2007 - 2021

Have I Got (Fake) News for You

Tory Communities Minister Sajid Javid has recommended we introduce an oath of allegiance and swearing to a set of ‘British Values” for immigrants, elected officials, civil servants, and council workers. In a world where our humming ex PM actually barked: “Put on a proper suit, do up your tie, and SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM”, this may come as little surprise. But it’s a sure sign of the complete detachment from reality of the Westminster Government that they think this could or would play well, outside the sheltered corners of their own minds.

andrew-neilThe naked contempt of the oligarchy is spilling out into the open. Today the BBC’s Andrew Neil, who earns a modest £555,000 from the public licence tweeted: “I pay your wages too. And the unemployment benefits of the cybernats”, which coming neatly after John Cleese asking in October: “Why do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?” neatly encapsulated the new right’s fresh unmuzzled zeal.

From a year when the recommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia was seriously considered, and the government ordered firms to keep lists of foreign workers, none of this should come as great shock to us. But this is just pure racism laced with a class sneer. Andrew Neil is the personification of the media elite, he’s the Top Cat of the Uncle Tom cadre who has been propping up vested interests and amassing a vast salary for his woeful tv chum-show for years, he’s the failed newspaper boy, the Playboy Editor who’s been allowed to play at tv.

And all of this is contemptuous of “nationalism’.

But Andrew’s throw-way comment should not be thrown-away. Deconstructed it’s very useful. “I pay your wages too” implies that from his vast wealth the trickle down economics of taxation means that he is contributing to all of our wellbeing. His idea that the “unemployment benefits of the cybernats” neatly conjoins two ideas that are central to the man, first that Scotland is some Soviet backwater of unproductive sloth and benefit scroungers, and secondly that anyone who argues for self-determination is doing so as part of some work-shy underclass, the truly resourceful successful Scot would have either left or would be 100% behind the values and systems of Great Britain.

Blood Oath

The idea of an oath to British Values is one that will make most people laugh, or cry.

As we sell Cluster Bombs to the Saudis to attack people in the Yemen, as we vilify workers, as we preside over a social economy that allows JD Sports to treat people like scum, and G4s to run the NHS the idea of a ‘British values’ seem elusive. The values they do list, are universal ones and ones that we are particularly bad at supporting.

As Paul Mason has noted: “Theresa May accused strikers of “contempt for ordinary people”. And – as always – the neck veins of TV reporters are bulging as they express outrage on behalf of those affected”. From the Enemy Within to today is has been the same – and the Tories have always shown their contempt in full. Nothing’s changed. As Mason concludes: “don’t complain about the posties, train drivers, cabin crews and baggage handlers – they’re only doing what we all should in 2017.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the problem is not that we can’t identify “British values” – but that we can: brutal inequality, smug superiorism, constitutionally enshrined hierarchy and endless militarism are some, all with a sneering dose of class contempt.

cxghlplxuaanwnuBut perhaps the specifics of the oath isn’t the point. In a value-free country the point of the oath is the oath.  As Zoe Williams talks of the “Muscles of power being flexed again and again” she recounts Captain Black in Catch-22’s Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade: “The important thing is to keep them pledging … It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ means.”

The monster of English Nationalism is on the rise, like Hengest and Horsa meet Godzilla. It screams ‘Makes England Great Again” whilst muttering “Britain First”.

This “Hurrah! Die Marmite ist Alle!” encapsulates the manner in which the movement shudders from evil to banality:

“There comes a point when you can no longer hide from the material consequences of your political decisions. There comes a point where the Marmite runs out. A cold-blooded murder by a slogan-screaming fascist just days before the referendum is one thing. The rise in assaults reported by people of colour, Eastern European migrants, and queers is another. The firebombing. The uncertainty of millions of EU migrants, a collapsing pound, soaring cost of living, a rejoicing far-right, a looming spectre of violence and economic catastrophe – it’s neither here nor there, to be honest. But a Marmite shortage? That’s when the Real British begin to worry about the dark future of Europe. “

But for those who think that the Yes movement should be, or is above some left-right divide, remember Neil’s words. He holds you in contempt and the only response will need to be a resistance to the ideas he espouses. Let’s not be timid, the politics that are on open display in British life are repugnant to most of us. It is not ‘radical’ to defend workers rights, or to be against profit from war. It’s not radical to – like the rest of mainland Europe – enshrine the freedom of movement, and it’s not radical to have a benefit system that supports people or to create conditions for decent pay.

This isn’t about anthems or oaths or suits and ties or flags or yachts, it’s about creating a society people actually want to live in and not feel ashamed of.


Comments (42)

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  1. douglas clark says:

    Excellent piece, Mike.

  2. James Bisset says:

    “It is not ‘radical’ to defend workers rights, or to profit from war.”

    Is that what you meant to say or is there something missing?

  3. Patrick says:

    Ho ho ho, jajajaja
    This is entertainment ” business are business” nothing to worry.

    The amazing is how justice is apply nowadays before law all are equals, but there are some more equals than others.
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  4. Maria F says:

    Thank you for this great and yet infuriating piece.

    “Today the BBC’s Andrew Neil, who earns a modest £555,000 from the public licence tweeted: “I pay your wages too. And the unemployment benefits of the cybernats” ”

    Should we understand from Mr Neil’s words that the fastest way to shut the cybernats (whatever that means) up is by stopping paying the TV licence and more importantly Mr Neil’s rather excessive salary?

    I find his approach to reporting and presenting infuriating. I hate how he arrogantly speaks over the guest, particularly if they are somebody from the SNP, to stop the audience hearing what they have to say whenever it is not convenient to Mr Neil’s unionist and SNPbaad agenda or when they are showing him off for his bias and poor research.

    Now that I have seen the salary this out of touch biased and mediocre presenter gets (I don’t think earn is the right verb to use here), not paying the TV licence becomes even more appealing.

    1. John Page says:

      The best solution to Andrew (A guid Scots louse aye travels south) Neil is not to have a TV at all and donate the licence fee to Bella (which has moved up a division in the 6 weeks)
      John Page

      1. c rober says:

        Actually he has payed his kerd , so there is proof to remove his , or the bbc brand , of impartiality when dealing in politics media.

  5. Geoff Huijer says:


  6. Chris Whyte says:

    Might I suggest a little care?

    British values do NOT encapsulate the following:

    “…brutal inequality, smug superiorism, constitutionally enshrined hierarchy and endless militarism are some, all with a sneering dose of class contempt”.

    British political and elite values, certainly, but not British. I’ve worked in England for most of my adult life, and spend a lot of time working with English, Welsh and Northern Irish colleagues. None of those fine men and women could be described in this way, and they all find such things as despicable as we do.

    Perhaps I’m being pedantic, but it’s an important point to make in my opinion.

    Conflating the English political elite with “the English” is grossly unfair.

    1. Thanks Chris, it’s a fair point to distinguish between the two – but is it not also fair enough to point out that people in England elected a Conservative govt and voted for Leave, and in that sense it does reflect a different political culture? That is complex and has different drivers that we don’t have here but that is a reality, no?

    2. Duncan MacRae says:

      Chris, many English believe Scotland is a possession and signal en masse when self determination for Scotland is raised vthat we should shut up and get back into our corner.

      Watch any question time from Scotland and listen to the voices and opinions of what appears on most occasions to be a largely English audience.

      I agree English people are hospitable people, but oh how that changes when Scots speak up for Scotland or raise independence.


      1. c rober says:

        we are assets , even before oil was discovered and its wealth hidden from our people. I am sure farmers are just as civilized to their meat.

        Today Scotland is still number two in the regional income base of gdp for Westminsters coffers , and London as its number one position may well take a dent , with the removal of the banking passport , then indy II will be less civilised as a result… that is if you can call the tactics deployed in Indy 1 as civilized.

        deals , brexit means brexit , red white and blue brexit.

        The fact of the matter is that Scotland is more than an asset in the singular reasoning – its not just oil , and as a result its a potential economical threat , which again in itself is multifaceted.

        London losing a banking passport , deals done. Scotland with sovereign tax powers as a free country could end up with the banking sector locating to Scotland – removing the wealth of London in the process. So there is no surprise when I mention there is already deals done for London with brexit – and ironic considering it too voted to remain in the EU , but do we really think that the wealthy of London would not relocate to Scotland to preserve that Wealth? Which is the reason why a deal was done – to prevent BAMP Scotland being those head offices and the walth that would come with it.

        SW England farmers , voted to leave , yet another deal being done despite this to keep EU funding levels.

        NE England , voted to leave , despite its major manufacturers NISSAN being a EU exporter , and owned by a EU company Renault. Deals done for the NE.

        Wales now a colony where its hard to find a welsh speaker , with Plaid Cymru losing the indy battle voted to leave. Deals done.

        NI voted to remain , and will be rewarded perhaps as being the very thing Scotland has asked for – to remain part of the EU. Putting pressure on Ireland to move its UK exports through NI , ready for HS2 and tarrifs. Preventing Scotland from being that export hub over that of England , not that we have the infrastructure though in nationalised hands.

        Scotland – shafted at the discussion table for brexit , for 300 more years of being bent over the same table , so this brexit well its PURELY a red and white one. The loss of up to 80 000 jobs , no deals done…..

        Our politicians , Tories in Scotland , we cant expect to fight their masters in London , Slab well they cant even decide the same thing two days on the trot are also unionists that wanted the EU , whom are now strangely silent on the indy matter as well as that EU mandate of remain as it may well mean having to back indy II or federal at the very least.

        Which leaves the SNP , whom have as yet to prove anything on the economy from round 1 , and are simply complainers on their failures being at the Westminster end – much like their opposition in Holyrood blaming the SNP for the dogs farting.

        So that leaves one thing – another referendum , but unless the SNP can do more than simply suggest their stewardship works overuling project fear and Westminster purses constraints , then we should just ” shut up and accept our lot”.

        Round two therfore needs the fears from round one removed , the proof of concept and supply , the economic picture still isnt brought into focus – but the urgency is there.

        The GCHQ drive has already started by the elites , this is not tin foil hatter crap from conspiracy theorists , one only needs to watch the colonial television that is BBC Scotland – Every single day , every single week since Brexit , the NON war has been ongoing for preserving Scotland on their terms…. they dont even have the decency to use the locals to do it for them anymore in front of the camera.

        In my opinion that makes those that work there military operatives , thus targets , as well as the buildings themselves , and as long as the SNP and our govt in Holyrood continue to allow the propaganda machine free realm then there will be the same result in indy II without radical action.

        But then again the SNP have whitewashed their radicals from history , if not washed their hands of them.

  7. William says:

    I distinct lack of class shown by Mr Neil. And a distinct bit of class from Mr Small.

  8. Richard MacKinnon says:

    I wonder if Mike Small ever hesitates before banging out another piece of unbelievable rank hypocrisy?
    He is the Willie Fisher of Scottish political commentary.
    “Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
    For here Thou has a chosen race! ”

    You could see the funny side of it if Mike Small just kept within his fantasy world of ‘Scotland the Great’ but when we read “The monster of English Nationalism is on the rise” written by a Scottish nationalist I start to feel uncomfortable.

    Lord, in Thy day o’ vengeance try him,
    Lord, visit them wha did employ him,
    And pass not in Thy mercy by them,
    Nor hear their pray’r,
    But for Thy people’s sake destroy them,
    An’ dinna spare.

    But, Lord, remember me an’ mine
    Wi’ mercies temporal and divine,
    That I for grace an’ gear may shine,
    Excell’d by nane,
    And a’ the glory shall be Thine,
    Amen, Amen!

    1. Would you argue that English nationalism isn’t on the rise Richard? It doesn’t seem like a particularly controversial claim to make and I’m not exactly isolated in this observation.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        May be it is I don’t know. I don’t care. My point is, your contradictory perceptions. You see English nationalism as a monster where as your Scottish nationalism is decent and of value. You don’t even try and qualify this glaring anomaly of reason. It seems that you believe this to be fact, that Scottish nationalism is a force for good, whereas the English variety is a dangerous threat, further more you expect others to accept this without question.
        Please be reassured I will not let you get away with deluding your self Mike.

        1. Thanks for your care service Richard. I think many people who are in favour of (for example) an English Parliament (such as Billy Bragg) and many others are appalled by what they see as the rise of the far right and its association with English nationalism. You seem to think that I am unique in the world in making this analysis. You do realise that there’s a large body of work by English writers and commentators who are extremely concerned about the rise of English nationalism. Can I just clarify – are you aware of this? I’m flattered if you think I’m the only one in the world making this assessment, but I’m not.

        2. Me: ‘English nationalism is on the rise’
          You: ‘How dare you say such a thing’
          Me: ‘Well, is it?’
          You: ‘May be it is I don’t know. I don’t care.’

          This is a wee bit confusing.

          1. Richard MacKinnon says:

            Your trying to deflect the argument away from the point I want to make. I am not disputing whether English nationalism it is on the rise or not. I am pointing out your differentiation of English and Scottish nationalism, you think one upholds good values the other negative values. “The monster of English Nationalism is on the rise” Your words Mike. Its the adjective I have a problem with not the verb. That’s my point. Stop evading it.

        3. Alasdair Macdonald says:

          Mr MacKinnon is using the word ‘nationalism’ without defining it. The word has nasty overtones of the self proclaimed superiority of a particular group, exemplified most horrendously by the Nazis in during the 1930s and 40s or by the Japanese in the same period. So, it is a ‘loaded’ word.

          And, to distinguish independence for Scotland from this ‘baggage’ is one of the reasons Mr Salmond coined the phrase ‘civic nationalism’ which was about those who lived and worked in Scotland, irrespective of their place of origin determining how Scotland should be governed

          By categorising the campaign for independence for Scotland as ‘nationalism’ he and the unionists are attempting to put this campaign into the same nasty bag with the ‘blood and soil’ thugs. We saw this during the 2014 referendum campaign when Better Together, as Mr MacKinnon is doing here with ‘English nationalism’ (which he claims he cares not whether it is nasty or not), of juxtaposing Scottish Independence with UKIP. It is an old debating trick to set up the ‘straw man’ and then attack that rather than have people examine what the campaign for independence was about.

          Mr MacKinnon has on several occasions indicated that he voted YES in 2014. What was he voting YES for?

          1. SleepingDog says:

            I think that nationalist movements need to be understood in context, particularly in comparing them against the alternatives at that place and time. Many nationalist movements were reactions against colonial oppression, for example the Indian nationalist movements:

            and in many cases sought to unify a populace across divides of religion, language, ethnicity and so on.

          2. Richard MacKinnon says:

            I voted Yes in 2014 because I supported Scottish independence then. Scotland voted No. I accepted the decision immediately.
            I voted Remain 2016. The UK voted leave. I accept the decision.

          3. Alasdair Macdonald says:

            Richard, thank you for confirming that you voted YES (and REMAIN), but you have not answered why you voted YES. Your earlier posts were taking Mr Small to task about ‘nationalism.’ If you voted YES, then you must have had a ‘non-nationalist’ reason for your decision. It might help the discourse if you were to set out your reasons.

  9. Richard MacKinnon says:

    As I said, and unlike yourself, I don’t have an opinion on English nationalism.
    Writers write, commentators comment. There was plenty of them about during our independence campaign, if you recall not all were supporters.
    Now we are witnessing our nearest neighbours having the same discussions we had a few years ago. The difference between 2014 and 2016 is they are now negotiating the terms of UK independence because they voted to Leave.
    And I think the results are relevant here because put together it helps to explain how you can hold two diametrically opposed viewpoints on English and Scottish nationalism. I think there is a good chance that the results of the referendums put together cloud your vision. You don’t like English nationalism because of they did what you wanted Scotland to do. You hold so dear to the vision on an independent Scotland you still cannot accept that the majority of you countrymen want to remain in the UK.

    1. Dear Richard, “Now we are witnessing our nearest neighbours having the same discussions we had a few years ago.” No we’re not. We’re having our nearest neighbour having conversation about immigration, isolationism and withdrawal. This is completely different. You may hate the SNP, you may have voted Leave/No, but you simply can’t compare the political debate in England around Brexit with the political debate in Scotland about the referendum, in which the White Paper (and the entire Yes movement) was unequivocally pro-immigration, welcome and internationalist.

      This is just a matter of simple irrefutable fact.

      I note you don’t answer my question about whether you’re aware of the countless other English commentators who are very concerned about the connection between the far right and English nationalism.

    2. Jo says:


      I don’t think that what is happening in England is quite the same to be honest. The change in England has, pretty much, been whipped up by a lot of racist rhetoric and nowhere was that more obvious than during the run up to the EU referendum. The debate was toxic and the part immigration played in the debate was clear. Everything was being blamed on “migrants”. Farage even used a poster during the campaign to push that point home and use it to influence it. It was poisonous. I would never compare that with Scotland.

      I understand that Europe itself is a mess right now when it comes to peoples fleeing from too many places trying to reach sanctuary. Why are they running and what part did our own country play in sending them in this direction? Many run from homelands that have been reduced to rubble…..in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. We played a major role there in destabilising countries right across the Middle East, in assisting the rise of ISIS/Daesh. Hell, we even funded groups in Syria that were affiliated to IS because we thought they would help us topple another leader, Assad!

      In many ways the EU vote was very much assisted by successive UK governments who created the carnage and sent refugees running here. This in turn assisted UKIP and the likes in stirring up anti-migrant feelings and put “immigration” at the forefront of the debate. That feeling was nowhere stronger than in England. The debate was hijacked and became ugly indeed.

      I recognise the validity of the point you make about the UK, as a body, having voted to leave the EU but I would question the decision to structure the vote that way. Officially, there are four different parts of the UK of which Scotland is one. All of those areas, with the exception of England, have their own devolved governments and that, for me, means that the EU vote should have been about four separate results, not one. On that basis we would have had two parts voting to leave and two voting to remain. It seems to me extremely undemocratic to have ONE part of the UK having the power to veto the wishes of the other three. Especially by such a small margin. Remember the vote 52/48 was not short of half and half, so, hardly emphatic. (While Wales voted to leave along with England, the fact remains that even had it not done so, the result in England would have taken us all out.)

      You spoke of writers writing and commentators commenting but it’s more than that in England right now. People and communities are caught up in this anti-migrant stuff too and it is getting uglier by the day. I saw a beautiful tribute last night to those who died in Germany yesterday. It was on social media. Yet, below it, where the comments were, I saw statements that made my blood run cold because it was hateful. xenophobic and terrible. Not a word about the dead but only hatred towards “foreigners”, “migrants”. It made me feel physically sick. I can’t understand why you’ve not “noticed” these things.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        I can see what is going on.
        When we comment on our neighbours, Scottish nationalists should step carefully. “The monster of English Nationalism is on the rise”, does not help. The UK is as entitled to a constitutional referendum as we were.

        1. Jeff says:

          Can you actually read?

    3. scrandoonyeah says:

      I will sign the ‘Oaf of Allegiance’ as long as you, Andrew Neil and all the other oafs sign.

    4. c rober says:

      Its hardly fair to compare a nation driving rather than being driven towards wanting Independence , ie nationalist to facist .

      Scotland does not want to expand and conquer , nor does it want to eject part of its resident population , or its “parasitic drains”. If anything its more accommodating of foreigners than most of UKIP identifying England – though it may be worth considering exactly that kind of electoral prevention seen in Luxembourg when it comes to the English unionists deep in our society that control it from top down , impacting on our everyday lives , and feeding the propaganda machine.

      So comparing facist to Scottish Nationalists is the sort of stuff we expect of the very media outlets behind the brexit outcome is expected – but ironically may well see the rise of such things as a result on the fringe to prove them right , ie kicking the dog until it bites , in order to argue that the dog does indeed bite.

      Of course though the same is argued of the separatist movements in Northern Spain , portrayed as facists and terrorists , by the political elite and wealthy , so perhaps then the SNP needs to be rebranded – but the Scottish Socialist Party sounds like it would have moved even more to the loony left than the facist right and I think the moniker is already taken. Of course though they could go instead for the Tartan Tories , which they may be anyway by default unless they win an indy II.

  10. Jo says:

    I read the suggestion from Javid about people newly arrived in the UK and newly appointed Civil Servants and Public Service staff with horror and alarm. As a former Civil Servant I am very glad this mad idea will not affect me. I do worry tho’ for others who may be affected by it because it is a sinister thing indeed.

    I’ve heard the phrase “British values” trotted out repeatedly by various politicians – of all Parties – and I’m afraid when I hear it I am uncomfortable because I doubt I could ever bring myself to sign up.

    Having watched, “British values” being played out in Iraq, in Libya and, lately, in Syria, where it involved funding and arming “rebel” groups associated with ISIS/Daesh, the absence of any sort of values struck me more than anything else. Having seen successive British governments embrace “regime change” whereby they appeared to believe they had the right to walk away from the UN and overthrow legitimate leaders in countries over which they had no authority I again struggled to find any values present. If those are “British values” I think I’ll pass.

    Javid’s idea is thoroughly dangerous and leaves Civil Servants or Public Servants open to a great deal that is neither just or democratic. It is really terrifying what is coming out of the mouths of some politicians today.

    As for Andrew Neil’s comment, again, that this man holds the position he does at the BBC should frighten us all. Then again, it’s just another sign of what the BBC has become. Sadly the wider media is just as bad. These “news-bringers”, these other media bodies who are meant to hold governments to account and to report the actual news rather than spin it until it is dizzy, disgrace themselves and betray us all.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Jo, as a former Civil Servant, do you think that obsessive secrecy and a culture of deference are perhaps commonly-observed British values?

      1. Jo says:

        @ Sleeping Dog

        I’m not sure I’d call the secrecy angle a problem to be honest. There are various CS departments dealing with different things including peoples’ tax affairs, benefits, tax credits and so on. In my day we signed the Official Secrets Act which was to protect the confidentiality of those whose affairs we dealt with. I didn’t have a problem with that. But I do have a problem with what Javid is suggesting as it is so open-ended it’s terrifying.

        Any commitment to something as vague as “British values” is ridiculous not to mention dangerous. It could affect every area of life including what you say and do outside of work. We’ve seen only too clearly what that phrase means to some politicians right across the political spectrum. It isn’t surprising that for some of us the phrase immediately conjures up ideas of all sorts where values don’t come into it.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          Thanks for your insider’s insight, @Jo. I think Official Secrets are also used to protect government from scrutiny, but that is likely to vary from department to department. I personally find it frustrating on how difficult it is to access official documents online at the National Archives, for example. I wonder if the Official Secrets lifetime oath would still apply if Scottish Civil Servants became Independent Scottish Citizens…

          Yes, to your point about open-endedness, such an oath might lead to harmful definitions of unBritishness and witch-hunts on perceived enemies of Britishness, if the USAmerican experience is anything to go by. The UK might improve by learning from other foreign examples, after all: traditional British values were once extremely threatened by the French Revolution’s call for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

          1. Jo says:

            @ Sleeping Dog

            Agree that the secretive part is abused abominably by government to keep things hidden from us that we should have access to. Also agree that any sort of “oath” to “British values” could potentially lead employees to have no right to private opinions at all on, say, foreign affairs and our involvement in other countries or politics in general if they are critical of government policy. I also wonder how on earth “British Values” would be defined! Would they include things like believing passionately in inflicting “regime change” on other countries and setting the UN aside when we see fit? It says a great deal about Javid that he’s come up with such a bonkers idea.

          2. c rober says:

            British Values.

            Installing puppet dictators
            Illegal wars , to remove said puppet dictators
            Gchq spying on Scottish politicians
            McCrone , the wealth of a nation stolen
            Austerity paying for the elites to double their wealth
            Socialised bank debts and bailouts
            Housing for profit and a controlled racket
            Vendor of arms to countries with the death penalty and monarchial govts
            Deals for London , NE England , NI and Wales with brexit , yet not a jot for Scotland
            The selling off of nationalised taxpayer owned assets for big profits to the hedge funds
            Internet cut off switch to prevent uprising and the internet snoopers charter
            BBC Scotland as a Secret Service Broadcaster
            Public money for private profits

            I dont think I will bother with the pledge thanks.

  11. Peter Burnett says:

    The ‘vested’ interests of Andrew Neil – – – I like what you’ve done there 😉

    1. c rober says:

      Dodgy bloke in the picture though , and Andrew as well of course.

  12. fletch says:

    I feel so out of step with “British Values” – Arrogant, Greedy, Elitist, Oppressive and Superior

  13. DialMforMurdo says:

    ‘vested interests’ Arf. Poor Brillo.

    Not so long ago there was a hoohah over BBC presenters having second jobs and how those positions might impact on the neutrality of the BBC. This was as a direct result of Andrew Gilligan, the sexing up of Blair’s WMD dossier. Gilligan’s hostile interview of Dr David Kelly and the fact that Gilligan was also a Daily Mail columnist. Later this angst was carried out against light entertainment presenters and advertising in the wake of the Andrew Sachs, Jonathan Ross – Russell Bland farago.

    Andrew Neil somehow, manages to be a BBC presenter on £550,000 pa of license payers money for presenting two shows, he is also chairman and publishers of Press Holdings, (owners of the Spectator, which is in turn owned by the tax dodging exiles the Barclay brothers, ) a position for which he presumably receives a commensurate remuneration. Additionally, he is the sole shareholder in Glenburn Enterprises, with a value of some £7.27 million.

    One would imagine that BBC trustees, like our near anonymous former Motorola employee and BBC Scotland trust chair, Bill Matthews, might be encouraged to investigate why exactly Mr Neil is allowed more than one job, one of which obviously is in conflict with his avowedly BBC neutral position…


  14. Fay Kennedy. says:

    I am not really surprised by the calibre of mouthpieces in the mainstream media. As my old father often says TV is the perfect place for those with no talent and the more likely to be promoted. Many are of my generation and it’s not hard to see where they originated either in a bullying, sectarian, dog eat dog environment. These men and the women who’ve joined them are not unfamiliar to me I would have sat beside them in the class room. They are perfect examples of British values I’m alright Jack and F… you. Nothing much changes except better suits and uglier physiognomy.

  15. SleepingDog says:

    Perhaps too many Britons value hypocrisy and cant: public virtue, private vice, and shutting down problematic revelations with societal taboos and legal protections, Crowned by constitutional obscurity.

    When I used to read a broadsheet virtually cover to cover, I remember reading the case of a schoolgirl in the USA who refused to take the daily pledge of allegiance:

    As far as I know, her principled stand (which she explains in the article) has gained little cultural recognition. Perhaps not even a television movie, which are a dime a dozen. I think her example is a warning of what an oath of allegiance in the UK might become.

    1. c rober says:

      Scotland is my country of Birth , to its people I would pledge allegiance , but not that of its parliament , nor its religions and/or that of the rest of the UK , which is unknown to me other than what history , past and modern has taught me while erasing my countries own.

      To expect the people of Scotland to pledge allegiance to such a thing will only serve to fuel the need and speed of indy.

      I am not British , if I identify as Scottish , just the same as English identify as English – so by default there is no such thing as British.

      Until such times as there is a Britain , then I will like your average English person be identified that way…. I have no hate for an Englishman to call himself that , but strangely some do take offence if you identify yourself as Scottish if they call you British.

      The simply test of whether there is a Britain , show me its rugby and football team? Without it then its not a nation – thus cannot be pledged to at all.

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