Posts Tagged 'BBC'

BBC bias: John Humphrys confirms BBC tactic of bias by omission

The BBC has begun its effort to sanitise, downplay and distort the comments by Radio 4 presenter, John Humphrys, in the Radio Times in which he said that BBC coverage of EU and immigration matters has been biased to the left because the corporation is ‘broadly liberal’.

Despite the Humphrys piece being picked up across the media for his observations about liberal bias, you can see in the image on the left that the BBC is instead focusing on his comments about the corporation being ‘over-managed’. Move on, little to see here is the clear message. Humphrys is doing his bit to backtrack by claiming this was in the past and the BBC isn’t like that any more.

To be sure listeners get the message, Radio 4′s Feedback programme, presented by the pathologically smug and condescending Roger Bolton, continued the fightback today by broadcasting an interview with Humphrys (audio below).  But what the BBC hadn’t counted on was Humphrys inadvertently making the hole even deeper, with comments about the editors and how they work, which confirms all we have asserted over the years about ‘bias by omission’, where voices that dissent from the BBC worldview are deliberately denied airtime, effectively censoring the counter viewpoint.

The following exchange begins on the You Tube clip at 4 min 21 seconds…

Roger Bolton:  But the point surely is this, it’s not what people may feel in the BBC, it’s whether they control those feelings and remain as objective as possible. So to make the claim that the BBC was liberal is to say that its policies and its decision making were liberal, not necessarily that those [unitelligible]

John Humphrys: No, I think it’s to make the claim that the mindset was liberal. So when somebody suggested, might suggest, on this programme or others ‘let’s do so and so’ a particular politician who’s known for his anti European, his sceptical views, people would tend to say ‘mmm a bit bonkers isn’t he? Hmmm well maybe not’. And maybe he wouldn’t then be interviewed. So it wasn’t rampant, I’m not suggesting, I didn’t suggest in that conversation, that Radio Times conversation, that it was rampant, that we were kind of foaming at the mouth pro Europeans, you know, federalists to a man and woman. We weren’t. But there was a mindset that thought that the right approach to Europe should be supportive. So no, of course there was no conspiracy, but it was a mindset, it was an approach. And I think if you do an analysis of our coverage during those years I think that’s the impression you would gain as well.

Then a few minutes later at 7 min 41 seconds as the interview draws to a close, there followed this exchange which illustrates the point perfectly, that the problem of bias which needs addressing is the editors who are able to shape the programmes to reflect whatever point they want to make, be it political or activist…

Roger Bolton: And just finally for the record, has any editor ever told you to go soft on a political interviewee?
John Humphrys: Nope. Nope. Nope.
RB: Has anybody ever told you to go soft on the question of immigration?
JH: Nope.
RB: Has anybody ever told you to go soft on the question of Europe?
JH: Nope. But that doesn’t prove the point, Roger. Because I don’t edit the programmes, I don’t decide who gets interviewed and that is crucial to it.

The bias problem at the BBC that Humphrys is at pains to tell us is a thing of the past, is still very much alive and all too apparent.  But thanks to Humphrys’ candid comments, we now have helpful confirmation that the BBC treats with contempt and frquently excludes from its programmes those who do not share its worldview (unless they are so poor a speaker or utterly disagreeable that they put people off) and that contributor selection is what counts.

Scrutiny of the BBC: It’s time to amend the FOI Act 2000

One of the most controversial aspects of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is the way it is interpreted and applied by the BBC.

The BBC’s interpretation, backed by establishment cover among the political class, enables the corporation to reject requests for information, effectively exempting itself from being held to account by the public that is compelled by law to fund it if they own and use a device capable of real-time reception of a TV signal.

A recent story about left wing bias at BBC News and Current Affairs, as acknowledged by presenter BBC Radio 4 Today programme John Humphrys, and now a leaked briefing note from the Question Time programme showing David Dimbleby was told to direct a series of difficult questions to Lord Heseltine (Conservative) and Simon Hughes (Lib Dem), but only ask two tame and generic questions of Rachel Reeves (Labour), are the latest in a string of revelations which consistently point to BBC bias in one direction.

We could submit FOI requests to the BBC for information about the editorial line that had been taken and why it was taken, but we would receive a reply along the lines of:

…the information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’    Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature” 1. The BBC is not required by the Act to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities…

Therefore it is time for a concerted effort to have the FOI Act 2000 amended to remove the clause that allows the BBC to reject requests for information in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature.

Ireland’s public service broadcaster, RTE, falls under that country’s Freedom of Information in the same way as the BBC here in the UK.  However, unlike the BBC, RTE doesn’t leave its exemption open to the widest possible interpretation to suit its own interests and instead it publishes exactly what is exempt and what isn’t.  RTÉ tells the Irish public that it:

… is funded in part by public money through the licence fee and we believe that our policies and operations should be open to public scrutiny and that access to our records by the public will show that we carry out our public service remit scrupulously and honestly.

before going to to explain:

What is excluded?

Commercially sensitive, personal or confidential journalistic records cannot be released. Reporter’s notes or off-the-record quotes, whether broadcast or not, are excluded. RTÉ’s internal reviews or analysis of broadcast programmes are also excluded.

It is a stark contrast to the BBC’s efforts to keep the public in the dark about how it works when suspicions are raised, questions are asked and when information requested is rejected on the basis of the catch-all exemption.

There is simply no justification for not answering questions from the public about:

  • details of its editorial position on important issues
  • details of its editorial decision making process when making programmes
  • the names of people who inform BBC policies
  • how and why it selects those people
  • how it selects or omits contributors and guests on its programmes
  • metrics about complaints from the public on specific issues

Releasing information about the details above would in no way compromise confidential sources or require details of whistleblowers to be revealed, which are reasonable exemptions and surely the purpose behind the exemption in the first place.  It would not mean sharing commercially sensitive information and it would not require journalists’ confidential notes or off the record quotes to be shared.

Instead compelling the BBC to release information from the bullet list above would enable the public to discover if there has been bias in the way influential programmes – news and current affairs programmes in the main – have been made and if the editorial process has sought to advance a political or activist narrative, in contravention of the BBC Charter requirements on impartiality.

The only way this will happen is if the FOI Act 2000 is amended so that the exemption is removed from the BBC, Channel 4 and S4C in Wales, and a clearly defined and much more narrow exemption put in its place.  The government talks at length about openness, transparency and accountability, so let the demonstrate it by agreeing to a demand from taxpayers to make those fine words a reality.

————

Some notes…

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives people a general right of access to information held by public authorities. As the Act makes clear:

Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

But lurking deep inside the Act, on page 53, is an undefined, catch all exclusion that was granted to a public body which, more than almost any other public body, has the capacity to influence public knowledge and thinking on any number of issues – the BBC.  The full reference reads simply:

The British Broadcasting Corporation, in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature

That single reference is found in Part VI of Schedule 1 – Public authorities in the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which names the BBC as one of the ‘Other public bodies and offices: general’ under the provisions of the Act.

What the BBC thinks the exemptions means for itself…

In summary, the BBC considers the derogation protects the journalistic, artistic and literary integrity of the BBC by securing a creative and journalistic space for programme-makers to produce material for broadcast free from interference by those who would seek to influence our output.  Additionally, as also recognised by the Court of Appeal, it allows for a “level playing field” between the Public Service Broadcasters caught by the Act (BBC, Channel 4, S4C, GMS) and their commercial competitors.  In practical terms, the BBC has interpreted this to mean that we are not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

A knowingly untrue media narrative

Time to ease back into blogging after a bit of a rest.  The BBC is once again playing political agendas rather than simply reporting the news today, on the subject of banker bonuses.

Whether you like the Tories or not, the fact is the BBC is biased against them and will score cheap points at every opportunity.  This would be more acceptable if the BBC did the same with Labour and the Lib Dems, but they don’t.  The corporation is content to align itself with parties and causes it identifies as sharing the BBC’s ‘progressive’ worldview.  Hence the pathetic effort to ‘embarrass’ George Osborne today.

Due, we are told, to EU rules, banker’s bonuses are capped at 100% of salary.  However, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is applying to UKFI as representatives of the majority shareholder (the taxpayer) to be allowed to set a bonus level for staff of 200% of salary.  The BBC this morning has described this action as ‘trying to get around the rules’.  However the reality is this is strictly within the EU rules.

Banks are allowed to set bonuses at 200% of salary with shareholder permission.  All RBS is doing is seeking that permission.  A guest speaking on Radio 4′s Today programme made this clear, and rebutted the claim by the BBC that RBS is trying to get around the rules and that George Osborne is being put in an embarrassing position by being asked to approve a 200% of salary bonus figure.

Yet in the news headlines at 8.00am, some time after the guest speaker had corrected the false assertion, the BBC once again reported the story as RBS trying to get around the rules.  The facts and the reality have been deliberately ignored by the public service broadcaster because the truth did not fit with the narrative it wanted to portray for political reasons.

The same has been true with the recent nonsense about EU reform and various ‘ideas’ being spouted that, despite completely setting aside what is possible and permissible within the EU, are given airtime as if they were genuine alternatives to leaving the EU.

This casual bias and partisan propagandising is not permitted as part of the BBC charter, but it continues without official challenge.  It does not serve the public, it manipulates the public and such blatant dishonesty demonstrates the contempt in which the public is held by the BBC.  It is another example of why we cannot trust the media in this country.

So pleased for the BBC

There are few sights as heartwarming as seeing the BBC writhing around in orgasmic ecstasty, but that is what we have been able to enjoy today.

We can only feel pleased for the corporation, for no less than 120 Beeboids were shipped to South Africa to cover the Nelson Mandela memorial service for TV, radio and web.  And rightly so, because no opportunity to visit far flung corners of the world for a well deserved jaunt on full expenses and with no luxuries spared should ever be passed up.  It has been earned.  And in return our intrepid and fearless expeditionary force rewarded us with an impossibly large range of news angles to tell us in many, many different ways that Mandela was special.

Not only were our BBC truth seekers able to get moist while listening to a conveyor belt of eulogies to one of their biggest heroes, who transformed the world single handedly without any hint of a stain or blemish on his character, they were also treated to what may be the final curtain call for BBC favourite Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and were privileged to have been in the presence of a Cuban Castro – names which have featured so prominently in impartial and balanced BBC coverage for decades.

But best of all for Team Auntie, they have experienced the thrill of seeing, live and in the flesh, their hero of the modern era, President Barack Obama.  The World’s President stood like a giant, holding forth in full effect, working that teleprompter like no one else can, before taking a few selfies with a Danish blonde and an Old Etonian with narcissistic tendencies and a delusion disorder.  Truly he is great.

In fact, such was the BBC delerium at seeing Obama it was hard to tell from the news reports whether the most significant event just outside Johannesburg was Madiba’s memorial or Obama’s tribute to his hero.  Naturally it was a fine line to tread, but one the Beeboids did with poise and without the slightest hint of sycophancy.

What is especially pleasing is that in recent days the BBC has achieved all this by making liberal use of license fee money and managing to triage the news in order to sift out trivial domestic events, such as the worst storm surge in the last 60 years that has flooded hundreds of families out of their homes and businesses.  Make no mistake, this is a triumph.

The BBC identified what was important to them and their worldview, then put their backs into ensuring we all shared in the experience.  They did this safe in the knowledge that any small minded person who lacks the education and intellectual depth required be able to respect the BBC way as the right way and who deigns to complain about this, will be brushed off in the usual manner; and that thanks to the entirely proper and not at all hypocritical Freedom of Information exemption enjoyed by the corporation, have done all this safe in the knowledge the editorial decision making process will remain secret and beyond accountability.  As it should be, naturally.

Well done Beeb.  So pleased for you.

Panorama: Britain’s Secret Terror Force

This has to be a mistake.  Surely the BBC meant to call the programme:

‘Panorama: Britain’s Secret Militant Force’

or

‘Panorama: Britain’s Secret Dissident Force’

Will BBC Harrabin’s bias be discarded after being caught in EU trawler nets?

Last February, the BBC and others were proclaiming the ban on discarding at sea fish that had been caught but either could not be landed legally, or were of inferior quality to that which sells at the desired price, as a great victory.

Roger Harrabin, the ‘environmental lobby propagandist’ who draws a substantial income from the BBC, in addition to substantial cash from various sideline work for the very eco groups whose every report and argument he then reports about without challenge or question, went so far as to say that it was “something of a victory for citizen power, following organised lobbying of MEPs by ordinary people, as well as by high-profile celebrity chefs and environmentalists”.

The reality, as Richard argued some months ago, would be very different.  While everyone was singing the hymns of EU praise back then, North was about the only voice taking time to explain that:

Even then, some discarding at seas is going to be allowed. And, while the reforms are to prevent discarding at sea – what this means is that non-quota fish will be landed, and disposed of on-shore. This is marginally better than dumping at sea, but only marginally so. It will have very little effect on the overall health of the fishery.

In effect, therefore, the much-vaunted “reforms” are a big bag of nothing – a cynical PR exercise of very little consequence.

Fast forward back to today and what do we find?  The Guardian with a ‘scoop’ story that reports on the findings of a study by the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture.  Guess what one of the lead authors, Professor Alastair Grant, has to say?

The discards ban is not the great victory that the public seem to think.

Well, colour me shocked!  Richard expands on this in a valuable post today over at EU Referendum.  But rather than focus on that – you can read it for yourselves – I’m minded to ask a question.

Is there a single damned thing that comes out of Roger Harrabin’s mouth, or from his keyboard, that we can rely upon to be accurate?

People in this country are saddled with paying the salary of this activist lackey through the BBC licence fee, for nothing but biased reportage, naked propaganda and inaccurate scare stories hammed up to reinforce the spiteful agenda of his coterie of envirochums.  But the BBC love it because it is their agenda too.  Forget impartial reporting.  Forget balance.  Forget question and challenge of assertions made.  The BBC is a publicly funded propagandist, abused by its employees to push their worldview on a public they treat with scorn and contempt.

Let’s see if Harrabin corrects his previous claims of victory and present the reality, or if he will leave falsehood to stand as the BBC’s published record of these matters.

Your contributions sought – a manifesto for reform of the BBC

bbc-euThe previous blog post covers yet another EU payment to the BBC to help it push the EU agenda in other countries neighbouring the bloc.   It reminded me of something I have been meaning to blog for a while, the beginnings of a manifesto for reform of the BBC.

I would really appreciate your ideas and contributions to add to the initial ideas below.  This is the first attempt I’ve made at crowdsourcing, so it will be interesting to see how this goes.

Please add your additional suggestions (or suggestions for improving the points below) in the comments so they might be considered or included in a broader piece of work I am planning concerning BBC reform.

Thanks for your help!

AM

——————

Things that need to happen to rein in the BBC if people are to ever trust the organisation and if it is ever to be deserving of public money:

  1. The Freedom of Information exemption, that is routinely abused by the BBC should be abolished.  The only thing that should be kept secret ‘for the purposes of journalism’ are sources for stories who may be at risk if they were exposed
  2. The way editorial decisions and story selections are made and interviewees are chosen should be open to public scrutiny
  3. Internal reports that are commissioned about BBC reporting and the slant of its reporters, should be open to public scrutiny
  4. The BBC Charter should be amended to stop the BBC from broadcasting the opinion of its journalists, masquerading as news
  5. News should be presented impartially giving all sides of an argument so the viewer can decide for themselves what to think
  6. BBC journalists should no longer be allowed to advance any agenda in internal BBC workshops to ‘educate’ and ‘inform’ programme makers in non-news areas
  7. The commissioning or purchase of programmes that are made to influence public thinking on particular subjects should be banned
  8. … over to you…

Same old, same old. Still going through the motions on EU’s BBC funding

The latest incidence of the EU throwing yet more public money to the BBC, to fund its proselytising mission on behalf of the Brussels machine, has sparked a reaction that suggests many people are not aware of the long standing and cosy relationship between the biased broadcaster and the bureaucracy.

The Telegraph reports on the £4.5 million handout given to BBC Media Action so it would train (indoctrinate) journalists in countries neighbouring the EU about the bloc, as part of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy, which aims ‘to create an area of shared values, stability and prosperity, enhanced cooperation and deeper economic and regional integration’.  In other words, EU enlargement.

Nowhere in the article is there any mention of the fact the BBC received nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union between 2008-2012, in addition to grants of over £16 million from supposedly cash strapped local authorities across the UK (front line spending, eh?) to fund ‘research and development’ projects, despite the Telegraph itself running that story in February last year.

Returning to this latest commission payment, bribe, payment, this also has the happy coincidence of enabling the pro-EU Common Purpose termites within the BBC to spread their Marxist, anti democratic tentacles and encourage shadow structures to develop, where CP graduates work to their own shared agenda, regardless of the public’s agenda.

This is just another example of establishment games, taxpayer pays.

Royal Mail privatisation: The charade continues

The broadcast arm of the Guardian reported late last night that Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has confirmed the party will not promise to re-nationalise Royal Mail after it is privatised.

Well, duh!  But wait, the rationale for this statement of the bleeding obvious seems to be something other than the actual reason why Royal Mail cannot be re-nationalised, as Umunna’s comments make clear…

I have been very clear that we are not in a position to pledge to renationalise Royal Mail if we get into government in 2015.

I do not know how much Royal Mail shares will be trading at in May 2015, so I do not know how much it would cost to renationalise.

No credible future business secretary would therefore make such a pledge.

For the love of all things Holy…

No credible future business secretary would claim the reason for the inability of a UK government to re-nationalise the Royal Mail is financial rather than political as it would break the UK’s obligation under the EU’s Third Postal Directive.  But that is what the useless Umunna has done.  All eyes are being averted from the EU elephant in the room.

This tells us all we need to know about:

  1. The incompetence or lack of honesty of party political hacks like Umunna, who seek ‘power’ by way of election to Parliament in Westminster yet know nothing of how we are governed
  2. The incompetence or complicity of the BBC in ignoring the EU elephant in the room and pretending the Royal Mail privatisation could simply be reversed if Labour could afford to

Yet many people will take the Umunna and BBC drivel at face value, believing this is the Tories reviving the sale of family silver to their rich friends in the markets – just as intended by the BBC which has an agenda of seeing Labour win the next election.

It’s not just the Tories who deserve to be given a kicking for this EU Directive coming into force.  All main three parties are to blame for giving up almost all political control of this country over many years.  While the BBC has done its part for the establishment, helping to keep people distracted from the elephant in the room with biased reporting and omission of the truth.

A plague on all their houses.

BBC entrenches in its climate change propagandist role

Anyone listening to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning would be left in no doubt about the BBC’s re-doubled commitment to pushing the establishment’s climate change orthodoxy.

Roger Harrabin and Tom Feilden, supported online by Matt McGrath, set about their work in recent days to provide a wealth of material to be broadcast as a precursor to today’s release of the widely trailed Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change in Stockholm.

The only word to describe the BBC’s reporting is propaganda.  It is the only description, given the amount of time they have devoted to the Climate Change on that one programme alone today, and their selection of a procession of interviewees who are all paid for members of the climate change alarmist community, reliant on maintaining the narrative and the funds continuing to flow from our pockets into theirs.

There has been no balance whatsover.  Only fleeting references to scepticism were made, without any explanation of the arguments underpinning their argument.  They were quickly dismissed with carefully selected words deployed to give the impression that scepticism is just the preserve of a tiny minority, while suggesting the evidence they have provided that discredits the alarmist position is trivial in nature – as if the sceptics were merely nit picking.

It goes without saying, there was not a single reference to the scandalous story earlier this week about how governments had objected the the ‘scientific’ report because it confirmed the observations of a statistical halt in temperature rises, and pushed for the language to be changed so government policy could be underpinned by the ‘consensus’.  The biased BBC were careful to omit that, careful to airbrush it from the record, lest it lead listeners to have doubt about what will be published later.

 

Every tool in the PR and communicators arsenal was employed today.  In segments of just a few minutes, and in reports from their correspondants, the BBC sought to:

  • Paint the sceptics’ arguments as unreasonable with the use of dismissive language and intonation
  • Present in detail the position and ‘lines to take’ of the alarmists and only present the counter viewpoint as a footnote, while purposely leaving out the salient details that contradict, through science and observation, the alarmist position
  • Deal with the impossible to hide errors and exaggerations by the alarmists by playing them down as trivial matters
  • Give the impression the sceptics have only gained ground in the last few years because of effective PR and use of techniques to sensationalise otherwise shallow and meaningless arguments
  • Deploys statistics as numbers are powerful – pushing the report’s ’95%’ certainty that mankind is warming the planet and there is a need to reverse it
  • Give the impression of balance by playing Lord Lawson’s comments about the 15 years where warming has been statistically insignificant, but only playing his comment in the background of a segment and talking over the key takeaway line about 15 years with no warming
  • Give the impression there has only been a small slow down in warming and use language to suggest the slow down had already passed, even though it is ongoing
  • Appeal to authority time and again by repeatedly stating ‘overwhelming majority of scientists’ agree on climate change, until listeners are repeating it in their sleep

The result has been an utter distortion of events and facts, a partial, biased position that is not reporting, but advocacy for one argument over another.

What the BBC has been broadcasting today falls so far short of its Charter obligations, it makes a mockery of its claim to be an impartial and trusted broadcaster.  As we know there will be no sanction from this by the BBC Trust, it also makes a mockery of the checks and balances that supposedly exist to hold the BBC to account for its output.

BBC covering up for their friends?

Which of the following headlines do you consider to be the more newsworthy and being of greater public interest?

1. 25% of the population have been victims of a violent attack this year, or

2. 38% of the population are concerned about being violently attacked in the coming year

If a news organisation ran a story with headline one, then changed it to headline two later the same day, people could be forgiven for thinking that the organisation was perhaps trying to tone down the story by diverting attention away from the serious impacts that have been experienced by people and on to a statistic dealing in hypothesis rather than actuality.

The BBC has done just this today, not on the subject of violent crime but on the consequences of rising energy prices, particularly on low income and vulnerable households.

We will never know why they have changed the focus of the story, because any request for an explanation of an editorial decision or the process that led to the change is summarily rejected thanks to the BBC’s broad and routinely abused exemption under the Freedom of Information Act.  But there are some things we do know.

We do know, as covered in the previous post, the BBC is firmly on the side of environmental organisations, indeed any departure from the BBC’s ranks of environment reporters is invariably to positions in such eco groups or to become formal campaigners for such groups.  We also know as this earlier post reminds readers, that environmental organisations are the driving force at governmental level behind the insipid approach to energy policy that is pushing up energy prices to force people to use less energy.  And from the BBC’s survey findings we now have a clear picture of the consequences of this energy policy on real people, who are going without heat in their homes.

The effects of the energy policy going to get much worse.  More elderly and vulnerable people are going to perish this winter and in future winters because the cost of heating their homes has been dramatically increased, with much of that increase driven by direct and indirect levies and taxes demanded by the environmental NGOs, who sit alongside government and make the rules, unscrutinised, unaccountable and unmoveable.

If 25% of people surveyed have already suffered cold homes because heating is unaffordable, heaven knows how bad things will get for them in future years, let alone how many more households will be dragged into fuel poverty by this madness.  Who knows, even the BBC might struggle to conceal the impacts of the actions of their fellow travellers.

What’s in a name? BBC Northern Ireland conducts cringeworthy contortion

The city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland was given its official and legal name by Royal Charter in 1662.

Although the republican council in the city changed its own identity to Derry City Council in 1984, as a symbol of its rejection of the union with the United Kingdom and desire for unification with the Republic of Ireland, the High Court confirmed in a 2007 decision that the name of the city remained unchanged.  There is no confusion here, even of locals prefer to call the city ‘Derry’ its offical and legal name is Londonderry.

So a certain amount of teeth grinding was provoked today when I heard news presenters and continuity announcers on BBC Northern Ireland – the state’s public service broadcaster – constantly referring to the city as ‘Derry Londonderry’ in a crass attempt to sit on the fence over the city’s name.

Neither the UK government nor the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont have changed the name of Londonderry.  So why is the state’s publicly funded broadcaster being allowed to distort the official identity of Londonderry in this ludicrous manner?

It has long been asserted that BBC NI and Ulster Television (UTV) are reservoirs of republican support and sympathies.  This editorial decision by the BBC does nothing to disprove that assertion.  The default position of the self loathers and socialist broadcast activists at the Continuity BBC to place a premium on any stance that undermines anything British, but surely this sop to those who reject and oppose Northern Ireland’s British identity has no place on the state broadcaster.  This contortion over the city’s name is only being carried out to appease the sensitivities of republicans in Londonderry.

Should the day come that the majority in Northern Ireland choose democratically to leave the union and subsume themselves into the Republic of Ireland, and Londonderry is renamed legally, will the BBC still refer to it as ‘Derry Londonderry’ to acknowledge the sensitivities of the unionists living in the city who wish to remain part of the UK and have so far resisited the republican cultural cleansing that has been taking place to drive protestant unionists out?  Not bloody likely.

The BBC is still the United Kingdom’s fifth column, it remains the enemy within.  This is just another example of it.

BBC’s omission bias: No, you were not imagining it

With prescient timing only yesterday this blog was highlighting another example of BBC omission bias, as it pointedly refused to identify as Muslim the inmates at Full Sutton prison who beat and stabbed an officer while holding him hostage for more than four hours.  The Daily Wail is giving column inches today to a report into just this behaviour.

When it comes to matters Islamic or immigration related, many people have long argued the BBC’s coverage is outrageously slanted, deliberately taking an editorial line that plays down negatives while heaping focus on any perceived positives.  This bias has now been quantified in a report written by Ed West for the New Culture Forum, which concludes that:

In its coverage of the topic of immigration, the BBC has given overwhelmingly greater weight to pro-migration voices, even though they represent a minority – even elitist – viewpoint. And in its coverage of the economic arguments for and against immigration, it has devoted somewhat more space to pro-migration voices. In terms of the social costs, the BBC has almost totally ignored certain areas.

Sure, there’s nothing new under the sun here, it only confirms what we knew. But it does provide evidence from a detailed analysis of the corporations output that will be impossible to deny.  Let’s see if the BBC, supposedly its own greatest critic, deigns to report about this.

BBC News: All the news that we are willing to report

bbc_logo_3The BBC has graciously deigned to report on the vicious assault of a prison officer after he was held hostage by ‘three inmates’ at Full Sutton Prison in Yorkshire.

The BBC News website goes on to tell readers that:

‘The North East Counter Terrorism Unit, which is investigating, said two of the suspects were aged 25 and the other 26.

‘The men are not in prison for terror-related offences, a spokeswoman said.’

Eh?

Reading through the rest of the report there is no indication as to why this incident inside a prison is, in a highly unusual step, being investigated by counter terrorist police, and no explanation as to why a spokesman said the inmates were not in jail for terror-related offences.  It’s all very curious.  Well, curious until one casts their eye across other news media…

The Sun


Daily Mail

The Express

The Mirror

Even the Guardian refers to the reports that the hostage takers were Muslims but that the claim was unsubstantiated because the prison PR team had not said as much – despite the flood of information coming out of the prison via unofficial channels.

It is truly pathetic to see the BBC twisting itself into contortions without ‘outing’ Muslim extremists or Islamists when they stand accused a violent incident.  It is worse than disingenuous to self censor and do everything possible to keep viewers, listeners and readers in ignorance of what is being reported everywhere else, simply because of the ‘sensitivity’ of identifying perpetrators of violent and criminal acts as Muslim – ironically the way they proudly identify themselves.

It is hard to feel anything other than contempt for the BBC.

BBC narrative on ‘homegrown’ Boston bombers falls apart

During this morning, NBC News in America has been reporting that the suspects in the Boston Marathon twin bomb attacks are brothers of Chechen origin.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, born in Kyrgyzstan remains on the run while his brother who was killed in a shoot out with police is being named as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, born in Russia.   Sky News has also been carrying this information, along with news media around the world.

Meanwhile (at the time of writing) on the BBC, despite the time that has elapsed there is still no mention of the names or nationality of the bombing suspects.

Having pushed so hard the idea of ‘homegrown terrorism’ by Americans on American soil, by people who presumably hate the United States as much as the BBC does, it is as if the BBC cannot now bring itself to acknowledge and report that the authorities have identified the main suspects as foreign nationals who originate from a region well known for its Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism.

Of course the BBC will likely say they were waiting for more confirmation in order to be ‘accurate’ in their reporting, rather than first with the story.  But once again, on a major issue where the BBC has form for grudging reporting of the facts, they seem to be last to the party when the story fails to validate what their worldview expected it to be.

The BBC is becoming concerned with news and more concerned with agenda setting and propaganda.

(Update: Shortly after this post, the BBC has updated their news page with the details, well behind the other news media.  Anyone relying on the BBC for information spent more time this morning being less informed than users of other outlets.)

Another Patriots Day, another murderous attack

It was unsurprising to see the BBC news team on Radio 4 executing the usual contortions this morning in their efforts to play up the possibility of ‘home grown’ domestic terrorism that stems from hatred of the US Federal government being behind the twin bomb attack at the Boston Marathon.

Memories of Waco and the Oklahoma bombing were dragged up as part of the BBC effort to enjoin people to not jump to an immediate conclusion that the bombing was the work of foreign or religiously inspired terrorists.

Even more curious was the attempt to conflate the timing of the attack with shooting massacres carried out by gunmen who were clearly insane or plain evil, and had no motivation or cause, save murderous destruction of human life.

If the BBC’s disciples of apologism had stopped to think for a moment, they would have realised that Waco stemmed from a desire by David Koresh, a religious fanatic, to resist the state’s efforts to interfere in his affairs – albeit many of them being criminal in nature.  Further, the Oklahoma City bombing was a direct attack on government structures, with Timothy McVeigh’s target being a Federal government building in the city.

There is no evidence to support the BBC’s desperate attempt to play down the possibility of an Islamist or Middle Eastern dimension to what happened by linking the attack in Boston to domestic terrorism directed against the US Federal government.

The signature has all the hallmarks of a planned and coordinated attack on a soft target, designed to kill and injure people and sow terror, in the manner so ruthlessly employed by Al Qaeda and their affiliates.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be an individual or group copying Islamist methods, but the effort to make people think this twin bombing is somehow comparable to Waco and Oklahoma City is a red herring and a disservice to the public.

The thoughts and prayers of this blogger are with the innocent victims and their families.

Germans united in regret (and self interest) over Britain’s EU stance

Different day, same inane rubbish in the media where they repeat the same establishment arguments already made ad-infinitum.  This time it’s the turn of the BBC’s Mark Urban to offer a variation on the ‘Germans are displeased with us‘ theme.

There is no real dissent across the German political spectrum on the issues of integrating the European Union (EU) more closely, apart from on the extreme right.

gushes Urban.  Well Mr Urban, with the exception of UKIP, there’s no real dissent across the British political spectrum on the issue either – Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid and the SNP all crave more ‘Europe’.

From Ralph Brinkhaus, a local member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, to Christine Lemster, a chemistry student at Hamburg University, we heard a similar refrain – the UK and Germany ought to be natural allies, and it is too bad that they cannot unite around EU issues.

Stop, Mr Urban, you’re breaking my heart.  Of course we can be natural allies and we can unite around issues with Germany.  But where is the explanation about why we need to hand over control of our country in order to do so?

We are natural allies with the United States and unite with them around issues, but no one is suggesting we need to have political union with them to achieve it.  So why do we need political union in Europe?  As ever the europhile and EU grant-grabbing BBC demonstrate the closed thinking that colours their reporting of the issue.

The second issue on which there appears to be wide agreement is that Germany opposes the type of renegotiation of membership terms or competencies that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has talked about.

Well, heaven forbid this country should have the temerity to do something that doesn’t suit the agenda of the political class in Germany, or France, or Spain, or Italy.  How damned unreasonable of us.  We should be bloody well ashamed of ourselves for such harbouring such disgracefully selfish thoughts.

The last topic where the Germans offer Tory Eurosceptics cold comfort is on their idea that Britain, even if it actually left the EU, could negotiate the same type of free trade arrangement with it that Norway or Switzerland have.

We went to the Sennheiser audio plant near Hanover; where something like 10% of their worldwide sales are made in the UK, to canvass their view on this:

“I know how complicated it is to negotiate”, said board member Volker Bertels, referring to Switzerland’s long discussions over the terms of access to the European market, adding that in the case of the UK, “we all need to be careful about putting up additional obstacles”.

Once again the media paints this issue as being about one section of one political party.  They are actually doing contortions now to avoid any recognition that it is voters who have pushed this debate to the forefront through opinion polls and their possible voting intentions.  So it’s hard to get an agreement in a short time.  Switzerland got plenty of bi-lateral agreements because they have what others want and are interested in buying what others have to sell.  Provided the trade rules were in place to allow the free flow of goods and services then the market will do the rest.

So many words written by Mark Urban.  Yet none of them are devoted to any examination of the UK’s interests.  Instead he uses his platform to effectively shill for the Germans.  Such is the mindset of the establishment’s state broadcaster.  Is there anyone in the British establishment who gives a damn about this country’s interests rather than agonise about how inconvenient our potential actions might be for other countries?  There’s a word for these people.  Quislings.

Norwegian Foreign Minister lies about EEA to help British ‘in’ campaign

There is only one kind of person who is even more enthusiastic about the EU than the legion of EUrocrats, and who will say anything – even blatant lies – to advance its agenda.

That person is a furiously frustrated member of the political class who is a wannabe EUrocrat, but is trapped outside the doors of the Brussels/Strasbourg gravy train by the voters in his/her country who are determined to remain independent.

One such EUthusiast is the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide.

Like the rest of the political class in Norway, Eide is desperate to take his country into the EU.  Although Norwegian voters continue to return socialists to office in Oslo, they savour their independence and do not want to be part of the EU.  It is a classic political class/electorate disconnect.  The political class see they can do nicely out of the EU, the voters see it will be a bottomless pit into which they will be required to pour their money while at the same time giving up tcontrol of their own laws and regulations.

As an EU wannabe, Eide is keen to suck up to the EUrocrats at every opportunity in the hope of some financially lucrative reward later down the line.  This explains why Eide lied shamelessly in an effort to con Britons into thinking that leaving the EU and becoming part of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) – which along with the EU makes up the European Economic Area (EEA) – would strip Britain of any remaining influence in Europe and lead to ‘regulation without representation’.

Eide knows it’s a lie.  The EU knows it’s a lie.  And thanks to this clinical dissection by Richard over at EU Referendum, you too can now see for yourself that it’s a lie.

It’s interesting to note that the BBC was very keen to promote these lies.  Where was their fact checking?  Where is the evidence of their duty to impartiality and accuracy? This is another glaring example of the ludicrous nature of Lord Justice Leveson’s assertion that mainstream journalists enjoy a “powerful reputation for accuracy”.

Clearly Leveson’s cocksure comments were just another steaming pile of establishment-generated bullshit.  Once again it has taken the blogosphere to uncover the truth and publicise it in the face of concerted political and media deception.  Let the good Lord Justice hold a lucrative enquiry into that and force the BBC to be held to account. We won’t hold our breath for that to happen.

Arse kissing establishment BBC scum

Strongly worded title perhaps. But after the previous post from the early hours of this morning that’s the cleaned up version of the description of the hypocritical parasites known as the BBC. Moments ago on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme John Humphrys interviewed Margaret Hodge, champagne socialist chairman of the Public Accounts Select Committee.

Yet again Hodge took the platform afforded to her to describe companies who legally structure their headquarters and finances to pay tax overseas instead of here in the UK as ‘immoral’.  She proudly informed Humphrys that she no longer shops at Amazon or drinks at Starbucks as a result.  This despite the revelation that the family business Hodge herself owns shares in – and allegedly uses tax minimising measures to hold others in trust and in children’s names – pays just 0.01pc tax on £2.1bn of business generated in the UK.

But that of course is ok for a taxpayer soaking, troughing hypocrite like Hodge, who last year allegedly earned from her £1.8million worth of shares a dividend from Stemcor of more than £56,000 – much greater than the gross pay of the vast majority of the population.

Despite this knowledge, John Humphrys either took the decision not to challenge this hypocrisy, followed an editorial decision not to bring it up or timidly accepted a demand from Hodge not to bring it up (we will never know because any FOI request to discover the truth will be met with the standard refusal because the information is supposedly held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature,’).

This is the contemptible establishment at work.  Whipping up discord, hysteria and resentment among sections of society over perfectly legal behaviour, but in cowardly fashion carefully evading scrutiny of their own alleged behaviour by simply omitting any mention of it.  Yes, scum.

Tony Hall appointment at BBC demonstrates Tory corporate stupidity

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the utter stupidity of senior members of the Conservative Party.  When it was announced that Tony Hall was being appointed BBC Director General after the sopping wet Lord (Chris) Patten foolishly rushed in to fill the post without carefully examining other potential candidates for the vacancy, the Labour Party speedily showered Hall and the decision with praise and plaudits.

You would have thought Labour’s delight would have started ringing alarm bells in Tory HQ, but no.  Perhaps the problem is threefold.  Firstly you have the legendary idiocy of the Tory elite, which treats its members and the public with contempt while making all manner of balls-ups.  Secondly, perhaps Tories just possess incredibly short memories and therefore have forgotten about Tony Hall and what went on at the BBC while he was in cheif executive of BBC News and Current Affairs?  Let’s take a couple of moments to remind them.

Under his Tony Hall’s management, the BBC had an incestuous relationship with the Labour Party.  BBC staffers assisted Labour’s ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ by tipping them off every time a Conservative said anything that challenged Labour in the run up to the 1997 general election.  Former BBC journalists ran as Labour candidates (remember Ben Bradshaw who remained on the BBC Radio 4 payroll despite not working and instead campaigning to win the Exeter seat?) while Labour people went the other way into the BBC (remember Joy Johnson, ex-BBC PR professional who became Labour’s director of communications, then lost her job and was immediately re-hired by the BBC?)  What about the champagne strewn corridors of the BBC after Blair’s election victory and the BBC bias against the Conservatives that had Brian Mawhinney and Charles Lewington in red faced fury as the Patten-loving Major government was pulled to pieces?  It was under Tony Hall that the BBC effectively campaigned for Martin Bell in Tatton, without once challenging him on his motivation for standing or probing his behind the scenes relationship with the Labour Party.

Small wonder Labour has welcomed his appointment, and the corporate stupidity of the Tories sees them also welcome a man into a post far more powerful than the one he used to help to see the Tories ejected from office in 1997.  But what of the third possible problem?  Maybe the long stroll leftwards of the Conservatives, which has accelerated under David Cameron, has made the Tory leadership so indistinguishable from Labour they now share the same mindset enabling them to convince themselves Tony Hall is someone they can do business with.

The timing is incredibly ironic.  Here we are, mid-term of a somewhat unpopular coagulation government, where the Lib Dems are electoral dead ducks struggling to remain the third mainstream political party as UKIP catches and overtakes them in the polls; and the Conservatives are being painted as evil for supposedly trying to repair (badly it has to be said) the economic scorched earth of Labour’s insane tax, borrow, spend and borrow some more policies while continuing to fawn over the EU.  Labour is on top of the polls for simply not being Tories or Fib Dims, despite being led by an incompetent champagne socialist career politician who has never done a proper job in his life and who lives in comfort with a couple of million in the bank.  And now the man who gave Labour a free ride on BBC’s news output to help them win the election in 1997 is placed into an even more powerful role as head of the BBC, enabling him to ensure the BBC helps Labour to victory again in 2015.

Describing the Tories as lemmings doesn’t seem to go far enough.


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