Archive for BBC

Two governments gives Scotland “the best of both worlds”

I read this, got angry, used some traditional Anglo-Saxon words and then sent the following email to Cowardly Cameron …

I see in the news today that you believe that Scotland having 2 government’s is “the best of both worlds” and that because Scotland has its own devolved government they can make decisions needed “to meet the specific needs of Scotland”.

Can you please explain why you feel that England doesn’t deserve the best of both worlds and why England shouldn’t have its own government to meet the specific needs of England?

You are putting so much effort into making the case for the British union in Scotland that you’re forgetting that the 85% of the population lives in England where we have no self-government, where MPs elected in a different country make our laws and where the case for being part of the British union has never been weaker.

I urge you to end the institutional discrimination against the English and give us the devolved English Parliament that 7 out of 10 English people want.

The BBC has made Bristol Welsh

Last year the BBC moved filming of Casualty from Bristol, where the programme is based, to Cardiff.

Since moving to Wales, most of the extras are now Welsh – presumably recruited from the local population.  We now have the ludicrous situation where, if you watch Casualty, you would be led to believe that most people in Bristol are Welsh.

When the filming of Dr Who was moved to the same studios in Cardiff, the Doctor suddenly found himself talking to an awful lot of Welsh people and spending a lot of time in Welsh towns and villages.  No doubt the new series of Upstairs Downstairs that is being filmed there will be based in a London full of Welsh people as well.

The BBC’s desperation to spread the British brand through the “nations and regions” has ruined one of its flagship programmes and frankly, I couldn’t care less if I never see Casualty again.

Reward sports personalities for talent, not for having tits

Poor Harriet Harperson has got her unisex undergarments in a twist over the BBC Sports Personality of the Year panel not including any women in their shortlist of sports personalities.

Fran Matthews - England Rugby

No jokes about odd shaped balls please

The man-hating Shadow Minister for Equality and Women has demanded that the BBC include some women in the shortlist immediately and criticised the BBC for including the editors of lads mags in the panel.

The panel of newspaper and magazine editors from publications with an interest in sport chose the shortlist for the BBC and came up with the all-male list.

There are undoubtedly many fine sportswomen – Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington for instance or England women’s rugby player Fran Matthews who should surely win an award just for playing a brutal sport and managing to look pretty hot rather than like Fatima Whitbread.  But the panel chose an all-male shortlist and it’s not for a failed politician like Harriet Harperson to demand that their decision is overturned and the list stuffed with women in the name of equality.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards are supposed to reward sportsmen and women for talent and hard work, not for having a pair of tits.

Jeremy Clarkson apologises to unions for poking fun at BBC

Jeremy Clarkson has caved in and apologised for making a joke about the anti-government strikes.

Jeremy ClarksonDuring an interview on the One Show, Clarkson was asked what he thought of the strikes to which he replied that they were brilliant, he could dart around London and there was no traffic and it reminded him of the 1970s.  He then went on to joke that because it’s the BBC there has to be balance and said that he would take them outside and shoot them and would have them executed in front of their families.

The joke was actually at the expense of the BBC and its charter obligation to remain balanced and impartial which sometimes makes for bizarre statements from newsreaders and chat show hosts.  The unions, however, were consumed with mock outrage with UNISON actually going as far as taking legal advice as to whether he could be reported to the police for incitement to hatred!

Clarkson has now apologised to the unions for making a joke at the BBC’s expense and UNISON have magnanimously accepted his apology and won’t be trying to get him arrested for being funny.

Just in case anyone from any of the unions is wondering, if I was in charge I wouldn’t have you executed, I’d take your leaders and agitators and put them in a hard labour camp until they stopped being such bloody stupid pricks.  When people like Dave Prentis (UNISON), Mark Serwotka (PCS) and Bob Crow (RMT) hand over some of their huge salaries (they all have pay and perks of £100k+)  to set an example they might deserve some respect but until they do, they deserve all the contempt that’s directed at them, the useless champagne socialist troublemakers.

Apparently the BBC received a large number of complaints which they believe have been made as part of an orchestrated campaign (no doubt organised by the unions).  I have made my own complaint tonight at the BBC’s decision to apologise to the unions when they were obviously taking the piss for publicity:

I am disgusted that the BBC and Jeremy Clarkson have been forced to apologise to the unions over Clarkson’s joke on the One Show.  No offence was intended and none was caused – the unions were expressing mock outrage at a joke that was made at the expense of the BBC, not the unions and not strikers. The BBC should have told the unions to grow up and do something useful, not waste everyone’s time pretending to be offended by a joke aimed at the BBC for publicity.

£2.2m taxpayer funding for BBC Arabic

BBC Arabic LogoThe British government have announced a £2.2m funding package for the BBC Arabic service after the BBC announced it was closing it as part of its cost-cutting measures.

Apparently the “valuable work” it does in the Middle East is more valuable than, say, the cost of 100 life saving courses of the breast cancer treatment, Herceptin, for English women who are left to die because the “National” Institute for Clinical Excellence thinks £20k is too high a price to save an English life.  Or providing free university tuition for a year for 222 English students who have been priced out of university education by the British government’s English university tuition fees.

BBC revisionism on kids TV

Those of you familiar with the Horrible Histories books, you may be pleased to know that the BBC broadcasts a series of the same name and along the same lines as the books on the CBBC channel.

The Horrible Histories books teach children about history using cartoony pictures and by concentrating on the “horrible” history such as beheadings, torture and gross things like crushed rat and honey face cream.

The good thing about Horrible Histories is that it’s not just entertaining for kids, it’s entertaining for adults as well.  The bad thing about Horrible Histories is that it’s produced by the BBC and therefore revisionist.

Take the episode I watched with the kids this afternoon for example.  The programme made multiple references to “Anglo-Saxon Britain”.  There was no such thing as “Britain” when the Anglo-Saxons invaded in the 5th century, 1,300 years before the Act of Union.  The Anglo-Saxons invaded and conquered the myriad kingships that emerged in Sub-Roman Britannia (that’s Britannia, not “Britain”) and the resulting kingdom that followed the eventual unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms was called Engla Lond (Land of the Angles) which of course morphed over the centuries into today’s spelling of “England”.  There was no kingdom, fiefdom, principality, country, nation or any other form of state known as “Britain” or “British” in the 5th century, nor was there a people that called themselves “British”.

In the same programme, they showed a Georgian sailor using the 1801 version of the union flag, incorporating the St Patrick’s saltire.  While that flag was used towards the latter end of the Georgian era, the  majority of the Georgian era used the pre-1801 flag.  The sailor was wearing a tricorn hat which fell out of use after 1800 so the flag he would have used would have been the pre-1801 version.  It’s a small thing but the idea is to educate people, not mislead them.

The BBC is fond of calling claiming England for “Britain”.  A few years ago I successfully got the BBC to revise several of the country profiles on their website which claimed they had been settled by the British when they were part of the English Empire before the first Scottish bailout (aka the Act of Union) in 1707.  But then what can you expect from an organisation that doesn’t even recognise the English nation?

Burns Night – so fucking what?

It was Burns Night last night in Scotland.  I wouldn’t have known because it’s not on my calendars – and nor would I want to know – if it wasn’t for the bloody BBC who didn’t shut up about it all bloody day.

Robbie Burns was a shit, illiterate Scottish poet who wrote shit poems in a Scottish accent.  He’s been elevated to national hero status in Scotland as the only person in their history who has ever been marginally famous for something cultural but he’s still a shit poet and completely irrelevant outside Scotland.

BBC Breakfast were gushing over Burns and Scotland in general (by way of variety) yesterday and I ended up changing the channel.  Later in the day, listening to BBC Radio Shropshire, they were falling over themselves to appear more “Scottish” than each so I changed the channel.  Yesterday evening the news came on and guess what?  Robbie fucking Burns again.

What relevance does Robbie Burns have to English people?  What relevance does he have to Shropshire – it’s over 200 miles away from the Scottish border and in a different country.  I could understand if our local BBC radio station were bigging up a Welsh “hero” because Shropshire is on the Welsh border but not Scottish.

And to top it all off, the BBC are creaming themselves over Andy “Anyone but England” Murray this morning.  It’s a conspiracy to piss me off, I’m sure of it.

Bloggers4UKIP: Climate change religion is falling apart

A Populus poll conducted for BBC News has shown a marked increase in the number of people who don’t believe in the global warming climate change CO2 pollution religion.

Just 3 months ago 41% of people believed in man-made climate change, now only 26% believe.  38% believe that climate change is not proven to be man-made when 3 months ago only 32% held that opinion.  Three months ago 8% of people thought man-made climate change was environmentalist propaganda, that figure has now risen to 10%.

Worryingly, the number of people who think climate change is not happening at all has gone up from 15% three months ago to 25%.  I say worryingly because the climate is changing, just as it has for billions of years!

Overall, this is excellent news.  The wheels are falling off the global warming wagon as more and more people see through the lies, dishonesty and propaganda.

CEP: “There’s cruelty in Englishness” says Scottish BBC presenter

"There's cruelty in Englishness" - Andrew Marr, RacistAndrew Marr, the Scottish presenter of the imaginatively titled Andrew Marr Show, used his BBC1 show today to racially abuse the English.

Whilst interviewing the actor, Mark Rylance, about his new lefty liberal hand wringing play about Englishness, Marr interrupted to say “There’s cruelty in the play but there’s cruelty in Englishness too”.

The following a transcript of the relevant part of the interview:

Rylance: I think it’s about the question of what is indigenous Englishness. I think it’s clearer to look at the Welsh and the Irish and the Scottish and grasp … maybe you can’t put words to it but there’s certain kind of things that are very much part of their nation’s character and it’s harder perhaps because of our imperial past and the nature of the history of England to be pleased or proud about being English. We used to have at the Globe a lot of difficulty trying to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday and St Georges Day without the National Front coming in you know?

Marr: Yeah

Rylance: And I remember Ken Livingstone and I think still Boris is trying to figure out how …

Marr: How you celebrate because part of this is very sort of dark and dysfunctional too isn’t it? And I mean just thinking about that ghastly story from Doncaster this week, I mean there is a certain amount of wildness and madness and cruelty. There’s cruelty in the play but there’s cruelty in Englishness too. It’s not just an easy thing to celebrate.

Can you imagine the outcry if a BBC presenter had said there’s cruelty in Scottishness or Polishness or Chineseness?

Why on earth should we allow ourselves to be racially abused by a second-rate Scottish TV presenter for the British Broadcasting Corporation? Well I for one won’t be – the following complaint has been made to the BBC regarding Andrew Marr’s racism and demanding a public apology.

On today’s Andrew Marr Show, Andrew Marr (a Scot) racially abused the English with the following comment:

“There’s cruelty in the play but there’s cruelty in Englishness too. It’s not just an easy thing to celebrate.”

Had any other nationality been described as cruel there would have been an instant apology on-air yet because it is the English he has made a racist comment about, no apology was made.

I demand an unreserved apology on-air from Andrew Marr on next week’s show for his racial slur.

The programme can be watched again on the BBC iPlayer here. Fast forward to about 24 minutes.

Danish police beat back climate change nutters at Cophenhagen

Hundreds of eco-terrorists and assorted left wing fruitcakes and swivel-eyed loons have had to be beaten back by police in Copenhagen after they tried to break through a perimeter fence designed to keep the unwashed nutters away from the terribly important politicans that are going to save the world at the Copenhagen World Government Climate Change Conference.

No Mandate Brown was on BBC Breakfast this morning spinning like a maniac, telling us that “there is no doubt about the science”, that the first climate change refugees have already emerged and our children will be living in floods and droughts.  Presumably he doesn’t mean at the same time although that wouldn’t be the most bizarre claim the environmentalists have come out with.

He didn’t say exactly where these mythical climate change refugees were but he was talking about Bangladesh which has, of course, been experiencing terrible and unsual flooding this year which is all caused by global warming climate change CO2 pollution.  And in 2007.  And 2005.  And 2004, 1998, 1991, 1988, 1987 … in fact, according to Wikipedia, there have been 18 major floods in the last century in Bangladesh but let’s not let facts get in the way of an outrageous lie.  This explanation of the Bangladeshi climate from the perspective of disaster planning and prevention draws on pre-global warming hysteria reports and indigenous knowledge to explain the flooding in Bangladesh.

Or he may have been talking about Ethiopia which has been talked about this last few days with the droughts and desertification it is suffering being blamed on global warming climate change CO2 pollution.  Again, some basic research and a reasonable memory for anyone over the age of 30 will confirm that the droughts and famine of the last few decades were caused by war and deforestation and that much of Ethiopia is desert.  But once again, let’s not let facts get in the way of an outrageous lie.

Anyway, back to the fruit loops in Copenhagen.  They were apparently trying to break into the compound because they’re angry about the lack of progress at the conference.  And at the lack of access to information about what’s going on at the conference.  But let’s not let a lack of facts get in the way of some mindless violence.

The Africans have been throwing their teddies out of their prams again today, complaining that the Danes have been tailoring the agenda to fit the pre-determined outcome decided by their EU masters.  They walked out of the conference the other day because people weren’t throwing enough money at them.

Despite the large number or world leaders at the conference talking about a subject they’re completely uneducated in and unqualified to talk about, the chances of the promised “global deal” on climate change actually materialising are looking pretty slim at the moment.  The only openly-stated objective of the conference that is likely to be achieved is- keeping global warming to below 2 degrees, on account of the earth cooling for the last decade and the hockey stick graph being a load of bollocks.

All these protesters seem to be having lots of fun getting angry, waving their placards and shouting at people which made me wonder today how many of the sensible majority in this country who see through the global warming scam would turn up to a climate change non-believer’s protest.  I might even organise one for a laugh, who’s up for it?

Who cares?

Yesterday was National Carers Day and BBC Radio Shropshire marked it with features throughout the day.

One of the features was about an announcement of a new scheme for elderly carers.  More money and support is to be given to elderly carers who need their partners to have respite care.  This annoyed me.

My father-in-law has a rare degenerative disease called superficial siderosis.  As of 2006, there were only 270 reported cases of superficial siderosis and nobody knows what the long term prognosis is other than it won’t get any better.

So how does it feel to be a carer for someone who is disabled, has to be pushed around outside in a wheelchair, is deaf, has no short-term memory and doesn’t feel pain?  My mother-in-law is my father-in-law’s full time carer and it’s pretty damn stressful, not to mention tiring.

My father-in-law used to get respite care in Telford but the care home decided – understandably – that they would rather rent out the only room they had for middle aged disabled people to the council for OAPs for £600 a week rather than leave it empty for 3 weeks a month.  But as this was the only room of its kind in the borough (population 160,000) this means that my father-in-law now has to go to Oswestry, on the Welsh border, for respite.

Telford & Wrekin Council isn’t entirely to blame but they certainly aren’t blameless.  They haven’t invested in respite care for middle aged people but it wouldn’t be such a problem if it wasn’t for bloody stupid British government regulations that insist on care homes in England segregating their buildings based on age groups.

My father-in-law was, until recently, taken to the gym for an hour and a half every week by the council’s Social Inclusion Team.  But a few weeks ago they decided that they wanted paying £38 every time they took him.  They can’t afford it so the council offered to do it for £17 a time.  They still can’t afford it (their household income consists of disability living allowance, carers allowance and a wage for a few hours of work that my mother-in-law does) so they won’t take him.

He goes to a day care centre for a few hours a couple of days a week where they do group activities – it’s the only chance he gets to socialise with people outside of the familiy.  It costs £9.50 each time he goes but it’s been capped by the British government for years.  The cap is being lifted next year so the price will be going up to an unknown amount.  People who pay privately to go to the day care centre pay £26 a time – if it goes up to £26 he won’t be able to go there either.

If you are young or past pensionable age there are plenty of services available.  I don’t imagine there are enough services to satisfy everybody’s needs but the services available to middle aged people are so sparse that they might as well not exist.

Me and the mother-in-law were interview by BBC Radio Shropshire about it yesterday and it was on the radio this morning.  Click here to get the Eric Smith show on the iPlayer.  Skip forward to 06:40 to hear the mother-in-law talking to the reporter and 59:44 for my comments in the news.

What is the point of BBC HD?

Can anyone tell me what the point of the BBC HD channel is?  Really, what is the point of broadcasting 8½ hours of crap in HD?

BBC1’s schedule today includes MI High, Newsround, Weakest Link, the One Show, Eastenders, Panorama, Life, the Graham Norton Show and Apprentice USA.  During the same period, BBC HD has LazyTown Extra, My Almost Famous Family, Doctors, Flog It, Panorama, Gardeners World, Life and Scallywagga.  Only two programmes from the BBC1 schedule and not one from BBC2.  What a waste.

Enormous amounts of money have been spent on HDTV and the BBC is wasting an opportunity – not to mention our money – because they’re showing crap on the BBC HD channel.  I’ve had Sky HD for a few months now and I haven’t watched the BBC HD channel once.  There really is nothing worth watching on the BBC HD channel – especially for the 15½ hours a day when it just shows previews.  Why not show an upscaled version of whatever is showing on BBC1 or BBC2 during the day instead of previews?

Griffin was shit … but not as shit as Straw

So how did Nick Griffin’s first outing on Question Time go?  A mixed bag in my opinion.

Most of the programme was dedicated to attacks on the BNP or Nick Griffin, most of which was lapped up by a baying audience that was disproportionately full of black and asian people.  Nick Griffin looked uncomfortable and nervous the whole way through.

Jack Straw was by far the weakest panelist on the programme, spinning so fast they could have hooked him up to the national grid.  Chris Huhne was the least confrontational of the LibLabCon panelists (who’d have thought it from a Lib Dim?).  Baroness Waarsi was the best of the politicos on the panel by far.  She attacked Griffin – sometimes weakly – but she also treated Jack Straw as fair game, especially when he denied that Liebour’s open door policy was to blame for the rise in the BNP’s popularity.

Interesting, whilst everything Nick Griffin said was met with jeers from the crowd, when he said there were too many people coming into the country and that it should be stopped there were no jeers from the predominantly black and asian audience.

Griffin was strongest on Islam – when he was asked to explain why he believed that Islam was a cruel and wicked faith he did so quite openly, citing the stoning of female rape victims for “adultary” and the Koran’s instructions to murder non-believers as evidence of its cruelty.  There were a few disagreements from the audience and from Baroness Waarsi who insisted that that wasn’t what Islam is about (despite it being in the Koran).

The funniest part of the programme was when Jack Straw was pontificating about Winston Churchill and the contribution of black and asians to the war effort during the Second World War and Nick Griffin pointed out that his grandfather was an RAF pilot during the war whilst Jack Straw’s grandfather spent the war in prison for refusing to fight.  To be fair to Jack Straw, he barely flinched but it was a priceless moment.

On balance, Nick Griffin came across badly.  He was unconvincing during most of the programme but he was certainly not the weakest panelist – I would put him above Straw and Huhne.  If the programme encourages people to join the BNP it will be because of the attacks on Nick Griffin – the negative politics throughout – rather than what Griffin said.  After all, are naturally attracted to the underdog.

And the best panelist?  Not Griffin, not Straw, not Huhne and not Waarsi.  The best panelist was some black woman from a museum who calmly and intelligently wiped the floor with Nick Griffin.  She did more to put down the BNP than the LibLabCon panelists put together and she did it without insulting him, without raising her voice and without feigning anger.  It is people like her that will keep the BNP down, not failed politicians whose refusal to tackle immigration gives oxygen to the BNP.

Nick Griffin on Question Time and UAF thugs strike again

Nick Griffin will be on Question Time tonight in front of what is probably going to be the bigget TV audience Question Time has ever had.

And the reason why Griffin is going to be getting this huge amount of publicity?  Because the anti-democratic, anti-BNP idiots have made such a fuss about him appearing on the BBC that almost every news channel and major newspaper at home and abroad has been talking about nothing but the BNP and Question Time.

The Tories have obvously got jealous of the publicity that Liebour is getting from the fascist left wing thugs at Unite Against Fascism and set up their own anti-BNP protest group called “Nothing British”.  I wonder if Camoron will leave UAF and join “Nothing British” instead.

Protesters have been causing trouble outside the BBC studio all day and 25-30 people managed to break in and had to be removed by the police.  Can you guess who the protesters are?  Yep, Unite Against Fascism.  Again.  The lawless far left extremist thugs supported by the Liebour Party, David Camoron and senior civil servants and police officers all over the country.

The BNP are a nasty, racist party but they are a legal political party (despite what that idiot Peter Hain says) with two MEPs and have a right to impartial representation on the BBC.  The “no platform” policy hasn’t worked, nor have the senseless, anti-democratic attacks on them by fascists like Searchlight and UAF.

The BNP need to be given enough rope to hang themselves, the more they’re attacked, the more support they get.  The BBC were absolutely correct to invite Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time as the leader of a legitimate political party and a democratically elected MEP and I can’t wait to see Nick Griffin make a complete dick of himself in front of millions of people.

As I was typing this, I noticed that Old Holborn has previously found details of the Home Office funding Unite Against Fascism.  State sponsored thugs violently supressing opposition to the government … why does George Orwell come to mind?

Fascist UAF get violent again

The English Defence League (EDL) protested in Manchester yesterday and once again the thugs from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) turned out to cause trouble.

As I’ve said previously, I have no interest in ethnic nationalism of the sort the EDL promote, but I get pretty pissed off when the fascist UAF get away with thuggery and are portrayed as “the good guys”.  They’re nothing of the sort, they’re vicious, fascist thugs that would be a proscribed organisation if it wasn’t for the number of senior police offices and politicians that were amongst their ranks.

This protest saw 700 EDL supporters turn out – many more than previous protests and thanks in no small part to the UAF thugs who turn out to cause trouble every time the EDL have a protest.  UAF had about 1,400 people – 2 UAF thugs for every EDL knuckle dragger.

But the fact that every time the UAF turn out to “counter protest” they always get violent hasn’t escaped the BBC who, for once, have been marginally critical of them.  Could it be that the fascist UAF are falling out of favour with the lefty-loving BBC?

According to the BBC, the atmosphere was “quite nasty” and the UAF thugs were the ones that tried to break the police line to get at the EDL protesters.

It’s time the police cracked down on violent left wing extremist organisations like UAF.  They use violence and intimidation to try and supress peoples’ constitutional right to protest.  They attempt to bring every protest they disagree with to a premature end by getting violent, putting the public and police in danger.  They violently attack anyone who disagrees with them and if that means attacking the police if they get in the way then they’re fair game to these violent fascists.

Off-message articles don’t last long on the BBC News website so here it is for prosperity:

More than 40 people have been arrested during two political demonstrations in Manchester city centre.

At least 2,000 people attended the protests, by the English Defence League (EDL) and members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) on Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses said “ugly scenes” broke out between rival protestors and police.

Forty-eight people have been arrested, four among them were held on suspicion of affray. Most of the other arrests were for public order offences.

‘Nasty’ atmosphere

Other people were detained on suspicion of racially-aggravated offences or over possession of weapons or drugs.

Police and protesters in Manchester

A senior police officer said the day had “proved a challenge” for the force

Protesters were herded towards railways stations by police officers as the protests came to an end. Many of them were moved away from the city centre on buses.

One man suffered a head injury during the protests, but did not need hospital treatment, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

About 700 members from the EDL and 1,400 members from UAF were separated by a line of riot police, dogs and mounted police in Piccadilly Gardens.

Mat Trewern, from BBC Radio Manchester, said the atmosphere had turned “quite nasty” as the day progressed.

He said: “There had been some ugly scenes as protesters clashed with police, but it has started to calm down and the crowds are dispersing.

“At one point, earlier on, when it became extremely tense, members of the UAF tried to break the police line between the two groups, which in turn angered the EDL members.

Protesters in Manchester

More than 2,000 protesters were thought to have been in the city centre

“Trouble had started when 100 members of the EDL arrived at Piccadilly Gardens and they were immediately met with shouts of ‘racists’ and ‘off our streets’ by members of the UAF, who had already congregated at Piccadilly.”

He said the number of protesters from the UAF outnumbered those from the EDL by about two to one.

“The disruption in the city centre has been on a large scale, shoppers and businesses have been affected by the protests.”

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said the presence of so many protesters in the city had “proved a challenge” but that life in the city had gone on as normal.

He said the police reaction had been necessary in order to tackle “the few hell-bent on violent confrontation” and described some of those arrested as “agitators and trouble-makers”.

‘Violent confrontation’

He said: “I would like to thank all those people who came to Manchester today and protested peacefully for their patience and understanding.

“I’d also like to commend the vast majority for demonstrating in a peaceful manner.

Police and protesters in Manchester

Most of the arrests were for public order offences

“However, the history of protest has been marred, by those who came intent on violent confrontation.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed a man, believed to be heading to the protest, had earlier been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of distributing racially aggravated material.

Muslim leaders had renewed appeals for people to avoid the demonstrations.

Nanu Miah, a community leader from Oldham, said before the protests in Manchester: “We are not encouraging people to go, we don’t know who EDL is and what could happen.”

An EDL event in Birmingham in September led to counter-demonstrations and bricks being hurled at riot police. Up to 90 people were arrested.

Must be a slow news week

I thought the media silly season was over now the British government are off their 3 month holidays but apparently not.  Either that or my wheelie bin story is more interesting than I thought.

On Tuesday a BBC reporter turned up at my house unannounced wanting to talk to me about the wheelie bins.  He left a card so I called him back and he came round and interviewed me about it yesterday lunchtime.  At lunchtime today I got a call from the Shropshire Star asking some questions about it and for a copy of the fine I sent to the council back in June.  Now I’ve just had the guy from the BBC on the phone again saying the Press Association wants to talk to me and can he pass my phone number on?


I’m on the BBC News website!

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BBC invite BNP to appear on Question Time

The BBC have invited the BNP to appear on the panel of Question Time for the first time.

The decision is the right one, no matter how awful the BNP are.  They have two MEPs and several councillors, to deny them a platform does nothing to reduce their support – in fact, it increases their support because it’s human nature to support the underdog.

A spokesman for the BBC said “The BBC is obliged to treat all registered political parties operating within the law with due impartiality.  Our audiences and the electorate will make up their own minds about different policies offered by elected politicians”.  Damn right and the best way to ensure the electorate doesn’t vote BNP is to allow them to see the BNP in action.  Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.

Liebour are flapping though because they have a rule that prevents Liebour Party members from sharing a platform with the BNP.  Anything that gets Liebour MPs off the telly is to be encouraged, even if it means seeing Nick Griffin’s fat, sweaty face on Question Time.

The best quote on this has got to come from John Mann, the Liebour chairman of the all-party anti-Semitism group who said:

This is how Hitler came to power

Now, I wasn’t around in the 30’s and I only received a state education but I’m pretty sure Hitler didn’t appear on Question Time and that any TV coverage he may have had from the BBC wouldn’t have helped his election campaign.  What actually allowed Hitler to come to power was the German government’s refusal to do what the German electorate wanted and Hitler’s promise to deal with immigration, unemployment, hyperinflation and to make Germany a world power again.  Hmm, now that sounds familiar.

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Should the BBC licence fee apply to TV on-demand?

The Broadcasting Act definesTelevision Broadcasting Service as:

(5)In this Part “television broadcasting service” means (subject to subsection (6)) a service consisting in the broadcasting of television programmes for general reception in, or in any area in, the United Kingdom, including a domestic satellite service (as defined by section 43(1)).

The BBC says that the Licence fee is payable if you install equipment in your home for the purpose of, or with the intention of, viewing a Television Broadcasting Service.

Therefore, surely, viewing programmes through BBC iPlayer ITV Player, 4 On Demand, Sky Player or any other peer-to-peer method of watching television programmes is exempt from the licence fee?  Downloading parts of a TV programme from numerous sources isn’t receiving a broadcast and uploading those parts through said peer-to-peer systems is not broadcasting.

So if you only watch TV through an on-demand service you shouldn’t have to pay a licence fee.  Or am I missing something?

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Fund the BBC via council tax

The Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, has suggested that the BBC licence fee might one day be lumped in with general taxation such as the council tax or via a levy on electricity bills because more people are avoiding paying it by watching TV online.

The Daily Mail says that this would cause concerns that the BBC’s independence might be compromised if it was to be funded through general taxation.  I think that on the planet on which the Daily Mail is based, the BBC isn’t really an extension of the British government’s propaganda machine, full of left wing extremists.

The BBC licence fee might not be called a tax but that’s effectively what it is.  If you want to watch a TV you have to pay the licence fee, in much the same way that if you want to drive a car you have to pay the road fund licence (aka car tax).  They might not be called taxes but that’s what they are.  Would being funded out of general taxation make the BBC any more or less “independent” than the BBC licence tax?

I actually quite like the idea of funding the BBC through council tax, assuming the council tax was changed into a local income tax based on ability to pay rather than the estimated average value of the houses on your street in the 90’s.  It means the Scots and Welsh can pay for their Welsh and Gaelic channels themselves instead of the English having to foot the bill.  The BBC Asian Network can be funded through some targeted taxation in areas that have large Asian populations.  BBC Alba costs the taxpayer £14m a year – £10m from the Scottish government (subsidised by the English taxpayer) and 4m from BBC Scotland (funded mostly by the English taxpayer) – but only 1% of Scots speak Gaelic and only about 250,000 of the 60m people that live in the UK watch the channel.

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Tell the BBC what you think of Sandwell Council banning St George

The West Midlands edition of the Politics Show is covering Sandwell Council’s banning of their annual St Georges Day Parade.

Stone Cross St George Association, which runs the event, would like people to write in with their comments.  The programme starts at 12:30 today.

I’ve just sent the following:

Why isn’t Sandwell Council banning all other cultural events? Surely events like Holocaust Memorial Day and Eid encourage “tribalism” and there’s certainly evidence that many muslim communities all over the country have been infiltrated by extremists. If this was an event for any group of people other than the English the council would never have considered banning the event and if they had people would be taking to the streets demanding they resign. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander – Sandwell councillors should be ashamed of themselves for allowing British nationalists to spoil celebrations of England’s patron saint.

You can send your own comments here.

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