Wildlife of Luton

Imagine David Attenborough’s version of Proud and Prejudiced. He’d most likely take the anthropologist’s view of the inhabitants of Luton. He’d examine Islamist Sayful, the dominant male, and peer at the female of the species, squawking as they flock together in their black head-to-toe plumage; the males, beards glistening luxuriantly, displaying. He might scrutinise the indigenous tribe, their dull appearance enlivened by the odd tattoo, and perhaps allude to its vigorous attempts to defend its miserable territory, driven by a fear that the invading species threatens to drive it to extinction. Would David have used the word ‘misguided’ to describe Tommy Robinson as the C4 narrator did early on in the programme? Would he have warned the audience to distrust his emphatic protestations that the EDL wasn’t based on racism?

There was no need for any explanation from the narrator regarding the Islamist inhabitants of Luton. They did exactly what it says on their tin. They behaved like the ludicrous cartoon characters they obviously were.
However much the programme makers wanted to portray the EDL as the ideological equivalent of the radical extremists, Tommy Robinson and his fellow EDLers wouldn’t play ball. They persisted in conducting themselves within reasonable bounds of respectability, forcing the filmmakers to resort to simply telling the audience that they were liars. A stupid childish drunken episode was mustered up, which somewhat dented Tommy’s credibility, but a couple of shots of tattooed, chanting shaven-headed men giggling as they behaved badly hardly amounted to the ideological equivalent of the religious rabble hell-bent on imposing their will upon a hitherto complacent majority.

I realise that this was not a BBC programme, unlike the Stacey Dooley’s strangely blindfolded effort aimed at BBC3’s youth orientated audience. But it is alarming that the press have almost unanimously swallowed the moral equivalence that the programme makers were driving at, apparently taking it on board wholeheartedly. The BBC’s continual portrayal of Islam as if it embodies righteousness on a par with applehood and mother pie plays no mean part in this tectonic swindle.
Take the Huffington Post. (please) Mark Hawker thinks the Jihad is a mere war of words. But he reveals a little more about the tint of his lenses when he continues: “Their anger at UK foreign policy is understandable, in my view.” So that’s his opinion filed in room 101.

But the Telegraph?
Andrew Marszal’s review was a diatribe warning us not to fall for the lies of Tommy Robinson. His final paragraph tells us what, in his opinion, was the most chilling thing the film had shown:

”But perhaps the documentary’s most chilling moment came when Robinson, out on a drinking binge, began doing “humorous” impersonations of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bomb blast and gun rampage in Norway last year. Breivik claimed to be an EDL sympathiser – a disturbing reminder of how high the stakes in this quarrel really are.”

No mate. I’d say Andrew Marszal in the Telegraph writing such tripe is a much better reminder.


The Today website is no longer providing clips of every part of the programme. No explanation, but I assume it’s something to do with the cuts. Hmm.

More importantly, as stories about failed rogue states, Islamist wars, terrorism and piracy reach a crescendo, why doesn’t anyone publicly acknowledge there’s connection between them all? The only factor that determines whether the BBC sees Islamic terrorists as good or bad seems to be whether they are known to have links with Al Qaeda.Al Shebab, Boko Harem, Hizbollah, Hamas – all apparently a-okay. Until they’re ‘known to be linked with’ Alky Ada. Then – say no more. Quite puzzling.

The current violence in Afghanistan over these burnt korans.
I’m baffled as to why everyone accepts one of the most superstitious superstitions of all the Islamic superstitions as being the outrage it apparently is. When Evan Davis spoke to Jim Muir, his empathy with this preposterous sensitivity was baffling. Who makes a fuss when the same hyper-sensitive religious fanatics burn the American/Israeli flag? Who calls for riots when mobs shout “Death to Amerika/Britain?” Who turns a hair when they call Israel a cancer and vow to excise it from the planet? All people do is say “They don’t really mean it” with a knowing smirk.

Even more strange, there are certain acceptable methods of koran disposal, it seems.
A scholarly imam with an Islamic bushel of bushy beard has to chant the holy salagagoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo and throw it over his left shoulder into the Holy See.
Or it can be burnt.
See Evan? Burning’s okay after all! It must be burnt to a crisp. The mistake was leaving the fragments!
So the Afghanis who were ‘helping’ the Americans were so religious that instead of quietly whispering “look bud, finish the job properly,” they took the fragments and showed them to their mates in order to start a religiously motivated killing spree. This was helpful?

I’m baffled.

Hungry Baker!

The BBC’s coverage of Khadar Adnan the Palestinian hunger striker closely resembles the extract from Al Jazeera highlighted by Elder of Ziyon, only the BBC’s version has been dumbed down, so that the public can understand it more easily. You know, large type and tiny paragraphs for those of us with poor comprehension.
To help the public absorb the heroic nature of this martyr more fully and stop us being confused by the unpalatable bits, they’ve left them out altogether.

It’s terrible what they’re doing to this principled man, is it not? Catherine Ashton will sort it out, I’m sure.

Non Story

The following probably comes into the category of ‘what the BBC won’t report’.
Admittedly, few outside the Israeli press have covered the story, but it merits a little mention by the BBC because ill-conceived references to the incident in question still rear their heads in the course of the day-to-day Israel-bashing to which we have become accustomed.

The news that the BBC ignores is that the French supreme court has acquitted an Israeli doctor named Yehuda David who had previously been convicted of slander. He had been sued in a French court by the father of the Palestinian ‘martyr’ Mohammad Al-Durah.The infamous Al-Durah incident in 2000 was very likely a Pallywood production, but this has not been conclusively proven. I have written about it in the past, and the intriguing background is extensively covered here, here and here.
Honest Reporting links to an article by a writer who seems pretty convinced that the Al-Durah case is closed, the evidence of Al-Durah senior’s dishonesty putting the final nail in its coffin. But on the principle that just because you lie about one thing it doesn’t automatically mean you lie about everything, I think it’s safe to just say the jury’s still out.

Doctor Yehuda David revealed that Al Durah senior’s scars – allegedly from wounds inflicted in the incident in which little Mohammad was allegedly killed by the IDF – were in fact from wounds inflicted upon him at a much earlier date by Hamas for the alleged crime of collaborating with the Israelis. The doctor was in a position to reveal this, because, dear reader, he recognised the scars. He was the very surgeon who had operated on Mr. Al-D. several years before the notorious Mohammad Al-Durah incident occurred.

Dr. Yahuda David gave an interview to this effect, which was published in a magazine. Someone stumped up for Mr. Al-D’s legal fees, enabling him to sue the doctor for slander, somehow managing to win damages to the tune of 30,000 euros. But the doctor fought back, and the court overturned the conviction last week; deep joy all round in Israel.

The case looks as though it is set to be one of those never-ending sagas, because it seems Mr Al-D and his backers intend to appeal.

For the information of anyone following the Al-Durah story, it seems that the legal procedure is still ongoing in respect of Philippe Karsenty’s conviction / overturned conviction for slander against Charles Enderlin of France 2.

The question of the Al-Durah footage itself has never been resolved, but there is still the mysterious extra bit of film which Mr Enderlin wouldn’t release to the French court, part of which (I think) can be seen via The Augean Stables. Many people feel this provides convincing evidence that the whole thing was a set-up.
But, with the help of massive press coverage, it sparked a deadly intifada, and that is why the BBC should at least pay their respects and acknowledge the tale.

Balen 2

Who’d have thought that journalists who wish to investigate, uncover and expose scandals and injustices without compromising their freedom or exposing their pet whistleblowers, would be subjected to the whims and fancies of the Supreme court in the course of its earnest deliberations over such things as the meaning of the word ‘predominantly’.

Who knows what was on the minds of Lord Phillips and pals as they grappled diligently on behalf of the BBC with the tricky business of defining what is or is not in the public interest.

The Freedom Of Information Act is supposed to

“promote an important public interest in access to information about public bodies.”

But when the unstoppable Freedom of Information Act collides with the immovable Data Protection Act, there’s bound to be trouble.Thankfully, the judges know what’s good for you. For your own good the BBC and a few other bodies enjoy a special exemption
(safeguard) so that you, the public, can’t poke your snoopy noses in.The safeguards are there

“to prevent interference with the performance of the functions of the BBC in broadcasting journalism, art and literature.”

So in certain circumstances

“……………the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information”

And who decides whether disclosing information outweighs the BBC’s public accountability?

“……………the disclosure of which, in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person (which in the case of the BBC is the corporation itself, acting by its governors)…”

Eureka! The BBC itself is qualified to decide!
However, the judges are aware that this doesn’t look brilliant in terms of PR. They must rationalise the notion that concealment trumps transparency, and secrecy is more ‘in the public interest’ than accountability.

“ In this case, there is a powerful public interest pulling in the opposite direction. It is that public service broadcasters, no less than the commercial media, should be free to gather, edit and publish news and comment on current affairs without the inhibition of an obligation to make public disclosure of or about their work in progress.”

Excellent excuse! But his honour is still slightly apologetic:

“ I would add that I am conscious that this interpretation of the limitation may be seen as conferring on the BBC an immunity so wide as to make the particular statutory redemptions redundant, and leave the BBC almost free of obligations under FOIA.”

It certainly pans out that way, and sweet of you to notice.

“On a broad definition, it could be argued that all of the activities of the BBC are for the purposes of journalism, art and literature, as these are broad descriptions of a substantial part of its broadcast output . . .”

Go on. Why not make the BBC exempt from the FOIA altogether and be done with it? Even the the judge is wondering this:

“However, if a very broad definition was intended, there
would be little point in including the BBC in Schedule 1, Part VI of
FOIA. The BBC could have been omitted altogether from the scope
of the Act.”

However, here comes ‘the chilling effect’.

“The BBC submitted that disclosure of the Report (and any other information held for the purposes of journalism) would have a chilling effect upon their right to freedom of expression;”

The same phrase was uttered by a journalist in respect of the Leveson Inquiry. This monstrous chilling effect, this inhibiting, this compromising, this…..cramping the BBC’s style, evidently justifies concealing the contents of the Balen report for ever and ever. Does this apply to Murdoch’s journalists too?
The BBC’s desire for secrecy almost puts their internal workings in the same category as certain trials being beyond the reach of the open court for fear of revealing secret counter-terrorism information.

The appellant (Mr. Eicke QC,) has the temerity to think accountability is a reasonable request.

“(The appellant) not only disputes that the release of the Report would have a chilling effect on freedom of expression but submits that only the need to protect journalistic sources – or perhaps, indeed, more narrowly still, the need to protect sources who might otherwise be deterred from assisting journalists – would constitute an overriding requirement of the public interest sufficient to justify this interference with the citizen’s article 10(1)right of access to information.”

Quite so. since the Balen report was originally carried out in 2004, can the contents really still be for the purposes of journalism? Balen’s recommendations, if there were any, would surely have been implemented by now, if they were deemed worthy of implementing!
Despite the fact that during the period in question there was a reshuffle of BBC management personnel at the top, certain recommendations were put into effect, one of which is said to have been the appointment of Jeremy Bowen. Perhaps the Balen report concluded that they weren’t biased enough against Israel?

If the Balen report found bias against Israel in 2004 it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s biased in 2012. By this time surely the BBC could have got away with another of those ‘the-bias-was-all-in-the-past’ mea culpas and saved the £300,000. They must have thought it was worth spending the dosh to ensure they could continue to go about their business in any way they see fit, unfettered by scrutiny and without the threat of exposure.

Meanwhile, simmering away on the back burner is the detrimental effect the media’s self-interested or partial reporting has had on society. The BBC’s anti-Israel bias has consequences. One small example; the comments below an article about Iran’s nuclear ambitions on an official BBC blog by Robin Lustig, which boasts the strap-line ‘Trying to make sense of the world’ clearly demonstrates they’ve failed. They’ve only succeeded in making nonsense of it.

“And another thing, how is it that Israel is a ‘stabilizing’ influence on the region while Iran is a ‘destabilizing’ one? One of these countries is a theocratic violent terrorist state that refuses to abide by international law, while the other is a theocratic state that hasn’t invaded another nation in a thousand years? Satire cannot do justice to this hypocrisy”

The moral equivalence given to Iran and Israel elicits neither challenge nor counter argument, and is evidently deemed acceptable by the moderators.
This assumption reared its head on Question Time, which Melanie Phillips discusses here.
The BBC charter stipulates impartiality – not that such a thing is realistically achievable, but balance could reasonably be expected ‘over time’. If this is not happening, someone should intervene. Bias by omission, by emoting, and by overt propaganda are all against the rules, but who will enforce them? It’s not usual to trust bodies to self-police – not even the police – and especially the BBC who won’t or can’t recognise their own bias or admit they get anything wrong.

These legal appeals gather more and more moss the longer they drag on, and each time they’re re-appealed the entire legal history has to be reviewed and reconsidered. The procedure has to scrutinise previous hearings, till it begins to resemble that game where each player has to recite a shopping list from memory, adding another item one by one; as the the list grows longer, the harder and more tedious the task. The judges weren’t memorising shopping of course, they were seeking loopholes and cracks in previous hearings. Looking for hooks on which to hang excuses to keep the Balen Report in the family.

They seemed genuinely worried about creating a precedent that would fetter the BBC, and conscious that the Balen report’s qualification for exemption was tenuous. Did it really come into the category of “for the purpose of journalism art or literature? They admitted they were virtually gifting the BBC complete immunity from the FOIA. They saw that determining what was in the public interest could be stretched and squeezed, describing it as ‘elastic’.
In short they dallied over whether they liked the idea of civilians knowing the content of the Balen Report or not, and having pre-decided ‘not’, excreted copious verbiage in rationalising their fancy.

It boils down to a simple reality. The BBC, or the BBC Trust can continue as before. If there is bias, so be it. Like it or lump it.
The fear that ‘internal frankness’ would be damaged if ‘the public’ had ‘the right to know’ outweighs the fear that biased reporting has a corrosive effect on ‘the public.’ External frankness, external critical review and external analysis of output can get stuffed

On the BBC they refer to Israel as “Iran’s arch enemy.” Is that upside-down description even-handed, logical or accurate? What is the likelihood of an internal review correcting that?

I think I rest my case.

Balen Out

After dancing on the head of a pin for pages and pages, the conclusion is that “The Balen report was held for purposes of journalism. On the premise that it was also held for purposes other than those of journalism, it was not predominantly so held. That is why I consider that the report lay beyond the scope of the Act; and why I agree that the appeal should be dismissed. LORD PHILLIPS”
Read the full judgment through the link at the jc.com

Sea of Darkness

Supplying Gaza with fuel is a complex matter. Various political complications have arisen, and electricity blackouts in Gaza are imminent.
Egypt Independent has:

”The Gaza Strip’s sole electricity station has become inoperative because Egypt has begun to crack down on fuel smuggling activities through their shared border, a Palestinian energy official in Gaza said Tuesday.”

From Palestinian News Agency Ma’an:

“Meanwhile, the director of Gaza’s only power plant Walid Saad Sayil said Wednesday that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s delay in payments for fuel contributed to the crisis, as well as failures by the energy authority and company in Gaza.”

Gaza Energy Authority official Ahmed Abul Amreen held a press conference during which he made various statements about the cause of this crisis, adding, apparently with no particular reason, that “he holds Israel responsible.” Jon Donnison picked that up.

Normally Israel supplies Gaza with 120 megawatts per day, some comes from Gaza’s small power plant and some is brought unofficially from Egypt using underground tunnels.
According to EOZ

Israel is providing exactly the same amount of electricity to Gaza it always has.[…] “Palestinians” instructed the Israelis not to provide the Strip with heavy-duty diesel because they could get the fuel – reportedly cheaper – from Egypt.”

Jon Donnison’s report is unclear and muddled. It is framed as though Israel’s blockade has brought about a crisis in which “The strip would soon be “swimming in a sea of darkness”.

The Egyptian and the Palestinian news agencies appear to be more realistic about the situation than Donnison, who sees everything through a haze of Israelophobia

Since writing this piece I have had more time to look at it.
I’ve been comparing Jon Donnison’s report with other reporting of the imminent power shortage in Gaza to see whether Donnison’s is significantly more slanted against Israel than the others.

From the plethora of reports on this topic I decided to confine my comparison to aunews, ABC News, Yahoo and France 24 because I thought it reasonable to assume BBC editors had read the contents, since they were the news organisations in web links provided by the BBC.

Three of these contain sections copied and pasted from each other’s material, (this is normal practice, and I think the original copy probably comes from A/P or reuters.)

For example ABC News, mnnews.com.au, and France 24 start with the paragraph beginning: “Gaza’s sole power plant has ground to a halt” Quoting Ahmad Abu al-Amrin, an official from Gaza’s energy authority. They expand thus:

“The Gaza power plant has completely stopped working because of the shortage of fuel entering the Gaza Strip, and the depletion of diesel it needs to work,” said Ahmad Abu al-Amrin, an official from Gaza’s energy authority.

He called on Egypt “to assume its historical responsibility in supporting the resistance of the Palestinian people by ensuring they had all the necessary fuel to operate the plant”.

According to the UN agency for humanitarian affairs, OCHA, (UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) the amount of fuel being transported through the tunnels from Egypt to Gaza has dropped by half over the last fortnight, reportedly due to increased restrictions on the movement of fuel by the Egyptian police.

“Only half of the amount of fuel that entered in the previous weeks has been coming into Gaza for the past two weeks,” OCHA said in its weekly report.
“Unconfirmed reports indicate that the reason for this sharp decline is an increase in fuel prices triggered by movement restrictions imposed by the Egyptian police on fuel cargoes travelling to Rafah.”

They continue with identical quotes from Ismail Haniya, calling on Cairo to
immediately intervene and meet all the electricity needs of Gaza in a permanent way” (See? even the Hamas leader isn’t blaming Israel here) All three continue with heart-rending descriptions of the suffering the shortages will cause.

Towards the end France 24 and AU News insert the obligatory:

“Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2006 following the capture of one of its soldiers in June of that year.
The blockade was tightened a year later following Hamas’s forcible takeover of the territory, and Israel began restricting the amounts of fuel allowed through the crossings.”

But they add this ‘mitigating’ paragraph:

“To cope with the situation, Palestinians gradually developed tunnel infrastructure allowing the transfer of large quantities of fuel into Gaza, at a cheaper price, which resulted in an almost complete halt in the purchase from Israel,” OCHA said.
Gaza’s main power plant has closed down on several occasions in the past because of fuel shortages.”

Yahoo hasn’t used so much ‘cut and paste,’ but its report contains roughly the same information, with an additional relevant paragraph.

“Abu Al-Amrain said Israel bore overall responsibility for the ongoing crisis, but Mustafa Ibrahim, a human rights researcher and writer, said Hamas’s administration had failed to provide the territory with an energy safety net.
“(The Energy Authority) made everything depend on fuel smuggled through the tunnels, without having any guarantees that this flow could continue. The current severe crisis is evidence that this was the wrong approach,” he said.

And Yahoo’s heart-rending paragraph:

The sound of generators roared in Gazan streets as businesses tried to keep the lights on, but the PCHR warned that the power cuts could have serious consequences. “The current crisis may impact access … to vital services,
including the supply of drinking water,” it said in a statement.

Yahoo continues:

Gaza’s precarious energy supply is bad at the best of times, with a rickety infrastructure system badly degraded during fighting between Israel and Hamas over the past five years.

Israel maintains a blockade by land, air and sea on Gaza to prevent weapons and material with potential military use from reaching Hamas, which is committed to destroying the Jewish state.

The editor is given credit: ” (Editing by Crispian Balmer)” Hats off to you Crispian!

One does wonder if Donnison is lazy stupid or disingenuous.

As far as I can tell, Jon Donnison’s report owes more to earlier BBC reports than to the aforementioned group.
For example, in January 2008 “Gaza City plunged into Darkness”

“Cars were still driving along Gaza City’s darkened streets
The only power plant in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has shut down because of a lack of fuel, Palestinian officials say, blaming Israeli restrictions.”

At that time they turned to John Ging, notorious for disseminating anti-Israel propaganda whenever the slightest opportunity presented itself, for their heart-rending plea.

In November 2008 they were at it again. Gaza power cut blamed on blockade.
This time the shortage was blamed on Israel’s blockade because they couldn’t receive parts for the power plant, despite Israel supplying 60% of Gaza’s fuel, and the power plant providing 32% at the time as per the BBC.

“Israel closed the crossings after a rocket was fired at Israel late on Monday.
In the past, Israeli officials have accused Hamas of cynically exaggerating the impact of border closures to garner sympathy, says the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Jerusalem. But the United Nations relief agency in Gaza (Unrwa) has warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis unless the crossings are opened.”

(Probably John Ging again)

In March 2010 the BBC website boasted a slideshow of 10 images of various people in Gaza with generators and various people in Gaza who need generators, photographs kindly supplied by Karl Schrembi of Oxfam.

Jon Donnison’s article reads like a series of disconnected and emotive sentences. He could have copied and pasted from non BBC material and still been lazy, but he would have looked less stupid and less disingenuous if he had at least tried to appear less biased.

Sticky Spot

Mark Mardell addresses the difficult subject of US foreign Policy without committing the new BBC crime of “Value Judgement.”

Poor Obama is in a sticky spot. In a period of of electioneering, he must wrestle with the tricky problem of who to suck up to.
Should he choose the disproportionately influential Jewish lobby, which is conspiring to suck America into another of their selfish Jewish wars?
Or should he courageously plump for pleasing the good American people who are “tired of foreign conflicts” and consider it expedient to appease the Iranians.

Carefully avoiding any Value Judgements, Mark Mardell turns to some important experts on the Middle East to find out more. He approaches Cliff Kupchan and Michael Scheuer for their interesting views on the matter. Or should that be interested views.
Professor Matt Kroenig does inject some sense into the mix at this point, but Mardell has not been entirley open about the earlier two spokespersons. We are told is that one is a ‘maverick’ but, what are their political leanings?

“Republicans regard any hesitation in backing Israel as unpatriotic,” says Mark Mardell. His impartial opinion appears to be that good folk vote Democrat.

Seriously, the online article is a little more nuanced, and they did link to a Ronan Bergman NYT article I linked to myself the other day.
To many listeners the Today item I heard this morning would have been a stand-alone item, and that would have been a definite value judgement crime of the first degree.

The Right Threat

So the BBC is focusing on right-wing terrorism Today. That’s nice. ( link )

Dr. Matthew Goodwin has created a nice politically correct name for Islamic inspired terrorism. “A.Q. terrorism.” Doesn’t that sound nice and respectful? A.Q. stands for Al Qaeda, the distorted version of Islam.
In the unfortunate event that we must mention such a thing on the BBC, say, when a bomb goes off somewhere, for balance we must also mention its equivalent. Right wing terrorism. We haven’t created a cute name for that yet.

We know there are:
47 international (Islamic inspired) terrorist organisations are proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Of these, two organisations are proscribed under powers introduced in
the Terrorism Act 2006, as glorifying terrorism.

14 organisations in Northern Ireland are proscribed under previous

Typical of the right wing are….. Anders Breivik, Oslo and Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma?
Oh well. There’s the EDL. And the BNP. We realise they’re not proscribed (yet) but we’re working on it.
We insist that the underpants bomber wasn’t influenced at UCL,(very much) but people are being radicalised by right wing websites.

“Large numbers of citizens remain deeply concerned about immigration, feel anxious about the cultural compatibility of Muslims, and are threatened by rising diversity. In fact, in recent years the Brits have become equally if not more concerned about these issues than many of their European neighbours. These voters are also extremely dissatisfied with the response of the main parties to such trends”

So, because immigration is the game and multiculturalism is the aim, we must find a way of dealing with these pesky citizens who are ‘more concerned’.

“The key issue is how to respond to voters’ profound anxiety about this issue.”

We’ll ban the lot of it! Shut down The Gates of Vienna! Internet Service Providers must consider removing right wing websites!!

We must make sure that people don’t “get their news from JUST ONE source.” No, not the BBC. We meant the internet.

Road to Damascus

Jeremy Bowen’s Islam-friendly reporting seems to have come back to bite him on the bum.

All those years of Israel-bashing and pro Palestinian propaganda, all that peculiar sucking up to Gaddafi. Now the BBC don’t seem prepared to give his sneakily defensive interpretation of Bashar al-Assad’s desperate struggles, the time of day. (BBC News24) The BBC is squarely on the side of the rebels. Could Jeremy Bowen be the only one at the BBC who suspects, in a ‘better the Devil you know’ Damascene moment, that toppled dictators could really be replaced by something much worse?

All day the outrage at Russia and China’s refusal to support the UN resolution backing an emasculated Arab League peace plan, has been topping the BBC headlines.

There has been a huge, as yet unquantified death toll in Syria, which makes the argument for the stability of Bashar’s murderous regime against the uncertainty of what the rebels might have to offer, (possibly equally murderous) all the weaker.
Melanie Phillips sets out the “utter intrinsic bankruptcy of the UN.”
I don’t recall the BBC questioning the legitimacy of the UN security Council before, but they seem to be hinting at something like that now, in respect of these vetoes. This is obviously because they approved of previous UN resolutions which have, of course, mostly been against Israel.

A great failing of the BBC is that they refuse to see radical Islam as a threat. “They’re just like us,” they always seem to be saying. “Talk to Hamas. Talk to the Taliban”. They wouldn’t entertain the possibility that radical Islam was beyond reason, that the core beliefs in Islam were irreconcilable with our own. At the same time, the group they chose to portray as ‘other’ with a vengeance, were those dastardly Jews in Israel.
Now look what is happening. The Arab Spring has unleashed goodness knows what. Democracy? Freedom? Not on your Nellie.

It must be worth considering the possibility that being controlled by Despots and Tyrants is the only way of keeping a lid on an explosive, unruly, ungovernable, squabbling bunch of religious maniacs whose hatred of each other is only trumped by their hatred of Israel, America and Britain. The intellectuals and idealists who revolted in Tahrir Square have melted away. Now all that’s left is the wild bunch.
So if Jeremy Bowen’s belated reservations about the Arab world’s new-fangled vision of democracy jars with the BBC, they might stop defending his scrupulous impartiality and start treating him as a pariah, as well as the Jews and the Zionists. Wouldn’t that be weird?