268 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    Mark Easton deconstructs the Queen’s Speech, following the press release put out to ‘idiot reporters’.
    He is so much smarter than the government because he knows that it will be difficult to make private landlords check for illegal immigrants, that a new law against employing illegal labour won’t make much difference, and that the cost to the NHS of treating non-UK nationals is tiny.


    • chrisH says:

      The EU debate is seen as a split within the Tories…and of no interest to the rest of us really!
      No gay marriage, no plain ciggie packets, no minimum price for booze?…my God, have the Tories not been listening to Humphrys or the Today show these last three years?
      The BBC and Labours agenda is all we need to go along with….as for social care, the Eurozone, Islamic terror…well hardly the stuff of plain ciggie packets is it?
      Planet Liberal is one hell of a place isn`t it?


  2. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    Deaths as ship rams Genoa tower
    The bBBC thinks the most relevant related story is its ‘Italy profile’ …
    Take the art works of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio, the operas of Verdi and Puccini, the cinema of Federico Fellini, add the architecture of Venice, Florence and Rome and you have just a fraction of Italy’s treasures from over the centuries.

    While the country is renowned for these and other delights, it is also notorious for its precarious political life and has had several dozen governments since the end of World War II.


  3. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    Here’s today’s bBBC anti-American story: the US tops the world table of children who don’t get enough sleep!
    They find an expert to tell us that ‘lack of sleep is going to leave pupils more emotionally volatile, more potentially disruptive and physically struggling to learn’.


  4. George R says:

    BENGHAZI hearings in U.S.:
    -how long will BBC-Democrat BLACK-OUT continue?

    In contrast:

    Glenn Beck’s ‘The Blaze’ has:-




  5. AsISeeIt says:

    ‘BBC let us down over Leveson, claims former Radio 4 journalist’


    “Too often the BBC flagship news programmes choose soft targets – not the big game. It is one thing to give a coalition minister a verbal roasting over some perceived ‘split’, quite another to take on vested interests with hard evidence as the newspapers did over MPs’ expenses,”


    • Guest Who says:

      Interesting piece.
      Attracting a not unexpected series of comments already, not least the inevitable irony-free ‘as it’s the BBC it should not be held up to the light’ effort, which attracted this pithy response:
      ‘Much of the most trenchant and forthright BBC bashing seems to come from people who used to work for it.’
      That does seem the case.
      Now, what is it about the BBC that keeps them mute when within, yet so keen to atone once released?
      Hardly suggestive of any ‘unique’ that is too healthy in a transparent public sector entity with a growing reputation for censorship, a DG lauded as the most powerful yet, and an oversight Chairman who appears to have long forgotten whose interests he’s meant to represent.


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      The Grauniad summary is, as you would expect, biased. You need to read Aitken’s whole article in The Times.
      Bits that the Grauniad have omitted include:
      … it is improbable that it [the BBC] would have broken the story of gangs of Asian men grooming young white girls to sexually abuse. The BBC’s instinct, arising out of a desire to avoid giving offence to minority groups, would have been to suppress it. This wrongheadedness – putting desired social outcomes above the need to be candid – is a besetting BBC sin.
      The truth is that the BBC’s news agenda is quite different from that of the press.
      But even Aitken doesn’t pick up the key point that the BBC shouldn’t have a ‘news agenda’. It takes our money to provide an impartial service.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        As Helen Boaden once admitted, there are too many fools working as BBC journalists who think they shouldn’t report stories where minority groups do wrong things because the BBC is committed to diversity.

        Click to access report.pdf

        (bottom of Pg. 67)

        Helen Boaden said that the BBC’s institutional attitudes were sometimes confused with its editorial policy. As an employer, the BBC was ‘passionately committed to diversity beyond what the law requires’, and this led to muddled thinking. ‘I’ve literally had conversations with my journalists, who think we can’t say nasty things about black people even if they’re true, “because we’re committed to diversity, aren’t we?”’

        She quoted an example from some years ago when she was editor of File on Four. A reporter working on a programme about victimisation at Feltham young offenders’ institution rang her up. ‘He said, “Helen, we’ve found out that most of the victims of the bullying are white, and most of the bullies are black. Can we say it?” And I said, “If you’ve got the evidence and it’s fairly weighted, of course you can say it”. It was terribly telling, that. Because of the confusion with the institution’s aspirations, that had filtered into the journalism.’ The programme went on to win a gold Sony Radio Award.

        No change in management structure will fix stupid.


  6. noggin says:

    the spiritual heart of islam, the personal journey, islamic pilgrims ya da ya da – bbc

    and yet, when this fellow went to mecca, to get “closer the teachings” etc, on his “spiritual journey” … this “islamic pilgrim” .etc …. ow queer! he ended up like this?


    but so glad, this is just one more of the (not so) tiny minority, that equate islam with violence eh!
    so glad its nothing to do with the teachings of love and peace 😀

    Snippet of formal prayers at Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. As Muslims circumambulated around the Ka’ba, the following supplications were blasted on a megaphone, chanted to by Islam’s devotees:
    O Allah vanquish the unjust Christians and the criminal Jews, the unjust traitors; strike them with your wrath; make their lives hostage to misery; drape them with endless despair, unrelenting pain and unremitting ailment; fill their lives with sorrow and pain and end their lives in humiliation and oppression; inflict your tortures and punishments upon the unjust Christians and criminal Jews. This is our supplication, oh oh Allah; grant us our request!


    • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

      An entreaty that is barbarian and savage in nature.

      We are encouraged not to brand all followers of the ROP with those adjectives.
      Sometimes difficult not to make a connection.


      • noggin says:

        the followers,(or might i say born into)
        this ideology, must be differentiated from the ideology itself, it is by being “closer” to islam … more pious even, that in example after example causes the catastrophe we read about all to often.
        if your “religion”? is TRULY peaceful, and passive then being more extreme in that passivity holds no threat whatsoever


    • George R says:

      A significant, but somewhat hidden event in modern history of Islam at Mecca, is the following:

      ‘THE SIEGE OF MECCA: The Forgotten Uprising’

      by Yaroslav Trofimov.

      “The date was the First of Muharran of Islam’s year 1400 – which in calendars kept by infidel Westerners corresponded to November 20, 1979.”

      (For opening pages of above book, go to ‘look inside’ below)


  7. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    A gang of pikeys keeps 100 men as slaves. For the bBBC the key ‘related story‘ is the psychology of their victims.


  8. chrisH says:

    Just heard the last 45 mins of BBC output on Radio 4 (4…4.45pm Wed 8/5/13).
    Miliband tops and tails the news and gets a soundbite to seal the item…it`s as if HE is the real Government in exile.
    We get Laurie Taylor sneering and schmoozing with big words about “gated communities”…clearly these are elitist, unequal and so unfair…and here are former colleagues and quacks from York Unis Sociology Dept to confirm this for us all.
    We then get the Media Show where Harriet Harman gets 15 minutes to cite Dowler, Leveson…to slag off Rupert, and to tell us all that this concern about NewsCorps share of the market does NOT read across to the BBC.
    Harriet thinks that the BBC don`t yet have enough influence( Savile?…who?)-and it`s all matter of the lovely state being not loved enough…and the nasty private sector not being nobbled or cowed sufficiently.
    45 minutes of Lord Haw Haw…and let`s hope I`ve got the message eh?
    Subtle, clever and dispassionate…our BBC is none of these things.


    • Guest Who says:

      Already a few choice comments on the still astoundingly uncurious BBC market rate Alzheimers gathering on the top floor.
      I did like this rather pithy summary of the shuffle board too:
      ‘I tried to take some comfort from Patten’s words too, but then glib effusions must come easily to such an accomplished political operator. Nevertheless, it’s interesting that of the BBC news folk who were at the seminar, Boaden has been moved to radio, Mitchell has ‘left the Corporation’, Rippon has been put in charge of some god-forsaken archive, Entwistle is enjoying his severance pay after nearly bringing the whole edifice tumbling down, and Harrabin seems to have all but vanished into well deserved obscurity.
      Envy of the world, Ma… Envy of the world!


  9. Alex says:

    Bias BBC Reporting Scotland alert, Biased BBC Reporting alert. The pro-SNP ‘News’ program tries to frame sir Alex Fergeson as a Nationalist when they know he’s in fact a staunch Unionist. Pathetic!


  10. George R says:

    Beeboid Benghazi Blackout.

    This has been so complete, and for so many hours that it’s difficult not to speculate as to whether BBC-Democrats (Mardell & Kay and Co) knew the Hearings would be bad news for their Obamessiah, and so planned minimum coverage in advance.


  11. DJ says:

    Here’s a blast from the past I stumbled over:

    [BBC producer Jonathan Renouf] explained that his presenter Paul Rose, a scientist, was going to pose as someone dubious about the warming theory because he was troubled by talk of the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age… Briffa’s job, the producer went on, would be to “prove” to Paul that what we’re experiencing now is NOT just another of those natural fluctuations we’ve seen in the past.


    When are we going to get a program where Beeboids pose as journalists?


  12. David Lamb says:

    Prof Hawkings supports the Pallies and boycotts an Israeli conference. The BBC appear to get the story right but end with a rather puzzling statement from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.
    “A spokeswoman for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign added: “Many will be taken aback at the extreme reaction among Israel’s supporters to the news of Prof Hawking’s support for the Palestinian call for boycott.
    “We urge those opposed to boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions to respect freedom of speech.”

    So opposing boycotts reveals a lack of respect for free speech.



  13. John Anderson says:

    My sense of the Benghazi affair – having watched the BBC playing all the Watergate stuff for 2 years or more – is that Benghazi is actually more serious than Watergate – much more serious direct consequences including the deaths, direct responsibility of Hillary for failing to provide adequate security for the ambassador, direct responsibility at the top of the administration for trying to cover up the fact that the attacks were pure planned terrorism rather than some spontaneous mob action, and now a lot of evidence that the administration has been trying to keep the cover-up going by stopping people talking to congress.

    Benghazi was always too big to be suppressed indefinitely. Most of the US media played along with the cover-up during the election and since, but truth will out.

    And in all this the BBC has participated in the obfuscation, the suppression of facts and news. Watergate – wall to wall coverage, hours of it every week on BBC TV, Benghazi – “what’s the fuss about?”



    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Plus the apparent orders from….somewhere….to stand down from rescuing the people at the compound. That’s possibly worse than Hillary’s decision not to provide more security beforehand. But it’s equally as awful as her lying to the victims’ families about the video connection.


      • John Anderson says:

        Yes – two decisions really – the order to Tripoli not to send reinforcements, already in Tripoli – and the order not to fly fast-response units into Libya

        Today has seen hours of dramatic testimony to the investigation in Congress = particularly by Ambassador Stevens’ deputy. Some appalling stuff.

        But not a cheep about it on the BBC news page for the US and Canada.


  14. Teddy Bear says:

    A man agrees to appear on Panorama regarding his gambling addiction, on the basis his identity will be kept anonymous. So the BBC team obscure his face so that’s not recognisable, but don’t edit his voice.

    Who would have thought somebody’s voice could be distinctive enough to be recognised?
    Clearly not the BBC. 🙄

    Panorama breached Ofcom code with privacy breach


  15. Teddy Bear says:

    A few days ago I saw this article, which shows the BBC banning pot plants from staff desks because ‘foliage could be used as a form of ‘desk-grab’ to mark out territory and ‘form un-collaborative barriers’ with colleagues.’ Kettles, microwaves and coat-stands were also on the blacklist 🙄

    Now it transpires that paramedics were preventing treating a person with a suspected heart attack because of what ‘viewers might see’.

    When the content is suspect, how fitting that they will concentrate more on appearance.

    They have their priorities wrong – dead wrong.

    Auntie is watching: Security so tight at BBC’s new £1bn HQ that ‘paramedics were stopped from reaching man who was having a heart attack’


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      ‘This cannot be allowed to happen again. A more sensible solution has to be found, such as putting screens up. Fortunately on this occasion the person in question was not critically ill, but the BBC cannot let petty rules potentially put lives in danger.’

      They can just ban anyone over 35 from the areas where they might appear on screen, problem solved.

      The other stuff about banning plants and other items from desks is typical of offices with free-range desking, from what I hear from friends who work in places like that. It can’t be helping the already low staff morale. Good thing the BBC is restructuring the management hierachy, eh?


  16. zz says:

    Not bias, but lack of scrutiny/safety/editorial control.
    I’ve submitted the following complaint to BBC – as I consider this to be a serious safety issue. I do hope nobody is injured as a consequence of the organisation’s lack of common sense. I think it also raises the issue of a lack of scrutiny of those channels aimed at children.
    During the program Prank Patrol (CBBC), the prank involved the use of a pressure washer – supposedly at a car washing business. During the setting up of the prank, a person was sprayed with the pressure washer. The actual prank was set up with an actor to be targetted by the pressure washer which happened in due course. The instructions for pressure washers normally include warnings not to spray people or animals with the pressure washer. While the pressure washer in use was set to a spray pattern rather than jet, this does not negate the disregard for safety instructions issued with such machines. The fact that this programme is aimed at young children risks emulation of such dangerous activity, and did not even appear to contain warnings not to do this at home.


  17. Guest Who says:

    At risk of a circling self-elected hall monitor swooping in full ‘where’s what it says on the tin! I demand a refund’, this is not about BBC bias.
    But it is about organisations dedicated to the public mind not being unsettled creating internal systems to ensure that whatever comes out, it’s made of the right kind of garbage to meet narrative requirements no matter what may have gone in.
    It just reminds me of the BBC complaints process.
    Given such ‘interesting’ ways of voting and result harvesting, and the heft often accorded the RCS in reflecting the science of our lives, I wonder if the BBC’s English and PPE grads tasked to explain matters technobabble to the public have or may be persuaded to offer a view?
    Looking at the numbers, on previous evidence we might at best expect a semantic exercise muttering about the vote being ‘split’.
    One may also wonder (as this is all one can do) as to what the paperwork was that resulted in most BBC senior positions being filled by senior BBC persons, often without the tiresome hassle of looking or advertising elsewhere: bloke next door, or bird up the hall back from side-step duty? Lord Hall Hall’s market rate decision making stress must be simply beastly.
    So, a self-serving, self-propagating old boys’ network on par with FIFA, only with added public funds bunged in.
    Now, who does that remind one of?