Tone Deaf




Evan Davis interviewed Nigel Farage and it went pretty much as you might expect, Davis not focussing on policy but instead intent on painting Farage as some sort of racist rabble rouser who uses unnecessarily inflammatory language.

The BBC website’s follow up was equally determined to paint a similar picture and uses a snearing tone to undermine and discredit Farage as incompetent or ‘angry’.  The headline of their report itself is an indicator of what the BBC wants you to think…..they have decided what is important in the interview and highlighted it…but it was their question that set up the premise about Farage’s ‘tone’ and it was they who decided this was an issue, it is the BBC, Evan Davis, who insinuates that Farage’s ‘tone’ is somehow unacceptable….and that Farage used it cynically, not really meaning what he said about immigration, in order merely to ‘get noticed’….

Farage ‘used tone to get noticed’

The problem with that is what do they mean by ‘tone’?  Judging by the way the interview went ‘tone’ is not tone of voice, it is not the way you say something, not the language you use, but in this case it is the content of what Farage says….that immigration must be controlled and that multiculturalism has led to various segregated communities that are unhealthy for society…..apparently that is the ‘tone’ that is unacceptable.

Davis only really began the interview (and this is where Newsnight decided to start their edit of the interview from) when he started to ask about UKIP’s polling numbers and linked it to ‘image’ saying that UKIP was polling less than support for its policies might suggest because…..‘there might be a whiff of meanness and divisiveness about the Party’.

Farage tried to answer but was constantly interrupted by Davis who then declared that he think’s this has something to do with your tone, the way you talk about immigration.

So that’s the usual Evan Davis Stalinist-like show trial technique in operation….label someone a racist, demand they prove themselves innocent, interrupt so they can’t explain themselves and then tell them they are racist ….and then declare ‘let’s move on’ before the victim has a chance to object.

So Davis has already set up Farage as somewhat sinister and possibly racist and then tries to ‘prove’ his own labelling of Farage by using the ‘proof’ of his own interpretation of how Farage talks about immigration…naturally Davis, an ardent pro-immigration extremist himself, thinks anyone who talks about controlling immigration is wrong.

But never mind that Davis not only labels Farage with a strawman argument and then goes on to ‘prove’ it with his own thoughts, is he right that UKIP is polling low because it looks ‘mean and divisive’ due to Farage’s ‘tone’?

One reason is that UKIP has been under sustained attack from nearly every news outlet with their own vested interests intent on discrediting and underming UKIP…but even that isn’t the major cause for the low poll ratings.

The real reason UKIP polls low is that people recognise the bigger picture…vote UKIP and you may well end up with Miliband….vote Tory you will at least get a vote on Europe, under Labour you definitely won’t….so one major issue for UKIP supporters has been hijacked by Cameron…..and they also know that UKIP will not, certainly in this election, become a party that can win a majority and fulfill its promise to take us out of Europe and cut immigration….so they vote tactically, and certainly many Tory voters who might vote UKIP will remain Tory although many disgruntled Labour voters may well decide UKIP is less disagreeable than voting Tory.

Davis’ interpretation is wrong and coloured entirely by his own issues with immigration and Europe, not to mention HIV and its associations with Gays in relation to Farage’s comments on HIV positive immigrants and the NHS.

The BBC website tells us….

[Farage] does plenty of interviews and he’s got two televised debates under his belt, but this was probably the toughest exchange so far.

During a half hour of intense scrutiny Nigel Farage was at times tetchy, even angry. “I’m not having this,” he said, when he accused his interrogator of misquoting him. “I don’t hate anything” he said when he thought words were being put in his mouth. “I couldn’t care less,” he said – twice – when pushed on one sensitive issue. He was combative and he stood his ground.

But the interview did emphasise one thing – numbers are not his strong point.  On UKIP’s plan for big tax cuts and deficit reduction he was nonchalant in saying “dynamic growth” in the economy – more revenue from less tax – was the secret to it working.

Farage’s ‘toughest exchange yet’?  Hardly think so….LBC’s James O’Brien’s kangaroo court was by far the ‘toughest’ if only for the continual stream of made up accusations and half-truths O’Brien attempted to lynch Farage with…and yet Farage kept his cool and showed O’Brien to be less than credible as an interviewer and distinctly dishonest.  Evan Davis was less dramatic but had the same intent as O’Brien, to smear Farage with whatever trumped up charge came to hand.

At one point Davis played a clip from an interview Farage did on Fox News about the rise of radical Islam in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo and claimed this was an example of an unacceptable tone.  It was in fact Farage merely saying what many, many other people, from politicians, to journalists, to academics,  have said.

Davis seems to be saying that any criticism of Islam is unacceptable and shouldn’t be voiced lest we ‘upset’ Muslims, making them feel ‘under siege’.…leading to radicalisation.  The BBC seems to have no problem with a communtiy that says ‘If you criticise us we will turn nasty’….but does have a problem with anyone who suggest FGM, or polygamy, extreme intolerance, or indeed extremism based upon religion, is wrong.

Farage and Davis get sidetracked as to whether Farage in the clip is talking about Islam in the UK, he actually was in that BBC clip, but the interview as a whole was about radical Islam generally and was based upon events in Paris and so Farage, having done so many interviews, may be excused for not remembering the exact details of the clip…especially as it was edited to be very short and without context.

Cuious that Davis thinks this is ‘mean and divisive’……..


Davis dismisses the claim that the Archbishop of Canterbury said we should accept Sharia law in the UK by saying ‘He was misunderstood’.

No, no he wasn’t.  He quite clearly ssaid that we should accept a parallel system of law based upon Sharia…because….if we don’t it will upset Muslims and there will be a ‘breakdown in cohesion’...what could he possibly mean by that?

 “as a matter of fact certain provisions of sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law” ……. “the application of sharia in certain circumstances – if we want to achieve this cohesion and take seriously peoples’ religion – seems unavoidable?”


Here is the BBC’s very own report on the matter….

Sharia law in UK is ‘unavoidable’

Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4’s World at One that the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said “there’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts – I think that’s a bit of a danger”.

“There’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law.”


So we must accept that Muslims do not want to be ruled by British law and must have their own legal system…and whatever else they want to keep them happy and quiet.

Farage was right, Davis wrong on that important point.

Things then got surreal with Davis suggesting the recent children’s film about Paddington Bear showed the wonders of immigration and multi-culturalism….‘a proclamation of the virtues of multiculturalism which I know you hate…’

Farage then objected to the word ‘hate’ as it was perjorative and seemingly designed to be a ‘ramping up of the rhetoric’ about him by Davis.

I wonder where Davis got the ‘Paddington’ angle from…..maybe the left-leaning Economist:

UKIP, pursued by a bear

MANY Britons were raised on tales of Paddington, the second-best-known bear in fiction after Winnie-the-Pooh. A kind of ursine Jacques Tati, the well-meaning Paddington caused chaos wherever he went through a mixture of clumsiness and cultural misunderstanding; the best moments usually involved his clashes with pompous British officialdom.

A new film version, directed and written by Paul King, focuses on a quality for which the British once prided themselves—a welcoming attitude towards refugees. An archetypal British explorer called Montgomery Clyde (who travels with grand piano and grandfather clock) meets Paddington’s aunt and uncle, introduces them to the joys of marmalade, and tells them of the warm welcome they can expect in London. When an earthquake destroys their home in “darkest Peru”, Paddington is duly sent to London to seek shelter.

[Laughed at this bit..]

If this interpretation had been served up by the BBC, the publicly subsidised national broadcaster, the howls of protest from the Daily Mail and Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-immigrant UK Independence Party, would have been deafening.

It was a reminder that UKIP polls relatively poorly in multicultural London and that its national ratings are still in the mid-teens, well below the Front National in France.

Not everyone in Britain is a “little Englander”; a lot of people, if they met Mr Farage, would be tempted to follow Paddington’s example and give him “a particularly hard stare”.

Well not this particular commenter…..

‘Why, instead of making Paddington into a bear in this new film, they could have just stuffed a coat with straw so the evil characters were directly attacking a strawman!

How about this for a film – Paddington arrives in the UK and instead of openly assimilating with society, invites in more of his bear-friends and sets up a parallel society in the neighborhood. Instead of following his adopted country’s rules and laws, the bears insist that their radical religious rules are sufficient for controlling issues within their separate community. The bears prey on young and vulnerable girls within the city subjecting them to gang rape and torture while native civil servants nervously sit by wondering just how this got so out of control. What a fun children’s movie when the complex, sensitive issue of immigration is brought more in line with reality!’

Ouch!  Very mean and divisive!

Davis then pulled another of the anti-UKIP lobby’s favourites out of the hat asking Farage if it was ‘patriotic to support Mo Farrah?’   Why not ask if it would be patriotic to support the 7/7 bombers or Lutfur Rahman?  Ridiculous, as Evan Davis might say.

Davis accuses Farage of ‘ramping up the rhetoric’ but in fact he merely states the truth that many have stated before…so why pick on Nigel Farage and suggest he is somehow a dangerous and divisive influence polluting people’s minds?  Here’s the Independent on the dangers of segregation, Muslim in particular…

Segregation between different classes and ethnicities in Britain is worsening due to increasing numbers of faith schools and the opening of free schools, a leading campaigner on social equality has warned.

Matthew Taylor, the respected chair of the Social Integration Commission, called on governors to issue regular reports on how their pupils are mixing to prevent serious divisions in society – saying that Muslim schools were of particular concern as their intakes tend to be less diverse.

Social segregation is already costing the British economy £6bn a year, recent research from the Commission has found. The study showed Britons increasingly seek the company only of those most like themselves, with profound consequences.

The resulting drop in social mobility and increased isolation between groups means that problems are emerging in areas from employment to health, costing the UK the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of GDP.


Here’s the BBC itself on such dangers…quoting Trevor Phillips…telling us that the dangers of segregation should come as no surprise (They obviously do to Evan Davis)….

The head of the Commission for racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, is warning of increased segregation…..

But it should come as no surprise – it has been on the government’s books since the riots of 2001 in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham.

The most damning report into the disturbances, by Ted Cantle, a former council chief and expert in local communities, warned of communities living “parallel lives” and recommended wide-ranging changes to policy.

The words chosen by Mr Phillips for his speech are more strident – but they amount to the same thing: People share space in Britain’s towns and cities but do not know who each other are.

The CRE chairman has already attacked what many increasingly regard as the heart of the problem, multiculturalism, a concept that few people agree on.

In his speech, Mr Phillips argues that the nation is becoming more divided by race and religion, with young people being brought up in enclaves.

He warns that Britain is “sleep-walking” its way towards segregation on a scale already seen in the USA. The evidence is there to be seen, says Mr Phillips, it’s just going unspoken.

So remind me of the virtues of multiculturalism and mass immigration Evan!

Then we had another even more bizarre attempt to show Farage as ‘mean and divisive’ by misquoting him on his comments on breastfeeding suggesting he had a problem with women doing that….Farage said he had absolutley no problem and the quote was about a very particular circumstance…and he couldn’t care less if women wanted to breastfeed in public….and he repeated that.

The BBC’s analysis on the website tells us…..’ “I couldn’t care less,” he said – twice – when pushed on one sensitive issue’.  That makes out that Farage is being aggressively dismissive of a ‘sensitive issue’ when really he is saying the opposite and is in fact supportive of that ‘sensitive issue’.  The BBC twisting his words to make him look crass and callous…..why hide the fact it was on ‘breastfeeding’ instead of calling it a ‘sensitive issue’….were the BBC trying to get you to think he was talking about something else…such as race?

Davis then got on to some policy asking how Farage’s policy to reduce tax would encourage growth in the economy and lead to more tax revenue in the end.

The BBC web report tells us…’But the interview did emphasise one thing – numbers are not his strong point.’

Well, no not really.  Farage used an economic thinktank to run through the figures and verify his policy…and it is a well established principle…the present government is convinced…from HRMC:

‘The modelling suggests that the tax reductions will increase investment by between 2.5
per cent and 4.5 per cent in the long term (equivalent to £3.6 billion – £6.2 billion in
today’s prices) and GDP by between 0.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent (equivalent to £9.6
billion – £12.2 billion). Lower Corporation Tax will also increase the demand for labour
which in turn raises wages and increases consumption. Given the share going to
labour this equates to between £405 and £515 per household.’


The US based Tax Foundation also supports the theory…

‘In any case, the lesson from the studies conducted is that long-term economic growth is to a significant degree a function of tax policy. Our current economic doldrums are the result of many factors, but having the highest corporate rate in the industrialized world does not help. Nor does the prospect of higher taxes on shareholders and workers. If we intend to spur investment, we should lower taxes on the earnings of capital. If we intend to increase employment, we should lower taxes on workers and the businesses that hire them.’


 So perhaps numbers are Farage’s strong point after all despite the BBC’s attempt to undermine him.


All in all Davis’ interview and the follow up ‘analysis’ on the web were pretty dire and intent only on showing Farage as a racist, someone who doesn’t really care about things and as an incompetent winging it on his charm.  Davis was highly selective in what he chose to emphasise and the bulk of the interview wasn’t at all about Farage’s policies, or even about his actual immigration policies, but about the ‘tone’ of his comments on immigration…..or rather the fact that the things he said were critical of immigration policy….apparently being critical of immigration policy and talk of controlling and reducing immigration to sustainable levels somehow means you are unacceptably ‘ramping up the rhetoric’ and are a danger to a cohesive society in which immigrants want to feel the love.

Personally I thought Farage kept his cool and held his ground well under sustained and often bizarre attack.











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9 Responses to Tone Deaf

  1. Old Geezer says:

    The BBC do not seam to realise that the more they demonise Farage, the more the electorate go for him. Perhaps it is a good thing that they are too thick to notice it.


    • I Can See Clearly Now says:

      The BBC do not seam to realise that the more they demonise Farage, the more the electorate go for him. Perhaps it is a good thing that they are too thick to notice it.

      I’ve sent them two or three complaints over the last couple of months. After making the complaint, I always add that I’m not asking them to desist – quite the reverse, because, as you say, it aids UKIP. I’m well aware that the complaint doesn’t annoy them but I live in hope that the ‘please carry on’ does irritate them.


  2. Rob in Cheshire says:

    Perhaps Evan and his boyfriend could try walking hand in hand through one of our culturally enriched areas and see how long they get to live? Evan is a hip, urban, out gay fool who thinks his trendy lifestyle is compatible with a religion from the dark ages which holds that people like him should be thrown from rooftops or hanged from cranes. And he has a problem with Nigel Farage’s “tone”? What a complete and utter fool he is.


    • Laska says:

      Mr Farage would have stumped Evans if he had simply responded: Well, what about your tone? Evan and his “tone” was way beyond the nastiness he was trying to attribute to Farage. It’s not too far to suggest that Evans looked psychotic and hateful. Surely he is not a UKIPphobe. The shame.evans is of the school that says hating is okay as long as it is for their political opponents. I am sure that oppressed people everywhere would look at Evans face and recognise the face of fascism in its hatred for opposition and contempt.


  3. chrisH says:

    But that`s all that the liberal metropolitan elite can come up with by way of asking questions.
    All the BBCs names do no other but talk over the answers, do splattergun, scattergun verbal smears quickfire in a hit and run terrorist manner-by the time the lies have been thrown around like civil partnership confetti, the whole thing is “ad homonem “rantings.
    But Evan gets his piercings polished and his drug of choice in return for “holding the powerful to account”…in reality, anybody who upsets the liberal metropolitan elites parody of the gay society, with some Islamist exotica and an Assange to drag down any will to live by those we pay to defend us.
    Davis is a nasty little troll, who(like Marr) can make up things that his oppo says-then refuse to say sorry, or issue a rebuttal of his prejudicial musings-made live on air, and at our expense.
    Davis is the very face of the new BBC…maybe not for too long though ali barba?


  4. Flexdream says:

    Evans regularly pulled the ‘moving on’ trick. He asked about Mo Farah to try and elicit a racist response. As soon as he realised that Farage’s reply was not going to be racist but was in fact gushing, he cut Farage off and quoted what one UKIP councillor is meant to have said about Farah. Contemptible and transparent interview technique.
    Evans is good at the cosy business chat on the Bottom Line and does that well, but for politics he should come out and join Pink News.


  5. johnnythefish says:

    ‘But the interview did emphasise one thing – numbers are not his strong point. On UKIP’s plan for big tax cuts and deficit reduction he was nonchalant in saying “dynamic growth” in the economy – more revenue from less tax – was the secret to it working.’

    This is the BBC re-enforcing its own opinion, which is the government can’t increase it’s tax take by reducing taxes.

    Many of the electorate – if not most – will be unaware that by reducing taxes governments have, time and again in the past, increased their total tax take. So the BBC point the finger of ridicule at Farage, based on what superficially does look like a contradiction in terms, and get away with it. Crafty bastards.

    As for the Davis interview that was also stuffed with opinions – few of which were Farage’s.


    • Lobster says:

      I agree. If Tesco, for example, want to sell more of something they reduce the price. They will make less profit on each individual item but overall hope to make more by virtue of the increased turnover. Same principle.


  6. Glenn says:

    Whilst I have no problem with your excellent analysis, I must say that the interview was not as bad as I was expecting.

    Given the mauling that Cameron got, I had the impression that Davis was being restrained. Through gritted teeth admittedly.

    Having said that it may have simply been Nigel’s excellent performance.