Notes on Krishnan Guru-Murthy interview

[Image description: Krishnan laughing when James O’Brien asks him why Robert Downey Jr called him a ‘Syphilitic Parasite’]

This blog is my notes while watching the James O’Brien Unfiltered interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. It’s not a full coverage of all the interview.


As BBC presenter he found it hard to abide by the rules that he wasn’t allowed to express his own opinions. He still finds it hard but cherishes the ideal of an impartial media. His early interview of Jimmy Savile became prescient because kids in the audience reacted badly to Savile.

Aged 24 he wanted to get serious as foreign affairs and politics journo. He applied for a job at half his salary in order to get in. It took 3 years to come good. He moved from BBC to Channel 4. BBC was bureaucratic beast. There are 4 or 5 top jobs in his field and everyone wants them.

Journalist pooling system needs to be stopped where broadcasters agree for one camera and everyone gets access. There is little accountability because of this and because politician now know they can just refuse to give interviews. Andrew Marr has a brilliant mind, but.

K G-M got called out at the BBC for “duffing up” a cabinet minister; they said the Minister wouldn’t come back if the questions were too hard. Ministers now just do rubbish on SkyNews.

I feel foolish that we were surprised by Brexit despite me predicting it earlier.

Cherishes regulated media and the need for it. We need to serve everybody. It’s not my job to change opinions. We need to have trust in the media. In UK our TV is legally required to be impartial. But impartiality doesn’t mean equal time for wrong views. eg on climate change and race. Coverage should reflect how people voted before and where opinion is now.

Corbyn lost his temper in the 2015 Hamas Hezbollah interview.

K G-M has the idea of “Good TV” in his head. ie a stoush. Thinks most people are good and not vicious.

Likes to do docos every now and then for 2 or 3 weeks and not worry about daily grind of news.

Has thought about going into politics but “I just don’t see a tribe.” And there is no point in going into politics unless you can wield decision making power.

Quentin Tarantino got angry when asked if there was a link between movie violence and real world violence. Q didn’t want to have that discussion. Tarantino saw it as a chance to spruik the film. The interview went viral.

Actor Robert Downey Jr “just expected a junket interview with people blowing smoke up his arse.” Downey got a different interview to what he expected and he got up and walked out. Later Downey said K G-M was a ‘Syphilitic Parasite’

The Richard Ayoade interview was a joke interview about a joke book which lots of people didn’t get. Richard had asked for K G-M to interview him, knowing he’d be the perfect straight man for the joke.


The Myth of Scarcity

[Image description: fresh yummy cupcake in its baking paper]

The Myth of Scarcity is the biggest problem of human history. It leads to war, poverty and economic policies made for the rich. This myth is the first thing that most economic textbooks teach about the functioning of markets. In an astounding reversal of his whole economic belief system Alan Greenspan, the former  Chair of the United States Federal Reserve Board, admitted this. If he can admit it, we can all admit it.

The Myth of Scarcity is the belief that there is not enough food or money or resources for everyone to share. It’s a powerful myth because it taps into deep fears in some human brains. It’s a belief so strong that many people accept it as fact. It’s so powerful that it can make people vote against their own interests. Other people know it’s false; but they use the Myth to get rich or push their own political or warlike agendas.

The Myth of Scarcity surrounds us – we can’t afford better wages because businesses will go bust, we can’t afford to pay teachers more because the government doesn’t have enough money, we can’t afford the best medical care, because because because. The Myth of Scarcity is a great example of the logical error of the false dichotomy.

The fact is that we live in an incredibly rich world. Even in “famine” there is usually plenty to share. The so-called Irish Potato Famine from my own family history is an example. 1% of people control 46% of world wealth and about $18.5 trillion of this is in tax havens.

Many of us know this sort of stuff, but it’s still easy to fall for the Myth of Scarcity because our brains are wired to worry about scarcity.

If you’re interested to know how I came to understand the power of the Myth of Scarcity, here’s my story.

#helmetdeniers on twitter

ICE-Dot_Crash-Sensor-shock detector in bicycle helmet to signal when a crash has occurred.jpg

[image description: ICE Dot shock detector in bicycle helmet shows when crash has occurred]

Here is a list of #helmetdenier twitter accounts which deny the science that Mandatory Helmet Legislation (MHL) is effective.

I couldn’t decide how to rank these 42 accounts. Thank goodness they are only a few. Ranking choices were:

1 clickbait lazy journalists who couldn’t be bothered about science (Naomi Oreskes definition of science). These are usually employed by the Murdoch press.

2. journalists who don’t understand science despite it being explained

3. cycling organisations taken over by people who don’t understand science or get their views from the Murdoch press and its ilk

4. emotional individuals who go along for the ride (see what I did there?) thinking they are in a happy majority

5. abusive individuals who function as trolls. I’ve only blocked one of this list despite my reluctance to block. There comes a point when “debate” is ineffective.

In the end I decided an alphabetical list was quick. If you’re on this list by mistake or you’ve changed your mind in the light of new evidence, as all good scientists should be capable of, let me know.



Viv’s Fruit Cake Recipe

fruit cake.jpg

Viv’s Fruit Cake Recipe¬† (no sugar, no butter, no eggs)

500 grams mixed dried fruit
250 grams mashed pumpkin
225 grams (2 cups) self-raising flour
250 ml apple or apricot juice
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate

1. Boil fruit in juice. Simmer for 3 minutes
2. Cool in a bowl
3. Stir in all other ingredients
4. Bake 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes in a well-greased tin

An economist against borders/passports

earth in child man hands.png

John Maynard Keynes described the world before 1914 (my emphasis):

“The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend.

He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate WITHOUT PASSPORT OR OTHER FORMALITY, could despatch his servant to the neighboring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference.

But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as NORMAL, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable.

The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalization of which was nearly complete in practice.”

Deaf defamation

I love you Deaf sign

[image description: photo of human left hand doing Sign Language sign for “I Love You”. The palm is towards viewer with thumb, index finger and pinkie extended while the middle and ring fingers are folded down onto the palm.]

Many Deaf organisations in NZ are controlled by hearing people. Deaf people want to take control. Deaf people complain about the hearing people who control their organisations. Deaf people say they want a Gallaudet Revolution.

Then the organisations send threatening legal letters to Deaf people. This has happened many many times in NZ. The legal letters accuse the Deaf person of defamation. Nine times out of ten this accusation is rubbish. The hearies, and sometimes their deaf allies, are just bullies. The hearies like their fat salaries and keep them secret. The hearies don’t want to give up control like they should. So they threaten Deaf people to frighten them and make them shut up.

So here is some information about defamation law in NZ. It should be translated into NZSL and I hope to post a translation. Who wants to help?


Simple guide to the NZ Defamation Act 1992 for the NZ Deaf Community

This is not legal advice.

(possible NZSL signs for defamation = spreading lies? slander? libel? untruthful gossip?)

Defamation is a lie that might harm a person’s reputation. A lie about a business or a company is not usually defamation.

The lie can be direct or it can use jokes or sarcasm to imply something. The lie or implication is used to harm someone’s reputation.

NZ values debate and freedom of speech. So, if you are telling the truth, that’s fine. But you must be able to prove it’s true. It’s up to you to prove it if someone takes you to court.

You can give your “honest opinion” which may not be a fact. Here is an example of the difference between fact and opinion:
1. The chef put dog food in my meal.
2. The meal tasted like dog food.
The first is defamation, if you can’t prove it. The second is your honest opinion.

Section 18 of the NZ Defamation Act 1992 talks about “public interest”. The Act allows more expression of opinion about things of public interest. For example, discussing politics, the affairs of the Deaf community or the affairs of a charity.

Newspapers are usually careful to stick to the truth. Newspapers often get their lawyers to check articles before publishing. If a newspaper sticks to the truth and if it publishes your honest opinion, that is fine and you should have nothing to fear.

Powerful members of society sometimes threaten to take people to court for defamation. They get their lawyers to write threatening legal letters.

Often the powerful people do this to shut people up. This can be frightening, but if you follow this guide, you should be fine.

World Health Organisation is dangerous for Deaf people


(image description: painting by Nancy Rourke: 5 stylised children sitting in a classroom with hands chained and blindfolded)

First we need to understand audist/audism.

Audism is prejudiced beliefs about Deaf people. For example:

. that hearing people are superior to Deaf people;

. Deaf people should be pitied for having futile and miserable lives;

. not assisting with communication (you’d help a blind person cross the road wouldn’t you? So have a bit of patience communicating.)

. assuming Deaf people can’t do things like drive or get an education or become professionals in their chosen field

. believing Deaf people should become like hearing people as far as possible; and,

. shunning of Sign Languages.

In September 2018 an outrageous audist Call for Paper was published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) (pdf: Bulletin of the World Health OrganizationSeptember2018-18-221697).

The Call for Papers by Dr Shelly Chadha who leads the WHO Programme for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss, wrongly claimed: “Hearing is important for achieving a good quality of life.” This is clearly absurd and incredibly offensive.

Shelly is an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor with a PhD in public health. She then wrote: “hearing loss is associated with delayed cognitive development in children“. Well yes it is. BUT and it’s a huge BUT, the cause, as Shelly should know is language deprivation because Deaf kids are not given Sign Language. The cause is not due to deafness or difficulty hearing.

By not mentioning this incredibly important fact, Shelly is contributing to the audist abuse of Deaf children’s rights to Sign Language. One third of children, even on a Cochlear Implant Program, do not develop proper language.

Shelly and the WHO should apologise and amend this Call for Papers.


Update 5 Sep 2018: I emailed Shelly on 2 Sept about this saying:

Dr Shelly Chadha
WHO programme for prevention of deafness and hearing loss
I saw your Call for Papers on hearing loss and was disgusted by your ignorant and destructive audism. Have you never heard of Sign Language? Do you not know that 1/3 of kids on a Cochlear Implant Program end up without any proper language? I suggest you amend your Call for Papers.
People like you enable the continued abuse of the rights of Deaf children to a language.
And here’s some info for you:
Yours in livid outrage
Kevin McCready
I also copied the email to Karen Reyes whose name was also on the Call for Papers saying:
I see you name is also on this Call for Papers, Karen. Very disappointed. Please tell me what steps WHO will take to eliminate Audism.
I got a joint reply 5 Sep saying:


Dear Mr Kevin McReady,

Thanks for reaching out to us. At WHO we value your opinion and take it seriously. It is unfortunate that this publication has led to such confusion.

In WHO, we envision a world in which no person experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes and those with hearing loss can achieve their full potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment. This includes sign language.

We appreciate your feedback  and request for submission of papers that highlight the need and effectiveness of sign language.

Best regards

Shelly and Karen


I emailed back saying:

Thanks guys
Will you be publishing and apology to the Deaf community and an amended Call for Papers?
BTW, you’ve misspelt my family name.
I then got an immediate response which didn’t answer the question:

Dear Kevin McCready

Apologies again for having mis-spelt your name.