Channel 4’s Jon Snow on Gaza: Fair and Balanced, Anyone?

Channel 4 News anchorman Jon Snow is back from Gaza. In an obviously unscripted, from-the-heart piece to camera he had this to say to British TV audiences about his experiences:

I’m back. And in the comfort of this studio its hard to imagine I was ever away. I don’t need to imagine, though, because what I saw is etched into my mind. What I never knew is what I know now which is that those people who live in Gaza are mainly unbelievably young. The average age is 17. That means that about quarter of a million are under ten. And you know if you know any ten-year olds, seven-year olds, five-year olds, four-year olds, the idea in the looseness of a war zone that you can control your children, that they won’t be somewhere where they can be hit is beyond the imagination. You can’t hope to control that. So, in a very densely packed urban area if you decide to throw missiles, shells and the rest then undoubtedly you will kill children. And that is what they are doing.

Read more at Breitbart London

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Fracking: Why Have We Allowed the Left to Make It a Dirty Word?

“Fracking” was the second most popular UK search term in the “what is?” category on Google in 2014.

(The top ten were: Love; Fracking; Gluten; FGM; Lupus; Anxiety; Twerking; Instagram; Gout; Bitcoin).

What this tells you is that capitalism in general and the fracking industry in particular is losing the argument.

How does it tell you this?

Because what it instantly suggests is that “fracking” is a controversial process.

And indeed fracking is a controversial process. But only because it has been tarred that way as a result of several years of very successful propagandising by the green movement, which the fracking industry and its allies in government have proved hopelessly inadequate at countering.

Read more at Breitbart London.

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The Problem with Owen Jones…

Say what you like about Owen Jones – it’s not like he’ll notice: he will long since have blocked you on Twitter – but he makes the most admirably formidable performer in TV and radio debates.

Fluent, brilliant at interrupting, apparently well-informed, unfailingly polite in the green room, and possessed of an undeniably cute, startled-bushbaby charm, the boy Owen has become the go-to left-winger of choice for all the BBC’s myriad political programmes. And the more often he does it (which is every hour God sends, basically), the better he gets. Is it any wonder that those of us who have to do battle with him approach our encounters with a certain trepidation?

But Owen Jones has a chink in his armour – and it has been cruelly exposed in a series of tweets by spy author and investigative blogger Jeremy Duns. Basically, Jones has been caught out playing fast and loose with his killer “facts” in his bestselling new book The Establishment.

One killer fact, which Jones has been repeating quite a bit on his promotional tours, is the amazing statistical revelation that “…According to a 2012 study, forty-six of the top fifty publicly traded firms in the UK had a British parliamentarian as either a director or a shareholder. This figure – 92 per cent of such businesses – was higher than for any of the forty-seven other nations investigated, with the next-ranked developed nation being Italy, at just 16 per cent of such businesses.”

It’s amazing not least because it’s completely untrue. As Duns goes on painstakingly to demonstrate by referring to the original study quoted by Jones.

Problem number one: It doesn’t say “forty-six of the top fifty”. It says 46 per cent of the top 50. So Jones’s misreading of the report has exaggerated the problem he describes by 100 per cent.

Problem number two. The study wasn’t as recent as 2012 (though presumably it may have suited Jones to overlook this detail to make his research look more up-to-the-minute) but dated back to 2004.

So, as Duns notes, Jones’s “92 percent from a 2012 study is actually 46 percent from a 2004 study. Very different things, these.”

Indeed. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh? Jones certainly hasn’t. This fake statisticoid has made its way into a number of promotional speeches he has given on the subject, including one at the London School of Economics (where it was enthusiastically tweeted by Bonnie Greer – and then retweeted 588 times by others), one to Channel 4 news, and one to a left-wing vlogger called Artist Taxi Driver.

There’s plenty more where this came from.

Here, for example, is what Jones says in his Introduction to the book:

“The legacy of centuries of aristocratic power has not vanished, though: more than a third of British and Welsh land – and over 50 per cent of rural land – remains in the hands of just 36,000 aristocrats.”

Jones gives the source as Country Life.

But when you go to the source what it actually says is:

“Indeed, the 36,000 members of the CLA own about 50 per cent of the rural land in England and Wales.”

Do you see the difference?

Jones apparently couldn’t. (Or, as above, perhaps it suited him not to). But the difference is that the 36,000 members of the CLA – aka the Country Land and Business Association – are not all aristocrats. Indeed, most probably only a minority of them are. Anyone can join the CLA, simply by paying the membership fee.

But obviously if you’re engaged in class war and toff bashing “36,000” is a lot more exciting a figure to quote than whatever the tiny real number is.

Let me give one more small example, quoted here by Michael Ezra:

He provides an unsourced 1970s quote from Harold Lever. When, post-publication, he was asked for a source, he claims it came from an interview with Neil Kinnock. It is at no point clear that this quote is based on a decades-later recollection from someone else.

Now individually these instances of sloppiness may seem no big deal. But cumulatively, they raise serious doubts about the credibility of both Jones and his thesis. If you’re going to write a book which rides your hobby horse that the Establishment is basically a free market, right-wing plot against the ordinary working man, the very least you owe your readers is to give your slipshod thesis a veneer of plausibility by providing some concrete, fact-checkable examples of what you mean.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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2 thoughts on “The problem with Owen Jones…”

  1. JohnCollins says:25th October 2014 at 2:05 pmI find this a little bit curious. If you wanted to make the case Owen Jones is looking to make, there is really no need to cherry pick and exaggerate. There is plenty of very provable low hanging fruit in the public domain.

    His work being full of fact holes is a reflection of his standard of research and a willingness to say anything that will further his own aims.

    It’s annoying that voices on the left are mostly charlatans. It guarentees a quagmire. Everyone knows you cannot debate a leftist who cherry picks facts to suit an agenda. They’ll resort to name calling faster than you can say “Excuse me..”.

  2. Rhoderick Gates says:25th October 2014 at 9:03 pm“full of fact holes”

    Three wrong quotes is not ‘full’. He used more than three citations in the book

Comments are closed.

How Oxford’s Police and Social Services Looked away While 370 Underage Girls Were Gang-Raped

I’ve been reading the official report into the latest Muslim rape gang atrocity – in Oxford, this time, city of dreaming spires and the kind of place you’d never imagine such appalling crimes possible over such a period of time and on such a scale.

Be warned: the details are not for the squeamish.

But I think it’s important we’re all fully aware exactly what happened so that we can direct our righteous rage in the appropriate direction. People have been getting away with murder here – and I don’t mean the rapists: at least, finally, at long last, they’re going down. I mean the authorities responsible who, at time of writing, look as if they’re going to get off scot free.

Here, in bullet point form, are some excerpts from the testimony of the estimated 370 victims – all of them white girls, mostly from broken or abusive homes or in “care”, generally aged between about 12 and 15. The abusers were much older men from mainly Kashmiri-Pakistani backgrounds (though one of the convicted men was from Saudi Arabia, another from North Africa), who groomed the girls beforehand. That is they – or one of their younger associates – first showered these vulnerable, emotionally needy girls with affection that some of them had never had before; then they made them feel important and grown up by giving them gifts and alcohol and drugs; then, when the girls were hooked the trap-door suddenly shut and they found themselves being serially abused as sex slaves.

Oh, and the details below – according to the report – are the expurgated version. Apparently there’s other stuff so horrible the report wouldn’t print it.

  • They threatened to blow up my house with my Mum in it
  • I was expected to do things – if I didn’t they said they would come to my house and burn me alive. I had a baby brother
  • They took us to a field where there were other men who had come to have sex with us. I tried not to do it. There were five of them
  • I took so many drugs – it was just a mish-mash
  • Now I feel I was raped – I didn’t have any choice
  • I wouldn’t ever have said no – they’d have beaten the shit out of me
  • It was always Asian men
  • I got deeper and deeper into this group
  • Sometimes I was driven into alleys and woods and men would have sex with me
  • I wouldn’t have done this if I was sober. That’s why the men gave us so much to drink
  • Both men had sex with me lots of times – oral and vaginal
  • I hate them… all they do is rape you… all they want is sex… it’s happened to girls I know, not me before you ask, I not like that
  • When we were at the flats I knew I was there to have sex with whichever men were brought there.
  • He urinated on me
  • I was spit roasted [made to have sex simultaneously with two men]
  • I didn’t want to go to the places to do what I did, but it was my job
  • I went to London on my own to have sex with men they arranged
  • The fear is still very real for me – though they are in jail I still check the cars

This was going on for 15 years, remember. So where, you might wonder, were the police?

Well the report makes lots of excuses for them. Apparently, they were a bit confused over what technically constituted under age sex – statutory rape as it would be called in the US; they felt ill-equipped as to how to respond when, say they found a middle aged Pakistani taxi driver in a car with condoms and a drunk girl looking no older than 14 (yeah: maybe it was just her boyfriend, right?); and they hadn’t been taught properly about CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation), which is the formal term now given for this kind of crime.

But the really damning thing for me is the report’s revelations that actually some police officers DID try to speak out, desperately and repeatedly, only to have their concerns squashed or ignored.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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The BBC Is at Least a Rhousand Times More Evil and Dangerous Than Rupert Murdoch

Britain has gone completely mad over the Rupert Murdoch/News of the World hacking affair and the contagion is spreading to America fast.

I knew things were bad when I spoke yesterday to a normally reliably conservative US talk radio show. “But they say they may even have hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims,” said the appalled female co-host, as if this were the ne plus ultra of round, unvarnished evil.

Some perspective, please. I too respect and am moved by the plight of the 9/11 dead and their families. And of the murdered English schoolgirl Milly Dowler and of the servicemen who died in the Iraq war. (They too, apparently, may – and let’s stress that word “may” – have been targets of phone hacking by the now-disbanded Murdoch-owned tabloid newspaper the News of the World).

But then, so do you. So does everybody. No one in the world right now is sitting there rubbing his or her hands in glee and going: “Heh heh. 9/11 victims. Murdered schoolgirls. Dead Iraq servicemen. I’m so glad their mobile phones were hacked into by the News of the World.”

Yet you’d never guess this from…

(to read more, click here)

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