Posts Tagged ‘Panorama’

Dispatches and Panorama were dreadful for Labour. Does anyone care?

19/09/2016, 10:25:04 PM

by Kevin Meagher

What will an average voter make of the Labour after watching tonight’s Dispatches on Channel Four or Panorama on BBC1, chronicling the party’s descent into internecine student-level factionalism and sloganizing?

That’s a question – perhaps the question everyone involved in democratic politics. need to constantly ask themselves: ‘What does the electorate think of you?’

Tonight’s programmes were an embarrassment for the Labour party.

The exact mirror opposite of a party political broadcast.

Here was Labour showing the electorate on prime time evening television why it isn’t fit to run the country.

Riven, incompetent and in the hands of either well-meaning fools or vicious entryists.

The only scintilla of dignity and poignancy on display was Neil Kinnock ruing that, at 74, he probably won’t live to see another Labour government in his lifetime, such is the state of the party.

Over in the Corbyn dreamscape, it was probably chalked up as a success because the word ‘socialism’ was mentioned on the telly.

Normal people aren’t bothered about how Labour chooses its shadow cabinet, or whether Momentum is packing the annual general meetings of constituency Labour parties.

But they do wonder why Labour seems to bang on about nothing else these days.

Neither are they bothered about socialism or any other ‘ism’.  Or discussions thereof.

They are not looking for a walk-on part in the people’s uprising.

And they’re certainly not bothered which nutty far-left sects a constituency Labour party official in Brighton is or is not a member of and whether they contravene Labour’s official policy on membership of nutty far-left sects.

They just want to hear people in Labour politics address their concerns realistically.

To come up with workable proposals to improve their lives.

Not a wish list of uncosted, impossible promises.

Or an invitation to the ramparts.

I was left with that uncomfortable, squirming feeling that you have when you watch The Office.

David Brent’s complete lack of self-awareness or understanding of how others perceive him translates perfectly to the modern Labour party.

At this rate, Jeremy Corbyn is going to emulate Brent’s infamous ‘There’s good news and bad news…’ speech.

The bad news will be Labour is trounced in 2020.

The good news is it will be eight million votes for socialism.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut

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There is a debate going on about the future of British Islam. Labour needs to join it

14/01/2015, 01:00:45 PM

by Rob Marchant

Following last week’s fatal shootings in the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Monday night’s superbly-timed Panorama: The Battle for British Islam gave an insight into Islamic radicalism and the narratives which feed it.

The most notable thing, as a number commented on Twitter during the programme, was not so much that it was telling a few home truths about radicalism on prime-time television; but that it was being broadcast on the BBC, the heart of the liberal media establishment. (It is also a great tribute, incidentally, to why we still need public-service broadcasting, the Beeb being practically alone, among its not-so-brave British mainstream media competition, in showing the offending Charlie Hebdo cartoons.)

It was also possibly the first mainstream documentary which has homed in, correctly, on the poisonous “grievance narrative” – that Muslims are oppressed in Britain, singled out and victimised for their beliefs – which, as the program points out, is helping drive young Muslims away from their families and towards jihad. Racism exists, yes: but it also exists in non-Muslim ethnic communities, where the results are undeniably less extreme.

Finally, it seems, rational debate on what all this means is starting to reach ordinary people, and there is a glimmer of hope for resolving the deep problems currently faced by Muslim communities in Britain; in turning impressionable youth towards British culture and away from radicalism.

In short, there is a sensible position which neither mollycoddles Islamist extremists nor attacks moderate Muslims, and the lines of it were gently sketched out in the programme: promoting a positive vision from within, of an Islam which embraces Britain, rather than recoils from it.


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Only nationalisation and CCTV can stop abuse in care homes

07/06/2011, 01:00:56 PM

by Dennis Kavanagh

Satan and the sociology professor sat perched on a roof in Srebrenica watching a man with a Kalashnikov taking pot shots at the people running away from him. The professor explained the complex causes of the conflict and the culture of brutalisation that had transformed the once peaceful farmer into a cold blooded killer. In the pause that followed, Satan turned to the sociology professor and remarked, “But that doesn’t quite explain the glint in his eye though, does it”?

That was Radio 4’s superlative Harry’s Game, but had Satan taken up in one of the dilapidated office chairs in Winterbourne View care home I wonder if the same observation would occur to him. In a week that saw Jon Ronson argue in his book How to spot a psychopath that sadists are practically everywhere; we needed only to tune into last week’s Panorama to spot a number of them. The most vulnerable people in our community had been warehoused on an industrial estate in Bristol; though “warehoused” implies some care over the goods stored. This was an oubliette, a forgotten place in a land that wanted to forget about these people. Secret filming by Joe Casey gave these forgotten people eyes and ears and voices, and last week we heard their screams, their pleas for mercy and their howls of pain.

On the left, we often bury unfashionable impulses that would have protected these people. Go on, give into your inner socialists, you know this was about the market. Give into your inner authoritarian; you know secret filming was the only way to tell the truth about what happened.


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On FIFA, Cameron is our leader

05/12/2010, 10:02:09 AM

By Dan McCurry

Before the FIFA announcement I would have agreed with Ken Livingstone that it would be better to put off the Panorama broadcast until after the vote. There is corruption in the world and we do our bit to discourage it. But it is probably a bit too much to ask us to be martyrs for the cause. I am sure you agree.

But how do you feel since the vote? How do you feel since they taught us a good lesson? Do you feel chastised?

Having had your wrists slapped by FIFA, do you feel sufficiently regretful? Perhaps we should apologise to them? Admit that we were wrong to allow the BBC to behave in such an adversely critical manner to the good people of FIFA? Perhaps we should promise never to do it again? Do you think so?

I do not.

Do you want to know what I feel? I’ll tell you: how dare they? How dare they treat us with that sheer contempt?

Do they think we should go away with our tails between our legs, having learnt our lesson? Do they think we should be humbled? Harried? Humiliated?

I am with David Cameron on this. I am a Labour bloke, but political parties do not come into it on this occasion. As far as I am concerned, when I saw him humiliated, I felt humiliated. I felt my country humiliated. I felt every British citizen had been humiliated.

And that was the point. They wanted to punish us for the audacity of exposing their corruption. As if we were arrogant to believe that it was for us, the pompous British, to condemn theft: the stealing of money. Because that is what corruption is. Pure and simple.  And for that – that very same bunch of thieves should teach try and teach us a lesson?

Well I say this: I am with you, Cameron.

I am with you and so is the whole of the Labour party. Every MP, councillor and party member. We are with you on this all the way. You are the leader and we look towards you. So now that we have been publicly humiliated in front of the whole world, show us what you are going do about it.

Come on, prime minister. We are waiting and we want to know.

Dan McCurry blogs here.

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