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My verdict on Newsnight’s new face? Pretty — and awful

17 May 2014

11:12 AM

17 May 2014

11:12 AM

I hope you enjoyed the new post-Paxman Newsnight last night, if you still watch the programme. It was bad on a whole new level of badness (watch it here). Presented by an Afghan-Australian woman called Yalda Hakim, of whom I had never heard. Yalda was hampered in her presentational debut by being unable to string a sentence together; nor did she have the knowledge or acuity to ask interesting questions of her guests. On one cringing occasion, the reporter William Dalrymple asked questions on her behalf (of a supporter of the triumphant Indian politician Narendra Modi, who, of course, Newsnight REALLY loathes), because she was unable to. On another occasion, during an interview with the leader of the Green Party, she continually referred to the “European mindset”, which confused her interviewee. I think she meant a disaffection for the EU, but it was hard to tell. During an interview on the Richard Scudamore business she asked “what if it had been a race email?” What is a “race email”?

Mind you, she’s quite fit. And yes, that would be a sexist observation were it not for the fact that I cannot fathom any other reason the lass was presenting the BBC’s premiere news and current affairs show. Well, ok, I can think of one, but let’s not go there.

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Show comments
  • Samim

    She is fully afghan. So both her parents are afghan and she herself was born in Afghanistan as well. However, she was just 2 or 3 when she and her family went to Australia and there is where she has been brought up. There are lots of afghans who look european so it´s not surprising at all to see an afghan with very light skin color and green or blue eyes. There are even many with blond hair!

  • Jonathan Perry

    @chingfordman:disqus Just been having a discussion about Andrew Neil on another thread. I worked at LBC for many years and also was involved in production when he was at LBC. Andrew was always polite and pleasant, unlike the odious Richard Littlejohn who delighted in kicking a litter bin around the floor when he was too hungover to fathom a story.

    • Chingford Man

      Thank you for mentioning this. I can only report my own experience but I accept others may have their own. I met a lot of people through politics when I was young and they ranged all the way from the gentlemanly to the ghastly, like life in general.

  • Mark Appleby

    The fact that you’ve never heard of Yalda Hakim simply means you’re poorly informed. She’s been presenting on and reporting for BBC World for ages. She’s a solid, highly competent journalist, who has won journalism awards, including a UN award, and who deserves better from a fellow journalist, if that’s what you aspire to be, than this miserable, spiteful example of pulp reporting.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n13xtmdj/profiles/yalda-hakim

    • Mr Creosote

      That may all be true, but on the night, she was next to useless as a presenter, kept interrupting (and therefore annoying) her guests and came across as lightweight, incoherent and lacking gravitas.

    • Daniel

      Her interview of the Green Party leader was abysmal (have a look at the comments):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrnXmcpTgVM

  • Hoghton

    Having just watched more of Newsnight for the 16th of May, I cannot see what Rod Liddle is complaining about; it is nonsense and offensive to say that Yalda Hakim is “unable to string a sentence together”. Nor did William Dalrymple ask questions on her behalf; he participated in the discussion. Rod Liddle’s tirade says more about him than about Yalda Hakim or the future of Newsnight; and, yes, describing her as “fit” and “the lass” is sexist; personally I found it refreshing to see a new face presenting Newsnight.

  • Ray Veysey

    Newsnight was Paxman and without Paxman will gradually fade away as the useless BBC will I hope, they may even go together a double funeral many would love to go to.

  • jazz606

    She probably couldn’t get the al jazeera gig.

  • Hoghton

    I stopped watching Newsnight a long time ago; but I can remember its pre-Paxman days, when there was a genuine sense of a team of presenters, including Peter Hobday and John Tusa; I can even remember Peter Snow joining the show; I hope for a return to a show not dominated by one personality.

    As for Yalda Hakim, Rod Liddle may never have heard of her, but she is a presenter and reporter on BBC World News; I watched a bit of the program mentioned by Liddle, and found that she could string a sentence together; I didn’t watch much, because I find Newsnight boring and irritating; I much prefer Radio 4’s The World Tonight: why is Newsnight never as good as The World Tonight? Robin Lusting left the World Tonight with little fuss after presenting it for years very professionally and unegotistically, and over a year later it is still an excellent program, with its regular presenter Ritula Shah and various other presenters. Why does the BBC do this sort of thing so much better on radio?

    I can find no evidence that Yalda Hakim is intended as a permanent replacement for Paxman; but I think the major problem is not who presents Newsnight, but how it is put together, and its lack of a sense of purpose; and too many interviews with Russell Brand!

  • Doh

    I heard a rumour that Newsnight was going to be renamed to Britiain’s Got Talent, with the alternative, vulgar, meaning of talent.

  • John Smith

    How did Newsnight survive after the the last debacle Oh of course our pockets are picked to provide the TVPollTax

  • Sahaja

    Yalda Hakim – she’s been a presenter on BBC World Service TV for some time.

  • Picquet

    Do go there. The truth will set you free.

  • Moputabee

    It is an excellent PC choice on many levels for the BBC. Not for the viewers of course who are being served a 3rd rate news service.

    Newsnight was already struggling recently with Paxman not really interested. The are the Guardian Lite of the BBC now. Not worth watching.

  • swatnan

    An excellent choice. I was frankly getting bored with Paxo, ever since he decided to do Uni Challenge. I hope Kirsty Wark will be staying. Dalrymple was frankly awful. And Modi is a disgrace to decency.

  • GraveDave

    Diversity is our Strength.

    • Laguna Beach Fogey

      Freedom is Slavery.

      • PeteGabler

        War is Peace.
        Patriotism is Xenophobia.
        Up is Down.

        • transponder

          The BBC is a Non-Leftist Institution.

    • MissDemeanor

      funny then how diversity is ripping this country apart, creating more and more ‘racism’, unhappiness and danger

  • Liz

    Nothing warms the heart more than the Spectator male commenters in full flow over totty vs damned women. It’s enough to make a girl want to subscribe. Or something.

  • Liz

    Ah well, it gives the Spectator image editor the opportunity to put a clickbait photo of a pretty woman on the home page, so that’s the main thing.

    • justejudexultionis

      ‘clickbait’ – I hate that word.

      • Liz

        Call it what it is, you and the Spectator’s perpetually hormonal image editor are being manipulated for advertising revenue by its associate editor.

  • foxoles

    Dearie me – she does drone on, doesn’t she?

  • Grumpy

    Surely the fact that a fabulously do-able woman with clearly no qualifications other than the fact she has got a body and face full of Eastern promise proves that not everyone in the BBC is a slimy shirt-lifter after all.

    • Laguna Beach Fogey

      She’s a female migrant from Asia with a story to tell.

      Surely those are sufficient qualifications for top spot?

  • paulthorgan

    We are perhaps seeing the Richard Cromwell of Newsnight.

    Who knows what kind of Restoration there will be…

    • justejudexultionis

      Or even the Vidkun Quisling of Newsnight…

  • Simon Jackson

    Given that Newsnight seems to think its greatest recent achievement was the interview with Brand we can conclude that it is no longer a series current affairs programme.

  • PeteGabler

    Another PC Cultural Marxist Frankfurt School move, to make indigenous, white British feel like they are yesterday’s news.
    BBC-sponsored multi-culti symbolism.

    • GraveDave

      Say it how it is Pete. Don’t hold any back.

  • Mr Creosote

    If she’s an Afghan, how come she wasn’t wearing one of those fetching blue tents?

    • GraveDave

      Some of their woman , like the Persians, are among the most beautiful in the world.

      • justejudexultionis

        Yes, but can they present serious national news programmes?

  • http://festivalgear.wordpress.com Chris Gray

    Crikey, give her a chance! I’m sure JP was a bit awkward when he first started, rather than the unbearable overbearing bear he became!!

    • paulthorgan

      Paxo came from BBC’s Breakfast News, where he was happily skewering away. I remember watching him in action there and wondering what he was doing on at toast-and-jam time when he should be on at brandy-and-cigars.

  • roger

    The BBC are down in the toilet with Sky, expecting more quality journalism from them is mistaken. The 24 hour news shortsightedness and the tabloid approach have ruined the BBC like it did ITN.
    Dump your TV and save on the live viewing tax.

  • MissDemeanor

    i just can see it in offices of the BBC

    big cheese no 1 : “it’s got to be a muslim”

    big cheese no 2 : “how about a muslimA”

    big cheese no 1 : “brilliant! let’s see: Egypt, too anti-terrorist; Morocco, too secular; Turkey, too western; hey, how about an Afghan woman? Where should we look for one?”

    big cheese no 2 : “great idea! there’s an excellent Afghan restaurant next to my house and they have a very pretty waitress that speaks perfect english, she’s even got an Aussie accent at times – she’ll be perfect. I’ll cal l right now, fancy some Afghan leek dumplings in yogurt anyway..”

  • dfjkbvdjkf

    Oh come on. It’s plain why she hosted the show. It’s obvious that the BBC needs another woman presenter for Newsnight, since they only have three others and the only man [ ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk25/presenters ] is leaving soon.

  • grammarschoolman

    A good night for Paxman, evidently. How long before they start begging him to come back, at twice the salary?

  • George Smiley

    I personally wouldn’t mind her for a bit if she loses a buttons or two and show us what she really has got!

    • transponder

      She’s not a pole dancer, George. Surely there are enough of those on YouTube?

      • George Smiley

        I am only asking for the best return on our money, for our enforced Television tax to pay for their general left-wing rubbish!

        • transponder

          Fair enough, really : )

          • George Smiley

            I must have been reading too much of Dante lately, and start thinking like an Italian male!

            • transponder

              And what’s wrong with that…?

              • George Smiley

                I don’t suppose that if she is in fact making you all jealous, by any chance? I am all game if you are! If only characters like us could have nothing to hide and could just come out of our pseudonyms to exchange numbers; if only! I am most definitely VERY late for bed (for one) indeed!

                • transponder

                  Hi George. As a woman I appreciate female charm in a rather different way than men, but I do appreciate it. On the other hand, because I have it I’m not so easily impressed as some men might be…. Goodnight. A few sips of red and I’m off to Nod.

      • Trofim

        What do I have to put in the search field?

        • PeteGabler

          Try ‘IamApervDevoidOfAnyLife’

          • George Smiley

            Genuine, heartfelt and sincere admiration and devotion of the feminine form can never in fairness be justly said to be “pervy”.

          • George Smiley

            Nay, genuine, heartfelt, worshipful and sincere admiration of and devotion to the feminine form can never in fairness be justly said to be “pervy”, not at all!

    • justejudexultionis

      Why are you still living in the 1950s?

      • George Smiley

        If only I were, when everyone knew his place!

        • Liz

          Her place you mean don’t you.

          • George Smiley

            Man-hating feminazi alert!

    • Liz

      Who are these people who can’t watch TV for half an hour without needing a w*nk?

      • George Smiley

        And this is wrong how?

  • Bonkim

    Will catch up soon.

    • transponder

      As if there aren’t hundreds of applicants that could do the job to a T right now….

      • Bonkim

        It is for the BBC management to decide on that.

        • transponder

          A bit of a po-faced response from you, Bonkim. I prescribe bonkers or bonking, whichever is more accessible.

  • Frank

    Is she really an Afghan- Australian? How did she get a visa to work on Newsnight, you can hardly argue that she brought unique skills to the job?

    • Hexhamgeezer

      An immigrant doing a job that the Brits won’t do (obviously!)

    • Hoghton

      She has been presenting and reporting on BBC World News for about two years.

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    To bring out of retirement a very old joke, What’s the difference between Newsnight and a Polo (those mint sweets with a hole in the middle).
    You got it, people like Polo’s

    • tpbeta

      People who can’t use apostrophes don’t watch Newsnight. Any guesses why?

      • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

        Oh gosh, the grammarnasty is upset; quick call for a counsellor to tend their hurt feelings. Nasty grammaphobic me.

        • http://batman-news.com Steve

          It was your punctuation that was being corrected.

        • tpbeta

          I’m not upset. I’m just pointing out Newsnight isn’t aimed at people like you.

          • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

            Wow, what pretentiousness. And pray tell who is it aimed at, this publicly funded News programme which is supposed to be the flagship of BBC News? I assume you are trying to make some innuendo about political leanings or educational attainment? Does listening to R4’s news coverage render me outside the category of Newsnight’s target audience, or is it really aimed at all those North London luvvies who already agree with the message Newsnight pumps out?

        • tpbeta

          I’m not upset. Just pointing out that you’re attacking a programme not meant for you. Just watch something else.

  • In2minds

    ” Newsnight……, if you still watch the programme”

    Still? Never have.

  • Liz

    I think you are nitpicking.

    And I’m sure she’ll get better with practise, just as all the youngsters on the Spectator will. I doubt Paxman was much good on his first night, and he hasn’t been for the last 300 odd.

    • LucieCabrol

      I doubt you would have said that if it was a white male presenter.

      • Liz

        Well white male presenters only have to be reasonably good and reasonably attractive so it doesn’t take much practise, though I’m sure Paxman will get better if he keeps plugging away at it.

        • LucieCabrol

          Girl, you let down the side with your lame playground nonsense

          • Liz

            I was under the impression that lame playground nonsense was a prerequisite for commenting on this blog. With a bit of the ol’ sexism thrown in.

            • LucieCabrol

              In this case I think the sexism belongs to the BBC…

              • Liz

                And also to Fraser, and to Rod Liddle and to their doe-eyed h*rny chauvenist following.

  • transponder

    I’m fit, I’m intelligent, I’m well-educated, I’m worldly, and people tell me they like my accent even if they can’t tell where in the world it belongs.

    Plus I’d love the money.

    May I apply for the vacancy that Ms Hakim clearly is?

    • Bonkim

      What are you waiting for? Those that put their foot forward first win the race.

      • transponder

        For starters, I live in Florida. Also, they’d slam the door in my face (I’m sure I don’t tick the right BBC boxes).

        • monty61

          I don’t know there is no shortage on the Beeb of gobby Yanks with a big opinion of their own importance..

          • transponder

            Well there you go! I have no ‘big opinion of [my] own importance’….

  • The Masked Marvel

    If someone who does not hold Liddle’s approved thoughts (we all know which ones) made the exact same comment – tame and accurate as his remarks are – his former BBC colleagues and their fellow travelers in the media would be screaming the usual epithets. Even with his personal political bona fides, the vaunted Mr. Liddle won’t “go there”. Presumably it’s not because she’s Australian.

    This is why no debate about the institutional bias at the BBC will ever effect the change the Corporation so desperately needs. Instead, we get moaning about the corporate culture, executive pay, and bullying from management, which could apply to any company with more than 10 employees, and ultimately has zero affect on the actual problems at the BBC. At least, one hopes, that this new hire can’t be taken as more proof that the BBC is controlled by Zionists, so there’s that.

    Never mind what this sad state of affairs tells us about the larger cultural implications.

    • Kennybhoy

      “This is why no debate about the institutional bias at the BBC will ever effect the change the Corporation so desperately needs.”

      Disnae need changing needs killing.

      Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!

      • The Masked Marvel

        Alternatively, they could simply sell off and privatise the entire News and Current Affairs divisions. If they’re all such bloody great world-class journalists, surely they’ll be able to get some wealthy investors with the “correct” political leanings to set them up. The only objection anyone ever seems to have to privatisation is that it would only help Murdoch in the end, and surely there’s plenty of money in the “correct” circles to support all those world-class journalists in their fight for truth and social justice, eh?

        Come to think of it, many of the BBC’s on-air talent seem to be wealthy enough themselves to get it started.

        • Cooper1992

          “Alternatively, they could simply sell off and privatise the entire News and Current Affairs divisions.”

          Sorry but why has nobody ever asked this question?

          I’m conservative minded, but I do love the BBC. I think the BBC is one of the anchors of Britain, one of our cultural pillars.

          When you look at the mess that is ITV and Channel 4, I wouldn’t want to see the BBC privatised.

          In particular the documentaries the BBC makes for BBC Four (especially the natural history ones) are without doubt the best in the world, bar none.

          But why must the BBC remit extend into news? It is virtually impossible to be impartial concerning the news. We have so many TV networks, radio stations, newspapers, and of course online newspapers and magazines giving us news – why should the BBC spend so much money giving us news 24/7?

          I say scrap the news and let’s have the BBC doing what it does best – programmes.

          • The Masked Marvel

            Why must the BBC remit extend into news? Originally because there was nothing else. Now it’s been a national institution for generations, and most people cannot imagine a world without it. However, the main reason against privatizing news given by BBC defenders these days is, essentially, “Rupert Murdoch! Rupert Murdoch! Waaagh!Waaagh!

          • JimHHalpert

            I have to disagree re the documentaries. The information density and the level at which it is pitched are so low as to drive one to distraction. The cinematography and CGI are outstanding, but the content is now aimed at a not overly bright 14-year-old.

            Compare a documentary from today with one from the 1980s and the difference is stark. Seriously – try it!

      • Kaine

        Max canem latinem!

        • pedestrianblogger

          I think “disnae” must be the genitive or dative (singular) case or nominative (plural) of the word “disna”, a hitherto undiscovered noun of the First Declension. I hope this is helpful.

      • peter the painter

        and the people who want to knife this ceasar the most are those that are closest to its heart.

  • Terry Field

    I give the BBC ten years; It will be broken up, partly closed down, some of the public funding redirected to new and commercial media entities.
    It reflects the decline of the UK. Stuffed; an echo-memory of what it was. A once great nation.

    • Cooper1992

      I completely disagree. The BBC is still great and is vital for Britain.

      The BBC’s documentaries, comedies, dramas, childrens programmes, cultural programmes, Radio 4, classical music concerts, natural history programmes – they are all top notch. The best the world has to offer. And no adverts!

      Look at ITV, look at Channel 4, look at Sky One. THEY ARE NOT IN THE SAME LEAGUE.

      I don’t like the BBC’s news coverage sometimes, but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.

      If the BBC gets privatised, it will morph into ITV.

      Views like yours prove that it might take a catastrophic, irreversible mistake for us all to realise just how good we had it.

      • The Masked Marvel

        You didn’t actually comprehend Terry F’s comment, did you? Instead, you reacted emotionally and leapt to the conclusion that he was calling for the entire Corporation to be shut down, when in fact that’s not what he said at all. Typical. The only thing you forgot was to shout, “Rupert Murdoch! Waaaagh!” Although you did manage an ALL CAPS scream about Sky One and ITV, so close enough.

      • PeteGabler

        Why should anyone be forced to pay a penny piece to that organisation – under threat of incarceration ?

      • Terry Field

        I was wrong. You are correct. It is a great national treasure BUT it generates enormous ill-will because, in its political coverage and news coverage it proselytises for the left and that is unacceptable in a national broadcaster.
        This weekend, I heard a mere journalist, a mere interviewer, – the obviously extremely partisan Andrew Marr – tell a serving and always polite Prime Minister to ‘shut up’ because he was ‘out of time’.
        Consider the mindset of the insanely arrogant and egotistical production and editorial team behind this and other rudenesses almost always directed to the government.
        Yet Balls, a brutish, ill-mannered nasty piece of work, is treated with polite respect by these people.
        There is great danger that when there is an unencumbered right-wing government it will use the excuse of changes in technology to argue that there is only a need for a much smaller BBC.
        That would be tragic. The requirement s/b to not antagonise people by shamelessly pushing lefty, statist pc thinking.
        One day, the other point of view will have its revenge. But it will wreck the entire corporation, not just reign in current affairs editorial policy.
        Politics is rapidly moving away from the left collectivist universal subsidy model. The BBC does not seem to be aware of this. Surprising since it is full of very bright folk.
        It is time the BBC stopped being the video presentation of the Guardian.

        • The Masked Marvel

          They are constitutionally unable to do so. Yet they still control the news agenda for the nation, with no end in sight.

          • Terry Field

            Possibly true; yet the reality holds that if this social management system is not dismantled, there will, one day, be a most severe and destructive reaction. The unremitting propaganda of the left is operating at the edge of the ‘envelope of toleration’. They should learn from history, now.

            • LucieCabrol

              It needs killing .

      • Grumpy

        I lived outside of the UK for nearly 40 years. We had NO and I mean NO BBC programmes. When domestic videotape became available, BBC programmes were passed hand-to-hand and were like gold. Then in the ’90s we got BBC News on satellite–it was first class compared to the American channels and truly impartial, but only about even with Sky.
        Then I came to the UK and realised that we had only been watching the 10% that was good stuff-90% of the BBC’s output is total garbage and the local broadcast news is outrageously partisan and biased. I then noticed that even the International news is absolute rubbish when it covers places that I am familiar with. Even correspondents based in the territory seem to know blow-all.

      • LucieCabrol

        Of course they are not in the same league, they don’t have a monster, indexed, tax payer funded inheritance….the whole shebang a funnel of free PR for the socialist way; the news, comedy and discussion shows, an unrelenting, unbalanced, campaign against conservative England….kill it dead.

    • peter the painter

      Its break-up value will make yet more petty oligarchs, Yentob et al

    • PeteGabler

      Knock down BBC TV centre (or Communist Party HQ to be more accurate) and build a monument to a brave British soldier named Lee…

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Cheap immigrant labour doing the jobs that Brits won’t do, or rubbing the right’s face in it? (chance would be a fine thing)

  • Robertus Maximus

    I would have thought readers of the Spectator would have better things to do than watch the Pravda-like Newsnight. Apparently not, but it’s never too late to mend your ways.

  • Shoe On Head

    it’s a tv programme ffs.

  • Jeff Milton

    Yalda, mmm! It’s probably sexist, but wtf, DING DONG!

  • sarahsmith232

    just had a little watch of the Green party interview. Wow, unbelievable, this girl had never heard of ‘the living wage’. She got the wording confused and called it a ‘minimum income’, then had to ask the woman to explain to her what the living wage actually was!!! Liddle, I was just as confused on the ‘European mindset’ thing as well, a person would need to just take a stab at understanding what on earth she was trying to go on about. Prob’ a million different ways, I prob’ should be worried, what sprang to my mind was an infinitely more cynical explanation than your one.
    My one ran – she keeps going on about Ukip and this mindset, she knows zero about society but prob’ thinks she knows a lot having read all about this ‘European mindset’ from afar, she’ll be a Muslim, so will not stop seeking out new ways to understand herself as the victim of the backward, Imperialist white. So this ‘mindset’ will mean – thick, stupid, backward, far-right Imperialist, angry about muslims like herself making their way onto the continent in large numbers, Europe has never moved on from the ’30s, they’re all backward fascists, mindset.
    Liddle luvie, how’ve I managed to surpass you on the miserably cynical front? No, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to try harder, i’m sure we all would expect better of you.
    Also, yep, am also left wondering – ok, so what we’ve got here is an absolutely clueless on all fronts girl getting a top job on the BBC but a really very pretty clueless on all fronts girl, so, who exactly is it that she’s s. ahem . ing then? Is that going to make it past the moderator?

    • Raw England

      Also, even Paxo himself – though at least English – was very out-of-touch with the people.

      This ‘Australian Afghan Muslim’ takes things to a level beyond disgusting.

      • Kennybhoy

        Christ wept but you are a peice of work…

        Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!

        • Raw England

          I love you too, Kenny xx

        • Frank

          I before E except after C, dear boy!!

          • Kennybhoy

            Ah wis angry! 🙂

    • monty61

      It’s a little bit unfair of the BBC to pitch this young lady in at this level. She has had a meteoric rise in Australia and given 4-5 years to learn the ropes – and the jargon – here in the UK she could indeed be the next Kirsty Wark.

      Bearing in mind she’s only been in Journalism since 2007 when she finished university, she still has a long way to go.

      You have to ask though if she wasn’t quite so good looking on camera whether doors would have opened in the same way.

      • Hoghton

        She has been in journalism for seven years, then, and has presented BBC World News; I thought she did OK, though perhaps a bit nervous; certainly not as badly as Rod Liddle made out; I found his piece quite unpleasant.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    Going by that photo, Rolf Harris has let himself go.

  • Raw England

    So I was right.

    Non-Whites are unwelcomingly taking over Newsnight. They already have channel 4, with the sneering, massively-biased Krishna Guru Murphy and the immigrant editors, political editors, correspondents and staff pickers he’s implemented there. The immigrants have most of the BBC as well.

    This system needs to FALL.

    RE India, I am very happy that the anti-Muslim Indian Nationalists have come to power. Did you see the huge number of people that voted? That’s what happens when the majority of the native people actually vote: NATIONALISM comes to power. Because the native people are naturally Nationalist.

    • transponder

      Yalda, despite the name, looks quite ‘white’ to me.

      • Hoghton

        So what?

        • transponder

          She fulfills Western standards of beauty and if you told me she was from Wales, I’d believe you. It’s an observation. Observations, I find, are useful for thinking about life and everything in it.

          • Hoghton

            Yes, but why this particular observation? I’m just curious.

            • transponder

              It’s obvious from what I’ve already said. Put your brain on and maybe you’ll twig like all the rest of the class!

              • Hoghton

                Transponder, there is absolutely no need to be offensive.

                • transponder

                  I agree — which is why I never am.

  • http://Firebird.com JunkkMale

    ” bad on a whole new level of badness.”

    ****

    Ah, so bad across the board then? Phew, i was a bit confused myself by that headline. Did get me here though.

    Seems like the Newsnight slipway is still launching vessel after vessel designed by Captn. Katz, but as soon as they hit the water they simply continue the journey straight to the bottom.


    “of a supporter of the triumphant Indian politician Narendra Modi, who, of course, Newsnight REALLY loathes”

    Not really an objective medium’s post to stray into such sentiments, is it? Now he has packed the place with acolytes and like-minded fellows, maybe the next plan is to take the roadshow off to the public as an actual political party?

    That may run aground slightly (continuing the nautical metaphors) once out of the safe harbour (staying with them) of BBC uniqueness and lack of accountability. It may also founder if actually exposed to public approval via that silly choice and voting thing the BBC so ruthlessly tries to ensure it never gets exposed to itself.

  • TRAV1S

    Easy on the eye, but when she opens her mouth sounds like Cathy Lette, urghhh.

    • transponder

      Lots of women are ‘easy on the eye’. Some are lawyers, some are architects, some are even actresses. Do they have to be BBC news anchors?

    • Hoghton

      She doesn’t sound a bit like Kathy Lette; or do you simply mean that she has an Australian accent?

  • tpbeta

    Paxman hasn’t left yet. When he does he won’t be replaced by Ms Hakim, irrespective of her qualities. They often try out summer presenters this time of year.

  • Chingford Man

    I came across Andrew Neil when I was a student exactly 20 years ago and found him a rude and unpleasant individual. (If you’re reading this, Brillo, it was the morning of John Smith’s death and you were in Inverness.) Having said that, he’s a proper heavyweight, the best interviewer the BBC has got and is not locked in the tedious left wing mindset of most of his BBC colleagues.

    I think I caught a report by Ms Kasem when she went to Romania for a piece on the Roma. I remember thinking it ignored what seemed to me to be the obvious question: was part of the reason for the Roma’s undoubted plight their own social behaviour.

    Newsnight is bust without Paxo.

    • DougS

      Got to agree with you about Brillo Chingford’ – he’s not just the best that the (generally) unspeakable BBC has to offer, he’s the only serious top-flight intervewer. He doesn’t tow the BBC/Guardian/PC line – but he’s too valuable to let go.

      The politics shows without him are barely worth watching!

      • channel.fog

        ‘He doesn’t tow the BBC/Guardian/PC line…’

        It’s ‘toe’. George Orwell was pointing out that the ignorant wrote ‘tow’ 70 years ago. Looks like he was wasting his time.

        • Airey Belvoir

          See also ‘reigning in’ for ‘reining in’, and the sad fact that not a single journalist or political commentator has actually understood the Canute legend.

        • DougS

          OK foggy, I got it wrong – hands in the air, I deserve to be dragged out and shot at dawn.

          By the way, did Orwell spell it ‘tow’ or ‘two’ like you did at your first attempt….before you corrected your mistake!

          And wasn’t it Orwell who said “beware of pedantic twonks that trawl the blogs looking for mistakes to correct in order to demonstrate their supposed intellectual superiority”? Or was that Bill Gates? i’m knot shure witch!

          • David Prentice

            Now, now, laydeez.

        • DougS

          OK foggy, I got it wrong – hands in the air, I deserve to be dragged out and shot at dawn.

          By the way, did Orwell spell it ‘tow’ or ‘two’ like you did at your first attempt….before you corrected your mistake!

          And wasn’t it Orwell who said “beware of pedantic twonks that trawl the blogs looking for mistakes to correct in order to demonstrate their supposed intellectual superiority”? Or was that Bill Gates? i’m knot shure witch!

      • Cornelius Bonkers

        Of course he tows the G-line. get your thinking cap on – please! And yes he is worth watching but where’s the competition? If you can’t get one over on Sadiq Khan and his like with all those researchers and flunkies at your command then I would want to know why…

    • Kitty MLB

      Maybe English people don’t quite understand his acerbic
      Scottish characteristics. Or maybe as you say he’s just
      unpleasant. But by far superior then all the others.
      Especially the smug Jon Snow, although Adam Boulton
      is not too bad and less aggressive then the others.

      • Chingford Man

        Oh no, Kitty, his unpleasantness to me had nothing to do with Scottishness. I was a student at the time; a very good friend was trying to break into journalism and I thought I would try and put in a word for him with the then editor of The Sunday Times. Brillo’s rudeness to me was just appalling. Maybe it was a status thing: people like him probably feel no need to be polite unless there is some personal gain available.

        But I remember meeting Enoch Powell when I was even younger and Enoch’s manners were impeccable.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Yeah, but Enoch was English Neil is a Scot. Though deeo down they are often cuddly, they think rudeness shows they are real men. In fact more Scots are ay as a percentage of the population than any other nation. And why not!

          • ajibee

            Away with your unfounded generalisations and smears. And your made up ‘stats’ fail to take account of the proclivities of much of the middle-east ya southern ponce! (That last bit’s just to confirm your prejudice!).

            On a related note, I had occasion to ask for Andrew Neil’s help when I was a student – he was pleasant and helpful to me, and put me in touch with one of his colleagues who was of great help.

            That aside, AN is a top interviewer impressively on top of his brief every time – am so looking forward to Dame David Dimbleby making way for Andrew Neil to bring his nous to the General Election coverage – Dame David can’t go on forever, surely?

            • Fergus Pickering

              My dear fellow, I am Scotish. You can’ blame the haming Southern English for me.

              • transponder

                Scotish with one T? That explains everything.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Scotch is what I should have said of course.

                • transponder

                  Talisker at 12, mmmmmm…

                • Kitty MLB

                  It should remain Scotish.With a dash of Fergus humour added
                  to the Scotch & given to the Scots. Mind you G K Chesterton
                  was trying to stop Scots hugging bottles when he said, drink
                  because your happy but never because your miserable.
                  But I think he would approve of the little dash of Fergus humour in the Scotch…might even give some woebegone types a touch of je ne sais quoi .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  The greatest of all Scotchmen is John Barlycorn

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh very good. You are in fine fettle today, John Barleycorn ?
                  I nearly struggled to keep up. Its barley wine and corn whisky.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh sorry Fergus. There is a lovely thatched pub in the new forest called the Sir John Barleycorn, maybe you meant that.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
                  Of noble enterprise;
                  For if you do but taste his blood,
                  ‘Twill make your courage rise.

                  ‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
                  ‘Twill heighten all his joy;
                  ‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
                  Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

                  Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
                  Each man a glass in hand;
                  And may his great posterity
                  Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

                • Kitty MLB

                  John Barleycorn is a ballad ? O splendid stuff. I do love, love
                  ballads so very much. I have just remembered that a friend wrote one for me once. It was not right, but as soon as I found out the words took weeks to write, they became perfect
                  in my eyes.
                  Thank you Fergus, I enjoyed reading that.

        • channel.fog

          ‘… a very good friend was trying to break into journalism and I thought I would try and put in a word for him with the then editor of The Sunday Times. Brillo’s rudeness to me was just appalling.’

          Perhaps he – rightly – resented a freeloader trying to wangle his mate a job. Neil is an actual meritocrat you know.

          • Chingford Man

            I didn’t get a chance to mention it actually. Maybe you shouldn’t comment on an incident when you weren’t actually there.

            • channel.fog

              He’s used to it – he recognised the look on your face.

            • transponder

              He commented on the information you provided. Fair enough, I think.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Jon Snow’s father was a bishop. Snow thinks he should also be a bishop without any of that tedious God stuff. How I want to kick his bottom.

        • Kitty MLB

          He wallows in pomposity. We could transcendentally kick
          his bottom, you one cheek and I the other. Didn’t know his
          father was a bishop. Explains a lot actually, children of the clergy do think they have free brownie points from the almighty.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Boulton? Less agressive? Not when he’s around Alistair Campbell or Gordon Brown he’s not!

    • jazz606

      If Andrew Neil is the best the BBC has to offer, then they are really in trouble.
      My guess is that they don’t have anyone brave enough to fire him.

      • ajibee

        Well take your custom elsewhere then. Oh wait, because of the unique way the Biased Broadcasting Corporation is funded you can’t! Think how that makes the rest of us feel with all the lefty ‘progressive’ Guardianista bilge the BBC pumps out!

    • Cornelius Bonkers

      Mmmm! OK on the “heavyweight” bit; and he’s well briefed and rude enough to be effective. But surely he IS locked in the BBC “mindset” why was he so rude and unreasonable to Tommy Robinson and the various UKIPers on The Daily Politics. And for Christ sake he’s pals with that stupid idiot DABOTT. As for Ms Kasan, well buff – yes! I’d like to see her again…but a susbstitute for the Paxman (who is also a leftie luvvie I promise you) I don’t think so

  • startledcod

    Yalda Kasem’s presentational style is copied straight from the trainee weather presenter on a lunchtime regional broadcast playbook; the odd hand movements accompanying random conjunctions and the emphasising words just for the sake of emphasising them but with no communicative aim. I know Paxo’s Russell Brand interview was a car crash and his Paul Flowers interview was like a counselling session but if this is the future for Newsnight, we’re all doomed.

    • Wessex Man

      No we’re not, I gave up on this flabby out of date farce years ago and please don’t paint Paxo as some sort of noble presenter, his sell by date came and went years ago!

      Let it fade away along with all things BBC!

      • alabenn

        That people still think Paxo is a decent talking head supervisor, reflects on how dire all of television reporting and presenting has become

      • Kennybhoy

        “Let it fade away…”

        Nope. Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!

    • Hoghton

      Why the assumption that Yalda Hakim is a replacement for Paxman? I can find no evidence for this.

      • ajibee

        Indeed – hopefully she was a try out, never to be seen again on NN! Same goes for the execrable VD, aka Victoria Derbyshire.

        • Hoghton

          Sorry, but I’ve already posted that I did not think she was bad; and why do you call Victoria Derbyshire VD? Is that some kind of joke? If so, it’s an unpleasant one.

  • Ooh!MePurse!

    It was dreadful. There are many competent females who could take on Newsnight with ease.

    • startledcod

      Surely it’s possible, with the advances of science, to clone Andrew Neil.

    • john king

      Ah, but with the BBC competence has no part in the positive discrimination mind-set of committed Marxists..

      • peter the painter

        They haven’t the conviction to be committed marxists.

      • Egal

        Actually if you properly research Marxism you would find it is against positive discrimination.

        • john king

          Are you really saying that a Marxist advertising a job would not favour a fellow Marxist? That’s positive discrimination is it not?

          • Egal

            No, that’s just good old fashioned regular discrimination based on personal feelings that virtually anyone is capable of. Positive discrimination is having an official system in place designed to give so called ‘under-represented demographics’ better representation, which is what people are accusing Newsnight of doing. Positive discrimination for women or ethnic minorities or anyone is not approved of in Marxism because it is an ideology obsessed with equality and so is repelled by anyone being given an advantage over anyone else for any reason. Anyone on the left who advocates positive discrimination cannot call themselves a true Marxist.

  • anyfool

    , I can think of one, but let’s not go there.
    Come on lets, I have to pay tax to fund this travesty, ticking PC boxes at the expense of the majority is nothing short of ludicrous, whatever next, channels for comedy without a comedian in sight, channels for rewriting history and facts, all employees having to toe the multicultural line as long as it conforms with edicts from the EU.
    Bit late for all that, enquiring why this women was appointed to the flagship news programme would be the easiest part of this beast to unravel.

    • GeeBee36_6

      Are we allowed to mention the Dark Enlightenment here? The Speccie has traditionally been a magazine of faith; often enough one rooting for Rome. One might thus expect it to maintain a hearty antipathy to Progressivism and all its works. So many traditionally conservative organs have followed their ‘conservative’ politicians into the black hole of Progressivism, and the fact that contemporary Speccie readers are apparently still expected to consult such oracles as Newsnight, in order to be apprised of current affairs, bodes ill for its resistance to the Progressive mission.

      Newsnight is a flagship programme of the BBC – one of the key underpinning entities of ‘the Cathedral’. Paxman or no Paxman, how on earth is anyone intelligent enough to read the Spectator naive enough to expect any objective, never mind enlightening news coverage from the BBC? That it jhas appointed his successor from the ranks of British muslims was nigh on inevitable. A muslim woman, seen to be ’emancipated’ and ‘educated’ forms a formidable propoganda weapon against those who tediously (from the Cathedral’s perspective) insist on pointing out the reality of Islam and its attitudes both to women and education. ‘But look, this woman is both muslim and yet liberated and educated: don’t you see how misguided your racist, xenophobic, Little Englander UKIP opinions are?’

      Well of course. How else would the BBC roll when Farage is set to give Liblabcon a kick in the fundament? But watching Newsnight? Please have a word with yourselves.

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