Malaysia missing aircraft coverage: complaint to the BBC

After one of the most unsightly media scrums I have ever seen – including a mad chase up a moving down-escalator – I felt that BBC News coverage had gone way beyond self-parody:

“It was unclear to me this morning whether I was watching BBC News or Drop The Dead Donkey. Your coverage from Malaysia has been poor throughout, being based almost entirely on heresay and speculation, but reached a new low in impartiality and objectiveness when your crew spent the morning chasing Chinese people around a hotel lobby before getting all righteously indignant when the authorities, quite rightly, stepped in to end the scrum.

It was gutter journalism worthy of News International, not the country’s premier news service. I was ashamed of the BBC this morning, I really was. “Enthusiastic amateurs” was the kindest way of describing you.

Please get your act together and remember that you are supposed to be respected news-reporting professionals.”

Crimea: Why the fuss?

I am really not sure that I understand what the fuss is about Crimea or why those in the West – most of whom have seceded from someone else in their history – are being so belligerent about it.

Where’s the problem? It’s not as if it was imposed against the will of those directly affected.

Personally, I think it is a mistake to join a state run by mafia gangs and asset thieves, but it is a mistake the people of Crimea must be free to choose to make.

It’s none of our business, really, we should just calm down!

Thoughts on Tony Benn

Tony Benn died this morning

He was right on most things, but occasionally inconsistent. He opposed Britain’s entry to Europe because he didn’t want British decisions made by unelected European bureaucrats, and he opposed Britain’s re-taking of the Falklands because he *did* want British decisions made by unelected UN bureaucrats. I suppose he agreed with Emerson when it came to foolish consistency!

His attempt while Postmaster General to get the Queen’s head removed from postage stamps was just petty, but in the vast majority of instances, he was absolutely spot-on – morally, politically and in sensing the mood of the nation.

He will never be remembered for being a great man, but he will be remembered for something better: being a good man.

Well,they changed the phrasing, and looked up Emerson’s full name, but printed it pretty much intact:


Stephen Lawrence: Enough already!


I notice with tired resignation that the annual wallowing over Stephen Lawrence is underway again, despite it now being over two decades since the event.

It seems the family resented being monitored after the murder. Quite why is beyond my understanding. With so many black teenagers dying as a result of gang action, and with family members frequently also involved, the police would have been wilfully negligent had they not watched the family afterwards. I don’t understand the outrage.

The media and politicians aren’t helping. They’ve got dad Neville crying on cue for the cameras and with Lady Saint Doreen of Assissi now on perma-wallow in the House of Lords, it looks like Stephen’s death is the gift that keeps on giving.

Sadly, all this well-meaning, if self-serving activity is rather disrespectful to the dead and strikes a very sour note. It’s been twenty-one years now, it’s time for them to be quiet and get back on with their lives.

Papal Mis-Speaking

With reference to this :

Aww, that’s nice. Got a “Thanks” reply from the Evening Standard letters editor for this morning’s missive:

“People should take it easy when the Pope gets the occasional word wrong in a language he doesn’t speak natively. I’m sure he’s not the first Pope to have a bit of trouble getting his tongue around a little Italian.”

Which probably means they liked it but won’t be printing it.