In the last couple of weeks, BBC news described extreme-right racist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini as “populist” – Populist Salvini – and described left-leaning American Democrat Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “millennial” – Millennial Cortez.
It is not unusual for the BBC to be too fearful to be bold with its political descriptions and it is also not unusual for it to use modern phraseology clumsily, but the word choices mentioned above are very deliberate with a related agenda.
“Populist” was chosen because it hid Salvini’s extreme right racist politics. The agenda behind the BBC’s word choice is normalisation of extreme right anti-humanity views while deriding the concept of popular politics as different from establishment politics.
Equally, and simultaneously oppositely, “millennial” was chosen because it hid socialist tendencies of Cortez, but the BBC’s motivation to obscure such tendencies was to keep the word “socialism” out of discourse because it might otherwise be viewed positively.
These word choices by the BBC are considered very carefully in advance. It is editorial policy to remove negative descriptions of the extreme right and it is editorial policy to not use the word socialism for fear that viewers and listeners might associate the word with political views they like.
The far-right in the US government and at Fox News have been whining about some people being incivil toward the enablers and the supporters of Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on humanity and on society. These plaintive cries for respect echo those of the Tory party in Britain via party chairman Brandon Lewis’ ‘Respect Pledge.’
Both governments’ requests for civility and respect for the architects of destruction should be met with aggressive, unfettered contempt. Their demands for civility should receive the same physical response, altered for cultural popularity; that is, a middle finger in the US and two fingers in the UK.
No-one, who opposes the extremist free-marketeers in the White House or in Downing Street, should ever waste a fraction of a second or a microjoule of energy on worrying whether their behaviour might diverge from normal civil polite discourse when dealing with these gimps. Indeed, being incivil and showing no respect are absolutely necessary and merely the opening salvos in any interaction or combat with them.
Do not debate with Tories, Trumpists and the screaming heads at Fox. Do not listen to their lies, obfuscations, misdirections and confidence tricks. Do not pet their dead cats. Do not take any notice of their false claims to the primacy of discourse, debate and reason because they have no interest in those activities. They are charlatans, thieves and fraudsters. Treat them as the filth they are.
A current theme of the anti-Brexit campaign is a demand for a ‘people’s vote’ – a second referendum. Unsurprisingly, many worthless politicians are pretending to be focussed on this demand in order to grab media time to promote themselves. For example, the Liberal Democrats keep shoving their faces in front of TV cameras as desperate attempts to appear relevant while hoping that the public has forgotten the LibDems assisted the Tories for five years.
People’s Vote, another anti-Brexit lobby group housed at the infamous Millbank address in London, claims it has an objective that matches its name. However, its slim website’s news section is a series of links to brief quotes from ProgressMPs reacting to Brexit news or government statements. Other politicians and activists have expressed similar views, including Labour MPs and including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, but the People’s Vote website has only Progress MPs’ comments.
Clearly, the purpose of the lobby group is to promote the names of the Progress MPs. The objective is to create a false narrative that Progress is something more than just a mob of right-wing activists whose aim is to stop Labour moving leftward. Equally, the exclusivity of only Progress comments on the People’s Vote website is a false attempt to imply that only Progress is fighting against Brexit.
These progress types are too cowardly to leave Labour and form a new centrist party so they use other tactics to try to make themselves seem useful such as piggy-backing on the anti-Brexit campaign. They are a sorry bunch whose remaining daysin parliament are numbered and People’s Vote is just a subset of Progress.
During a visit to the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre last week, Theresa May met one of the queen’s grandchildren, William. Rather than just shake his hand and say ‘hello,’ the prime minster grovelled like a lickspittle lackey prostrate in front of filthy elite.
May contorted herself so much it looked like she’d just shat herself.
It was a grotesque spectacle. May is supposed to be the leader of an elected government in a democracy but she chose to pay deference to a dim-witted, useless twerp whose only qualification for his role is that he is descended from a long line of dim-witted, useless twerps, a line that began with theft and murder.
May’s grovelling behaviour revealed how little value she puts on democracy and how little respect she has for the people of this country.
That single, vomit-inducing image showed a weak, dishonest, untrustworthy and venal person who is wholly unfit to be prime minister.
Brexit has provided a spurious opportunity for centrist opponents of socialism. Using the pretext of campaigning against Brexit, the intrinsically dishonest opportunists attack left-leaning politicians and activists relentlessly.
As a ruse to grab more media time some of these opportunists have made up some lobby groups.
Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) is supported by and shares an office with The European Movement, a think-tank chaired by former Tory minister Stephen Dorrell and peopled by many other anti-socialist MPs, former MPs and peers: TEM People. (It isn’t known how much of the aforesaid support is financial support.)
OFOC was “founded” by law graduate Femi Oluwole. He described it as a “grassroots” movement; however, as soon as he had “founded” OFOC he was popping up on TV and radio being interviewed and engaging in debates with politicians. That is remarkable access and remarkably quick access to a huge audience for a “grassroots” movement that had just been “founded.” Thus, it might be assumed that OFOC has a good Communications Director who was able to
“coordinate the press operation of national pressure group aimed at altering the course of Brexit in favour of a ‘People’s Vote,’ to ensure local, regional, and national coverage of events and speakers associated with the campaign, and to liaise with other pro-EU groups to promote a unified message.”
They do have exactly that sort of expert, namely Alastair Pearson (see below). Does Pearson have a good CV? Of course he does: He worked for Donald Trump’s State Department where he “supported remote computational propaganda research.”
In addition to Pearson, OFOC has also had the assistance of Felix Marquardt, of Marquardt & Marquardt, who was described as ‘Global Founding Chair, OFOC! UK’ on the OFOC ‘About’ page before his details were mysteriously removed when being “grassroots” became an important part of OFOC’s PR. “We were lucky enough to begin this adventure with Felix Marquardt, who leant us his expertise on youth,” exclaimed OFOC (before removal). So, a “grassroots” youth movement needed an “expert on youth” to help them? A taste of Marquardt’s political stance and honed deliberate misrepresentation was displayed in an article for right-wing think-tank CapX last year wherein he praised arch Thatcherite and vehemently anti-socialist French president Emmanuel Macron: Marquardt on Macron.
OFOC’s stated reason for its existence is to reverse, stall or modify Brexit. That seems a sensible objective. So, presumably, OFOC’s focus must be to attack the Tories’ plans (or lack of them), to expose the motives of the Tory brexiteers and their direct connections to the salivating disaster capitalists and to try to explain why Brexit has no benefit to people in Britain who are not wealthy? If that is its focus than OFOC has failed miserably.
“We have been campaigning for months to persuade Tory MPs to rebel against the government on important Brexit votes like the meaningful vote amendment. But today, many flipped after having given us their word. Our generation were relying on you today, and you let us down.”
This “grassroots” movement, housed in the same office as a Tory-chaired think-tank with a Communications Director who used to work in the Trump administration on “computational propaganda research” and a founder with years of experience in lobbying, was unable to persuade any Tory MPs to vote against or abstain on the EU Withdrawal Bill despite “campaigning for months to persuade them.” What an utterly useless bunch OFOC is. Abject failure. But, that failure has used up a lot of media airtime that could have been used by intelligent and honest opponents of Brexit.
OFOC said they were relying on Tory “rebels.” But, there are no Tory “rebels.” There are liars, con artists and confidence tricksters in the Tory party who will fool impressionable idiots. There are also liars, con artists and confidence tricksters outside the Tory party who will pretend that they believe what Tory “rebels” tell them. It’s a pantomime. Duonanistic fraud.
OFOC’s real focus is to criticise the Labour leadership. OFOC’s campaigning style and substance are demonstrated by their recent billboard adverts attacking left-leaning Labour MPs.
OFOC has pretended to justify its campaign against the Labour leadership by claiming it is a campaign to persuade Corbyn to be opposed to Brexit. OFOC choose to feign no knowledge of simple mathematics. The Tories and DUP have a combined majority in the House Of Commons; therefore, and concentrate now because this is where the scary mathematics comes into the discussion, they have more votes meaning they can win parliamentary votes regardless of how strong the opposition arguments are. It seems odd to blame Corbyn for how the Tories and DUP vote. The image in the advert above is false, intentionally deceptive and intentionally distracting.
Dishonesty, or to be more precise, blatant lying, have been features of OFOC’s campaign against the Labour leadership. A stunt at Labour’s music and politics festival last week by a handful of OFOC members and like-minded others was followed by carefully rehearsed claims of ejection from the event by “security.” This was a blatant shameless lie; they were not ejected. This type of lie is typical of the tactics of right of centre activists in Labour. For example, Progress MPs and activists are keen on pre-planned orchestrated lies to discredit opponents. In other news, prominent Progress activist Jasmin Beckett was part of the stunt at the festival.
For Our Future’s Sake (FOFS) is a collection of Wes Streeting clones who, having taken advantage of students’ political apathy, got elected to a variety of posts in NUS bureaucracy. In these unearned roles they have access to NUS funds and access to the media.
FOFS claims to be campaigning for a “People’s Vote” on any Brexit deal the Tories might finally agree to. That is, FOFS wants a second referendum. That is a reasonable campaign objective but there are only two scenarios where such a vote could happen.
1) The Tory/DUP government calls a second referendum on Brexit 2) A general election ousts the Tories
The first scenario won’t happen because Tories will vote how they are told by those who really employ them. Like OFOC, FOFS embarrassed itself with its support for Tory “rebels” who then didn’t rebel. How much were FOFS genuinely fooled by slimy Tories and how much were they willingly fooled? It is clear that FOFS have no interest in the second scenario: They assume that there won’t be an election until 2022.
The focus of FOFS’s campaign for the “People’s Vote” is to pretend to be trying to convince the Labour leadership to support it. But, as some simple arithmetic revealed above, Tories and DUP have a majority in the House of Commons. Thus, if the Tories and DUP don’t want a second referendum then there won’t be one. Therefore, the campaign by FOFS to demand Labour supports a second referendum is pointless in the context of fighting against Brexit.
The effect of such a campaign is to shift media and public focus from the Tories onto the Labour leadership. Is FOFS knowingly trying to damage the Labour leadership and its politics or is everyone in FOFS as thick as mince? It is difficult to believe that they haven’t realised that the willingness by the media to give them airtime is because it is another opportunity for the media to attack Labour. In other news, FOFS’s co-director Richard Brooks appeared recently on Sky TV in cahoots with Progress activist Jasmin Beckett.
Pointless, distracting and with dubious intent Both FOFS and OFOC have achieved nothing despite their corporate assistance. They have had no effect on votes in the House Of Commons and have not expanded the debate about Brexit. Their respective antics have been a distraction from necessary discussion and debate. Their focus on Labour has been welcomed by Tories and by other right-wing supporters of Brexit. If their intent was supposed to be to campaign against Brexit then the attacks on Labour have been absurd and counter productive; it is difficult not to assume dubious intent.
Question Time has lost its chair, David Dimbleby. The show is not a BBC production and so his successor might not be a current BBC person.
The production team have several options for the type of chair.
Option 1: Sensible, intelligent, calm and quick-witted Option 2: Trendy and pliable Option 3: “Controversial” Option 4: Rotating chairs from the world of entertainment
Option 1 There are many potential candidates who would be capable of chairing the show competently by keeping control, calmly but firmly if necessary, without directing the conversation and resisting becoming the star of the show. For example, Anna Botting, Simon McCoy, Jon Snow, Lukwesa Burak, Victoria Derbyshire and even Adam Boulton.
Option 2 A less talented appointee could be controlled and directed more easily. There is an endless conveyor belt of such hapless idiots in the colons of ITV2. Many became famous via the route of staged reality TV such as TOWIE or Love Island. Perhaps, given Question Time’s recent descent, the production team sees a connection with staged reality.
Option 3 The screaming heads and professional trolls that infest British media are favoured by some TV and radio producers as a tool to try to increase viewing figures because their deliberate controversial style is assumed to appeal in a basic rustic manner. Incoherent, inconsistent, irrational and illogical bursts of repetitive verbosity, poking viewers with a dumb stick with a very base level of provocation, are often precisely what modern current affairs producers want. A perusal through the presenters on the LBC radio roster provides many examples of such entities.
Option 4 BBC’s satirical panel show Have I Got News For You switched to rotating presenters after the departure of Angus Deayton. Most of its presenters are from the entertainment world or from news and current affairs. Question Time’s production team might think that using a rotation of presenters could keep the show fresh and attract different viewers.
Question Time’s descent into light entertainment farce won’t be arrested if the production team doesn’t choose Option 1. Any other option is the wrong choice.
As they continue to dismantle the NHS and hand NHS property and tax payers’ money to thieving privateers while the quality of medical care declines rapidly, and as they continue to persist with a shambolic, costly and aimless Brexit, the Tory government remains committed to constant blatant lies, misdirections and fraudulent misrepresentation.
This weekend the Tory government promoted a press release to a compliant media wherein the former claimed that there will be a multi-billion pound investment in the NHS. Later, the government claimed this money would magically appear as a result of a “Brexit dividend.” There are two humongous lies there.
1) There will be no Brexit dividend. No balanced honest analysis of possible outcomes of Brexit has reached a conclusion that doesn’t include severe financial difficulties. 2) The Tories have no intention of increasing funding for medical care but they are happy to hand tax payers’ money to made-up private companies who just syphon the money away into their offshore accounts.
The audacity of spouting gliblysuch blatant obvious lies seems bold to the point of reckless, but Theresa May and her cabal know that they will not be directly interrogated by most of the broadcast and newspaper media. They know their lies will simply be passed on as if factual.
The BBC reported the “increase” in NHS funding as if it was just a football result and then compounded its obsequiousness with a vomit-inducing fawning demonstration by the hapless Andrew Marr in a pre-recorded and pre-edited puff piece with May on his Sunday chat show; in the interview May was able to use the phrase “Brexit dividend” without challenge.
The deliberate lack of a challenge to the Tories’ dishonesty makes the BBC complicit. A government can continue to lie brazenly without retort only if allowed to do so. If the biggest broadcaster in the UK – a publicly funded broadcaster – is complicit in Tory lies then that is a major problem for democracy.
BBC’s Question Time (bbcqt) show fell from an intelligent debate forum to light entertainment several years ago. Driven by the BBC’s fear of being boring and by the stupidity of its production team, its decline has been characterised by the inclusion of professional screaming heads as panellists and by audience members carefully selected for their willingness to belch out dumb provocative unrepresentative opinions.
An audience at bbcqt used to be a political cross-section of people from the area where the show was recorded. Now, its location is irrelevant; the audience is never locally representative. The current production team guarantees that every audience will have a hugely disproportionate percentage of angry, misinformed, ignorant far-right indignants whose role (on the show) is to eschew reason, logic and humanity and rant idiotically like they have just staggered out of a UKIP booze-up. The re-emergence of the word gammon, originally used by Charles Dickens, is a direct consequence of observation of a typical bbcqt audience. Alongside these red-faced splutterers, there are always one or two absurd caricatures of Harry Enfield’s Tory Boy character.
Think-tank members, professional media trolls and self-satisfied smug representatives of the corporate world infest each show’s panel with nothing to offer except sneers, distraction and lies. They are not chosen as panellists for their insight.
Question Time Thursday June 14th For the June 14th show the bbcqt production team invited Isabel Oakeshott to be a panellist. June 14th was the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire. Several commemorative events had taken place during the day including a silent march. Last year Oakeshott said of the victims of the fire who had yet to be re-housed: “My position is that benefit claimants have no basic entitlement to state support to live in the most desirable areas of London.” Prior to the show many people rightly objected to the timing of Oakeshott’s invitation to appear given these despicable comments. Was the production team’s decision to invite her on that date deliberate?
A few days earlier an investigation by Carol Cadwalla had revealed that Oakeshott deliberately withheld evidence about the behaviour of tax-avoiding businessman Arron Banks related to the campaign to leave the EU. Given the potential seriousness of the evidence suppression, it seems odd that the BBC felt Oakeshott was still a suitable guest.
The BBC’s press office responded to concerns:
That terse response was a lie: On bbcqt Oakeshott was not questioned about the suppressed evidence and was not asked about her comments about the victims of the Grenfell fire. She was invited onto the show because she had made controversial comments and because she is embroiled in a controversy about suppressed evidence, but she was allowed to dodge being questioned on these issues. It was a production decision to invite a ratings grabbing guest while simultaneously providing an easy ride for said guest.
New low point for bbcqt Oakeshott has nothing to offer on a current affairs show. Weak knowledge, inept analysis, lies, misdirection and snide are the tools of her trade. There would never be an intelligent reason for any TV or radio producer to ask her to appear on a serious show. Like all professional trolls her crassendo operandi is provocation and controversy as entertainment. The production team of bbcqt prefer performing seals as guests. Toby Young, Isabel Oakeshott, Douglas Murray, Arron Banks, etc. are exactly the type of anti-intellect provocateur that is preferred. This is a policy. It is an insult to the viewers’ intelligence.
The timing of Oakeshott’s appearance was a cold insult to the victims of the Grenfell fire. The desire for high ratings trumped empathy and intelligence. A new low point for bbcqt.
“The observer magazine just about sums him up. E.g. self-satisfied, smug“ ‘How I Wrote Elastic Man’ – Mark E. Smith
Today (June 12th 2018), Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore treated the DCMS select committee hearing with contempt and ridicule. Petulance, arrogance and snide were their crassendo operandi. Both charlatans were entirely comfortable and confident with their behaviour, their evasion and their blatant lies.
Their relaxed contemptuous style was a consequence of the corporate world they inhabit, a world that has been allowed to be carefree and lawless. Eight years of Tory deliberate mismanagement of the cogs of capitalist exploitation have encouraged recklessness, shamelessness and have made obeying the law optional for protagonists in business. Fraudsters, tax-dodgers, charlatans and confidence tricksters are beneficiaries of Tory removal of corporate responsibility. Unrestricted rampant exploitation is the norm.
Banks and Wigmore are used to doing whatever they want, legal or otherwise. Banks knows that his web of shell companies makes paying tax optional for him and he knows that all the shenanigans regarding Strategic Communication Laboratories, Russia, Trump and Cambridge Analytica is just gossip for the media with no negative effect for him; he also knows he can sit smugly at a select committee hearing, lie brazenly and leave whenever he feels like.
Slackening of and removal of laws, purposeful unwillingness to apply remaining law and venal dishonest examples set by Tory MPs have all actively encouraged and supported the methodologies of characters like Wigmore and Banks. They are products of Tory strategy. They are exactly what the Tories stand for. They epitomise Tory values.
Yesterday (June 11th 2018), the BBC broadcast a documentary about the Grenfell Tower fire. The documentary can be viewed in the UK at BBC iPlayer: ‘Grenfell’.
Earlier in the day, Theresa May’s PR team carefully coordinated a press release from her in which she claimed to express “regret” about the fact that immediately after the fire she chose not to speak to victims. Fellow Tory George Osborne published the entire press release: May on Grenfell.
The timing of her comments seemed non-coincidental
Why was her statement released and given a big push to the media on the same day as the BBC’s documentary?
Why did it take a year for her to realise that her behaviour had been abjectly inadequate?
The timing was deliberate, for two reasons.
1) May and her team knew that, after the airing of the documentary, her coldness and indifference throughout the last twelve months would be discussed and criticised. Her statement was an attempt to lessen and deflect such criticism.
2) The timing of her statement was also blatant opportunism. May and her team knew the BBC documentary would receive a lot of public and media attention. They wanted her to be able to cling onto the media coverage to promote herself.
Yesterday’s statement was May’s attempt to absolve herself and to extricate herself. Her opportunism and blatant insincerity are more punches of contempt from her aimed at the victims of the Grenfell fire. The Tory government’s responses and reactions to a dreadful, fatal and avoidable tragedy have been the clearest demonstration of their wilful detachment from people and their utter disdain.
In her statement, May repeats lies about what the Tory government has done and intends to do to help the victims. The government’s response has been woefully inadequate and close to mockery. Another restatement of these lies is further contempt.