David Thompson
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July 25, 2016

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rjmadden

It's disturbing to think some people actually take advice from the Guardian's parenting section.

David

It’s disturbing to think some people actually take advice from the Guardian’s parenting section.

Oh, I dunno. Excrement size aside, there are plenty of other tips and pointers for the fretful leftist parent. Such as articles on why you should never, ever tell your daughter that she’s pretty, even if she is, as this may make her apologise for her intelligence and generally ruin her life. And on how to raise babies and toddlers on a strict vegan diet (apparently, you should avoid talking to doctors, who may harsh your buzz, and instead stock up on quinoa, and be sure to replace milk with kale and chickpeas).

abacab

So, do the LHTD Richard Murphy and his ilk now think that the Grauniad is tax evoiding or avading by making a massive loss? We need to be told...

John D

If only the BBC could go bust.

https://twitter.com/Holbornlolz/status/757460244616404992

Lancastrian Oik

I don't buy The Guardian because I don't want people to think that I am the kind of twat who would buy The Guardian.

In my lawyering days, whenever said rag was produced from a briefcase my internal dickhead alert would begin to sound, because that often meant that things were going to get political which effectively entailed the investigating coppers being accused of being bent. If you were taking part in a criminal trial in the magistrates' court in a Northern city back then, this was probably the single most stupid stratagem you could conceive of, because it would generally tend to piss off the bench, the prosecutor, one's fellow defence lawyers who did not want to go down that route and finally the client who would quickly come to realise that a "guilty" verdict was now about 99% certain and the coppers being slagged off would have him at the top of their "shit list", win or lose, for the foreseeable future.

I suppose my point is that, if you read The Guardian, you are probably the kind of person who sees the political in everything, even infant toilet training, when the rest of the world just doesn't think that way, with inevitable consequences when you try to get serious things done (such as defend a bloke charged with possession of drugs and an offensive weapon, in somewhere like Rochdale or Oldham magistrates' court).

Alice

and are then mistaken for spiteful parodies by the paper’s own contributors,

Wow. Missed that one. :-)

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

And on how to raise babies and toddlers on a strict vegan diet

Is breast-feeding vegan?

Henry

I suppose my point is that, if you read The Guardian, you are probably the kind of person who sees the political in everything

Yes, and conversation with them can be rather tedious. You can be talking to a perfectly nice person about your recent trip to Tescos or Vodafone, and they go quiet for a second, and you're thinking "oh here we go.." The conversation relentlessly veers into tax avoidance or whatever other outrage it is.

Sadly, even the more sensible London-based members of my family have started to read the Guardian. I'm thinking "whatever for?" It's astounding that people can't see through the very crude, fanatical and self-destructive bias.

AC1

it's the Daily Mail for the left.

tolkein

Their opinion stuff is just to virtue signal. When it comes to real news, such as the Nice attack or Bataclan etc, or simply Test Match cricket - OBO - or live sport, or breaking political stories, they can't help themselves but act like real reporters giving you up to date commentary. Much better than the Beeb, which is always dull and very PC, they self censor as they go along. I find the Graun infuriating at (lots of) times, but not for its news coverage. I know it's slanted, but I can take that into account when reading the stories.

Charlie Suet

It's quite an achievement to work in a failing profession, for a failing newspaper, that supports a failing party and still regard yourself as part of an intellectual elite. So many Graun journalists seem to manage it though.

Burnsie

By now, the young girl must be well-versed in sexism, patriarchal oppression, rape culture, slut shaming, and abortion rights. Her future is bright.

Sam

After Comrade Milne left the comment pages actually got worse. #LetThatSinkIn

Stan

Have we reached Peak Stupidity?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Have we reached Peak Stupidity?

I take it you are not following the Democrat convention ?

Spiny Norman

Farnsworth,

I did like this take.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Spiny - nice. Their theme song, I think.

I sneeze in threes

From the comments of "why you should never, ever tell your daughter that she’s pretty,

"By never saying 'God I look awful in this' or 'No I can't eat chocolate cake I need to lose weight'"

No, sometimes you should.

David

why you should never, ever tell your daughter that she’s pretty

It’s the assumption that a parent would call their daughter pretty but somehow never praise them for anything else, anything they might achieve, from finger painting and sports to music and exams. Now, I’m not a parent, but I don’t think that’s generally how it works. At least, no parent I’ve known has done that.

champ

O/T David, did you see the latest from your favorite regressive bloviator?

https://medium.com/welcome-to-the-scream-room/im-with-the-banned-8d1b6e0b2932#.ennp22747

Money quote: "I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles."

David

Money quote: “I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles.”

Oh yes. We were chewing on that one over the weekend.

Ten

Is breast-feeding vegan?

Doubt it but I also doubt it's on the 80 year plan.

David Gillies

How? How do you sell that to the commissioning editor? "The new column coming along, Sophie? Got any ideas for a topic?" "Yes, I thought I'd write 2000 words on my toddler's bowel movements." "Excellent, can't wait!" I sometimes picture them all hugging themselves with glee at how transgressive they're all being. A fly on the wall would be sobbing with boredom and disgust at their smug, vapid ways.

R. Sherman

Fighting the Patriarchy claims another victim. I'm sure The Guardian is on it, if Everyday Feminism doesn't get there first.

Spiny Norman

Farmsworth,

Considering this, I was hoping for a "Mr Methane Chorus".

Chester Draws

It’s the assumption that a parent would call their daughter pretty but somehow never praise them for anything else, ... At least, no parent I’ve known has done that.

Mostly not parents, but I've seen grandparents that effectively only praise their granddaughters for their prettiness while at the same time only praising their grandsons for their sporting ability. It's starts young and while parents grow out of it, because they usually are so deeply involved in their children's schooling etc, those on the periphery sometimes stay on that track. (It's a common complaint by kids that their grandparents treat them as if they are still six.)

I think it's dying though, and certainly society as a whole sends a pretty strong message out about "dumb blondes" that isn't an advertisement for pretty over sensible.

David

I find the Graun infuriating at (lots of) times, but not for its news coverage. I know it’s slanted, but I can take that into account when reading the stories.

Yes, it’s not evenly bad and it’s generally been one of the better designed papers. I think that’s what made me first pick up a copy. But it’s often bad in those respects that most shape and reinforce a person’s political worldview. The paper’s economics coverage veers from the merely unreliable to the positively surreal - see Tim Worstall’s archive for dozens of examples – and its comment pages are often difficult to distinguish from malicious parody. To the extent that some of its own contributors aren’t quite sure.

And I think the opinion pages, on which we’ve focused here, are a very large part of what sets a paper’s tone and determines whether someone identifies with the paper – i.e., thinks of themselves as ‘a Guardian reader’. And apparently the Guardian is the go-to publication for people who like fretting about whether their bookshelves are sexist, and whether children should be allowed to make toy ray guns out of Lego, and whether tea is a “colonial relic” that ought to be replaced by a less controversial beverage.

It’s a strange demographic.

AC1

http://imgur.com/mWbx2hn montage of alGrauniad.

Adiabat

The massive financial losses and the surreal views of the Guardian have the same cause: The Scott Trust.

Due to the trust money giving the paper “editorial independence” the paper has never had any check and balances on its views and no requirement to adhere to reality. It’s able to advocate positions that are only shared by an extremely small section of society without worrying about actually selling newspapers.

They’ve now reached a point where they’re burning through that trust money faster than is sustainable, and the only audience that could be an alternative revenue stream consists of a small number of bored ‘crystal magic’ believers and bookshelf fretters.

Yet despite all this they are somehow able to influence government policy out of proportion to its readership and relevance.

David

montage of alGrauniad.

Heh. It’s a thing to behold. And it’s hardly an unfair sampling. This is what gives the Guardian its, um, distinctive tone. And so you can see why the Australian activist Osman Faruqi assumed that the headlines and captions must be mischievous parodies intended to bring the paper into disrepute. The same Mr Faruqi who thinks that Twitter should be nationalised and paid for by taxpayers in another country on the other side of the world because he isn’t happy with changes to its ‘like’ icons.

Charlie Suet

I'm not sure I agree that the Graun is the way it is "because of the unique way it is funded". I think a lot of the more bizarre articles come from their attempt to crack America. To achieve that, they feel they need to compete not just with the NYT and WaPo but with Salon, Slate and the Huffington Post.

So they come up with more and more New Left identitarian rubbish because they are competing in the marketplace of ideas. But interestingly, many old left readers in Britain don't like the way the Graun has gone at all, judging from the comments.

Lisboeta

montage of alGrauniad.

You can't say they aren't looking ahead: "How can our future Mars colonies be free of sexism and racism?" Actually, I think I liked the Grauniad better when it was just renowned for its radnom mispsellings.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

You can't say they aren't looking ahead: "How can our future Mars colonies be free of sexism and racism?"

That is easy, leave the leftists behind.

Meanwhile the Minneapolis cousin of the Guardian discusses deliberately tapping dry wells.

Hedgehog

"I thought I'd write 2000 words on my toddler's bowel movements." (...) A fly on the wall would be sobbing with boredom and disgust at their smug, vapid ways.

The fly on the wall would be looking forward to the *actual* bowel movement rather than the facsimile rendered in the Grauniad.

Nemo

Hedgehog, if I was the fly, though I knew I could fly, I'd probably just drop and hope that I die.

Adiabat

The BBC is just as bad as the Guardian: https://twitter.com/BBCTalkback/status/757884515893248000

"Why are the Royal Family so "white", given that UK society is so ethnically-diverse these days?"

WTP

"Why are the Royal Family so "white", given that UK society is so ethnically-diverse these days?"

Seeing as the line of succession appears to be set for a couple generations, perhaps until on of Kate & Bill's kids can get hitched to a proper Afroasianarablatino royal, they could change the family name like they did 100 years ago. House of !Kung sounds kind of cool and intimidating. Just a suggestion...

Lancastrian Oik

"...(T)apping dry wells..."

That's just like having your tech-savvy twelve-year-old nephew show you how to turn on the digital TV in the hotel. The grown-ups still get to decide what they're going to watch.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

The BBC is just as bad as the Guardian:

A serious question for one of youse in the old country - if you ditch your TV, but watch TV shows via Amazon or Netflix on your computer, do you still have to pay a license fee ? How about if you had a proper TV, but were using it as a monitor hooked up to a computer so you could watch shows on Amazon, Netflix, or something similar ?

prm

@Farnsworth
You only need a license if you watch or record live tv 'as it is being broadcast'. It's changing in September; then you will also need one if you watch BBC programmes on iPlayer or other streaming hosts (like netflix). I can see how they might be able to monitor iPlayer (gps location or perhaps requiring an account), not sure how they will monitor the others.

So if you avoid watching BBC progs, and don't watch/record any live progs, no need for one.

In other words, in September I'm deleting iPlayer - I've not needed a license for years :)

[+]

The paper alone loses over a million quid a week and they're still churning out articles about racism on Mars.

#LeftiesAreTheCleverOnes

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

PRM - thanks, however, how do they know if and what you are watching ?

I have read, not that I know what the truth is, that the "detector vans" were a sham and they really looking for antennae and dishes, but at that, if you had a dish, how would they know whether you were watching live WGN from Chicago, or BBC ? If you were getting digital through a cable and no converter on a generic Sony how the hell would they know, short of kicking your door in, what channel you were watching ?

David Gillies

The detector vans were rubbish. You could just about pick up harmonics coming off the flyback transformers (which of course now everyone has flatscreens doesn't work), but the way they catch those awful scofflaws who refuse to subsidise TV Pravda is simple: they look at the address database of license-holders and hassle people living at the ones not on it on the assumption that no-one is sufficiently troglodytic as to not own a TV. I've often thought that if I ever moved back to the UK it would be worth it to not have a TV just so I could tell the TVLA to bugger off.

Nemo

David Gillies, as prm implied above, ownership of a TV is irrelevant to the TV Licence; it's just for watching or recording television as it is broadcast. There was a test case around 1988 between the GPO, who used to run such things, and a chap in SoHo who'd had his TV dereceiverised and connected only to his VCR (probably Betamax); the court found in chap's favour, which makes sense otherwise all those screens in TV editing suites would need a licence, as would security camera monitors, etc, etc. Device is irrelevant and you're just as liable for a fee if you watch on your phone, tablet laptop, projector or wall-sized plasma screen.

Similarly, what you watched was irrelevant, a position the BBC fully supported to remove the defence of 'I never watch the BBC'. Now that technology's run a coach and horses through their funding model, it seems the BBC have reversed their principles to keep the extortion alive. I'm a little less sure re watching furrin channels, but think the same rules apply, and there was a case against someone watching French TV from the south coast of England. So no Superbowl without paying a cut to Stephen Fry first.

Basically, the only thing keeping the TV Licence alive has been the mistaken belief that it's for owning a TV, a situation that they seem to be addressing by legislation rather than anything so distasteful as commerce.

prm

RE: TV License
Yes, harassment is the idea.
I told TVL I did not need a license, and a few month's later a TVL person turned up to ask if I had a TV. I said yes, but I don't watch or record live TV. He said, 'So you have Sky or Virgin?'. Basically trying to catch me out. I said no, and he wanted to come in and check. I said how would you check? And away he went.
I've just received another harassment letter so presumably they're ramping up for September.

Nemo

There've been three strands to the TV Licence: what the law says, how the courts have interpreted the law, and what people think is the law. That list is in ascending order of importance, but what would you expect for something so inherently corrupt?

I had a lovely collection of a harassing letter per month for several years from UKTV or whatever they call themselves telling me 'an investigation has been authorised' and asking me to call if I didn't need a TV Licence. I figured each letter cost them a little money so keep 'em coming, and there was no way I was going to waste my time or money ringing to correct a private company's database. I could see how someone less antagonistic could be intimidated by them though.

The system is rigged to trap people into liability: cable services carry the basic broadcast channels even when you've had the paid service stopped; and I technically became liable for the Licence on one election night when I clicked on a BBC web page in which they'd embedded their news channel. It might've been amusing to dobb myself in just to argue the defence of entrapment; it would also effectively kill the licence if embedded TV was exempt, or have the fun of a judge ruling how wide the margins must be to be considered embedded.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...and I technically became liable for the Licence on one election night when I clicked on a BBC web page in which they'd embedded their news channel.

The whole system is beyond Byzantine, I will never again complain about the commercials over here in the USandA (OK, well maybe the quality, but not their existence). Thanks to y'all for putting me some knowledge.

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