Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 20 June 2021

Tory GB News Backing - It’s Official

As new media marketplace entrant Gammon Broadcasting News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) opened for business last weekend, there will have been some in and around the Government of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson who were relishing the prospect of seeing the Overton Window shifted even further to the right. There would be no official backing, though: that would be a little too obvious.

Oliver Dowden

But as viewing figures have declined over the week, and the shortcomings of the new operation - technical foul-ups, total lack of research, poor guest selection and occasionally clueless presenters - have led to it becoming a new comedy genre, thanks to the Twitter feed called @GBNewsFails, the Blue Panic Button has been pressed.

The minister being given his orders to go out and make a futile gesture - and a complete idiot of himself - is Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who has been dutifully reported by the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph going over the top in no style at all, declaring that advertisers choosing of their own free will not to be associated with GB News, and those freely advocating such action, are “A threat to democracy”.

Oh what a giveaway! Would Sir like to be properly even handed and tick off all those people who have been urging advertisers to withdraw their product placements from sites like The Canary or Novara Media? Benjamin Cohen was thinking along those lines as he responded “Hi [Oliver Dowden] I’ll be writing to you as a constituent and the CEO of [Pink News] to see how you could help increase the advertising sales of other media too”.

As for the idea that organisations deciding not to advertise with one or other broadcaster heralded the end of democracy, Jolyon Maugham mused “Not sure it quite compares with proroguing Parliament”. Steve Peers added “Or breaking electoral law, curbing judicial review, restricting public protest, making the electoral regulator (more) powerless, or encouraging public hatred of judges, lawyers, foreigners and political opponents …”.

Some expressed concern at Dowden’s apparent partiality, and Nuwan Dissanayaka was one of them: “Do you really think it’s your place to intervene like this? Isn’t it entirely up to the brands themselves to choose who they think is appropriate? If it’s not your bias then please point us to a similar intervention you’ve made on behalf of a left wing concern”.

He could be in for a long wait. But this is all so revealing: especially in the wake of the Chesham and Amersham by-election shock last week, the right-leaning part of the media establishment has become spooked by the idea that Bozo may be rather less popular than they had led their readers, viewers and listeners to believe. Interventions by the campaigners at Ripples and Stop Funding Hate have spooked them yet more.

As the people at Ripples have concluded, “Culture secretary Oliver Dowden is defending GB News again, this time in the Sunday Telegraph. He intervened earlier in the week as well. They have had a parade of cabinet ministers on air all week too. The support for this project is coming from the top of the government”. GB News isn’t an insurgent or outsider operation. It’s the same establishment piss in a differently labelled bottle.

Hence the establishment panic at the thought that GB News might just expire in a chorus of derisive laughter. Free market upstart my arse - another Trojan Horse more like.

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...

But we get more trains.

Or something.



Except for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North of England. They'll have to make do and mend. As usual.

Anonymous said...

I like mended trains, new trains are boring and have silly euro-numbers. Nothing beat a BREL 158 for ride and comfort until they removed the comfy seats and replaced them with an ironing board that literally piles on the agony. And they had the doors in the best place for minding gaps. Now trains are regressing, one look at a 195 bogie told me that. But at least the doors are positioned for maximum use of the Mind The Gap mentality of the elfnsafety obsessed. Surely that should be changed to Mind Your Step on trains, to cover the possible prosecution of customers incorrectly using a pronoun when addressing union membered staff who have decided they no longer belong to the human race. At my local station I fell down the stairs because I was concentrating on reading the messages on them telling me not to run while talking on my mobile instead of doing what comes naturally to us born in an era of common sense. I love trains, is the Flying Scotsman still female?

Anonymous said...

How patronising, what is your problem with people being allowed to make up their own minds? I can decide who I want to take notice of, the Gammon Broadcasting News (how lazy, how childish) or the twittering nutjobs at Stop Funding Hate or the self-flagellators at the Graun, or the Bonkers Broadcasting Company or High in the Sky. My opinions are not standard gauge fixed tracks. Just use the off switch and complain to Ofcom.

Jonathan said...

Gammon Broadcasting has always been flavour of Downing St due to the Legatum Istituew whose top brass include Shankar Singim and Phillipa Stroud former SPaD to IDS & founder of the rightwing Centre for Social Justice..

I had the misfortune to meet Stroud at a Christian Conference, where she announced she was standing for the Tories (busting Charity law)! No surprises there then..

Problem for Downing St is it's support for a burning clown car rather resembles their own shitshow'.

Gammon News is failing because it wouldn't recruit BECTU members, lack of staff, lack of proper rehearsals, not forgetting shit presenters like Neil Oliver & Michelle Dewberry..

Sam said...

GBH News: Nice family you have there.Shame if something happened to them.

Mr Larrington said...

I've just spent half an hour crying with laughter at that Twitter feed.

Professionalism? We've heard of it…

Mr Larrington said...

Additional: Patrick Freyne's article for the Irish Times had me equally weepy: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/gb-news-week-1-it-takes-until-tuesday-to-go-full-wingnut-1.4596133

Anonymous said...

@ 15:01.

Of course you're "entitled".

Even if you're a far right blithering racist wannabe nazi dickhead. Like the Gammon Bullshit Nerds.

Problem for you and them is...we know where that kind of lunacy leads. There can be no more excuses.