Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Email from BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith to newsreaders, with a list of questions to ask him attached

Dear Newsreader,
I thought it might save time if, rather than having to brief you on what you should ask me during live interviews from Westminster, you just used the following standard list of questions - because I'm going to say pretty much the same thing in any case, especially if it's about Brexit (which it will be until the government agrees to a second referendum):

List of questions to ask Norman Smith during Live 2-Ways:

("I'm now joined from Westminster by the BBC's Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith...)

1. Norman, just how much trouble is Theresa May in after this morning/today/this evening/last night's events?

2. Just how brilliant was Jeremy Corbyn/Tim Farron/Michael Heseltine/Ken Clarke/that boring prat from the SNP?

3. So Theresa May's Brexit strategy - such as it is - is totally in tatters?

4. Do you think she'll have to resign right away, or in a day or two?

5. What about this incredible bombshell from the Swedish/Luxembourg/Czech/Italian/US foreign minister/traffic spokesperson/Green MP/some bloke with dreadlocks in a cab, warning that Britain won't be allowed to buy any European goods/the City will have to be shut down and all financial services moved to Dinard/Britain will be invaded by the EU army, possibly following a nuclear strike on London, Manchester and Birmingham/we'll be banned from taking holidays or doing any business in the EU/nobody in America will take our calls/we're a bunch of stuck-up sticky-beaks with faces like squashed tomatoes and they never wanted us in their club anyway because we're not right in the head so we can piss off with our chips-and-fish and spam rissoles? That must really have set alarm bells ringing in No. 10?

6. Just how awful/stupid/comic/hapless/inept/ridiculous/reckless/corrupt/embarrassing is Boris Johnson/Nigel Farage/Liam Fox/David Davis/any other pro-Brexit loser who happens to have said or done anything remotely interesting since the last time we spoke?

7. With the Tory Party utterly clueless and hopelessly divided, wouldn't this be an excellent time to rerun the referendum to find out what the British people think now that the unconscionable lies of the Brexit campaigners have been ruthlessly exposed by the BBC and the warnings of the Remainers have been like so totally vindicated, yeah?

8. Just how completely isolated and pathetically friendless is Britain now that the whole of Europe - in fact, the whole of the world - is united against us?

9. Could this spell the end for the divisive/racist/fascist/Islamophobic/anti-immigrant/deeply unpopular Tory government, given that it's only 14 points ahead of Labour according to the latest polls, which also suggest that support for Brexit has actually increased since the referendum? I mean - just how long can the lame-duck Conservatives take this sort of punishment before they do what we all want them to do, i.e. fuck off and die?

10. The majority of MPs - especially the sensible, decent ones demanding a new referendum - evidently think that most British voters are wrong, thick and morally insane not to want to be governed by unelected foreigners - and that their wishes should be discounted if they don't fit the great left-liberal progressivist narrative of our time. None of us here at the BBC (apart from Andrew Neil, perhaps) would disagree with them, would we?

( which stage, newsreader, I'll do a wrap saying that, as the BBC charter states that we should be politically neutral, I couldn't possibly give any indication of my personal views on any political issue. It's always good to leave the audience laughing its head off.)


  1. I'm afraid I have barely ever watched or listened to Norman Smith.

    The BBC has finally achieved what I once would have considered impossible - it has rendered itself so irrelevant as a source of reliable information that I neither watch nor listen to its news output and I record everything else I am interested in - which seems to comprise the occasional documentary on BBC Four.

    If enough of us did the same it would surely wither (even further) on the vine.

  2. I should have added that by recording the few things I am interested in, I can quickly scan through to see if they seem to be propaganda. Quite a few don't survive that process.

    The rest of it - including almost all the output of R4 - is now not even considered, which is a measure of either how bad they have got, or how bad I have.

    1. Agreed. A Fox News UK channel would be like rain in the desert.The only BBC political programme I ever watch is the Daily Politics, thanks to Andrew Neil. No modern "comedy", very little drama (especially now that we have access to Netflix), and Radio 4 just makes me feel like Gilbert Pinfold, because it mainly seems to consist of programmes designed to convince me that I'm a racist, a misogynist, and a homo- and/or trans-phobe. For some odd reason, the last four or five times I've absent-mindedly switched on the radio, I've either been subjected to liberal American "comedians" (i.e. whining left-wing activists masquerading as comics) or programmes about racism in America (white racism, of course - not the violent BLM variety). Still, that's marginally better than those dreary dramas set in colonial India or Ireland during The Troubles, or a panel of frothingly angry Eurofanatics trying to spin a long overdue adjustment to the value of the pound into a national catastrophe brought on by racist voters.

    2. I did it again about ten minutes ago - i.e. switched on the radio as I was tidying the kitchen, only to be confronted by the Left-Wing American AntiComic Rich Hall ranting on about what clown Donald Trump is and how dumb his supporters are before playing a clip of the liberal-left's Dear Leader (Barack Obama) being really like cool and funny at a White House Correspondents Dinner (the "journalists" all laughed, because they're a bunch of craven, left-wing brown-nosers). Why would any BBC executive consider this a sensible use of the licence fee? And does anybody out there actually find Rich Hall in the slightest bit funny? Thought not.

  3. That has been my experience, too. In fact I've developed a bizarre version of Russian roulette with the radio. I flick it on, daring it to be pumping out cultural Marxism. It is, far more often than not.

    If you happen to suffer a bout of insomnia (not an affliction I would wish on anyone, but if you should....) try the same with the World Service. In some respects it is even worse than R4, which is horrifying given its stated purpose of representing Britain to the world. Islington, maybe...

    Unfortunately, the options are few. The Third Programme is no longer 'dons speaking to dons', more like halfwits patronising the terminally clueless and Classic FM thinks the theme from Downton Abbey is serious music and that John Williams is a composer.

    As for Fox, can anyone explain to me what Rupert thinks he is playing at? Sky is moving ever-Leftward, presumably with his blessing, and I can't work out the old reptile's game.

    1. Despite what leftards like to pretend, Murdoch goes with the political flow - he's first and foremost a businessman and he likes to be on the winning side. Sky News here has never been anything but soft left/centrist, The Times, as we know, stopped being remotely conservative years ago, and Fox - faced with a potentially heavy Trump loss - appears to be tacking towards the centre (it was losing out to CNN in terms of ratings earlier this year, but has come roaring back during the last quarter). Part of the problem with Sky News, I think, is that the gene pool for TV presenters, reporters and production staff is the same one used by the BBC for its news teams, so the best you can hope for is a slight difference in emphasis. Also here we have the political bias rules, which in practice seem to be mean that all news has to be left-slanted. At least in the States, there's still a distinct political difference between Fox and the rest of the TV news stations.