Journalism 101


One of the very best things about the New Musical Express in the Seventies was Charles Shaar Murray’s writing, about anything.

This is him today on Journalism 101:

If someone says it’s raining and another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out the fucking window and find out which is true.

Man is still right.

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That Coyote Moment


Well, we’ve done it now.

We are Wile E. Coyote at that precise moment he realises he has run off the cliff and is standing in mid-air. Nothing left but the fall.

Some of us are nearer the bottom of the mountain already.

Crap Journalism: Lies, political bias, slanting and Lies


I used to read the Guardian for years as the paper closest to my wet small-l liberal instincts. Now, I don’t trust it at all. Here’s one reason why:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/03/labour-mp-faces-deselection-threat-over-chris-williamson-criticism-ellie-reeves

Read the article. It explains that a pregnant Labur MP signed a letter issued by the Labour Party’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson (not, of itself, an impeachable offence but borderline crazy) about the current Chris Williamson crisis. This cause one semi-literate member of her local party to request a motion of No Confidence in her.

I’ll repeat that: one person.

Ms Reeves is 22 weeks pregnant. The Party has said that a) one request for a No Confidence motion means nothing, procedurally or constitutionally and b) as she’s pregnant, she wouldn’t face a re-election challenge anyway.

Yet the story is headlined that Ms Reeves faces ‘Deselection threat’ and contains  outraged quotes over the idea that a pregnant MP could ever be disturbed. In short, it’s a deliberate inflation of one powerless person’s opinion, a distortion, a misrepresentation, a LIE intended to blacken the Labour Party, with no more foundation that a headlined story that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer faces criticism for considering a selection issue between Marcus Rashford and me, after my mate wrote in to suggest he game me a trial.

In even shorter short, it’s bullshit. And there is no bias in English journalism, is there?

A man and his shopping bags


It’s been a week for anniversaries this week, though yesterday’s (26 years since Shane Warne delivered that ball to Mike Gatting)and tomorrow’s (Lara’s 501) are sporting anniversaries and, as such, are matters of great entertainment but of significance limited only to the sport.

Today’s is a different matter. I don’t mean the D-Day Landings in 1944, but another, more recent and equally resonant moment, thirty years ago today. A man whose name we never knew nor likely will ever know, carrying a laden shopping bag in each hand, stood in front of a line of tanks seeking to gain access to Tiananman Square, Peking (as we still called it then).

It is an image of extraordinary power that even today, thirty years after its failure to make any difference whatsoever, is still a reminder that force has to be opposed. That we have to stand in the face of what is wrong. Whoever he was, and whether he is still alive or was even allowed to live much longer that year, is, barring a reversal of stupendous proportions, a mystery that will never be answered.

But here was a man doing something a man could do and, in the process, becoming a pure symbol, someone we cannot and must not forget. A short man in stature, but one of the largest whoever lived in the shadow that he cast, unhesitatingly.

And a reminder of that unbelievable year, 1989, of Tiamanmen to Timsioara, that only those of us who lived through it can do more than just imagine it once happened.

228


According to a tweet yesteday by Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of the S*n, research by BBCPolitics is saying that the Prime Madwoman will lose next week’s ‘meaningful’ vote by a margin of 228 votes. Though the figures he then goes on to quote actually add up to a 227 difference (I nicked this story from our former bros at FTN, hi homeys!)

It’s interesting that Dunn quotes this story without challenge or snark, making it look as if he accepts the outcome, and indeed agrees with it which, as Political Editor of one of the most virulent B****t papers, not to mention a vile and repulsive cesspit of liars, he most certainly doesn’t. We  have to ask ourselves, is a most crushing repudiation of Theresa May coming?

Logically, such a defeat ought to spawn resignation and a General Election on its own. At the worst, it should spawn defeat on a No Confidence vote. It would after all be most perverse to crush so fundamental a Government motion then turn around and say that you think it’s doing a good job. But this is 2019 and we are well and truly down Alice’s rabbit hole.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, it would be so nice if Parliament gave Mrs May such a black eye just for the hell of it. Her monomaniacal act these past couple of years not only deseres it, it demands it.

(This was originally composed for today’s thread on a private Political/Social Forum of which I am a joint Administrator, only another post went up whilst I was writing it. Hence publishing it here. FTN, or FlyTheNest, is a public Political/Social forum you can all visit.)

Uncomfortable Bedfellows


For many years, my growing discomfort with the Guardian has been down to the increasing number of right-wing commentators it has given a home to.

One of these has been Matthew d’Ancona, a former speechwriter for David Cameron. What place does someone like him have in a supposedly left-of-centre liberal newspaper? The likes of him play a part in my decision, some months ago, to stop buying a newspaper I had been taking every day for thirty-seven years.

So I hate having to agree with d’Ancona, whose column for this Monday coming is now available on-line.

But I do have to quote this paragraph, with 100% agreement:

‘So often one hears that the British people “were not consulted” about immigration levels. To which the answer is: oh yes you damn well were. Every time you insisted on a properly staffed NHS, on social care that was halfway decent, on a service economy that worked, on affordable decorators, on your Tesco and Amazon deliveries arriving on time. Each time you took that landscape for granted, you were complicit in the immigration policy that preceded the Brexit vote.’

Frankly, that is nail-on-head time. I wish someone on the left could have said that so clearly.