Talk about Newsnight

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Wednesday, 18 July, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Jul 07, 04:52 PM

By tonight's presenter, Gavin Esler:

bbc_nn_203.jpgThe BBC has promised a very significant and far-reaching plan of action to tackle "totally unacceptable" incidents of editorial failure. I'll be interviewing the director general of the BBC Mark Thompson on what he can do to restore trust in the organisation, and we'll be discussing Ofcom's finding of a "systemic failure" throughout the TV industry.
BBC to suspend phone competitions

Political Islam
We've an authored film from a former member of the extremist Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir.

Brown is not Blair
Another attempt to distance himself from the Blair years today from Gordon Brown - opening up the possibility of re-classifying cannabis as a harder drug than at present. Is this part of a clear strategy by the new PM to repudiate bits of his predecessor's legacy without overtly saying so? Is it a good idea? Will it work?
Cannabis laws set to be reviewed

Comments  Post your comment

TRUST. There are depressing parallels between how Parliament and the BBC “do business”. Gimmicks, audience manipulation, deception, dramatisation and even dodgy dossiers – we get the lot. However, this is not pot and kettle. Since Parliament was doing its best to fool all of the people all of the time, long before the BBC went into decline, they must accept the label of “prime mover”. Further, Parliament might do well to consider the extent to which its internal evils are mirrored in society.

  • 2.
  • At 06:55 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

The BBC's Director General is aware that the BBC's recent programmes have mislead audiences, and has pledged robust measures to prevent such things happening in future.
Reportedly this lack of trust now goes beyond this and their(BBC) integrity is now allegedly questionable on perceived liberal, leftist views that could/does bias political & suchlike programming.
Trust is paramount in the BBC.

  • 3.
  • At 08:45 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • john gittos wrote:

Its seems that Mark Thompson is prone to blunders , is nt this one too far under his watch , and especially when veiwing figures are down the BBC is losing grip and the book stops with him .

  • 4.
  • At 09:23 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • robin piper wrote:

This anxiety about the downgrading cannibis to class c in appropriate. The bogus assumption of moving form one drug to another is based on a false premise. There is a faliure to understanding the causes of addiction. People too often take a teleological point of niew, from effect to cause. There is no necessary correlation between cannibis and graduating to highher grade grugs. The fact that many people who are addicted to say heroin have been at some time users of cannibis, is not a causal explanation. This important fact, is too often not fully understood by social policy makers.

  • 5.
  • At 09:29 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • robin piper wrote:

This anxiety about the downgrading cannibis to class c is appropriate. The bogus assumption of moving form one drug to another is based on a false premise. There is a faliure to understanding the causes of addiction. People too often take a teleological point of niew, from effect to cause. There is no necessary correlation between cannibis and graduating to highher grade grugs. The fact that many people who are addicted to say heroin have been at some time users of cannibis, is not a causal explanation. This important fact is too often not fully understood by social policy makers. Moreover this current anxiety is totally inappopriate, politicians should understand better the causes of addiction.

If he seriously wanted to do something about the 'drug' problem, he'd ban the two worst drugs in the world today - tobacco and alcohol.

  • 7.
  • At 10:37 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Yusuf wrote:

Let's hope your piece on political Islam does not resort to scaremongering. I find the end conclusion of most of these reports is to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, if Mr Maher proposes this tonight I hope he has a solid basis for this proposition. Has Hizb ut-Tahrir been involved in terrorism either here in Britain or abroad? Whether you choose to agree or diagree with its ideas does, is that in itself a basis for a ban. there are many ideas which many people in this country hold that another set of people disagree with, there is discussion and it is unhealthy to censor people for their thoughts in a society which prides itself on a free flow of ideas.

Who will it be tonight - Shiraz Maher, Ed Husain or Hassan Butt?

Can't wait for the next episode of the conveyor belt - extremist Islamist groups have conveyed these ex-Islamists to lucrative book deals and media appearances it seems.

  • 9.
  • At 10:53 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • now disgruntled viewer wrote:

Apparently I am not allowed to post comments. Is it because of my firewall or because of my cookie setting policies? Ah well, for whetever reason, there goes my carefully crafted response on the BBC succumbing to the evils of the love of money in respect to phone-ins. It may have been pithy, or appropriate and apt, it may have been rubbish - we'll never know because I didn't think to copy all the text before I submitted it. Stop doing quizzes and get your websites sorted out.

Thank you (if this gets through)

  • 10.
  • At 10:58 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Mike Mccusker wrote:

TRUST - I was involved in a large strike in 1988. It involved 13,000 shipyard workers in a 12 week dispute which saw most of the town's workforce on strike.

Around week 9 a Newsnight team arived to conduct interviews on the picket line. I was responsible for the organisation of pickets at the main gate of the shipyard.

The reporter had a fixed idea of the story he wanted to portray - hardship amongst strikers families.

He asked me if I could find one of the pickets who had a wife and three kids who would be willing to go on TV. I found someone with one kid, but that wasn;t enough, he asked if I could find any more kids, which I did and they were loaned to the original family to match the story he had arrived to tell.

The interview was filmed (a discussion on buying baked beans for tea - nothing about why we had taken the extraordinary steps of a whole town walking out of work) and aired on Newsnight. I have it on video tape.

If he believes that manipulation of the truth (or lying) is limited to Blue Peter and quiz shows it makes me wonder where Mark Thompson has worked before in the media?

This goes well beyond a loss of integrity in certain programmes involving competitions and fund raising. Far more serious is the institutional and incestuous liberal values caused by the BBC's recruitment policy and the groupthink that follows it.

Anthony Jay highlighted the problem with the BBC's News service recently, but Charles Moore, Paul Dacre, Melanie Phillips, Tom Gross and others have been saying this for years. The problem is not so much in what the BBC reports, but the issues and opinions that it evades, either consciously or sub-consciously. Moore identified 13 such specific issues.

  • 12.
  • At 11:01 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • now disgruntled viewer wrote:

No, it was because I clicked to preview the post before I chose to post it.

To sum up:
Money - creates greed and recklessness.

BBC: Gets our money anyway and need not prostitute itself the way commercial channels do.

Phone-ins + BBC: A truly bad idea. Rise above it Auntie - you know you are better than this. (Especially when BBC Worldwide and merchandising of popular content make you a fortune outside the license fee anyway)

  • 13.
  • At 11:07 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Joey RamoneStrummer wrote:

Who was that short as* idiot who has just been on, from the BBC - was that Mark Thompson?

Apart from the general smug rubbish he uttered he said something like:

"Just like smoking..become unacceptable virtually overnight.."

What? Smoking hasn't become unacceptable, its just been made illegal in "public places" - also by the way in private places such as offices, clubs, some private vehicles, care homes, etc. Just because the government says something shouldn't be permitted doesn't make it unacceptable. Apparently smoking cannibis is no longer illegal but I find that unacceptable.

I don't give two hoots whether anyone foolish enough to spend money on a phoney phone in has been misled - doh! But I do agree that such an idiot as Mister T should not be in charge of a vote, let alone the BBC and the licence fee.

  • 14.
  • At 11:10 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

I think these dodgy pohonelines are a symptom of a much wider malaise at the BBC. Michael Grade said on Newsnight of the phonelines "It was a deliberate attempt to deceive." Maybe so but not half as bad as the attempts to virtually brainwash the audience on issues such as climate change and smoking. I think it was the reporting of climate change that got me seriously doubting the output of the BBC a couple of years ago. I've got no particular view on it but I can tell when someone is actively trying to make me beleive something that may or may not be true. Same thing with passive smoking.

I simply don't see the BBC changing from this sort of agenda driven reporting back to being an unbiased organisation reporting all sides of an issue with equal impartiality.

A few dodgy phoneline misdemeanours don't really matter, the attempted mass brainwashing of the nation on special interest issues is unforgiveable.

  • 15.
  • At 11:18 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • martyn wrote:

i've just sent a post - what does this mean? what's malicious about this?

In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I've enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.

  • 16.
  • At 11:20 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • J.B wrote:

George. It's always one of the three but Shiraz Maher seems to be a Newsnight correspondent, who has a weekly feature on HT. This is getting anally ludicrous.

I was deeply troubled by the piece by Shiraz Maher this evening. It seems that Newsnight seems to have been giving a lot of airtime recently to the same people who seem to make the same point - essentially Maher's point tonight is that the Muslim community must take the blame for 7/7 and violence in general, while our leaders like Blair who invaded Iraq bear no responsibility. Does that mean that the Jewish community in the UK, some of whom criticise some actions of the Israeli state, be held accountable for the actions of Israel?

I sincerely believe that violence could be blamed on those who precipitated it (e.g. Iraq war), those who engage in it and those who justify it. However, the wider Muslim community including those who advocate Political Islam, but shun violence, cannot be held accountable.

I also note (link above) that the very dramatic reports last November by Newsnight about plans by an Islamist group to bomb a synagogue have been dismissed following an investigation.

  • 18.
  • At 11:22 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • john wrote:

The BBC corrupt?

The world really is going to hell in a hand cart.

  • 19.
  • At 11:29 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • S madge wrote:

Dear Readers,I am the worlds bigest
critic,I will praise no one that in my eyes ,that does not deserve
praise, and I do not spare the rod,
If I had another life time to spare,I would be the first to vent my
anger to what is slowly destroying
Britain.And also who has been sending
stupid messages into everyones brain trying to convince people that everthing is great.Now I wrote a party peace critisising The BBC in thier part of trying to fool the public on subsides that the miners where getting,at that time, I felt strongly The BBC where used as a properganda machine for the goverment at the time.If there was any doubt in my mind , it was instanly diminished, because the BBC
printed my comments on thier webb site.So even still doubtfull on thier
envolvement on a govermently level,
there is still something majical about the beeb.So well done to Mark Thomson on at least making a start
with bad reveues, don'nt be side lined by no goverment.

  • 20.
  • At 11:29 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Fred Harris wrote:

I really could not understand what Shiraz was talking about.. was it political Islam, was it about his Grandfather or was it about him making friends again.

I am quite dissapointed there was not anything of substance or a point to the report.

I hope that he is not going to be a regular newsnight 'Journalist'

  • 21.
  • At 11:34 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Mohammed Youssef wrote:

What a joker that "former HT member" is!

It looks like he's renounced Islam altogether from what I can see... Criticsing "literal interpretations of the Quran"?! Muslims believe that the Quran is God's literal word, full stop. Anyone who doesn't believe so is not a Muslim...this guy seems to be either paid off, brain-washed, or seeking some sort of glory as the BBC's resident expert on "Political Islam".

And just to clarify to non-Muslims out there who might be confused by all this, there is no such thing as "Political Islam" - there is only Islam and politics is an intrinsic part of it. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading you.

  • 22.
  • At 11:37 PM on 18 Jul 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

The only reason Cannabis was classified a Class C drug instead of Class B was to allow the police to draw a blind eye, and direct their resources elsewhere, to 'more worthy issues'. People reacted by treating the drug as legal, however virtually every other drug commonly found 'on the street' is regulated or licensed in some way. Alcohol can only be bought from licensed premises, and drugs with powerful effects that need to be managed are prescribed by medical practitioners, who are able to provide the medical support to the users of the drugs. If cannabis is to become legal, it should be regulated, through licensed sellers. This would ensure that the cannabis in use is not harmful, so that 'skunk' varieties that are low in CBD but high in THC that have been proved to induce psychosis and schizophrenia are not commonly available. The hemp varieties that don't have the same damaging effects due to having a more suitable CBD and THC content should be the varieties in popular use, and this should be ensured through licensing. In addition to this, seeing that the smoking of tobacco has been proven to be so harmful to health, smoking of cannabis surely has similar detrimental effects to health as smoking tobacco. Would it not be better for cannabis to be available in safe oral forms, regulated through licensed vendors, with a system that is able to provide the necessary support to users to avoid the harmful effects of drug abuse. In such a system the dealers regulate consumption and promote responsible drug use. Better support needs to be provided to the public to prevent drug abuse, and this includes excessive alcohol consumption as well as skunk smokers. Indiscriminately taxing all drug users irrespective of whether they are responsible users or not fails to address the issue of drug abuse and the advice and support that the public need to receive about their lifestyle habits. I had drug education when I was at school, when medical practitioners and police officers visited the school to explain the effects of drug use and how to act responsibly. This covered alcohol, cannabis, as well as class A drugs such as Crack and Speed. Should the authorities not be promoting responsible citizens, so that they do not need to be policed to the same degree as an ignorant populace resentful of state enforcement ? Drug education and information should be available to all members of society, irrespective of age, gender or race. Anyone can become the victim of drug abuse, people need to know how to act responsibly. And licensed drug use promotes responsible drug consumption. There must be a clear distinction between suitable behaviour and unsuitable behaviour and how this relates to drug use. There is a murky distinction about what constitutes responsible Cannabis use, and the safety of the Cannabis available for use on the streets.

  • 23.
  • At 12:09 AM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • ronwhelan wrote:

Can the BBC be trusted? No, especially after that farcical piece on the panorama programme about Hizb ut-Tahrir. That was a disgrace to journalism. Can I have my license fee back?

  • 24.
  • At 12:19 AM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

Dear Newsnight
I am, like many, a big supporter of public broadcasting. But the BBC has alienated so many people over the recent phone-cheating debacle. As a supporter of Newsnight I was slightly annoyed by their take on the story with flashy, clever graphics which just seemed a bit inappropriate in light of the seriousiousness and sensitivity of the subject. It kind of summed up to me, at least, perhaps a bit unfairly, but what i suspect many others are feeling about the BBC, in general: that the organization has, in recent years, become obsessed with image (over content). To be like a commercial brand (instead of a warts-and-all maker of creative and innovative television routed in integrity - people don't mind if there are lows with boring television as long as there are also highs of great television - at the moment it seems we are been fed a conveyor belt of mediocre, forgetful television, that fills us up for a short while and then leaves us feeling hungry, again).
This all goes back, surely, to Mr Birt's obsession with ratings (short term popularity, and at the cost of long-term reputation and loyalty). We had the ghastly Vanessa Feltz programme / debacle summing up just how far the BBC had plummetted.
Of course the BBC still makes decent TV but the great shame is that there is the talent (i think) and the opportunity (i am certain about) to make great, instead of, genreally, mediocre, and at times banal / cretinous tv.
I think there are too many ad. men, marketeers, audience researchers and so on - too much policy making about programmes and image makeovers going on, instead of consulting, and working, more with artistic people, artistic-minded programme-makers.
At the end of the day the BBC is all about programmes not policy. It is financed by the public. Unlike commercial broadcasters it is only answerable to the public, and not to advertisers and shareholders. The BBC shouldn't regard the commercial braodcasters as competition. They are in a different playing field, altogether to the BBC. The BBC should not be making programmes that can be done by commercial braodcasters. It is in its own playingfield and should and is judged on that.
So stop having the best of both worlds. Enjoying the freedoms of a non-commercial broadcasters, and enjoying the liberties / short-cuts / approach of a commercial braodcaster.
Apologies for banging on. But i love the idea of a publically-financed public broadcaster. But the BBC has really shot itself in the foot big time. If it wants to survive then it must focus on what it is all about. It is all about programmes. And it is all about programmes that are creative, original, innovative and based on integrity.

  • 25.
  • At 12:49 AM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • J.B wrote:

So foreign policy isn't a reason and terrorism is all to do with ideology???

What proof does Maher have? His conclusion isn't the same as the conclusion reached by political scientist Robert Pape who carried out the report: "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism"

The study says ‘the taproot of suicide terrorism is nationalism’ and “at bottom suicide terrorism is a strategy for national liberation from foreign occupation by a democratic state”.

He added that “people use car bombs to attack occupying powers. This war is about what we do in the world, not who we are.”

Google Robert Pape to find out about the report

  • 26.
  • At 07:07 AM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

The BBC should be about quality not quantity. The BBC is trying to do far too much in terms of breadth (much of which could be done by commercial broadcasters). Someone once said that the BBC had become more into empire-building than making decent programmes. Why doesn't the BBC give up much of what it is doing - consolodate - and focus on quality. Focus on integrity (and being creative, innovative and original) whilst making the programmes (instead of making people attend courses about how to be honest - there is something frankly ridiculous about this - especially as it will be the public, ultimately, paying for these course). The buck stops with policy and management: Mark Thompson. Should he go? Absolutely not. He seems to have lots of talent and experience. But this should be a wake-up call for him to get the BBC back on track. To return the BBC to its programme-making focus and values pre John Birt. This is really opportunity and he needs to grasp it now. He needs to plan a major, radical overhaul instead of papering over the gaps in the wall with lessons on how to be honest. Unless he does this the BBC is probably going to disappear sooner rather than later (there are lots in the public who would love to see its demise: not just from the public - and the Queen, probably, now - but also from commercial broadcasters who see the BBC enjoying an unfair monopoly, as well as many in politics, both on the right and left (Gerald Kaufman really hates the BBC - I wrote to him - and others -, myself, to persuade him of the importance of a public broadcaster - the effect of on public life etc ..) If he does his job well, however, the BBC could go on to have a long, bright and interesting future!

Look... there... a framed orifice through which you can pass from one place to another.

Apparently, from now on, if anyone in the BBC does something 'naughty' (my flip word for a broad tranche of policy, journalistic and editorial 'lapses'), they will be 'shown the door'.

So says an evidently irritated DG, Mark Thompson, who looks like he has much better things to do than deal with the public's views on his outfit. Apparently this is how trust will be regained. A fair task, given what's in this blog and the papers today. And will putting staff on a course (I presume at the licence payers expense) resolve this... I doubt it. And truly resent wasting such funds on a mop up which is more of a backside covering effort of tissuelike thinness than anything tangible. As are allusions to compensation. Using what mechanisms? What money? From where? To whom?

However, in the spirit of 'moving on', which is the phrase du jour of all senior (and, in the old days, responsible/accountable) executives/pols, it looks like this will be the latest free pass bestowed on all complicit in misleading the viewing public. And if that is the case again, why on earth should anyone trust anything said or done in the future.

While charitable financial dodginess is bad enough, I can't help but note that we have also moved from what in many ways I see as a much more critical issue to address, and that is the notion, which seems endemic and to pervade every level of the organisation, that reality and truth are entirely adjustable to improve ratin... er... the story.

In a cosy fire side chat with the boss, some quite remarkable things are covered and, essentially, dismissed.

I think I heard the word unacceptable several times. It becomes rather meaningless if in the same breaths it becomes pretty clear a lot has been and is accepted.

Short term contracts and pressure/ may be reasons, but they are not excuses. And while they can be responsible for a lot of things, they can surely not be held accountable for swapping critical chronologies in news items to 'enhance reality'... in the name of what? It is only now that I find out that reordering is 'not good practice'. It blooming well is a darn site more than that if it changes meaning, or has the DG not read the posts on this blog on the matter.

So there is a duty to have an 'eye to the culture'. Do what? And, er, only now? And an 'eye' will really sort it, for sure.

Great play was also made of how open 'they' are all being now. You know, if George Washington was not found standing next to that felled tree with an axe, one wonders just how open he would have been if not challenged. It's all being treated as a bit of a one off that will blow over, which of course it will.

We get the obligatory resignation question, with the standard 'best for the person who got us in this situation to dig us out of it and prevent future repeats' reply, which worked so well for Charles Clarke.

If these things happen, and they are not for 'personal gain', why do it? Of course it is for personal gain, because you gain personally from the salary and status of your career. And to progress that means satisfying the demands of your job, which means your superiors. It's hardly anything to do with training or lack of it... it is policy. Yet again we are seeing those at the sharp end being used as a buffer and deflection from those above who are really responsible and should be accountable, and then 'sacrificed' (and then pardoned) with a 'jolly good telling to' on an internal basis.

This is not a one off. It has been a whole series, and in a short time. And nothing I have heard or seen leads me to suspect that anything has or will be done beyond short-term damage limitation.

And that's all we have time for. Moving on...

Trust? Don't talk to me about trust.

There's a very interesting (but quite long) article by an academic from Birkbeck College on this recent trend of 'ex islamists' getting rather a lot of attention in the media. (How Newsnight can justify giving so much airtime to Maher, Hussein and Butt is beyond me)

...for a balanced and less hysterical view of Hizb ut Tahrir (from someone with less of an axe to grind...) I'd recommend a read of Suha Taji-Farouki's book 'Fundamental Quest: Hizb Al-Tahrir and the Search for the Islamic Caliphate'

  • 29.
  • At 12:14 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

Gavin said fun and games on the website? Where? :)

over 10 years ago a friend of mine was paid good money to go on a daytime tv agony aunty type show to talk about how her cheating boyfriend left her. She was, however, in reality a lesbian in a long term relationship. We thought this very funny.

has MT not seen 'drop the dead donkey' and all the tricks that are so well known that they could be shown in a comedy show as common knowledge?

rather than send people on a course maybe everyone should be made to watch that? or maybe the bbc could make their own comedy show full of all the things one should not do in a TV show?

  • 30.
  • At 02:12 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

Do we really need to bother with a tv license at all ? The bbc is seeking money from phone-ins, as well as the fact that the content is poor. Entertainment is contrived, and politically correct propaganda pervades the polluted media. Politics is controlling everything, and is manipulating the way we think. This money is supposed to go on content, impartial information, and entertainment. It seems to be going on providing services to the government, foreign onlookers and those with enough cash who can afford to pay for what they get for nothing. The laws of relativity stated by Einstein dictated that nothing is created or destroyed in the universe. Reusing material in repeats is one thing, but surely the rule of creation is not relevant for the media. Create some entertainment, less creating news and crises with propaganda. If the bbc fails with all the resources at its disposal to create anything of merit, the public will create their own entertainment elsewhere. The people who use services should pay for them, digital users should pay to access content on a pay per view basis, and users of mobile-tv services have enough spare cash and should pay for using such decadent services instead of them being subsidised by the tv license payer. As far as I am aware, the bbc is not a charity, start acting like a responsible commercial organisation and honour the tv license payer, who is their primary consumer.

  • 31.
  • At 04:13 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • nozmul hussain wrote:

RE: Shiraz Mahir report on Hizb ut-Tahrir

I find it strange as the weeks go by we seem to see the same 3 guys on newsnight and in the press saying the same exact things...

shiraz mahir, ed hussain and hassan butt

regarding the report, it is strange that throughout the report there are clips of islamic fanatics, of which none are from Hizb ut-tahrir, this is very misleading.

As for Hasan Butt, i find it strange that he is able to say in the press that he recruited 200 men to go to jihad in Afghanistan yet he walks as a free man and earns a living off of it... come on MI5... is he not guilty of supporting terrorism? or has he made a deal to with the government to attack political islam and stay out of prison?

Just because he has changed doesnt make it OK, if I commit a crime tomorrow and then say sorry does that make it OK?

The government will go to any length to push their propaganda campaign against political Islam and accountability to their unethical foreign policy.

political islam does not equate to terrorism, as muslims we want our laws in our own countries..whats so bad about that?.... As muslims we care about injustices done by the UK/US armies in our lands, whats wrong with us speaking against it?

Islamic Terrorism in the UK is a result of the foreign policy, why do they keep arguing to the contrary when the bomber himself has said it?

  • 32.
  • At 05:16 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Sayfuddin wrote:

[spoof]Breaking News:

Gordon Brown is keen to continue to define his new tenure as Prime Minister; in a further attempt to reform New Labour.

In what seems to be U-turn within recent government initiatives, he has asked to sever consultations with the celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver; in favour of Colonel Saunders.

Downing Street representatives have indicated that they have based their judgements upon new found intelligence; claiming that in light of recent convictions for the glorification of terrorism, Al Qaida have moved their operations away from conspicuous leafleting outside of mosques, in favour covert of chicken shops initiatives.

Al Qaida are said to have developed a new chemical weapon, with the power to re-programme and control minds. They have chosen to insert this formula in chicken batter; in an attempt to recruit young inner city youth. The chemical is also said to cause physical and psychological addiction; as well as altering speech - to what has been coined a ‘Ja-fake-an’ dialect. Teenage assaults are said to provide further evidence for the immediate and present danger that this new threat poses. Sheikh Ya Booti is said to be mastermind behind this new strategy.

Sources suggest that the advisor to Downing Street, is alleged to be Sheikh Tou Neeb Leeyar.
The Colonel also welcomes this New Labour consultation; as a movement back towards “cotton-pickin’ finger lickin’ old-fashioned values”

  • 33.
  • At 06:42 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • khan wrote:

It is getting very boring watching news night , i watch it to get some serious debate and in depth analysis on the events of the day. but recently the the piece's on hizb ut tahrir seem to be repetitive and have reached the level of the daily sun.the fascination with hizb ut tahrir seems very unnatural as they are not dominating the political atmosphere.I would also say that it seems that people who leave hizb seem to become more secular then extremist as two{ed hussain} of the people who seem most active in discussing this issue have seemed to have moved away from extremism and have embraced secularism,and so far in the media i have not heard of anyone actually becoming militant after departing from hizb ut tahrir

  • 34.
  • At 07:20 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Maurice - Northumberland wrote:

Many are asking the BBC for an honest debate regarding Muslims.

How about they simply have a daily Global Islamic NewsRound:-

All reports from around the World - Daily.
Hows that, will that do?

  • 35.
  • At 09:26 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • maria wrote:

Some of the people posting opinions on this site are still going on about British foreign policy, as though it is to blame for all the ills in the muslim world. So why are so many muslims killing fellow muslims? Are we really responsible for that?

  • 36.
  • At 02:37 AM on 20 Jul 2007,
  • Hector wrote:

Political Islam;
It is very interesting to discuss and decide who is right and wrong in news and blog. Though discussion about Islamic politics should have been among the POP,Mullah and Rabi.
Here is a tosser for grabs, it is as good as individuals own capacity of understanding.
To understand politics we need to see the difference in ideology and moto. As a beginner let us see what is your understanding about the origination of Human Race. If you believe in Homo Sapiens evolution theory than sorry!. politics is not your cup, go to school or internet. Other wise read to understand where lies the difference among POP, Mullah and Rabi.
- - - - - - - -
as a side note:-
WAR on terror is brain child of neocons and Warmongers of UK, ever rising resentment is eminent from majority of the Americans, Brits, including congress and armed forces.
It is not that Alqaida is to be feared, It is wasted interest of fear mongers which is deadly for human lives and is ripping billions of Dollars from Tax payers.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Gotcha !
Having read above, you are done with lesson one of pre-requisite of Alqaida lesson-1.
As imparting knowledge is against western culture, and the main reason for "War on Terror".

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