“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” -Noam Chomsky
Chomsky also said this:
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Was there ever more proof of that statement than this headline in the Independent from Yasmin Alibhai Brown (via Is the BBC biased):
Nick Robinson is wrong. On immigration, the BBC has a duty to moderate our national conversation
When doors are opened to neo-jingoists, broadcasters must ensure fairness
What exactly does she mean by that….that the BBC should regulate our debate, define what can and can’t be said, define what is ‘acceptable’ not just the language but the ideas as well?
What the BBC does have is a duty to have the debate in the first place…something which it steadfastly refused to do for decades…and even now as it bows to pressure, it applies the measures Chomsky so accurately spelt out above, thus in effect closing down the supposed debate whilst giving the appearance of having one.
Alibhai Brown goes on:
Mr Robinson is presenting a programme on BBC2 this week showing the scale of public concern about immigration. Instead of being an objective conduit, he has, in a jingoistic, right-wing newspaper, slammed the BBC for censoring anti-immigrant opinions – a big lie.
As an immigrant I feel slandered by the caustic populism now flaunted by respectable intellectuals and politicians.
Well she can’t actually have read what Robinson wrote nor heard what he has been saying in interviews on the radio….if she had she might realise he is plugging the case for immigration….based on the economics.
Unsure why she should feel ‘slandered’ by a debate about immigration….after all in her position as a semi practising Muslim she has employed very extreme rhetoric to denounce Muslims who do want to fully practise what are the fundamentals of their, and her, religion…..not just once, or twice but again and again.
This particular quote from her is all the sweeter considering she is trying to shut down all debate on immigration:
Our national broadcasters are not noble exemplars of Voltaire’s dictum: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I‘ll defend to the death your right to say it.” They are motivated by mischief. As Labour MP John Spellar said when condemning the interview: “It makes good radio.”
Followed by this:
And finally, we need reliable facts on how Wahhabism – Dark-Age Islam, funded by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – has infiltrated Britain, especially in educational and religious institutions. Imagine China trying to disseminate Maoism in the UK, in a veiled, but planned and systemic way. There would, quite rightly, be an uproar. But because of oil dependency, Saudi Arabia et al are free to do just that and are protected by our cowardly state.
Unless there is a serious, concerted effort to tackle these three evils, there will for sure be more savagery. Politicians and the media still don’t get it and don’t want to.
White liberals from left to right need to grow up.
Perhaps a certain ‘brown’ liberal Muslim ought to grow up as well.
And not forgetting this:
I could never have imagined, nine years on, that the Taliban
would be claiming to have ‘won the war’ in Afghanistan. Or, much worse, that our
politicians and Muslim ‘leaders’ here would allow their twisted ideology to
spread across Britain. Make no mistake, Taliban devotees are in our schools,
playgrounds, homes, mosques, political parties, public service, private firms
and universities. And if we are to have any hope of combating them, we need to
stop this attitude of appeasement and understand why so many Muslims are
attracted to the most punishing forms of belief, suppressing women and children.
Liberals tolerate the intolerable because they don’t have
to live with the consequences. Yet the problem is in part caused by liberal
To me, [their] hands-off approach makes no sense. Why are we fighting the Taliban in
Afghanistan and indulging Taliban values here? Even if it offends liberal
principles, the powerful must find a way of stopping Islamicists from
promulgating their distorted creed. If they don’t, the future is bleak for
Muslims and the country.
Some immigrants, along with their practises, are obviously ‘good immigrants’, some are obviously ‘bad immigrants’ in Alibhai Brown’s world.
Hope they don’t feel ‘slandered’.
A classic example of the so-called right wing bias of the BBC…. someone on the Left calling the BBC right wing because it apparently doesn’t agree with their world view….even though it actually does….and in the so-called debate ensures that that view predominates…..two classic examples arising today on Nicky Campbell’s show and later a repeat performance on Sheila Fogarty’s….the BBC’s mantra, repeated ad nauseum….‘studies show immigrants bring positive benefits to the economy.’
But it is interesting that Alibhai Brown thinks we shouldn’t even have the debate.