Posts Tagged ‘Sky TV’

George Galloway Challenges Daily Mail Journalist Richard Littlejohn to Boxing Match

August 28, 2016

I realise that this may not be the wisest post to put up, considering the Blairite smears against Corbyn supporters as abusive, violent extreme left-wing militants, ignoring their own vitriolic, highly abusive rants against the Corbynites and their own rhetoric of violence. In this video, Galloway challenges the right-wing columnist to a boxing match over his comments about the beating of a disabled protester, Jody MacIntyre. You may remember the incident. MacIntyre has cerebral palsy, and is confined to a wheelchair. At one of the anti-austerity demonstrations, one of the rozzers hauled him out of his chair, and beat him as he lay in the ground. Like very many people, including Mike at Vox Political, and I believe Johnny Void and the Angry Yorkshireman, the Glasgae politico was outraged. He was also highly unimpressed by Littlejohn’s comments about the incident, in which he compared MacIntyre to the character in the wheelchair from Little Britain. Galloway has considerable respect for MacIntyre, and states that he accompanied him on a trip to Syria, which is impressive for anyone, and much more so for someone with MacIntyre’s disabilities. He derides Littlejohn as ‘rancid’ and challenges him to go five rounds in a boxing ring.

This is pretty much what very many people would like to happen to Littlejohn. Littlejohn seemed to be trying to position himself as a right-wing ‘shock jock’ a few years ago. He had his own talk show on Sky, the titles of which showed him walking past a Black beggar and other unfortunates or examples of the British Left, to show how hard, heartless and right-wing he was. If I remember correctly, one of his guests on the show, who was royally outraged by his bigoted sneering, was Michael Winner.

That’s surprising, as Winner was hardly a man of the Left. But Winner always supported gay rights, going as far back as the 1960s. Winner and a couple of gay women had been invited on Littlejohn’s show to discuss homosexuality or perhaps more specifically, lesbianism. Whichever it was, Winner was outraged by Littlejohn’s treatment of the two women and his sneering towards them. There’s a clip of this, which has been shown a number of times on TV. It shows Winner standing up, bristling and almost shaking with rage, telling Littlejohn to his face that the two ladies not only agreed to appear on his show, but have also been courteous and polite, while Littlejohn has treated them with nothing but sneers and innuendo.

The comparison of MacIntyre to the Little Britain character is also invidious. A friend of mine, whose partner is severely disabled and bound to a wheelchair, told me years ago that he felt the character had done immense harm. If you haven’t watched the show, that character pretends to be bound to his wheelchair, and in an almost vegetative state. When his brother, who is also his carer, is away, the character leaps up and runs around, showing that he is perfectly fit and well. I don’t think the two writers and stars of the show were trying to smear the disabled. Unfortunately, it seems many of the public, encouraged by inflammatory articles in the press about benefit cheats and scroungers on disability benefits, have believed that the character somehow reflects reality. And so disabled people, including my friend and his partner, have been insulted and abused because of the character. Abuse and prejudice that was no doubt reinforced by Littlejohn’s article.

And so it’s great to see a bully like Littlejohn being very publicly challenged for his comments. And the challenge to a proper, refereed fight is appropriate, considering that Littlejohn clearly enjoyed the spectacle of someone else being violently assaulted. I am not encouraging anyone to assault anybody because of their comments, no matter how bigoted and obnoxious. I’m merely enjoying the spectacle of a challenge being issued to Littlejohn designed to cut him down to size for supporting violence and bullying.

Cameron’s Silent Puce Fury: Private Eye Reviews the Party Leaders’ Interviews

April 1, 2015

This fortnight’s edition of Private Eye contains a review of the TV interviews given by Ed Miliband and David Cameron on Channel 4, and the drama-documentary, Coalition, on the same channel. The reviews are generally, and with considerable reservations, positive. It also makes some extremely acute comments on Cameron’s poor performance during his interviews with Paxo and Sky TV’s Kay Burley.

The review states that this was surprising, given the apparent pro-Tory bias of both these interviewers. Paxo has described himself as ‘one-nation Tory’, while Burley’s conduct moderating the public sections of the programme served to confirm the suspicions that she too is a Tory. It describes her demeanour towards Cameron as sycophantic. She called him ‘Prime Minister’ before and after every question, and did not pose difficult follow-ups to the questions asked.

Her conduct towards Miliband was tougher. She followed up a question from the audience with one of her own, and then patronisingly referred to Miliband’s ‘poor mum’. Private Eye said of this that she was so imbalanced ‘she must be at risk of having breached the Ofcom code of impartiality.’ The magazine said that Paxo wouldn’t be censured, as he gave both interviewees the full range of his expressions ‘the snorting horse, the bishop sitting on a cactus, the bored old whore giving a blowjob to a bloke with BO, the headmaster with a cane in his hands’.

It stated that Cameron should have been able to survive the barrage through his own cockiness and experience, but didn’t, due to his own considerable hauteur when someone dares to contradict him. It said

‘Dave’s biggest temperamental weakness – a sense of entitlement that leads him to react to criticism as if his fag has cheeked him back – resulted in silent puce fury or drawling incoherence when Paxo caught him on food banks, zero hours contracts and government borrowing.’

The article then goes on to say that although Miliband had one cringingly bad soundbite, ‘generally he stood up to the old bruiser well enough’. Presumably that was when Miliband told Paxo that he was important, but not that important.

The Eye’s opinion was that Cameron came out of the interviews and drama-documentary so badly, that he’ll probably want to amend government policy not just to privatise Channel 4m but to close it down completely.