Posts Tagged ‘Daily Mail’

Miliband caught between a Red and a Marxist place

October 2, 2013

UK politics is always interesting. This I find amusing and great fun. Especially since it is a fight between two parties neither of whom commands my very great respect.

The Daily Mail’s coverage of Ed Miliband’s father and his Marxism as that of a man who hated Britain is getting much coverage in the UK’s press and radio. The BBC radio news coverage – which I generally have on in the background – spent many minutes on the subject. I am just listening to “Red” Ken Livingstone defending both the Milibands but he is a little incoherent. He admitted that Miliband Jr. must have got his values from his father. But Pater Miliband, it seems, must be excused his Marxist views because he was just an academic. Ken doesn’t like the Daily Mail at all – since they once offered his former wife £10,000 for her story – which they would write. But even he was not very scathing about the Mail’s coverage!!

Ed Miliband has already earned the title of “Red” Miliband after his play last week threatening to regulate energy prices. He is also known to be an ardent supporter of regulation of the press. This is not of course full-blown Marxism but such plays are not inconsistent with being a budding Marxist. He cannot repudiate being labelled “Red” since he is courting the left wing of the Trade Unions but he would prefer not to have the word as a title. ( Red Arthur Scargill and Red Ken being examples to avoid). But he is now caught in a tough place. His every defence of his father – which is politically necessary  to demonstrate his family values – takes him closer to being labelled a Marxist.

Red Miliband’s lurch to the Left is a rejection of Blairism and New Labour – and that is probably to his electoral advantage. Not on grounds of ideology but for the contempt that Blair now arouses. But if he is seen to be returning to Harold Wilson’s “bend with the wind” brand of socialism it will not be to his advantage. And if he is seen to be a closet Marxist then he could blow his chances at the next election.

There are some opinions that the whole circus is to Red Miliband’s advantage. I am not so sure. It seems to me that he is now caught between being labelled “Red” or being labelled a Marxist and neither is good for his electoral chances.

Even more amusing is that even the Labour press (the Mirror and to some extent the Guardian and the BBC) are rather full of support for Ed Miliband but rather muted in their criticism of the Daily Mail. They don’t like Miliband’s views on Press Regulation.

Liverpool Care Pathway for babies is surely euthanasia but it is not painless

November 29, 2012

I have no doubt that the Care Pathways have the best of intentions to make an inevitable death as painless and comfortable as possible. But at best this is euthanasia and at worst it is something else. The latest article in the Daily Mail’s “campaign”  is more than a little disturbing. If a Care Pathway – by definition – is intended to lead to a dignified and pain-free death then causing additional suffering by being put on the Pathway cannot be right. I am not sure where the ethical line goes but I cannot help feeling that a final painless lethal injection may be preferable to 10 days of starvation and thirst and suffering as feeding and fluids are denied and a baby shrinks to death.

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BBC has been just a lobby group for global warming since 2006

November 20, 2011
BBC journalist Roger Harrabin

The less than objective “reporting” on global warming from the BBC was always fairly obvious but the role of Roger Harrabin, one of its senior environmental correspondents in driving that policy is now becoming clear. Christopher Booker has a long article in The Telegraph:

The BBC’s hidden ‘warmist’ agenda is rapidly unravelling 

Since 2006, the BBC has relentlessly promoted the global warming orthodoxy as a pressure group in its own right.

The story of the BBC’s bias on global warming gets ever murkier. Last week there was quite a stir over a new report for the BBC Trust which criticised several programmes for having been improperly funded or sponsored by outside bodies. One, for instance, lauded the work of Envirotrade, a Mauritius-based firm cashing in on the global warming scare by selling “carbon offsets”, which it turned out had given the BBC money to make the programme. ……

….

The irony is, however, that just as the BBC adopted its new hard line on climate change, in the real world the story was beginning to shift. Ever more searching questions have come to be asked about the supposed “consensus” on man-made warming, and the BBC’s coverage has come to look ever more one-sidedly absurd.

Last week, even Richard Black, another BBC proselytiser for man-made warming, was gloomily having to reveal the conclusion of a new IPCC report: that, over the next few decades, “climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variabilty”. In plain English, that means the great scare story is over. What a shame. But at what a price. …

Meanwhile the Daily Mail carries the following headline:

(Update! The Daily Mail article has been removed but has been reported here).

(Update 2! The Daily Mail article has now been restored)

BBC’s Mr Climate Change accepted £15,000 in grants from university rocked by global warning scandal

Alarmism is lucrative.

Goldacre vs.Sigman and The Biologist: when opinion articles are published in the guise of science

October 5, 2011

Dr. Aric Sigman is a biologist with fine credentials (a Fellow of the Society of Biology and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society) but one who has been seduced by the notoriety and adulation that comes from creating headlines with nonsense science (usually in the Daily Mail – popularly known as the Daily Fail).

Children’s TV diet more harmful than thought 

How super skinny TV stars are harming our health

Curse of the screen: PCs ‘dull children’s brains and should be banned until nine 

Ban TV to protect children’s health, top psychologist tells EU politicians 

How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer 

Putting baby in nursery ‘could raise its risk of heart disease’

Just the headlines brand Sigman clearly as a publicity seeking “kook”. He has even gone on record – with the Daily Mail of course – to suggest that smacking children can lead to their success!! He may have been a scientist once but has now fallen to become a “celebrity scientist” and appears to be a psychologist suffering from some form of narcissism.

Ben Goldacre is the author of the Bad Science column in Saturday’s Guardian and of the Bad Science website and does not much care for Sigman (good for him).

But now Sigman has taken to publishing his crazy opinions in The Biologist. It is not science and the purpose is publicity and while The Biologist may well like basking in this publicity it degrades its own position as a scientific journal and degrades the work of those who publish real science in the journal.

Goldacre takes Sigman to task in The Guardian:

Last week the Daily Mail and the Today programme took some bait from Aric Sigman, an author of popular sciencey books about the merits of traditional values. “Sending babies and toddlers to daycare could do untold damage to the development of their brains and their future health,” explained the Mail.

These news stories were based on a scientific paper by Sigman in The Biologist. Itmisrepresents individual studies, as Professor Dorothy Bishop demonstrated almost immediately, and it cherry-picks the scientific literature, selectively referencing only the studies that support Sigman’s view. Normally this charge of cherry-picking would take a column of effort to prove, but this time Sigman himself admits it, frankly, in a PDF posted on his own website. Nobody reading The Biologist, or its press release, could possibly have known that the evidence presented was deliberately incomplete. That is, in my opinion, an act of deceit by the journal.  ……

Sigman replies to the criticism also in The Guardian by claiming that his article in the Biologist was not science and was clearly an opinion piece. But this does not wash. It was opinion – and nonsense opinion at that – but he clearly wanted it to be taken as science at least by the popular press to satisfy his narcissistic urges. He whines:

….. columnists and bloggers cannot assume a sense of entitlement over science and dictate to learned societies, their journals and journalists what they should publish, stifling healthy debate.

But bloggers and columnists can certainly demand of journals who claim to be scientific, peer-reviewed journals that they refrain from the politicisation and corruption of science and assure the quality of what they publish. The Biologist needs to clean up its act and cannot just pander to a “celebrity scientist” seeking publicity by passing off nonsense opinion as science. But it is Sigman’s ethics which are in doubt.

Related: How to become a celebrity scientific expert


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