Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Panorama And Guido - We Have To Talk

After the Sunday Times ran “38 days when Britain sleepwalked into disaster”, detailing the serious shortcomings of the Government’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, and that alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had been absent elsewhere for much of that time, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog ran a hatchet job on the article.
There was no argument advanced on the facts presented by the ST (other than to claim that others did not agree with the piece). It was a personal attack on Jonathan Leake, the paper’s environment correspondent, one of three names on the article’s by-line. So when a BBC Panorama report earlier this week found adversely on the Government’s pandemic preparations, a Fawkes hit piece should have been expected.
And so it came to pass yesterday, as readers were toldPanorama’s PPE Investigation Was Party Political Broadcast”. Did the piece take issue with any of the facts advanced by the programme? As if you need to ask: this was just another personal attack, the doxxing of five interviewees and their denunciation as “Labour activists”, although three of them are not. And the usual crap research: where is the “Wirrel [sic] CCG”?
The Fawkes Twitter feed then told “Every single interviewee on #Panorama last night was a pro-Labour activist before the pandemic. Every single one. It was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party”. Just the two blatant lies there.
Sadly, some of the easily led and already prejudiced were persuaded, even without actually watching the broadcast. Typical of these was LBC host Iain Dale, concluding “I was about to watch this on iPlayer. I don't think I'll bother now. Nothing wrong with being a Labour activist but for a serious current affairs programme to interiew them to the exclusion of anyone else is, well, an interesting editorial decision”.
He took the Fawkes liars on trust, but then, this is the same Iain Dale who called the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance “those excellent people” when they cobbled together a dishonest attack on the last Labour Government called “Taxpayer Funded Lobbying”.
But let’s allow Panorama to put a fact out there: “There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government's pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK, BBC Panorama has uncovered. The government said it has taken the right steps and is doing everything it can to increase stocks”. Would Fawkes fans care to address that one?
Well, no they wouldn’t. Instead, Fawkes replacement teaboy Tom Harwood declared “Did the [Panorama] producers go straight to the Labour Party for interviewee suggestions, or was it Unite? Either way, not disclosing how someone you're giving primetime airtime to is a Labour activist and former candidate is pretty staggering”.
That’s right Tom, don’t engage with inconvenient facts, just tell your audience what to think. As did amateur creep Darren Grimes. “Is it any wonder trust in our journalists and broadcasters is plummeting when the BBC put forward supposedly independent anti-Tory medical professionals; who are all either left-wing activists, trade unionists or Labour Party members or campaigners? Joke!” Was the programme factually wrong? Don’t ask.
So who would care to take The Great Guido, a source of falsehood and misinformation, at his word? Step forward Andrew Griffith, Tory MP for Arundel and South Downs. This fellow traveller told his followers “The taxpayer-funded BBC has real questions to answer about its role here. It is not to play unbalanced left-wing party politics during a national crisis”.
Any argument with those facts, Andy? Never mind, on to the cheerleaders, spearheaded by the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not): “Guido Fawkes's allegation today about Panorama today could do with a speedy response from [BBC] bigshots”. You could imagine the Dacre-era Daily Mail headline: “BBC has QUESTIONS TO ANSWER”.
Letts was backed up by Neil Wallis, aka The Rasping Fuckwit, latching on to Iain Dale’s fingers-in-ears-I-don’t-want-to-listen response: “Most importantly, without telling the viewers their background and that there may be a political bias fuelling their claims/views - it may be totally irrelevant, but that’s for the audience to decide”. Facts, Neil? Er, no.
It was left to Sky News veteran Adam Boulton to prick the overinflated Fawkes bubble: “Was anything said in [Panorama] untrue? I haven’t heard any rebuttal. Presumably NHS workers are still ‘heroes’ even if they aren’t Tories”. Well, quite.
Also, Martin O’Neill pointed out the excess mortality for England right now is way above that being experienced by Italy, Spain, France or Germany, and observed “One thing about a country having a dysfunctional media system is that its inhabitants may have difficulty recognising the full scale of the disaster through which they’re living”.
Instead, as The Trashies has pointed out, we get “Guido Fawkes doxxing for the government, and not only do our self proclaimed fearless journalists not call it out, but actively encourage it by RT’ing them and welcoming them into their newsrooms when they move from Guido Fawkes … Ex-Guido staffers are in The Guardian and Buzzfeed and nobody says anything other than to snark about Corbyn outriders”.
And the Mail on Sunday. And the Government itself. As Will Black pointed out, “People quoting 'Guido' to attack NHS whistleblowers should look into him. He made a fortune from events where class A drugs were peddled to kids. He is no arbiter of decency - he's hard right scum”. Staines is a bigot, a bully, a hypocrite and a lush.
Yet for useful idiot Iain Dale, fellow traveller Andrew Griffith, and cheerleaders Quentin Letts and Neil Wallis, this Goebbels-style propaganda operation is to be taken at its word. Thus the sickness of our media class is exposed for all the world to see.

You don’t take the provisional wing of CCHQ on trust. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Anonymous said...

Those dickheads miss the point.

If anyone was making a political point against the Bozo Circus it was the anti-Bozo faction inside the tories, the ones who hate him and their own loss of face. Whereas said dickheads are part of the pro-Bozo faction.

For once, just once, Panorama did a bang-up job of presenting facts, whatever its political intentions and whoever was behind them.

Be "grateful" for small mercies....because you'll get fuck all else from the BBC.

Mira Bar-Hillel said...

How odd that these very criticisms made against Panorama regarding covid19 were totally absent when Panorama interviewed only pro-Israel voices when "investigating" antisemitism in Labour. Nobody screamed for "balance" when the target was Corbyn.