BBC Lawbreaking 170

I despair sometimes that society as a whole has lost all sense of how a democracy ought to operate.  State abuse has become the norm.

I am astonished that there is not greater reaction to the BBC role in Obama’s statement against Scottish independence.  It is now confirmed that not only did No. 10 ask Obama to make the statement, they set up the BBC to ask the question that prompted it.

For a state broadcaster, with a legal obligation to neutrality in the referendum campaign, actively to participate in a stunt plainly aimed to boost one side in the campaign is beyond disgraceful.  There is obviously a realisation at the BBC that they have done something very wrong indeed – all of the BBC’s own coverage with unprecedented reticence omitted totally the fact that it was the BBC that asked the question.

This ought to be an absolutely huge scandal which leads to resignations at the BBC.  Yes, it is not unprecedented for officials to ask a journalist to ask a helpful question.  The Tories might well ask the Sun or Telegraph to ask them something.  But it is a completely different thing when it is a state broadcaster legally obliged to neutrality and part of a referendum or election campaign.

That the BBC truthful report that there were no WMD’s in Iraq led to forced resignations, while this twisted propaganda interference has no result, is a sign of the collapse of democratic values in society – and the expectation of them.

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170 thoughts on “BBC Lawbreaking

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  • Ba'al Zevul (Freude!)

    Niall Paterson seems to be the main man here – reporting for Sky (!)

    Sky’s Niall Paterson, in Edinburgh, said: “I have been speaking with a very senior source in the Scottish government who tells me he recently had a conversation with a similarly senior source within the US administration – very close to President Obama himself – who confirmed that President Obama’s remarks on Scottish independence followed a direct request from the UK government.

    “More than that, the senior source within the US government claimed that President Obama’s remarks represented the minimum that they could say.

    “I think, essentially, there are three ways you can look at all of this. First, that my source within the Scottish government is perhaps telling porkies, 100 days out from the referendum, to make political hay.
    The Union flag and Saltire are seen flying side by side at Bankfoot in Perthshire, Scotland The referendum on Scottish independence takes place on September 18

    “The second way of looking at this is of course international leaders do speak to each other all the time, officials speak to each other all the time, and frankly, President Obama at a press conference such as that should have expected to receive a question on Scottish independence.

    “He was never going to say, ‘I think an independent Scotland would be a great thing’.

    “The third way to look at it, if this is all true, is that perhaps figures within the Scottish government such as the First Minister Alex Salmond would make the point that if David Cameron is having to request the assistance of the US president to weigh into the Scottish independence referendum debate then perhaps it is not the ‘Yes’ campaign that is on the back foot, it is the ‘Better Together’ campaign.”

    But there’s more.

    And more –

    What’s the Russian for lol?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Freude!)

    ‘In the name of God, go’ department

    Straw’s in there. Puke alert.

    And here’s Liam Byrne being shut down by the Speaker. Why? His question wasn’t substantially longer than some others.

    Byrne:… Parents, who should have been the first to know, have been the last to know about the contents of these reports. I am sure that the Secretary of State will want to apologise to the House for the contempt with which parents have been treated in this debate. Secondly, he knows that I have been at the forefront in calling for this Ofsted process. I am glad that Sir Michael Wilshaw has today said that there is no evidence of an organised plot to radicalise our children or introduce extremism into schools, but four out of the six academies—

    Bercow:…his question, which is not yet a question, is far too long—[Interruption.]…

    There IS a use for sarin. There IS.

  • Mary

    I like the ‘westmonster’ bit Duncan. V good. Accessory to what though? Their crimes? 🙂

  • Moses Humberstone

    Hold on, Did I miss something here.

    Who has shown that No 10 put the BBC up to asking this question? Is there any evidence of this?

  • mark golding

    Encrypted voice communications uses delta modulation to digitize the voice envelope. This is then mixed with a synchronized pseudo-random key producing encrypted voice. You will only discern ‘noise’ or ‘crackle’ (old school)if you listen-in with an ordinary short-wave receiver.

  • Mary

    Ha! From Medialens.

    The Myths of Gordon
    Posted by The Editors on June 11, 2014, 6:06 am

    One of the best opening paragraphs ever written in a political piece.



    By Robin McAlpine

    Gordon Brown exists only in an intensive care unit manufactured for him by certain sections of the Scottish media. They keep him politically alive through regular injections of myth.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Suffer -the little children!)

    Hold on, Did I miss something here. (Random Pseudonym)

    You missed my comment, three above yours. Niall Paterson, a Sky reporter, is the proximate source. He is cited by all reports on this. Should you wish further confirmation, I suggest you contact him. I doubt he will reveal his source, however, since it was plainly confidential.

    Lighten up. You’ve believed many less substantial assertions in your time, particularly if you’re an Express reader.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The BBC and The Guardian have equated JK Rowling’s giving one 1,000th of what she is worth to what the Weirs gave to the Yes campaign from winning the lottery.

    In doing so, Ms. Rowing joins UK notables like Ian Taylor, the oil mogul who supporter Serbian assassin Arkan..

  • Kempe

    ” Because she has an opinion? ”

    Because she has the “wrong” opinion. Dissent is not tolerated around here.

    It has however allowed the nationalists to shine forth in all their misogynistic narrow-minded glory.

  • Mary

    I merely say I’m glad I have never read her books so Fred (very much NO in the referendum) follows with a cutting listing some unpleasant attacks on her implying that I had made similar comments. Then Kempe chimes in as per usual.

    I can’t stand her politics or her shallowness. Read this extract from Wikipedia.


    In September 2008, on the eve of the Labour Party Conference, Rowling announced that she had donated £1 million to the Labour Party, and publicly endorsed Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown over Tory challenger David Cameron, saying in a statement:

    I believe that poor and vulnerable families will fare much better under the Labour Party than they would under a Cameron-led Conservative Party. Gordon Brown has consistently prioritised and introduced measures that will save as many children as possible from a life lacking in opportunity or choice. The Labour government has reversed the long-term trend in child poverty, and is one of the leading EU countries in combating child poverty. David Cameron’s promise of tax perks for the married, on the other hand, is reminiscent of the Conservative government I experienced as a lone parent. It sends the message that the Conservatives still believe a childless, dual-income, but married couple is more deserving of a financial pat on the head than those struggling, as I once was, to keep their families afloat in difficult times.

    Rowling is a close friend of Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon Brown, whom she met when they collaborated on a charitable project (see above). When Brown’s son Fraser was born in 2003, Rowling was one of the first to visit her in the hospital.

    Rowling discussed the 2008 United States presidential election with the Spanish-language newspaper El País. She said she was obsessed with the United States elections because they would have a profound effect on the rest of the world. In February 2008, she said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would be “extraordinary” in the White House. In the same interview, she also said her hero was Robert F. Kennedy.[201]’

    She is wrong on nearly all of it especially Obama and Clinton. She was right about them being extraordinary though. Extraordinary killers. ‘We came. We saw. They died.’ La Clinton.

    and yesterday 16 more Pakistanis were killed by Obamadrone in N Waziristan.
    LATEST:US carries out two drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal North Waziristan area, killing at least 16 militants – reports

    Perhaps she could have provided some housing for the homeless with this kind of money as she is such a keen advocate of ‘socialism’. This says it all.

    ‘In July, JK Rowling’s husband applied for planning permission for two huge interlocked treehouses at their new home in Barnton. The application said the tree houses were for their children to play in.
    It is understood the tree houses, which would be built by Blue Forest, would cost £150,000.’

    Private splendour. Public squalor.

    She apparently makes £1m every three days from her Potter stuff.

    I will not enlarge on how Brown has feathered his own nest since leaving office. He has not been as successful as his best enemy Bliar but is said to have net worth of $15m.
    The same website has Cameron with $50m.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Fred quotes:
    “Thank goodness I have never bought or read any of her books even the over hyped Harry Potter series.”

    I’m assuming I’ve blocked this contributor, Fred. But
    (a) I can personally testify that if you’re stuck in a caravan in Argyll in the pissing rain, and there’s no other reading matter, they’re quite entertaining
    (b) What she does with the profits is entirely her affair. Just a little ironic that she finds Scotland an attractive place to live as compared with England, and pays to perpetuate the union. But life’s like that.

  • frankieboy

    After I had first read your blog I went and asked Nick Robinson of BBC is he was asked by government officials or aides to ask the question to Obama. He replied stating he didn’t ask the question. So, I asked him again if he was asked to ask it by any government official or BBC political advisor. He never replied. Who did actually ask the question and why was it not the Chief Political Correspondent of BBC?

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