The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'media' Category

08 April
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Why Is The Telegraph Deliberately Insulting A Large Tranche Of Its Readers By Sneering At UKIP?

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What is it with the Telegraph and UKIP? You would think that an anti EU, small government, low tax party standing firmly for stricter immigration controls yet free of the racist, corporate state baggage of the BNP would merit a certain degree of sympathy from a broadsheet that has always been the standard bearer of middle class conservative values. Yet over the last few months the resident political “pundits” have unleashed a constant stream of bile directed at the party in general and its leader, Nigel Farage, in particular.

Is it possible that there is a daily conference with Messrs Brogan, Wigmore, Kirkup, Hodges, Martin and Young in which they giggle like crazy as they encourage each other to deliver as much vitriol, innuendo and half truths about UKIP & Farage as possible? Surely that thought is just a flight of fancy…..surely….

Yesterday Iain Martin posted a piece on the storm battering David Cameron and Maria Miller, his Minister of Culture, over her expenses claims. A scandal the Tories need like a hole in the head, he claimed – and then proceeded to use it as a hook for an attack on UKIP.

After months of the DT over egging sundry UKIP “scandals” Martin feared that Farage might seek to capitalise on the Miller/Cameron affair. This is so unfair, said he, because UKIP scandals are ignored….UKIP is Teflon. Martin conveniently “forgets” that the so called UKIP “scandals” have been bigged up, in fact,  by the DT (via CCHQ?) in the face of UKIP’s post Eastleigh (and sustained) polling performance.

I wonder why?

Then James Kirkup (fresh from “proving” that Clegg actually “won” the EU debate with Farage) needing to fill up a column with a few hundred words but clearly suffering from Writer’s Block, decides he might as well follow the DT editorial line and sneer at Farage through the prism of “Game of Thrones”

So, just when you think the DT “pundits” cannot sink any lower in their systematic attempts to undermine UKIP – and those who either support him or, at the least, feel he has something significant to say – the bar is pushed further down and more drivel is spread around.

Memo to the DT pundits. UKIP is not just Nigel Farage….it has 34,000 members, of whom 20,000 have joined within the last two years or so. Astonishingly most Ukippers don’t slavishly agree with Farage over everything he does or says….we tend to be ornery souls with a fairly cynical view of human nature. But, as with Mrs Thatcher, we are more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is going in the same direction as us

Would it be too much to ask of the DT pundits that we would appreciate a modicum of balance and some evidence that they have used some shoe leather and left Westminster/Notting Hill/Islington to actually talk with a range of UKIP members?

Once upon a time that would have been called “journalism”…..

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03 March
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New Motto Of The Daily Telegraph – “Keep It In The Family”

With the sacking last month of editor Tony Gallagher the transformation of the once staid Daily Telegraph is now complete. Almost all the experienced (and expensive) hacks have gone, most of the “reporting” is being done by inexpensive and inexperienced novices, there is a lot of filler masquerading as  “comment” by a mixture of spotty youths and weird eccentrics and, of course, plenty of “lifestyle”

Which brings me to Jenna Zoe.

Earlier this year the DT began pushing this

Light Bites & Tasty Treats

Don’t miss 30 natural recipes from Jenna Zoe, including nutritious breakfasts, delicious party snacks, cookies and bakes. Free inside The Telegraph Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, January 

A few days before we had been told that Jenna Zoe was “The Complete Woman” in one of those vomit inducing puff pieces the broadsheets love so well. The idea is to give we ordinary folk a voyeuristic glimpse into the life of the beautiful people who are the movers and shakers of style.

- What you put on your body is important, so I pick organic products. I go to Content Beauty & Wellbeing in Marylebone, London, where the owner, Imelda Burke, is like an encyclopedia on the topic.

- I use Live Native skin products, which are raw and vegan. I love Oskia day moisturiser, and use coconut oil as a body cream and make-up remover. For nails,Zoya is great.

The reality is that it’s an advertising vehicle pretending to be an interview. Presumably it is hoped that we shall all be so entranced by Jenna that we will rush out and buy the stuff that makes her life so glamorous.

Normally I ignore such unsubtle garbage  – but I my curiosity was aroused by this pimping of someone who was obviously hip and cool but totally obscure…..was she a culinary Susan Boyle suddenly exploding from  nowhere by virtue of her own talent?

Alas, the truth is more mundane. Her real name, according to Lord Gnome, is Jenna Zoe Barclay and she is the daughter of DT supremo Aidan Barclay.

As they might say at Tesco “every little helps”……

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20 February
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The Big Cheeses At The Telegraph Seem To Be Whistling In The Dark About UKIP – So Why Won’t They Read Their Own Paper?

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I must admit that when I heard that the Daily Telegraph was going to post a regular blog called UkipWatch by two political scientists, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin, my heart did sink. Academics are often characterised (not always unfairly) as left wing and the Telegraph has a history of being sniffy about UKIP.

I have been pleasantly surprised. Every piece so far published has been exceptionally fair. Ford and Goodman don’t do a whitewash but they have treated the party and its members and supporters with respect and not as a fringe group of nutcases and loons.

If only more of their DT colleagues were as fair-minded. Two, Tim Stanley and Damian Thompson, never reluctant to throw cutting barbs at their selected targets, have both scribbled quite heavily laboured so-called “jokes” about UKIP and appeared very indignant and hurt when people responded in kind – proving, I suppose, that they can dish it out but can’t take it hurled back at them.

A callow youth called Will Heaven (look at his picture) claimed that UKIP was imploding, a theme picked up by Benedict Brogan who, with several others, saw the Wythenshawe by election result (“UKIP fails to beat Labour”)as a justification for Will Heaven’s view that Cameron’s masterly handling of the floods had gone down well with the public and undermined Nigel Farage – unfortunately polling appears to indicate that the Cameron Flood Mastery image remains just that, an insubstantial image only in the eyes of Westminster’s political hacks desperate for 900 words to fill a column.

Ford and Goodman also shot the Heaven/Brogan Wythenshawe fox with some actual facts (as distinct from wishful thinking)

If anything, what is striking about the result is that Ukip saw a five-fold increase in their level of support despite these harsher local conditions. Think about it for a second. Despite a three week campaign. Despite a well-oiled and ruthlessly efficient Labour machine. Despite Farage’s allegations of local intimidation and “nasty tactics” by Labour and the BNP. Despite never having had any local active presence in the seat. Despite a striking turnout figure of 28%, reflecting by-election apathy and the storms, which may well have further suppressed the Ukip vote further. Despite all of this, Ukip still rocked in to this Labour area, took almost 18 per cent of the vote, moved from fifth to second place and added more than 14 points to their share of the vote in 2010. It is not a spectacular success in the same tradition of other campaigns that we have witnessed over the past two years, but make no mistake – this is still a solid advance. In fact, this was Ukip’s fourth best by-election result in their entire history.

But never fear. Another Telegraph big cheese, Iain Martin (“one of Britain’s wisest and most learned political commentators”) backs the Will Heaven line

Ukip looks as though it has hit a ceiling in terms of attracting support. Its attempts to eat into the Labour vote are, so far, misfiring. The party was also running third in a recent poll on the Euro elections, and the Tory claim that a vote for Farage is a vote for Miliband and a Europhile Labour government looks increasingly potent.

Indeed the biggest of all the Telegraph cheeses, Peter Oborne, sees this as all part of a Tory Cunning Plan

playing an expert game of expectations management, playing down its own chances and setting unfeasible targets for Ukip. This clever wheeze worked well at Wythenshawe, meaning that Ukip’s strong showing looked like a minor disaster for Farage, while everybody overlooked the dreadful Tory performance. They are now trying to repeat this in the forthcoming European elections. With their political strategists at last firing on all cylinders, the signs are that the Tories might even get away with it.

Losing votes and coming third is a strategy?

Ford and Goodman, however, dashed a bucketful of cold water over the frenzied musings of Martin and Oborne

But then things are never quite as simple as they often appear in Westminster.

It may well be true that Farage and Co could improve their expectation management, as George Eaton has argued. The easy thing would have been to avoid making any prediction about the European elections and then look surprised at a first place finish, but Farage never follows the easy path. Yet there are good reasons why we should not read into current polls or the result of one by-election where – to be frank – Ukip did well to poll over 17 per cent and push the Conservatives into third.

 

They make several key points.

 

  • In the 2004 & 2009 Euro elections UKIP benefited from late surges in the polls.

 

  • Today UKIP is starting from a higher polling base than before – over several months a steady 12%

 

  • The party now has stronger local roots – hundreds of elected councillors and a flourishing branch level membership

 

  • UKIP now has a regular and substantial presence in the news cycle

 

What’s the Telegraph up to? Is it acting as a conduit for Tory HQ? Who knows? But it’s beginning to strike me that the paper and its mates at Central Office are whistling in the dark in the face of UKIP’s growth.

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19 December
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Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

I watched the BBC’s take on the “Great Train Robbers” last night. The Telegraph dubbed it polished which it certainly was. But I can’t help agreeing with one of the comments.

For my money this show was more style than substance. Yes the filming, sets and score were immaculate but where was the script and believability? It sounded more like a 50′s Pinewood studio crime caper. The dialogue between the crooks was dire as if any of them ever spoke to each other in comic voice bubble language. As a consequence I found it very difficult to believe in them and it failed to add any depth to the plot and characters.

It was an excellent example of the geezer caper genre, but more “Italian Job” than “Get Carter” with the snappy one liners and lack of  atmospheric menace – and the production values were not always 100%….snow and leafless trees in August?

Presenting Bruce Reynolds as framing the blag as a symbolic strike against “The Establishment” was a laughable attempt to over egg the whole affair with retro sixties mythology. They were South London thieves, greedy, violent and preferring others to work hard so that they could then rob them of the fruits of their labour.

Robin Hoods they were not.

But then the romantic affair between media luvvies and violent criminals dates back to that very era of the sixties when the colour supplements began to glamourise the Krays.

Dan Hodges, I think, hit the nail on the head. During the “caper” the train driver, Jack Mills, and some of the postal staff were savagely beaten. Others were terrorised into compliance. But, of course, they weren’t chirpy geezers who were dreaming of opening a club or buying a villa in Spain. They were just ordinary anonymous faces who did the boring jobs that keep our society ticking over.

Tonight, the BBC will present the first of a two-part docudrama on the robbery. One, called the “Copper’s Tale”, focuses on the efforts of the police to catch the perpetrators of the crime. The second, “The Robber’s Tale”, shows things from the perspective of Biggs and his colleagues. I presume it was done that way in the interests of balance. I also suspect there will not be a third episode “The Railway Worker’s Tale”.

Amen to that, say I….

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16 October
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Hey BBC….I’m Pitching You My New Panel Show “Mock the Left”….When Can It Start?

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Seeing the significantly unamusing Marl Steel introduced on last week’s HIGNFY as a “left wing comedian” was the last straw. OK so Hislop suddenly came on fire re Leveson/Press Control and there was a joke about Mehdi Hasan – but notice Steel and Merton didn’t join in.

As Will Self has said the prospect of Merton and Hislop sounding off against bankers and assorted “fatcats”  is a bit rich when you consider they get paid several thousands of taxpayers money per programme and both must be raking in very generous six figure incomes (and using perfectly “legal” tax avoiding strategies).

Add  the regiment of left wing “comedians” who pop up on HIGNFY and scores of other panel shows and you have an overwhelming barrage of left groupthink moulded along Guardian/BBC lines bombarding us practically every evening.

So, time to pitch a new “concept” panel show to BBC/ITV/Ch4. Usual studio set up, long bench, MC in the middle, arselicking fawning audience laughing at every remark as if THEY ARE, LIKE, JUST THE FUNNIEST EVAH….

But, with a different panel..

MELANIE PHILLIPS

DOUGLAS MURRAY

DAVID STARKEY

DANIEL HANNAN

All chaired by NIGEL FARAGE…

It would be called MTL….Mock The Left…because the constant target would be the beloved icons of the left…Atheists, the EU, the UN, Barack Obama, Greenpeace, Hamas, Hollywood. Kirsty Wark etc. Points would be given for biggest Lie, the worst example of Hypocrisy and the most barefaced manifestation of Outrageous Outrage emanating from the North London chattering classes. A permanent feature of each show would be three balloons bearing the faces of Polly Toynbee, John Prescott and George Monbiot. Every week each balloon would be pricked to great cheers from the audience after a particularly pompous and self opinionated quote from the appropriate individual.

The show would end with a classic pseuds corner extract from the arts pages of The Guardian and the paper would then be burned and stuffed down a toilet to great cheers from the audience…

OK BBC/ITV/Ch4……I’m waiting for your call…..

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04 October
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What The Anti Daily Mail Faux Outrage Over Miliband Is Really All About

 

 

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Believe me, this is why the BBC, the Guardian and the legions of the liberal left are fanning the flames of faux outrage over the Daily Mail. They want all the press to reflect only the “approved” world view of the taxpayer funded BBC.

God help us if that comes to pass….

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23 September
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Sorry, You Media Hacks, The Kebabbing Of Godfrey Bloom Won’t Stop The Rise Of Ukip

Iain Martin applauded Nigel Farage’s response to Bloomgate

it was refreshing to hear a political leader not resort, in a tight spot, to the standard political phrases used by other leaders when something has gone badly wrong. The script usually runs: “I am getting on with the job… we are focussed on doing the right thing… I won’t be distracted by media tittle-tattle…”

But both Iain and Nigel are wrong when they said the “row” was a disaster. The Ukip conference was not a disaster. The Bloom incident was an unwelcome distraction but I doubt if it will have much lasting impact on the public outside the bubble of the political class and their hangers on in the media.

I am a Ukip newbie – I only joined a few months ago so the conference was my first opportunity to meet up with fellow ukippers on a large scale. The Great Hall of Central Hal, Westminster (which can hold 2000 people)  was packed.  There were no corporate  lobbyists, no consultants – just ordinary party members, quite a wide range of people, giving the lie to the stereotype peddled by a media generally hostile or demeaning. Chatting to other attendees at conference I discovered that many of them had memberships going back no further than 2012….this was their first conference and the opportunity to find out they were part of a growing political phenomenon. They, like me, listened to the presentation, put faces to names that previously were only seen on party handouts, chatted easily and eagerly between themselves – and left conference determined to work their socks off for the party

It was only at the end that we learned of the “incident” and it was patently obvious that Bloom was kebabbed. Crick and co. were on his tail like terriers on a ratting expedition because they knew Godfrey has a shortt fuse – and Crick’s weaselly face and sneering voice is perfectly programmed to rile any target. This is why he is such a brilliant investigative reporter. Some reporters disarm their subject with charm in order to reveal the inner man or woman. Crick makes you lose your temper and then it all comes out. He has you on tape and, with some clever cutting and editing the whole event is choreographed to over emphasise the subjects loss of control, red face and angry outburst and to highlight Crick’s feigned innocence and “I only asked” sensitivity.

Bloom is in actual fact  intelligent and well informed and he  has a good track record on issues like pensions and military procurement and is not afraid to think outside the box. Unfortunately there has also been a constant trail of foolish and unsettling incidents of public behaviour that have gradually convinced a substantial number of people inside Ukip that he has become something of a PR liability.

He is clearly a well liked figure in the party but Farage’s angry denunciation of his conduct and decision to suspend the whip was greeted with strong support at conference. As he and other Ukip veterans had pointed out earlier the political class has been thrown into confusion by the rise of Ukip and its continued presence in the polls as a credible fourth (or even third) party – and they want to lash out.

The fact is the political/cultural media just do not know how to deal with a movement made up of political outsiders and whose leaders are not part of the North London dinner party circuit. The “Conservative” media in particular at the Telegraph, Mail and Spectator are highly confused. To them politics is about lobby tittle tattle and gossip in the up market enclaves of Notting Hill, spaces currently uninhabited by Ukip so  they are left with spreading lies and half truths fed to them by the posh, nice but dim student interns from Tory HQ.

Yes  there will be more kebabbing – so our response needs to be honest but also thoughtful, measured and….civilised  Above all remember, when they start trying to kebab you it means they are frightened of you.

It’s really a badge of honour.

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29 July
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Caitlin Moran, campaigner against Twitter abuse, is a hypocrite? Surely not…..

For a second my heart was sinking. Was Caitlin Moran, that courageous campaigner against Twitter abuse, herself guilty of a Twitter hate crime?

But all’s well – her tweet wasn’t a vicious attack on Muslims, only against Catholics and, as we know, in the rarified atmosphere of the metropolitan media chattering class, Catholics and other Christians don’t count….

 

Mind you there’s always one unenlightened cynic ready to drip poison…

 

That is a revolting slur on hundreds of millions of members of the Church, including the overwhelming majority of Catholic clergy. 

There’s also another religious grouping she could’ve applied those tasteful “comments” to with equal lack of foundation. But then she wouldn’t have had the balls.

 

Oh Morningcloak….when I read your comment at this article I just knew you had a heart of stone….or maybe not…

 

 

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04 July
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Oh Dear…The BBC Has Been In Denial About Immigration Concerns For Many Years…Never Mind, Water Under The Bridge…..

Well, who would have thought it. A report finds that for decades the BBC  has been rather deaf to those who were worried about immigration into the UK

The report found that the BBC was too reliant on the views of politicians, who tended to steer clear of “taboo” subjects, such as immigration, and warned that “even today the debate on the BBC may not reflect the public mood”…………………….

 ……………………………….His report concluded: “The BBC was slow to reflect the weight of concern in the wider community about issues arising from immigration. “It remains the case that the agenda of debate is probably too driven by the views of politicians.

 

“Slow to reflect” is far too gentle a phrase. For nearly fifty years, from Enoch Powell onwards, the BBC has either demonised or ignored any individual or group raising concerns about the sheer scale of immigration into the UK – not just in the news or documentaries but in drama, “comedy” or soaps.

 

Well, guess what – another report  has” let the cat out of the bag” (as if most of us didn’t know already)…

 

The full impact of mass immigration on British life was laid bare last night by a Home Office report.

It said that half the population lives in a town or city which has experienced high levels of immigration over the past decade.

Ministers said this ‘uncontrolled’ flow had caused a number of problems for wider society, ranging from pressure on maternity services, high rates of infectious diseases and a squeeze on school places, to disproportionate levels of some types of crime, inflated rents and immigrants living in ‘beds in sheds’

Don’t expect any change from the BBC, however.  Oh they’ll prattle on about “lessons learned” and “balance” but the culture is too deeply embedded for any significant change in attitude, not just at the BBC but throughout our media and political elite where “diversity” is something to be celebrated – as long as it is far away from their own leafy streets and their children’s schools.

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06 May
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Right Wing Pundit David Starkey Annoys Left Wing Harriet Harman By Pointing Out Her Posh Background…

Brilliant put down by historian David Starkey of the liberal left panelists on BBC Question Time. As he points out he and Conservative minister Justine Greening are the only ones who come from humble backgrounds and made progress by merit. They also happen to be the only two who are right wing in their views. The others (including the chairman David Dimbleby) had parents who were wealthy and already very well connected in the worlds of politics and/or the media.

His barbs about feminism largely working for the benefit of comfortably off  middle class women scored a direct hit on Harriet Harman – her pompous and self righteous indignation only served to prove his point. Moreover the bonus came from watching a clearly rattled Dimbleby struggling to move the agenda forward. He didn’t appreciate the audience being reminded of how much taxpayers money cascades into his pockets via the publicly funded BBC to add to his already substantial inherited family fortune.

He might be an old queen and I don’t agree with all his views but Starkey is never afraid to upset his fellow panelists – or the audience – with some hard home truths…..

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