"so laughably inaccurate that I thought I must be hearing things"

Now, to be fair, it may be that Jeremy Paxman’s researchers are totally ignorant of British history – in other words, have been educated by leftist teachers. Because, after all, the tale of the Sudan spun by him last night sounds like the Guardian version of history. But as that CP Scott was always saying, facts are sacred.

Apparently his series “Empire” is a flagship programme. Pity the flagship is the Belgrano.

“Paxman’s version of the story of General Gordon in Khartoum was so laughably inaccurate that I thought I must be hearing things. I had to watch again on BBC iPlayer to check that my ears hadn’t been playing tricks. In a few minutes of television, Paxman managed to misunderstand every stage of the tale.”

Let David Blair at the Telegraph tell the whole sorry tale.

Paxo went IIRC to Malvern – where history obviously wasn’t taught that well. He should have gone to a decent state grammar like Bromsgrove County High School – Miss Scatchard would have put him right.

I can’t resist appending this family memory of General Gordon, taken from Hilary Hook’s memoir Home From The Hill. This chap, sitting under a tree in the 1950s, knew that the Turks ruled Sudan in 1885 – which is more than the makers of ‘Empire’ do.

“The chief brought us native beer in dirty calabashes, we gave him a mug of rum and sat under a council tree outside the village. The talk ranged through the usual topics, rain, cattle, raids, crops and recruits for the buluk…

‘You must be a great age,’ said Denis jokingly and then added, ‘perhaps you knew Gordon Pasha?‘ The chief considered this for a moment and then said gravely. ‘No, but my father often spoke of him, he worked under “Gordoon” Pasha when he was Governor here in the south. “Gordoon” Pasha was a God, he destroyed the slave traders. My father said that “Gordoon” Pasha’s eyes were like spears – no man dared tell him a lie. He was here many years, then he left us and the slavers came again but worse than before. They slew the great “Gordoon” Pasha in Khartoum and the Turks were driven from the Sudan.

Then terrible years came – we lived in fear. One day from over those hills …”

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20 Responses to "so laughably inaccurate that I thought I must be hearing things"

  1. Millie Tant says:

    This has been commented upon on the open thread where I posted it a while ago.


    • cjhartnett says:

      The first with breaking news Millie!
      Reckon this site needs a strapline at the bottom with those who comment first…and suitable “meeja” awards for these exclusives like yours.
      If I knew how to flood Ruperts agencies with this story-and could get it up and running so Paxman gets his “Goody” in (yet another) televised ceremony; I`d be a happy bunny.
      Maybe award myself a “Millie” to first spot the pratfalls of the beebs Big Beasts..Paxos one…Lord help them!


      • Millie Tant says:

        Oo er, cj!Go on: help yourself to a Millie! Sorry to be mundane but I was thinking of the right hand knowing what the left is doing and this wonderful high-tech comments system finding a way to bring them together. I’m sure someone will be able to transfer a batch of comments over from the open thread.


  2. Teddy Bear says:

    You would think that one of the best known national television presenters, earning in the region of £1million pounds a year, and picked to present a history programme on the British Empire, would make sure they got their facts straight before they did.

    But it appears, the BBC is just as inaccurate in their knowledge of history as they are in their knowledge of current affairs, so I suppose there’s quite an irony about this story.


    • cjhartnett says:

      Does this mean that Malvern lets them watch Horrid Histories…or do they watch dramas written by Lee Jasper, Bonnie Greer and Kunta Kinte as they get their muffins toasted.
      I imagine they`re all studying “Carry On Up the Khyber” for the next episode of this “drama”…tiffin anyone?
      At least now we can see why the BBCs news output needn`t bother FOI anymore…all art and literature, historical romance and fantasy..the BBC have “moved on and drawn a line” under any pretence to journalism…Marie Colvins death only served to remind them to get an opticians appointment!


  3. cjhartnett says:

    I`m hoping that Paxman gets his “University Cabbage” epaulettes ripped from his hacking jacket in some kind of public “Mr Gullibly Stupid” award by the bowing glass atrium that sways in Salford Quays.
    Make a change from Bowens Bilge Sinecure anyway.
    Maybe we should create a series of awards for them…the Jade Goody Award(ah bless `em!) for Historical Reasearch goes to Jeremy Paxman.
    Let Tristram or Simon give the gong…let Profs Starkey, Ferguson and Roberts pelt Paxo with damsons pulled straight from the Gordons Gin that was named after the great mans choice of bathwater...it`s all true…it sez `ere on me script mate


  4. Pounce says:

    The great socialist mission in which to reinvent black is white continues: which is why todays generation  are brainwashed by the likes of the bBC that:
    America is not our friend but nations such as Pakistan, Russia and China are.
    Christianity is an evil bigoted faith, but Islam isn’t.
    British Empire was the only Empire in History which ruled with an Iron Jack boot, Islam Empires on the other hand ruled with love, equality and cup cakes.
    Whites are not to be trusted, coloureds can only be angels.
    Homosexuals never lie, Heterosexuals only talk out of their arse.
    Terrorists are nice people, their victims aren’t.
    Terrorists is a hate word.
    Coloured is a hate word
    Jews cannot be trusted
    Global warming is a fact and anybody who questions it, is a liar.
    Meat is bad, vegetarianism is good
    Tobacco is bad, cannabis is good.
    All Nuclear power plants are bad and should be closed down, but Iran has a right to have them (That statement is from CND)
    And finally:
    Everybody is equal, but some are more equal than others. Isn’t that right Mr’s Blair.


  5. As I See It says:

    Universally Challenged

    One of Paxman’s put downs to the students on his quiz show was ‘…if you don’t know that you shouldn’t be here…’

    I say withdraw his BBC world visa.

    The BBC: Why let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

    The best line I remember from Bamber Gascoigne was ‘…and now for a round on deviations…but not the sort you’re thinking of…’


  6. North Mill Avoncliff says:

    I watched this out of curiosity, not expecting much –  and wasn’t suprised at the sneering PC relativism liberally laced with ignorance.

    Horrible histories rides again….

    I was astounded that we viewers weren’t encouraged to write personal apologies and make public displays of contrition for the actions of other people in the past…  

    Yuck. yuck. yuck and thrice yuck 


  7. hippiepooter says:

    The series would be far better with a serious person presenting it, not an overgrown teenager.


  8. Phil says:

    What about the poorly educated and thick as pig droppings BBC correspondent on Radio 5 this morning?

    She was reporting from the Hague where someone has been convicted by some international court or other. Victoria Derbyshire asked how old the convict was.

    She replied, in simpering, apologetic, girlie voice ‘He was born in 1960. My maths isn’t terribly good’.

    How much are we paying a thicko like this? And how did she get her job? Who does her daddy know?


  9. CHARLES says:

    Well gents I too went to Malvern athough a few years after the blessed Paxo and can testify that the teaching of history was just fine thank you.

    I can only presume that this deficit must be due to the BBC brainwashing courses, or perhaps it is now part of the employment terms to have a lobotomy and get properly programmed by the corporation who must be obeyed.


    • Limbal Smethwick says:

      No.  I think you’ll find that Paxo is lying. 

      He knows the history only too well – he just doesn’t want the rest of us to know it.


  10. George R says:

    INBBC: censoring 1,300 years of ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM from history. 

    PAXMAN, and political left berate the history of their own country, while omitting even mention of the long, ongoing Islamic jihad global conquest!  

    Alternative versions of history to that of Islam Not BBC (INBBC):-  
    1.) “Islam in Africa”  
    2.) “1,400 Years of Christian/Islamic Struggle: An Analysis”  


  11. RGH says:

    The ‘History’ was quite laughable awful….but worrying, of course.

    “Among the forces historians see as the causes of the (Mahdist) uprising are ethnic Sudanese anger at the foreign Turkish Ottoman rulers, Muslim revivalist anger at the Turks’ lax religious standards and willingness to appoint non-Muslims such as the Christian Charles Gordon to high positions and Sudanese Sufi resistance to “dry, scholastic Islam of Egyptian officialdom”.

    “Although the Egyptians were fearful of the deteriorating conditions, the British refused to get involved, “Her Majesty’s Government are in no way responsible for operations in the Sudan”, the Foreign Secretary Earl Granville noted.”

    Gladstone’s extreme reluctance to send forces to Khartoum…politically exploited to turn the GOM (Grand Old Man) into the MOG (Murderer of Gordon)….demonstrates the extreme unwillingness of HMG to get involved in the first place.


  12. Teddy Bear says:

    DV writes:’…Because, after all, the tale of the Sudan spun by him last nightsounds like the Guardian version of history.’

    Well you’re not far wrong. Seems after Paxman wrote his book Empire, the Guardian wrote a review 
    Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British by Jeremy Paxman – review 

    in which the journalist describes it as ‘Jeremy Paxman’s survey of British imperial rule is sharp and engaging’

    It shows how ignorant minds who only listen to each other simply convince themselves that their view is correct, regardless of truth and facts.


    • wild says:

      The BBC is an echo chamber of Leftist ignorance and bigotry. It is a bloated public service – the broadcasting arm of the public sector party. In the great tradition of Stalinist public service, you pay for it, they do what they want, and you are expected to be grateful.


  13. Span Ows says:

    Even David Balir in teh DT doesn’t get the whole picture: Gordon was there to organise and oversee the evacuation including all the Egyptians (not “just” Europeans).