concrete evidence against the EDL.

With continual interruptions, hectoring and and exaggerated facial expressions of disgust, he completely departed from interviewing and veered off unsteadily in the direction of attempted verbal assassination. I’m glad to announce that he failed to reach his destination.

Stephen Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson – he has two names, so people usually call him the bloke from the EDL – had another grilling on BBC News 24 from £92,000 per annum worth of BBC anchorwoman, Carrie Gracie. However hard she tried, she just couldn’t trip him up, and she didn’t bother to conceal her frustration.
Breivik’s insane killing spree has unleashed some unedifying spectacles of no-holds-barred lashing out at the ‘far right’ from the media and the BBC, and their favourite target is the EDL, which they see as the epitome of illiberalism and intolerance. The more Ms. Gracie insisted that the EDL had ‘the same objectives’ as Breivik and tried to connect him and his atrocity with the EDL as an organisation, the weaker her case became. She failed to ridicule him, trip him up, counter-argue or bully him on any level at all, but instead got herself more and more worked up, so that the whole of the following item was conducted with a rictus grin.

By merely admiring the way Stephen Lennon stood up to the BBC I foresee the prospect of being inextricably associated with the EDL for ever more. But I support Israel, which already places me as a right-wing nutter, so what the hell.

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45 Responses to On The Wrong Track

  1. fred bloggs says:

    I thought there was also a matter of timing.  Breivik came to England in 2002 for meetings.  In 2002 the EDL did not exist!


  2. Robert Similar says:

    Jeremy Vine has just tried the same tactic on Stephen Lennon and failed miserably. They’re trying to place this tragedy firmly at the door of the EDL and isn’t working.


  3. Tee Printer says:

    Why do people keep using ‘Facebook’ as their reference when they interview this guy?  I notice BBC News (cough) also saying, “he describes himself as a Christian and a Conservative”.  You mean he picked it from the pulldown menu?


  4. Craig says:

    Yes, Carrie Gracie got far too het up for a supposedly impartial and supposedly professional interviewer. The anger in her voice and the frustrated expression on her face at the end of the interview, after she’d interrupted him for the final time, was something to behold. Stephen Lennon stayed calm throughout. Hope someone puts this on YouTube.


    • Span Ows says:

      To be fair to the Beeb they have it up (maybe in a attempt to get paxman out the door!) Lennon is unruffled and polite throughout, even topping Pax with his own bit of paper!



      • noggin says:

        any link for carrie grace interview?


        • noggin says:

          laughably jeremy vine had the same result too
          is this called obsession 🙂
          andy gilligan points out it should be kept in perspective
          maybe 6 people arrested on “far” right extremism to 138 on islamic, odd lone wolf, compared to mosques schools &  a wilful ideology. i would push that further i think 5 verified “far” right terror attacks, compared to 17502 islamic attacks, since 9/11
          just do the math, if you want to smile add in how many foiled.


    • hippiepooter says:

      What gets me is that BBC interviewers have no trouble dealing with the EDL as a fascist front (which is exactly what it is) but are completely credulous about the victim status of patent Al Qa’eda terrorists like Mo Begg and Mo Binyamin.

      What I most detest about Paxman is the way his scumminess gives me sympathy for a (not too) crypto-fascist like Stephen Lennon.  The two of them are just different types of evil.  One against Islamic terrorism and one a facilitator of terrorist propaganda.


      • John Anderson says:

        I am missing Mo Begg.  Great guy,  real charmer.  No wonder the BBC likes him.  Maybe they’ll commission him to do a travelogu on Pakistan and Afghanistan – great placdes for an action holiday.


  5. cjhartnett says:

    Old Aunties got a few bats flying up in the belfry again…and a few up the nightie as she squeals from up on that bloody high horse we pay for!
    I too saw Lennon(think I prefer that name-we can confuse him with John!) on Newslight-and Paxo never looked more like the gummy bear Oxbridge aidhead that even Rupery would not have let in the door at Wapping!
    The bloke just phones it in-presumably some pimply Eamonn sticks it straight on the post it notes from somewhere up Stephen Frys mainframe!
    Astonishing in its ignorance and smear and sneer-presume Campbell was subbing as the cut and paste gofer last night.
    Like you Sue-if the BBC wanted to make us all sympathise with BNP- lite, then they`re succeeding.
    Lennons quoting what the Norwegian said about the EDL as Paxman sang “bringing in the sheaves” loudly with fingers in ears was my abiding .
    The Far Right is really lucky in its enemies at the moment…because they`ve not had to debate before and they`re all pot addled now.

    Hope that Lennon cites the steroids/antidepressant cocktail that the murderer was taking…that will screw our Olympics chances though, as well as render the BBCs staff unfit for work-so doubt we`ll hear much about Peter Hitchens point about the drugs-violence link!
    Easier to smear christians and conservatives…and , as ever anti-Isalm/pro Israel types like us. 
    Fast seeing no need to pay for this fatuous tripe as pumped out by Auntie…let her get her own pads…and those bats are all in her own head!


  6. pounce_uk says:

    Just for the info that democratically elected peace loving government in Gaza executed 2 people today and the bBC gives you nothing.


    • Cassandra King says:

      Some murders are acceptable to the BBC, some violence is justified, some gangs of thuggish vandals are OK with the BBC.

      Its just a question of which group uses violence and thuggery to achieve their political aims. The BBC praises castro and Guevara yet they killed and tortured their way through thousands of innocents. The BBC is unable to condemn the UAF/searchlight for its use of violence nor will it take a stand against all the lefts planned violence and vandalism over the years.

      Anyway the BBC has a narrative to project, the right is evil no debate no question final answer. The BBC believe that you have get your smears in early and hard and never ever let an opportunity to attack your political enemies go to waste. This pathological desire to attack and smear and destroy is ultimately destructive to everyone, victim and persecutor both.

      Did the BBC or th left show such outrage when a couple of muslim killers sneaked into a house and butchered an innocent family including infants? Or seek to even show the heartbreak of the relatives of that family? No of course not and by their silence they encourage more killings. In fact we saw the BBC giving airtime to thos who beleived the family go what it deserved.

      In fact the BBC really couldnt give two hoots for the dead other than how they can be exploited to attack the BBCs political enemies.


      • pounce_uk says:

        Hold yer horses Cassandra. It appears that the bBC have aired the story about how Hamas had to execute these two men. You see under Palestine law anybody who is caught helping the hook nosed jew loses all rights and thus must be killed. Why the bBC even end their article with this warning to Pals who might like to earn alittle extra cash:
        “It is a common practice of Israeli security forces to pay Palestinian informers to gather intelligence.”

        The irony here is while the bBC loves to berate Israe for its stance agaisnt human rightsl, the only country in the region which doesn’t have the death penalty is…?


        • Cassandra King says:

          The ultimate race hate crime?

          Unfortunately for the victims the usual anti capital punishment gangs like liberty/amnesty international etc see the victims as deserving all they get, they go from hand wringing let em all live to kill em all as soon as the victims stray from the approved victim description.

          Al those leftist pro ‘Palestinian’ rent a rabble appologists, so full of left wing anti capital punishment beliefs? Wonder what their take on the killings was?


    • Biodegradable says:

      Actually pounce the BBC has just covered that story, with the inevitable pro-Palestinian bottom line:

      It is a common practice of Israeli security forces to pay Palestinian informers to gather intelligence.

      So it’s Israel’s fault…


  7. My Site (click to edit) says:

    I don’t have to admire Mr. Lennon or his organisation to see that the nature of the Paxman/Newsnight/BBC monopoly ‘interview’ thrust has been/is/and will be counter-productive to whatever point they seem determined to shove.

    Not only was it clearly reserved purely for those they feel they are ideological counters to, whilst highlighting how soft they go on those who they like, as a triumph of heat over light it was textbook.

    All that happened was a young bloke trying to answer questions was berated by a senile old fool who wasn’t even attempting to listen during a pre-memorised diatribe based on rigid dogma.

    For  balance (at least in relative ages of questionner/ee)


  8. George R says:

    Of course, it is official National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) policy to oppose the English Defence League; so Paxman, in his interrrogation  role was merely carrying out NUJ policy at ‘Newsnight’ NUJ branch level.

    (The NUJ is also committed to support the UAF 😉
       and, ‘Newsnight’ NUJ branch also gives its political support to ‘UK Uncut’ as recent editions of ‘Newsnight’ indicate.)


  9. Jeremy Clarke says:

    Watching Newsnight I sensed that the producers had gone looking for a stick, grabbed one and triumphantly picked up the wrong end of it. I think they are way off the mark insofar as the EDL is concerned but I guess they need a scapegoat at this time.

    The alluring thing about the EDL to the BBC is that they are anti-Islamist and nationalistic and that they attract some pretty unpleasant characters. They are, therefore, ready-made bad guys.

    The problem is, a lot of people in the UK are nationalistic and anti-Islamist to some extent – and you could even level the same accusations thrown at the EDL at any most Labour or Conservative MP or minister.

    It is becoming evident Breivik’s motives were far more nebulous and his actions were not born out of sheer hatred of Muslims; thusly, the EDL link is something of a red herring. It is almost as if he sought to strike a blow against the next generation of the ruling-class and all they represent. But that doesn’t fit in with the narrative – the media need a bad guy.


    • Span Ows says:

      It is almost as if he sought to strike a blow against the next generation of the ruling-class and all they represent. But that doesn’t fit in with the narrative – the media need a bad guy.

      Exactly right. And they haven’t thought to look in the mirror.


  10. Scoobywho says:

    Personally I thought Paxman and Lennon/Robbinson aquited themselves admirably.

    Given the the nature of events and the suppositions and accusations made against the EDL as well as the widespread distrust of them brought about by the handwringing liberal media on the left and righthandside of the line, I would expect no less than Paxmans very best dog with a bone style interiew technique.

    If I were going to criticise Paxo I’d have said he could have given Lennon/Robbinson a few extra milliseconds to speak but Lennon/Robbinson did manage to barge his way through pretty well. I also thought that suggesting Lennon/Robbinson made a threat at the end of the interview was completely out of order and below the belt after he had just said God forbid that somethng so abhorent should happen here.

    I still take Lennon/Robbinson at face value (I’ve said as much before much to Hippiepooters disgust, although I’ve no wish to pick a fight) and still do until proven otherwise. I’d have thought a number of people here would given our mutual distrust of the dominant leftwing media, which obviously has an arm within the Daily Mail when it comes to the EDL, a paper I’d turn to before the Sun when it comes to bum fodder.

    Next time Lennon/Robbinson is on i’d like to see them arguing while playing the hand slap game :0)


  11. cjhartnett says:

    If the BBC don`t get on top of their shambolic and wrong headed approach to every main issue of today, then we`ll be in trouble.
    Leenon is hardly the sharpest pencil in the box, but he was truthful and prepared.
    The BBC are neither-there is hardly a genuine journailst of independent mind left in the whole rotten edifice, so a Lennon can destroy Paxman and all his Twittering research team from his old prep school. as interns!
    These prancing poodles still think theat they`re rottweillers-but Campbell had them neutered years ago-hence the sorry displays of Humphrys, Paxman etc.
    Very dangerous when -as Lennon says-there is no forum to hammer this stuff out without their lavender reflexes coming to the fore .They need to actually listen to what is being said-and to THINK on their responses before vogueing into lavender-lined suggestion boxes that please only their own kind.
    The EDL would have got lots of members today-if Newslight was not the fatuous irrelevance that it now is. No youngster on earth wants the liberal incontinence of Paxman,Wark,Esler, Maitlis. Its audience figures scream for the vet to put them out of our misery!
    That said Paul Mason said one decent thing last night-and THAT`S how sad it`s all got now


  12. Manfred VR says:

    Going slightly ‘Off Piste’ for a moment, I’ve just posted this comment on the Guardian’s CiF regarding striking BBC journalists.
    The surprising thing is, that the majority of the comments are along the same line.

    “Why should I, a TV licence payer have to trawl the internet to find out what is REALLY happening out there?
    As a general rule of thumb, everything the BBC says is happening, isn’t; And everything they say is good, is bad.
    I can be lied at from anyone for nothing. Why should I pay to have my intelligence insulted, and political views I don’t agree with rammed down my throat.
    The sooner this fifth column organisation has to fend for itself and is subjected to market forces, the better for freedom of speech and democracy”.



  13. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Now, whodathunkit?

    Considering the publication, I don’t think its Daily Mashesque in intent.

    grist Grist.org Norway terrorist is a climate change denier – http://ow.ly/5N5jt

    From Watts to Delingpole, if you hear Zil pull up outside and a knock at the door… scarper!

    The BBC’s ‘are you, or have you ever been’ style of association seems to be catching.


  14. Sres says:

    You should hit #edl on twitter, it’s loonie tune land from the left and very comical to just watch.  I don’t think I’ve ever posted there, but I dive in now and then for a giggle at the vitrol the left spout there.


  15. Martin says:

    The issue I had with Paxman apart from the fact he never let the bloke get a word in edgeways was the lack of facts. The ‘targets’ on faces (I’m amazed Paxman didn’t mention Sarah Palin as well) was i believe on Facebook and NOT on the official site, yet Paxman didn’t seem to notice this.

    Is BBC Newsnight going to be responsible for the people who follow it on Facebook or Twitter?

    Luckily Andrew Gilligan has a better angle on things, just how did he survive for so long at the BBC?



    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Quite! Anyone can pretend to be whoever they wish on Facebook. The posts could have been made by themselves under a fake profile just moments before.
      Firstly, the EDL’s FB page has been down since about last Friday (due to hackers), so which pages was the pathological liar from Searchlight referring to?
      -Secondly, how could he be sure that the posts were from Breivik? Had he obtained his IP address and how? Then how had he managed to obtain the IP address from Norweigan Police to cross check them?
      -Why wasn’t the viewer made aware that Searchlight is a hardline Communist outfit, run by criminals, which has ‘charity’ status, thus receives tax-payer funding.
      -What evidence did he have that the people posing with guns in the pictures were anything to do with the EDL. We were only given a very quick glimpse of a very blurry, wide shot, which looked more like a picture of the UVF or RVF.
      -Why did Paxman refer to Anjem Choudary as ‘a prominent Muslim’ rather than an extremist who praised the 9/11 attackers and wishes to see Britain under Sharia Law. 

      I shall post the BBC’s answers to these questions on here when they reply. 


  16. Scoobywho says:

    I’d love to hear what they have to say about all that 😀


  17. hippiepooter says:

    Sue, I completely disagree with your characterisation of Paxman during the interview.  He was a rude twat as is so boringly predictable, with little or no interest in hearing what Mr Lennon had to say, and a complete disservice to the British public, but ‘staggeringly aggressive’?  I would say not.

    I think it’s very fair to view Stephen Lennon as making an implied threat with his prophecy of what is to come in 5-10 years time if voices against Islamiaation aren’t given a fair hearing, given that he is without doubt in my view a spokesman for a crypto-fascist organisation, but at the same time its true what he said, some borderline nut may very well reach tipping point due the hypocrisy and counter-democratic supression of legitimate opinion.


    • Martin says:

      That’s not fair, all Lennon said was probably what people say to him, personally I don’t think it will happen, not unless there is a mass slaughter of people on a scale like 9/11.

      Remember there was no retaliation in America against Muslims after 9/11 nor was there after 7/7 here, just as there was no backlash against Irish people for all the murdering the IRA did in the UK.

      Breivik’s argument as Gilligan states was more to so with the political system in Norway than Muslims, why didn’t he do a mosque if he hated Muslims so much?

      He killed his own kind.


  18. Henry says:

    The BBC are always trying to label the EDL as “dodgy” and racists. They never really have much information to back it up. None of this will surprise bBBC readers, as the EDL wants to put strong limits immigration, the Beeb doesn’t agree.

    So the BBC-website crew give us pictures of right-wing blonde men (notice the similarity to the stereotype the Beeb gave us after Oslo?) with St George Flag t-shirts

    Now I don’t want to be supporting a racist group, in fact I don’t have so much of a problem with immigration as the EDL*, but if a large group of people have feelings, and they express them in a peaceful way, then they deserve to be heard, not harangued.

    * I expect they do attract some lunatics, but the thing is to look at the leadership and get an idea of what they want to do


    • Martin says:

      The EDL are against Islamic immigration, I don’t think as far as I’m aware they have any particular issue above and beyond most people over general immigration.


  19. jeff says:

    From what I’ve heard of this chap he seems genuine and on the ball, if a little inarticulate. I missed the Paxman interview but heard Jeremy Vine’s attempt to connect the EDL to this abhorent mass murder. The clear insinuation is that anyone opposed to mass immigration and a mosque on every corner is some sort of latent terrorist.
    But one thing does concern me. Why does he have two names?


    • Martin says:

      Gordon Brown has two names, the other one is t*** 🙂


    • Alfie Pacino says:

      Maybe he has more than two names… I can imagine certain types trying to track him down and hassle his family.


  20. cjhartnett says:

    When your chosen opponents to put the liberal cause as the BBC has deemed it are Paxman and his mini-me Vine, it must cheer up the EDL no end!
    It`s as if the BBC has been doing too much analysis of the whole Thanatos culture-maybe it`s the fear of getting a decent panini in Salford!
    They`ve been fishing bins and paddling in the intellectual shallows for so long that they seem not to be able to THINK when they meet even a relative lunkhead like Lennon/Robinson.
    I remember a former Labour Party leader being described as someone just hawking his conscience round in the hope that he`ll find someone to surrender it to…sums up the BBC and the Guardian to me!
    Thank goodness for this site, Al Jazeera and Russian TV…and why the heck am I paying for the BBC when it only encourages them to keep on hopping into the psychic landfill of Oxbridge Rag Week “aspirational infotainment”.
    Honestly can`t remember the last programme that they did that got me thinking that they had any knowledge, ability or discernment…can you?


  21. Scoobywho says:

    “But one thing does concern me. Why does he have two names?”
    I seem to recall him saying last time he appeared with Paxo’ he adopted a second name when the police informed him that there had been threats made against him. However the media, helped no doubt by the searchlight twitterati soon exposed it.
    Feel free to correct me on that.


  22. It's all too much says:

    Here is an interesting take on the BBC school of unbiased news reporting:

    Norway’s domestic intelligence chief has told the BBC no proof has yet been found to link Anders Behring Breivik to right-wing extremists in the UK.


    I wonder if that is a direct quote?  Interesting word ‘yet’ isn’t it.  I mean, the BBC has not pre-judged the outcome or anything yet have they? Beacuse after the headline they add

    But intelligence chief Janne Kristiansen said she believed he had acted completely on his own.

    I am sure that they will find, in due course, conclusive proof ….. so lets just keep reporting our conclusion until what we know to be true is confirmed. 

    For all I know the murderer Breivik may have posted on the BBC website (lots of people do).  Would that make the BBC complict in his nazi death fantasies?


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Watertight oversight seems to be a very fluid concept, at least in the BBC’s genetically impartial, professional ethical hierarchy.


    • John Anderson says:

      The intelligence chief has shot the BBC’s fox !


  23. George R says:

    “Fanaticism, mass murder and the left”

    (by Melanie Phillips)



  24. Umbongo says:

    On Today this morning Jon Fitje, head of analysis at the Norwegian Police Security Service reiterated that in his (and his organisation’s) view this was the act of a loner.  After a brief flurry, this atrocity will now sink without trace from the BBC news pages as did the attempted assasination of Gabrielle Giffords when, much to the BBC’s evident dismay, the putative killer proved to be a lone nutter unconnected with the Tea Party/Republicans.


  25. cjhartnett says:

    Can`t imagine that THIS bloke got his Starbucks with a smile from the Beeb intern this morning!
    It`s awful when people-especially suspect and slow foreigners-refuse to colour in the BBCs vivid impressions and sketches of what they think OUGHT to have happened.
    Narrative set-backdrop painted-now all we need do is play our part as stupid audience or weepy victim…with the commanding voices and noises off stage to describe what it all means,
    If it doesn`t match what you see-why here`s a Guardian reporter with your prescription specs so we can correct that “vision thing”