Published on 12 Mar 2010

OK, so I'm biased. I shall be supporting the underdog

Complaints about yesterday’s blog that there was nothing for my blogista community to get their teeth into – specifically from Jim Flavin that I had not followed up our debate on elderly care. Plus the delightful line from Adrian Clarke that he only joins the Channel 4 News fray to monitor my bias.

I like the concept of bias. Because I think bias is at the root of many of our woes and is an endemic element of the human condition.

There is no such thing as neutrality. The human is not a neutral animal; indeed this is what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal condition. We think, we reason, and we conclude, as individuals. Any journalist who tells you he or she is neutral, is biased against reality.

The best journalists are, and always have been, politically motivated in my biased opinion. Not in a dogmatic, ideological, or party political sense, but in terms of seeking to bring about a better world.

Our mission is to weed out evil and report it, to undermine arrogance and expose it, to be prepared to cry, to laugh, to applaud, to reveal and highlight excellence – in short to admit that we are fully paid up members of the human race. So, Mr Clarke read on, your monitoring of my bias will be fully rewarded. My sense of fairness, objectivity even (at times) will attempt to be beyond your criticism.

As proof, I am biased against hotels that gaze out upon multi story car parks. Yes, I have moved on in my attempt to discover the condition of pre-election Britain.

My iPhone sprang back into life thanks to my cameraman who found out that if you depress on and off at the same time for a few seconds, stuff happens.

The produce of the first of my two days in Luton will cascade onto to C4News anon – I shall return there on Sunday.

I am now in Hull. I have never been here before. It has been dark since I got here, but the place seems to have more industry than I anticipated and more Victorian red brick grace. The place feels more spacious.

But getting here was a revelation. The ever widening of the M1 continues apace. The bumper to bumper 68mph queues are tedious. From time to time the three lanes are now in sight of being four, and the sense of an American freeway is all but here.

The motorway that sweeps east from the M18 to bear us on to Hull is all but deserted – glorious spare capacity that will never be utilised. Hull is nearer than either you or it thinks. Three hours from Luton. The bridge, even in the dark is a wonder, even if at 9.00pm that too is all but deserted.

The hotel I’m in has had the wit to stack seven floors of parking below the hotel so that it elevates the view from the rooms above the dual carriageway outside.

One guy told me last night as I checked in, “Hull is not the end of the road, but the beginning”. We shall see.

They play Arsenal here on Saturday and for one of them at least, it will be the end of the road – either of their stay in the Premiership or of their chances of glory.

I am biased, Mr Clarke, toward the underdog, I shall be supporting Hull!

I have not addressed elderly care Mr Flavin. I shall. Mr Clarke, I am biased enough to want to explore the whole concept of a death tax. I must hurry, I have two early morning dates – with a caravan maker, and a boat builder.

My bias had been that poor old Hull would be past manufacturing either. I will doubtless be put right.

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53 reader comments

  1. David Gale says:

    The political motivations of journalists is a given but I’m not sure that the pressure of a deadline doesn’t push journalists towards a wider bias. As an analogy, look at ‘global warming’, an issue on which people like myself have spent time gathering evidence in a futile attempt to try and move the media away from their spoon-fed regurgitation of global warming industy PR. Now, we’re seeing the same ‘easy-life’ attitude in the run up to a general election. The message from the doorstep in Derby North is clear: “people are fed-up with party political politics and are demanding ‘their own’ independent MPs. However, the media still track the political parties for their stories. Listening to them you wouldn’t think that there has been a sea-change in British politics.

    On the doorstep, as well as discontent with the political system, increasingly I’m picking up disquiet about the media. There is a wider danger that people not only feel disenfranchised from the political process but also from the mainstream media. I fear the breakaway society is upon us.

  2. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    Animals are not neutral in general , otherwise they would not have the strong instinct to care for their own, or perhaps that is just the ‘in general’ maternal instinct.

    Do you think one has to be well placed to support the underdog?

    Lawyers even support those where they feel they are going to win a case.

    Is the underdog always right or have they barked their causes so long and loudly , that the supposed pit bull has locked its jaws around an iron rod from which it can’t release itself?

    Which ever angle you view things from ,the one who is suffering pain and torment , from lies, deceit, cruelty ,unfairness and more, evokes a personal response from so many of us, we can be truly classed as human beings. The problem is that the pain cannot always be seen.
    I applaud the emotion you carry with your reporting, but surely you must become exhausted. I always find music fills up the vaccum of spent emotion and the cup becomes full of good spirit , when anger has frazzled good intention.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      Humans look after each other too – as long as one agrees with them – ie agree with the so called ‘ consensus opiinion ” – which may / is often wrong – also party political people look after their own – eg via favours like Honours etc . The Religous look after them selves – they sure do – again disagree with them and they hate u – or in some countries – kill you . Burning at the stake is no longer allowed – so we have progressed ?.People who suffer lies deciet etc evoke a response [ implicityly good ] — are you serious as Mcenroe would say – you are IMO – way off .

  3. Anthony Martin says:

    Jon, you should be proud to be a guardian for the underdog & down trodden.
    The old adage goes ‘you can please some people some of the time and, you can please most people most of the time but, you’ll ever please all people all of the time’.
    Hull? Strange when people visit a new area they are driven to assess its place in society. We all seem to do it but, we are falsely warped by the visual perception of buildings and the environment. We rate its worthiness by how ‘clean’ it looks and by how well maintained it seems. We are fooled to judge a place as ‘thriving’ if it has a few architectural niceties. All the time there are vast swathes of misery for those who live in the area. The unemployed/out of work, lone parents, lone elderly & infirm, homeless and the poverty deprived & uneducated with no hope. Hull is a microcosm of Britain in as much as Bradford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Stoke On Trent or Inverness and Belfast.
    Look from the bridge there in Hull, (there’s probably a charge even to walk on it) and marvel at mans’ ingenuity, while at the same time giving thought to the true misery that’s in Hull. The further north you go, the worse the deprivation.
    Enjoy!

  4. the orange party says:

    Your views and any perceived bias are your own and of course you should be respected for that.

    But you seem unable to differentiate between Channel 4 ‘News’ and Channel 4 ‘Current Affairs’.

    And you seem to have lost sight of the fact that you are working for a public service television broadcaster which receives a taxpayer subsidy.

    Channel 4 may be commercially self-funded but it is ultimately publicly-owned and its ‘news’ output should reflect that with balanced, objective journalism.

    Your colleagues over at ITV News seem to be able to strike the right balance.

    Even Channel 4 Current Affairs such as ‘Dispatches’ goes to great lengths to be balanced and objective even when dealing with highly controversial subjects.

    I’m not trying to decry the splendid work Channel 4 News has done over the years and would be one of the first to commend it.

    But the problem comes when the presenter/reporter uses a media vehicle to promote personal views under the guise of ‘news’ and ‘public service broadcasting’.

    1. Tom Wright says:

      Impartiality, or trying to show ‘balance’, often means giving credibility to minority causes – 50% of camera time for a group that has 2% of public sympathy, all in the name of showing ‘both sides of the argument’. Surely this is an equal distortion to opinion?

      Why is it that coverage on the TV must be ‘impartial’, yet newspapers can scream moral outrage from every page? And not just from the tabloids, but the in broadsheets too. Editorial comment is legal in newspapers, a gray area for blogs, and more or less forbidden on TV. Why?

      You can make a case that editorial opinion is a public service. Opinion stirs public and political debate, makes people care, and motivates change.

      I’m all for it. Except of course, when I don’t agree.

  5. Jared says:

    Dear Jon, I have always been a supporter of weeding out evil and undermining arrogance, which is why I have always been biased in favour of you and the wonderful C4 News team, but it would seem even the greats have their off days… You will be supporting HULL against Arsenal??? Have you completely lost your grip on reality, man? This country needs you firing on all cylinders, and surely the only way to achieve that *properly* is for you to do the decent thing and man up and support The Arsenal. I hope for all our sakes this is just a small blip on an otherwise remarkable career. Most cordially yours, with much eyeball movement, Jared

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Tigers Tigers burning (not so) bright – need all the support they can get. Welcome on board the Yorkshire needs at least one club in the Premiership boat Jon

    2. BalthazarBee says:

      Ahah! Jared is a J.P. Donleavy and Arsenal fan perhaps? Good man.

  6. Saltaire Sam says:

    As ever beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The orange party thinks ITV news strikes the right balance while I find it tabloid and sensational to the extreme with no intellectual integrity.

    Given the fact that a tiny percentage of the population controls such a huge amount of the wealth, I reckon most of us are part of the underdog class, so by definition your ‘bias’ is fulfilling your public broadcast obligations.

    Keep it up.

  7. tanya spooner says:

    I think you do strike the right balance, Jon. In our house, we very much value the approach of the Channel 4 News team, and we like it when when you are firm with guest contributors, rather than confrontational. We don’t require an interviewer to play devil’s advocation on an automatic basis, which seems to happen a lot on other channels, and Faisal Islam is wonderfully clear and easy to understand compared with the Beeb’s jolly financial commentator. We are constantly impressed with the standard of C4 News. Long may it continue.

  8. David Gale says:

    The Orange Party said: “C4 News output should reflect that with balanced, objective journalism… Your colleagues over at ITV News seem to be able to strike the right balance.”

    You’re joking, right?

  9. Junkk Male says:

    I am biased to any news entity that gives me the facts, honestly and objectively, without personal views or corporate agendas being added in to ‘interpret events’ or ‘enhance narratives’. Even if it is just a smirk and eyebrow crank for one interviewee you’d don’t like or a smile and nod for one whose views you happen to share.

    That is, assuming the producer’s iPhone has not already pre-selected who gets interviewed in the 1st place or the editor has decided what goes in, out or can be ‘assisted’ with a change.

    And in this new era of commentary and opinion, where news is shared in ways to tell you how to think over being given the information simply to make your own mind up, that doesn’t happen too often. IMHO.

  10. adz says:

    The UK is heading towards the U.S. way, which some will believe right and others like myself, not.
    Some towns and cities are important to the financial instution whilst others are left on the back burners.
    The problem we have and it’s a worlwide problem, is that it completely disrupts communties thus leading to increased hate, crime, broken families, disadvantaged health services. Ignoring people’s needs because there is less profit to be made where they live, is the major contributing factor towards serious negativity. This in turn has been tipping the balance against humanity and being human with each other.
    Tomorrow is ZDAY which promotes The Venus Project, a major undertaking as i’ve said before, that will take many years to implement but most of all, hard work and sacrifice by those who believe it can be achieved.
    adzmundo CND

  11. Martin Deane, Green Party Hull says:

    Dear Jon, welcome to Hull – from the Green Party! Hope you enjoy your visit. Let us know if you have time for a pint down “Pave”.
    Cheers,
    Martin Deane
    Green Party, Hull

  12. David Johnson says:

    When you agree with someone you find them objective, when you disagree they are biased!
    Try the license funded reporting and blogs on the BBC such as Andrew Neil if you want a different hue.
    I hope any reporting on Hull doesn’t linger long on John Prescott, it’s erstwhile M.P. As a northerner I have always cringed at the outdated stereotype of us he represents to the rest of the country.

  13. Frank Wintle says:

    Bearing in mind, Jon, what you say about weeding out evil and the rest of it, but remembering that inside every journalist is the wreckage of a poet, I hope you packed a copy of Mr Larkin’s collected in your bag before setting off for Hull.

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Most intrigue happens in the grey . Why people attempt to black / white everything I will never know. Whitsun weddings will never be the same since hacks found out the secret the church , canons and the state were a party too previously.

  14. adrian clarke says:

    Jon thanyyou for acknowledging your bias .Like you i am biased too.I also support the underdogand the downtrodden .Thats probably why in spirit i am a Tory and an Englishman,I do not like being told i am white British and European,without being asked.I have a dilemma .I like Arsenal , but i like the underdog Hull too.I am not too avid a supporter of either to cry over who loses.
    I do not mind your bias.Look at your views on the environment and the Tamil persecution.The bias i complain of is your interviewing of Labour and Tory politicians One can get away with saying anything , the other struggles to get a word in edgewise.I hope you enjoy Hull and find some beauty in the city, and some manufacturing .We need manufacturing that exports.I am very disappointed that i did not win your tie recently,and i note that Tristan seems to be competing.

  15. John Smith says:

    I too have a bias. Could we have a shed load of reporting from Zimbabwe so that we can show the local pols how not to run a country. One local party seems to be hell bent on turning the UK into a banana republic. Such a pity as we have to import our bananas.

  16. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    Of course Jim I am bias, because I like Jon Snow, but I don’t always agree with him..( what his TV persona elucidates anyway) surely you have seen and spoken to people you have a personal bias against or towards , but don’t entirely agree with them

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Margaret i like Jon Snow too .Where would my evenings be without him?Who would i be able to complain of.He even lets me blog against him .Keep it up Jon but let us have some more contentious blogs,so i can stir the blogwaves.

    2. Jim Flavin says:

      Yes I certainly have – and with some it is possible to try to have a discussion etc – and maybe something will emerge . But when one disagrees with some peoples dogma [ I think there is no other word for it ] and they will not discuss etc – but they willl lie / slander etc – why becuase they are not sure of what they say they are sure about – so they retaliate – not by discussion or attacking the idea even – but attack the person -using any means they think fit -who holds ideas conrary to their own . Thats waht happens in real life – all too often .

    3. Saltaire Sam says:

      I wonder how many things there are we could all agree on? Perhaps only that there is nothing that we would all agree on. But then…

  17. PeterW says:

    One of the many things we miss since leaving Blighty in June 2009 is watching you and Channel 4 news Jon. I would happily pay the licence fee as an expat abroad if it would allow us access to your programme.
    I used to visit Luton for work and I fully agree its a most depressing place.
    Finally remember my motto -“it works better if you plug it in” :-)

  18. Britt_W says:

    This morning I woke up at the hotel in Hull my partner and myself had been staying at for 3 nights, for work. Whilst getting ready for our departure today, I was reading your blog (as one does).

    I noticed you also were in Hull. Then I noticed you were describing the same hotel as we were in! Strange coincidence.
    And a rather strange hotel… I had never experienced a reception at the 7th floor either!

    As for being biased… I don’t expect journalists to be ‘neutral’. I do, however, expect them to find facts, search the ‘truth’ out there in order to make the world better – especially for the underdog! The ‘overdogs’ can take care of themselves, without help.

    Every day I go through life, surrounded by various news stories and reports. The only news programme I trust, though, IS Channel 4 news. Not saying this to flatter, I really mean it.

  19. Mudplugger says:

    The problem for all consumers of broadcast news is to recognise that the ‘management’, whether labelled ‘public service’ or ‘commercial’ or any combination thereof, will always have an agenda . It’s the reality of modern life which we must all, albeit reluctantly, now acknowledge.
    Some are more obvious than others (the BBC for one), while some display more of the ‘presenter bias’ than the institutional, but none is without sin, more’s the pity.
    Currently, Channel 4 News probably enjoys the high ground, if only because the BBC has sunk so low in its blatant pre-election positioning. Whether this will remain the case is to be seen.
    As long as there is a piper to be paid, he will play the ordered tune – until we can find a way out of that situation, we’re stuck with broadcasters whose messages the thinking viewer first has to filter out the unwanted influence, in order to derive, as near as we can, an objective truth.
    The real problem is the lack of ‘thinking viewers’ – most are not watching Channel 4 News and most are not reading this blog.
    Who was it said “You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make it think” ?

  20. adrian clarke says:

    Jim i like to disagree and to agree , acknowledge accept or argue against .I would never dismiss someones views opposed to mine , but argue my corner.I do not look for plaudits or agreement, but just voice my opinion.I like to be controversial,but i hope objectively.I love Margarets blogs though do not always understand them .Love to disagree with yourself and Saltaire but above all i love to blog.

  21. adrian clarke says:

    Jon i think you aught to give a tie to blogger of the month.Folks i’m desperate for one of his ties lol .

  22. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    I have come home from work and am too tired to do anything but look at text. Dialectic panned out as thus and in response to previous blog.
    1.UK PLC v private smaller enterprise
    2.Do polls give an accurate taste voters intentions or is it better to do field research.?
    3.Why do we not make trains stations user friendly?
    4.Are we totally dependent on technology e.g.I pods, I phones to see us through 24 hours.
    5.Have architects lost sight of design accumen ? e.g they paint paradise and put up a parking -lot mode.
    6. Why do concrete blocks have to be worse than a colour which is saved for middle of the road. ?
    7. Why can’t public limited companies look after repairs . and customers?
    8. Do people matter in PLC ,or is all grey ,perfunctory , lifeless , boring and tainted with notions of communism.?

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Jim I cant reply to you there isn’t a reply mode.
      I quite agree with your analysis of peoples intention to win an argument at all costs, rather than discuss an issue from different standpoints.
      The whole point of discussion or ‘argument’ is to bounce ideas off each other. It is a learning process and should not be a’ row ‘against those with a brick wall mentality.What is the problem in being wrong : if there is a right or wrong. Don’t we like those who really put themselves in our position.? They are the ones who demonstrate that they care about WHO we are and not WHAT we are.

    2. Jim Flavin says:

      Margaret – I think if u click the reply button on an original message your ” reply ” will fall into line .Its when people dont ” argue ” – [dont like the word ]- or discuss – because they have no basis etc for their arguments except what they call ‘ faith ” ie the less proof you have the better is ones faith etc – and the results on others of this blind faith . Anyway – hope u enjoyed the game Mr. Snow – and the rest of your trip – but as an Arsenal supporter myself—–!!!. Now must watch highlights – and hope Fulham do a draw tommorrow .

  23. don mac namara says:

    Surely you are confusing personal bigotry, ethnicity , subjectivity with ”bias”
    Bias is what determines and attempts to validate prosylitisation , ; subjugation – the domination of oone culture over another – empire building; formerly by the British , latterly bt George Bush in the guise of ”regimen change’
    It is not the innoceent little failing you so flipantly describe.
    A journalist should pursue truth over populism- I would not indict you in this regard – but as one who can articulate if not frame the views of your consideraable audience surely you should be less shameless about your personal bias.
    If we’re only talking about hotels and parking lots – it is scarcely that consequential.
    But if a journalist deliberately concealed a truth for some tendentious end -like the justification of trooppe in Afghanistan , he is guitly of a betrayal of his profession.
    But lets leave plenty of room for levity not st sny cost , but with fairness and respect for those who hold polar oppisite views to you’

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      ‘Bias’ defined as “inclination” OED.

      You already have the words you need to describe the injustices you need to rail about. Feel free to express yourself in the way you desire, so long as it is not offensive.
      In respect of large grey loveless buildings, it is not the end of the world, just souless.

      The whole world does not revolve around Afghanistan and other eastern problems. We in the UK ,although in the main are concerned about the activities of the troops, we need a little lightness. Contrast , levity, love, colour, sentiment,and enjoyment is also part of life. The truth is, these aspects of life need reporting honestly. too. e.g. Sarah Browns’ love for her husband.

      Truth is not only in disaster, it is also in the “sublime and the beautiful” (Edmund Burke.)
      Help spread the word .. Love and peace is the way forward. That is not cheesey, ‘we are all so shy of being kind to one another.

  24. adrian clarke says:

    Saltaire i think we all can agree we like to blog .We could possibly agree we would like more blogs.More where we can voice an opinion ,even if different.Isnt it brill that the medium is there to put our arguments and agreements, even though we will never meet other than in print.That is unless Jon decides to set up a bloggers meet in some central location

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Adrian, I once studied via an internet course at Oxford University 9excellent course on local history) and ‘got to know’ a whole range of people via regular online sessions.

      The thing that was fascinating was how much of ourselves we revealed. When we finally met to receive our certificates, it took a while to get used to a physical being very different from the picture we had imagined, but then we got along like old friends.

      I’m still in touch with one or two people from that course, including one in Washington DC, even though we have only met in person once.

  25. don mac namara says:

    If I say ”war is bad ;and peace is good” there is no bias there .it is ( pretty well ) a universal ideal.
    If I state that Elvis and the Beatles were great and Jedward abysmal it is bias.
    ( although I would like to think it is a universal fact)
    Cicero said ” de gustibus non est disputantem”- roughly translated as ” there is no accounting for taste”
    Of course also say that Cicero was biased , and put that down to your own taste . Then who am I to say you are wrong. Again it goes back to a more recent analogy of Cicero’s expression – Who deserves the last Rolo – the person who loved Rolos for 50 years of the person whose penchant for Rolos is more recently developed .
    What would Mr Snow say – He afavours the underdog after all … but which of these Rolo-lovers in the underdog ?
    In the former analogy re Jedward v Elvis would Mr Snow consider Jedward the underdog(s) and therefore to be favored over the King ?
    To me it is obviously a rhetorical thing ;to a tweenybopper it would also be a rhetorical thing – but obviously we would have drawn different conclusions. And we would both be right.

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Peace is not a universal ideal for war mongering nations. In the past and present, nations and tribes have attempted to show their strength by violence and war. To those ,power and physical strength is all.

      If a person has put many years into developing the’ rolo ‘then he should reap the rewards,i.e. from a socialist perspective,

      If the taste has been acquired on the back of something that already exists, he is entitled to share in the splendour of that product as popularity made the rolo what it is, however credit for developing the rolo will still be a Martian thing.

      I do agree though ,that the perception of ‘underdog ‘ is often, not always, merely perceptual.

  26. don mac namara says:

    To extend the ” Last Rolo Principal ”at little ..The West thought that Democracy was so good that we went to war to impose it on Iraq.. Is the democracy of the West that perfect with such monstrous inequalities of health and wealth. Where a poor person is 300 % more likely to die of a chronis disease than a wealtyy person and 500 % more likely to be charged with a crime .Did we consider even fro a moment the Seven Pillars of Wisdom on which Islam is based – Did we respect them ? How many of us even know them or knew them before going to war.
    – Yes . Of course Saadam was a despot- He gassed thousands of Kurds- But the citizens of Dresden or Hiroshima hardly think of Churchill or Roosevelt as heroic figures
    The West’s preoccupation was with a regeimen change which would consolidate our rapacious need of oil- and to do so in Mr Bush’s mind we had to Westernise the Arab mind.
    This was attempted by waging the greatest troop movement in 60 years – against Iraq ; to secure US hegemony .- and give a nod to Israel in the process.
    It did not succeed. It has fomented more civil unrest than before.

  27. don mac namara says:

    BrandrethJones wrote:

    ”Peace is not a universal ideal for war mongering nations. In the past and present, nations and tribes have attempted to show their strength by violence and war. To those ,power and physical strength is all.”

    This would hold true for all empire building races only , like the British , the Soviets etc.
    These races get around all any ethical dilemmas by quoting an oxymoron stamped in the soul of their citizens ie;

    ”The Right of Conquest” – of course there is no such right .We now call it hegemony.

  28. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    So you agree then, that “peace is good” is not a universal ideal. Well why, if you already accepted that this was not the case, why did you bother to state it.?

    Your blog ,as you have the right to let it be you style, is packed with issues which would take a month to debate and I am sure you are welcome to join in and get these issues off your chest.

  29. don mac namara says:

    Margret,,etc
    I believe in simple things , because simple things are easy to understand..
    It is of course easier to intellectualize simple concepts , and this serves a purpose, for example when you wish to obfuscate like the politicians or the Catholic church.
    War= Bad
    Peace = Good

    Elvis = Good
    Jedward = Atrocious

    Right of Conquest = A Monstrous Absurdity

    Hot Air = Lift Off !

    Simple = Simple
    Q.E. D

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Just found out that Rolos were made by Nestle and not Mars and I thought martians were involved… flights of fancy again .

      Don I have a ‘more or less’ an opposite view that all things have a very simple derivation which the masses try and complicate; not necessarily intellectualise. I have commented on this before. There are only so many moves on the chess board and accompanying motives and emotions which move the pieces , but the ‘many’ try and colour them. However that does not account for the complexities , configurations and misperceptions of these simple basics.

      e.g. If someone was about to wipe you and your family off the face of the earth would you have the right to conquest?

  30. Johanna Cleary says:

    Happy St Patricks Day Jon…cheer yourself up by listening to our new ‘alternanthem’ by the Duckworth Lewis Method. Its good we can still laugh at ourselves!

  31. Tim Peach says:

    I think many of us are happy to cheer on your particular bias, Jon. Though the real pressures for a journalist’s integrity are surely those of content and format and deadlines. Getting proper question-asking and thought-challenging through those tight gatekeepers can easily prove impossible; if the media is culturally set up to frame answers and humans are set up to blurt self-framed reactions, it’s no wonder that the business of news can easily tick over without opening anyone’s mind. Making a noise is easy – making a difference is not. Especially where it ultimately counts – in the mind. Cheering you on very loudly for trying, C4N. Think my poor neighbours wish I’d be quiet.

  32. don mac namara says:

    Margaret
    If people choose to see obvious things in an ” unnatural way” its called a delusional state or an hallucination.
    Their perception does not alter the fact

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Yes, I agree what is simple and straightforward to me and others who take care to look accurately and listen carefully may not be seen by others.

      E.G. If I witness something ,I have been trained to look at that fact as a thing which exists in the world, but many others attach meaning to that fact,which seems displaced and bizarre to us.

      Religion can do this .. miracles etc.

      It is not appropriate to call it delusional though. Those people are in a particular mindset.

      What you need to examine is whether what you yourself are hearing or seeing is factual in itself.

      E.g Elvis is superior to Jedward..why?

  33. don mac namara says:

    Marget.
    If people choose to see simple things in an unnatural way or distorted – we call that a delusional state or an hallucination and hand them oven to the psychiatrists , unless of course they’ve consciously taken a mind alternating substance to deliberately distort the truth- in which case and if they are void of a psychiatric disease they will see the truth when they ‘;come down”
    There is no RIGHT of conquest . There is a right of self defence.
    The colonial powers used to use this arrant nonsensical rhetoric on their home nations to justify robbing land from more docile races abroad – You see the remnant of how successful that indoctrination was in the National Front in the UK and the Ku Klux Cl;an in the USA.
    .In the manner I used the term ”to complicate is to intualise ” to invoke a more ” intellectual” force.
    Intellectualism is often used to suggest a
    invoke a more potent or higher intelligent force to an argument .
    That concept is deeply flawed and displays a misuse of language .
    Don

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      This was the natural argument which has been used again and again,

      At what point are you encroaching on others territory purely for the gain of that ground or resource e.g. oil V. Is there sufficient evidence to suggest that if that piece of ground was not taken by force then it would be detrimental to the recipients of a perceived or real threat.

      This is another example where FACT pursae has corresponding intentions which differ and change the meaning considerably ,yet any military action would be similar.

  34. don mac namara says:

    Margaret ,
    I really dont know what you are saying. I have read your comment many times.
    But I fail to see what exactly you are promoting.
    If you see any justification of a nation , a tribe , or an imperial power taking land from another tribe nation or people , you hold with imperialism . I dont .
    I see it as simply wrong wrong wrong!
    No matter how altruistic the superior power be , it is a gross assumption to think that to take that land and change it by plantation – as the British did in Ireland – or by subjugation and theft , as the British did in Africa it is wrong , ethically ,politically ethnically and lastly morally WRONG .
    The moral code of the ‘superior’ conquering power is usually alien to the indigenous people .
    If the indigenous people had wanted to be ”improved ” they would have invited the conquerors in, and there would have been no war, no strife , no perpetual for freedom .
    I really have no more to say to you on the subject.
    Roma Loquitor ; Causa Finena est

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Promotion isn’t the name of the game. It is again a very simple task to understand how the words people use actually correlate to what they mean.

      By using examples in this respect doesn’t clarify the argument one iota.

      The central question being…How does one nation or another know when land is being ” conquered” with no other motive than the acquisition of that land?

      My perspective is … if I think that if a nation has ideas of colonising my Country in a slow , but organised manner, with intentions to use IED’s or WMD , then a pre emptive strike could be classed as A right to Conquer , but in actual fact is a Right to defence.

      Because you have decided that you will not say any more that does not put me into your category . I will try and see where others limits of understanding are.

  35. Ben.A says:

    Bias aside, I find it fascinating that areas have pockets of expertise (Hull and caravan making, Stoke pottery, etc). I would love to see these all mapped out and to look at how they have changed over the decades. Ah, maybe I’ve just given myself a project!

  36. Worldtuner says:

    Being neutral is not the thing that makes us different from animals, to start a list….
    Sitting at the table to eat, eating with knife and fork, talking about the weather, watching channel four news, commenting on the news and our beloved Jon (And can I say) cocking our legs to go a toilet, are just a few, my border collie certainly is neutral to the point of being a bloody coward (can I say bloody) at times….well all the time, but don’t tell her that.
    Well in fact I just have a bad habit of supporting all underdogs, why I do not know, politicians make me angry thinking all the people are all the same and will believe anything, police in closing ranks when an officer committs an act of crime, a shooting or lies, then it’s a mandatory 2 years wait for an investigation where all the files are lost or they retire due to sickness on full pay, do gooders who think we should all live to their standards (Or their thinking standards not actual living), people who use the race card for any given thing, making rock stars or footballers heros while they receive huge salaries to do so yet most humble guys (Male and female) in the street would do the job for a quarter of their pay……..

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