BBC Mock Balance 217

A classic example of BBC mock balance on the news tonight as James Cook devoted apparently equal time to Douglas Alexander and Mhairi Black in Renfrewshire East.

Of Mhairi we were told by Cook that her opponents say that her youth shows, and that she carries fighting talk too far. Well, of Douglas his opponents say that he is a war criminal, and that he stabbed his sister in the back. That was not mentioned.

Whereas the “equal time” allowed the SNP candidate included BBC commentary giving direct personal criticism of her, there was no critical note in the Alexander side of the coverage. An interesting example of how the state propaganda system works.

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217 thoughts on “BBC Mock Balance

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  • Republicofscotland

    “That’s a grass roots movement which isn’t funded by a billionaire”

    Oh dear a maximum of 500 disgruntled Better Together minions who lack t confidence they’re embarrassed to reveal their identity. things they do have Westminster connections.

    Latest poll shows the unionists routed, I’ll understand Fred if you decide to pack your bags and leave Scotland.

    Afterall how could possibly stomach living here knowing we nats swept the board.

  • Jon

    RoS, thanks for the link.

    I think whether or not this group is embarrassed to reveal their identities is not the major issue. If they are unwilling to say who they are, the suggestion they are a “grass roots movement” is a guess at best. They claim to be “from all backgrounds”, but independence supporters and unionists alike would have to be pretty naive to take their word for it. I thought their interviewer was rather too easy on them, claiming that it “makes sense” for them to keep their anonymity.

    What will be interesting is whether, of the unionist vote in Scotland (i.e. really real people from all backgrounds), people would be willing to take the voting wheel’s recommendation. I mean, how do you vote as a unionist if the wheel asks you to vote Tory, if you would normally have voted Labour to kick out the Tories?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Are you saying he lied?

    Do you have evidence?

    I’m saying opinions differ, radically, and supplied a source. Feel free to supply one of your own, other than a hedge-fund millionaire, writing for HuffPo, and whose (mysteriously funded) anti-independence institute was inaugurated by Alastair Darling in person. And who supplies no evidence for his statement.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    “That’s a grass roots movement which isn’t funded by a billionaire”

    I wonder. Azeem Ibrahim (see above) made the Rich List this year. No, he couldn’t possibly be involved…did I mention he has dual US/UK citizenship?

  • Mary

    Hope you enjoyed your little bit of fun Dreolin at my expense whilst acting as stooge for the trolls.

    You got the image wrong though. I look much worse than that! having lost 3 stone and most of my hair.

    Quite a cruel streak is evident. Think on.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    What will be interesting is whether, of the unionist vote in Scotland (i.e. really real people from all backgrounds), people would be willing to take the voting wheel’s recommendation. I mean, how do you vote as a unionist if the wheel asks you to vote Tory, if you would normally have voted Labour to kick out the Tories?

    Radio 4 News is leading on a related issue today:

    Effectively, if you live in Scotland, vote SNP to kick out Labour (and who could possibly object?), but south of Berwick vote Tory to keep press regulation light for Rupert.

    Your soaraway separatist Sun sez so…. 🙂

  • Abe Rene

    Some of the exchanges here remind me of a scene from a famous film:

    DEADLY DIRK: Campaign for Free Galilee.
    FRANCIS: Oh. Uh, People’s Front of Judea. Officials.
    FRANCIS: What’s your group doing here?
    DEADLY DIRK: We’re going to kidnap Pilate’s wife, take her back, issue demands.
    FRANCIS: So are we.
    DEADLY DIRK: What?
    FRANCIS: That’s our plan!
    DEADLY DIRK: We were here first!
    FRANCIS: What do you mean?!
    DEADLY DIRK: We thought of it first!
    WARRIS: Oh, yeah?
    DEADLY DIRK: Yes, a couple of years ago!
    P.F.J.: Ha. Heh. Ha ha.
    DEADLY DIRK: We did!
    FRANCIS: Okay, c– co– come on. You got all your demands worked out, then?
    DEADLY DIRK: ‘Course we have.
    FRANCIS: What are they?
    DEADLY DIRK: Well, I’m not telling you.
    P.F.J.: Aghhh…
    FRANCIS: Oh, come on. Pull the other one.
    P.F.J.: Shh!
    DEADLY DIRK: That’s not the point! We thought of it before you!
    WARRIS: Did not.
    DEADLY DIRK: We did!
    FRANCIS: You didn’t.
    C.F.G.: We bloody did!
    BRIAN: Shhhh!
    P.F.J.: Shhhhh! Shh.
    DEADLY DIRK: You bastards! We’ve been planning this for months.
    FRANCIS: Well, tough titty for you, Fish Face. Oh! Oh.
    RANDOM: All right.
    WARRIS: Clever. You sly…
    C.F.G. and P.F.J. fight
    BRIAN: Brothers! Brothers! We should be struggling together!
    FRANCIS: We are! Ohh.
    BRIAN: We mustn’t fight each other! Surely we should be united against the common enemy!
    EVERYONE: The Judean People’s Front?!
    BRIAN: No, no! The Romans!
    EVERYONE: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.
    FRANCIS: Yeah. He’s right. Let’s go in, get her out, and we can argue afterwards.
    DEADLY DIRK: All right.

    … 🙂

  • Abe Rene

    @Ba’al Zevul @”Azeem Ibrahim unequivocally works for Rome.” By “Rome” do you mean “Western capitalism”?

  • doug scorgie

    28 Apr, 2015 – 10:05 pm
    “The racists are calling the racists racist.”

    From your link Fred:

    “Mr Farage then went on to claim the “biggest racism” he had seen in British politics was coming from supporters of the SNP with anti-English hatred reaching an “astonishing level”.

    Farage of course offers no evidence that the SNP is racist but you happily go along with him and you don’t offer any evidence either.

    It appears that the “logic” Farage uses is: because the SNP want independence they must be anti-English, which is nonsense.

    The same nonsense we get from you Fred.

  • Dreoilin

    Does it ever occur to you, Mary, that several other commenters here may have quite serious illnesses? Because brief remarks made by various people lead me to think that they have. I won’t name them as I don’t think they want attention drawn to themselves.

    As far as the image is concerned, I’ve had that ‘Darby and Joan’ link for ages. All it took was for someone to mention “Darby and Joan” and I posted it.

    (BTW, most of my hair is gone too (side effects) and I don’t look too hot myself.)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    By “Rome” do you mean “Western capitalism”?

    I was indulging your own analogy in the context of separatist factions vs. an imperium – which I took you to equate with the UK. Ibrahim punts the Unionist position and his thinktank is backed by Unionists; there is no SNP participation. The foregoing discussion wasn’t between two rival radical opinions but between a single radical opinion and the establishment’s. Your comparison was therefore invalid.

    More widely speaking, if you like, Ibrahim is very definitely an apologist for global capitalism, with particular reference to means of making vast sums of money from the mere possession of vast sums of money. He seems to be a qualified practitioner. And he lives in the US. His only redeeming quality, in my book, is that he loathes Blair.

  • Abe Rene

    @Baal Zevul “Ibrahim punts the Unionist position..More widely speaking, ..Ibrahim is very definitely an apologist for global capitalism..His only redeeming quality, in my book, is that he loathes Blair.” From a quick search, his website “Scotland Institute” indicates interest in further devolution following the referendum result, not quite classical Unionism. Elsewhere he says: “Both Britain and the United States had their finest hours with the introductions of the National Health Service and Social Security and Medicare, respectively” which doesn’t sound like a whole-hearted advocacy of capitalism. If he is favour of any major competitors in the forthcoming election, it’s Ed Milliband.
    So I wouldn’t equate him to Rome, as you use that symbol.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    It may be that Ibrahim is a useful idiot, rather than a full-on Ulster-style Unionist. It may even be that his vision of a successful Scotland for some reason includes the, er, commercially amenable Left. But whatever his local politics (while he promotes Labour exclusively, its lack of leftwingers doesn’t seem to concern him much), a ‘Top 100 Global Thinker’ (according to the European Social Think Tank in 2010) and a ‘Young Global Leader’ (so honoured by the World Economic Forum – ffs!) does not exactly shout ‘Iconoclastic critic of accepted politico-economic thinking’ to me.

  • Jon

    Ba’al, what make you of the great Satan switching surprisingly to Scottish separatism? 🙂

    Salmond of course is famous for having met him an unpleasantly large number of times, though someone once pointed out to me that at least these sorts of meetings aren’t secret, and that politicians of all stripes have always had to meet this or that newspaper proprieter in order to attract the editorial support they need.

    I do think it’s odd though – independence is a poke in the eye both for militarism and race-to-the-bottom low taxation, but Roop is fan. What on earth is going on?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Jon – Private Eye analysed that this week. The opinion is that Labour will spell much tighter press regulation, and what keeps Labour out is good for Rupe. In terms of realpolitik, Salmond had to get at least some media on side, and presumably polished a long spoon for doing so. Politics is the art of the possible. During the period of Salmond’s notorious pre-Leveson meetings, everybody else was wooing Rupe for the same reason; the correct subliminal message from the sensational soakaway Sun to the canteens, restrooms and barbershop customers of the nation.

    After the election it will be all change again. Though if the Tories get in, they’ll probably secure Rupe’s affection, at least in the short term, by knighting him.

  • Jon

    Ah, I will take a look at PE, thanks. I seem to recall that independence in Scotland would remove the traditional Labour counterbalance on the remainder of the UK, too, so I expect that figures in his thinking. A stronger Tory lock on England would make the corporate ride in London a bit smoother too, free of the flamin’ socialists in the Labour party (ahem).

    (I’ve sometimes wondered if this is a rare reason why progressives might object to an indie Scotland – it sends the remainder of the UK to neocon hell in a Tory handbasket. However, I tend to reply to such a view that the positive outcomes of progressive thinking tends to be infectious, and my prediction is that the north of England will want a slice of the same. I don’t know if I am making a sensible bet, given the power of the propaganda machine evidenced in the indyref itself).

    Yeah, I would not put it past Cameron to send a knighthood his way. I expect there will be Avaaz/38D campaigns on the topic though – social media has an excellent record of embarrassing the govt on mucky issues like this.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Dunno, mate. But apparently it’s ok to hand them out to non-Brits. Like Chancellor Kohl, President Mitterrand, Mayor Giuliani and Angelina Jolie, to name but four. Perhaps Rupert’s alternative US citizenship could be invoked to that end?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    30/04-2015 3:21pm

    Like General Norman Schwarzkopf, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 20/05/1991.

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution:

    “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

    Kind regards,


  • lysias

    Schwarzkopf’s acceptance of that knighthood was doubtfully legal. It’s unclear whether Congress somehow consented to it.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Rudi Giuliani , Angelina Jolie (as mentioned above but why does anyone bother posting stuff Lysias isn’t going to read), Caspar Weinberger, George HW Bush, Douglas Fairbanks Jr,
    Eugene Ormandy…and more, it’s quite a list — have all accepted British knighthoods. They just can’t call themselves ‘sir’ or ‘lady’.

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