GB News Review

GB News 5th August 2021


Malcolm Rifkin (Conservative)
David Edgar (Rangers fan)
Andrew Doyle (Commentator)
Peter Rolton (Britishvolt)

Venue: Andrew Neil with Colin Brazier

On last week’s GB News Brazier and Muroki review, Tom Harwood stood in for the missing Colin Brazier. We speculated the ‘husband’ of the presenting team was on holiday. How wrong we were. In fact, Colin covers for the absent Andrew Neil, who really is on holiday, convalescing in his villa in the parfum region of Southern France after GB New’s tetchy, difficult to see and difficult to hear start-up.

Still called the Andrew Neil Show the proprietor’s vehicle runs from 8 pm to 9 pm nightly after the popular 7 pm to 8 pm Nigel Farage Show.

During the week, The Spectator’s Tim Stanley informed us that in his time slot Farage is not only attracting a higher audience than dire Sky News but also the slick but fake BBC News 24. All the more impressive as at this time the anti-British Broadcasting Corporation shows Ros Atkins’ well regarded (by Communists) magazine programme ‘Outside Source’. While riffing on Andrew Neil’s organ, Tim had a suggestion for the early afternoon Halligan and (glorious Gloria) DePerio how, reviewed by GB News Review here.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Gloria’s recent attire has been variously described as two scoops of banana ice cream trying to jam into a cone, two Midland maroon streamliners thundering out of a tunnel, and two suns rising above a horizon in a distant solar system.

Despite this, H&G famously receives a zero, too small to measure, rating. Tim suggests putting on a decent film in the afternoon instead. Something that will appeal to the GB News demographic, perhaps a run of John Mill’s films? Or, your humble reviewer dares to suggest, anything involving pith helmets, Zulus or killing Germans. If the plot demands a glowing twenty-year-old Sylvia Syms unpeels from a nurse’s uniform in acts three and four, so much the better.

At the other end of the ratings spectrum, like him or loathe him, Farage is superb at ‘this kind of thing’. His programme is segmented, with the first section being his topical monologue. Elsewhere, in What The Farage Nigel gets all annoyed about the likes of top bananas at the Border Force awarding themselves a pay rise or the RNLI being misused to escort illegal immigrants across the channel. An interview follows. If Andrew Neil was wanting something deadly serious a la Bloomberg TV, tell him to hide behind the canapé now. One evening it was Jim Davidson.

In Talking Pints (talking points, get it?) the Union Jack emblazoned video wall behind the former Ukip MEP switches to shelves of exotic looking spirits lit in red, like the watered-down concoctions at the posh end of Cowboy Soi. Whatever that means.

Stanley Johnson and Vince Cable, ordinarily soaked in formaldehyde, were happy to partake in pints of beer. Monty Panasaer preferred orange juice.

They say you should never meet your heroes. Likewise, you should never watch them enjoying their favourite drink. Colonel Bob Stewart had lager and lime.

Col Bob can hold Beckenham for the Conservatives, can hold an SA80 on the battlefield and can hold a DSO for the cameras after being awarded by Her Majesty, but struggles to hold his lager and lime. Suffice it to say, his expletive-laden contribution can’t be repeated in a family review column, the air having turned bluer than Peter Tatchell’s Deep Blue Sea-Martini Chi-Chi Fruity with a slice of blueberry on top.

On Tuesday’s Talking Pints, the interesting but useless Tory MP for Haltemprice and Howden (Outer West Hull to you and me) and former Brexit Secretary David Davis needed a brandy.

After the back-slapping, Farage and Davis toured the country on behalf of Leave during the Brexit campaign, Davis made an important point. Farage mentioned Davis’s background in business and the TA. A biography covered by QT Review which can be viewed here.

Over his balloon glass, his tongue loosened by a fine Armagnac, Davis made an important point. These days, the House of Commons is full of careerists. Although these weren’t his exact words, they approximated to PPE sorts who’ve never had a real job (with which Question Time was packed) who become special advisors, policy types and who enter parliament in a safe seat not having done anything.

Davies made another important point. The legislative process isn’t as it used to be. Bills arrive gift wrapped with little room for debate. All are guillotined and speeches from the benches are only a couple of minutes long. Members are chosen as a box-ticking exercise rather than because they have any experience on the subject. He has a point. I’m sure I’m not the only Puffin who can recall the spine-tingling contribution Brigadier The Right Honourable John Enoch Powell MBE gave during the Falklands debate. Will Dawn Butler’s two-minute contribution to the Preferred Pronoun While Taking The Knee Amendment be recalled four decades hence? I doubt it.

In deference to last week’s slight of Colin Brazier, this week we shall review Andrew Neil, with Colin Brazier.

The host was born in Bradford in 1968 and was a teenager during the Yorkshire Ripper’s reign of terror in and around Bradford in the 1980s. He also grew up only a mile away from the home of Donald Neilson, an armed robber, kidnapper and serial murderer known as the Black Panther.

As a young man, Colin was present at Bradford City’s Valley Parade football ground when a fire killed fire 56.

Not his real name, Mr Brazier was called by his mother’s maiden name, Eshelley, until leaving university after graduating in English Literature at Cardiff. Thence he trained as a journalist at Darlington’s Northern Echo and the Leeds based Yorkshire Post. After working at the Observer, he began a life sentence at Sky News.

His award-winning career has involved being in Iraq during the coalition invasion of 2003 and in South Lebanon in 2006. In 2009, he interviewed Colonel Gadaffi. Within 18 months Gadaffi was dead.

Colin does appear to be a bit of a jinx.

In a New Statesman article regarding the Gadaffi interview, the journalist tells of being ushered into the library of the Libyan despot’s compound whereupon the Colonel appeared, Cludeo style, from behind a sliding bookcase. A precursor to coup d’etat, in the desert, with a scaffolding pole up the bum.

A devout Roman Catholic and father of six, Colin writes a serious weekly column for the Catholic Herald. Unfortunately, Canon Law covering this repentant sinner’s four free monthly articles at the Pope’s organ turned out to be complex and resulted in me using up all my freely given grace while looking for something to read. A message there.

Although it would be cruel to review children (this week, out-sized Comrade Diane and her public school-educated son. Where did it all go wrong?), Colin’s large brood appears to be a credit to their father and late mother. The Brazier juniors being involved in the likes of Army Officer Training Corps, volunteering at Lourdes and going to Cambridge.

In 2021 Colin Brazier left Sky News after 24 years, his life sentence having been commuted to covering for Andrew Neil in the gloom at GB News.

Tonight’s first section was about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Colin had been there via a Jeep from Tajikistan and surprise, surprise, taking his good luck with him, recalled the place a failed state. The second time he’d gone it had improved and Bagram Airbase was all burgers and fries. With the Taliban’s recent advances, he suspected next time girls won’t be allowed to go to school and kite flying will have been banned.

But Colin had a solution. We can and should act alone. Britain should remain there unilaterally, unhindered by being part of a now absent coalition. It’s easier to hold ground than to fight your way back in.

Our presence up to now has already cost more than 400 British lives. We have spent $22 billion. The reasons we must leave are Colin’s reasons for staying. He will pay for this out of the foreign aid budget.

The other side of the argument was presented by former Tory Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkin, who pointed out the loss of life and expense across the last 20 years hadn’t defeated the Taliban. But he was surprised the Americans had removed their airpower and suspected there was an ‘over the horizon’ strategy of bombing the Afghans from long-distance if needs be.

Colin pointed out that Afghanistan would become a playground for people who hate us and plot against us and anticipated a tide of refugees.

Nation-building social change, replied Rifkin, takes a longer period of time. Our influence on India lasted 200 years. Through a sovereign presence, we established democracy, law and education there. Such a thing is impossible in the graveyard for foreign armies that is Afghanistan.

The next segment was about electric vehicles. Allegra Stratton, a spokesman for environmental conference COP26, drives a diesel and complains that EV’s don’t have the range that she requires. Peter Rolton from Britishvolt, the company that will build Britain’s first battery giga factory in Northumberland, was on hand to contradict her and any other EV non-fanatics.

Solid-state would give EVs a range of 500-600 miles. Child labour in Congolese mines and a finite supply of rare earth metal battery ingredients, such as cobalt, could be solved by waving his magic wand. He waved it a bit harder and replaced cobalt with ‘something else’. However, he did concede the charging network, including the entire national grid, couldn’t cope with the demand from compulsory electric vehicles but declared this the Government’s problem, not the EV industry’s.

He also described a ‘static battery’ that could store excess wind farm generation. Peter, there is no excess. We import electricity 24/7 no matter how windy it is. At the time of writing (9:30 pm), according to the Grid Watch Templar, demand is mid-summer warm weather nighttime low. Even so, the wind farms are producing 37% of our electricity, not 100% plus. We are importing electricity. A coal-fired power station is online.

In the Media Watch section, we returned to the Euro 2020 penalty missers. Now that there has been time for analysis, there have been eleven arrests for social media racial abuse of players, relating to 34 tweets. As every Puffin knows, there was not an epidemic of racism after the final. The issue has been over-cooked. As ever, the race card has done a lap of the world while the facts are still taking the knee.

Staying with football. Have the SNP got it in for Rangers? Given the SNP were founded by Hitler Youth fellow traveller Arthur Donaldson and self-confessed fascist Andrew Dewar Gibb, maybe the Ibrox club are too snowflake for the Nats?

Rangers fan Mr David Edgar spoke via a video link and put on a very poor show. If he’d been broadcasting from Hampden in the sun it would have been another 7-1. Drably dressed, with no sign of a football jersey, and a backdrop of CD shelves, family photos and tacky ornaments, David hadn’t even bothered to take the laptop into his King Billy room. Does nobody at GB News have Mr Mason Boyne on speed-dial?

David claimed the Rangers were the best-supported club in Scotland. One hesitates before tiptoeing into the bear pit (*Hugh McIlvanney voice* Teddy bear pit, surely?) but during the last season in which crowds were allowed, the Hoops average home attendance was 57,944 and the blue half of Glasgow’s, 49,237.

It took the host to say something sensible. Nichola Sturgeon had complained about the Ranger’s fans celebration in Glasgow’s George Square following their recent championship win but had not complained of Scotland fans celebrating after their historic 0-0 victory against the English in the Euro’s.

The video link froze, making Mr Edgar as stiff as Scot Nisbet and as incomprehensible as Rab Nesbitt.

Still on the issue of Scotland, focus turned to the education system north of the border. Once the envy of the world, now it slips far down the global league tables. Nichola Sturgeon had been included in a curriculum list of Scottish heroes, up there with Burns and Fleming. There is an insistence that teachers are committed to social justice, diversity and sustainability.

Andrew Doyle, a commentator and former teacher spoke. Social justice sounds cosy but is a Trojan horse for identity politics and woke. It includes a commitment to de-colonising the curriculum and critical race theory. Teacher training colleges are nutty, the teaching unions nuttier still. Even the layout of desks in the classroom has been called racist. Teachers have become activists, not teachers.

All of which segued seamlessly into Woke Watch. Although statues in Liverpool haven’t been thrown into the Mersey, they have been decorated. Gladstone has been covered in a Pan-African flag. Queen Victoria wears a cotton shawl. Disraeli, latterly the Earl of Beaconsfield, has been dressed as if a closeted homosexual. You may call me a little old fashioned, but without the aid of an accompanying photograph and caption, your humble author was uncertain as to what a closeted homosexual might look like. Google called. Well, I least I now know what to look out for.

What GB News didn’t tell the viewer is that this tosh is sponsored by Sky Arts who should know better.

Andrew pointed out this was appeasing the type of mob that had toppled Coulson in Bristol. He wished the BLM types would do something more interesting artistically. This was boring and banal.

“Hear, hear,” came a voice from the closet.

© Always Worth Saying 2021

The Goodnight Vienna Audio file