Thursday, December 13, 2007

Policy Exchange hate tank busted?

Last night, BBC's Newsnight aired a jaw-dropping piece accusing the 'centre right' think tank/ Lobby group Policy Exchange of faking evidence used in the production of a widely quoted report it published a couple of months ago. A report which claimed that one in four British mosques are distributing material which says that it's OK to abuse women, crucify homosexuals, eat Christian babies and generally be a bit of c*nt to anyone who isn't a Muslim

Author of the tremendously well-written and informative 'Celsius 7/7', co-founder of the Policy Exchange think tank, Tory front-bench spokesman and all-round chopper Michael Gove - very similar in many ways to his neo-con contemporaries in the US but without their charm or personality

I say jaw-dropping because this is the only occasion I can think of when national broadcast media have suggested that someone might be deliberately faking material in support of the current domestic war on terror paradigm

Why Newsnight should break the habit of a lifetime and report something like this completely baffles me. Maybe they're doing a 'Gilligan' and the whole thing is going to blow up in the BBC's face. Maybe there's a war going on behind the scenes. Who knows

but, anyway, the show is currently up on the Newsnight website here and should stay there until tomorrow night's show is broadcast (the marvellous display of synchronised Lobby-trolling currently taking place on Newsnight's daily blog will presumably stay up for a little longer)

and if anyone knows how to download a local copy of the program please please do




Merkin said...

Five minutes ago I was having a last slug of whisky before retiring for my usual 4 hours kip.

Thought of this blog as I was listening to CNN.
'Federal Reserve is going to loan 'blah blah' to 'so and so' banks because of the 'credit crunch'....

Whisky went right up my nose and took three paper towels to clear up the mess.

I should have realised.
Earlier, the same channel had described the 50 billion GLOBAL crisis.

Northern Rock was not mentioned, particularly, but was 'seen' as a good thing for homeowners who could now buy.

Stef said...

There are two ways to steal ordinary people's money

1. Take it

2. Print shit loads more of the stuff out of thin air, effectively destroying the value of the stuff already out there

or, of course, both at the same time

I remember when I used to get by with 4 hours sleep a night

Now it's nearer 14 :(

Anonymous said...

I half saw this and didn't really comprehend the gravity of what I was seeing until I read this. Amazing!

paul said...

Why don't the policy exchange arrange a public burning of these books?

A little undecided about the investigation, paxman never really seemed to force the question as to why receipts were faked in favour of trying to get the himmler lookalike dodson to admit they were.

Or emphasise that there was no proof these places sold the terror tomes in the first place

No mentions in the popular press this morning I can see

paul said...

From Gove's gauleiters:

None of these institutions has been able to demonstrate convincingly that extremist literature could not have been procured on their premises.

I probably couldn't either if accused of that, anything's possible after all...

Anonymous said...

Vince is rattling the commons re Northern Rock.

ps The most successful leadership ever not to win.

Stef said...

@anon/ Paul

No, Newsnight didn't press home any wider conclusions to its piece, or even place the story in a wider context

It is still pretty remarkable that they aired it at all imho

Stef said...

@anon 11.30

LOL - thx for the link, I would have missed it

Vince is most definitely at the top of his game - and he has such an unassuming manner with it.

Nice to see the Labour MPs in that exchange not playing party politics with £30bn and trying to accuse Vince of being responsible for the fuck up by 'talking the bank down'

The Antagonist said...

At last, something to congratulate Newsnight on, even though they could have gone a lot of further with the results of their research and put it into some sort of wider context that includes at least the last three years of Islamophobic propaganda.

The forensic document analysis that they undertook as part of the research could, with a bit of further work, be able to identify at least some of the component parts used in the printing of the faked receipts (factors such as ink manufacturer, printer type and manufacturer, etc) perhaps opening up further lines of investigation to identify when and where the fake receipts were produced and by whom.

Stef said...

A little dicky bird tells me that that Colossus of The War on Terror DAC Peter Clarke may be chummy with The Policy Exchange

"Clarke spoke at The Policy Exchange's Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture (bringing the meaning of his professional life to a wider audience) in April 2007, where he detailed the complete lack of evidence against Dhiren Barot"

Merkin said...

Antagonist said, quite right'...opening up further lines of investigation to identify when and where the fake receipts were produced and by whom.'
Be sure, if this was a scam to plant BNP fantasy poetry carried out by a stupid young girl then that is exactly what would be done.