Thursday, March 29, 2007

Give 'em enough rope...

I had first entitled this 'Some parapets are not worth poking over', but hey, it's Friday.

First up there's this:

Guido Fawkes apologises to BBC's Political Editor x2

To which I wrote in this:

Nothing much worth commenting on here any further, bar the reassuring notion that it seems even the Newsnight team is not above a duplicate post.

Or... (SFX: sinister music) did they think it was so good they posted it twice????

Now they have corrected it (see pic), without credit or explanation, I have had a further mooch at it all and have decided to change my mind about the not commenting.... because I can.

Especially as they seem to be gloating... a lot: If you live by gunpowder...

This week, however, we learned that when it comes to making and breaking reputations there's life in the old media dog yet....

If you choose your foe and battleground well enough. If he was dumb enough to accept the set-up (in any and all forms that phrase can take), more fool him. But pride comes before the fall.

Thing is, until now I had never heard of him... and he's the number one political blogger?

The whole smacks of set up. First choose a rubber dinghy bobbing about in a big sea and make an example of the poor sods inside to send a message about the teeth the old dog has to warn off others. One guy in a hostile studio, with the guys behind the camera and hands to edit slider on one side... AND in control?! You must be sooooo proud.

Who can remember the points the poor sap made? I can't. With luck, and YouTube, it's out there so if one did need to debate it with the full BBC team, and all their archive and edit and research resources, a lone warrior 'might' have some chance of recalling facts and tweaking them to suit. In the cold hard light of the next days some blog responders (congrats for running those I see... but, all who have written?) seem less than impressed.

In passing, by the by, I think you have not answered Dennis' main point, that JP admitted that what they did was not 'optimal' professionally, but was done to fill some time. Post Blue Peter, the dictates of time seem to be throwing Aunty off the professional rails a lot these days.

Care to explain why this little blog note..."

'Well that makes.. two of us! Well tucked away little devil of a blog this... wonder why?

As I wrote to a paper the other day in response to a piece about broadcast standards:

'You want unreality [Rest above].'

Tick reply here:

1) It wasn't us
2) It wasn't a problem
3) If it was so what?

And if you get pressed...

4) It was not perhaps the best way to do it
5) We are addressing this at all levels
6) An urgent review is under way

But whatever happens, no one is responsible!'

...didn't make it to a Newswatch blog... yet (who's to wonder if it may pop in soon, after all these days):

Maybe the BBC thought it was 'unsuitable?

Getting back to Mr. Fawkes, from what I recall he had some fair points. Certainly in written form in the blurbs that got me to watch (not his blog, which I personally don't find to my tastes). A few on this blog know that when it does suit, the moderator will not play ball, by taking his away, along with the paying field. A point admitted by the eminence gris , but perhaps not with the irony one would have hoped. He of course would not get to smug to the camera as much, one suspects, if he was too nasty to the guys sending the taxi and big upping his paper.

And having a 'gotcha' on the facts is, sadly, a bit of a bummer for any erstwhile critic. But just how many blogs and post links did you guys wheel out to crow about GF's faux pas?

It's not like the BBC, or Mr. White, is immune from some sloppy stuff (accepting, of course, that you are all very busy). Obviously the 'I don't know Mr. Prescott's age' thing was just being absent-minded, and not worth harping on or hounding.

But oo, guess who just sent me this:

"This was a genuine mistake resulting from the producer misreading [your] e-mail and not a deliberate attempt to doctor our viewers' opinions. The mistake was made in the initial e-mail summary compiled by the producer and sent to the presenters and hence was repeated twice during the programme. Of course we should have read the e-mail more carefully but
I can see how the mistake was made as [you say] the exact opposite of what [you] really think[s] - which is only revealed by the line "yeah right" right at the end - so while not excusing it - I can see how the error was made."

I trust this proves satisfactory. Please be assured that your comments have
been registered and are available to the 'Breakfast' production staff.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact the BBC with your e-mail.

Now, do I accept this? They don't read information thoroughly. Are incapable of assessing tone of voice from the written word and print only what they want to see, regardless of what it may convey. And defend running one line out of three in this way (also ignoring the first, which was as equally negative as my sadly over sarcastic 'Yeah, right'; a phrase JP would never use in rebuttal on Newsnight, I'm sure, he said.. sarc...) with a load of waffle and spin
and insincere apology with no hint of any chance to take this further should I wish to. And these guys were not under the spotlight, live!

Nah... I think I'll go with what the masters of journalistic integrity would do, and trump... no... no, I won't. I'll simply publish in full and let the people make their own minds up.

Me, I'll just keep on offering information as accurately and objectively and attributed as I can, with the odd bit of subjective opinion lobbed in to show I do have them. And why not?

It's... more honest, less hypocritical... and safer, I do believe

Don't like it? Well, I'm sure you can sort it all in post:)

Guardian - The Daily Telegraph's Spy column today publishes a picture it says is
of Paul Staines, aka political blogger Guido Fawkes (P6). Spy decided
to do this after Staines made a film for BBC2's Newsnight this week
demanding more honesty and openness from political journalists.
However, he refused to appear on camera himself, at one point being
interviewed by video link from a dark studio, appearing in
silhouette. A BBC insider tells Spy: 'The whole disguise thing was
really a bit of a joke. But I think it made him look a bit of a prat.' - All this is getting a bit 'confused' in the reporting, or, soem might call it 'mis-reported'. Who came up with this black-out idea that so misfired? The BBC or the Guy himself? And why are the major media so keen to stick the knives in themsleves? Oh... yes... they are the only ones who should be doing this.

Guardian - A parody of democracy - a long while later. Maybe it's 'cos their man was in it:)

If you have nothing to add...

... don't let that stop you!

Paper or plastic? No thanks

We do, Ms. Ashbrook, we do. This on the day our national emissions rose again, I doubt mitigated much by a few less witches' knickers.
It's just our media have grasped what's more important to them.
Sadly, they still own the ball and the ball park.
And if they are kept busy playing there, the authorities can breathe easier that they are not as fussed as they may be by the bigger picture.

Big Blue mentality

That was a song I wrote a long time ago. It was about the rigid structures and factional infighting that defined IBM and its less than terrific grasp of market leadership in the face of new challenges.

It popped into my head today because I have been blogging about The Apprentice and big corporations such as Tescos. And then, an hour ago, I was standing in our local Morrisons.

There was a scene straight out of a reality TV producer's wettest dream. Senior management. Middle management. Floor management. Minions. All in various degrees of Armani, gel, Specsavers and testosterone. And as for the men...

And the object of this high-powered cabal? A mop display.

All were sincere, with eyebrows furrowed as the man with 2.0l BMW 3-series told the guys with the 1.8l BMW 3-series what he thought. Priceless. meanwhile a little old lady gave up waiting to be helped with the small matter of buying something.

Bet they all have a degree in metrics and have been to customer service courses though.


Now I am usually not slow to cock an eyebrow at a rather premature green claim that can all too often backfire and make things worse, but this seems one for the 'Well, D'Uh...' files:

"Greener" buildings could slow global warming: UNEP

Of course any savings WILL get totally obliterated by all these brainstrains and their press gangs going around the planet having conferences on this guff. And our tab.

That's why they get the big bucks.

They love (Tesco in the) US. They really love (Tesco in the) US

CNN Money - 10 Green Giants

An interesting and worthy piece; worth noting.

I cant speak for the non UK-based organisations, but was interested to see Tesco at No. 4.

That would be this Tesco, I presume.

I have mentioned to a few folk our leading supermarket's accolade over the pond, and most have replied 'Our Tesco??!'

They may have more than one wind-powered store, but I'm pretty sure they are just trialling it/them. And when you don't spend on electricity from the grid, the money goes where? Bringing mangoes over by air-conditioned camel? Or boosting the bottom line? Just good business.

As to the biodiesel delivery trucks, yes, I read about them, too. They are how many, where and doing what, right now? And biodiesel - that fuel solution with such green support - makes up for shunting food from one end of the county to the other how? Read about the trains thing too. Sounds good. How is it progressing?

As to estimating carbon costs, will these be shared in the same way as they did the on-pack health stats, not by a simple, customer-comprehensible traffic light (as requested by the Food Agency), but by an obscure set of charts no customer can understand, but necessary so they get the full picture? Or simply don't bother as it's all to hard basket.

But it is all better than nothing, so long as it is genuine and not self-interested greenwashing. Hate for those bonuses to be in part not met by weighing profits vs. planet in anything but the best way. Like the bags thing though. Tangible incentives are nifty. I like that idea. Wonder where they go that one from several years ago, but only now seemed moved to act with legislative pressures and potential profit in a pincer action on decisions.

Pledges are good. Don't know about the US, but over here it's a product range that makes tired and overused natural products look better than they really are.

See what staying up all night does for you

He can try and play it. I'll still 'Hmn' it.

Miliband - I'm in tune with the 'I can' generation

An interesting collection of virtues there. And a few notable absences: Honesty. Ethics, Substance. Leadership. Trust...

With the exception of the first that has been cited, all seem more to do with self, as opposed to public... service.

But then, that is probably what politicians today think politics requires... as virtues. With luck the vote, while we still enjoy a free one, will rectify such a notion.

Though obviously out of tune with the hipster, ‘cool’ and ‘now’ crowd embodied by today’s David Brent ministerial class, but still as a British subject, parent, worker, homeowner (and voter, let’s not forget), I can think of and wish for a bit more from my aspiring leaders than ‘being in tune with the times’ as a number one ambition.

It all rather smacks of reacting to now, rather than thinking ahead, proactively creating and inspiring to improve on the future.

As does “I can”. Leaves things a tad vague to my tastes, and almost begs to be followed by ‘...but I may not’, which renders it without any value. Or if there is movement intended, it seems towards more and more ‘talk’ at the expense of any ‘walk’. Sounds about right.

This nation is rapidly in danger of seeing merit in and rewarding the culture of rushing to be the first to be second. Not to do what's right. But simply not to be seen to be wrong.

When I see third sector initiatives - delivered to meet calls bannered under slick titles such as ‘Inspiring Creative Innovation’ and ‘Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship’ - getting rejected for being ‘unproven’ (what else is an innovation but..?) at the expense of ‘proven’ over-staffed, unaccountable, mysteriously vague ROI’d quango money pits, then I know the bean counters have truly decided to be the only ones left seated, albeit with ever more growling stomachs, in the cafe.

Me, I prefer those who say “I am...” and are, or, at a pinch, “I will...”, and do, so long as the promise is met within a decent, specified, reasonable time period.

I of course appreciate it is me who is meant to be motivated by this mantra, but as those who would wish to enjoy the fruits of government seem so unable to live by it, I’m hard pressed to see why I should do their jobs, and pay them for not doing them.

But I am in fact doing all I can. Not because of what hype and spin soundbite politicians have had written by minders to parrot from their membership cards (and it seems not that often delivered in reality), but in spite of them.

And that... really excites me, at least.

GUARDIAN - A backroom conspiracy

'We can't just carry on with New Labour. It is seen as self-obsessed, media-fixated and corrupt '

It has been said before, but it's worth saying it again. Repeat after me....

'....and that's because...'

ps: Nice, uncorrupt piece by Mr. Miliband in the Telegraph today. Two out of three ain't half bad. Literally.

Guardian - Labour must act against this group of dedicated wreckers

Has anyone read what the 'other' option being touted to lead our country has by way of a vision thing?

ps; It's in the Telegraph. Linked from the above. Saves me cut, edtitting and pasting, as I don't have 'people' on the public payroll to do it for me.

Telegraph - Labour's fresh voice

'Isn't it insane that under New Labour the taxpayer pours billions into the NHS, but still ends up with worse benefits than they could buy from the reviled free market system of the US?'

Welcome to our world.

Imagine if they were running a business?

Better yet, how would they fare on The Apprentice?