Telegraph publishes BNP blog


by Sunny
28th May, 2008 at 4:28 pm    

The Daily Telegraph website is hosting the blog of the BNP councillor Richard Barnbrook, as I pointed out on LibCon last night. When contacted by the Media Guardian today, they said:

The newspaper yesterday defended its decision to host the blog and said it has had no complaints. A spokeswoman said: “Our readers are entitled to their opinions and, within the law, they’re entitled to publish them on the My Telegraph blogging platform. We believe our readers are intelligent and discerning enough to avoid the content they dislike and report that which offends. That doesn’t mean the Telegraph necessarily endorses their opinions nor promotes them.”

What actually happened is that Telegraph readers didn’t even notice the difference between what the BNP councillor is saying and what the paper’s journalists write anyway.

Barnbrook says: Blame the immigrants. Who is the Telegraph to disagree? This is a goldmine for bloggers to watch… I wonder how long it’ll take before the idiot says something beyond the pale and the Torygraph takes it down.

Update: Neil D on Harry’s Place says:

The Guardian apparently has no moral objections to propagating the views of far right sectarians, as it actively solicits pieces by Muslim Brotherhood supporters such as Faisal Bodi, Anas Altikriti, Ismail Patel and Soumaya Ghannoushi. They even publish, on a regular basis, work by Azzam Tamimi, a Hamas’ “Special Envoy“ and wannabe suicide bomber.

This rather silly. Most of them might be conservative right-wingers, and Faisal Bodi a complete idiot, but comparing them to the BNP is disingenuous. They don’t go around spouting racial or religious hatred (Bodi and Azzam Tammimi excluded).


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  1. Ravi Naik — on 28th May, 2008 at 4:53 pm  

    The best thing that can happen to the BNP is having bloggers and “leftists” up in arms because an elected councillor got his blog hosted by a crappy publication.

    Why should anyone want to shut them down? These people thrive on being eternal victims of freedom of speech. This works for them in two ways: first, they have nothing constructive or intelligent to say, so the least said, the better for them. Second, it gives them bragging rights that they are victims of an oppressed state which persecutes them for telling the “truth”.

    I couldn’t stop laughing at this poor attempt of intelligent thought (“blame the immigrants”): The last thing they should do is start going to those disgusting lefty therapists for counselling to relive the trauma. Look at that word “therapist” the rapist….and that is what they do….the rape of the mind.

    Oh, please… I want to read more. :)

  2. 5cc — on 28th May, 2008 at 4:56 pm  

    This is a goldmine for bloggers to watch… I wonder how long it’ll take before the idiot says something beyond the pale and the Torygraph takes it down.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it disappeared quietly at the behest of the party as there hasn’t been a post on it since Monday and a couple of the anti-immigrant comments have already been edited out of the ‘Blame the Immigrants’ rant.

    Still, the BNP love playing the martyr, so it’s a win win for them whether the blog gets taken down or not.

  3. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 4:58 pm  

    Still, the BNP love playing the martyr, so it’s a win win for them whether the blog gets taken down or not.

    And its a win-win for us. If it stays, it gives us an opportunity to keep equating the BNP and the Telegraph… if it goes, the Telegraph’s racist readership gets pissed off.

  4. Rumbold — on 28th May, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

    Ravi’s right- this is comedy gold. The best bit is his mini biography:

    “[I] will make sure that he spends your tax on all Londoners and not minorities.”

    Don’t minorities form rather a large part of London? Aren’t most of the young men getting stabbed from ethnic minorities?

  5. Roger — on 28th May, 2008 at 9:25 pm  

    “Most of them might be conservative right-wingers, and Faisal Bodi a complete idiot, but comparing them to the BNP is disingenuous. They don’t go around spouting racial or religious hatred.”
    Er, just who don’t go around spouting racial or religious hatred? What about other kinds of hatred?

    “Aren’t most of the young men getting stabbed from ethnic minorities?”
    And aren’t most of the young men doing the stabbing from ethnic minorities? No rhetoric here: I’m just going by press reports.

  6. marvin — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:30 pm  

    So it’s ok for the Guardian to have spokesmen for Hamas terrorist organisation writing for them, but never in a million years a spokesman for a racist political party?

    I don’t think it’s “rather silly”. I think it’s double standards. People representing jew hating organisations is fine, as long as they have brown skin?

    By Sunny’s logic #3, it’s now fine to equate The Guardian with Hamas :P

  7. marvin — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:32 pm  
  8. marvin — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:35 pm  
  9. marvin — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:36 pm  

    Doh! I meant to say Telegraph columns.

  10. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:54 pm  

    So it’s ok for the Guardian to have spokesmen for Hamas terrorist organisation writing for them, but never in a million years a spokesman for a racist political party?

    I’m going to write an article tonight addressing this.

    The difference is this you see. The BNP don’t have any problems getting their voices heard. The Guardian gives Hamas a platform because it feels that its political voice is being marginalised at a time that it should be heard. If you want to make peace with the enemy, you have to hear what it has to say. The BNP work in a different paradigm.

  11. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 10:55 pm  

    The Guardian got rid of the HuT dude after that came to light, rightly, as I said at the time. Is the Telegraph doing that? No… they stand by their man!

  12. tim — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:00 pm  

    Tamimi of course not only promotes Hamas views (Denying being a member so the Guardian can pay him?)
    But also the usual conspiracy theories such as the Airline Plots Will Turn Out To Be A Hoax”
    And casual racism

    There are wonderful things about the Japanese; they are punctual, well-organised, clean, slim and accountable. These qualities are rare in the rest of Asia, where people have much lower consciousness of time, much less respect for organisation, much more love for fatty foods and a lot less observance of cleanliness.

  13. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:05 pm  

    I’m no fan of Tammimi by any stretch of the imagination but that isn’t any worse than most Hollywood films. Brown people of all stripe have been casually sterotyped in western culture for fucking decades.

  14. marvin — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:08 pm  

    What is the political voice of Hamas, apart from the destruction of Israel and pushing every last Jew in to the sea?!

    Surely the “moderate” Fatah or ordinary Gazans would be reasonably but the extremist Islamic militia Hamas “need a voice”? What could they possibly want to say.

    No, it’s double standards I’m afraid.

    “The Guardian got rid of the HuT dude after that came to light, rightly, as I said at the time. Is the Telegraph doing that? No… they stand by their man!”

    Of course the difference is that the HuT man was actually employed by The Guardian. Whereas Barnbrook has nothing to do with the Telegraph except hosting one of thousands of blogs!

    Not only that but the Guardian have repeatedly given a platform to Islamists. Which is ok. For some reason. About being the enemy. Giving them a voice…or something.. No no no. This is all wrong!

    Sunny, either you think the mainstream media should give no platform to fascists and reactionary extemists, or simply you don’t!

  15. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:17 pm  

    What could they possibly want to say.

    I don’t know, you have to read them to find out, no?

    extremist Islamic militia Hamas “need a voice”?

    They are also the democratically elected govt. After all, we give the Chinese a voice despite their human rights abuses, because they’re democratically elected, no?

  16. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:17 pm  

    and reactionary extemists,

    I also think Rod Liddle and Jon Gaunt are reactionary extremists… and frequently twist the truth to push their xenophobic agenda. Will you help me deny them a voice in the media?

  17. Sunny — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:20 pm  

    Er, just who don’t go around spouting racial or religious hatred? What about other kinds of hatred?

    Roger, what other kinds of hatred are you accusing them of pushing?

  18. Sid — on 28th May, 2008 at 11:53 pm  

    Neil D of Harry’s Place is indulging in some of that moral relativism that Harry’s Place is supposed to be so against. How post-modern of him.

  19. inders — on 29th May, 2008 at 12:48 am  

    I say give them enough rope …..

    Whenever I’ve seen that man give a speech he sounds like a banshee and it seems from his blog he writes the same way too.

    His attack on ‘drug taking liberals’ on his piece about knife crime is the funniest thing (unintentionally), I’ve read for years.

  20. Roger — on 29th May, 2008 at 2:36 am  

    “The Guardian got rid of the HuT dude after that came to light, rightly, as I said at the time. Is the Telegraph doing that? No… they stand by their man!” The HuT man hid his membership but put forward their views.
    Bambrook isn’t employed or paid by the Telegraph; What the Telegraph offers is a site where anyone who wants to can post their blog as long as it dosn’t contain illegal or offensive remarks. We don’t like it, but Bambrook’s was elected to the London Assembly so those opinions have to be faced. MAny of the peple who voted for him were probably protesting without knowing what he stood for. It’s better if they know just what they put in the Assembly.

  21. Matt Wardman — on 29th May, 2008 at 2:52 am  

    Let’s not leave the Independent out of the racist party.

    Here’s Yasmin A-B equating buying local cabbages with stereotyping indigenous Britons as a whole being per-se xenophobic:

    “Indigenous Britons are in a mighty sulk over strangers on their shores, our weird languages, strong colours and tastes, and “unBritish” ways. Keeping out Kenyan beans and Caribbean pineapples is a sop to cultural paranoia, rising nausea. The country can’t stomach any more foreignness and wants old simplicities back again. The rightful inhabitants think they want nothing but turnips and potatoes through our long winters, and in the summer, asparagus of genetically proven Englishness.”

    and

    “Should good people be party to a vociferous movement which wants to refuse entry to “alien” foods?

    Look at the language used and you realise it is a proxy for anti-immigration sentiments: these foods from
    elsewhere come and take over our diets, reduce national dishes to third-class status, compete unfairly with Scotch broth and haggis, both dying out, excite our senses beyond decorum, contaminate the identity of the country irreversibly.”

    It’s bonkers, but it wasn’t published on April 1st – and it doesn’t do much for social relations either.

    I may not have noticed, but perhaps Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is the Grand Master of the KKK, and it has its global base at River Cottage.

    Link on my name.

  22. Matt Wardman — on 29th May, 2008 at 3:03 am  

    And on the Telegraph, it seems to me that they have to be treated the same as every other blog platform – until he breaks his T&Cs or the Law they really have no business denying him a blog on the same terms as everyone else.

    I don’t think that Sunny actually said to deny him a platform, and I expect that anyone who starts arguing Daily Telegraph = BNP will look a touch foolish.

    Anyway – my tuppence.

  23. unitalian — on 29th May, 2008 at 7:32 am  

    Ok for the Guardian to promote misogynistic, homophobic fascists, but the Torygraph not to carry racists?

    Choosing your poison Sunny?

  24. unitalian — on 29th May, 2008 at 7:43 am  

    “The BNP don’t have any problems getting their voices heard. The Guardian gives Hamas a platform because it feels that its political voice is being marginalised…”

    As an opponent of the BNP (wanted to get that out of the way) I have to say what utter bollocks.

    Islamists riddle national dialogue about Islam, misrepresenting the majority throughout the mainstream media. Hamas are simply the Palestinian brand.

    There is plenty of sympathy and reportage of the Palestinian cause in the press, certainly balancing pro-Israeli coverage and often overwhelming it.

    Palestine is the cause celebre not just of the Muslim world but of the left. We even have universities trying to impose academic apartheid against Jewish academics.

    The BNP draw a fair amount of sensation, but are clearly given no more exposure than their support merits. They draw much of their support from a class of people who are massively under-reprsented in national discourse (and certainly around the middle-class dinner table) – the white working class – who seem to be the only people left in this country one can get away with treating with contempt, bleeding chavs.

    If anyone is being marginalised it is the white working class, by the Guardian and their ilk, who just lurve to have their snooty prejudices confirmed when the oiks flock to the only party that seems to respond to their concerns – the BNP.

  25. cjcjc — on 29th May, 2008 at 9:20 am  

    They don’t go around spouting racial or religious hatred (Bodi and Azzam Tammimi excluded).

    LOL!

    So some of the bloggers invited by the Guardian do spout hatred.
    Which bloggers invited by the Telegraph do so?

  26. Paul Moloney — on 29th May, 2008 at 10:38 am  

    “There is plenty of sympathy and reportage of the Palestinian cause in the press, certainly balancing pro-Israeli coverage and often overwhelming it. ”

    As a supporter of Palestine and Israel, I find the idea that support for Palestine is not represented in the media to be bizarre; sort of like Armistead Maupin’s comment on San Francisco: “In this town, the love that dare not speak its name never shuts up”.

    P.

  27. Matt W — on 29th May, 2008 at 1:27 pm  

    Reflecting a bit further – is one of the differences between Comment is Free and the Telegraph blog platform that CIF is an editorial platform (implying some endorsement) and the Telegraph Blogs setup is simply a service without editorial control.

    Therefore CIF has legal responsibility for articles on Comment is Free and the Telegraph does not for My Telegraph (until informed of objectionable content).

    I think.

  28. Random Guy — on 29th May, 2008 at 1:48 pm  

    Paul @ 26, you may find the idea that “support for Palestine is not represented in the media” bizarre, but you don’t need a rocket scientist to work out where most of the bias lies in the mainstream media.

  29. Sunny — on 29th May, 2008 at 3:19 pm  

    Palestine is the cause celebre not just of the Muslim world but of the left.

    and… it shouldn’t be?

  30. marvin — on 29th May, 2008 at 4:44 pm  

    #24 unitalian I think you make some really good points.

    This is worth reading

    Comment Is Free, perhaps too free?

  31. Ravi Naik — on 29th May, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    “The difference is this you see. The BNP don’t have any problems getting their voices heard. The Guardian gives Hamas a platform because it feels that its political voice is being marginalised at a time that it should be heard.”

    Hamas has been actively plotting assassinating as many civilians as possible in the most atrocious of ways – including old people, women and children. The BNP hasn’t. So, if you defend that the Guardian should give a platform to these people, then you lose any credibility to criticise other publications for giving a platform to a legitimate political party like the BNP.

  32. marvin — on 29th May, 2008 at 7:12 pm  

    Sunny

    This

    Palestine is the cause celebre not just of the Muslim world but of the left.

    relates to this

    The Guardian gives Hamas a platform because it feels that its political voice is being marginalised at a time that it should be heard.

    You think the Guardian readers or the liberal left need to hear the ‘unspoken’ voice of the Palestinian brand of Islamist extremism? Unspoken? Do the left talk about anything more than the Palestinians and how we are all causing Islamic extremism?! Pah.

  33. Jim Denham — on 29th May, 2008 at 10:13 pm  

    “They (Islamists) don’t get round to spouting racial or religious hatred”…er no? Have you seen “Undercover Mosque”, the Channel 4 “Despatches” programme now 100% vindicated as accurate, after the cops’ bizarre attempt to act as TV censors? I think you’ll find that Isamists can be just as racist and hate-fomenting as the BNP.

  34. Sunny — on 30th May, 2008 at 12:41 am  

    You think the Guardian readers or the liberal left need to hear the ‘unspoken’ voice of the Palestinian brand of Islamist extremism? Unspoken? Do the left talk about anything more than the Palestinians and how we are all causing Islamic extremism?! Pah.

    I could equally ask whether the right talks of anything other than how the growing number of Muslims will soon take over Britain and turn it into a shariah state.

    Trading insults is quite easy but it doesn’t address the point.

    Should we have to listen to Hamas? Not every day, not constantly. But they are the democractically elected party and to think that we can close our ears to them and then make up our minds to what they’re saying is typical nonsense.

    It used to be back in the old days that the attitude was: “We don;t have to hear what they have to say because we know everything we need to know about them already” etc etc. The internet has changed all that.

    Now, you could assume what they stand for, without listening to what they’re saying, or you could actually listen to them.

    And incidentally, I do have the same attitude towards the BNP. I don’t go around saying that anyone who vaguely sympathises with BNP sentiments should be shot on site as a nazi or be branded with a big swastika on their back.

    People vote for the BNP for a variety of reasons… people voted for Hamas for a variety of reasons.

  35. Sunny — on 30th May, 2008 at 12:41 am  

    Jim – I wasn’t talking about any Islamist…. obviously they can be just as bigoted. I was referring specifically to those mentioned above.

  36. marvin — on 30th May, 2008 at 12:53 am  

    I do understand your point Sunny, that Hamas have been democratically elected, however I think we should refuse to deal with them on the same basis that we would have with the democratically elected (with very similar methods of ‘persuasion’) as the Nationalist Socialist party that were elected in Germany.

    If the BNP came in to power here, I would too refuse to deal with them.

  37. Sunny — on 30th May, 2008 at 1:42 am  

    If the BNP came in to power here, I would too refuse to deal with them.

    Who is ‘you’? Would you say that the British media and other Labour parties should refuse to acknowledge the existence of the BNP and ignore all the people who voted for them?

  38. douglas clark — on 30th May, 2008 at 2:08 am  

    Marvin @ 36.

    This is a ridiculous scenario, I think.

    The alienation that it presupposes, that a majority would vote for an idiot like Richard Barnbrook is beyond the pale. Have you read the idiots web site?

    Here it is, with all it’s vainglorious fans:

    http://my.telegraph.co.uk/cllr_richard_barnbrook/

    This is idiocy writ large. I’d hope most folk that voted for him read the shit he’s written. Sadly, I suspect they won’t.

  39. cjcjc — on 30th May, 2008 at 10:43 am  

    This is idiocy writ large. I’d hope most folk that voted for him read the shit he’s written. Sadly, I suspect they won’t.

    I hope they will too. He’s been quicker than normal in exposing his own idiocy.

    But then Sunny wants the Telegraph to remove him, so he can’t expose himself.

    Meanwhile the Guardian CiF moves even further into self-parody yesterday by publishing a piece, not by a buffoon wannabe fascist, but a real live (just) dictator: lefty hero Fidel.

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