Category Archives: Television

£2.6 million was spent on Downing Street TV studio for nothing as media briefings scrapped

The briefest of briefing rooms: your local parish council could have done a better job, and cheaper, but Boris Johnson gave the contract to a company based in a hostile state. Now it is being withdrawn from service. How many times was it used?

Boris Johnson has scrapped plans for White House-style press briefings from a new £2.6 million TV studio in Downing Street – meaning he spent all that public money for nothing.

Apparently the room will be used for internal government briefings by Johnson and his ministers instead. They could do that in any ordinary Whitehall office.

Most of us have been doing much the same from our own homes, using Zoom, Skype, or even Facebook Messenger.

The decision confirms what This Writer believed – that this was nothing but another hugely expensive vanity project for Johnson.

His overspending on fripperies like this, described by some as “spaffing cash up the wall”, has brought a new meaning to the phrase “quantitative easing” (which is what the Bank of England has been having to do in order to allow the nation to cover the cost).

Johnson was shamed into admitting the existence of the studio in February, after it was reported on the social media that, after the huge expense, the space was going unused.

Last month he announced that he would be using the studio after all – and we all warned that he doesn’t have the personality to pull it off.

And then we discovered that the studio had been fitted out by a tech firm based in Russia. Who knows what surveillance equipment was installed there?

(I suppose we’ll find out soon enough, if Johnson really intends to have private briefings there instead of public, press affairs; any really embarrassing secrets will soon get out if the place is full of bugs.)

The whole sorry saga has been a national embarrassment.

Our man-child of a prime minister wanted to play with a new toy that he thought would make him look good – and has wound up looking like a spoilt brat squatting in his own mess.

Source: Downing Street scraps plans for White House-style press briefings – BBC News

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Biased – and contradictory – BBC attacks Munchetty AND Edwards over flags

If all nations’ flags are supposed to be equal, it seems the BBC’s bosses think some are more equal than others.

The Corporation has attacked its own newsreaders, Naga Munchetty and Huw Edwards, for ridiculing the current policy of Boris Johnson’s Tory ministers to hang a Union Flag behind them whenever they’re interviewed.

Tell you what, Tory Tim*, is this better for you?

The Munchetty controversy arose after a BBC Breakfast News interview with corrupt (see past articles) Tory Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, who – of course – had made sure a Union Flag was visible behind him. Co-presenter Charlie Stayt passed a comment about it which she enjoyed, conspicuously:

The incident prompted some anti-Conservative social media users to post messages on Twitter that Ms Munchetty graced with a ‘like’ – and it was this that dropped her into trouble with her bosses.

She later wrote on Twitter: “I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning. I have since removed these ‘likes’.

“This [sic] do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”

So it seems the BBC wants people who fly their flag to be treated with respect.

Right?

Why, then, did it treat Huw Edwards the way it did when he tweeted a tongue-in-cheek response to the row?

BBC bosses ordered Edwards to take down a tweet that said – well, see for yourself:

Several hours later, Mr Edwards tweeted this:

Do you think he was being altogether serious in that last comment?

The Corporation’s contradictory attitude has sown more than a little confusion:

Particularly confused, it seems, was Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who appears to have indulged in overkill, just to be sure:

*Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, is a former Conservative politician at local level.

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BBC documentary asks: Who cashed in on Covid?

Don’t expect too much from this: it’s a Panorama documentary from the BBC and, judging by Is Labour Antisemitic that was produced under the same banner, is likely to be biased towards the Tories and full of falsehoods.

However, even the fact that an attempt is being made to bring this to public attention means it has to be worth watching. Right?

According to the BBC’s publicity,

As the government faces mounting criticism that well-connected people made millions out of Britain’s PPE crisis, Panorama investigates who won out.

More than £12 billion was spent in the first six months of the pandemic on contracts to provide personal protective equipment.

Reporter Richard Bilton meets one man who made £40 million on a deal and speaks to others who felt ignored in favour of less-experienced suppliers.

As the government refuses to reveal the full details of all its so-called VIP deals, the programme reveals the high-profile connections to one lucrative contract.

Wow – £40 million on a single deal.

I suspect the conclusion will be one we know already: success depends not on what you know, but who; the Old School Tie opens doors that would otherwise be closed.

Panorama: Cashing in on Covid is broadcast on BBC1 tonight (March 15) at 7.35pm GMT. It will be on BBC iPlayer soon afterwards.

Source: BBC One – Panorama, Cashing in on Covid

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‘Left-wing’ Mash Report axed by BBC to make way for ‘new comedy’. It won’t be funny!

“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: I know this image refers specifically to BBC News. It seems with the arrival of ‘Tory Tim’ Davie, the Corporation’s right-wing bias is spreading to its comedy output. Look out, drama and documentaries!

The BBC has axed Nish Kumar satire show The Mash Report on the grounds that it was biased toward the political left.

Director General ‘Tory Tim’ Davie at first said he would not make big changes to the corporation’s comedy output, saying that comedy had always “poked at authority”.

He seems to have changed his mind.

Of course, ‘Tory Tim’ is at a bit of a disadvantage when referring to political bias, since it is widely understood that he owes his position to Tory intervention:

Mash had been a target for right-wing commentators since 2018, when Andrew Neil singled it out while complaining that the corporation’s comedy output was too left-wing.

Neil is, of course, chair of that ultra-right wing publication The Spectator, so he’s a fine one to complain about bias!

Asked for a comment on Twitter, Nish Kumar responded with this:

Was this something he wasn’t allowed to do on the televised show, and he was taking the opportunity now?

Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the kind of bias supported by a show with similar ratings to The Mash Report. I refer to Question Time. This is an actual question from the March 11 edition:

Do I need to spell out the wrongness of the question and the thinking behind it?

This Writer certainly wishes Kumar, and co-presenter Rachel Parris, a brighter future beyond the Beeb.

As for the corporation’s new comedy output: I look forward to seeing the new wave of diversity heralded by ‘Tory Tim’.

Looking at comedy history, I think we’re about to be deluged with right-wing material that simply isn’t funny.

Source: The Mash Report axed by BBC bosses after claims of ‘left-wing bias’ | Metro News

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David Attenborough is preaching to the wrong people

Misguided: David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet preached the depressing truth that human beings are destroying their own ecosystem – to human beings who either aren’t or don’t have a choice – they must participate in it or starve. Nobody who can make a difference could care less.

Here’s everything that was wrong with David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet yesterday:

Sarah Vine, if you didn’t know, is not only a right-wing journalist but the wife of Michael Gove, who happens to be the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – a very senior Conservative government politician.

She doesn’t care about the harm her husband and his government’s policies are doing to the planet. She just wants to see pretty photography of elephants before they become extinct due to her husband’s bad decisions.

And, by virtue of being married to him, she has influence over such matters. She would never use it to stop other Tories (and exploiters from other countries and political parties) from ravaging the world for the sake of a quick buck.

Meanwhile, David Attenborough has been on the BBC telling you and me – I can’t do a single damn thing to stop the destruction of our ecosystem in the name of profit; can you? – that we’re responsible.

Doesn’t he recognise the contradiction in his own stance? He’s saying this on a TV channel that is run by supporters of the Conservative government (current BBC chair Richard Sharp has donated heavily to the Conservatives – more than £400,000 by 2010) and broadcasts Tory propaganda instead of news.

Indeed, just to rub it in our faces, the BBC ran an advert for its news programme right after A Perfect Planet, telling us that while we might have had a rotten time for the last few months – and be in for worse in the future, and it’s all very depressing (they’re sure), we are “not alone” and they are on our side.

Mrs Mike and I stared at this in amazement and disbelief and then both uttered the same explosive eight-letter expletive at the television (I’ll leave you to imagine what it was, for your own entertainment).

If Attenborough really wants to change the direction of travel, he would be demanding change from his BBC bosses but he isn’t.

Instead, all he has done is upset millions of ordinary people who have absolutely no say in such matters and cannot do anything about it.

Some of us may even be employed in jobs that worsen the situation, coerced into doing so by the fact that there is no other work available and they must either take part in the long-term murder of the ecosystem or starve in the short term. Attenborough didn’t mention that on his programme last night but it is a policy of the Conservative government that his employer supports.

I’m not saying he doesn’t make a good point, or shouldn’t be warning everybody about what is happening.

I’m just pointing out that his argument is misdirected. The people who could make a difference simply don’t care. They think he should shut up and show them nice piccies of elephants.

Attenborough stated in the film that his hopes now lie in the new generation of human beings – avoiding the fact that the vast majority will be even less able to change anything than his, or mine, due to political policies across the globe that are concentrating power in the hands of very few people.

I remember back in the 1980s, in the Genesis song Land of Confusion, Tory Phil Collins singing that his generation would “put it right”. His generation didn’t.

My generation hasn’t (to my infinite chagrin).

The next generation won’t have the opportunity.

Attenborough, bless ‘im, needs to get to grips with that reality.

Otherwise, he might just as well give up and give Sarah Vine her elephant pics.

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We die of Covid-19 because we’re old and fat, says Coffey. Why hasn’t SHE caught it, then?

Therese Coffey: “fat” and “old”.

No doubt This Writer will catch some more flak for this. I had criticism for “body shaming” Therese Coffey in the past. But these are her own words (or as near to them as makes no odds)!

The Work and Pensions Secretary was doing the morning media round today (Monday, January 25) and happened to mention on Good Morning Britain her belief that people who die of Covid-19 tend to be elderly and obese.

This theory is certain borne out by the example she provided later, when she reminded us all that Boris Johnson had spent time in intensive care last spring. He is certainly fat and old.

But when presenter Piers Morgan challenged her, asking her to clarify that she was saying the UK has the highest Covid-19-related death rate because its population is fat and old, she described her own words as offensive, made an excuse and flounced off (which is easy to do when you’re at home and can cut your connection).

See for yourself:

The exchange has provoked a certain amount of festivity among the general public:

But we must remember that Ms Coffey is a woman of… particular talents. Intelligence is not one of them.

Consider this one-liner from the same GMB interview. Peter Stefanovic’s sarcasm is right on the button:

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BBC geography fail puts Bristol and Birmingham in Wales. And if you think THAT’s bad…

What were they thinking: how embarrassing for Mishal Husein.

This is the funniest howler I’ve seen today.

A BBC news bulletin providing details of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in England suffered what I can only describe as a massive geographical cock-up.

I don’t really need to describe the nature of the error because it’s right there on the image at the top of this article.

Further illumination is provided by the following tweets:

(These two actually go together very well.)

Of course, in recent years the BBC has become desperate to entertain all points of view – in politics, at least.

So the corporation has insisted on broadcasting statements that were not true, saying the intention was to provide a “balanced” story.

This leads me to ask:

Does the map in the image represent someone’s genuine belief about the locations of these places – and BBC News broadcast it in the name of balance?

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Bake Off judge quits Tories over food standards. She was fine with all the other horrific policies

The media – in this case, the Mail – want to draw your attention to the fact that Bake Off judge Prue Leith has ended her membership of the Conservatives over a policy that her Tory MP son supports.

Isn’t it more revealing that she was only upset by the policy that directly affected her?

The Tories could do anything to other people and she didn’t mind at all.

Austerity has killed many thousands – Leith was quite happy about that.

Homelessness and hate crime did not stir her from her work.

She didn’t even bat an eyelid when her son voted to starve English children who have been forced into food poverty by the Conservative Party’s policies.

But the possible arrival of diseased foodstuffs from the United States has outraged her enough to quit her party membership.

I don’t know…

Does she really think the population of the UK need to be protected from low-quality foods, after thinking they didn’t deserve protection from Tory-led austerity, hate and starvation?

Or is it a pose she thinks she has to take as a media personality on a food-related TV show?

Here’s the relevant part of the story:

Prue Leith has quit the Conservative Party after the Government blocked an attempt to enshrine high food standards in law.

A Conservative source told The Mail on Sunday Ms Leith has … cancelled her party membership after growing unhappy with the Government’s stance.

Ms Leith’s son Danny Kruger, the Tory MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, voted with the Government on the Agriculture Bill, defeating an amendment that would have protected British farmers.

And here’s the public reaction:

Yes indeed.

I have never watched Bake Off.

Considering the fact that it has employed a person like Leith, I can honestly say:

I won’t be watching Bake Off in the future, either. Who knows what other abhorrent views are held by the people working on it?

Source: Prue Leith quits Conservative Party in protest at Government’s stance over foods standards | Daily Mail Online

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No sugar for Lord Alan’s sidekick after he tells Mancunians to ‘suck it up’

‘Suck it in’: but public reaction to Claude Littner suggests that he’s the one who sucks.

If he had an ounce of self-consciousness, Claude Littner would be apologising to the people of Manchester – and the UK – after his TV outburst.

The businessman, said to be worth £34 million, told Mancunians who will enter Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions tomorrow (October 22) to “suck it up” and “take it on the chin”.

Easy for him to say! He won’t be trying to survive on £5.84 per hour.

Sprinkled among these harsh words were lines straight out of Boris Johnson’s script: “Work together”… “Make sure the NHS is protected”.

For once, the public reaction was harder than the “hard man” of The Apprentice:

No it doesn’t.

And he’d be complaining to the government pretty damn fast if his income stream dropped because his employees were too busy starving to come to work.

Ann Widdecombe: you can’t play the game so stop trying to make up the rules

Boring herself to sleep: this is a shot from when Ann Widdecombe quit the Tories to stand as a Brexit Party candidate for the European Parliament. She won a seat there (briefly) – but the voters on Strictly had the good sense to vote her out.

Who does Ann Widdecombe think she is?

The Tory/Brexit Party has-been has burst out of her kennel like a puppy desperate for attention, to berate the TV game show Strictly Come Dancing for allowing same-sex couples to dance together.

It’s as though she actually enjoys provoking responses like this one:

She certainly seems misinformed:

But at least it gives us a chance to make fun of her again. And again. And again…

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