Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bob Jones is at home……

Friday, June 17th, 2011

………but having techincal problems with his blog.

Normal service will be resumed ASAP.

Whenever that is.

Why Bob Jones has been away

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

He will explain a.s.a.p.

Question for the Bristol police

Monday, January 24th, 2011

They now think that a Dutchman was the killer. But their former suspect, pilloried by the media, with the help of police ‘leaks’, is still  held, althouhgh on bail. His reputation in shatters.

Do they think he was an accomplice, of the man, they now think wars the murderer?

If not, why do they not clear him, and try and make amends for the damage to his reputation, resulting from the press coverage, fuelled by police leaks.

The police have a difficult job. There is  a huge public need to find the villain. Fuelled by the press.

But unless the police think that the Dutchman was acting in conspiracy with their first suspect, they should release him from arrest on bai9l.

And, even also say, Sorry.

Widening Ethnic Diversity in the News Media WorkforceWidening Ethnic Diversity in the News Media Workforce

Monday, January 17th, 2011

This is the title of a day at City University, London. Which is free!!

Still places, so sign up now. Here is the link.

I shall be there, because that was one of my major objectives, when I went to City U in 1979, to join a journalism training course predominantly for white Brits, who wanted to learn at the altar of very provincial regional journalism.

At that time, the BBC had a few blacks, amongst thousands. The Guardian, Britain’s only serious left of centre broadsheet, had two non-white employees, one an upper middle class Indian.

That was only 31 years ago, and non-whites are still disadvantaged in our society. But hundreds can now make it.

Today’s event should recognise that.

While at the same time addressing the fact, that the Government and the media is dominated by a majority who were educated at Oxford or Cambridge, not many of whom are non-white.

I was passionately in favour of diversity as soon as I got to university, not because of some moral imperatives, but from preference.

The Wolverhampton in which I grew up had no non-whites, apart from Leon, who was the Chinese laundry.

White was not sexy in the school playground. What was sexy was the b brown get by a healthy tan.

Whereas most folks from Wolverhampton were pasty, unhealthy white. It was called the Black Country, because of all the unhealthy industrial smoke. And the brown members of my class, were those very small rich minority, who were able to get their tans on holidays most could not afford.

The first blacks I met were when I went to Birmingham University in 1951. They were mostly the sons of chiefs, and far better educated than me. And used to being rulers, not slaves.

Later Enoch Powell, who had spent time in Australia, then operating the White Australia policy, made his name, by turning Wolverhampton, against the West Indian immigrants.

With a lot of help from the media of the time. (Not Murdoch, but operating on the same news priorities.)

We should remember this today.

Because, although it is still true that non-whites in Britain are at a disadvantage, we should not ignore the plain fact, that there are powerful forces in Britain and the US, which want to exploit the fears of the white working class.

Just as Enoch Powell did.

Fact and fiction

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Which gets nearer to the truth?

1. Riveting old Coen Brothers movie on Channel Four last night, No Country for Old Men, which is set in Texas, 1980. Two psychopathic killers employed by drug gangs, killing anyone who gets in the way as they try to take recover a suitcase of their money found by a good outlaw character, who is a Vietnam vet. The old man of the title, played by Tommy Lee Jones, finds himself helpless in the face of their gun power. The outlaw makes it to the Mexican border but Jones did not manage to stop them killing his mother-in-law. This morning’s hard news. 13 killed in Mexico border drug gang wars. Not big news in this part of the world where over 5,000 people have been shot recently.

2. The WikiLeaks web site has got hold of nearly 440,000 secret US army secret reports, probably the biggest leak in history. They show, amongst many other things; how US failed to investigate the army reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by the Iraqui police, how 15,000 civilians died in previously un-reported incidents, the death’s of 66,o081 non-combatants, though the US has always claimed they had no body-count figures. First official US reaction is that there is nothing in the leaks to cause them to censure the people responsible. The only ‘crriminals’ they are chasing are the persons, or persons, who leaked the secret reports.

3. British cuts. The fairest ever, claimed George Osborne in his budget speech, making the rich take the biggest burden. Most unfair, stated the widely respected Institute of Fiscal Studies, backed by their facts and figures, which shows the biggest burden falling on the poorest and not so well off middle classes with kids. More evidence today that even the NHS will have to punish the poorest –  because there are not enough hospital beds to keep in the elderly infirm, and they can no longer  be supported by the Council care services, because Council budgets are being cut by a massive 26 per cent.

The verdict on Tony Blair

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Andrew Marr, one of the BBC’s star interviewers, faced his biggest challenge tonight, when given a full hour of peak television time on BBC2, to interview former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on the day of the publication of his book, which is published at a critical time in British politics, when the Labour Party is in the middle of an election for a new leader.

The result, if I report this as a television critic, was a draw.

Marr confronted Blair with all the difficult questions. How could he jusitfy his alliance with George W Bush to oust Sadam Hussein, when there was no proof of weapons of mass destruction? What was the truth of his alliance with Gordon Brown, who had agreed to support Blair in his bid for the Labour Party leadership in the early 1990′s?

Blair, both feet planted wide apart, took everything thrown against him, with modest charm. Yes, he had made mistakes. But he was acting honestly for what was the only sensible option, for a modern prime minister, operating under the media spotlight.

Of course, you could not have full freedom of information. Otherwise, no member of cabinet would speak their mind, if their dissent was going to be published. He had to make choices when he was in power.

And he operated on what he thought was right at the time.

The Blair book is about his years in power. But the media hype is about the now. Who is Blair supporting in the current leadership battle. Of course, the great communicatior refused to say. Though, in an aside, he did say that he was fond of Diane Abott, the only contestant, who has herself said, she has no chance of winning.

All of the Westminster press corps, has been saying that Blair favours David Miliband, whose policies are pretty much in line with the New Labour, which won Blair power in 1997, after Labour’s many years in the wilderness.

Blair refused to confirm this tonight to Marr.

Marr failed to penetrate his defences.

He failed at a vital moment to ask the right follow up question.

Marr pushed him hard about whether he was a conservative in Labour clothing. How the rated himself compared with other long-lived British ?prime ministers, Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher.

Predictably, Blair did not answer this one.

He said he was a progressive!!!

And he went on to trumpet again, that he was devoting all the profits of the book to the British Legion.

That is when Marr fouled up, what was otherwise a fine interview.

He let it go by.

No real Labour person, would choose as their faviourd charity, the British Legion.

The British Legion is not ‘political’. It is for British servicemen and women.

But it is a right wing charity. In favour of the status quo. It is middle England.

It is not the Rowntree Foundation. Or Green Peace.

This simple donation is the final proof, that Blair was, what Marr felt in his gut, a conservative in Labour clothing.

The problem is Oil, not BP

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Lots of aggro in the mainstream media, about the supposed rift in Anglo-American relations. Because Obama refers to it as British Petroleum, although the present BP, is an Anglo-American company, because the  original BP, which was not a private enterprise super goliath, but a company owned  by the British goverment, for most of my life-time, merged with a US company. So it is now owned bymany Americans, and lots of other international players, as well as the Brits.

In trying to maximinse the profits of its shareholders, it has perpertrated an ecological disaster in  the Gulf of Mexcio.

But of course , BP is doing what all the international oil companies are doing, seeking to maximise their profits.

By selling more oil.

But we now know that that is a danger  to the planet. So the western democracies, have been seeking to develop other energy sources.

But meanwhile India and China are seeking to allow their citizens to own motor cars, just like all of us toffs in  the west.

So oil companies have to increase their production to meet this huge new demand. And to take risks with  safety.

And, of  course, to threaten tthe planet  because of the nasty emissions.

Big Society, Big Con

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

According to The Guardian tonight, senior Conservatives are telling David Cameron that there is so such thing as his Big Society. As well they might. Although his invitiation to the people – that’s us, folks – to join the government sounds like a big change from Thatcher, who declared there was no such thing as Society, the electorate think it is a Con, with a small C and a big C.

It is the party of big business and the bankers trying to persuade the electorate that they are acting in the interests of ordinary folk, rather than the the money which supports them.

Just like Oliver Letwin, my own MP in Dorset, who on Saturday night, was telling party members his plans for bringing the bankers into line. Despite the fact that his own pay cheque comes from one of the oldest and most successful of the banks, N. M. Rothcschild.

Letwin is one of the principal architects of the Big Society strategy.

The verdict of the electorate, delivered after last Thursday’s television debate, is unmistakeable.

The voters, who want a change, think  Cameron, like Brown, is offering more of the same.

Since last Thursday, the Tory strategy has changed. They have targeted the winner of the debate.

By arguing that a vote for Clegg is a vote for a hung parliament, leaving Gordon Brown in power.

Which is the subject of my next blog.

Cameron’s Conservatives funded by the British taxpayers

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

So now we know after all these years of speculattion. Lord Ashcroft has not been paying his British taxes, because although because of loopholes in the law he can claim he is a ‘long-term British resident’. Even though he has kept his non-dom status so has been avoiding his British taxes.

What this means, which the Westminster British press corps has not yet realised, is that the money Ashcroft has been pouring into Cameron’s funds, is just part of what he has saved because he has managed to cling on to his non-dom status2

So the British taxpayer has been funding the Conservative Party!

The millions Ashcroft has given the Conservatives is just a part of the taxes he has not paid.

I don’t want a public enquiry, which will report two or three years  hence.

Bt I do think that if Cameron wants to win this election he should fire Ashcroft now.

His conference election speech was based on Obama’s call for Change.

Obama realised before the banking crisis that change was necessary.

Which means governments everywhere taking back power from the financiers like Ashcroft, who are motivated by making as much money for themselves as possible.

They are the people who have created the crisis.

Cameron if he wants to win must show that he is not their pawn.

He is not doing well. As the opinion polls show.

Despite the huge unpopularity of Gordon Brown his poll lead has whittled away.

The End of Journalism?

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

While I have been attending to my own concerns City University has appointed a new head of journalism, George Brock, currently the international editor of The Times of London. Since I have been temporarily out of touch with City, I have no idea why they chose him.

But now I have checked him out, I can report, that had I been on the selection committee, I might have shouted for him.

Because of a long article he wrote, not for The Times, but for The Times Literary Supplement. (Yes, folks, it’s still going!)

It was entitled, ‘The end of journalism?’. The question mark is mine, but I feel it was implicit in Brock’s article.

He is asking the right questions.

But he has taken on the responsibility of managing City University Journalism, now by far the biggest journalism department in UK and recruiting hundreds of students into our trade.

Journalism recruitment is booming. Up over a third on last year. But journalism jobs are being slashed. And even Rupert Murdoch is worried that the economic model which sustains print journalism is bankrupt.

This year’s graduates will be competing for fewer and fewer jobs. Next year the problems will be worse. Since many talented undergraduates who would have got journalism jobs are instead opting for doing journalism courses.

City University Journalism, nor any journalism training outfit, cannot solve these problems. But they can do something.

They can address the problems of why the public does not trust journalists.

What is it about the pracice of journalism currently that has caused this growth of distrust?

Let’s hope Brock will find time to pursue the ideas in his article. As well as helping the 400 journalism students in his charge, who be expecting that the money they will be paying to City U will bring them JOBS when they graduate.