Soft Focus 2174


Staring at the screen in disbelief as the BBC broadcast a preview of a quite literally soft focus “interview” of Theresa May by a simpering Nick Robinson. North Korean stuff. For Panorama.
“Prime Minister, a lot of people liked it when you described yourself as a bloody difficult woman”. Astonishingly sycophantic stuff from the state broadcaster.


2,174 thoughts on “Soft Focus

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      • Tom Welsh

        There are actually more people nowadays who would qualify for the OBN than everything else combined. Although there are still a lot of very good people to whom a small decoration is a minimal appreciation of their hard work.

  • Malcontent

    He’s hard wired Craig
    Robinson was a founder-member of Macclesfield Young Conservatives (YC) and rose through the ranks, becoming Cheshire YC Chairman (1982–84) and became a key activist in the moderate-controlled North West Area organisation. Philip Pedley, as National YC Chairman, co-opted Robinson onto the YC National Advisory Committee in 1983 and appointed him National Campaign Director of Youth for Multilateral Disarmament. Robinson was elected National Vice Chairman in 1985–87 and succeeded a fellow moderate, Richard Fuller, when he was elected Chairman of the National Young Conservatives on the moderate ticket against strong right-wing opposition (1987–88).[6]

    At university he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1985.[7][8]

  • Radar O'Reilly

    I saw the “interview” start, thought it was carpool-karaoke, or possibly a porn movie!
    Once I realised a state broadcaster ‘makeover’ was in progress, with Treeza tossing her hair in the breeze – in soft focus – I changed channel to NHK World, where there was a special boat clicking a new section of railway track into their damaged airport bridge. Kansai airport repair will be completed by Tuesday, amazing – Treeza’s repair will be a bit slower I guess. . .

  • Los

    The Tories well and truly have captured the BBC.

    They even have The Guardian accepting their Novickok Pravda.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I do not think that is true. The BBC is flagrantly Remain, a Climate Change extremist and is so packed full of namby-pamby, pseudo-leftie London-centric middle-class self-righteous trotters-in-the-trough self-publicists it is untrue.

      One puff piece does not a putsch signify…..

        • Tom Welsh

          “Climate Change” (or, to be more accurate, anthropogenic global warming) is supposed to be a scientific theory. Newton’s Laws of physics, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution have all been accepted as “settled science” for one or more centuries. Yet note that they are all still called “theories”.

          That is not a foolish convention; it reminds us that scientists do not deal in absolute certainty. Instead, they deal in facts and probabilities.

          The great majority, we are told, of “climate scientists” agree that AGW is in progress. On the other hand, a lot of extremely distinguished scientists disagree. And I cannot help remembering that, when the UK Met Office has told me it is pouring with rain in my post code *right now*, I have glanced out of the window to see brilliant sunshine. Hmmmm.

          So the term “denialist” is absurd, and anyone who uses it seriously is simply advertising his ignorance of scientific method.

          • bj

            The ignorance is on your part.

            Science know just theories and hypotheses.
            Except for mathematics, it will not prove anything, contrary to what you apparently was expecting.

      • Tom Welsh

        Rhys, I think the common factor is that the BBC management are frightened of losing their cushy overpaid sinecures. So they play safe by always going with the majority (of the Establishment, it goes without saying – the proles don’t matter).

        • Tom Welsh

          In my view – not the person you were replying to – a climate change extremist is anyone who abandons scientific method and the caution that should accompany it, and makes a religious issue out of the question.

      • John2o2o

        “Nick Robinson: the BBC political editor is a former chairman of the Young Conservatives, but scrupulously fair in his reporting.”

        Quotation from the Guardian 2015.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    Did you see Kirsty Wark interview a journalist from RT about the latest Skripal nonsense? She had the gall to suggest to the polite and well-mannered RT journalist that RT was a conduit of state propaganda. The arrogance, sneering condescension and utter lack of self-awareness was breathtaking. The RT journalist pointed out the same charge could be levelled at the BBC which is why so many in the UK now tune in to it. Touché. Then she hung up leaving Kirsty Wark wondering why.

    • Andrew Carter

      You may have been right (and ‘Wark’ is easier to spell anyway!)

      I sense we share the same disgust, and if the video interview of the two ‘perps’ was a put-up job, then the Kremlin really is losing its grip on production standards. To my mind the most compelling evidence that the two guys were not being stage-managed was just how amateur the whole thing was: they could learn a lot from the production crew behind tbe White Helmets

      • mdroy

        If they are GRU then no way would they have been “found” or “revealed”, just hidden
        If they are just Russians in England for a few days (and a massive search would surely have found a few, not in hiding – just like these two) then it is always going to be easy to ridicule there story.
        As you say, the amateurish of the interview is the clearest indication of who they were.

    • Charles Bostock

      Well, you’re entitled to your view about her manner but surely you wouldn’t deny that RT *is* a conduit of Russian state propaganda?Though I’ll admit that it’s a very subtle technique: not so much a glorification of how things are in Russia or Russian policies but more a steady negative focus on everything that’s wrong with the West and its policies.

      • Tom Welsh

        Only if you consider the truth “Russian state propaganda”.

        Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with thinking that. Truth is a very powerful weapon, especially when your self-appointed enemies have erected a colossal Tower of Babel constructed mostly of lies.

        • Charles Bostock

          Of course some of it – perhaps even a lot of it – is true. But that’s not the point. The point is the unending focus and slant put by RT on those negative features which afflict every liberal democracy; in other words, only the bad things are reported and never anything positive. And on the rare occasions when it reports on a negative development within Russia, a justification or excuse is always brought forth. But Anon1 has said all this rather better than I have (post below).

          The Israeli broadcaster i24News is an infinitely more objective and honest broadcaster. You should try it some time (and it doesn’t just cover the Middle East, by the way).

          • Tom Welsh

            “The point is the unending focus and slant put by RT on those negative features which afflict every liberal democracy; in other words, only the bad things are reported and never anything positive…”

            I see.

            Without giving it much thought, or taking a lot of time, Charles, might I ask you to share with us some of the “positive” things about “liberal democracies” (whatever they may be)?

          • Tom Welsh

            “The Israeli broadcaster i24News is an infinitely more objective and honest broadcaster”.

            Although my views tend to be conservative, I never like to support or encourage apartheid or genocide.

          • bj

            Go write a letter to the editors.

            Or better yet — like I proposed the other day — start a blog.
            With your views, you’re highly likely to get subsidized by The Atlantic Council.

            Hahaha.

          • Susan Smith

            Just substitute “Scotland” for “liberal democracy” and “BBC” for “RT” and you’ll see that the BBC is no different .

          • JIm C

            “News” organisations are wildly expensive to run. They either exist to make a direct profit for the wealthy people who own them… or they serve as a “loss-leader” so that other profit centers (I’m looking at you, MIC) can function more easily elsewhere.

            RT is a propagandist outlet for the Russian government. PressTV is the same for Iran, Al Jazeera for Qatar… and the BBC (along with numerous privately-owned “news” services) serves the same function for the Anglo American corporatist empire.

            Virtually all of them have a particular editorial slant to soothe the target demographic into opening their mouths for the spoonsful of establishment-maintaining narratives that keep countries operating smoothly for their owners.

            Once you realise that lines on the atlas are best seen as demarcations of corporations that farm humans, it’ll all become a lot clearer.

          • fwl

            & as to what media is for (or misused for): Umberto Eco’s last work Numero Uno, whilst not his finest is worth a quick peruse.

      • mdroy

        What RT does well is to highlight the enormous inconsistencies in the Western media. Sure there is a motive for that – cast doubt on them. But they do need doubting. There is so much bull in the media that frankly the No 1 story nowadays is just how much we are lied to and mislead.
        On everything – where a win/win deal between EU and UK is being negotiated but reported as something completely different.
        On Syria where the lies of the evil Assad from 2012 just continue, and the common knowledge that CW have no tactical advantage, that the White Helmets are fake, that the US/Saudi/Turkey set up ISIS and supply still them with arms and funding, are all top secret, never to be mentioned. Even the most accepted fact, that Turkey was giving Isis hundreds of $mllions for stolen oil with tankers queuing at the boarder was only mentioned for a few days and seems to have been subjected to some kind of D-notice ever since.
        On wealth inequality – where the 1930-1980s gains have largely been given up in the last 35 years, where median income has rise by just 10% in 35 years in UK and 0% in US, but most media still claim inequality is unchanged, that low taxes for the rich benefit everyone, and that the growth benefits all (well it doesn’t).
        On the massive FBI DOJ Fisagate scam (only Fox reports on it, but at least for UK press there really is a D-notice on the Skripa links)
        On er Russia and many other issues.

        All in all – RT (indeed every independent news service) has little choice but to report on the dishonest western media.

        • JIm C

          RT is excellent for showing the lies of the “free” West and its corrupt imperialism. Not so good for reporting on Russia’s inadequacies or corruption.

          But as we are bombarded daily with the latter from every other “news” outlet, that’s not really an issue.

      • Guest Columnist

        It is amusing, and somewhat troubling, that intelligent people who have no problem spotting propaganda of the British, American and European variety state with perfectly straight faces that RT is simply showing us “the truth”. But of course! Because the Russian state, unlike every other state in the modern world, has a ‘no propaganda’ policy and leaves that nasty covert influence stuff to its geopolitical foes and rivals.

        Contrary to popular belief, propaganda is not a synonym for ‘lies’, though it is often less than 100% truthful. It can also be very subtle. The most effective propaganda is not recognized as such by its target audience. It is about pushing a perspective. If you believe RT’s account of, say, the Syrian conflict is simply unadulterated truth and facts, congratulations, you have been successfully propagandized.

        Yes, the BBC’s current propaganda “initiatives” are hideously clumsy affairs and fully deserving of the scorn and ridicule heaped upon them by Mr Murray and others. But it is worth keeping in mind when news or “information” is produced by media outfits associated with a state, the likelihood of their output containing propaganda favourable to that state is 100%. This is true for “our” side as well as for “their” side(s).

        • Jude D

          In fact your claims about the propagandandistic success of RT work in exactly the reverse way to what you suggest.Contrary to your argument, RT actually pushes pro-Western narratives constantly – about the War on Terror for example. It is just as happy as the BBC to unquestioningly promote the version of “Islamic terrorist” events presented by western intelligence agencies and western governments. In that sense it is very much a part of the western securocrat consensus. If it didn’t do this shilling it would probably have been removed from our TV screens ages ago; many other stations have been taken off the airwaves by Ofcom for questioning War on Terror narratives.

          • Guest Columnist

            I agree that RT tends to present a view of Islam and ‘Islamic terrorism’ that George W. Bush would be proud to endorse were he not a dedicated American exceptionalist. However, RT also points out the shortcomings and hypocrisy of Euro-American society – and dares to criticize neoliberal capitalism – which is something the establishment is trying desperately to downplay and deny. Hence its appeal to the left and the furor over RT’s ‘destabilizing influence’.

            (It is telling that RT’s pandering to xenophobes and ethnic nationalists of the European and American far-right does not frighten the status quo’s upholders nearly as much as the social and economic justice angle it promotes.)

            Basically, RT pushes the buttons of the western establishment by focusing on the tensions, frictions and contradictions that are slowly tearing the west apart. The propaganda element is most obvious in its coverage of Ukraine and Syria. It’s a bit sad that even a principled and conscientious chap like Craig Murray is seemingly taken in by the al-Assad as beloved man of people stuff despite the Syrian Ba’athists 40 year history of torturing and murdering dissidents…not to mention acting as the CIA’s torture-on-demand Service during the Bush Jr years.

            The tensions between Russia and the west are real but also exaggerated in many ways. What really bothers the Americans isn’t human rights (or lack thereof) in Russia but the fact that Putin won’t roll over and play the obedient poodle. All of America’s “enemies” are nations that refuse to supplicate to its neoliberal world order where Washington and western banks and corporations are the supreme rulers.

            Many people are willing to accept simplistic narratives that feature clear cut villains and heroes and geopolitical issues as straight forward black or white dichotomies rather than complex and even chaotic affairs with a myriad of competing interests at play. The Syrian war is a prime example. It is a revolt against a vicious regime, a sectarian conflict between competing schools of Islam and states who use religion as a way to control their citizens and justify abuses of power, a proxy war between the (militarily) most powerful nations in the world, a regional conflict over economic resources and political influence…and the latest instalment of the battle between Zionist Israel’s expansionist agenda and the indigenous people of the region. It is incredibly complex, to say the least, and all sides are guilty of dumbing down the issues and misrepresenting their position.

            So yeah ‘BBC = propaganda and RT = objective truth’ is a shockingly naive position to hold. Same with seeing one side as über villains and the other as heroic representatives of a peaceful world order. But I digress…

          • Jude D

            Guest Columnist: Craig Murray can speak for himself obviously, but the whole question of what Assad is like is a red herring in the context of the propaganda war being waged re Syria. The question re Syria is very simple: are western governments and media telling the truth about their real reasons for waging war there: Quite obviously they are not: If you believe that because a government engages in torture of prisoners that justifies invading that country, then you must logically accept that other countries have the moral right to invade the UK or the US on humanitarian grounds. All this stuff about the crimes of Saddam, Ghadaffi, Assad etc “against their own people” is clearly propaganda in the widely used sense of the term: as misleading information or disinformation.

            And by the way I don’t buy the idea implicit in your comment that it’s only nasty old Bush and the Republicans who target Muslims. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were every bit as happy to bomb innocent civilians in non-white Muslim countries – not to mention starving them through sanctions. So much for the much vaunted anti-racism of the liberal interventionist left.

          • Clark

            Guest Columnist, excellent comments, especially your summary of diverse agendas in Syria. I disagree with you over Craig’s perspective; several times, he has stated his criticisms of the Syrian government before going on criticise the opposing forces and/or the hypocrisy of Western support for them.

            Jude D, I’m not sure you really need to be arguing with Guest Columnist. So called Islamic terrorism is real, and Russia has suffered from it more than most. Since at least 1945 and the Quincy Agreement between the US and the al Saud family, “Islamic” extremists indoctrinated under the Gulf monarchies’ ideology have been sent against Soviet and then Russian interests, with the approval and collusion of the Western powers.

      • Alex Westlake

        It’s interesting how propaganda channels like Russia Today, but even more so Press TV and Telesur, have so little to say about what’s going on back home

      • Michael

        Applying those standards consistently, as was pointed out, the same can be (and is) said of the BBC, CBC, NPR, and other state-run news media. If we are to dismiss the credibility of news organizations based solely on their being funded and/or controlled by the government, then you’d have to dismiss BBC as well. A better measure of credibility would be how adversarial, how willing to question official narratives, a given network is. If its record shows more calling out of government deception than of disseminating official propaganda, as RT’s does, then I think it safer to say there’s little reason not to take what is reported there at face value unless there is valid reason to doubt the reporting.

    • Anon1

      The BBC is not on anything like the same level as RT. Sure it pushes endless multiculturalism and political correctness and is softer on the government of the day than it is when that government is in oppostition. It is broadly soft-left, pro-EU and anti Scots independence, would obviously have preferred Clinton to Trump, but it is at least mandated to present opposing viewpoints.

      What you have with Russia Today is solid anti-West propaganda, 24/7, aimed at a Western audience, with no criticism or even negative reporting of the Russian state at all. They know exactly the weaknesses inherent in the West thanks to its freedoms and which buttons to push with disaffected audiences. It is a pure propaganda model, a continuation of the old Soviet methods of infiltration and disaffection for the digital age. That is not to say that it isn’t without a useful perspective, but you should never be under any doubts about what it is – merely the other side’s propaganda (and a lot worse).

        • Tom Welsh

          It’s no laughing matter, unfortunately. Anon1 wrote, “What you have with Russia Today is solid anti-West propaganda…”

          And I repeat what I wrote before: only if you consider the truth “solid anti-West propaganda. Which many of the high and mighty in the UK and US obviously do. (Another meme I can never resist: the truth makes them scream, “Help! I’m melting!!”)

          I’d be interested if anyone could offer us a selection of things they have found on RT that are “solid anti-West propaganda”. I suspect they would be assertions that HMG’s statements on the Skripal affair are consistent only in their obvious dishonesty; that the Syrian government has probably never used chemical weapons – and certainly never since 2013; that the US State Department’s own Web site warns that Syrian terrorists have chemical weapons and use them (sometimes against US soldiers); that Mr Putin is remarkably honest and truthful; that Russia’s weapons can easily destroy any Western nation or its armed forces; and that the BBC is crooked propaganda organ that strongly resembles the Soviet-era Pravda and Izvestia.

      • Skye Mull

        Have you ever watched RT? Plenty of criticism of Russia. The reporting of U.K. incidents Is done without obvious bias.

      • Republicofscotland

        Anon1.

        I’m stunned, I didn’t realise you had a sense of humour, that comment proves you have.

        • Makropulos

          He IS funny. So the BBC “pushes endless multiculturalism”? As if we don’t in fact live in a multicultural society anyway. Perhaps Anon1 would be happy with only endless reruns of old spiffing WW2 Brit pep talk movies?

      • Borncynical

        “but at least mandated to present opposing viewpoints”!!!! Mouth falls open rendering me speechless.

        RT 24/7 propaganda? You have obviously never watched RTUK. I doubt you even realise they employ professional, competent, experienced established presenters and newsreaders from the UK, US, Russia, Ukraine, and South Africa to name but five nationalities. All of whom know how to conduct interviews (note, with people of all viewpoints) without interrupting, patronising, slandering, and insulting. BBC staff should ‘look and learn’. You think the Suchet dynasty would be happy to be accused of being paid stooges?

      • Ben MacIntyre

        You obviously did not listen to the Jeremy Vine show Friday lunchtime regarding the Salisbury poisonings, 3 or 4 Russophobic “experts” spouting their bile but providing zero evidence, even the phone ins were anti Russia. For balance? No dissenting views were heard presumably because they were not allowed.

        • Borncynical

          I think it was just after the US allies revenge attack on Syria after the Douma ‘incident’, Jeremy Vine announced that one of the ‘discussion’ topics was going to be Syria. Assuming a balanced discussion, I thought that it might be interesting to hear how it went. The ‘discussion’ involved an anti-Assad BBC Middle East ‘Editor’ based in Lebanon (I think, but certainly not Syria) and Jonathan Freedland (Guardian) who spent the whole ‘discussion’, aided by simpleton Jeremy, vying with each other to see who could come across as the most anti ‘regime’ and debating what could be done to stop this ‘murderous dictator’. The only phone contribution was from a well-meaning lady whose offering was to say something along the lines of “Well it’s awful what Assad’s doing, killing children, so someone has to stop him”. And that was it!

      • Jude D

        RT is far too pro-western. For example it accepts and regurgitates without question the western media’s practice of pronouncing verdicts on terrorist events that have just occurred. Indeed in many ways RT is just another conduit for War on Terror and surveillance state propaganda. Anyone hoping for a genunine counterpoint to western liberal interventionist/Neocon/BBC war-mongering narratives will not find it on RT.

      • John2o2o

        Sorry, but I can’t see any reference to RT in Craig’s short piece?

        Love RT – it provides an excellent counterbalance to all the anti Russian propaganda in Western corporate media.

        And at least Putin was elected. I don’t see Murdoch and Rothermere on any British ballot papers.

      • Makropulos

        I love it when conservatives complain about BBC bias but then it turns out that the bias they are referring to is “Left” bias! As one example of how off the mark this is, the recent no-confidence vote in Labour “centrists” was announced on the BBC through the view of Chuka Umunna who thereby became the BBC news spokesman. As a more general example, that weasel Blair has been getting so much high level publicity, I don’t know why the Beeb don’t just take him on full time.

      • Leonard Young

        “The BBC is not on anything like the same level as RT”. Well, it is actually. And so is Channel 4. Most people assume RT to be a government mouthpiece. It’s a given. By contrast the vast majority of the UK population DO really believe that the Beeb does its best to be impartial, despite seeing Corbyn theatrically dressed in front of Red Square and being bombarded with anti Corbyn smears and wall to wall coverage of anti-semitism on the News, Newsnight, Daily Politics, Radio 4, Question Time and a host of other so-called impartial schedules. Or if most do not believe so, they distribute their hostility about impartially almost equally between right and left.

        What matters even more than news presenters is the provenance of news editors all over the MSM, and they are overwhelmingly on the right.

  • Andrew Carter

    Did you see the Laura Kuehsberg (sic?) phone interview with the Editor in Chief of RT? – “a propos the two Russian guys in Salisbury, isn’t it true that you are just a lying bitch who works for a propaganda organ directly controlled by the Kremlin?” [Subsequent BBC Headline – RT correspondent hangs up when faced with hard questioning about rthe Skripal poisoning”]

    I have totally given up on BBC Radio 4 – not least because they insist on having an American “authority” to add credibility to every topic from baking scones to BREXIT. Its not a news medium – its the HMV advert writ large

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Not just Radio 4: BBC sport is now infested with American ‘authorities’ too….anyone would think the Americans paid for the BBC, not 30 million still paying medieval tithes to be told they are second rate Americans.

    • Tom Welsh

      The BBC suffered a state coup at the time of the “dodgy dossier” and Dr David Kelly’s death. Obviously HMG decided that, with their new policies of doing frightful things and lying 24/7, they could no longer afford the luxury of a state broadcaster with any pretensions at all to honesty.

      Ever since then their attitude to HMG (and Washington) has been that of a whipped cur.

      • Jude D

        I think it depends on what you mean by a “state-coup”. The BBC was very strongly pro-Iraq war even before the dodgy dossier business. I’ll never forget the way they sought to undercut the significance of the huge anti-war protest in 2003 – by giving pride of place in their coverage to one counter-protester, and by first airing Tony Blair’s pre-emptive dismissal of the protest. If anything the BBC is often more pro-war than even the government, and seems to see its role as to chivvy politicians into an ever more hawkish stance. In his diaries Tony Benn recalled a female TV reporter (I think it was ITV) calling the government her “masters”. Benn opined in his diaries that the relationship was actually the other way around, ie., the media are actually the “masters” of the government – the folk who make sure the government does what the real powers behind the scenes decree – the politicians’ line managers if you will.

    • Tom Welsh

      “An annoying website which blocks you in turn if you have an ad blocker on. Without the blocker, it is plastered with ads”.

      What a shame that I will never see it! The funniest (or most tragic, depending on whether you are Pooh or an Eeyore) thing about the whole business is that I NEVER respond to ads. I very much doubt if I have even considered buying anything because I saw an ad. Well, maybe half a dozen times – never say never.

      Who on earth is providing the money that holds the whole appalling structure up?

    • Charles Bostock

      Sharp Ears

      “Kuenssberg. Her grandfather, who came to the UK in 1933 from Germany – ”

      Indeed. Sent there, together with his four siblings, by his parents after the rise to power of Hitler. And no, not Jewish (which the casual reader might mistakenly infer from your headline extract).

      And, having learnt this, I should say that retrospective thanks are due to the British government of the time for granting them asylum. The Kuenssberg family, judging by the record, obviously loved/loves Britain more than many of its contemporary critics of impeccably English stock do…..

    • oah

      I thoight the spelling was Khuntsberg but i could be mistaken. A great advert for scottish independence and instituting visa restrictions for work

  • Skye Mull

    The problem with these silly broadcasts is that the general populace swallows them hook line and sinker.
    How many look at Craig’s website, or, say, Moon of Alabama?
    The few reporters telling the truth about Syria just get ridiculed by the MSM.

    • TJ

      “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  • Vronsky

    This (allegedly from Pam Ayres) is getting a lot of retweets.

    I went down to Salisbury
    To listen to the choir,
    A pair of Russian tourists
    They were staring up the spire,
    Staring up the spire, they were,
    Silent and aghast,
    Against the sky, hurtling by,
    A piggy flying past.

      • Andrew Carter

        Around the Novichoks the Russian rascals ran

        (I know this, because its all on CCTV. Well, I say “all”, but not the Skripals, obviously)

      • Los

        “‘But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
        If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
        You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
        And never be met with again!’

    • Colin Davis

      And MI5 and MI6
      That day were there as well
      And no one knows what they were
      Doing there and will not tell.
      But of one thing we can be sure
      (As piggy will agree)
      The story they’ve been spinning us
      Is not reality.

      • Republicofscotland

        “And MI5 and MI6
        That day were there as well
        And no one knows what they were
        Doing there and will not tell.”

        Like most security services, they’re constantly up to no good.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Like most security services, they’re constantly up to no good”.

          But, of course, always with plausible deniability. If not credibility – but you can’t have everything.

          You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time.
          And that’s good enough for HMG.

    • Tom Welsh

      Is the implication that Russians are too obsessed with rough sex, drugs and ultra-violence to have any interest in architecture? Because that is actually a much better description of the 21st-century British. (More projection…)

      • Charles Bostock

        “More projection…)”

        I’m getting the impression that “projection” is the word used by pocket psychologists on here when they judge it wiser not to say “whataboutery”.

        • Tom Welsh

          I think you will find that “projection” is a technical term that has been used by psychiatrists for about a century. I’m unfamiliar with “whataboutery”, but it doesn’t sound like a real English word.

          • Charles Bostock

            “Whataboutery” is a word which is used rather often on here. Usually levelled against the rare dissidents who question the official line followed by the majority of commenters.

      • John2o2o

        Quite.

        The joke is on all those brain dead, culturally deprived English men and women who don’t know that Salisbury is an international tourist attraction.

        Most of the English seem to prefer Benidorm or frying on a beach resort once a year.

        I suppose a decent education in England these days is reserved exclusively for those who can afford it.

        • Tom Welsh

          Actually, I think appreciation of beautiful things is still largely genetic. Although of course you can’t really love something you have never seen.

          I spent five years at one of the “public schools” to which the upper class send their sons, and there was at least as much ignorance and philistinism as anywhere else I have seen,

  • Paul Greenwood

    Nick Robinson, King’s School, Macclesfield and Young Conservative and friend of Brian Redhead’s son – but not killed in car crash with Redhead’s son – simply “adopted” as surrogate and advanced into BBC by Redhead…………why exactly should I be surprised at a fawning interview Craig ? Merkel has her favourite “sister” for interviews – her name is Anne Will of ARD

    • Andrew Carter

      Back in the 80’s there was a sci-fi series named ‘V’, about an alien invasion. Since then there have been numerous absurd tinfoil-hat fantasies about how we are in fact ruled by a species of reptiles, disguised as humans.

      I’ve never once given these absurd ideas any credence whatsoever. But I’m beginning to wonder why not…… Certainly, something odd has changed during my own time on this Planet, and this is emphatically no longer recognisable as the Country “I vow to thee” ‘ d to as a child

    • Sharp Ears

      Once during a Test Match interval, he was chatting away on Test Match Special, telling us about his visit to Israel with his son, IIRC.

      He wrote last year in the JC –
      Education can end denial, says Nick Robinson
      He said that as the generation of survivors dies, there will “inevitably be people who didn’t live through it”, opening the way to increasing denial.
      https://www.thejc.com/news/het-ambassadors-1.441071

  • Loony

    That the BBC is a corrupt and venal organization is beyond doubt.

    Given that it is a media organization the BBC naturally thrives on attention – it matters nothing whether that attention is positive or negative. The best way to deal with the BBC is to simply ignore them. Like all organizations in the modern era it relies on the marginal customer. It is not necessary for everyone to ignore them, just the marginal viewer (probably something less than 10%). If this can be achieved then the BBC will disappear in short order.

    The only exception would be if you are the President of the United States in which case you should call out their lies at every opportunity whilst using the internet to communicate with the people directly.

    • Republicofscotland

      “That the BBC is a corrupt and venal organization is beyond doubt.”

      Very true, the Ministry of Truth’s position is one of protecting the status quo, ie the state, the royals the government etc. The masses are there to be fed propaganda on a daily basis.

      That propaganda is to inform you in which way they want you to act. Such as in Syria, or Iran or Venezuela all of whom you should consider terrible nations, if you’re stupid enough to buy into the BBC’s bollocks.

      The BBC is in effect a huge octopus, with its tentacles spread out over the globe, spewing out propaganda that benefits the British state (Government, Royals and generally the upper echelons of society, and most importantly their allies in that region or nation).

      It’s global reach makes the BBC far, far more nefarious than any other broadcaster.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The best way to deal with the BBC is to simply ignore them”.

      Very true.

      Although, as a tax-funded organization, they really don’t care if any one single person watches or listens. Like all the trade union members who were so soundly critcized by Mrs Thatcher and her acolytes, they got theirs. Up yours, Jack.

      • Dungroanin

        BDS the BBC.

        It is great to be free of the incessant tinnitus and opiate it dispenses like a great sow.

    • BarrieJ

      In many respects the BBC is not unlike those dinosaurs who lived at the time of the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) extinction; their end is coming but they are apparently quite unaware of it.
      My wife and I in our late sixties watch little or nothing of the utter garbage they broadcast and the continual government propaganda they spout, our adult children wouldn’t dream of going to the BBC for their news, sport or current affairs and choose other vendors for their entertainment. Their children, once passed CBBC now have no idea what the BBC is even for, it’s an irrelevance.
      How exactly do they intend to recapture their previous corralled market, more repeats of the same rubbish?

  • Sharp Ears

    Wearing white (whiter than white!*) and showing her knees which resemble crumpled cushions. She is so vain.

    * A senior Scotland Yard officer faces losing his job in a racism row after he used the phrase “whiter than white” while encouraging responsible policing.
    The detective superintendent will face an independent investigation for gross misconduct after he gave a briefing to colleagues during which he is said to have reminded them of the need to be exemplary in their police work.
    The officer, who serves in the force’s anti-corruption unit, has been put on restricted duties while the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) deals with the allegation as part of a broader inquiry.
    A Met officer who was aware of the case told the Evening Standard: “It may have been a poor use of language but this is not what the misconduct process…’
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/met-racism-inquiry-after-officer-said-whiter-than-white-khfqtxjfz
    YCNMIU

    • Charles Bostock

      “Wearing white (whiter than white!*) and showing her knees which resemble crumpled cushions.”

      Whereas your knees would drive any man into paroxysms of desire, no doubt?

      How about using them as your gravatar?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Perhaps randy blacks would prefer the expression ‘more monagamous than monogamous’?

      Expresses virtue of a traditional christian kind without any colour overtones.

      LOL.

    • Borncynical

      “white”:
      OED definition no. 3 ‘….morally or spiritually pure…’
      Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable ‘denotes…innocence, truth and hope….’

      It’s not even ‘poor use of language’ (quote in last sentence of Sharp Ear’s post at 9.17) unless they care to ask the OED and Brewers to change their definitions.
      Ironically the unfortunate Senior Yard officer must really think we are living in a perverse Police state. There is no way that any investigation should even begin into this matter. Have the police really nothing better to spend money on? If, God forbid (am I allowed to say that?), the charges were upheld the next word off the acceptable list will presumably be ‘whitewash’.

    • Dungroanin

      ‘Whiter than White’ in my book does not make the speaker a racist unless they are talking about race.

      Is there any background or further infoon the police officer, what he was actually saying, why and his background and investigations.

      Either a dog whistle event or some way of silencing him.

      • Tom Welsh

        The whole racism trope is typical of how officialdom always goes wrong. Granted that enslaving millions of people and treating them as somehow inferior was terribly wrong. (Although it seems the theories about their inferiority were thought up after people noticed how many slaves there were and became uncomfortable about it).

        Today there are, apparently, more slaves in the world than ever before. Yet in our enlightened Western countries the establishment and the PC signal their virtue with this kind of linguistic authoritarianism – while they continue to kill *literally* millions of Asians and Africans – and nobody says a word about it.

        What was it Jesus said about “By their fruits shall ye know them”? I know what I think about people who suspend a police officer for saying “whiter than white”, but conspire in the mass murder of millions of brown and black people.

  • Ros Thorpe

    Question time has become a government forum and the tweeting of the info graphic defending the so called balance and impartiality badly backfired. The BBC is cowed and complacent. It’s sickening to watch.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    NR: ‘Prime Minister, a lot of people liked it when you called yourself ‘ a bloody difficult woman’.’

    TM: ‘Well, as less diplomatic members of the Labour Party have called me ‘a woman even John Major would not shag in Downing Street’, I am showing admirable light-hearted joviality in comparison, am I not?’

    Can you see that passing the prissy BBC censor?

    Shame, Britain would be a more relaxed country if it could….

  • Tony Little

    Is this the same “He didn’t answer” Nick Robinson? Of course. The Establishment’s tame Conservative sporting propagandist. We really have fully entered the world of “V for Vendetta”.

    How many people still believe the daily pap that passes for “news” on the BBC? It’s actually quite frightening how cowed the majority in the UK appear to have become. Or perhaps we were always like this? At least in Russia everyone KNOWS the state media lies; here in the UK not enough are prepared to countenance it. When will enough people wake up?

    • Tom Welsh

      “How many people still believe the daily pap that passes for “news” on the BBC?”

      I wouldn’t know; it’s been years since I saw (or heard) it. Except for rare occasions when I need a violent emetic.

      • Makropulos

        My guess – my hope, in fact – is that most people don’t even get as far as the question of belief. They see e.g. this Skripal shit and this Corbyn-is-Hitler shit and it doesn’t even register with them.

  • N_

    The BBC is a sycophantic organisation. British culture is sycophantic. Look at how the BBC etc. relate to the “queen”.

    • Tom Welsh

      Sorry, you are wrong about the Queen. She is the head of state, and I think you will find that the head of state gets respect in all countries.

        • Tom Welsh

          One of the advantages of the British constitution is that the head of state (the monarch) stands aside from politics and is clearly distinct from the government. Hence PMs like… well, all of them come to think of it, can be mocked and hated without it affecting the monarch (much). It is called “HMG”, and the “justice system” perpetuates the fiction that every prosecution is carried out by the monarch – which drags the head of state further into politics than the occasional ill-judged opinion.

          The USA is exactly the opposite, in that they saw fit to merge the head of state with the head of the executive branch. It has been wisely said that the nearest US equivalent of the British monarch is, not the President, but the flag. It gets the same unconditional respect from most US citizens that the Queen gets from most Commonwealth citizens.

          In view of Americans’ uninformed abuse of King George III (rather a nice man, who was well-disposed to them) I find it amusing to note this from 100 years before the Revolutionary War:

          “The Puritans persecuted those of other religious faiths. Quaker Mary Dyer was hanged in Boston for repeatedly defying a Puritan law banning Quakers from the colony. She was one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs. Executions ceased in 1661 when King Charles II explicitly forbade Massachusetts from executing anyone for professing Quakerism”.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformation#English_dissenters

          Just think of that: the wicked King Charles II had to forbid the good Puritans of Massachusetts to execute Quakers! Obviously they had to shake of the cruel yoke of the King of England so that they could murder and massacre as they saw fit.

        • Tom Welsh

          To answer your question more concisely, IMHO POTUS is a hybrid office mergin the head of state with the head of the executive branch. A dictator, if you will (I do).

      • N_

        Your apology is not accepted. I said British culture is sycophantic and I cited how the BBC relates to the queen as an example.

        Don’t “I think you will find” me. Your premise doesn’t support your claim. Ever been to Sweden? Ireland? Germany? Do you think state broadcasters there play “God save the head of state” every day?

  • snickid

    “Astonishingly sycophantic stuff from the state broadcaster.”
    ______________________________________________

    Surely not. This is what state broadcasters do. I wish the BBC would get over itself, and admit that it is a state broadcaster, thereby freeing itself from the preposterous conceit that it is ‘unbiased’.

  • N_

    The Daily Mirror cites “another guest” at the City Stay Hotel who says that Boshirov and Petrov partied the night of Saturday 3 March away in their hotel room. He says he recognised Petrov from having bumped into him in the toilet that night. Apparently they were smoking dope, and “Later there was a woman in there – I think it was a prostitute. They were having sex, definitely. I heard them having really loud sex for a long time.”

    Don’t they teach a GRU “intelligence officer” to be the “grey man”?

    I suppose a 2-star hotel in the East End isn’t similar to Jack Abramoff’s casino yacht on which “devout Muslim” Mohammed Atta enjoyed himself before 911.

    They also seemed to have had some fun the next day, sitting on a swing in the children’s playground “yards” from Skripal’s house. Since as well as being intelligence officers they’re also Spetsnaz, did they go all the way round the top?

    • N_

      The Scum Sun runs the same story, adding that “The hitmen went on to argue with hotel staff over their behaviour as they checked out the following morning.”

      And in the most hilarious line of all:

      “Most of the guests would have seen or heard them — there was shouting going on throughout the night.”

      Right. That must be the GRU then.

      Moreover

      “The hotel guest complained a second time as he left for work on March 4. When he returned later that day he was told the pair had an ‘altercation’ with hotel staff as they were confronted over their behaviour before checking out.”

      Funny the gutter press couldn’t wave their chequebooks at any hotel staff and get them to corroborate. Imagine the strapline:

      “I told those GRU men to tone it down a bit, when several other guests complained about the racket they were making with three hookers who must have slipped into the hotel without my noticing. Then one of them threatened to break my neck and the other one told me if I didn’t shut up I’d be sleeping with the fishes. I’m not surprised they tried to kill some people a few hours later”.

      • Borncynical

        If any of this is true, then you have to admire their stamina! Must be those ‘supplements’ and might explain their coffee intake.

        • John2o2o

          They’d had too much Cadbury’s novichoc.

          Actually the American company are really p*d off with the Brits for ruining the launch of their new chocolate bar aimed at the Russian market.

          • Tom Welsh

            “They’d had too much Cadbury’s novichoc”.

            Is that the latest commercial formula – “no chocolate”?

    • Tom Welsh

      “The Daily Mirror cites “another guest” at the City Stay Hotel who says that Boshirov and Petrov partied the night of Saturday 3 March away in their hotel room”.

      Thank goodness no British citizen would accept large amounts of money to put his name to… to let his name be used… er, to tell lies in public…

      Actually, if there was no “other guest”, and they made it all up themselves, they wouldn’t have need to spend any money. Would they?

      Paul Craig Roberts recently made the same point about a much higher-profile story in the NYT:

      https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/06/i-know-who-the-senior-official-is-who-wrote-the-ny-times-op-ed/

  • Clarityn

    White clothing on a white background requires soft focusing. No 10 will have known that, and so should you Craig.

  • Anon1

    News of the “Hope over Fear” rally onnGlasgow from the @SNPCelts Twitter account:

    “The crowd is really poor here. Where is everyone from the Yes family?

    We should all be here at #HopeOverFear to show that there’s an appetite for independence.

    This is just embarrassing.”

      • Node

        What the SNP regard as a poor turn out would be a headline-grabbing success for any other party in Britain. Would you care to post a link to a ‘successful’ UKIP rally so we can compare the numbers?

          • Republicofscotland

            It still beats theattendance at the Lib/Dem conference in Dumbarton.

            The Lib/Dems will keep on paying a heavy price for their association with David Cameron, all for access to a few ministerial cars.

          • Node

            Literally tens of people attended according to reports.

            Thanks for confirming that the crowd was many times greater than a UKIP rally could attract.

          • craig Post author

            Hope over Fear is not the SNP. It is a specific grouping based rather heavily on the small Solidarity Party. The turnout was indeed a bit disappointing yesterday – about 2-3,000 at the start of the rally, dwindling to about 100 by the time it closed around sixish.

            Hope Over Fear seem very fond of the eight hour rally with most of the time given to music of variable quality. The model worked well during the referendum campaign itself, but expecting people to hang around from 10 till 6 in general is plainly over ambitious. I would estimate 5,000 took part over the course of the day, drifting in and out. But even the largest attendance present at any one time, at 2-3,000, was bigger than any pro-Unionist crowd this last 5 years.

            It is typical of Anon 1’s intellectual dishonesty that he has nowhere drawn attention to the far larger crowds – massive in Glasgow – of the much wider organisation All Under One Banner’s highly successful pro-Independence demonstrations this year.

          • Charles Bostock

            Rep Scot

            Maybe, but the LibDems aren’t rtying to whip up support for Scottish “independence” are they?

            The inverted commas because of EU and NATO membership and likely as not continuing to use the pound sterling…..inter alia 🙂

          • Charles Bostock

            Craig

            “It is typical of Anon 1’s intellectual dishonesty that he has nowhere drawn attention to the far larger crowds – massive in Glasgow – of the much wider organisation All Under One Banner’s highly successful pro-Independence demonstrations this year.”

            You’re a fine one to talk. I haven’t noticed you drawing much attention to facts or events which might contradict the ideas you try to push on this blog.

            Blogmaster’s privilege perhaps, but don’t try in on with commenters.

          • Ian

            As if we didn’t know, ‘Charles’, your inflated sense of self-importance here is hilarious. You ‘try it on’ all the time, now you are lecturing Craig about it. Facepalm.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes Sharp Ears, wasn’t “Charles” at one point almost begging to be a mod on here, oh my how the worm has turned☺

          • Makropulos

            Oh Charles, yet again you reveal yourself. To say that Craig hasn’t drawn attention to facts or events which might contradict the ideas he tries to push on this blog is a claim so conveniently wide as to be vacuous. And if you hate all this stuff so much then why are you here at all? Why not bog off to Breitbart or Guido Fawkes?

          • Charles Bostock

            Makrapoulos (3:08 pm)

            Just exercising my right to “dissent”, hahaha.

            Contrary to what some on here might think, I see no particular virtue in posting in an echo chamber. I prefer robust and lively exchanges of views, preferably fact-based and without insults and crude language. Don’t you?

          • Makropulos

            Charles at 15:54:

            The problem is that you repeatedly denounce this site as an echo chamber. So why stay?

          • Node

            UKIP supporters tend to think, rather than gather in crowds to shout and wave flags.

            UKIP supporters tend to think “I don’t want my friends and neighbours to know I support UKIP so I’d better not gather in crowds to shout and wave flags.”

      • JOML

        “absolutely desperate “? Good description of your own post, Anon1. How does this relate to Craig’s article above?

  • N_

    Having emphasised that “the Salisbury poisonings are no joke”, the Sun prints a photo of the Triumphal Arch in the General Staff building in St Petersburg, with a banner saying “Assassination of Tsar Nicholas II” and a speech bubble in which Boshirov and Petrov make an excuse. In fact Nicholas was not aassassinated. He was killed in custody – and more than 1000 miles from St Petersburg.

    Then they have a picture described as showing Soviet tanks rolling into Czechoslovakia, with Boshirov and Petrov saying “Prague is so nice in the spring”. Actually the 1968 invasion took place in August.

    Next it’s “Invasion of Afganistan” – misspelling in the original. The Sun’s subeditors seem to have an aversion to the letter “h”, because the speech bubble for Boshirov and Petrov says “We wanted to look up the Kyber Pass”.

    The Scum is Britain’s most read newspaper across print and online. Next is the Daily Heil.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘…the speech bubble for Boshirov and Petrov says “We wanted to look up the Kyber Pass”’.

      Yes, of course it did.

      When will the English grasp that there was only one Kenneth Williams, and he is (sadly) dead?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Of course the BBC is biased. In the News division (and much else besides) it is the norm to have been privately educated. It’s the norm to have an Oxbridge degree in PPE. Nepotism is rife.
    Any moderate sized PLC would have policy in place to guard against nepotism and promote social diversity. My guess is that the BBC has the policy in place, but HR won’t or can’t enforce it.
    The BBC have an obvious self interest in preventing Corbyn getting into power. More to the point does anyone think that Corbyn would be able to tackle the BBC once in power? Mass sackings on the basis that positions were granted based on nepotism (Dan Snow, David Dimbelby, Sally Magnuson …. )? Replacements from state education and “provincial” university?

    • Anthony

      I see Krishnan Guru Murty’s sister has been given a presenters gig on the BBC news channel. The pool of ‘talented’ families remains small.

    • Loony

      Good to see the Communist mindset at work “I don’t like the BBC, but I am too lazy to do anything about it, so I want someone else to remedy the situation for me”

      Neither Corbyn nor anyone else can help you. You need to help yourself.

      If you do not like the BBC then do not watch it. It is oh so simple and requires no exertion on your part. In this example simply by doing nothing you will have helped yourself. Please don’t tell me that Communists think that doing absolutely nothing is too much for them to accomplish

      • Tom Welsh

        “Neither Corbyn nor anyone else can help you. You need to help yourself”.

        More unjustifiable (and perhaps emotional) bias.

        In any society larger than Dunbar’s Limit (about 150) the political process must be specialized. There is a gearing mechanism, whereby individual citizens influence their MPs, the MPs influence the party leaders, and with luck they influence policy.

        I know it doesn’t actually work that way in practice (actually not one of those steps works reliably), but that’s the theory. With a feasible theory, one may hope one day to get it to work (a little).

        Without a feasible theory, you are left with millions of individuals who CANNOT “help themselves”.

    • Tom Welsh

      Some of you people are desperately biased. I was “privately educated”, as you priggishly put it. I won a scholarship at the age of 12, which gave me admission to a good school where I learned a lot. (Not as much as I should have, but boys will be boys). I made exactly zero “useful” social, business and political contacts at school (or at university, come to think of it) – on principle. If I can’t succeed on my own merits, I’m damned if I’ll hitch a free ride on someone else’s bandwagon. Perhaps it’s a Scots-Irish thing.

      In a perfect world, perhaps everyone would be superbly – and individually – educated at public expense. In the interim, there are problems. For a start, as everyone since Albert Jay Nock and Ivan Illich has observed, state education is routinely used to brainwash young people into being ideally submissive citizens and employees. As it is usually done on a vast scale, it suffers from all the defects of bureaucratic gigantism and inertia – plus all the modern plagues of political correctness and virtue signalling.

    • Charles Bostock

      Viv

      You can’t have a Cambridge degree in “PPE” – PPE is an Oxford degree. Ask Lysias 🙂

  • James

    Good morning Craig Murray
    Does this post refer to “Inside No 10 et seq, scheduled for broadcast tomorrow evening?
    Regards, James

    • James

      To Mr Murray, and further to my previous question, another two. Would not such thoughts be better kept private? It does seem a little churlish to publish such acerbic comments about something not yet diffused.
      Why did you post this, it seems to me pointless and likely to undermine your credulity, at least to a casual novichok to this blog site?
      To other commenters, these are genuine questions to CM, and were not intended to provoke any response from you. I do not wish to email CM personally, but I do wonder what he is up to with this chippy non-post. Do not reply, please.

          • James

            My credibility is what? Diminished by the shortcomings of SwiftKey, perhaps? I think Mr Murray’s credibility what’s at stake here, together with the credulity of visitors to this site.
            Why did you foolishly ignore my request, Iain? Do you really enjoy Peer Gynt so much, you cannot help yourself? It occurs to me this non post is a good way to weed out bored folks (and to avoid paradox, I must temporarily include myself here) with nothing better to do. All very odd this blogging business, and decidedly unhealthy.

          • iain

            Good job you’re so high above it all James that you’re able to refrain from digging out Craig Murray, one of the best, for highlighting the BBC’s prostration before Theresa May. It is their credibility that is at stake.

          • James

            Hi Iain
            I believe Mrs May’s credibility is already low in the wider electorate, and pretty much zero for you and for me. My criticism was not intended to damage or demoralise CM, in fact quite the opposite. I don’t know why he made this post, and shall not speculate any further.
            Unlike so many on here, I’m a newbie to blogging and will, to your great relief, soon be gone. If CM’s is one of the best, I shall not pursue this activity when my shoulder has recovered.
            I’m sorry if I come across as “above it all”, and have aroused your and others’ contempt. This is not my world; I do not belong.
            I personally do not think in terms of above and below, either here or elsewhere. I came on here out of curiosity, with no desire to be liked nor insulted. At risk of sounding up myself again, I have not been very impressed.

          • iain

            It’s always worth popping in to see Craig’s take on events. Good luck with the shoulder. Shattered a collar bone myself earlier this year, not pleasant.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        A cat may look at a king. I suggest that if you do not wish other commenters to respond to your postings, don’t bother to post at all. There is a messaging facility to ask Craig Murray anything you wish to ask him privately, if you are honestly interested in his answers, instead of merely showing off and insulting other commenters. J

        • James

          Impressed by the diligence and rapidity of expungement there. That comment had the half-life of helium-9. Well impressed.
          Fear not, I really did get bored with this, as is plain to see, & normal service will soon be resumed, for me at least.
          Are we all looking forward to Nick and Theresa tonight? I thought the previews were actually not that bad. I shall be interested to take a straw poll (nothing to do with Jack) of men and women on the Clapham omnibus people down the pub later to check out the zeitgeist here in the valley.

          • James

            Reply attempt, #3

            Ironically, Mr Spencer-D, your reasoning applies to you too.
            Your accusation of “merely showing off and insulting other commenters” might have been more scathing if you omitted “merely”. Succinctly put: but, that is ca 95% of what this blog is currently about, if we’re all being scrupulously honest. Unless they were spouting offensive nonsense, I don’t think I have ever actually insulted anyone who didn’t troll me first.
            Irony number two is that your cat/king jibe is just that: a taunt, an insult and an attempt at showing off your pithy wit.
            You can’t “win” this one, John. I asked for no comment, my enquiry to CM was genuine, I did/do not wish to email him, nor to phone him up. Thank you very much for your kind advice; I already know I can do either.
            After watching some of the programme last evening, I expect he may now wish he’d chosen another topic. “North Korea and soft focus”… perhaps not. In fact, it was merely a humdrum, innocuous load of old Codds’, very much in the BBC tradition.
            Keep it light, J.

            m i a o w

      • James

        Good afternoon Craig
        Thank you for replying so promptly. I must admit, I had initially thought you had accessed a pre-broadcast version of the full one hundred.
        My subsequent enquiry was made on a new assumption you had seen only those previews already in the public domain, and remains rather a mystery.
        I apologise if the tone of my questions you do not address in this reply was a little brusque, and I can see you know your business here very well, but I do wonder why you did not wait until the program was broadcast.
        I gave up on Panorama and much else on the BBC, but look forward to tomorrow’s broadcast with amused anticipation.
        I am sure I met you in 2003 at TB’s extraordinary gathering of the Ambassadors, when he obliquely accused his venerable audience of “needing their heads examining”. At least he wrote that himself, I think!
        prosperum iter facias
        James

  • Jones

    pre-recorded bullshit with pre-prepared questions and pre-prepared answers, Theresa May doesn’t do interviews she does ‘appearances’ in front of ‘servants’ like Robinson.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Israel has handed over the keys to its largest port to China to run.

    I wonder how Trump will react to that, knowing that the American taxpayer keeps Israel afloat, and where will the US berth its Sixth Fleet, surely not in a port ran by China.

    Will the long term suffering US taxpayer need to fork out more hard earned dollars, to support a foreign apartheid regime half way around the globe. It’s time the American public said no more money down the drain in Israel.

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-israel-is-giving-china-the-keys-to-its-largest-port-1.6470527

    • Charles Bostock

      Don’t be daft, RepScot. A Chinese company – COSCO – owns and runs the biggest Greek commercial port (Piraeus). Don’t recall the US or anyone ekse getting too fussed about that. So what’s the big deal?

      • Sharp Ears

        Oh yes Piraeus. That’s the Greek port where a Swedish owned boat, part of an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, was sabotaged.

        On Tuesday, similar allegations of sabotage were made by activists on the Swedish-owned Juliano, docked in Piraeus in Greece. Israel has not commented on the allegations.
        The departure of the “Freedom Flotilla 2” has already been delayed by social unrest in Greece and problems with insurance. It is now expected to set sail early next week, taking several days to reach Gaza.
        Meanwhile, an Israeli man who claimed to have been excluded from the flotilla because he was gay has been exposed as a hoax.
        “Marc” – who posted a three-minute video on YouTube – was later revealed by Palestinian bloggers as Israeli actor Omer Gershon.
        Israel on alert
        As part of its preparations to stop the flotilla, the Israeli navy has been conducting extensive exercises and drills
        “We must be ready for all scenarios… This is not a sea cadet ride or a pleasure cruise” – Ehud Barak, Israeli defence minister

        An intern working in the prime minister’s office publicised the clip on Twitter, and several Israeli government sites linked to the video before the hoax was revealed.’

        Gaza aid flotilla: Irish crew accuse Israel of sabotage
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13977371

        A pathetic smear attempt there by Israel.

        • Charles Bostock

          Yes, the very same port. Relevance to what RepScot and I were discussing?

          Perhaps you’re suggesting the Chinese owners and managers of Piraeus harbour (COSCO) is conspiring with Israel?

      • Republicofscotland

        That may be Charles, however the Greeks aren’t currently mustering a trade war with China, the US however is. Add in that the Great Satan’s navy regularly appears off the coast of China, much to the dismay of the Chinese.

        Trump might not be too pleased that it’s propping up the economy of a apartheid state, that allows China to run its biggest port, and ergo in the process watch and assess the strength and actions of its Sixth Fleet at times.

        • Charles Bostock

          Not “may be”, RepScot, “is” .

          I think you’ll find that the deal with China was made on purely commercial grounds and is seen as such by the US. As for President Trump, I doubt that he shares your characterisation of Israel as an apartheid state and so the question of displeasure or pleasure on those grounds won’t arise. Finally, I rather doubt whether in these technological times you need to monitor someone’s battle fleet by the physical presence of observers in visited ports.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Wanna talk about double standards of the MSM?
    This summer while MSM was in a perpetual lather about whether Corbyn may or may have not been in the general vicinity of a memorial to terrorists, Willie McCrae (ex DUP MP) “took the ermine” (19th June). “Boxcar” Willie (I believe a reference to his having cut a number of gospel albums) was one of Snarlene Foster’s nominations for the HoL.
    In 1975 McCrea conducted the funeral service for two terrorists blown up by their own bomb while conducting the massacre of the Miami Showband.
    In 1996 McCrae shared a platform with Billy “King rat” Wright. Wright was expelled from the UVF for being too extreme.
    The story of McCrea’s “elevation” to the HoL and his past acts was covered by Private Eye and the Irish press. Of the British MSM, barely a fucking peep.
    Quite how often McCrea takes a break from denying dinosaurs in Cookstown to pick up his £305 / day for parking his bum on the red benches remains to be seen.
    The really scary bit is that Snarlene’s other nomination for the HoL was rejected by the reviews committee.

  • Peter

    “Staring at the screen in disbelief …”

    Why so surprised, this is now the norm at the BBC.

    One of the most wretched governments in living memory, the country’s national infrastructure in tatters, a PM whose default position appears to be lie and deceive, and this is what you get.

    I grew up, 1970s, proud of a BBC that appeared to be a foremost representative of British democratic values. Not anymore. It’s now known widely overseas as the B******t Broadcasting Corporation.

    Something needs to be done.

      • BarrieJ

        I suspect that scenario has already been planned for; in that discussions have taken place with a view to possibly transferring the funding of the BBC to Council Tax by which means all householders/dwellers will not be able to avoid paying for their own propaganda.
        As a retired couple living in a country which has the lowest State Pension in the developed world, Council Tax is already our largest outgoing.

  • uncle tungsten

    Lipstick on a pig is the image. Polishing turds is the effort. Futile gesture be the result.

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