OUR round-up of the best, most pertinent and amusing comments of the week that have caught our eye.
In response to Alistair Thompson: Lord Hall’s legacy of bias and discrimination at the BBC,
Scheherazade Smith wrote:
Everything the BBC produces looks to my eyes like a sixth-former project with a budget. The agenda is very clear, the entertainment value and creative skill somewhat more nebulous.
I don’t pay a licence fee for that, and neither should you.
Snoffle the Greyhound wrote:
I’m always struck by the BBC’s barefaced lies.
Two weeks ago the BBC led the 8am news on R4 with a story that they had been approached by the chief executive of a health trust in southern England asking for their help in contacting Burberry, a textile manufacturer, to obtain personal protection equipment. The BBC said that the chief executive asked not to be named.
In fact there was no chief executive, no health trust, only a political activist, not employed by the NHS, but naturally on the idiot BBC’s speed dial list. As might be expected, the subsequent grudging apology makes light of their lie,and certainly did not lead any subsequent news broadcast.
Or longer ago, how about an interview John Humphrys conducted with Henry Hendron, the man who killed his boyfriend with the drugs he obtained for a chemsex session. The extremely long interview strangely omitted one remarkable fact – that Hendron had obtained the lethal drugs from a BBC producer who was wholesaling narcotics from the BBC’s own offices.
The BBC. Where truth goes to die.
In response to Julian Mann: When will churches fight for their God-given right to meet?
I think Julian Mann is correct in saying the ‘Church’ is not an avatar and also that any dissent is more likely to be expressed by the Pentecostal (charismatic?) and independent evangelical churches. Whilst some of these churches are genuine expressions of Christianity (not that others are not), I am of the opinion that attachment to buildings may well be dying along with structured meetings, liturgical or otherwise. A return to house meetings and more informal association looks increasingly the way circumstances are taking believers. Christians are moving in that direction already and they will not be surprised if stricter controls for whatever reason are introduced making this a necessity. The old way of doing church has generally served us well but ‘New Wineskins’ are probably required, (still containing the best wine, of course!). The Church returning to its nascent roots and ceasing to be a career or social club. The so-called ‘underground church’ in totalitarian countries is a template. The Church is growing in China and North Korea despite the most horrendous persecution.
When house arrest (I prefer not to use the L word) was imposed, the C of E missed a golden opportunity to protest tooth and nail against it. Instead, they just rolled over.
Many see the C of E as a God-bothering irrelevance (not my view, much as I deplore the ‘wokeness’). However, the capitulation merely extends the downward spiral. How many churches out there will have closed their doors for the last time and wind up being another ‘redundant church’ tourist attraction?
In response to Will Jones: We can’t hide for ever from this not very deadly virus,
The Skeptic King wrote:
I feel an apology is in order. To us. The rationalists. The doubters and the questioners. The numerically literate. The people willing to do just a little checking of ‘facts’.
Will Boris apologise for his complicity in manufacturing the greatest damage to the economy in almost one hundred years?
Will the government apologise for deliberately misleading the public?
Will the sheeple apologise for being sheep?
Unfortunately, Mr Bumble and his fear-mongering cronies have created a nation of Chicken Littles, terrified that everyone they meet might have literal death-breath.
The social engineering has been an overwhelming success. Back over to Bumble, to see how he persuades the frightened sheep (and malingerers) to come out from under their beds, or how he proposes to restaurants and pubs, having tanked them for 2-3 months, that they should re-open and run at quarter capacity (and quarter revenue) to protect people from the infinitesimally small chance of succumbing to Chinese death-snot.
Also, why aren’t supermarket workers dropping dead in their droves?
Good luck, Bumble. You’re going to need it.
In response to Michael Curzon: Why aren’t Brits welcome down on the farm?
A mate runs an apple farm in Kent. He employs migrant workers, who live on-site in caravans. They prune trees, and pick fruit in the autumn. Get the pruning wrong, and the crop is ruined. If you damage the trees while picking, next year’s crop suffers. Apples are stored in climate-controlled warehouses for a year – bruise them, and they won’t keep. The workers start at dawn, and work flat out. Friday nights, they have a bbq. When the exchange rate was better, they could earn way more than at home. Some of them had degrees, and were saving to buy a house.
He tried hiring Brits, but they got drunk every night, then wouldn’t get up to catch the transport to the orchard. And they didn’t have the skills, or even the desire to work.
Commuting? There’s nowhere to park, on a working farm. Every shed contains a separate business, and space is at a premium.
So when I heard about this scheme, I was slightly sceptical . . .
HMS Lion wrote:
I suspect employing Brits would tread too much on the toes of the East European (and elsewhere) gangmaster racket which profits from siphoning off the miserable wages of those doing the work. Just a thought . . .
In response to Michael Fahey: Who decides what is essential and what is not?
I was queuing in my car to collect my pre-arranged order from B&Q when I was told by a policeman that what I was buying wasn’t essential and I should go home. He didn’t know what I was buying, nor did he care.
There’s no such thing as a non-essential journey, unless you’re talking about sitting on the Circle Line all day, no one goes anywhere ‘just for the sake of it’.
Being free to make choices and live your life to its fullest potential is, however, very essential.
‘It is a godless government that betrays such a lack of any understanding or valuing of human contact – of family relationships and of the intergenerational dependence so fundamental to a functioning society.’
But not necessarily if it is in sway to an Establishment which is dominated by people who have an inner, hidden motive of destabilising liberal democratic society, as a stepping-stone to the establishment of an authoritarian and totalitarian State.
In response to Meredith Brent: Out of lockdown, into the new abnormality,
It is easy and tempting to lay the blame for this new, dystopian horror, which is crashing into our reality, entirely at the feet of Dr Doom from Imperial College, a proven and utter imbecile.
The decision to act on this moron’s modelling was taken by bumbling Boris. Not even a year into his tenure, he may have already secured a legacy as the Prime Minister who will have wrought more misery and devastation upon the British public than any of his predecessors. Time will only tell the horrifying extent of this act of, either, incompetence or treachery.
He is, of course, mirrored by the utterly despicable Jimmy Krankie monster we have north of the border, a horrible, illiberal, power-crazed little cretin.
There is virtually no escape from this madness, the likes of which I’ve never seen.
In response to Caroline ffiske: Now Gavin Williamson must follow Liz Truss’s lead,
Dozed has the right ring to it. I’m sure the previous ministers simply waved this through happy that they could ‘announce’ they were spending £1m on ‘this important issue’. And appear on programmes happy to say how they were helping ‘progress’ to a nicer world. As politicians do on any number of issues that obsess the media. In government spending terms a million is loose change and probably was not even noticed. However all these various government and local government funded groups actually have considerable incomes and certainly sufficient for lobbying, given that there are a tiny number of actual people who need help.
My primary concern is that Conservatives consistently fail to pay attention to the detail and find themselves gaily pushing along this and other agendas that are completely opposed to conservatism.
It is vital for people to assume ministers know little about what their ministries are up to, and do exactly as was done here. I’m sure Liz Truss would in fact be oblivious until this was tweeted.
I’m sure Gavin Williamson won’t have any idea of the content of the programme and will only pay attention to detail if forced by lobbying.
In response to Richard Harper: Sorry, but we can’t always be safe,
Lunar Tick wrote:
Die at home
Protect the NHS
Save political careers
In response to Ollie Wright: Remember the heroes who freed the world from Nazi slavery,
I’m Old Fashioned wrote:
I wouldn’t suggest for one moment that there should be no historical discussion of decisions and strategies made during the war, but I do feel that we should perhaps also take a minute to remind ourselves that it is the easiest thing in the world to sit here in perfect peace, having read countless books, essays and primary source accounts, combined with the luxury of seventy five years’ reflection on both the immediate and long-term outcomes of those decisions, and to forget that they were often made with great urgency by people charged with the very grave responsibility for the survival of this country.
It’s probably impossible today to even imagine the pressure they were under, but if we can try to imagine the circumstances of those times we might be a little more forgiving about those who had to make them.
Hindsight makes geniuses of us all.
I’m sure there will be many on the left who will be denigrating everything about today and belittling our contribution.
They will clap till their hands bleed to celebrate their socialist edifice but will turn their backs on the real heroes who allowed them the freedom to do so.
Editor’s contribution to the Readers’ Forum
The following poem was brought to our attention, published in the Times on May 9, 1945, which Margaret and I want to share with you. It expresses the mixture of joy for the future and the tragic cost of the past six years that must have been in the minds of many on that day.
|WARI saw ten million die, and all the land|
Laid desolate; the trees stand up to heaven
Like spars of sinking ships; the stubborn grass
Curling in agony about the fields.
And yet I knew that all would be again:
The trees stand up to heaven like bannered spears;
The slow, green flame of grass kindle the fields.
But one among the millions was my son;
Death caught him.
Who will live for me the twenty years,
The twenty centuries, that still remain?R. N. K.
Finally, readers may be interested to learn that a collection of photographs taken in the last days and months of WW2, never before been seen in its entirety, is being placed on the Courtauld Institute’s Conway Library website.
Informally known as the ‘Ministry of Works’ bequest, it comprises several hundred photographs taken by soldiers, historians and architects across Europe at the time. The images present new insights into cityscapes reduced to mounds of rubble by bombing.
That was when the population really had something to worry about.
You can see a selection from the Ministry of Works collection here.