Iran’s election – the candidates are not “Conservatives”

 

          According to the BBC there are six conservative candidates in the Iranian election, with one of them dubbed a “moderate conservative”  to imply he is the favoured one. Is this the best the BBC can do to describe and explain an election in a very different culture and political system? It seems designed to lead people to think they are like “Conservatives” in the UK. I doubt there are many policy and philosophical similarities between UK Conservatives and Iranian “conservatives”. If a single label describes all the competing candidates it is not a very helpful label to distinguish between them.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

115 Comments

  1. NickW
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    When the BBC “Does” Foreign politics, it reads like an Enid Blyton story for intellectually challenged children. This isn’t news.

    No one pays the slightest attention to the BBC any more; their audience figures are a joke, as is their news coverage. Just ignore them completely and they’ll go away.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Nick,

      If only! I still keep having to pay my licence fee each year, and I bet that doesn’t go away any time soon.

      Tad

      • Bob
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        @Tad
        ” I still keep having to pay my licence fee each year.”

        As Jerry never fails to point out, paying the licence fee is voluntary.
        With all the catch-up services and iPlayer, you don’t really need a TV Licence any more.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          @BoB: As long as you only use such services to ‘catch-up’, view anything whilst it is, or very close to, being broadcast over the air and you still need a TVL. “Time-shifting” is a minefield within the TVL Act…

  2. Bill
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The sooner the BBC is broken up and privatised, the better.

    Failing that, they should be subject to a barrage of ‘freedom of information’ requests to find out what really goes on there and how editorial decisions are made.

    As far as I am concerned, it is the sport and the evening radio which are the most honest things now regularly aired.

  3. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    A majority of licence fee payers probably want the BBC radically changed and even privatised. As with numerous issues Government does not listen and the Conservative Party has perpetuated the hierarchical dynasty with the same type of appointments and rhetoric. Subscription should replace fee and let stations feel market heat. The move to Salford and the recent revelation that the long awaited programme IT system is a dud despite apparent reassurances over months and years to the contrary are further examples of an organisation out of its time.

    Your piece highlights inaccuracy, sloppiness and poor reporting, which together with bias on important national matters occurs virtually daily.

  4. Jerry
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry John but the Tory party doesn’t own the term “conservative”…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative

    I might well be very lazy of the BBC (and confusing to those without a clue), but then we live in a much dumbed down country thanks to the tabloid media (mostly owned by people who have supported or had support from the Tory party, no names but I suspect everyone knows who I’m referring to!), it would be nice if the BBC could get back to its more pure PSB roots and thus actually use such news stories to inform and educate, not just entertain.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      That’s a fair point Jerry, and it was interesting when that certain someone stopped supporting the Tories and a lot of his newspapers went for Blair instead. Even he recognised the imperative to get rid of the useless government of the day.

      Tad

      • Jerry
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        @Tad Davison: Or that he recognised that there was no more mileage in supporting such a government, after all it was this media empire in the main (as I recall), in the shape of their tabloid titles, who were highlighting the sleaze that had always existed up till then to some extent. One really does have to ask just who backed who in 1997…

    • APL
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Jerry: “but then we live in a much dumbed down country thanks to the tabloid media (mostly owned by people who have supported or had support from the Tory party”

      An utter joke and despicable distortion of the truth!

      The STATE has taken the responsibility upon itself to ‘educate’ people, after sixty years where the majority have been educated through the State education system, for once point your accusing finger at the correct target, Jerry.

      People, if they emerge literate & numerate have spent at least a decade of their youth being ‘educated’ by the state system, if they then choose to read a rancid rag – that is an indictment of the State system not the rag in question.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        @APL: Just who printed the newspaper with the words It was the Sun wot won it?…

        Newspapers used to educate their readership, since the advent of “Page 3” tabloid it has been more about entertainment. The state teaches the basics, people learn the rest – assuming they want to, people are like horses, you can take them to the water but you sure can’t make them drink.

        • APL
          Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Jerry: “Just who printed the newspaper with the words It was the Sun wot won it?…”

          *Suddenly*, you believe something written in the Sun. Awfully convenient, but mistaken. Again.

          Jerry: “Newspapers used to educate their readership,”

          A highly dubious assertion. They may have been able to cater for an educated readership, if anyone did extra scholastic schooling it was the chapels and churches.

          Jerry: “The state teaches the basics, people learn the rest .. ”

          The State doesn’t even do that for a significant proportion of the population, 23% (or thereabouts) leave State education illiterate and innumerate. Is it any wonder the first rag they pick up is one with big …. pictures?

          Either way, that is not the fault of the Sun that they cater for the cannon fodder turned out by the state education system.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            @APL: “*Suddenly*, you believe something written in the Sun. Awfully convenient, but mistaken. Again.

            Err, you make a lot of incorrect assumptions there (and in your wider reply)! Again…

          • APL
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: ” you make a lot of incorrect assumptions there ”

            No Jerry, just having a laugh. One minute you revile the tabloid media for its superficiality, then next you select a magnificent example of the genre, and quote it, in an attempt bolster your position.

  5. Robert Eve
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    John – it’s the BBC!!

    • Bazman
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      The BBC is responsible for all ills?

  6. alan jutson
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I thought “conservative” in the Iranian election context means:

    People unlikely to make any significant changes to existing arrangements, and the way government is run.

    Thus I suppose the term has rather more in common here in the Uk than you originally may have thought John.

    Thus whilst we have different name labels for our political organisations, we end up with the similar result of NO CHANGE, because they are all similar in everything but name.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Alan ,

      Maybe “Conservative” means they want to co-opt their citizens into the EU under false pretenses ?

      Whatever , I hope they don’t give the West an excuse to launch an all out attack on them in order to establish a compatible and compliant central bank .

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Alan, you are usually so full of good sense that I look forward to reading your comments!
      Let us just play around with a few other words, shall we?
      Iran is of course a Democracy (isn’t everyone?). It is also liberal compared, say with the Salafists and the Wahabi. So let us call it a Liberal Democrat Country.
      No?
      Well it is most certainly nationalist. And the President makes a point of not wearing a tie, like a Socialist. So it is therefore a National Socialist State? (words left out ed)
      No?
      The President comes from a working class background of which he is, no doubt, extremely proud. He is therefore a left winger. So he heads up a Labour government?
      No?

      Words do matter a lot. They really do.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Mike

        I will never be as good a wordsmith as your goodself and many others on this site.

        So by way of further explanation of my thinking.

        I was not attempting to compare the Iranian candidates with members of the conservative party in the Uk.
        To the Iranian public some of their candidates may appear conservative (adverse to rapid change) because it will mean exactly that, if they are elected.

        Like wise we have not seen much rapid change here since the conservative Party have shared power, even though we have had a million and one changes in:
        Taxation, law and order, rules and regulations, because they have just been playing around the edges of all of the problems, and because of the EU influence on all of the above.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        You forgot that the President of Iran is subordinate to the Supreme Leader, who’s also a cleric. Does this make Iran a theocracy?

  7. Bob
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    It’s really time that you stopped calling your party “The Conservatives”.
    It’s very misleading.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree with that statement Bob.

      I regard myself as a true Conservative, and hold true to those traditional values, but I have long since lost faith in the party of that name to represent me and my beliefs. I would also argue, that were the Conservative party to once again be ‘true blue’, they would unite the right, and sweep all before them. Every time they do the right thing, their popularity goes up a notch or two. Every time they do the wrong thing, the opposite happens. How many indicators to they need to gauge public opinion?

      As I see it, the trouble with a lot of Tory MPs, is that they are loyal to the party first and foremost, with loyalty to principles coming a poor second. Others should not even be in the Tory party to begin with!

      Tad

      • Jerry
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        @Tad Davison: “ Every time they do the right thing, their popularity goes up a notch or two.

        A self-fulfilling prophecy, at least amongst their non-floating core supporters…

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      What do you suggest for the new name? “New Socialist Light” perhaps.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: No, but perhaps using their full name again might work (even more so should Scotland reject independence), after all, if you read past manifestos, the current Tory party is not so far from were many true Tory supports would wish to be, they have no wish to return to the era of the old rotten boroughs like some seem to – no party or political dogma has a right to govern.

        But of course, if the party did as you suggest, their support might actually increase!…

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:20 am | Permalink

      Bob–Agree totally–That (individual) Cameron and his modernising tendencies and and funny friends should simply clear out.

  8. libertarian
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    ” If a single label describes all the competing candidates it is not a very helpful label to distinguish between them.”

    Totally agree John, that’s what so sad as the same sentiment applies to current UK politics too as the 3 main parties are all social democrats.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Libertarian

      You said it better than me !

  9. Kenneth
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The BBC has been the main culprit in redefining the English language:

    These phrases have had their meaning changed or muddied by the BBC:

    right wing
    far-right
    racism
    modernisation
    Europe

    …and many others.

    The attempt to associate bad things with the Right has been obvious and quite undisguised. However the BBC gets away with it as there is no debate about the language used. For example, this article by John Redwood is unlikely to be picked up by the main news broadcaster in the UK and will therefore not trigger any meaningful public debate.

    That’s a catch-22.

    If the German Nazi government had been a successful, peace-leaving force that treated its citizens well, the BBC and other left wingers would no doubt have embraced them into the Left. As they turned out to be evil, these National Socialists were conveniently labelled as “far right”

    A similar thing is happening today. Many people (like me) do not like the BNP as they come across as a particularly nasty lot. However, their policies are very much to the Left, yet the BBC persists in calling them right wing.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Good point, well made.

      Tad

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      …and of course, the use of silence.
      Socialism in Russia, Eastern Europe and Romania are never mentioned on the BBC.
      Instead we hear a lot about “Thatcher”. They, like Trotsky, have been written out of the script.

      • APL
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Mike Stallard: “Socialism in Russia, Eastern Europe and Romania are never mentioned on the BBC.”

        Nope, and you never ever hear about the death toll of those regimes. But at every opportunity the BBC rolls out Augusto Pinochet, and never ever fails to mention his relationship with Margaret Thatcher.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          @APL (and Mike Stallard): Of course the BBC did, even more so once the Cold War ended and their once closed (to outsiders) borders started to open, journalists could then start actually reporting what needed to be reported and not what the regimes wanted – but I take it you support the recent BBC exposé on North Korea?

          The difference between countries like Romania and Chile (under Pinochet), Ceauşescu had a firmer grip on the outside media…

          • APL
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “Of course the BBC did, even more so once the Cold War ended and their once closed (to outsiders) borders ”

            Jerry, sometimes you do talk utter tosh.

            It is well known that numerous leftie intellectuals were given privileged access to the Soviet Union in the ’30 by the Communist party; the death, starvation and inhumanity they witnessed there is well documented. These things were well known long before the end of the second world war and the outbreak of the ‘Cold War’.

            The Left simply suppressed the information else it would have dampened the ignorant ardor of the proletariat in the West for ‘the revolution’.

            And the BBC played its part in that suppression of information.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            @APL: so well know that you can’t cite one reference as proof top back your comment up. If it is so well known then it will surely have been place on Wikipeadia [1] and will have their own citations/references, or are you going to claim that site is full of “lefties” now…

            [1] such URL appear to be acceptable to John

          • APL
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “so well know that you can’t cite one reference as proof top back your comment up.”

            You and Uanime5 are growing more and more alike. No, I’m not going to do your research for you.

            Do you even know how to use a public library?

            Perhaps you need assistance with Google?

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Can’t remember the exact context, but I made a point of noticing a few days ago on radio 4 two separate mentions of right wing think tank and centre right think tank for something feebly liberal. Strange how I can’t recall any think tank being labelled left wing by the BBC…

      Still, so glad they are there, otherwise I wouldn’t know how to think.

  10. Andyvan
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The BBC have difficulty with UK politics so Iranian machinations are far beyond them. Sadly the same applies to the Foreign Office, the MOD and most of the politicians that seem so keen on involving us in Middle Eastern wars.

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The BBC likes to describe itself as ‘the most trusted broadcaster’. I don’t know where they get that from, but nobody’s ever asked me what I think!

    A few nights ago, Jeremy Paxman announced on the flagship Newsnight programme, that the Euro-crisis was over. But he didn’t tell us where the fairy godmother came from, who gave the trillions of Euros to wipe out all the debt, and who magically created millions of jobs to take away all the misery the EU has brought with it.

    If Paxman’s assurances are the measure of the BBC’s idea of a ‘most trusted broadcaster’, then I feel vindicated in getting my REAL and ACCURATE news elsewhere. The galling thing though, is I am compelled to pay for the BBC’s bilge, and have no real say in what they put out, as they seem impervious to criticism. And yes, I do write in, in anticipation of getting a reply, but don’t ever get one. The BBC is so reminiscent of an old-style left-wing undemocratic East European state broadcaster that puts a slant on everything to suit their own inclination.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      @Tad Davison: “A few nights ago, Jeremy Paxman announced on the flagship Newsnight programme, that the Euro-crisis was over.

      Did he, or was he reporting what the President of France had said in Japan?…

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        That’s what it sounded like to me Jerry, but if Paxman was merely paraphrasing or quoting someone else, then he ought to have also made similar points to the ones I made above, and reminded everyone of the dire mess the EU is still in. A good broadcaster is expected to explain to us the true position, and not allow ambiguity to cloud the minds of the viewer. But Paxman wouldn’t be the first BBC journalist to allow and perpetuate the myth that all is now well within the EU, and that we British can now sit back and relax. Misinformation is just one of the many dangers of the EU. Trying to get everyone to bury their heads in the sand, deliberately or otherwise, is not an option, especially for the self-acclaimed ‘most trusted broadcaster’ label the BBC have graciously afforded themselves.

        Tad

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, but I would still be happy to pay the fee just for the best of radio 3, some BBC2 and 4, and some of radio 4. It is just a shame that they have to endlessly pollute it such an idiotic and evil political line. Namely quack greenery, pro the anti democratic EU, for more taxes, silly “equality” nonsense and regulation in every direction.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: Firstly please learn the difference between reporting what someone else says and creating propaganda.

        It is not what the BBC reports but the way they report it, more detail was given by “Newsround” in the 1970s than is given during the average Newsnight these days, one only has to look at (never mind listen to) The Daily Politics to see what I mean! 🙁

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          You can make propaganda very easily by careful selection of topics and what you choose to report, whom you interview and the line of questioning you take.

          The BBC does it all the time to propagandise on their pet issues.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            @Lifeligic: As does all the media, and this is why I take such exception to you bashing the BBC all the time, trouble is LL you actually like biased reporting – assuming that it is towards your own political thinking…

      • Bazman
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        What about you idiotic right wing views such as that as for example on the employment rights and wages of cleaners? They can negotiate their wages? They can change jobs? Really! Like self employed accountants? If you cannot justify these views then why do you still hold them? Is this not blind right wing religious belief and passed on as propaganda?
        The BBC often just reports what the rest of the news channel are reporting often at the same time if you flick channels. Do you propose to stop this?
        Try answering some questions, even to yourself instead of spouting right wing fantasy as many other do on this site. Conservative? As we can see many do not even know the mean of the word. Ram it.

  12. Terry
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    You are a senior back bencher, John.
    Why are you and your fellow MPs not forcefully pushing Government to censure the BBC and make them totally accountable to the people that pay their obscene salaries.
    Why are they not ‘policed’ and the DG made personally responsible for ALL the offensive programmes,deliberate inaccuracies, et al. Fining the BBC means nothing, as us licence fee payers end up footing the bill each time. The DG should be the one to pay out of his/her own bank account.

    If they cannot and will not represent the licence fee payers then they should be dismantled or completely demolished. I cannot think of any other country in the world that suffers from their national broadcaster, as do we in Britain.
    They do not know the meaning of the word, “balance” as in ‘balanced opinions’ and they must be made accountable for their outrageous Left Wing bias. What is the matter with Government that they cannot control these wretched, hypocritical, champagne socialists?

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      @Terry: “Why are you and your fellow MPs not forcefully pushing Government to censure the BBC and make them totally accountable to the people that pay their obscene salaries.

      First off they would also have to make the commercail and subscription channels/stations totally accountable, especially if they are receiving an income from commercail adverts, thus even people without TVs pay for these channels obscene salaries… No support from the tabloid media if that happens, considering the two media moguls who owns Ch5 and Sky!

  13. Martin
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Sky also has a “moderate” candidate.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1103933/iran-election-moderate-cleric-in-lead

    Not sure if it is the same one? Maybe Sky thinks this moderate one will let the Sun be sold in Iran?

  14. Barbara1
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of when the BBC used to describe hard-line Soviet politicians as ‘Conservatives’. As Norman Tebbit said at the time, ‘Well, silly me. I thought they were Communists’.

    The BBC just uses ‘Conservative’ now as a term of disapproval for anyone who stands in their way (cf Tony Blair’s ‘we must defeat the forces of conservatism’ phrase).

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      @Barbara1: Do feel free to use a dictionary, “Conservative” is not a political trade mark -although it is often used as such in the UK by the Tory party, it has a wider meaning used to describe thinking that seeks to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity – hence the term to conserve (preserve). Those who wish the Church of England not to have Woman Bishops could well be described as as having ‘Conservatives’ religious views, but it tells us nothing about their political views…

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Barbara, I think it is a deliberate use of a connotation by the BBC. Something to discredit the very word ‘Conservative’ and taint it, so let us now hear from the lefties, and let them tell us the BBC hasn’t got some hidden left-wing agenda.

      Tad

  15. forthurst
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    As a professional politician, JR is obliged to monitor the obfuscations, ananities and misspeakings of the BBC. As a non-politician, I can endeavour to get news from a multiplicity of sources enabling a semi-coherent picture of the world at substantial variance from that on which politicians purportedly make their decisions, a possible reason why most of what politicians do makes us poorer, less free and less safe.

    • Bill
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Agree. The only thing to do is to take a variety of sources. Guardian and Telegraph; ITN and BBC, etc.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The BBC cannot be trusted to report anything objectively and accurately.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson: Nor can any UK media outlet, especially any that also have satellite channels that one has to pay to watch. 🙁

      • APL
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “It is not what the BBC reports but the way they report it .. ”

        Oh my god! Almost critical sentiments from Jerry about the BBC.

        Jerry: ” … that one has to pay to watch.”

        You do, of course have to pay to watch the BBC.

        You are not likely to be arrested and tried for not paying the SKY subscription though.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          @APL: “You are not likely to be arrested and tried for not paying the SKY subscription though.

          Of course you could if you tried to hack a Sky account, it would be simple fraud, if not criminal damage – the firmware contained within a BSkyB set top box being the property of BSkyB even if the hardware is not (being very similar to the licensing of Microsoft products for example, you own the hardware, they own the operating system).

          • APL
            Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “Of course you could if you tried to hack a Sky account ”

            And Jerry is off again, laying a false trail trying to get the hounds to run off after a different scent.

            We are not talking about illegality. Yes, if you tried to defraud SKY of it’s dues they very likely would prosecute.

            We are discussing being compelled to pay for the BBC even if there are alternatives one finds acceptable and one has no wish to watch the BBC programming.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            APL: No I am not, you on the other hand seem to have difficulty reading what people actually write, try reading what I wrote, not what you think/hoped I did..

            Oh and yes we are both talking about illegality, think about it, or are some crimes less of a crime simply because the criminal doesn’t believe the law is correct?

            No one is compelled to pay the TVL fee (just as no one is forced to own/keep a car on the public road and thus pay VED), the radio is free to listen to, heck one can even watch UK catch-up services and non UK live TV via the internet on a computer or even to a big-screen TV/Monitor (what you can’t do is use television reception equipment or receive live UK streaming television).

            Perhaps if you spent more time reading up as to what the law actually says rather than thinking up ever more silly reasons to bash the BBC, simply because it doesn’t do your political bidding – oh and yes I would say the same to those on the left who complain about the BBC for similar reasons.

          • APL
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “simply because it doesn’t do your political bidding ”

            One last time for the hard of understanding. I don’t want the BBC to ‘do my political bidding’. I want the BBC to be impartial and report evenhandedly.

            Given that experience tells us that it cannot do that, then I should not be forced to pay for its output.

            Nor should I be forced to pay for the Guardian through the cross subsidy the BBC maintained by recruiting its employees exclusively through the recruitment supplement of that ‘news’-paper.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            APL: With respect, you DO want the BBC to do your political bidding – the last thing you want is the BBC to be unbiased,to report criticism of the right, when they do there are being “lefty”. In the same way as the hard left want the BBC to do their bidding – the last thing they want is the BBC to be unbiased, to report criticism of the left, when they do there are being “the capitalist establishment”…

    • Martin
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
  17. zorro
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Let us give the BBC the benefit of the doubt…….Perhaps they mean Conservative in the sense that they are unlikely to vote for ‘gay marriage’.

    Then, on the other hand, it is probably lazy journalism. They see a ‘moderate conservative as ‘better’ than a ‘hardline conservative’……Remember their groupthink and what they are trying to put across to the viewer. I am surprised that they haven’t attempted to portray you in terms meant to alienate voters.

    The Iranians are probably quite ‘conservative’ by nature, but at least they have some democratic choice and are not beholden to the EU. Hey, they might even be able to make independent decisions about how they live which is always nice…….

    zorro

  18. uanime5
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I suspect they’re described as “conservative” because the Iranian Supreme Leader has the power to ban anyone running for election who is considered too radical. So I’m not sure how else you’d describe these candidates? Traditionalists?

    Also Rohani is probably described as a “moderate conservative” because compared to the other candidates he’s the least conservative, which is why all the people who want change are voting for him.

  19. Span Ows
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I am glad you mention this and I am sure you have noticed before: they have been doing this for ages in a multitude of countries, funnily enough they never do it where the ‘conservatives’ are a force for good (in these cases it becomes ‘right-wing’ or similar) only when there is some dodgy perception.

  20. lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Indeed the BBC being totally pathetic as usual. They cannot help it, almost the whole organisation is staffed by people who “think” rather like Harriet Harman, Polly Toynbee or slightly dim art graduates from secondary universities who read the Guardian and often have a chip or three on their shoulders. It is clear from almost every question they ask in political interviews. Almost the only exception is Andrew Neil who seems sensible, fair,balanced and middle of the road politically – though so much to the right of the absurd BBC one wonders how he got the job there.

    The BBC are simply wrong on nearly every major issue, the EU, the global warming religion, the size of the state sector, over regulation, “unscrupulous” landlords, bankers, employment laws, taxation, transport systems, energy production, enforced “equality” laws ……… the list goes on and on.

    But Cameron clearly likes the BBC like this otherwise he would not have appointed Lord Patten to Chair the trustees.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      lifelogic–I have told you before, it’s no longer “Equality” it’s “Identity” now. Is it true that Clegg is going to try to force men to take Paternity leave? It must be agony for him that only women have babies.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Indeed, what interesting priorities these “Identity” loons all have. They should look at chess. There must be huge “gender discrimination” there looking at the rankings. That or perhaps the pieces are just too heavy or perhaps woman just have more sense that to become obsessed with the game. Many state schools, I hear, have no girls studying physics A levels at all.

        Time that Clegg forced them too by law perhaps? Or fined the schools that have the “wrong” gender mix?

    • Bazman
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Which employment laws? You cannot answer can you? Hire and fire at will with no rights is what you want. Blacklisting included. As for unscrupulous landlords in a situation of under supply there will be many as in the case of unscrupulous employer is a shortage of jobs. Is this a ‘sensible’ analogy?

    • Bazman
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      This is the same person who admires Delingpole on his scientific view despite having no scientific or engineering qualifications Delingpole has an MA in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. Like lifeljoic he is basically just a right wing (polemicist-ed).

      • APL
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Bazman: “Delingpole has an MA in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.”

        Nevertheless probably as highly educated as a many folk around here and possible much more educated than some.

        I was always led to believe that while a degree in a discipline is worthwhile on its own merit. The techniques and discipline aquired studying your first degree could just as easily be harnessed and turned to study of any other discipline.

        In Delingpoles case, he brings it to bear on the Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud.

        You have clearly swallowed whole the the NuLabour obsession with ( in many cases, useless ) certificates.

  21. Richard1
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    A fact not often highlighted – especially of course by the BBC – is that Iran, like Venezuela, is one of the few remaining really socialist countries. Again like Venezuela, in spite of huge oil wealth, it is therefore an economic basket case. These religious ‘conservatives’ are socialists in their economic policies.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1: Iran is a economic Basket case because they are not allowed to trade freely, because some in the west object to them having nuclear power/weapons. Venezuela is far from a basket case either, position 33 on the list of countries by GDP (nominal) is not being a basket case – other than in your hyperbolic world of right-wing political spin…

      • Richard1
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Non-oil exports from Venezuela have collapsed as has inward investment. Political and legal freedoms have been curtailed along with economic freedoms. shortages of basic necessities and high crime rates are the result. Venezuela is a case study in the catastrophic effect of socialism – but don’t let the facts disturb your prejudices.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          @Richard1: In whose opinion, those who live in Venezuela, those who simply deal in the facts or those who have lost influence?

          But yes, Venezuela is fast becoming another Cuba…

  22. Bazman
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    It seems designed to lead people to think they are like “Conservatives” in the UK?
    Anyone with any intelligence will read that any ‘conservative’ in Eye-Ran is not a religious fundamentalist loyal to the ayatollah and not a womans institute member or upstanding local citizen in a Shire county.

  23. Peter Stroud
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Knowing just how much the BBC detests the UK conservatives, suggests that they might be warning Joe Public that none of the Iranian candidates are much cop, though one might, perhaps look a little like a LibDem. So could, perhaps, just be acceptable.

  24. Mark B
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha ha !!!

    You do not like it when the BBC describes/labels something you perhaps disagree with as ‘Conservative’.

    Just imagine what it must be like for other political parties, organizations and people who the BBC and its clear left-wing bias output like to describe. Try, right-wing, controversial, extreme, outspoken and any manner of perceived negatives they use. The BBC simply cannot give the facts straight without resorting to some subliminal negative message.

    Welcome to the world of double-BBC-speak. Big Brother will be along in a minute.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      @Mark B: The only people using “double-speak” are those trying to bash the BBC for using correct English, rather than the more common ‘It was us what won it’ double-tabloid-speak. Do you know what the abbreviation “OED” means, if so perhaps you need to use one!

  25. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The Iranis are not conservative, they are reactionary. I’m certain the BBC know this, and know the difference, but it suits their agenda to declare otherwise.

  26. Anthem
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Now you know how some of us right-wing Capitalists feel when we’re described as “Tories”.

  27. Alte Fritz
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Today some Pakistani thugs bombed a convoy taking girls to university and then the hospital to which they were being taken. Were they “conservative”? Our journalists are, to say the least, intellectually challenged. One dimensional at best.

    I just wish that our geniuses could describe the thugs as they are.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      @Alte Fritz: In the true meaning of the word, yes they most likely are, go use a dictionary! It is not journalists who seem to be “intellectually challenged”…

      • APL
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “In the true meaning of the word ”

        There is of course a distinction to be made between the word ‘conservative’ and ‘Conservative’.

        It is more than a happy convenience for the Lefty BBC that they can smear by association the Conservative party by use of the term ‘conservative’.

        After all, there is an equally apt term available, ‘reactionary’, as in opposing the forces of progressivism. But the BBC chooses ‘conservative’. Hmmm.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          @APL: Oh and you would know which -conservative or Conservative- the BBC reporter was reading from the script, do you work at the BBC APL (and thus have access to such studio scripts), otherwise please explain your apparent insight. Or is this another example of APL trying to use weasel words re-enforce a political position/dogma.

          • APL
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            Jerry: conservative or Conservative- the BBC reporter was reading from the script, ”

            It doesn’t matter Jerry, the implicit smear is there. The text prima facie is innocent enough, but the association with ( in the case of Iran ) a regime that (treats gays badly ed) and buries (one? ed) women up to their waists in the earth before getting a crowd to throw stones at her – that’s already done – and the BBC (and Jerry), says, ‘We’re only using the English language, guv.”

            It is the crudest form of propaganda.

            Jerry: “Or is this another example of APL trying to use weasel words re-enforce a political position/dogma.”

            Ha! Then Jerry, we are equals.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            @APL: “It doesn’t matter Jerry, the implicit smear is there

            Only to those who are biased, only to those who do not actually understand the English language, for everyone else it was simply the correct use of plain English. Go buy a dictionary goodness sake!

        • rose
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          Also bear in mind that “conservative” is a long word for reporters to go out of their way to use. When describing the actual Conservatives they prefer the word “Tories”, which is shorter to say and print, and, of course, because it smacks of 18th century wickedness. Just as they prefer the word “Labour” to “socialists”. “Labour” is shorter and it sounds more respectable, less alarming. But it doesn’t make sense when speaking of people as opposed to an abstract concept or movement, does it? Yet we have all succumbed to it.

          In both cases they are being economical with the actualites and with their time and space. A nice convergence of convenience.

        • rose
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          PS If the BBC were consistent in their use of the word “Tories”, they would refer to the Liberal Democrats as “Whigs” – but that would never do, even though it is shorter. These choices of words are not accidental. They know what they are doing.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            @rose: When even the Tories refer to themselves as “Tories” , when have you heard a Liberal (never mind Liberal Democrats, do keep up with modern history…) refer to their party as Whigs”?!

            Stop digging, otherwise you will soon be saying hello to Julia Gillard!

          • rose
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I am sorry if you have missed the point.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            @Rose: Sorry but it is you who is missing the point, as you would understand if you just referenced your dictionary, you have missed the point from the get-go!

    • Bazman
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      They are not conservative by definition they are religious thugs as you say. Can you not understand that its not that difficult, but your own bias stop this understanding doesn’t it?

      • Jerry
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        @Bazman: Well seeing that you don’t seem to understand either how do you expect anyone else to?! 😛

  28. Wireworm
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry, John, I beg to differ on this one. The adjective ‘conservative’ can’t be reserved for people who are Conservatives. This is the price of your party having chosen a name intended to present it in a good light. It seems a reasonable tag to apply to politicians in any country who want to preserve the status quo. The only alternatives are ‘hardline’, ‘reactionary’ and ‘traditionalist’. The second is a term of abuse (at least the BBC avoids it) and the third doesn’t make clear what a person’s attitude to the status quo is. ‘Hardliner’ can’t be used with a handy qualifier such as ‘moderate’. I can’t see why ‘moderate’ applied to ‘conservative’ is objectionable, and I would not describe myself as a moderate. You can’t really say a ‘reformist conservative’. Michael Gove is a good example of a reformist Conservative; I don’t believe the BBC has a problem describing him as such.

    Incidentally, the worst BBC offender is the Today prog. I am at pains to find much bias in The World at One and PM, although the priority of news stories can be telling. I don’t watch TV.

    Reply When following a six candidate election it would be helpful to choose terms that distinguished between them rather than saying they are all the same. The issue seems to be in Iran their attitude towards the religious leadership.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      @JR Reply: The BBC did, hence the use of “moderate” or “hard-line” etc. to prefix the word in question, the real problem is that only ‘Conservatives’ were allowed to stand for election, Iran being all but a single party state (ultimately controlled by the whims and wishes of the religious leaders).

    • rose
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      You could use the phrase: “communist” when referring to communists in power; or “islamist” when referring to islamists in power. Neither communism nor islamism as we know them are particularly old doctrines so the word “conservative” to describe their adherents jars. Conservatives like to conserve what is traditional and longstanding, what is historic and took a long time to evolve. Things like the Monarchy, the family, the nation, the Church, the English counties, the Parliament etc. There is nothing conservative about the mass revolutionary movements of the 20th century, even after decades of power. (Communism, Fascism, Islamism, National Socialism.)

      • Jerry
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        @rose: during the 1989-1992 period there were “conservative” elements within the single party USSR, those who wanted no change, such as the army generals who tried to over throw Mikhail Gorbachev. Closer to home, no doubt one could have, correctly, used the term, ‘conservative’ to describe those who didn’t want Toy Blair to abolish Labours Clause Four in the mid 1990s.

        • rose
          Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think Dennis Skinner would relish being called a conservative. Perhaps our patient host should ask him.

  29. John Eustace
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I guess it will not be the favoured news outlet for most of us here, but I found the Channel 4 News reports from Tehran this week genuinely informative.
    I now have a much better idea of the situation in Iran and in Syria.
    And a very clear conviction that the conflict in Syria is not any of our business.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      John Eustace: “I guess it will not be the favoured news outlet for most of us here, but I found the Channel 4 News reports from [..//..]

      Why ever not, to unbiased are they?

  30. Jon
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I picked up on that internation as well. We know they are more socialist in ideology also. Goes back to Conservatives being too nice when dealing with those that don’t fight Queensberry rules. A bit more street is needed in the No 10 PR attack.

  31. rose
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you remember the BBC describing the Russian communists Gorbachev was up against as Conservatives? It is always done to discredit the Conservatives here, subliminally of course. They never miss a chance to do this, in any context.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      @rose: It’s used because it is correct, go use a dictionary for goodness sake, stop ranting. “Conservative” doesn’t (just mean) mean Tory and outside of the UK it most likely doesn’t even mean Tory for most!

      • rose
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        I am not ranting, just observing. The BBC knows full well what effect this ploy has here in the UK. There is a whole book to be written on the subject, including how the soviets joined in the game of rechristening the German Workers Socialist Party “right wing”. Others have touched on it here and are not ranting either. It applies also to the BBC treatment of the left wing NF and BNP.

        I fully understand what “conservative” means, in all its senses. I don’t need to “go use” a dictionary. And I understand what “nasty” means too. I also understand how these words are used subliminally in our politics.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          @rose: Sorry but you are ranting because you are not using a dictionary, nor are you using your history books, just a party political ‘bible’ of some flavour. Hitler was no Socialist, although he did use the term (incorrectly) to win support, the fact is the first people to be imprisoned under his rule were the true socialists.

          • rose
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

            What about confining your arguments to our points rather than imagining what we do away from this blog?

            As it happens, I have never been a member of any political party. If I were, I doubt there would be a party political bible for me to consult.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            @Rose: What ever, but perhaps if you checked you facts you would not attract so much flack.

      • APL
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Rose: “the Russian communists Gorbachev was up against as Conservatives?”

        Yes I do, and they had an entirely appropriate alternative – ‘reactionary’ to describe such people. But they choose ‘conservative’, which is very easily associated in the mind of every British voter with ‘Conservative’, given the BBC’s raison d’être is persuasion. It can hardly be thought a coincidence?

        Jerry: “stop ranting.”

        Rose’s contribution seemed measured and to the point.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          @APL: (re my reply to “rose”): Best you tell the OED then!…

    • APL
      Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Rose: ” subliminally of course”

      Aye, anyone that might be interested should look up Neuro-linguistic programming, the method of using language at a sub-conscious level to manipulate behavior.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        @APL: Indeed, everything one doesn’t agree with must be a conspiracy.

        Of course it could be that the boot, the attempted use of Neuro-linguistic programming, is actually on the other foot, some are trying to take “ownership” of a general word to make it mean something specific it didn’t previously?…

  32. rose
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The word people can use when speaking of various hardline revolutionaries in this sense is “unreconstructed.”

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page