Wake up Calls

Last night’s BBC World Service broadcast two notable items for insomniacs. From Our Own Correspondent aired an old episode, first heard in 2007, by Martin Bell.
As a BBC correspondent Martin Bell had been “trained to be objective”, but later wondered whether such a thing could really be achieved.
TV news is the most powerful medium that has yet been devised, he said. Politicians and generals take account of it and adapt their policies accordingly. He spoke about impartiality, and warned against ‘false equivalency,’ and after giving what seemed to me a very shaky example concerning Hitler, (he persecuted the Jews, but he rescued the economy) he concluded that reporters should be aware of the moral ground and not stand equally between good and evil. But all the time questions were begged, and answers were not forthcoming. I’d like to have heard his view on another item that disturbed my slumbers. An episode of Hard Talk featuring Michael Morpurgo. I’ve heard most of the content before. He dragged out the incident during his infamous visit to Gaza, where he saw a sight that convinced him that the IDF deliberately target children. He wouldn’t hear any of the multifaceted explanations that might have shed new light on what he saw then, and he obviously hasn’t changed his mind now. Stephen Sackur even had a go, and accused him, gently, of naivety. I see from my earlier article I noted that Paxo also ‘had a go’ at him on Newsnight.
“Children were innocently picking up rubble. They weren’t shooting at anyone, they weren’t throwing stones, yes there was an exclusion zone, but a young man was shot in the leg, and that means the Israelis deliberately target children.”
He felt very very strongly about it, so like a good schoolteacher, he felt it was his privilege, nay, his duty as a famous storyteller, to side with the Palestinians against the Israelis.
I can’t say I warm to indignant smugness, especially when it’s wrong-headed and comes from a sentimental school-teacherish bloke who dresses only in clashing shades of red.

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13 Responses to Wake up Calls

  1. Span Ows says:

    This Martin Bell the white-suited hypocrite, yes? The lefty twat with a 35 year career at the BBC? I would have forgiven the hypocritical wanker ha dhe stood against a New Labour MP too…funny, he never did, can’t think why.


    • Demon1001 says:

      The very same Martin Bell who was “forgot” to declare various things he was required to do when he stood for election, just the same as the “sleazy” MP (Neil Hamilton) he defeated.  I have zero time for that sleazy, white-suited conman.


  2. ian says:

    Why would children “innocently” pick up rubble in an exclusion area?


    • LJ says:

      Absolutely – I lived in Africa for many years, and seen war zones. I have seen children sifting through rubble, climbing over rubble, sheltering under rubble, but I have never, ever seen children picking up rubble. For one thing, it is a never ending task. I also wondered why the word ‘innocently’ was inserted into that sentence…


  3. Dez says:


    The IDF are not “The Israelis”. Those who fire rockets into Israel from Gaza are not “The Palestinians”.

    In the “Hard Talk” episode you link to, Michael Morpurgo states;

    “There is cruelty on both sides, there is revenge on both sides”

    Protesting against the shooting of a child doesn’t mean you “side with the Palestinians” or that you are “against the Israelis”. It means that you are against shooting at children.

    Why is that so difficult for you to understand?


    • Cassandra King says:

      It is you who are projecting your prejudice I think. The use of children by the ‘Palestinian’ terrorists is well known by all, they send in children to throw stones as a cover and shield hoping that the IDF will present waiting photographers with material they can then present as IDF crimes.

      Whereas the IDF is governed by strict rules of engagement, the ‘Palestinian’ side is governed by nothing other than a degenerate blood lust and desire to use every method of conflict however dirty. The ‘Palestinian’ side uses/abuses its children placing them in the front line encouraing them to attack the IDF.

      This is not the actions of civilised people, it is the actions of savages, men hiding behind women and children, using them as human shields, presenting children in situations where they might be injured or killed. What is the definition of a “child”? Well it could mean a 16/17yr old man, the term is abused in order to peddle a narrative.

      A 15yr old young man has all the physical power of a man, the power and strength to kill, that young man is not a child. A 15yr old can kill as easily as an 18yr old. One side uses actual children, its child abuse, they also seek to describe young men as children in order to present the myth of IDF brutality.

      There is a dirty war going on, the use of actual children by ‘Palestinian’ thugs is well known and documented and yet the BBC sees none of this, is determined to report nothing of the dirty war. One thing is clear, the BBC is not giving us the whole story about the conflict is it? One side gets a free pass to use the most uncivilised methods of conflict, gets to present propaganda as fact, if that isnt bias I dont what is.


      • Span Ows says:

        You are wrong about one thing Casandra, the BBC does ‘see it’, however it doesn’t report it thereby making their bias premeditated and hence more evil. 


        • Cassandra King says:

          You could suppose that apart from the BBCs sympathy for these ‘Palestinian’ scum they are frightened of telling the truth because those savages would directly target the BBC.

          One side allows free MSM access and freedom and the other is ready to stamp on anyone that dares to air the reality.


    • sue says:

      Out of interest, had you heard Michael Morpurgo speak on this subject before, as I had?
      I only ask because it’s difficult to debate if not.

      Sometimes we have to assume familiarity with the subject, to save  reiterating the context over and over. That episode of Hard Talk treated that particular issue somewhat superficially, and I suppose I assumed that people reading the above post would have seen the publicity surrounding Mr Morpurgo’s trip at the time. (On the BBC)

      He did indeed say “There is cruelty on both sides, there is revenge on both sides” which might sound generously even-handed, albeit in a gritted-teeth type of manner, but there is a lot wrong with applying this kind of moral equivalence, or as Martin Bell would say, false equivalency,  to the Israelis and the Palestinians regarding cruelty and revenge.
      Mr. Morpurgo saw something in Gaza which he took at face value, and with no understanding of what he’d seen, he took no heed of warnings and advice, and refused to question the conclusion he jumped to. That’s because, like many others, he came to the situation with a preconceived idea, which I strongly suspect, did you.

      I would be delighted to take up your last point if you wish, but as you usually choose not to engage I won’t be unduly hurt if you pass.


    • ian says:

      Dez, I expect you sympathise with the nazis because they didn’t like Jews extracting their children’s blood to make passover matzos. 


  4. cjhartnett says:

    I hesitate to use the phrase “majoring on minors” but that is all that Dez seems to do.
    Whatever issue is chosen…there`ll be no looking at context, sweep or repeated patterns of lazy cliche and prejudice from the BBC…the very agent of state that none of us are free to refuse to fund without some
    efforts made to make us opt-in to paying them.
    I don`t really care whether Morpurgo used brasso or windolene to clean his thirty of pieces of silver Dez…I do care that Sackur gives him half an hours puff to reel off his platitudes and undoubted worldview( don`t need to even check it…he`s a liberal leftie and cherished at the BBC…so all poses and postures are all the same!).
    I do care about you spending so much time on polishing your ballbearings and sitting up on some toadstool in the hope you might cause someone to slip and slide-for no other reason but the hope of winding people up.
    If I`m wrong-do tell me-as I say I`ve not seen any of it-but if you`ve no facts or figures, have not looked at the language used, interruptions etc…then compared them to Sackurs weasling around, say Rudi Giulliani:…if you have no proof that Morpugo gets away with crap and sentimental slush, only because he`s an approved Beeb talking head; then do leave orf!
    I have included a couple of potential spelling errors above for you Dez should you wish to chew and bite to no discernible purpose…


  5. George R says:

    Will INBBC report this on NASRALLAH ?:  
    “Hizballah honcho Nasrallah reportedly worth $250 million”  
    Hizballah laundered drug money in U.S. banks