BBC Newsround – doing its bit for capitalism

While looking for material to use in an EFL classroom I found myself looking at the YouTube channel of the state-funded BBC’s news programme aimed at young viewers.

There are 48 videos on the home page of the channel. Here are the stats:

Videos about black lives matter, ‘black inequality in the UK’ and other ethnic issues: 9 *

Videos about mental health/illness: 2

Videos about the environment: 5

Continue reading “BBC Newsround – doing its bit for capitalism”

Political censorship in the UK

This is slightly alarming.

I read a story in the Independent today about the so-called Pussey Riot group staging a public provocation in (it seems) Moscow. The activists were arrested for placing flags (according to the report) on government buildings apparently in support of gay rights. The tone of the report followed the usual hysterical and misleading style of reporting that the Independent’s and Guardian’s Moscow correspondents typically use. The report in the Independent described how the activists were “manhandled” by police and “frog-marched” away.

Continue reading “Political censorship in the UK”

Shaun Walker in the Guardian – fiction about Russia

I’m quite sure that Shaun Walker is a nice guy. Perhaps he doesn’t really mean to tell lies about the political situation in Russia – but when you consistently sell a story as reportage and analysis which is based more or less verbatim on the strategic narrative created by one party to a political struggle – then, inadvertently or not, you are lying. In the main though Walker is probably more the victim of lazy self-deception than conscious lying. So perhaps we can most accurately call his work “fiction”.

This is Walker’s latest creation. It is about the “novichok attack” on Navalny. Let’s do our usual service of separating Walker’s fiction from fact.

Continue reading “Shaun Walker in the Guardian – fiction about Russia”

Unlikely tales about Novichok (2)

NovichokThe Guardian continues to promote the unlikely story that the Kremlin poisoned Navalny with Novichok. This is Shaun Walker’s latest creation.

Shaun Walker may well be a nice guy. But he is in the wrong profession. His ‘journalism’ always reads like an exercise for an MA in Creative Writing. (His recent piece on Belarus being another example).

In the present story Shaun Walker promotes once again the story being told by Navalny’s supporters and associates that Putin personally ordered Navalny to be poisoned with ‘Novichok’. Continue reading “Unlikely tales about Novichok (2)”