April 2024

Here’s the truth behind the manufactured media outrage against Johnson and Gove

(Tuesday/Wednesday blog)

I’m no fan of bumbling Boris Johnson. Or of backstabbing Michael Gove. But I’ve been outraged over the hypocrisy, lies and media-manufactured outrage over Johnson’s and Gove’s comments about the British/Iranian woman currently locked up in an Iranian prison. So, I thought it worthwhile using today’s blog to give my few readers the true facts about the story – facts they’ll never hear from the BBC and Channel 4 lynch mob being set against Boris Johnson and now Michael Gove

Fact 1 – Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an Iranian

We’re repeatedly told by the howling media that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British citizen and therefore deserves the protection of the Foreign Office. In fact, she has dual nationality and probably travelled to Iran using her Iranian passport as that would avoid having to apply for a visa. This means that for the Iranians she is an Iranian citizen and therefore subject to Iran’s laws (however reprehensible we believe those laws may be). And, according to Iranian law, anyone criticising Iranian rulers is headed for an awful long time in prison

Fact 2 – The Iranians do not dispute that she was on holiday

The media and Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband keep repeating that she is innocent of any crime as she was in Iran on a private holiday visiting her family. The Iranians do NOT dispute this version of events. They are angry with her for work she did in Britain several years before her latest visit.

Fact 3 – She may have been involved in training Iranian journalists

Tehran’s prosecutor general said in October that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was being held because she ran “a BBC Persian online journalism course which was aimed at recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran”.

In fact, Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for BBC Media Action between February 2009 and October 2010 before moving to Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency’s charitable arm, as a project manager. The BBC’s Media Action is a charity which works to support journalism around the world and (as far as I understand) was involved in the development and dissemination of an online course for training journalists which was used by several Iranian journalists. The normally lefty-biased Amnesty International has also confirmed that this was why Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested.

BBC Media Action has described the Iranian accusations as ridiculous, saying that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had a junior administrative role. But Tehran’s objection shows that it is under the impression that she played a bigger role. One thing is certain – we will never be told the truth about Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s real role at the BBC

Fact 4 – She took a huge risk going to Iran

When you go to Iran, you’re going back about 1,500 years in time. Being an Iranian, Zaghari-Ratcliffe should have known that. Moreover, in 2014 several Iranian journalists who took part in the BBC Persian Service journalists’ training programme were arrested and given lengthy prison sentences.

The Iranian establishment loathes the London-based BBC Persian Service and considers it to be a subversive arm of MI6 aimed at fomenting regime change in Iran. The BBC World Service, which controls the foreign language services, received funding until 2014 from the FCO – a factor that has fanned the Iranian establishment’s distrust.

If you have dual nationality then you know that you are taking a risk if you go to the country of your ‘other’ nationality, especially if that country is run by undemocratic autocrats who delight in manipulating the lives of individuals for their strategic advantage. So she took that risk.

In view of Iran’s record on human rights, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s possible previous involvement in the BBC journalists’ training programme and the Iranian journalists’ arrests, it could seem more than careless for her to visit Iran

Fact 5 – Boris Johnson’s statement may not have been as inaccurate as the media suggest

Boris Johnson would have been briefed by the Foreign Office that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been involved in training Iranian journalists. It’s hardly something he could have made up. Although Johnson expressed himself poorly given that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s latest visit was just to see her family, his statement that Zaghari-Ratcliffe may have been involved (however indirectly) in training Iranian journalists was probably accurate. Although she wouldn’t have been doing this on her most recent visit as Zaghari-Ratcliffe no longer worked for the BBC.

Blaming Boris makes no sense. What is the U.K. supposed to do? Bomb Tehran? Occupy Abadan? Colonialism is over! Why are there no demonstrations outside the Iranian Embassy? Why does the BBC not give the Iranian Ambassador a hard time over this and demand answers? Or is the agenda not exactly about Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe?


What we’re actually seeing is a concerted media campaign to get rid of two influential Brexiteeers – Johnson and Gove – in an attempt to bring down Theresa May’s Government and sabotage Brexit.

What is particularly vomit-inducing is the sight of people like the BBC’s Andrew Marr harassing Gove and others while not even mentioning Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s work for the BBC which is the real reason for her arrest and imprisonment. In yesterday’s Times, Gove was lambasted for supposedly casting doubt on Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s claim she was on holiday. All that happened was that Gove said he didn’t know why Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran. Given that Gove is Environment Secretary, why would he know? And why did Abdul al Marr even ask him the question?

So, once again, please don’t believe the mainstream media’s hyperventilating outrage. This story isn’t really about Zaghari-Ratcliffe – it’s really an undemocratic attempt by the privileged, UK-hating, treacherous, europhiliac elites in the media and the Labour Party to damage our Government and prevent us leaving the clutches of Germany’s Fourth Reich – otherwise known as the EU.

Oh, and here’s the first of the John Lewis Christmas ad spoofs:

11 comments to Here’s the truth behind the manufactured media outrage against Johnson and Gove

  • Stillreading

    Thanks for that David. I can’t have been the only person to suspect that there was rather more behind this woman’s current predicament than we are being told by the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation. Sad as it is – and I do have every sympathy for her and her family – she chose to return to a country which, thanks to the limitless benevolence of the Religion of Peace, is still stuck in the Middle Ages, and she should have known better. I am a fan of neither Boris nor Gove – and certainly no longer of Theresa May either – but our nation’s journey towards Brexit must not be derailed by a flood of sentiment towards one woman who, through her own improvidence, has brought disaster upon herself.

  • Julia Green

    Of course there’s a concerted effort underway to undermine the Brexiteers, just one glance at the TRAITOR George Osborne’s Evening Standard says it all.

  • tim bannon

    Puppet Teresa spouts again…


    Treason May speaks at Mansion House.

  • TonyP

    To translate the legalese jargon of the ECB bureaucrats this could mean that the current €100,000 (£85,000) deposit level currently protected in the event of a bail-in may soon be no more.

    But worry not fellow savers as the ECB is fully aware of the uproar this may cause so they have been kind enough to propose that:

    “…during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request.”

    So that’s a relief, you’ll only need to wait five days for some ‘competent authority’ to deem what is an ‘appropriate amount’ of your own money for you to have access to in order eat, pay bills and get to work.

    The above has been taken from an ECB paper published on 8 November 2017 entitled ‘on revisions to the Union crisis management framework’.

  • Nicholas

    thanks David for explaining this
    the bizarre regular “updates” with this unfortunate woman’s husband on the BBC flagship today programme always sounded rather strange

  • bottom line the poor girl or pawn has surely spent enough time in solitary ?. If she dies there will be hell to pay
    Best release her now and we can talk the rights & wrongs
    when she’s back home with her family.

  • dongargon

    well no one forced her to strap on her husbands bolls an wonder women mission to iran she knows very well about its so many laws with the biggest being sharia muslim women death penalty if married to non muslim male even knowin all this she took the poor child with her out of selfishness she clearly was looking to rubber nose the british govmnt in obtaining whatever for them but i dont blame them , an now she expects the whole world to come to stand still untill her problems are solved i feel sorry for her child an hubby

  • Ned

    I think Fact 5 misses the point. Nobody believes that Johnson pulled his line from thin air. But I also don’t believe he’d been told it and forgot he wasn’t supposed to mention it (though that would be bad enough). Surely the likeliest explanation is the one he gave in his own defence – that he knew that was the charge and was saying he didn’t see anything wrong with it.

    That is classic Johnson – believing too intently in his own abilities to bother with detail. If he’d been paying attention he would have known that was the charge because Iran views it as a crime, and that the defence was she had had no involvement. For a Foreign Secretary, supposedly attempting to stand up for a British citizen against a hostile state, to accidentally admit her guilt is disgracefully incompetent. That’s what he was criticised for. Whether the criticism was motivated by Brexit opposition or not doesn’t change its accuracy. Are you sure you’re not just dismissing any critique because he’s your side of the Brexit debate?

  • M Laper

    I cannot believe I’m leaving a reply on this site.

    Whilst I can understand skepticism on many levels–BBC as an imbalanced source of news, desire to undermine Brexit, etc, I think the skepticism of this woman’s case is not merited. It is just a really unfortunate situation. I follow it closely because I’m a dual citizen with kids (not dual with Iran) so it has struck a nerve.

    I don’t think it’s news to anyone that NZR is Iranian…she’s a dual citizen. She took her child to visit her family (as people do) and yes, she must have entered Iran on her Iranian passport (as is required by law in most countries for most dual citizens.) Blogger and commenters can take issue with Sharia law and Islamic governments, but Iran is actually fairly straightforward (or has been) up to now. It doesn’t recognise dual citizenship, but THOUSANDS have dual citizenship and enter/exit without issue. NZR had no reason to think her visit, which did not entail anything interesting as she was travelling with her kid, would be an issue.

    Again, I don’t share your skepticism on a number of issues, but being a skeptic does not mean you need to look for a reason to undermine every argument. Doubtful that there’s any great underlying conspiracy other than a very sad situation and one government picking a great and vulnerable target to make a point re: a number of international beefs it has with the UK.

  • Nan Twynham

    I am late coming to your piece , but just to say I have been sceptical about Mrs Ratcliffe since the start of the saga. I am a small shareholder of Thomson Reuters and as such I sought info via Google, found an assertion by them that, as you say, she had worked for them in a journalistic hat. I agree with most of your views.

  • Slypork

    Where, what and when did she study? What year did she arrive as a “refugee?” How many years was this Iranian woman even in the uk? Who did she work for before the bbc? There is very little information on this Iranian woman. Many actual Brits imprisoned all over globe on sketchy charges or held hostage for years by Somalis pirates but this ” Hamstead wife” who fled here from Iran as a refugee (what year?) Went back for a holiday is getting ridiculous amounts of coverage Lmfao, something isn’t right, she isn’t British, she isn’t our problem. If only the UK media would give as much coverage to the victims of the Pakistani grooming gangs who are still having to bump into their attackers in asda despite them having overdue deportation orders. Stop calling her British!

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