BBC Trust Ruling on Kevin Connolly

26 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media

 

imagesThe BBC Trust has released its ruling on my complaint about a Radio 4 Today Programme report. As already noted the ruling confirms the report was inaccurate and misleading. See page 4 and pages 9 -23.

 

It is not clear what the BBC will do to ‘remedy’ the breach, nor what Kevin Connolly thinks about it all. His colleague Jeremy Bowen has rejected the last BBC Trust decision against him. It is difficult to see how Connolly can square spending almost three years defending what he considers to have been sterling work to be told by his regulator that it is in fact rotten journalism. Read the rest of this entry »





BBC in Denial

22 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media

©AFP

©AFP

It’s not just what’s in the news; it’s also what’s not. The BBC has solidly ignored the speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader denying the Holocaust – reported here.

Instead they have a positive story on Iranian statements about the prospects for a nuclear deal, with a photograph of the smiling Foreign Minister – see here.

Read the rest of this entry »





BBC Complaint Upheld

17 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media
BBC_Trust

The Times is today reporting that the BBC Trust is to censure Middle East Correspondent Kevin Connolly for a report on the Today programme on Radio 4 in 2011. They have ruled that Connolly’s report was inaccurate and misleading; the ruling is the culmination of my complaint to the BBC almost three years ago. Read the rest of this entry »





Rogue Editor

14 03 2014

Category; Middle East, media

Jeremy-Bowen-001

© BBC

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has been lambasting the BBC Trust over its censure of his journalism 5 years ago. It’s interesting timing on Bowen’s part. Why bring it up now?

Does he know something? Is there a timely reason to be trying to undermine the Trust’s rulings? Read the rest of this entry »





Dire Prospects for Turkey at Christmas

22 12 2013

Category; Middle East, Politics

PM Erdogan

It’s not just the birds that should be wary this Christmas; all hell is about break loose in Turkey. That may sound overdramatic, but it’s really how things look.

For a while Turkey was the good news story of the Islamic world; prosperous, democratic and a showcase for the incorporation of Islam into political life. But no more. Read the rest of this entry »





International Nuisance

6 09 2013

Category; Law, Middle East, Politics

Chaos in Syria drags on, the international community struggles to work out what they should do and on what basis. There is an answer; from the English Common Law concept of Nuisance.

One of the main arguments against intervention is that there is no basis in international law to act in the internal affairs of another country without UN approval.

A doctrine of International Nuisance would create a just and legal framework for dealing with situations just like Syria. Read the rest of this entry »





The Beauty of Grey

12 06 2013

Category; Law, Politics

256px-USSupremeCourtWestFacade

©UpstateNYer

It must be tough being a US Supreme Court Justice, knowing that your application of overriding principle leads to flagrant, obvious and pitiless injustice, but that is the decision they faced recently in the case of Maryland v Kingclick here.

A rapist, caught and charged years after the offence, given away by a DNA sample collected in an entirely unrelated matter.

Was that an unreasonable search (click here), did the constitution allow such a thing or ought the conviction to be struck down, and a man who everyone knows is a rapist be set free on a point of principle? Read the rest of this entry »





News Narratives

19 05 2013

Category; Media

Eric Kitson

A former UKIP Councillor

News is about narratives. You pick your starting point and take it from there. That starting point is both literal and metaphorical; the opening sentence in any decent news report is worth as much as the rest of the report, and the viewpoint of the author, or outlet, moulds facts.

It’s how Fox News and The Guardian manage to shape the same facts in such different ways.

Read the rest of this entry »





Disaster and the State

13 05 2013

Category; LawMediaPolitics

© Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty

A terrible industrial disaster in Bangladesh, a building full of workshops collapses leaving more than a thousand dead (click here), and our first reaction in developed economies is to question our responsibilities as consumers and whether we should boycott the western companies who have clothing made there (click here).

It’s an example of the fact we seem to have forgotten what the state is for.

Read the rest of this entry »





Don’t Blame Starbucks

20 10 2012

Category; Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Schiuma

It’s easy to get worked into a schiuma by the revelation that Starbucks hasn’t managed to pay any corporation tax in the UK since 2009 – click here for report. Big turnover is, apparently, eaten away by expensive licensing royalties to an overseas subsidiary (Holland) of the Starbucks parent company, expensive beans bought from another overseas subsidiary (Switzerland) and then roasted by yet another overseas subsidiary (Holland).

Politicians and journalists are gleefully calling for a boycott of the company that doesn’t ‘pay it’s share’see here and here. But it’s very simple. Read the rest of this entry »





Splashing a topless Duchess

15 09 2012

Category; Law, Privacy

British newspapers are crowing that they refrained from publishing photographs of a topless Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, while a French magazine, (to use tabloid terminology) splashed them. And that despite France having criminal laws protecting privacy! (click here for article)

The British papers are doing all that refraining, and all that pointing out of the pointlessness of a privacy law, because we are in the eye of the tornado that is the Leveson enquiry. Read the rest of this entry »





Deconstructing Harry

25 08 2012

Category: Law, Media, Privacy

Same guy, different set of photos

In allowing himself to be photographed, naked, or as they’d say in Nevada, butt naked, in the high-roller suite of a Las Vegas casino, with an equally naked young woman, or as they’d say in Nevada, a hottie, whose acquaintance could be measured more in minutes than hours, Prince Harry, or as they’d say in Windsor, His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, has proven himself the heir to his great great great grandfather Edward VII (click here), and a bit of an idiot.

But should the newspapers be publishing those photos? The short answer is;  yeah, why not?

Of course, that’s not to say they needed to be published, it’s just seriously; why not? Read the rest of this entry »





A Tale of Two Fathers

7 07 2012

Category: Politics

An off-hand remark by a Prime Minister and the state of a nation is revealed. Who’s the Prime Minister, and what did he say?

Tony Blair, ever, you know, quotable, told a cabinet colleague (click here) that he wanted his children to go to an elite school because he didn’t want them ending up like Harold Wilson’s children.

“I want them to do better than that.”

Thanks to the Daily Mail’s seeming obsession with Prime Ministers’ children we can see what happened to both Prime Ministers’ children. Read the rest of this entry »





Aristotle

28 06 2012

Category; Politics

The enduring appeal of Aristotle; in 5 minutes, with 20 slides, via Supernanny, Tony Blair and Simon Cowell…





Only the Little People Pay Taxes

23 06 2012

Category; Politics, Finance

Jimmy Carr and his Bentley

Poor Jimmy Carr has realised he made a ‘massive error of judgment’ and he’s really sorry. The comedian somehow stumbled on a tax avoidance scheme that saved him an awful lot of money – click here.

Carr is a man who feels that his success allows him to stand apart from other people. As Leona Helmsley once said;

 “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.”

And justice. While Leona did serve at least a little time in gaol for tax evasion (click here) Jimmy Carr has repeatedly, well, let me phrase this carefully, he has repeatedly managed to secure the best possible outcome for himself after being prosecuted for motoring offences by hiring very expensive specialist lawyers – see here for more on that.

It was more interesting to see the flailing on this issue from politicians. They simply did not know how to respond. They did not understand how their reactions reflected on the nature of our society and its governance which, given that a basic role of government is gathering and spending money, is quite revealing. I’m not sure our politicians really know what they are there for anymore. Read the rest of this entry »