Comment As Fact

Before :

Correspondence from Frank Fisher :

{Feedback Type:} I would like to… Make a complaint

{Summary:} You have published a Polly Toynbee opinion piece in your News section – it is not factual, it is opinion

{Complaint:} Separate news from opinion, make clear that the views expressed in the article are opinions, suggest that other views regarding ‘equality’ exist, for example cite the debunking fo the Spirit Level arguments in “The Spirit Level Delusion”.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this. Putting a byline on a piece doesn’t make it clear to people that it’s stepping outside your usual zone. It sits *within* your usual page and menu structure and appears for all the world to be a factual article, rather than the routine Pollyanna ravings of the country’s leading champagne socialist.

Remedy it please.

Reply :

Subject: RE: Complaint Reply Required

Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 11:56:13 +0100



Dear Mr. Fisher,

The piece was not clearly-enough labelled as a personal viewpoint. It has now been changed. We will also be running pieces in the near future from commentators from different parts of the political spectrum.


BBC News website

After :

“We will also be running pieces in the near future from commentators from different parts of the political spectrum.”

Hmm. Notice “different”, not “all”. I guess that means Iain Dale and maybe Michael Gove for the far-right view, plus half a dozen Greens.

Listening to the trailers for their 9/11 coverage its like deja vu all over again – they’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing. While I don’t think we’ll get quite so much “they had it coming” this time round, we’re already getting the “why didn’t Bush sit down and negotiate” splashed all over the news. Given that Bin Laden’s demands included the restoration of the Caliphate and the return of Al-Andalus i.e. Spain, Bush might have had a few problems doing a deal.

I can’t imagine what Michael “Private Peaceful” Morpurgo’s view (one of the 5 literary types writing their “9/11 letters“) of the War on Terror will be, can you?

The BBC’s a bit like one of those small sects that occasionally announce the end of the world or the imminent socialist revolution – you almost have to admire the dogged disconnection from reality which, for example, gave Ms Toynbee, former BBC social affairs correspondent and one of the chief architects of the decline in social mobility over the last 40 years, a R4 programme last week bemoaning the decline in social mobility. But we’re not forced to pay for the small sects.

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54 Responses to Comment As Fact

  1. TooTrue says:

    I’m amazed here. Within hours of receiving a complaint the BBC changed the blurb and even identified Toynbee as from the left? I don’t believe the BBC even acted that fast when it apologised profusely for one of its staff having the bare-faced cheek to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    But I have the same reservations. Further contributions are likely to range from the left to the far left with the occasional nod towards the centre.

    Still, we live in hope.  


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      But they didn’t do it until they got a complaint.  The Beeboids knew exactly what they were doing – the same thing they always do – and thought they could get away with it.  Same old story.  Eyes will roll, lessons will not be learnt, and biased business will resume as usual.


      • Reed says:

        That seems to be their M.O. – they’ll push it until someone calls them on it. Then the begrudging alteration.


  2. Cassandra King says:

    Class war?

    The rancid old specifically designed Marxist dog whistle, the call to jealousy/hatred/mistrust/antagonism and above all an excuse to divide society.

    The call to the negative aspects of the human soul, why has this group or person got more than me/is healthier than me/is wealthier than me? The call to hate others for imagined or real differences.

    The positive message lost in a fog of negative base appeals to the dark aspects of the human condition is a socialist trademark and it is a total fabrication, a grotesque lie. The socialist elite has nothing in common with ordinary people have they?

    Class differences? We have the rich and the poor, the worker and the parasite, the powerful and the powerless. Today we have ever richer parasites and ever poorer workers bearing an ever greater burden, the parsites grow ever richer and more powwerful and the workers grow poorer and ever more powerless.

    Polly Toynbee is a multimillionaire, sends her children to private schools, uses tax evasion loopholes to minimise her fiscal contribution to the state, enjoys the very best of everything. And what class does this Marxist hypocrite belong to?

    There is the rich and the powerful and the connected and there is the poor and the powerless. Two groups of people with the latter being viewed as farm animals by the former. The socialist call for redistribution is a fabricated cover to enrich themselves with money and power and they have done exceedingly well for themselves over the last 15yrs, a powerful dynasty of rich powerful hypocrites who espouse equality while living the lives of the rich and powerful. John Prescott? Phoney Bliar? Polly Toynbee? and tens of thousands more who live like the rich they profess to despise, act like the rich they openly condemn. In truth these hypocrites wear their social conscience as we wear clothes, they are disposable, they are removable and interchangeable and they are designed to hide the real person.

    In fact the very fact that the BBC asked Toynbee to comment on class is a blindingly obvious indictment of BBC bias. A mulitmillionaire given the chance to condemn other multimillionaires for the very same sins that she herself engages in. Why, it would be like asking one of the Gadaffi clan to give lectures at the LSE about the importance of democracy…

    ‘And the animals looked from pig to man and from man to pig and they could no longer tell which was which anymore’

    The fighters against privilige become the priviliged, the fighters for equality become the enablers of inequality, the champions of the workers become their intolerant masters, the enemies of the rich elite become the rich elite.

    The BBC are locked into an intelectual mental illness unable to perceive the contradictions, the irony, the hypocrisy of their credo. They are blind because they choose not to open their eyes to the joke they have become, they point the finger of indignation at others unable to see they are in fact standing in front of a mirror and the person they are pointing at is in fact themselves. Will they ever open their eyes?


    • cjhartnett says:

      Blistering last word on this topic for me.
      The whole case against the self-righteous hypocrites that are stacked at Bush House like so many billy cans awaiting the call from the chaps in mufflers for leadership to take the commanding heights.
      That a Toynbee gets the conversation stone with all manner of interns topping up the sauna as she holds forth to the producers upstairs is as clear a case of keeping the airwaves clear as you`ll see.
      One empty Zil lane of psychic privilege and presumptuous droolings of the fat and guilty lotus eaters…that`s OUR BBC…that seems to be doing rather well over there in lalaLabourlibbyland!
      One Toynbee gargoyle going cheap for when the old trout snuffs it…hopefully Thatcher will survive her!


    • cjhartnett says:

      Great stuff Cassandra!


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC are locked into an intelectual mental illness unable to perceive the contradictions, the irony, the hypocrisy of their credo.

      Excellent Cassie.  They will not open their eyes, ever.  Only a full purge will fix this.


      • Reed says:

        The fighters against privilige become the priviliged, the fighters for equality become the enablers of inequality, the champions of the workers become their intolerant masters, the enemies of the rich elite become the rich elite.  “

        Sorry to just repost – but that paragraph is superb! Excellent posting Cassandra.


  3. fred bloggs says:

    The question is more fundamental i.e. ‘what is the role of the bBC’.  For instance the bought ‘rough guide’.  The bBC are not travel agents, they should not have bought the company.

    The same goes for this, they are a state broadcaster, who at best just reports the news.  They are not a ful]y fledged newspaper, with editorial and political opinions.  This is an other example of the bBC pushing the boundaries to broadcast their propoganda.


  4. TooTrue says:

    The Open Thread has been elbowed off the main page, so I’ll post this here:

    The subject on Thursday’s ‘Assignment’ by Gabriel Gatehouse on the World Service was Dirar Abu Sisi, alleged Hamas rocket engineer, abducted in Ukraine and now jailed in Israel:

    11:25: Gaza is often described as a large prison and when you enter it from the Israeli side it certainly feels that way – miles of concrete and barbed wire, hostile looking officials and metal doors that open anonymously and clang shut behind you once you finally get through [Gatehouse probably doesn’t know about the attempts, some successful, to blow up Israeli security people at these border crossings] but once inside Gaza city it feels like a thriving place despite massive unemployment; here the market is bustling, traders selling everything from ….[Well, with massive UNRWA aid coming in through Israel it’s unsurprising that Gaza markets are bustling. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the BBC explore that influence on everyday life in Gaza.]

    The piece has the standard hand-wringing whenever the BBC deals with the Israeli-Arab conflict – the mention of Gaza overcrowding, the cosy visit to Abu Sisi’s family and the more impersonal one to an Israeli victim of Palestinian rockets, the interview with a journalist from the left-wing Haaretz rather than the centre-right Jerusalem Post, which the BBC avoids like the plague – but having said that, it has some surprisingly bold touches, like the blunt questioning of a Hamas official as to whether or not Abu Sisi was involved in Hamas’ rocket programme and the claim, through his lawyer, that Abu Sisi and his family were apparently threatened by Hamas when he apparently tried to distance himself from the programme.

    There is hope yet for the BBC.


  5. Paddy says:

    This morning Pravda Radio 4 had letters for 9/11 on and the first one(i.e. todays) was from lefty jour no living in the big apple at the time.

    The bastards couldn’t resist a dig at ‘the withdrawal of freedoms in domestic policy’ and ‘grotesque US foreign policy’ since the towers went down.About 2/3 of the writers conclusion involved this part not the deaths of so many innocents.

    Its question time all over again.

    As has been mentioned by previous contributors, do you think they may show clips for the 9/11 question time again?


    • John Anderson says:

      The leftie academic (Columbia U !) gave a fairly interesting account of his own experience on 9/11 – he was living in downtown Manhattan,  about a mile away from the Twin Towers. 

      But his conclusion was truly awful.   He claimed to have turned from an “alien” – ie a Brit working in NYC – to a joint feeling of being British and American.  But then he slagged off the US,  oppressive police state under Bush,  freedoms taken away,  plus entirely unjustified overseas wars.  Yada Yada.

      And then the parody bit – his letter was to a nephew,  and he hoped his nephew would in due time be able to take an objective view.

      Objective view on the BBC – no anti-US slant ?    Never a chance.


  6. magiclantern1 says:

    I have decided, as a mark of respect to the dead, to avoid the stinking BBC entirely on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.


    A man has to have some standards.


    • Reed says:

      If you have access to the excellent Discovery Channels, I would recommend their coverage – just the facts of the incident – none of the unnecessary (biased)political commentary. The BBC simply can’t resist a dig at Bush/America. I hate these bastards even more at times like this, when respectful, dispassionate coverage is what is required and expected.


  7. My Site (click to edit) says:

    The piece was not clearly-enough labelled as a personal viewpoint’

    As everything that benighted shower issues is a personal (and skewed) viewpoint, including the shipping forecast i shouldn’t wonder, they probably think stating what all, except Patten and Hunt, know as the bleedin’ obvious was necessary or could find room for.


  8. Louis Robinson says:

    Cassandra, you point out “there is the rich and the powerful and the connected – and there is the poor and the powerless.” Guess which of those two groups runs the BBC?


  9. Louis Robinson says:

    Polly Toynbee who distinguished herself recently with this incredibly stupid statement “Tea Party madness has brought the US to the brink of economic mayhem taking much of the world with it” should be a participant in BBC debates, not a commentator on it. (The tea party is only two years old – the “economic mayhem” has been decades in the making by Labour politicians.)

    After newsreader Peter Sissons – whom she describes as “small potatoes” – criticized his masters, Toynbee wrote this:

    “For all its neuroses, despite inevitable errors, the BBC should be more self-confident. Trust the public, which will always stand up for it against the depredations of politicians. Public support is higher than it has ever been since records began, on quality and trust: if it wasn’t there, 82% would miss it, up from 70% three years ago. Ipsos Mori finds it more trusted than the NHS, the military and the C of E might fear politicians less if they reminded themselves every morning that the BBC is trusted five times more than governments.”

    “More trusted than the NHS, the military and the C of E!”  Yeah, sure.

    And note that she slips in “the military” between the NHS and the C of E as deserving of our scorn, typical example of cookie cutter champagne socialist sleight of hand.

    BBC, give the woman a job!

    Oh, sorry, you did.


    • Martin says:

      She really is an ugly old leftie hag.


      • Paddy says:

        Indeed , she is truly an ugly lefty hag.

        I’m going to run a push Poly down the porcelain campaign. And maybe we could all fund a bog wash for the hideous old trout.

        She gets into cambridge by the backdoor when daddy pulled strings and unlike Toby Young who snuck in by luck and used it to earn a first she drops out basically showing she never deserved the ‘old boy network’ leg up in the first place.

        Champagne socialist scum bucket


        • Reed says:

          Paddy – I haven’t heard the term ‘bog wash’ for decades. We must be of a similar age, I think.


        • FrankFisher says:

          She gets into cambridge by the backdoor when daddy pulled strings 

          That’s a cruel libel – it was Oxford.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Does mean that Toynbee will from now on be introduced as “Left-wing” every time she appears on the BBC?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Otherwise, my initial comment about lessons not being learned will stand.


  11. Reed says:

    Yet MORE class crap from the BBC. I posted this near the end of the previous open thread :

    There’s one reason why the issue of class is suddenly in vogue at the BBC : we now have a ‘posh’ Prime Minister who is also a Conservative. It’s an ideal alignment for them to commence with a subtle mode of attack :  
    1. Make class a more commonly discussed issue  
    2. Create an ‘us and them’ narrative  
    3. Constantly push the idea that the ‘savage’ cuts will affect the  poor whilst the rich are unaffected  
    4. Remind people that the PM is one of THEM and not one of US.  
    5. Tories are once again the nasty party for the posh and the rich.  

    The BBC – doing Labour’s work for them once again.

    Someone also posted on that open thread that Cameron had to defend himself on the BBC against the charge that he had become ‘more right wing’. I wounder where they got this line of questioning from :

    Labour’s New Attack Strategy : Cameron’s A Right Winger :

    The BBC – The broadcasting wing of the Labour Party.


  12. FrankFisher says:

    Thanks for putting this up Laban.

    Folks, yes they really did get it this wrong, and they really did crumble as soon as I whined at them – and that’s the scary bit, as I note here. It’s not the first time I’ve managed to get them to change stories and/or standfirsts. Generally they’ll change factually incorrect stuff instantly, but for vaguer complaints it helps to have the relevant chunks of their producers guidelines to hand.

    I think the problem is, as others inside and outside the organisation have noted before, is that they really don’t think they’re biased. They think they’re on the centre ground, they think their attitudes and beliefs are laws of nature, they think they are fundamentally “good people”, and as such, everything they think, say, or do must also be good. It’s the same attitude held by Polly, Blair and no doubt Stalin and Mussolini too…

    So, it is up to us to tell them when they’re wrong. Here’s the proof – it can be done.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      I wonder how many people read the piece before it was tagged as a “Viewpoint” and how many people went back to it aferwards?

      The point is, that the damage is already done before the complaint is received. The BBC must have known it was an opinion piece when they posted it. It really seems that people at the BBC do not know what their guidelines say, or worse that they just ignore them.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      it can be done’

      It can. And kudos for trying, and succeeding.

      But ‘they’ are aware of the erosion, and are clamping down further, making already risible avenues of recourse even more labyrinthine and/or perverse.

      I am used to the blogging regime by now, but now it’s getting beyond a joke, with box-ticking, brain-dead mods now ‘supported’ by either bovine-stupidity appeals supervisors or, more likely, ‘mess about until they give up’ senior market rate management policy that only goes as far as the dead end that is Helen Boaden’s ‘special’ unchecked email.

      I need a bit of advice in this regard.

      A recent Newsnight poster claimed that the BBC was in fact pro-Israel to the point of being Zionist shills, in a direct response to a post I had made.

      I replied to this post, politely suggesting otherwise, and citing a BBC URL (the dog story apology) in support.

      My post was referred. And every subsequent edit was too. Until all left was the BBC URL. They all remain referred. 

      All I got eventually was one vague explanation to one of the mid-way edits, that it was ‘off topic’.

      I asked how it could be off topic if replying to a direct post that was deemed on topic, and remained/s up.

      They simply repeated themselves and deemed the matter closed.

      I now consider this to be direct, overt censorship, and have decided, at long last, to pull the plug on the DD. I feel this instance is enough to warrant a good defence, as it goes beyond opinion to blatant suppression without good cause.

      I have drafted the following:

      Dear Sirs,
      Thank you for your, very quick in the circumstances, ‘reply’.

      Now, listen carefully, for I will write this only once.
      It is not for you, but mainly as reference for those involved from any forthcoming exchanges that will result.
      The ‘off topic’ reply, as this is the only one mentioned, was in response to a post that currently remains, and hence one can only presume to be ‘on topic’.
      Getting mine in response to be somehow ‘off  topic’ is a logical fallacy, and as this has happened before, not one of incompetence but deliberate obfuscating policy.
      I therefore no longer feel fairly or reasonably represented or served by the BBC, as the organisation seems bent on serving only those who shares its views, despite being a claimed national broadcaster and public servant.
      Further, the views being actively promoted and/or protected in such a manner are too often inaccurate, partisan or offensive to me, and I consider many BBC activities deleterious to the safety and decent conduct of life in the UK, especially its democratic ideals and cherished notions of free speech.
      I consider therefore that the BBC has breached too many contractual responsibilities for me, as a compelled funder, to be bound by them any longer.
      Yours faithfully,
      My intention is to cease ‘dealing’ with the BBC and hit them in the pocket. Money always talks more loudly. We barely watch anyway, as most is dire. But I also see no reason to engage further with them online either.
      I am aware however that this will cut no ice with the system if I see fit to enjoy other broadcast sources (SKY news is almost out the frame anyway, but we do enjoy most else).
      With a wife & kids less bolshie than I, and not versed in Capita tricks, with a front door on a public street, is there anything more I can do to ensure they can be told to and actually get stuffed without much fear of being hounded simply for giving up on this anachronistic ‘service’ imposition in disgust?


      • TooTrue says:

        Interesting, but more info needed.

        Does your original comment still stand and have you got a link to the blog post in question?


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Does your original comment still stand and have you got a link to the blog post in question?’

          Sorry, not clear what you mean here. 

          What original comment? I stand by it. And all it was was a rebuttal of the BBC as Zionist shill claim, with evidence (in links) to suggest the very reverse was more the case. That was obliterated.

          The comment (actually about the Balen report), that preceded and prompted the reply that got my reply referred is still up, bizzarely. Consistency is not their thing. In addition, the whole sorry effort was inspired by the ‘favoured’ poster asking what others thought of BBC’s ME reporting, inspired by the day’s thread topic. So, the BBC and their favoured son having started the round, they suddenly decided to kill off my trying to debate.

          As to links, once I bail I may proffer, but while it doesn’t really matter am not yet keen to offer up links to my BBC posting persona, sorry. let me ponder, if I may.

          They do seem to have ferrets who make connections, and these can be used to make things worse. I had one on an old Richard Black, wjo not only wanted me banned, by have the police set on me for not sharing his AGW advocacy (I am an environmentalist that considers the current McCarthyist trends by the BBC/Graun axis to be more immediate danger to the planet my kids will inherit than some daft notions they get exercised over. The ‘cure’ looks worse than any malaise currently.


      • Roland Deschain says:

        Perhaps a section, linked on the main page, giving advice on how best not to pay the licence fee?

        I’m in the same boat, and haven’t yet had the cojones to cancel the direct debit as Mrs D would be sadly naive in her dealings with TV licence people.  Plus my subscription to Virgin makes it difficult to deny I’m watching broadcasts. “I only subscribe to Virgin TV XL because I like Mr Branson, m’lud.”


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          ‘Mrs D would be sadly naive in her dealings with TV licence people.’

          Ta for the empathy. It is easy for some to be bullish on acting over talking, but it can get heavy. And not all live down country lanes with hounds to be released or have family versed in the dark arts of state thugs. Especially when the ‘system’ is rigged, and middle-class, law-abiding, (most) tax payers are favoured with attention over those who may respond less amenably. And i don’t have Charles Moore’s pulpit, dinner invites or resources. Just a sense that talk is no longer enough (from this example, the BBC has de facto stilled my voice , with no good cause), and I am less than inspired at the odds the only actions offer.

          ‘Plus my subscription to Virgin makes it difficult to deny I’m watching broadcasts.’

          Likewise my SKY dish. Even a Commer van full of Dixons seconds could not miss that plus, one is sure, the info passed to Aunty from them.

          If I do bail, I don’t think the denial of presumed access, ‘no i don’t have one’ lie or others will cut it.

          Leaving the ethical stance high ground, that is darn shaky, as even my fast track Tory star MP is too keen on the DP couch to go beyond ‘but it’s a national treasure!’ whilst oblivious to them ensuring he won’t be in power next round by any means, anti-democratic or more foul.

          I’m on me tod.

          Well, other than the several million others that probably feel the same, who merely just need coordinating.


      • Millie Tant says:

        I can’t judge the particular issue of the post that was alleged to be off topic. It depends on the content.  It must be theoretically possible, though, for a post to stray off topic even if it is in response to another post that was on topic. However, I am not saying that it did or that they haven’t simply censored it because they didn’t like it and used “off topic” as an excuse. I just don’t know but I could well believe the latter.

        You are right to be concerned about wife and children. Many people will feel intimidated or mortified and upset by people badgering them at the door and won’t know what they are entitled to do or say, so can easily be drawn in and trapped by tricks and psychological pressure into some sort of legal quagmire.

        There is information and advice out there, including from some long-running threads on Digital Spy Broadcasting forum about those hounds who come to the door and what you can or should do about them. 

        Here are links to discussions about how to deal with the hassle from enforcers.  A poster called Cornucopia has posted a proposed solution to the problem in this thread:        

        There are several other threads on the topics including TV Licence Bullies:
        and this interminable thread TV L Inspectors…Automatic Right of Entry?

        I am sure a search will bring up even more threads on the topic.

        There’s also a forum called TV LIcence Resistance. I am not familiar with its content, though.


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Many tx for all that info, Millie.

          I can’t judge the particular issue of the post that was alleged to be off topic’

          Very true, and fair. Were that the BBC so determined to assess the facts before they trample over complex stories with their preconceptions.

          At risk of a few dots being joined (if you do, please don’t link or make a song and dance), and because I want to be sure I’m warranted in seeking the nuclear option, as it seems necessary I attach the exchange below.


          • My Site (click to edit) says:




            Him (still up)I have been surveying the opportunities to positively/constructively criticise the BBC`s “output going forward” and come across nothing which really fits with my desired specification.

            This comments section comes closest in that it seems to allow a fair range of criticisms without being too oppressive to you regulars,but can anyone here explain the bizarre goings on at Biased BBC?
            In an age of RT and Max Keiser and Alex Jones Biased BBC seems to be the work of right wingers on Wall Street and in Tel Aviv. They appear to seriously believe that the BBC is anti-Israeli? Does that square with other`s perceptions?’

            Me (still up): There is an (expensive, to some kind contributors) report that might help in this regard.

            Sadly, in an era when the phrase ‘questions need to be asked’ is deployed a lot by some until the spotlight turns and the demand for answers from those paid well in public service is no longer a given, this remains a secret.

            So many standards, such selective memories.


            • My Site (click to edit) says:

              Him (still up): Thanks , but if the BBC is anti-Israeli I will eat my hat! The Israeli Zionist grip on the global media is legendary.
              Me: (referred and excised – ‘Your comment has been referred for further consideration’, as have been all of several subsequent edit variants, bar one midway removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules’ and one, a pale shadow, that made it through):
              ‘That may, with respect, be a case of ‘one person’s legend is another’s fable’ at work. 

              Hence the report, if truly independent, may have helped clear a few things up and allowed some entrenched positions to see things from more objective stances than before.

              Sadly, the conclusions, whatever they were, have been deemed unsuitable for public consumption.

              No point debating the extent on any politico-religious bloc’s hold on any industry, I suspect, so I will merely cite a related professional aspect that has long troubled me.

              And that is the appointed role, and continuing support by the BBC for Jeremy Bowen.

              Given his history, and understandable lack of empathy for Israel and its military actions, I find it amazing that he is still deemed a suitable objective analyst of events in the Middle East, which near inevitably include Israel in some way or other.

              What happened was not his fault, and to suffer career wise for the action of others is indeed unfair, but given the sensitivity of his position, and that of the BBC in its reporting of the region, that such a person is still indulged despite being clearly compromised beggars belief.

              It’s not fair, but reporting revolves around objectivity, in fact and perception, so there should be no question those reporting may be doing so through a prism coloured by personal history.

              I can think of no other profession or professional organisation, who would indulge such a potential conflict of interest when so much credibility depends on the calibre of staff to rise beyond opinion. It seems unlikely that there is no other suitable candidate, possibly one who can speak the language enough to not also be dependent on what 3rd parties decide to share… or withhold. As one now wary of the BBC’s news edit suite after the raw material arrives and narratives get further enhanced, this is a significant concern.

              Because when you allow what is believed to shape what may or may not actually be, then such as this can happen:


              One presumes Mr. Bowen was skiing when this went through.

              And, in conclusion, I regret that the quaint notion that if all ‘sides’ around a story are equally offended by perceptions of partiality then the result must be roughly satisfactory, is one only the most simplistic box-ticking mindset could be satisfied with.

              ps: for appropriate haberdashery in the circumstances, that of Carmen Miranda may be worth considering.’——



              • My Site (click to edit) says:



                I remain unclear as to how, of all things, given the preamble that remains, that last comment, in reply to my protagonist, is deemed ‘off topic’. 


                Now I look at it, it was actually a subsequent one that was deemed such, but as a mere edit of the first to get it through hardly different, and in any case they have now pulled the plug on further discourse, which I maintain amounts to my being censored for either no good reason or none at all (yet).


                Now, why would they do that, and think it won’t p*ss a person who cherishes decent debate and free speech off just a tad.


                The odd… ironic thing is that my protagonist is appalled that I am being excised in the way. We may be from two very opposing sides, but united in despairing of the BBC’s partisan nature, as by throwing their lot in with him, in such a way, his credibility is shot. Some ‘friends’ are not too great to have close, it seems.


                • My Site (click to edit) says:

                  Apols for all the splits, but I lifted the text from the thread, and a bucnh of hidden code seems embedded.


              • TooTrue says:

                I’ve had the ‘off-topic’ excuse for deletion unfairly thrown at me many times by BBC moderators and seen glaringly off-topic and offensive comments stand while my responses are deleted. However, one should also consider that since your opponent has the power to ‘refer’ your comments, the bias in many cases is not coming directly from the moderators. Here incompetence or indifference or whatever creeps in, with referred comments often left languishing permanently in that unfortunate state. I touched on that issue on the Malinarich blog you linked to.

                I crossed swords with a violently anti-Israel opponent a while back who felt it appropriate to go back through the thread and refer perhaps a dozen of my comments out of sheer hostility to my point of view. A less violently-opposed opponent expressed sympathy with me for being the victim of this censorship, so I share your experience there. The moderators were not guilty of active censorship in this case but of sheer indifference for allowing those comments to stay referred right till the closing of the thread, at which point they ‘removed’ all referred comments, I guess as a butt-covering exercise so that nobody could point a finger at them and say they hadn’t made a decision on referred comments.

                There is little consistency in moderation across the BBC blogs but it’s fair to say that moderators generally favour those who echo the leftie BBC agenda.

                Interesting that you link to the apology from Nathalie Malinarich about the dog story. [Sorry about the italics – I copied and pasted her name in italics and I’m unable to correct it here.] 

                I wrote an individual complaint to her on some gross propaganda on the News Website re Geert Wilders after his acquital on hate speech charges. She replied fairly promptly, agreed in part with what I’d said and mentioned that she had contacted the editors concerned about the issue. Since she is World Editor of the BBC News Website she must have a degree of influence and so I wrote directly to her, rather than bother with the ‘Complaints’ Website, by the simple method of putting a dot between her first name and surname and adding

                I believe one can get hold of pretty much anyone at the BBC thus. I’m doing it more and more these days with some results.


                • My Site (click to edit) says:

                  TT, tx very much.

                  Shared empathy is great, but we seem to be falling short on tangibles.

                  ‘one should also consider that since your opponent has the power to ‘refer’ your comments’

                  Despite being very opposed, I don’t think this is the case. For a start, this guy is a keen debater. Also, there is this just up…

                  if I have given you the impression that I have referred any post of yours then please accept my apology and solemn assurance that I don`t play those sort of games, and have not referred anything on this website.’


                  • My Site (click to edit) says:


                    There is, however, this charmer, who has decided to purge my protagonist and, possibly me:


                    ‘it was me who referred these two ‘posts’ … as they were perceived by me as breaking House Rules which are there to safeguard free debate…. I will not be commenting further on the matter as the issue has been resolved to my satisfaction at least.


                    I may not agree with his other ‘target’, but I can respect their passion and honesty… and willingness to exchange. 


                    But it’s pond dwellers like this smug censor guy who prevail, and the BBC ‘system’ supports.


                    • My Site (click to edit) says:

                      Sorry, but here is no excuse for this: ‘…sheer indifference for allowing those comments to stay referred right till the closing of the thread, at which point they ‘removed’ all referred comments, I guess as a butt-covering exercise so that nobody could point a finger at them and say they hadn’t made a decision on referred comments.  ‘


                      At best, it is incompetence. But at worst it is a licence to censor.


                      Look at this and tell me there is not a concerted, sinister erosion of free speech in place:





                      This entry is now closed for comments
                      Jump to comments paginationAll Comments (1)(there were 30 odd last time I looked) rhymer 23RD AUGUST 2011 – 20:22

                      16 rouser
                      yup. strange that there are only a few people posting.
                      Before it was “wiped” this blog was the busiest I have ever seen.)
                      Last time I looked it was blank. Funny how technical issues, like ‘watertight oversight’, can sort out a lot of immediate, local difficulty, before ‘moving on’.

                      Slow, not very subtle, but too easy to see… yet cheerfully still practiced. I’d worry if free speech is being treated this way on the nation’s most pervasive propaganda outlet.


                    • My Site (click to edit) says:

                      Mr Hannan seems to have noticed (if more concerned on ‘isms and PC than blatant dogma-guided thought manipulation by editorial omission)…


                      Though… ‘retreat’? It is under assault, and from within the very core.


                    • TooTrue says:

                      I agree there is no excuse for it. They should either do away with the ‘referred comments’ facility or deal promptly with the comments and either reinstate them or remove them. They are breaking faith with contributors by treating their contributions so shabbily.  The truth, I’m sure, is that open debate is very low on the BBC’s list of priorities.

                      Recently the BBC said it was moving away from the idea of hosting a commuity of people commenting on its blogs. At the same time it introduced the 450 character limit on some of its blogs like ‘Have Your Say’, which simply makes debate almost impossible. It is also pushing Facebook and Twitter like crazy, and they are of course the text equivalent of superficial sound bites.

                      I rarely comment on the BBC blogs anymore. The Guardian, though as idiotically left wing as the BBC, has a blog system, ‘Comment is Free’, that puts the BBC’s to shame. It facilitates debate rather than hampering it. Your comment appears as you post it and will only be removed, if at all, in retrospect. The BBC used to call this method ‘Reactive Moderation’ and used it less and less on blogs until it became clear that they were terrified of providing such a forum for communication.


                    • Roland Deschain says:

                      But it’s pond dwellers like this smug censor guy who prevail, and the BBC ‘system’ supports.

                      I’d go further – it encourages this type of censorship, and gives them a let-out clause that it’s not the BBC censoring.

                      I guess there are two solutions available:  bash your head against a brick wall by being prepared to escalate every instance all the way up the complaints system (by the time that works, if at all, the topic is long dead but it might make the point for future referrals) or go around referring all other comments you disagree with (which would cause an unwanted workload for the moderators but probably get you banned at some point).


                    • My Site (click to edit) says:

                      A bit ‘damned if you do’… but essentially correct.


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Just went through this and the others.

          For the likes of Roland D and myself, it kicks off OK but soon our situations get us up a very shitty creek with no legal paddles.

          There seems, currently, no way to not pay the BBC because their output is not only dire, but also contrary to much the B used to stand for. Proven or otherwise.

          I can think of no other relationship in business or law that is so ‘unique’, and utterly incredible. It’s like having the full force of the law insist you in perpetuity chip into a drug co’s executive pension pot after your kid gets Thalidomide.

          And they know it.

          You either lie and risk perjury, or martyr yourself and gain nothing bar a fine and record. No other options.

          I knew the UK legal system was not worried often about fair, or logic, and often bent, but this has created a Gordian knot.

          My family is essentially cursed by a £145pa albatross; one that spreads further disease as it rots around our necks.

          Any party that stands up against this (OK… so long as part of a reasoned portfolio) gets my vote. The current Aunty-addicts… you are toast.


    • Millie Tant says:

      Something with that link –  my system identified two threats and blocked it.


  13. John Horne Tooke says:

    “We will also be running pieces in the near future from commentators from different parts of the political spectrum.”

    In which case they have an obligation to tell the reader when and by whom they will be delivered.

    “(i) that the dates and times of the other programmes comprised in the series should
    be announced at the time when the first programme so comprised is included in
    that service, or
    (ii) if that is not practicable, that advance notice should be given by other means of
    subsequent programmes so comprised which include material intended to
    secure, or assist in securing, that due impartiality is achieved in connection with
    the series as a whole;
    and the rules must, in particular, indicate that due impartiality does not require absolute
    neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.”

    “(8) For the purposes of this clause—
    “relevant output” means the output of any UK Public Service which—
    (a) consists of news, or
    (b) deals with matters of public policy or of political or industrial controversy;
    “programme”, except in paragraph (7)(c) and (d), includes any item of output in nonprogramme
    form; and
    “series of programmes”, except in paragraph (7)(d),”


  14. cjhartnett says:

    Maybe there should be a shade of pink pastel warning for upcoming BBC hogwash shows…with ex-Marxists like Mandelson, Reid and Dimbleby minor gettting the full fuchsia…and Martha Kearney and Jeremy Vine getting the rose pink.
    Introduce orange for Shirley Williams or lime green for Monbiot and Porritt.
    A traffic light warning along the lines of dodgy foods that aren`t good for you…or a number 1-10 representing libleftLalaluvvie land scale.
    Polly is all these things so go to Bristol Stool Index full-on brown for her…she personifies the whole sick spectrum of the liberals coat of a few pastelly colours.


  15. Paddy says:

    Yep, you’re right. Bogwash does probably date me and I apologise to the great Light blue uni for my unintended slight.

    One thing that does strike me as odd is, I work in the people’s republic of Sunderland. Every year the Sunderland echo has a ‘bonny baby’ contest. What’s laughable is the names of the poor gurning kids. Plenty of Kellys, Naimhs One or two Beyonces and. In my age group plenty of Dawns Carols Alisons and Marys but in my whole time in my solid working class home town I have never met a Polly.( apart from the one with the dolly who was sick sick sick)

    this is not some inverse snobbery thing but when some elitist patronising Tuscany trot tries to claim she has solidarity with the proletariat then a tend to get a little bit of sick in my mouth.

    I love my home town but what we don’t need is some government dependancy drip but real proper pro entreprenueral policies which allow a good and resourceful people to stand on their own two feet.

    My home was one of the engines of the industrial revolution . Subsidising Nissan countless millions to build £20k golf carts is just a cul de sac. Reduce benefits, reduce taxes on business and individuals. Let the working man keep more of his pay and allow him to work his own way out, like the Malaysians, Indonesians and hong kong Chinese. The beeb and their statist loving brethren want to keep us spoon fed like some zoo exhibit. They want us all doing call centre jobs or training to be gay and lesbian outreach workers. Give us the tools and a level playing field and then piss off and let us fend for ourselves.

    Sorry about the rant but Toynbee and he benefit drug pushers should go to jail along with the crack dealers. They are keeping hundreds of thousands benefit drug dependant.



    • Reed says:

      I know what you mean about the names, Paddy. Any trip to a protest camp for climate change activists, a plane crazy demo, a student protest or any of the other usual suspects and you’ll be greeted by a plethora of Arabellas, Jemimas and Tristrams.


    • John Anderson says:

      If Toynbee gave one jot for the working class she would be campaigning day in and day out against the two most regressive taxes in Britain that hit the working class disproportionately :

      1   The BBC licence fee

      2   The de facto taxes in fuel bills that go towards all the green nonsense – the wind turbines,  the wood-fired power staions etc that all require huge subsidy and are very damaging to our environment.  (I never see any wind turbines in Tuscany)

      Toynbee is a world-class hypocrite,  on these as well as so many other issues.    She is hardly touched by excessive fuel bills,  the BBC licence fee is a gnat’s bite to her.  But they are onerous to the poor,  and getting worse.

      There used to be a principle in English law that taxes could not be “hypothecated” – that is no tax could be levied with a Government specific expenditure in mind.  EG car tax was not automatically labelled to be spent on roads.

      Governments have driven a coach and horses through this principle – by sleight of hand.   The extra costs included in fuel bills are de facto a tax,  and they are specifically destined to subsidise inefficient energy plants. There is now genuine “fuel-bill poverty”.   That is the sort of issue that Toynbee should be protesting,  but as she does not give a damn about the workers who are hit hardest she won’t even look at the issue.