Twitter bitch fight breaks out between Indy hack and Corbynites at Novara Media

Indy vs Novara

The insurgent Novara Media, an alternative media outlet founded by one Aaron Bastani, appears to be attracting attention from the old guard at Fleet Street, as well as Guido Fawkes, which has been drawing ever closer to the Murdoch press.

In the last week Bastani attacked the Independent on Sunday’s political editor Jane Merrick after she criticised Jeremy Corbyn for regularly rebelling against Labour by voting against government legislation under Tony Blair during the late 90s and early 00s.

Shortly after Merrick responded to Bastani’s jibe, dubbing him a “non-journalist”.

And even the Guardian’s Owen Jones, a rare journalist who openly and actively campaigns for Jeremy Corbyn, weighed in on the matter:

One of the reasons for the hostility is that Bastani has been an open and determined critic of the mainstream media, tweeting such gems as this whilst promoting a recent crowdfunding effort for Novara:

Coverage on Novara is also markedly more generous to Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn than most of the opinion being published from Fleet Street papers.

Whether this reflects the views of Britons at large is dubious, but clearly the activities of Bastani are alarming enough to warrant write-ups on Guido Fawkes, which branded him a “notorious Twitter troll” in a recent piece.

But whilst there are undoubtedly some lamentable aspects to Bastani’s behaviour, it is hard not to conclude there is a grain of truth to some of his views…

Image Credit – Indy vs Novara, logos owned by respective groups

Milo Yiannopoulos: Gamergate in 10 minutes

Super Blast Mario, July 2012 by JD Hancock

Journalist and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, recently banned from speaking at Manchester University because of fears he might incite hatred, has long been embroiled in the Gamergate controversy, and has now appeared in a brief breakdown of the scandal.

Whatever one’s view of the situation, Yiannopoulos draws some interesting parallels between the progressive attempt to censor video games on charges they make you sexist and the work of the American religious right in the 90s, who claimed that video games make you violent.

“People were doing this in the 90s and the games press did a great job of defending video games against those charges. They’ve done a much less good job – in fact they’ve done no job at all – of defending it against feminists who are just as whacky and just as crazy as the old religious right. And in fact the feminists say all the same things, they hate the same things, they hate nudity and violence – all the same stuff.”

In the video Yiannopoulos references to disgraced American attorney and Christian crank Jack Thompson, who attempted to censor violent video games and was later disbarred by the Florida Bar due to misconduct.

The Breitbart columnist also went on to discuss how the Internet has led to a realignment of the culture wars, pitting authoritarians against libertarians.

“The Internet has dumped politics. It’s very interesting. It’s turned every major culture war and every major discussion into a row between authoritarians, who want to control how other people live, and libertarians who either want to escape whatever is going on in their lives or classical liberals, like me, who believe in freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and liberty of ideas, and believe it is essential – for the good of our species if you like, if you want to get serious about it – that we can talk about everything openly and honestly and there are no no-go areas.”

His later comments about the rise of anti-establishment politics do not entirely wring true, partly because many of those backing populists like Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Democrats’ Bernie Sanders, the Republicans’ Donald Trump and Ukip’s Nigel Farage are themselves authoritarians.

But even so one should keep an eye on the trend of how the Internet is reshaping politics as we know it.

Image Credit – Super Blast Mario, July 2012 by JD Hancock

BBC apologises for airing climate sceptic show featuring Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers

Iceberg, December 2012 by National Ocean Service

The BBC apologised on Tuesday for airing a radio show involving climate change sceptics without pointing out that scientists overwhelmingly agree that climate change is somewhat caused by man.

What’s the Point of the Met Office? was broadcast on Radio 4 early in August, featuring the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts, Peter Lilley MP, Graham Stringer MP, the TaxPayers’ Alliance Andy Silvester, and weather forecaster Piers Corbyn, brother of Labour leader Jeremy.

During the show the sceptics questioned the view that climate change is caused by man, Piers Corbyn having long argued that solar energy is responsible for climate change rather than manmade emissions, a view he has put forward through his company WeatherAction since 1995.

According to the weather forecaster the reason that the media, government and Met Office are so keen to push the carbon-based theory of climate change is because of a Qatari-led plot to keep oil prices high, a view that London mayor Boris Johnson has flirted with in columns for the Telegraph.

After the broadcast of What’s the Point of, scientists complained to the Beeb for not putting the comments in their proper context, with Andy Smedley, an atmospheric scientist at Manchester University, receiving an email from the broadcaster in response.

“With regard to What’s the Point of the Met Office, we do not consider that the programme met our required standard of accuracy or impartiality in its coverage of climate change science. As previously stated, we also recognise that, in giving voice to climate change sceptics, it failed to make clear that they are a minority voice, out-of-step with the scientific consensus – which we would normally expect on the occasion when we include such viewpoints.”

As the email states, “false balance” has been a problem for the Beeb and other broadcasters in dealing with climate change, with programmes often pitting one climate change advocate against a sceptic, making it appear as though scientists are divided on the matter.

There’s no better way of showing this than the clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which should also make you feel better about the whole situation (or then again, not):

Image Credit – Iceberg, December 2012 by National Ocean Service

BuzzFeed sneers at men for being men at Tory conference panels

Naked Green Men, September 2007 by Pedro Ribeiro Simoes

BuzzFeed, in keeping with the, er, “progressive” left’s adoption of sexism as a political strategy, has published a rather charming article sneering at men for, er, being men whilst doing things.

In celebration we’ve readapted the article to jeer at women for being women while doing things, just to ensure the balance of the universe is kept in check.

1. This Countryside Alliance event where the girls discussed why people who shoot animals are “the real conservationists”.

(We can’t post the image here. It’s owned by BuzzFeed. Or Jamie Ross.)

2. Look at all these women talk about money.

3. Here are the fillies talking about a campaign to make people walk more.

4. This Campaign for Real Ale fringe meeting where the lasses had some banter about beer and pubs.

5. This event was hosted by the CPS think tank, where six women all talked about Europe like great big bootylicious babes.

6. Here are some legends in deep discussion about #fotbot. (Women can be legends, right?)

7. These women talked about technology and machines. It was like Grumpy Old Women (This is the best you could do? – Ed). Fantastic.

8. Here are four massive ladettes taking action on housing.

9. These biddies led the discussion at the LGBTory fringe.

10. There are structural challenges facing charities, but don’t worry – these chapettes have it all in hand.

11. Here are some ladies discussing the exclusively female issue of council tax. (Needs some work – Ed)

12. This event from Conservative Home looked particularly fun and oestrogen-filled.

13. Here are lots of women watching a smaller number of women talk about the “northern powerhouse”.

14. These chapesses are sorting out local government for everyone.

15. Women. Finance. Technology. Lovely stuff.

16. Finally, here are some women thinking in their “think tent”.

All sounds a bit sexist when you put it like that, doesn’t it?

Image Credit – Naked Green Men, September 2007 by Pedro Ribeiro Simoes

Peter Capaldi: the BBC is ‘seriously under threat from the government’

Peter Capaldi, San Diego Comic Con, July 2015 by Gage Skidmore

Peter Capaldi, the actor behind The Thick of It’s spin doctor-in-chief Malcolm Tucker, warned last week that the BBC is “seriously under threat from the [British] government.”

Speaking to the American chat show host Larry King, the current Doctor Who was asked how things were in Britain, and proceeded to outline his views on how the Tory government was behaving.

Capaldi: “I think with the new government, the organisation that makes our show, the BBC – which is one of the great organisations of the world, one of the most special organisations – is under threat. I think it’s seriously under threat.”

King: “From?”

Capaldi: “From the government.”

King: “Funding?”

Capaldi: “Yeah. And for its very existence.”

King: “Why?”

Capaldi: “Because the government doesn’t think the BBC supports it.”

King: “You mean because it does programmes that attack the government?”

Capaldi: “Yeah.”

King: “So like [US broadcaster] PBS has been accused of in America?”

Capaldi: “I think because it’s not answerable to shareholders and it entertains ideas, all kinds of ideas about Britain and about history and about history and about art that I think the government would rather not – they don’t want to pay for it.

“And I think it’s so important. I’m glad you asked me that question, because I think it’s one of the most important things that is happening in the country, and the BBC represents the spirit of our country.”

Pressed further by King, Capaldi went on the warn that the BBC could “vanish.”

Currently the Beeb is undergoing a Charter Review in which the government could reduce the funding given to the broadcaster by abolishing the licence fee, diminishing its ability to make programmes.

It is also facing competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as more people consume television online, which has led its director general Tony Hall to outline plans to adapt the broadcaster to the digital age.

Image Credit – Peter Capaldi, San Diego Comic Con, July 2015 by Gage Skidmore