Saturday, 22 October 2016

Tom Adams, the genius who illustrated Agathie Christie covers for 20 years - and a dreadful BBC 4 programme about crime fiction by Andrew Marr

I find that an unsettling, macabrely attractive image. By the Pricking of My Thumbs was one of half a dozen or so 1960s and 1970s Fontana editions of Agatha Christie novels I picked up for a pound each at Oxfam six or seven years ago...

Friday, 21 October 2016

The "Turing law" pardoning deceased homosexual men convicted of illegal sexual acts in the past is a load of sentimental nonsense

I write this with some trepidation, because - I was recently informed - while it's just about all right among young educated white folk to criticise Muslims, Jews, and even blacks,  disparaging or making fun of gays is considered unacceptable. The ultimate social sin - the act which will lead to immediate ostracism - is to question the necessity for gay marriage. Presumably this attitude of fiercely intolerant tolerance accounts for the seeming absence of scepticism when it comes to the government's announcement that 65,000 gay men convicted of breaking the law when consensual homosexual acts were illegal - of whom 15,000 are still alive - are to be pardoned.

I don't get it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Gradgrinds and the Yahoos have triumphed - as of 2018, History of Art will no longer be an A-level subject

As Jemima Lewis pointed out earlier this week in her Telegraph article, "Studying history of art is more than a posh hobby",  pupils will still be able to study for an A-level in drama, PE or media studies, none of which (I'm reliably informed) require more than two brain cells to pass and none of which could be even vaguely described as academically rigorous - but they won't be able to study Art History, which - as the title of the course suggests - is basically history studied through the prism of art, and which involves writing lots of essays, reading academic books and articles, committing to memory a shedload of dates and artists's names and the names, nature and significance of tons of art movements, and knowing what was happening culturally during a number of historical periods: from what I can gather, it had nothing whatsoever to do with "art appreciation" - you were meant to study cultural artefacts as historical rather than aesthetic objects to be swooned over (although swooning wasn't exactly prohibited, neither was it encouraged).

Ah! Poor little Syrian orphans of war - what was advertised, and what actually arrived in the post

Heart-rending, right? What sort of monster could possibly object to Britain taking in poor, vulnerable little mites like these? Not even me!
But when the courier knocked at the door this morning, this is what the package contained:

Mary Seacole deserves her London statue for being a pioneering black female entrepreneur rather than for being a lovely, warm-hearted black pseudo-nurse

I only became aware of the cult of the black Crimean War "nurse" Mary Seacole when some right-wing scribbler ranted about her on the Telegraph website six or seven years ago. Apparently schoolchildren were being taught that this mixed-race Jamaican immigrant was at least as significant in terms of her contribution to nursing British soldiers as that boring old white woman Florence Nightingale, who had basically stolen Nurse Seacole's thunder due to (what else) - racism! I did a trawl online and found that this was indeed the multiculti narrative being peddled for all it was worth by PC "diversity" enthusiasts. Here, for example, is what the BBC was telling children:

Friday, 14 October 2016

How typical of the BBC to try to make the SNP look ridiculous - that's Nicola Sturgeon's job!

This Schadenfreudtastic year keeps on delivering - Paul Mason is caught slagging off his "hero", Jeremy Corbyn

'Appen, summat 'as 'appened as shouldn't 'ave 'appened.  Bugger!
The Brexit vote, David Cameron's resignation, George Osborne's subsequent defenestration, none of Project Fear's hysterical warnings coming true, that virtue-signalling blister Keith Vaz being caught on camera consorting with two male prostitutes, Ed Balls reduced to waddling around on our television screens smothered in spandex...I thought I'd supped my fill of political humiliations and disappointments for 2016. But now one of my least favourite lefties, hard-left Corbyn fanboy and former BBC Newsnight Economics Editor (FFS) Paul Mason - who many had assumed would replace grisly Guardian Stalinist Seamus Milne as Jezza's propaganda supremo, and certainly seemed to be angling for the job - well, the poor Northern working-class lad has dropped a truly enormous bollock with a clang clearly audible from Penzance to Thurso.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Former Director-General Mark Thompson wants more Tories in the BBC? Here's a word-association test to identify the right applicants.

Mark Thompson recently made the following statement: “It helps to have Conservatives, people who tend to think from a perspective that goes with the Right rather than the Left, across your newsroom and inside your senior decision-making bodies and inside your leadership.” (You can read the whole story here.) Given that I've been banging on in a similar vein for years (albeit muttering to myself like some deranged old vagrant on this blog), I couldn't agree more. The only problem is that this tall, amiable, ginger-bearded former boss of mine is currently CEO of the screamingly left-liberal New York Times, and was the Director-General of the left-liberal BBC for the eight years up to 2012. If he's so keen on having right-wingers "across your newsroom", why weren't there any at the BBC when he was in charge of News - and why is the NYT so left-wing (although, as it isn't funded by a poll tax, it can take any political stance it wants)?

Email from BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith to newsreaders, with a list of questions to ask him attached

Dear Newsreader,
I thought it might save time if, rather than having to brief you on what you should ask me during live interviews from Westminster, you just used the following standard list of questions - because I'm going to say pretty much the same thing in any case, especially if it's about Brexit (which it will be until the government agrees to a second referendum):

List of questions to ask Norman Smith during Live 2-Ways:

("I'm now joined from Westminster by the BBC's Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith...)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016