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Introducing Former UKIP Spokesman, Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto

A man who served as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman for a year is the former leader of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan, BBC Newsnight can reveal. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto's gang were behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004 and he then took a £56,000 ransom payment in Manchester. In 2005, Bhutto, of Leeds, admitted being the gang's "boss" and was jailed for seven years by a UK court. UKIP said Bhutto, 35, had "recently" resigned his party membership.
posted by marienbad on Feb 4, 2014 - 26 comments

Shearer/Nixon

"Harry Shearer is best known for providing the voice of Mr Burns in The Simpsons and as Derek Smalls in spoof rock band Spinal Tap. His next role sees him take on former US president Richard Nixon in a series based on the disgraced politician behind closed doors... To borrow from Sir David's opening line - the following conversation was recorded by the BBC and these are the words actually spoken by Shearer and edited only for time." - The Beeb interviews Harry Shearer on his new role as Nixon.
posted by marienbad on Jan 30, 2014 - 22 comments

Bye bye Boris

London mayor (and oft talked-up potential future PM) Boris Johnson is demolished in a slow motion bicycle crash of an interview. (The whole thing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 25, 2013 - 92 comments

Their Beeb

In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS.
posted by infini on Oct 2, 2012 - 19 comments

State of Denmark

Why Borgen's all the buzz at Westminster A moody, Danish political drama, complete with subtitles, prolonged pauses and superficially consensual continental politics would not seem the sort of programme to become the hot topic in the coffee bars and corridors of the Commons. Even more improbably the central character in Borgen is such an unlikely figure when viewed from the staid, male dominated world of Westminster. Birgitte Nyborg is an attractive, well-intentioned, left-leaning, green-tinged female prime minister who's worried about her weight and leads a party called "The Moderates".
posted by infini on Feb 11, 2012 - 16 comments

UK Spending Review

The Chancellor of the UK coalition government has announced the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review, setting budgets for government departments to 2014/15. Total savings will be £18 billion. Local government funding will be cut 7% each year for the next four years. The Arts Council budget will be cut by 30%. 490,000 jobs are forecast to be lost over the period in the public sector. The average cuts for each government department will be 19%. The speech. HM Treasury Spending Review pages. Guardian summary. Independent article. Nick Robinson's blog for the BBC. Make your own cuts with the Guardian's interactive tool. Graphic showing 09/10 government spending (that is, before the cuts).
posted by paduasoy on Oct 20, 2010 - 91 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

The Interview

The Interview is a programme from the BBC World Service. Each episode is a 30 minute in-depth question and answer session between the journalist – usually Carrie Gracie or Owen Bennett-Jones – and the subject. Over the past few years it has covered everything from literature – for example, Martin Amis and Seamus Heaney – to the nexus between neurology and music, with Oliver Sacks, and what it's like to be a sprinter with no feet. [more inside]
posted by Len on Feb 7, 2010 - 7 comments

Can the BBC survive?

A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 29, 2009 - 50 comments

Question Time

Question Time Iraq Special (Skip to 04:45 to begin). Question Time is a British TV institution, where five prominent politicians debate current affairs while being questioned by a studio audience. The Iraq edition, available online, features the British Secretary of State for Defence, a popular, anti-war former party leader, the aristocratic old socialist leading the Stop-the-War coalition, the first female leader of a Muslim state … and John Bolton.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Mar 22, 2007 - 34 comments

Nick Robinson's poltical blog

Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, now has a weblog.
posted by nthdegx on Jan 8, 2006 - 33 comments

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said. [Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?]
posted by Postroad on Dec 7, 2005 - 41 comments

George Galloway

Highlight of the election coverage: George Galloway is the leader of Respect and won a historic and unexpected victory against the Blairite Oona King, on an anti-war ticket. He was then interviewed by Jeremy Paxman, an increasingly controversial interviewer well known for asking questions absurd numbers of times until they get answered - a technique which arguably backfires here. You might want to watch Galloway's acceptance speech first. [Windows Media. My two cents: Paxman is an egregious cock, more interested in getting his eternally righteous indignation across than any issues.]
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 6, 2005 - 75 comments

The Power of Media?

The Power of Nightmares sets out to claim that the Islamists and the neocons are, in reality, soul mates. Fact or fiction? Check out this series from the BBC using this handy Bit Torrent!
[Via: PopBitch]
posted by DrDoberman on Oct 28, 2004 - 8 comments

More Whitewash, Jeeves?

As the verdict of Butler Report into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, draws near in Britain, a senior intelligence source reveals that MI6 took the "rare step" of withdrawing the intelligence assessment that underpinned the claim that Saddam had continued to produce WMD (an admission that such information was fundamentally unreliable), however Blair did not tell the public "that the evidence of WMD was crumbling beneath him". [Watch the Panorama programme in question here for 7 days from 11-7-2004] The Dossier that Lord Hutton declared was not sexed-up (leading to senior BBC resignations), Dr Brian Jones (former head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Intelligence Staff) says was sexed-up, and details exactly how.
posted by Blue Stone on Jul 12, 2004 - 26 comments

Is The BBC The United Nations Of Broadcasting?

Trusting The Redcoats: How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 14, 2004 - 71 comments

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn an nwyl i mi, John

The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments. Visitors can watch a short film [real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 5, 2003 - 31 comments

iCan... **not** Apple's new toilet.

The BBC introduces it's new grass-roots political website iCan. After research showed (surprise surprise) that "many people are very disillusioned and cynical about politicians and local civic institutions" moves were made to set up iCan, to enable people to get information on and engage in local and national political issues. With search tools to find actions on local issues, message boards, and the ability to create a website for your cause, "iCan aims to make politics accessible to ordinary people confronting a problem." It's also one of the things Rupert Murdoch and The Guardian would like to squash.
posted by Blue Stone on Nov 4, 2003 - 7 comments

Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

This why the Federal Government has more than one branch

The Senate bans "partial birth" abortions, but a similar law was struck down in Stenberg v. Carhart . Memo to Mr. Bush: there are other branches of the U.S. Federal Government.
posted by Bag Man on Mar 13, 2003 - 65 comments

Satire in advertising

Should advertising be allowed to contain caricatures and satire of major figures without their permission? My opinion is yes they bloody well should. Good luck to the producers with hunting down Osama.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 27, 2002 - 15 comments

"States' Rights" hit the UK?

"States' Rights" hit the UK? First abolishing tuition fees, now providing long-term care for the elderly: the Scottish Executive is making life, um, "interesting" for its progenitor in Westminster. The downside of an unwritten constitution?
posted by holgate on Jan 25, 2001 - 7 comments

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