Saturday, July 28, 2007

While the BBC is lavishing attention on Gordy's Toady and his Baptism of Fire- ooh look, adventure, colour, that dashing jawline- JK Rowling's profile on Wikipedia had a rapid update, I notice:

"According to The Guardian, Rowling is a close friend of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, with whom she collaborated on a book of children's stories to aid the charity One Parent Families."

Don't know if the update was simply that of altering Brown's title, or if the whole entry was added after Gordon's ascension. Either way, someone cares about Gordie's image (not least the Guardian, source of one of those articles blatantly appealing to sexist stereotyping, "Gordon's Women")

Frankly I have to say I'm sick of all the Gordon-boosting I notice on the BBC and elsewhere. Gordon does not head a new government, is not an unknown quantity or in any way exciting, and does not represent a new direction for Britain. He has been merely the heir to the media coronation and spin which Blair inaugurated.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's a wrap.

Mark Steyn does his final analysis of the Black trial. Hugh Hewitt, something of a legal ace, pays him a great compliment:

"If any of the struggling papers had a clue, they'd break the bank and sign Steyn to as near-an-exclusive as they could manage, and then turn him free to write at length about anything going on anywhere in the world, but nudging him towards complicated courtroom dramas"

Warning: the Steyn summary is looong. But good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The case of the shaken BiasedBBC...

Basically, let me just say, ... I don't understand!!

For those who know nothing about this, I'll just link to Biased BBC and a post where the matter was addressed by Andrew, the leading advocate of comment moderation.

It does however seem sad to me that those concerned about BBC bias cannot work together. The imposition of moderation has had all sorts of curious side-effects, such as the emergence of sites like this, and this . There was this, but it seems to have gone.

I've always had a very merry view to comments- the more the merrier. Of course I don't like people being rude, spouting ignorant rubbish and whatnot, but in my view that's just as (or more) likely to come from some passing BBC staffer as from some anti-Beeb fanatic- to whom I would probably just say, "keep it real, bro", or something like that :-). I could wish that anti-Beeb types like myself didn't feel the need to be vociferous. A more serious point might be that in the end comment threads that are endless are accessible only to the monomaniacal commenter, and there are thankfully not too many of those. Slashing and burning has some virtue, in that the wood emerges from the trees. In the right spirit, people should accept that their comments (and mine!) are not "precious" and unexpendable, but temporary and for a purpose. Carefully thought out comments should never be a victim and where they are I personally would be aggrieved as well. The reason I allowed the comments here on this blog to stay absent when they disappeared as a byproduct of upgrading the blog was simply because they weren't attracting many comments, and it was getting boring looking at 0.

As for the idea of being landed in court over something someone says about the BBC in unmoderated commenting- can anyone be rude enough to make their case indefensible in front of reasonable judges or a jury? It doesn't seem likely, when as John Trenchard points out, TV licensing employs "around 1,700 staff in five offices" just to enable the coercion of TV owners into funding the BBC. Truly an obscenity.

It's not only rudeness though, there're also libel and slander. Well, in those cases what I would say is that as long as it's an allegation of BBC bias, rather than some criminal accusation, everything should be ok. If you say John Simpson is a murderer, then I'll back away from you as fast as from any rabid dog; if you say his bias has potentially dangerous consequences, I have no problem with that. Sometimes the latter can sound like the former, if you're clever in the way you put it ;-).

Well, since the BBC's rottweiler, JR, described me as engaging in casuistry recently, I trust you'll take the above statement of ambiguity in accusing BBC journalists with a pinch of salt.

Summary: I suspect those in opposition to the BBC are closer to each other than we imagine. Misunderstandings are very easy on the web. Understanding differences would also be useful, where they exist. Flexibility is a virtue. Apologies and common resolve are admirable.

BTW- I think I will put comments back from here on. Not that I expect many, or any necessarily, but why not? As a gesture.

Monday, July 23, 2007

At his visionary best, Wretchard of the Belmont Clubturns attention eastwards, to where China is starting to feel the heat of an Islamic reaction to its ruthless ways. When at his best, like this, he raises some of the biggest questions out there.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Why are the global warmers so zealous? After a year of arguing with people about this, I am convinced that it's because global warming is first and foremost a political theory. It is an expression of a whole middle-class political world view. This view is summed up in the oft-repeated phrase "we consume too much". I have also come to the conclusion that this is code for "they consume too much". People who believe it tend also to think that exotic foreign places are being ruined because vulgar oiks can afford to go there in significant numbers, they hate plastic toys from factories and prefer wooden ones from craftsmen, and so on."
- Martin Durkin on the response to The Great Global Warming Swindle in Australia recently. Read the whole thing for a characteristically devastating summary against the dominant meme of our era. Via Greenie Watch.

Personally, I am not so sure that the term "Middle Class" has any validity any longer. The time is long past, it seems to me, for a more complex model. Still, Durkin is spot on in many respects- and in the central one where he identifies the armada of common causes which has assembled together to create an invasive ideology.

(btw. Sorry for the gap in posting. A variety of factors may be to blame, not least that nothing actually struck me that I felt the need to say. It is not likely to be a persistent condition.)

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