George Galloway to Saddam:”you have to get rid of what you’ve got”

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30th March 2012

This 32-second video from George (pussy cat) Galloway’s infamous outing on Big Brother speaks volumes. It’s worth half a minute of your time, believe me.

Galloway to Rula Lenska, on Galloway’s little chat with his friend Saddam:

“But the meeting was between me and him. I asked to see him.  I said ‘look, er…  I’m going to be frank with you. You have to know from me that they’re definitely going to attack. And I then said to him,  I fixed him eye to eye like I’m fixing you. And I said –  ‘and you have to get rid of what you’ve got’.”


Instead of asking the obvious, as would an averagely intelligent human being – say for instance – ‘what did you mean by getting rid of what he’d got?’ – Rula Lenska  says as per the GG script- “was he hated by the people?”

Upon which cue George Galloway says of the “indefatigable” Saddam – “Not at all, not at all.”

So I’ll ask what GG meant, since Ms Lenska wasn’t quite clued-up enough.

What, Gorgeous One… what EXACTLY was it you suggested Saddam had to “get rid of”? A couple of the superfluous  Mansions? That run-down Roller? An oil well or two? One of the wives/ex-wives? Another son-in-law?

In August 1995, Raghad (Saddam’s eldest daughter) and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Rana (his 2nd daughter) and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Kamel brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors. (source)

Or was it … (drumroll while one utters the unutterable)…


As if, eh?

Eh, President Assad?


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Tony Blair in Sweden: “My staff always wanted me to be more like Hugh Grant”

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Tony Blair meets Romanian Prime Minister Ungureanu, 26th March 2012

Tony Blair meets Romanian Prime Minister Ungureanu, 26th March 2012

27th March 2012

I mentioned the other day that Tony Blair gets around.

Yesterday it was Romania. Today, Sweden.

In a speech on leadership in Gothenburg today he said this. (My thanks to tweep –  Mariah ben Salem@Mariahbensalem)

Tony Blair: “My staff always wanted me to be more like Hugh Grant, but I didn’t quite make it.”

Some might suggest that Mr Grant, or rather the script, didn’t quite make it.


In ‘Love Actually’, the 2003 film where the PM was played by Hugh Grant there is this facile section. (One knows it was facile when cinema audiences applaud such populist press-inspired anti-American tripe as ‘USA are bullies‘)

Press Conference Reporter: Mr. President, has it been a good visit?
The President: Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for, and our special relationship is still very special.
Press Conference Reporter: Prime Minister?
Prime Minister: I love that word “relationship.” Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… Britain. We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.
On that “relationship” jibe – so beloved by the brainwashing literati at The Guardian and Independent –  Yes, it is special.  Ask Dave & Obama (about the “bromance”).  Always was special. Always will be special.
In response,  at the Labour Party conference of 2005, a few months after winning a third record-breaking general election for Labour, the REAL Prime Minister said this:

“I know there’s a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there’s the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.

I never doubted after September 11th that our place was alongside America and I don’t doubt it now.

And for a very simple reason. Terrorism struck most dramatically in New York but it was aimed then, and is aimed now, at us all, at our way of life.

This is a global struggle.”

It certainly is a global struggle as far as depicting Tony Blair in fiction is concerned. Way to go.
Here is the full text and video of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s keynote speech to the Labour Party’s 2005 conference in Brighton.

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Tony Blair is still a busy boy

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Today Tony Blair is in Brussels. More on that here.

Yesterday he was in Westminster at the Queen’s Jubilee. More on that just below.

On Monday he was in London speaking on the future of Africa – (Speech as published in The Times here.  

It’s hardly surprising if he doesn’t always know which door he’s supposed to be going through.

LONDON, Tuesday March 20, 2012: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attends Queen Elizabeth II address to both Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The media had some fun and games watching who was sitting next to whom and why in Westminster Hall as the Queen gave a speech to both Houses of Parliament to mark her 60 years on the throne. Avoiding fisticuffs between Messrs Blair & Brown was as usual, the preferred explanation for placing the speaker’s wife between the two former Prime Ministers.  Since they have been seated next to each other at several high-profile events in recent times, without any sign of blood, this was an entirely invented excuse for twitterblab. As it happened Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, got a lovely picture or two for her album. I can even see the caption now – ‘Sally between two last Labour Prime Ministers’.  Hmm – did I mean “last two”?  No –  “two last”.

There were one or two other notable pictures at the event of our politicians.


For instance, this one of David Cameron scowling somewhat at the speech by the Speaker in which he mentioned “kaleidoscope” three times. I ventured to tweet that three reminders of Tony Blair’s “the kaleidoscope has been shaken …  pieces in flux” might have been three too many for Mr Cameron. In fact he was rather more likely to have been annoyed because Mr Bercow was publicising his own favourite charity. The Queen’s speech to both Houses was not a hijacking occasion.

But you really WILL have to learn to hide your distaste better, Mr Cameron. I know, I know - John Bercow is a Blairite Tory. He isn't the only one, as you well know. Anyway, Tony would never have scowled like that; even at Gordon.

And then there was this straightening things up moment as they waited for Her Majesty to arrive.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, adjust their ties. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool.

There were several pictures of Tony Blair in conversation with Ed Miliband. The latter now seeks the valued advice of the former, regularly. Naturally. But I rather enjoy pondering on the conversation or lack of in this one. More pictures here at DayLife

Former prime minister Tony Blair talks with Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Photo: JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images

BBC: Pictures of the Queen’s Jubilee event at Westminster Hall

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AHLC Report: Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building


Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 in Office of Tony Blair, Office of the Quartet Representative

AHLC Report: Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building

Read the full report for the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Office of the Quartet Representative Development Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building

Quartet Representative Tony Blair said: 

“This AHLC meeting in Brussels comes at a profoundly important time for the Palestinian Authority (PA). Amid a steep fiscal crisis, slowing economic trends and continuing political uncertainty, policy reforms and institution-building plans implemented by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are coming under increasing financial strain.

“While efforts continue to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, it is important in the coming period to redouble our efforts to shore up the fiscal position of the Palestinian Authority and to re-energize the Palestinian economy.

“Sustaining economic growth and job creation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will require new actions by various parties. These actions should aim at boosting investor confidence and further unlock the immense potential of the Palestinian private sector.

“My development agenda in 2012 focuses on seven thematic areas related to the economic growth and institution-building, specifically:

  • Private sector development
  • Promoting movement, access and trade facilitation
  • Area C development
  • Reconstructing and opening up Gaza economically;
  • Improving living and business conditions in East Jerusalem;
  • Improving the rule of law covering the judicial and security sectors;
  • Strengthening the PA fiscal position.

“The goal of this development agenda, again, is to catalyse significant economic change on the ground to give greater oxygen to the political negotiation process. So the ‘ground-up’ economic agenda will continue to provide critical support to the ‘top-down’ political process.”

OQR’s Key Priorities in 2012

In 2012, Quartet Representative Tony Blair’s key priorities within this development agenda focus on four areas:

  • Working with the PA to resolve the short-term and medium-term energy problems in Gaza;
  • Promoting greater Palestinian trade flows between Gaza, the West Bank, and international markets;
  • Promoting Area C development through agreed fast-tracking mechanisms and the active participation of local Palestinian communities;
  • Pressing for greater direct budget support from regional and international donors to help the PA overcome its acute fiscal crisis.


AFRICA (source)

The following oped by Tony Blair first appeared in The Times on Monday 19 March 2012.

For most of my first term as Prime Minister, bad news about Africa was all I heard. Brutal conflict engulfed Sierra Leone and Liberia. Rwanda was emerging from a genocide that had decimated its population. It was the era of Drop the Debt: petitions and letters piled up in Downing Street for the campaign. As ever, the British public gave their support generously, but perhaps with a sense that the problems were intractable, that this was the same old African story.

But I was always an optimist about Africa. I believed that things would and could be different. Now, 15 years later, they are. Africa is on the move. And to keep up with a changing Africa we need new thinking and new approaches.

Africa’s economies are booming. Over the past decade, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, sub-Saharan Africa has grown faster than East Asia. Aid has helped: the doubling of aid to Africa that I championed at Gleneagles in 2005 has strengthened, not stymied Africa’s progress. Africa has seen the largest recent turnaround in poverty of any region, malaria rates have fallen by a fifth in the past decade, and rates of HIV-Aids have plummeted.

The debt relief campaign has liberated African economies from the burden of indebtedness, allowing them to compete globally. Government funds that once went to service debt now go on public services. In Nigeria, a country of 170 million people, 70 per cent of whom live on less than $1.25 a day, the millions saved have been piled back into healthcare, with vaccination levels rising from 10 per cent to 65 per cent in places. Thousands of lives have been saved each year. And the progress on malaria, Aids and measles is spread right across the continent.

Africa is also benefiting from the movement of capital, skills, and technology, particularly from the new economic powerhouses of China, Brazil and India; taking the best of what has been learnt the hard way by West and East and applying it from Maputo to Monrovia.

However, the main thing changing Africa is Africa itself. There is one indispensable thing that cannot be imported: government. Here, too, things have improved. The number of democracies in sub-Saharan Africa has skyrocketed from three in 1989 to 23 in 2008. Since 1991, African governments have been defeated at the ballot box 30 times. Between the 1960s and 1991 that happened only once. To seize this moment, African governments across the continent must step up to lead the way. I see a new generation of leaders emerging, ready to take their countries’ destinies into their own hands, no longer dependent on outside assistance. This is achievable. I believe that we can end African countries’ dependence on aid within a generation. But it will need a new approach, a new partnership between developed and developing world.

This new approach has three elements. First, African governments need the capacity to deliver tangible results for their citizens. Democracy is spreading and deepening across the continent, but too often democratically elected leaders come to power on a wave of popular enthusiasm only to find that they lack the government institutions to implement the changes their people expect. African governments must be supported to build the systems and institutions they need to get things done. I set up my charity, the Africa Governance Initiative, which now has projects in five countries, to provide exactly that support, but the lesson is much wider and should become integral to our approach to development.

Second, Africa needs a vibrant private sector. Development will only become self-sustaining when it is based on a private sector that creates jobs, opportunities and incomes. And the private sector can only thrive when the right infrastructure is in place: roads to bring goods to market; airports and ports to enable trade; and behind all this, power to switch on the lights to make commerce possible. These aren’t new points. But, as Bill Gates told G20 leaders last year, infrastructure development must be prioritised, by African governments and their partners.

Third, we need a new way of rich and poor countries working together. The old way, where the rich world gives and the poor world passively receives, is an anachronism. African countries must be in the driving seat of their own development, setting priorities and making decisions. Where aid is needed, it should get behind these priorities to strengthen governments’ own systems.

These changes in how we work with Africa are necessary. But perhaps the biggest change that is needed is less tangible: a change in our expectations. Too often when we think of Africa we conjure up outdated images of a generation ago. In trying to galvanise global support for aid, I admit I played my part in this, characterising Africa as a scar on the conscience of the world. But Africa today is moving forward at a dizzying pace; our attitudes, how we think of, and talk about Africa must keep pace. I look forward to the day when people open a newspaper to read about African entrepreneurs creating jobs, African researchers developing breakthrough technologies, African elections running smoothly and think … this is the way I expect it to be.


Also see –  A New Approach to a New Africa


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Tony Blair on Africa, governance, homosexual & human rights & so on & so forth…

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21st March 2012

ADDENDUM (as it were) WARNING!  Aware of some sensitivities, I thought I’d better explain that that isn’t really a beheaded man in the picture below.  I was just trying to sate the press’s blood lust. But if you’re sensitive, better go away now. Just  in case.

This a PS to the previous post,  Note to Self

In case you missed it, or the press omitted to tell you – whichever comes first – or rather doesn’t come – on Monday Tony Blair spoke in London on issues around good governance in the African continent.

From article & exclusive interview at CNN - See link at end

Somehow the London gathering escaped the attention of many. Positive news hits no headlines.

Instead they were up in tweeting arms about the recent comments of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a joint-interview with Tony Blair.

Liberian President Sirleaf is AGAINST homosexual rights? What? Off with Tony Blair's head! (Wonderland, Part... whatever)

Only, SHE wasn’t universally castigated for HER comments. HE was lambasted for not arguing back against them!

It’s like Paxman in Wonderland all over again.


Now look here, children – it really isn’t THAT difficult.

President Sirleaf of Liberia makes and/or enacts her country’s popular policies.

Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) has been asked to assist her country in setting up “good governance”.

He is not there to TELL her about policy issues, even though there are bound to be many with which he disagrees.

This is a chicken and egg situation. Which comes first?

For anyone with a brain clear enough to detach itself from its own bias against Mr Blair it is clear which has to come first; good governance. Following that human rights, homosexual rights and so on and so on…

Tony Blair can no more fly into Liberia and tell Liberians which policies to adopt than he can tell China, Russia or Iran.

Got it now? Told you it was easy.

Now tell our ignorant, biased, agenda-ridden & -driven press.


Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative,  (AGI) –

Twitter accounts – Tony Blair – AGI & Tony Blair Office

CNN press Room Exclusive interview with Tony Blair



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Tony Blair’s note to self

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19th March 2012

NOTE to self: ‘N.B. Interview alongside Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – think what she’s thinking before I utter a stupid word.’

Video & report “Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality in Liberia”

Exclusive: In joint interview, Tony Blair refuses to comment on Liberian president’s remarks supporting anti-gay laws

The Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has defended a law that criminalises homosexual acts, saying: “We like ourselves just the way we are.”



Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative – (AGI): Africa Sets The Pace for Growth & A New Approach to a New Africa

Twitter accounts – Tony Blair – AGI & Tony Blair Office


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Jeremy Paxman in Wonderland. “BBC Trust” findings.

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16th March 2012

Below, in blue, is the full text of the letter from the complainant in response to the BBC Trust findings (p31) on the Paxman interview with Douglas Alexander on Newsnight, BBC2 on 21 February 2011, which formed the basis of my previous blog post.  As is shown, the  extra details of the findings are even more outrageous and nonsensical than those included in the Wonderland story.
The complaint is based on the fact that consideration of this case has not followed the basic rules of an appeal process i.e. that the decision should be related to the precise terms of the original complaint, that the objections to a finding should be properly considered and then the decision made on the basis of whether or not these objections are plausible and whether there was evidence to back up any case being made.
In this case the Committee’s decision is not related to my original complaint and your conclusions have been endorsed without addressing my precise objections to them.   No evidence has been provided to support the Committee’s conclusions whereas evidence to support my objections has been ignored. Finally, the reasoning behind the Committee’s decision is quite absurd.  All this can be seen from the following analysis of the Committee’s justification of their findings, which can be summarised as –
  1. it could not be concluded from the substance of Mr Paxman’s questions that they represented his personal views;
  2. most viewers would not have judged that Mr Paxman’s combatitive questioning on this topic went beyond what was expected of Mr Paxman in this respect;
  3. the Committee did not agree that the questions put to the daughter of the murdered Libyan dissident were leading questions;
  4. the style of the interview did not reveal in any way the presenter’s views;
  5. just because an interviewer may hold certain views does not mean that an interview is conducted in a partial manner;
  6. the key question was not the distinction between whether the presenter actually held personal views or gave the impression that he held personal views; it was whether the material  broadcast was impartial. The Committee then declare the evidence that I have provided to support my case to be irrelevant.
The obvious answers to these points, which I have repeatedly made in the correspondence, are
1)  It was not the substance of Mr Paxman’s questions which revealed his personal views or gave the impression that they were his views but the way in which they were put ;
2)  this is simply a matter of opinion, no evidence having been provided. Even if  such combatitive questioning was expected by the audience this does not override the need for Mr Paxman to abide by the guidelines I have referred to about interviewers not revealing their own biased views on a subject or giving the impression of such bias.
3)  this observation flies in the in the face of the actual questions put in this case –
“It was not just a matter of Mr Paxman’s softer tone with Ms Abuzeid but of the way questions were put to her to simply confirm the case that Mr Paxman was making. As I said in my submission to Ms O’Brien, “Mr Paxman then turns to the daughter of a murdered Libyan dissident and gently asks her some leading questions about what she thinks of the pictures of Blair and Gaddafi (as if she’s going to reply, great!) and whether she had any anxiety that the Blair relationship was reinforcing Gaddafi’s position in Libya (as if she’s going to answer ‘no’.)”
4)  this observation also flies in the face of the way the questions were put in this case –
“His lips curling with contempt, Paxman asked Alexander whether he was proud of the pictures of Blair embracing Gaddafi, emphasising the words “proud” and “embracing”.He then went on to refer to “the killing being done by someone who our former PM had clasped to his bosom and whose son referred to him as a close personal friend (with the words “bosom”, “close” “personal” “friend” being almost spitted out. This was followed by “So we have got a despot still in power, having been clasped to his bosom by our former PM (notice the repetition of the bosom clasping reference) and you still show no sign of apologising for this? (with a note of incredulity in his voice). Then in response to an answer from Alexander he almost screams at him “Stop passing the buck to the international community!”
Moreover, putting the observation in this way begs the question of whether Mr Paxman gave the impression that these were his own biased views even if they were not.  As I have already said, giving such an impression seems to go against the BBC guidelines on this matter and although I have provided a link to an ESC finding apparently agreeing with this interpretation of the guidelines the Committee have completely ignored this aspect of my appeal. 
5)  I was not arguing that the interview was lacking in impartiality just because Mr Paxman held certain views about the subject of the interview. My argument was that the interview was biased  because Mr Paxman allowed his attitude towards Tony Blair to be revealed (or gave the impression that this was his attitude) in the manner of his questioning.
6)  this is the most obtuse, convoluted and contentious part of the Committee’s justification of their finding.  First of all they have distorted my argument as explained in my answer to point 5 above (it was not a matter of the presenter just holding certain views etc but of the presenter revealing those views etc in the interview and thus affecting the impartiality of the interview). Second they seem to be saying that the interview was impartial just because they say it was impartial, dismissing the evidence I presented to the contrary as irrelevant. It was like a judge in  the Wonderland of Alice finding someone innocent on the basis that it was not part of his job to consider evidence presented by the prosecution.
As regards the question of the evidence itself in this case, the  Committee’s decision is even more like the logic of Wonderland  in that, as I have pointed out before, the Committee had come to their conclusion on the irrelevance of the evidence even though on a previous complaint I had made  (Newsnight, BBC TWO, 28 September 2009) the Committee had rejected my appeal on the basis that “the complainant had not presented it with any evidence to support his complaint that Jeremy Paxman was presenting his own opinions and as such the Committee was satisfied that in carrying out his role of interviewer Jeremy Paxman had been impartial and even-handed in his approach and style of questioning”.
Thus, as I went on to say, in the previous case the test of impartiality was whether evidence had been provided whereas the test in this case is simply whether the Committee considered the interview to be impartial regardless of the evidence provided. This seems to be a clear case of moving the goalposts in that evidence is crucial where I haven’t provided it but irrelevant where I have. Or in Wonderland terms. “When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean…nothing more nor less”.
Finally the Committee seems to have come to a view on this case based on the key question being whether the “material as broadcast” was impartial whereas my complaint was about the phrasing and manner of the questioning, which is a very different thing.
So on all the key elements of handling this appeal i.e. addressing the precise terms of my appeal,  properly addressing my objections to your conclusions, properly addressing the question of the evidence provided (and not provided) plus the need for the findings to stand up to logical analysis, the Committee have fallen far short of what should be expected. In that sense I consider their handling of the case to be grossly unfair and the explanation of their findings not clearly communicated.  To add insult to injury they have also rejected my request that the extracts from my letter setting out the precise nature of those parts of the Paxman interview that I objected to should be included in the published findings. I wanted these extracts included so that visitors to the site could determine whether the Committee’s views on the impartiality of the interview were justified.”
Earlier, 28th July 2011, complaint – HOW THE BBC TRUST BETRAYS OUR TRUST, Part 2  [and prior to that (Part 1, 28th June 2011) and after those (Part 3, 8th August 2011)]
John Rentoul on yet another complaint to said BBC re Paxman bias

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Paxman in Wonderland

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10th March 2012

(Updated 13th March: John Rentoul on BBC’s Paxman &  “over-compression”!)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)

Jeremy’s Adventures in Wonderland

Once upon a time there was a big, bad TV presenter who went by the name of Jeremy Paxman. He worked for a nationwide broadcasting channel, the BBC, which prided itself on being righteously impartial in a wicked media world of self-serving partiality.

[“Now, I give you fair warning,” shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as she spoke; “either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!”  (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9) ]

"Oops! I didn't really mean it", said Queen P from behind her mask. "Now put it back on."

However, Jeremy was a very opinionated sort of person who found it difficult to abide by the detailed impartiality rules that had been drawn up for the BBC. One day he could hold back no longer and tore into an unfortunate politician, Douglas Alexander (as mentioned here by John Rentoul, when it occurred ONE year ago) who had the temerity to defend a former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for whom Jeremy had much disdain, likening him to a “millionaire Messiah”.  The interview concerned Blair’s relationship with a nasty Arab leader, Colonel Gaddafi, who had been persuaded by the former Prime Minister to give up his extremely nasty weapons and join the fight against an even nastier common enemy.

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

The Queen of Hearts rules over Wonderland and is a tyrant - violent, authoritative and dominant. She likes to play croquet with live flamingoes and hedgehogs as mallets and balls (but only when she wins, and by her own rules) and constantly orders the beheading of people when something isn't to her liking (although these orders apparently never are actually carried out). She also has her own ideas about how trials should be conducted, and is feared by all other Wonderland inhabitants because of her lack of patience and explosive character.

Jeremy conducted the interview in such an obviously biased way that a member of the public was prompted to complain to the BBC.

'That's what you call a History of England, that is. Now, take a good look at me! I'm one that has spoken to a King, I am: mayhap you'll never see such another: and, to show you I'm not proud, you may shake hands with me!'

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

The complaint centred on a passage in the interview which the complaining person reported as follows:

“His lips curling with contempt, Paxman asked Alexander whether he was proud of the pictures of Blair embracing Gaddafi, emphasising the words “proud” and “embracing”. He then went on to refer to “the killing being done by someone who our former PM had clasped to his bosom and whose son had referred to him as a close personal friend (with the words “bosom”, “close”, “personal”, “friend” being almost spat out. This was followed by – “So we have got a despot still in power, having been clasped to his bosom by our former PM (notice the repetition of the bosom clasping reference) and you still show no sign of apologising for this? (with a note of incredulity in his voice). Then in response to an answer from Alexander he almost screams at him “Stop passing the buck to the international community!”

After the complaint had been duly rejected by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (otherwise known as the BBC Protection Society) it was taken to the BBC’s eminent watchdog, the Great and the Good of the BBC Trust, which had the task of ensuring that the BBC complied with its impartiality rules.

Such a clear case of bias presented the Great and the Good with a problem. To uphold the complaint might result in the BBC upsetting and possibly losing one of its star performers: to reject the complaint would make a mockery of its sacred impartiality rules.


Alice falls down the rabbit hole. When she turns the corner the Rabbit is gone and Alice finds herself in a long, low hall, with doors all round it. She tries them, but they are all locked.

So there was only one answer, to go down the rabbit hole and have the matter dealt with by the Wonderland branch of the BBC Trust where the accepted rules of logic and adjudication, such as addressing the precise terms of a complaint on the basis of the arguments and evidence provided, do not apply. Moreover the Wonderland branch of the Trust could be relied on to convey their findings in such a long-winded, gobbledygook kind of way that no one would bother to read them, let alone make the effort to understand them.

“I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is–‘Be what you would seem to be’–or if you’d like it put more simply–‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'”
“I think I should understand that better,” Alice said very politely, “`if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.”
“That’s nothing to what I could say if I chose,” the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9)

The Duchess is very ugly and mistreats her baby. She is also fond of finding morals in things. She tries to be in everyone's good books (especially the Queen's) by acting very complimentary.


Many months later, Jeremy’s case found its way to the Wonderland adjudicating committee (things move very slowly in such cases). His defence, formulated by the Editorial Complaints Unit (the BBC Protection Society) rested on the usual proposition that any views or attitudes that Jeremy had shown in the interview were not his own and that the public did not consider them to be his own anyway. The opposing case was based on there being no evidence for the proposition and clear evidence that the reverse was true.

"We're all mad here" (The Cheshire Cat)

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

The Committee eventually delivered their inevitable verdict, finding against the complaint and deploying all the absurdities of Wonderland to justify their decision.

“Oh”, said Alice the Complainant, “substance and bias and phrasing and manner. Whatever can it all mean?”

The substance of Jeremy’s questioning, it concluded, did not show any bias, even though the complaint was not about the substance of the questioning but about the phrasing and manner of the questioning. Just because an interviewer may hold certain views, it went on, does not mean the interview was conducted in a partial manner, despite the complaint being about Jeremy revealing his bias by the manner of his questioning.

Finally, in a dazzling display of Wonderland logic the Committee, ruled that the evidence supporting the case against Jeremy was irrelevant, even though on a very similar case previously put to the Committee they had concluded that the views and attitudes conveyed by Jeremy were not his own (and no one thought they were) because no evidence had been presented to the contrary.

The brothers Tweedledee & Tweedledum (aka BBC & BBC Trust) are rather affectionate with each other, but don't hesitate to fight over insignificant matters. They are also cowardly.

Everyone, bar the complainant, was happy. Jeremy was happy because there would be no verdict against him at a time when he was strutting his Empire stuff. The BBC was happy since they had avoided an embarrassing punch-up with one of their most valuable assets which could not be allowed to fail. And the BBC’s poodle (sorry, watchdog), the BBC Trust, happily wagged its tail having once again done its master’s bidding.

The only slight doubt was about whether someone in an influential position might notice that the verdict came from the Wonderland branch of the Trust. But on past form they knew they had little to worry about since those who reported these things tended to turn a blind eye to Wonderland verdicts which concerned the former Prime Minister.

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9)


In case some might dismiss the above as a fairy tale, it should be noted that the recent BBC Trust decision on which the story was based is even more replete with Wonderland absurdities, as can be seen from this link to the actual findings

(scroll down to page 31) and from this extract from the full response of the complainant to the findings.


(Thanks to this site for most of the pictures, quotes & interpretations of Alice’s adventures.)

(‘Jeremy in Wonderland’  –  continued here)


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