True Lies


I see that our resident contrarians spent the best part of a day trying to persuade readers that the BBC is entirely innocent of any anti-Israeli spin in its preferred choice of questions for a Gallup poll.

I think a more informed, impartial and rational look at the information tells the true story.


The excellent BBC Watch has come to the same conclusion that Biased BBC did when it looked at David Cowling’s, the BBC’s Head of Political Research, comments about which question was his favourite in the Gallup world poll….that he was , of course, referring to Israel….


DC: “Yes, I think it would be “Which country do you believe to be the greatest threat to world peace today?”. I suspect that – working with journalists – I know colleagues who would be quite excited by what might be coming out of…”

Humphrys interrupts:

“That’s certainly true, but isn’t it a bit narrow? Because there aren’t many…although you could say of course the United States because it’s the most powerful, or you could say China because it’s whatever, or you could say North Korea because it’s bonkers, or you know….

DC: “What I’d be interested in, John, is the variations. So for example there are going to be questions asked in Lebanon, in the West Bank and Gaza. I suspect different answers there if it was asked..”

So, with Cowling having already done his bit as far as trying to influence BBC audiences into selecting a specific question is concerned, all that remains is to place bets on the phrasing of upcoming BBC headlines to be written by those “quite excited” journalists – and it might not be outlandish to assume that there is a fairly strong possibility that the words “Israel” and “threat” will be in there somewhere.’



Nothing clearer than that…no doubt that Cowling was referring to Israel. 


The real question that the BBC might like to ask is why is it that people view Israel in such a negative light?

Could it possibly be that it is inherent in the thinking of the BBC staff such as Cowling who ably illustrated the problem in that interview…his first thought was of Israel as a ‘threat to world peace‘….could it be that years of BBC negative reporting, amongst other’s, on Israel has led to….

Brainwashing and the demonising of Israel

In 2003 the EU conducted a similar poll and guess what the result was….

Senior Israeli figures have voiced anger at a European survey labelling their country the greatest threat to world peace.

“We are not only said but outraged. Not at European citizens but at those who are responsible for forming public opinion,” Israel’s mission to the EU said in a statement.

The Israeli Minister for the Diaspora affairs, Natan Sharansky, said the results showed the EU engaged in “rampant brainwashing”.

European Commission President Romano Prodi expressed his concern about the findings, saying that they “point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand”.

“To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical,” Mr Prodi said in a statement.

“The European Union, which shows sensitivity on human rights issues, would do well to stop the… demonising of Israel before Europe deteriorates once again to dark sections of its past,” Mr Sharansky said.


Could such polls have an effect on how the EU conducts its policies?

Earlier, an EU spokesman played down the importance of the survey.

The spokesman, Gerassimos Thomas, said the poll results would not affect European policy-making in the short term……But the BBC’s Tim Franks in Brussels says the findings may reduce European diplomats’ effectiveness in dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict by heightening Israeli distrust of the EU.’

 Despite the EU’s half hearted denial it is obvious these polls are used to influence policy as Gallup tells us:

‘Giving you the power to act on what the world is thinking’




In 2007 the BBC conducted its own poll…..Thanks to George R for providing this link to the article about that BBC poll which managed to finger Israel as the world’s most dangerous nation.

It seems that the BBC has learnt nothing.

This is what the 2007 survey asked:

According to the BBC, the survey “gave respondents a list of 12 countries and asked whether they had a mostly positive or mostly negative influence in the world. “The country with the highest number of mostly negative responses overall is Israel (56% negative, 17% positive).

This is the reason for the negative outlook:

“It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the use or pursuit of military power,” said pollster Steven Kull, who directed the survey.


So Israel is a dangerous country because of the use of military power?

No questions as to why it might be forced to use that military power?

What do Hamas and Hezbollah use then? Of course, as the BBC’s Mishal Husain says they are only ‘home made contraptions‘.

The evil Israelis defending themselves against the peace loving Palestinians…..appalling warmongers those Joows.






Honestly, you would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the overt bias this item exudes at 8.10am (prime time listening)  on the Today programme exudes! It is the latest attempt by the BBC to thrown as much gloom and doom over any nascent economic recovery as is possible! In an attempt to point out that “the squeezed middle” is not becoming “the eased middle”, the BBC pick two inner city public sector types who they last interviewed in 2012.  Guess what? Yup, life is not really that much better. I think one admits to being a Labour Party member. I laughed at the headline “trickle down not working”. My but Ed Balls must be pleased at the efforts of the comrades.

Which Country Is The Greatest Threat To World Peace?


The Today programme (07:45) updated us on the progress of the BBC’s latest wheeze:

The Today programme is asking listeners to come up with questions to put to tens of thousands of people in more than 60 countries around the world.

The programme will submit two questions suggested by listeners to feature in the Gallup International poll.

A panel including the BBC’s Head of Political Research David Cowling and the Today programme’s Sarah Montague will then decide which questions will be put forward.


There is a short list of three questions now:

1.  Which country do you believe to be the greatest threat to world peace today?

2.  Does religion generally play a positive role in your country?

3.  If politician’s were predominantly women would the world be a better place?


The BBC’s Head of Political Research David Cowling tells  us that the questions need to be topical and able to engage a wide range of countries…that is be relevant everywhere.


John Humphry’s asked Cowling which question was his favourite….any guesses?

No need to guess….it was of course which country is the greatest threat to world peace?…..and which country did he immediately reference, if obliquely?

Again no need to guess…..Israel.


Not  for example Pakistan which was created in exactly the same way that Israel was….by creating a separate state for one religion…in this case Muslims, a State which created the Taliban and provides a safe haven for its leaders, which wants to annex Afghanistan, which wants to occupy and Islamise all of Kashmir, which  has 300 terrorist training camps within its borders, which constantly sends terrorists into India to launch attacks, which sent a nuclear scientist to rogue states such as Libya, North Korea and Iran to help them develop nuclear weapons.

Pakistan, the islamic Zionist state.

Whereas Israel…what has Israel done?  It has been under attack for 65 years with constant attempts to wipe it off the map along with the Jews living there.  If no one attacked Israel there would be peace in the Middle East…at least for Israelis.

The reality is that it is Muslims who have been attacking…they are the aggressors. 


If Pakistan is a legitimate state then Israel must also be one….and what about what must now be 10’s of millions of Sikh and Hindu ‘refugees’ who are denied a place in their ancestral lands?  Do they have a right of return?


Shame that the BBC is still pushing the anti-semitic line that Israel is a ‘danger’ just by existing……bit like blaming the girl in the skimpy dress for being raped…it’s her fault of course.

The fact that they never consider Pakistan in the same light as Israel is very telling.


Of course the BBC could save the judges a choice by merging the first two questions and ask which group of people or which ideology poses the greatest threat to world peace rather than limit it to within certain borders.


Now that would be an interesting question.  Of course the BBC woud not like the answer I suspect.


The Tyranny of Experts


‘The uncritical reproduction of scientific orthodoxy is a far more egregious error: it denies that error can be observed from without the consensus.’


There was a  huge fuss generated by the Hotheads of the pro AGW side of the climate debate over the Andrew Neil interview with Ed Davey, asking him if government climate and energy policy should be changed to take into account the new facts…such as a 16 year ‘pause’ in global warming.


The major bone of contention, or contrived argument against the interview, was that neither participant was a scientist.  The reality was that the critics didn’t like the line of questioning and therefore sought to claim Neil, as a mere journalist, cannot possibly be qualified to speak knowledgeably on the subject and Davey, as a politician is similarly challenged.

Hmmm…but isn’t that the job of both the journalist and the politician…to gather information or advice, analyse it and come to some conclusion…and in the case of the politician to make far reaching decisions based upon his understanding of that science.


The ‘Hotheads’ are not so critical of Davey when he makes decisions that go in their favour…then he is wise and knowledgeable.

The ‘Hotheads’ are not so critical of journalists like Harrabin or Black who seem to toe the ‘party line’.


 My criticism of the BBC in this case is to ask why is it that a political journalist is asking questions about climate policy that the BBC’s own environmental journalists should be asking…but don’t.


Could it be that Harrabin has spent years, in collusion with Dr Joe Smith, attempting, very successfully, to prevent any such questions and consequent debate being raised.



There is an excellent article on this conflict of interests here (via Bishop Hill)

The emphasis on expertise is either hopelessly naive or it is an attempt to delimit permissible areas of debate for strategic ends. Heaven forefend that politicians should be interrogated, lest it turn out that far-reaching and expensive policies turn out to have been, if not drafted by people who do not have a grasp of their subject, executed by them.

In spite of all the criticism levelled against him, then, Andrew Neil, in just one show, has done more to promote an active understanding of climate science and its controversies than has been done by the Carbon Brief blog, academics at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and elsewhere, Bad Science warriors, and a legion of Tweeters who claim to speak for science have done in their entire existences. Along the way, it is possible that Neil made some inconsequential technical mistakes. But by contrast, the uncritical reproduction of scientific orthodoxy is a far more egregious error: it denies that error can be observed from without the consensus. So much for ‘science’.


Perhaps the BBC might like to rethink its policy of not engaging ‘sceptics’.


In the comments for this article Mike Hulme, from the UEA, so no climate sceptic, said this about the ‘consensus’ (via Bishop Hill)….

Mike Hulme July 25, 2013 at 6:39 am

Ben Pile is spot on. The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to that adopted in Anderegg et al.’s 2010 equally poor study in PNAS: dividing publishing climate scientists into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?



Perhaps the BBC should start to pay attention……‘Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?’


Hulme also said this when trying to answer the question should climate experts over ride politicians when deciding how to tackle climate change:

 ‘….we risk the tyranny of “the expert” and the mighty power of naturalism will suppress the creative and legitimate tension of agonistic human beings. ‘



It is unfortunate that with the success of Harrabin and the CMEP in closing down debate the BBC has opted for the ‘tyranny of experts’.





I know we’ve done a lot on Zimmerman already but I couldn’t let this pass without a blogpost.

Take a look at the considered opinion of BBC News Channel journalist Robert Rea on the day of the Zimmerman verdict. Rea claims Zimmerman only shot Martin because he was black, and it was shameful that he wasn’t found guilty by the jury. All twelve of them.

The jurors sat through all the evidence and concluded that Zimmerman was not guilty.

Rea’s grasp of the proceedings is such that he didn’t even know there were only six jurors.

His reaction is typical of many – an emotional response to a superficial narrative promoted by an agenda-driven media. That he can work in a BBC newsroom and be so ignorant of simple details of the trial is embarrassing, and doesn’t say much for the BBC’s own coverage of the court case. Of course, not knowing what went on in the courtroom didn’t prevent him from denouncing the jury for coming to the wrong verdict. It was just obvious the verdict was wrong, wasn’t it? It was the accepted wisdom in the newsroom.

This trial-be-damned Justice-4-Trayvon emoting has characterised the tweets of those BBC journalists I’ve seen commenting on the case. Just this morning I stumbled on a couple more from the day of the verdict.

BBC journalist Jo Deahl:

BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show producer Laura Harmes:

Further ignorance of, and disdain for, the jury there. And once again an emotional superficial understanding of the case.

A few days ago Richard Lawson, senior producer at Radio 5 Live, blocked me on Twitter for the following tweet:

I’ve read lots of tweets by BBC hacks expressing sadness and anger over the verdict, and seen lots of links from them to articles in lefty publications reinforcing those emotions. I’ve yet to find a BBC journalist who tweeted that the Zimmerman verdict was right and proper.

Until evidence to the contrary emerges I’ll stick with my verdict: groupthink.


Had to laugh at the BBC this morning doing its very best to cast cold water on further signs of at least some modest economic recovery.  First the bad news for the comrades..

The UK economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to June, according to official figures.  The figure was in line with market expectations, and is up from 0.3% growth in the previous quarter.

Thankfully, renowned economist Nick Robinson is here to tell us that it is  “Growth but not as we know it”  As if that was not enough then we have this ” The view from the shop floor” On the Today programme, caution was thrown to the wind and a veritable barrel of cold water was thrown over the positive news. It’s going so WRONG for Labour’s meme that we are all doomed and so the BBC has to resort to dousing every green shoot of recovery with its own toxic pesticide.

Low Hanging Fruit


The BBC’s ‘News Quiz’ is hardly worth posting on…it’s so evidently designed purely as a vehicle for leftie comedians, so called, to vent their spleens against the evil Tories that not much needs to be said about it.

Last Saturday’s effort toed the Party line and the first attack was on Lynton Crosby…then there was a completely joke free rant about the  welfare cap and a claim that IDS had invented some ‘bogus figures’…the rest of the programme seemed to be made up of reading out allegedly humorous newspaper clippings which  listeners had sent in.

All great fun.

It couldn’t be that they have a list of things they want to rant about and if they possibly can they will try and fit in a joke, but if they can’t, well, never mind? 

Toksvig and crew couldn’t resist mentioning the Daily Mail of course, and not forgetting Nigel Farage…subtly linking him to the Nazis as is the usual BBC practice.

Toksvig states, for the benefit of Daily Mail readers, small minded and insular beings that they are,  that immigrants actually pay more tax than native Brits….so there!!!

Really?  There’s a special immigrant tax rate is there?  or maybe they’re just more upstanding and moral than the rest of us…they pay what they think they ought to pay in a fair and just society….as set out by the sainted Margaret Hodge?!