Radio 2 this morning. Matthew Bannister cues up his sub-Littlejohn call to housebound Little Englanders everywhere to reach for the phone and bark away about something. I paraphrase, but it went along these lines: "NHS workers are more likely than people in the private sector to ring in sick. Is that because people who work in the public sector are lazier?"
Ken Bruce, almost embarrassedly, popped his balloon with: "Or it could be those sick people they work with."
Yes, it could be that, couldn't it? (It could also be the ridiculously long hours and understaffing, but let's for a moment stick with the apparently inconceivable idea that if you come into contact with people who have contagious illnesses, then you may become ill).
No-one seems to have contemplated this simple idea. Or have they? Surely it's not difficult to understand. It's not as if NHS workers are being compared to private healthcare workers, is it? No, it's not. But, despite the simplicity of the argument against, you can expect reams of drivel to be poured out in the public-sector-hating press over the next day or so, about 'lazy' public sector workers (probably with 'gold-plated' pensions for a bonus rant).
You expect it from the likes of the Mail - in fact, here it is, look! - but the BBC? It strikes me that if you want to know where to find lazy taxpayer-funded workers, you might do well to start in a BBC newsroom.
Obviously, anyone seeking to get revenge on British Jews for the actions of the Israeli government is a complete idiot, and anyone committing such a hate crime should be punished to the full extent of the law. But as we saw from the Glen Jenvey saga, perhaps such incidents are not as widespread as it's often claimed.
In 2007-08, police recorded 4,823 racially or religiously motivated crimes in which somebody was injured, 4,320 crimes without injury, and 26,495 cases of of [sic] harassment.
There were also 4,005 cases of criminal damage related to hate crimes.
The typical hate offender is a young white male (most homophobic offenders are aged 16-20, and most race hate offenders under 30).
The nice thing about not having an irrational hatred of the BBC is that you're allowed to praise it when it's good and slag it off when it's bad. Jennie has done sterling work delving into the rather unpleasant world of 'Slink', a Beeb-managed website which, while ostensibly claiming to offer advice and information for teenagers, actually says some pretty pathetic things.
Now as any journo knows, those people writing in with the serious problems may well have been made up. But the advice should be genuine, in case readers have genuine issues and are looking for answers. If this is just shallow entertainment, then fine, but what are our tax pounds doing funding a site that takes the piss out of kids' problems?
Look Auntie, perhaps you could take some good advice from people who don't hate you. This site's shit; do something about it. Your enemies - and yes, the Mail will get hold of this story and rip you to shit about it - won't be so forgiving.
Oh dear. The BBC has had to say sorry for a story that linked the BBC's own charity event, Children in Need, with radical terrorists. I wonder if it's apologised to itself as well as the man they implicated in it all?
Of course this isn't just about the BBC: still available on the web are articles describing the unfounded allegations, from such formerly reputable news sources as the Telegraph, through the journalistic technique I like to call 'ctrl+C and ctrl+V'.
...sums up for me the BBC's pathetic stance towards the angry types who will always, constantly, unwaveringly accuse it of left-wing bias even if it painted itself blue, broadcast David Cameron's face on a 24-hour loop and changed its name to the British Conservative Party Broadcasting We Love Tories Corporation.
Sunny over at Liberal Conspiracy voices a concern that those of the left have had for a while - that the Beeb is abandoning true journalistic principles in order to placate its more strident and vocal critics, often people who hold the corporation and everything it stands for in contempt in the first place. The Beeb's stridently snotty director-general and sometime Jerusalem visitor Mark Thompson, a man who has evidently mistaken strength for stubbornness, says it's all about balance and 'impartiality'. But is he right? Let's assume for a moment the Beeb did screen the appeal - would the roars of disapproval from the usual suspects really have been intolerably bad? Would impartiality really have been compromised? Not for a minute.
There's still time to put that appeal up, you know.
...the uproar if the director-general of the BBC visited Palestine for secret talks on the corporation's coverage?
Well then imagine the lack of uproar when he went to Israel instead.
I imagine that was showing due impartiality. The not going to Palestine bit or talking to Palestinians. You know, that bit. That was where he was at his most impartial. I mean, it's such a long way away from Israel, so why bother?
Thank goodness he's here today to tell us all, like the patronising overpaid cunt he is, about things that 'could be interpreted as taking a political stance'! Thank goodness he has never done any such thing. Phew!
All of a sudden, I have quite a lot of empathy with those on the right who begrudge paying their licence fees. Can I grumble about mine, but for entirely different reasons?
Mark Thompson, editor-in-chief of BBC News, has written a pathetic self-justificatory piece on the BBC's editors' blog. He repeats his argument that one of the criteria for rejecting the appeal was a concern that the aid would not be efficiently delivered. Now, I ask you: what the fuck does an overpaid BBC editor know about the delivery of aid? What do they know that 13 humanitarian organisations don't? He also repeats his claim that it would be 'contentious' to highlight the humanitarian situation there, because there is an ongoing debate about who bears responsibility. But that is nonsense. There is no contention about whether there is a humanitarian crisis: the only sense in which broadcasting such an appeal would be 'contentious' is that it would potentially offend the hardcore supporters of Israel.
And maybe it would, but maybe some people should be offended every now and then if it's worth doing so to bring attention to what is a genuine humanitarian crisis.
Details of the appeal over at Liberal Conspiracy.
News of the liquid bomb plot paralysed global air travel, prompting authorities to implement stringent security measures at airports around the world.
News of the alleged liquid bomb plot paralysed global air travel in August 2006, prompting authorities to implement stringent security measures at airports around the world.
I'm almost entirely sure it was nothing to do with me. But at least it's a step in the right direction from the corporation that brought you AIRLINE TERROR PLOT while the trial was ongoing - but the jury wasn't as convinced as the subeditors. Today's Indy, of course, carries on with the same assumption:
labelling Rashid Rauf PLANE PLOT BRITON.
What's the evidence he was involved in a 'plane plot'? I'm not saying he wasn't, I'm just wondering why, if it was so compelling that newspapers and other media have decided he did it, why he was never charged, tried or convicted. Do the media say that about other people never charged, tried or convicted of anything, even if they are dead and libel laws cease to worry them? I don't think they do.