Tag Archives: Andrew Marr

Gove has implied Dictator Johnson may ignore the most important part of the UK’s constitution

Partners in crime? Boris Johnson may ignore the sovereign will of Parliament in his desperation to force the UK into a “no deal” Brexit – and it seems Michael Gove will help him all the way.

If you didn’t know already, please take note that in the United Kingdom, Parliament is the supreme legal authority. It is sovereign – not the government of the day.

Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important principle of the UK’s constitution – as the parliament.uk website makes clear.

So when Michael Gove told Andrew Marr that Boris Johnson’s government may ignore Parliamentary decisions that the Dictator doesn’t like, it is clear that we now have a potentially criminal administration.

Notice how Gove steamrolled over Mr Marr’s attempts to ask further questions, as well. He didn’t want to be nailed down, which suggests that the decision has already been made.

It has not been welcomed.

Professor Brian Cox (the TV scientist) exclaimed on Twitter: “This statement – that the government may decide not to obey the law – confirms that the current minority government is dangerous. Every MP with integrity from any party must stop them this coming week. This is no longer about Brexit – that can be dealt with afterwards.”

He was absolutely right. A criminal government cannot be tolerated and must be stopped.

“Folks, this is what dictatorships look and sound like,” tweeted the account dedicated to the late, great Labour activist and author Harry Leslie Smith.

But Owen Jones put a brighter spin on it: “If any good is coming from the Boris Johnson era – which I realise is a desperate start to a sentence – it’s lots of liberals waking up to how fundamentally broken and undemocratic the system actually is.”

So we are left facing a potentially cataclysmic week in UK politics.

First we will find out if Parliament will gain the right to set the agenda via a “section 24” motion.

Then we must see if a Bill ruling out a “no deal” Brexit is passed.

And finally, will the government abide by such a law?

But the most fundamental question of all must surely be: What will we do if Boris Johnson refuses to accept the sovereign will of Parliament and tries to dictate what the UK does? If he actually does assume the role of dictator, how do we stop him?

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Mind games: Marr misspeaks anti-Tory film title to take heat off killer Tories

#IDanielBlake – not #IDanielCraig

Did you hear it?

Andrew Marr, interviewing Theresa May on his Sunday morning political chat show, referred to the film I, Daniel Blake – which is highly critical of the Department for Work and Pensions as it is run by the Conservatives; it shows a man with a serious heart condition being repeatedly denied benefits, forced to attend ridiculous training events, sanctioned out of his money for weeks at a time on specious grounds, and put through the enormous stress of a semi-judicial hearing to establish whether he should have benefits after all.

A female character is denied benefits because she arrives at a Job Centre a few minutes late for her appointment, starves herself so her children can eat, and ends up being tempted toward prostitution.

All these are accurate depictions of situations that have faced real benefit claimants, which is why damn-fool Tory vice-chairman James Cleverly tried to play it down by tweeting:

In response, he was inundated with news reports of real-life examples of the nightmare treatment dished out by the DWP in the film.

In fact, Twitter was full of such stories while – and after – the film was screened.

So, when Mr Marr mentioned the film to Theresa May, he said – well, hear it for yourself:

I disagree with Yannis Gourtsoyannis; this is not an example of TV presenters being unable to remember the names properly.

By confusing the film’s protagonist with a major movie star (and current James Bond), it seems likely Mr Marr hoped to divert attention away from the cacophony of fury that it had stirred up.

Sure enough, a new hashtag appeared on Twitter, ‘#IDanielCraig“.

It wasn’t entirely successful – some of the tweets were satirical, and highly critical of the government. But the connection with a major movie franchise provided distractions, as you can see if you click the link.

Lauren Gavaghan had it right: “Not mere accidents. Not about being so removed as not to remember either, in my view. Look how Daniel Craig has jumped to trending now.”

She tweeted:

I wonder how Daniel Craig feels about being used by the Tories in this way?

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Marr’s meltdown over ‘patronising’ Chakrabarti couldn’t have been more poorly-timed. Here’s why (Part Three of Three)

Meltdown: Andrew Marr.

We have seen that a story broke yesterday (November 18), confirming a UN inspector’s claims about the Conservative government’s policies on benefits – and BBC anchorman Andrew Marr helped a Tory minister brush it under the carpet.

This is not acceptable behaviour for a member of our national news media. We expect them to hold power to account. It might be understandable, at least, if he showed similar leniency to people of all political persuasions – but events were to prove that this was not the case.

It lays both Mr Marr and the BBC open to serious questions about their competence, impartiality and fitness to continue as a news reporter of record.

Shortly after the incident with Kwasi Kwarteng, Mr Marr interviewed Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti, discussing Theresa May’s 585-page Brexit deal.

Baroness Chakrabarti showed remarkable restraint when he – patronisingly – asked her if she had read all of the document she was there to discuss – especially as he had not.

But what happened next went beyond the pale. Mr Marr tried to put his interviewee in an impossible – if fake – position, contrasting Labour’s manifesto commitment to honour the result of the 2016 EU referendum with her own preference for remaining in the European Union. When she responded that she was a democrat, he leaned in and warned her not to patronise him.

It’s a completely false argument. Baroness Chakrabarti had said “I don’t know about you, Andrew, but I am a democrat.” His claim to be “as much a democrat as you are” strikes hollow, considering he was suggesting that she should have ignored the result of the referendum to follow her own preference. Is that what he would have done? Her excellent response was, in the circumstances, remarkably restrained.

Commenters on the social media were, understandably, less calm about the matter:

Nooruddean pointed out: “Andrew Marr doesn’t speak to Theresa May or Nigel Farage or Marine Le Pen like this. It’s really unprofessional.”

And Dr Lauren Gavaghan demonstrated that the attitude is evident elsewhere among BBC political anchormen: “Oh lord. Andrew Marr – really? Is this as good as you’ve got? A man with your years of experience?

“It’s as bad as Dimbleby telling me “don’t wag your finger at me young lady” once upon a time on Question Time.”

And James! drew attention to the tactic Mr Marr used to prevent Baroness Chakrabarti from upbraiding him about his own behaviour: “I can’t stop thinking about this from Andrew Marr. Totally unprofessional & uncalled for.

“Note the ‘anyway’ after his attack.

“He wants to draw it to a close and move on.

“Shameful behaviour & really quite sinister. When the mask slips…”

Many made the point that Mr Marr went on to give Dominic Raab – the former Brexit Secretary who did not understand the significance of the Dover-Calais crossing – exactly the same kind of easy ride he had provided to Kwasi Kwarteng earlier in the show:

Ash Sarkar added: “It’s Andrew Marr’s job to put politicians through the wringer, no matter what their political stripe. I support that. But I just don’t understand why Dominic Raab is getting handled with kid gloves, while Shami Chakrabarti got treated like this?”

But it was MP Dan Carden who made the crucial connection – that Mr Marr supports Conservatives and undermines Labour politicians because that is the current culture at the BBC.

“We have a media that shows deference & respect to its establishment Tory chums, and derision to those who challenge the utterly broken status quo,” he tweeted.

“As Chomsky once brilliantly told Marr – ‘if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting’.”

Here’s the proof:

This corresponds perfectly with the words of UN special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, whose report on poverty in the UK had been dismissed with a query about whether it was “appropriate” by Mr Marr earlier in the programme.

So we see a situation in which Professor Alston’s assertion, that poverty is deliberately inflicted on people by the Conservatives, is proved with an example – that of Emily Lydon. His further claim that the Conservative government is in a “state of denial” is proved by the response of Mr Kwarteng. And the assertions by commenters – that the BBC (and others in the mainstream media) have disguised or hidden the reality, and that the mainstream media are complicit with the Tories – is demonstrated by Mr Marr’s behaviour.

However, in the name of the “balance” that the BBC tries to present in its reporting, I should point out that there were some who supported Mr Marr’s meltdown.

Mennie Maahes tweeted: “I have no problem with anyone telling this mouthy foreigner where to shove her views, Marr did it from the wrong standpoint but still applicable. Interesting Marr is getting annoyed because people will not accept Remain is right-perhaps he now knows what Leave folk feel like?”

However, in the name of accuracy I must add Rachael Swindon’s response: “Referring to The Right Honourable Baroness Shami Chakribarti as a “mouthy foreigner” is rather stupid, what with her being born in the London Borough of Harrow.”

It all contributes to a standard of reporting that falls well below what we should demand of our public service – and publicly-funded – broadcaster. We don’t fund the BBC in order to be force-fed Conservative Party propaganda, no matter what Andrew Marr might think.

Sadly, we are let down by those other members of the national press who we might reasonably expect to hold the BBC to account (for not, in its turn, holding Tory politicians to account). Consider Eoin Clarke’s summary of the way the exchange between Mr Marr and Baroness Chakrabarti was reported:

These are serious criticisms.

Sadly, as the BBC is self-regulating, there is no possibility of any change for the better – at least in the immediate future.

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Kwarteng dismisses concerns about Tory benefits policies – and Marr lets him off the hook (Part Two of Three)

Soundbite: Kwasi Kwarteng.

The second act of the three-part farce acted out on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (November 18) started when a panel including Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng was asked to discuss the possible eviction of vCJD sufferer Emily Lydon (read her story here).

As the story was breaking only days after the UN special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, had warned that the hardship suffered by the most vulnerable people in the UK had been deliberately inflicted on them by the Tories, to achieve “radical social re-engineering”, Mr Kwarteng would have been well-advised to take a diplomatic approach.

He did not.

Here’s what he said:

Notice he said he did not know “who this UN man is” – confirmation that the Tories are determined to ignore Professor Alston’s findings.

People in the real world condemned Mr Kwarteng’s words and pilloried their speaker.

For example, Loula Abdulla tweeted: “There’s obviously something very wrong with this man. I think he’s a sociopath, there’s no other possible explanation for such an ignorant brushing aside of that example of Tory injustice.”

And this is from Barbara Keeley: “Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng response on this case is disgraceful. No compassion or empathy. Says it all about the Tories.”

Critically, the show’s anchor, Andrew Marr, was soft on Mr Kwarteng to the point of liquidity. His only contribution was to ask if Mr Kwarteng thought the UN report was “appropriate” – to which he received the obvious answer from a Tory.

Here‘s Andy Searson on that: “Look how easily Marr allows the Tory off the hook when faced with the reality of their policies on ordinary people.”

And former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams hit the nail squarely on the head.

So, despite the revelation of an atrocity that is being committed by the Tory government against UK citizens who are powerless to prevent it, one of our most prominent press representatives failed to hold a member of that government to account. He was to prove hypocritically less compliant when interviewing a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, unfortunately…

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Why is the BBC trying to prejudice the inquiry into Arron Banks and Leave.EU?

Arron Banks.

Has the BBC taken its claim to impartially serve up both sides of news stories a few steps too far?

That’s how it seems in the case of Arron Banks, who is apparently being investigated by the National Crime Agency after the Electoral Commission found that his campaign group in the EU referendum – Leave.EU – had broken electoral law.

After it was announced that the NCA is investigating, the BBC decided to invite him onto The Andrew Marr Show to discuss the matter. The show was to be broadcast live at 9am today (Sunday, November 4). Here’s the Corporation’s statement about it:

“There is strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in relation to Leave.EU and the 2016 EU Referendum. The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them, which he will do on Sunday morning.”

No it isn’t. In fact, it may pervert the course of justice.

We already know Leave.EU is guilty of breaking electoral law – that’s what the Electoral Commission found. Now it has passed the matter on to the NCA, which will investigate the possibility that serious criminal offences were committed.

Nobody from the NCA or the Electoral Commission has been invited to put forward what they know, so this is basically giving Mr Banks an opportunity to influence the nation’s thinking on the matter. This could be disastrous for justice if a jury is ever asked to decide on his innocence or guilt.

People have picked up on these facts. For instance:

It’s a perfectly legitimate question, if the BBC is interested in balance. Carole Cadwalladr is the investigative journalist who uncovered much (if not all) the evidence against Leave.EU.

More to the point is this:

This is the substantive point – presenting evidence that might go before a criminal court may prejudice the case.

Trouble is, I think we need to watch, just to check whether what’s broadcast is reasonable. This member of the public thinks it won’t be:

Again, good points. The BBC is acting hypocritically as it is affording Mr Banks a courtesy never offered to other people in the public eye, whose behaviour has been the focus of legal interest in the past. And it is the job of all reporters to ensure that they do not prejudice the outcome of criminal inquiries and court cases when reporting them.

Will the following be mentioned?

Probably – but not in anything like the exhausting detail with which Mr Banks is likely to put his side of the story.

So it should be no surprise that the BBC has received a huge number of complaints and people have been calling on other members of the public to make their views known:

And what do you think was the BBC’s measured response?

It closed down the complaints page on its website.

This is not the action of a responsible organisation.

It gets worse than that, though – information has been leaked to suggest Theresa May quashed an investigation into Mr Banks’s dealings, years ago, quoting “political sensitivity” (which is the reason the Met Police has given for failing to do anything about the matter over the last several months).

Here‘s The Guardian:

“A Labour MP has asked Theresa May whether she or any other minister had ever declined a request from the security services to conduct an investigation into the controversial Leave.EU campaign donor Arron Banks.

“Ben Bradshaw wrote to the prime minister a day after it was announced that a criminal investigation into Banks had begun, amid repeated allegations that May had blocked an investigation in 2016, when she was home secretary.

“Downing Street would not comment on Bradshaw’s suggestion that an investigation was blocked, although it is understood the claim is denied. A No 10 spokesman said: “We would never confirm or deny the detail of any conversation with security services on any topic.”

“The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that May declined a request by one of the security services to investigate Banks in 2016, repeating a claim made by Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, at his party conference in September.

“At the time Watson asked: “Did [May] ask the security services to investigate? Or did she stop them doing so? There is a suggestion that in the run-up to the referendum the prime minister – in her capacity at the time as home secretary – declined at least one application from the security services to mount a full investigation into Mr Banks and others suspected of Russian influence. We need to know if that is true.””

Again, the social media have been having a field day:

And there is a critically serious issue at the heart of this: Alleged interference in UK politics by a foreign power – Russia – with the aid of individuals like Mr Banks and, it seems, Mrs May.

The fact that lawbreaking has happened, the spectre of foreign interference, and the possibility of corruption at the highest level of government – all focused on the UK’s departure from the European Union – mean that the legitimacy of Brexit has been called into question.

Ardent ‘Leave’ voters will be infuriated at Professor Brian Cox’s suggestion…

… but in legal terms – in a nation run by people who accept the rule of law – it is the correct course of action.

We need to know the facts before Brexit happens – not when the damage has been done.

That is why it is important for the facts to be examined thoroughly – including and especially the facts about Arron Banks and Leave.EU.

And that is why the BBC should respect the rules – or does Auntie think that she’s above them?

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Tory vice-chair disgraces himself with lie about Labour’s tax plans


James Cleverly’s star has risen very quickly and, the way he’s going, it will fall just as fast.

He knows that Labour’s election manifesto last year was fully-costed and self-explanatory, and the only tax increases planned within its pages were for the top five per cent of earners – people taking home more than £80,000 a year.

But he told Andrew Marr that Labour would force a tax increase on everybody in order to fund the NHS properly.

This was a lie.

It seems likely that, as a Tory MP and vice-chairman of the party, Mr Cleverly takes home more than £80k per year and simply wants to do all he can to prevent a Labour government being elected and taxing him on it.

That would be selfish, but then selfishness is the Tory way.


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Gauke talks tosh to Marr about homelessness. His policies are pushing people to their deaths

David Gauke: He tried to tell Andrew Marr his policies were right for the country, and convinced nobody at all.

David Gauke made an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning (December 17), in a bid to fill our heads with a lot of nonsense about Conservative policy towards – among other things – the homeless. It didn’t go well.

Rough sleeping has increased by 134 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010, and the number of homeless children has increased by 70 per cent. Both these figures plummeted under the last Labour government, so it is impossible for Tories like Mr Gauke to falsely claim that they are cleaning up Labour’s mess, as they usually do.

Oh, and the actual homelessness figure is probably much higher than the official statistic, as people have to complete a set number of nights on the street before they are classified as such.

The simple fact is, there can only be one reason these statistics are worsening: Tory policies are designed to make them worse.

And that means, in the opinion of This Writer, that commenters like myself are justified in suggesting that Tories like Mr Gauke have no interest in helping homeless people off the streets and back into housing.

If they are saying they expect homelessness to halve by 2022 and be eliminated by 2027, then it most likely means they expect homeless people to die. We already know that suicide rates have increased under the Tories.

Put the pieces together and you get the facts. The whole story is available on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TeamTyrion30/status/942335372218044416


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Unemployment DOES exist and – at more than 14 MILLION – it ISN’T at record lows. Philip Hammond is living in a fantasy world

Philip Hammond: This is an actual publicity shot of the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. Draw your own conclusions!

If he’s living a fantasy, what does this presage for the Budget on Wednesday?

Many people were up in arms yesterday (November 19), after Philip Hammond told Andrew Marr the following:

“Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people.” What a silly thing to say.

He was knocked back almost straight away by Mr Marr, who pointed out that official figures show 1.42 million people on Jobseekers’ Allowance. Mr Hammond dismissed this as a historic low (it isn’t; in the early 1970s it was around one million people).

In any case, the Jobseekers’ Allowance figure is not indicative of the true number of people without work in the United Kingdom – as Mr Hammond should know full well.

In 2013, when the Jobseekers’ Allowance figure was at 2.51 million, This Site pointed out that true unemployment – according to the Office for National Statistics – was at 11.71 million. That was the number of people who were out of work and not paid the minimum wage, which is a better yardstick.

This includes not only the number officially counted as unemployed, but those counted as ‘economically inactive’ and those on government-sponsored schemes such as Workfare or the Work Programme – who work, but are paid only in government benefit money and therefore, as the taxpayer is picking up the tab, should be counted with the unemployed.

People who are ‘economically inactive’ include people who are not seeking work, such as those looking after the family or home, those who don’t want or need a job, and those who have retired early – which is why this group is not included in ONS unemployment figures – but also includes those seeking work but officially unavailable for it, such as students in their final year, people who cannot work for health-related reasons, and ‘discouraged workers’ who believe there are no jobs available.

“Where are all these unemployed people”, Mr Hammond? Here they are:

If you look at the most recent statistical release from the ONS, it states that 32.06 million people are in employment, and this is 75 per cent of the workforce aged 16 to 64. This means the workforce totals 42.75 million people.

In other words, the actual number of people who are unemployed in the UK is 10.69 million.

The ONS release states this includes 8.88 million who were economically inactive. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the other 390,000 have been doing.

The 8.88 million figure includes 2.04 million who were not looking for work due to long-term sickness, 73,000 more than for April to June 2017 and 41,000 more than for a year earlier. But we know that the Tory government is doing its best to force these people off-benefit and into work of any kind. Shouldn’t they be included in the official unemployment rate, rather than simply being lumped among the economically-inactive?

And there is another question: Under-employment.

How many people are in zero-hours contracts now? Nearly a million. Those people are not contributing as much as they want, and most of them are certainly not earning as much as they would like. But the current government classes them in exactly the same way as somone in full employment.

How many people are self-employed? 4.81 million – an increase of 25,000 since September 2016. How many of those are self-employed because they can’t afford to retire? How many are self-employed but not earning as much as the minimum wage (sorry – National Living Wage)? Half of them, according to the Resolution Foundation. That’s 2.4 million.

Hey – what about students looking for work? 177,000 (aged 16-24). People on government training programmes? 73,000.

So the combined number of unemployed or under-employed people in the UK comes to around 14.34 million. That’s a whopping 12.92 million more than the Tories are claiming.

That’s why the social media erupted at Mr Hammond’s ill-chosen words. Here’s a selection:

https://twitter.com/ShehabKhan/status/932202401934839810

And there’s one more point to make: What would the Conservatives have done if a Labour politician had made such a wild claim about unemployment?

Current Tory press chief is Carrie Symonds – who loves to leap at the Labour Party at every opportunity:

Here she is, attacking John McDonnell for words he spoke during his appearance on the same Andrew Marr show:

Perhaps she has forgotten that, in the June general election, Labour provided exhaustively-detailed explanations of how it would fund all its policies, while the Conservative Manifesto offered nothing.

It seems Mr Hammond is not the only Conservative living a fantasy.


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Andrew Marr just set the BBC’s case against the social media back a long way

[Image: Sketchaganda].

It seems unlikely Andrew Marr will be Nick Robinson’s favourite colleague for the next week or so.

After Mr Robinson spent many of the last few days trying to convince the world that the BBC isn’t biased, Mr Marr managed to tell us, on his show today (October8), that Labour’s conference this year didn’t discuss Brexit, and that none of the main UK political parties criticised the violence at the disputed independence referendum in Catalonia (or however you want to spell it).

He was wrong both times. Labour’s conference discussed Brexit twice …

… and Jeremy Corbyn most certainly did condemn the violence:

Here’s his tweet about it, sent while the violence was taking place:

This is important because the BBC cannot claim the moral high ground from social media writers like Yr Obdt Srvt while it continues to behave in exactly the way for which it has been attacking us.

Even more embarrassingly, Mr Marr’s mistakes (let’s call them) have justified the criticisms levelled at the Corporation by Channel 4 newsman Assed Baig on Twitter:

The challenge certainly gains credibility when the BBC comes out with easily-provable falsehoods on its flagship political interview programme.

In fairness, Marr Show editor Rob Burley tweeted a mea culpa a couple of hours later – but only a few thousand people will have seen it (his 8,000+ followers plus those of anybody who chooses to RT, or publish it on social media sites – ha ha – like This Writer) in comparison to the few million who watched the show.#

You see the problem with that?


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Censoring Marine Le Pen would be hypocritical when the BBC doesn’t gag UKIP or the Tories

Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Courting controversy shouldn’t be taboo – although I think the Marr Show producers really should have thought twice about having an interview with a fascist on Remembrance Sunday.

Oh, does Marine Le Pen not call herself that? This Writer calls ’em as I see ’em.

I wasn’t taking detailed notes but what I got from the interview was that she doesn’t like the European Union, does like Russia, and both hates and likes Muslims, depending on whether they’re immigrants or not. I think she may have been economical with the truth about the Muslims somehow…

It was worthwhile to hear all this because, you see, it reflects in an interesting way on our own politics.

Nigel Farage and UKIP, along with many members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, don’t like the European Union and are delighted that the UK is coming out of it, no matter what economic damage we do to the country along the way.

The same people don’t like immigrants – or at least, they have been stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment even though they are blaming these people for problems that have been made by a Conservative government that has brought back rationing under a different name (“austerity”).

She has an “us against them” attitude which is no different from the “divide and rule” mentality of the Conservative Government, here in the UK – a government that has pointed the finger at the sick and disabled, at the unemployed, and at the afore-mentioned immigrants as scapegoats for their own political choices.

So I think Mr Burley’s comment – that the possibility of a win for the French National Front means the BBC must either treat her seriously or is censoring her – is more valid than even he might think.

We didn’t censor Nigel Farage and UKIP.

We don’t censor the Conservatives.

Their policies aren’t significantly different from those of Marine Le Pen.

But we say her attitudes and those of her party are beyond the pale.

That is hypocritical.

And the BBC can’t claim any holier-than-thou rights either – it might not censor Ms Le Pen but it has certainly marginalised the United Nations report showing that the Conservative Government has committed grave and systematic violations of the human rights of UK citizens. Why has that not been a major headline?

That is hypocritical too.

Obviously This Blog does not and cannot support the policies of Ms Le Pen and her fascists.

But if we want to show the world that they are unacceptable, we need to concede that the behaviour of our own government and the state broadcaster is unacceptable too.

What’s the Biblical line?

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is that plank in your own?”

BBC executives have defended the decision to air an interview with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Remembrance Sunday following an angry backlash on social media.

The BBC has dismissed the outrage, claiming the controversial politician is a “serious contender” for the French presidency.

Among the reasons [Andrew Marr Show editor Rob Burley] stated was Donald Trump’s shock election win which he said made victory for Ms Le Pen a “possibility”.

He wrote: “Marine Le Pen is a controversial booking. But she is a serious contender for the French Presidency whatever you think of her views. . .

“Her party’s support – 6m in 2015 elections, 6m in the last Presidential Election and her ratings ahead of 2017 election significant. .

“In French politics she is “normalised” by public support. We either treat her seriously or censor her.

“The shocks to conventional wisdom of the Referendum result & Donald Trump’s election make her victory a possibility if it wasn’t already.”

Source: BBC editor defends decision to air interview with Marine Le Pen on Andrew Marr Show amid furious row | London Evening Standard

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