What The BBC Miss Out – or The Mysterious Vanishing Far-Left Again

David reported yesterday on the hefty BBC coverage given to the views of one Paul McGarr, “a teacher from east London“, who doesn’t like our armed forces much. He featured prominently in news bulletins as well.

Alas, there were one of two things about Mr McGarr that the BBC didn’t care to share with their listeners, viewers and readers. A pity, as they may have provided much-needed context.

Oliver Kamm reports that Mr McGarr is a former council candidate in Millwall for the far-left Respect party. He also links to this piece by Mr McGarr in the far-left paper Socialist Worker, written just before the military campaign against Saddam Hussein.

Socialists have done and continue to do all in our power to build the movement to prevent war and to stop war when it starts. But if war starts the very worst outcome would be a quick victory for the US and Britain.

The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces. That may be unlikely, given the overwhelming military superiority they enjoy. But it would be the best outcome in military terms.

Mr Kamm puts it better than I can :

In short, and given the fact of the Iraq War, Paul McGarr and Socialist Worker wanted Saddam Hussein to win and our armed forces to be defeated. This is not what I say: it’s what they say.

I find it impossible to believe that the BBC would give several paragraphs to, say, a BNP activist talking about immigration, without (correctly) letting viewers and listeners know the political allegiance which informs their speech. Yet a far-left activist who actually wants our soldiers to be defeated is given a free ride. Is it that their journalists know, but don’t care ? Or are they too lazy to type a name into Google ?

The BBC have previous when it comes to this sort of thing. And it’s worth noting that the annual NUT conference is one of only FIVE recorded occasions when BBC News online have detected the presence of a British ‘far-left’. Admittedly the detection took place in 1999.

Hat-tips – DB and other B-BBC commenters, who also point out :

Reporter Hannah Goff is a union activist (I was once an NUR shop steward, mind, so I can’t talk)

Who produced this puff-piece about the keffiyeh-wearing chap who wrote this and this ?

Who fails to mention the fate of resolutions (p90) proposing that curriculum material be provided by CND-except-Iran, the Stop The War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign ?

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28 Responses to What The BBC Miss Out – or The Mysterious Vanishing Far-Left Again

  1. Jack Bauer says:

    I fail to see the problem. Teachers under the wise guidance of the communists, and assorted leftoids are doing a bang-up job in teaching our young.

    You only have to look around to see that. Why if it wasn’t for these dedicated Komrads, Britain would be just like it was in the 50s. Children, I mean kidz and yoofs, mindlessly learning their times tables and alphabet by rote.

    Think of the damage to tender feelings.

    No keep up the good work BBC, McGarr and NUTters everywhere!!


  2. Jack Hughes says:

    TV schedule dissonance is where 2 opposite programmes end up next to each other. Like a doco about famine followed by a cookery show.

    An example from a few months ago was education followed by sport.

    The education doco was “selective schools are worse than pure evil”.

    Various talking heads. Those who failed the 11+ were wrecked beyond repair. Those who passed were also wrecked beyond repair. Even people who never went to school were wrecked beyond repair by the existence of the hated grammar schools. A lively studio debate focused on whether our entire nation had been permanently wrecked by these beastly schools with no hope of undoing the damage – or whether we would eventually move into the sunlit uplands once we closed the last grammar school.

    The next programme started with the Australian Sporting Academy. Talent was spotted and nurtured at an early age. Good athletes were concentrated together. Competition was encouraged. Elitism was the spirit.

    Again there was a lively studio debate. It was a given that elitism was the way forwards – the debate was over the pace of change.


  3. Jack Hughes says:

    How about this for


  4. Reversepsychology says:

    Peter Tatchell – Gerry Gable – Paul McGarr;

    I often wonder if infact these people are the official voice of the BBC,and everything else is just a drag.


  5. “Yet a far-left activist who actually wants our soldiers to be defeated is given a free ride.”

    as a clarification, McGarr et al wanted our soldiers to be killed. These are treasonous views which the BBC’s ‘reporter’, Hannah Goff, is aware of and almost certainly shares.

    This article says all that need be said about the politics of those who work at the BBC and give it its corporate perspective.


  6. WoAD says:

    ” But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces.”

    Well they could no longer say “I wish the war had never happened at all” as it was then in progress.

    It’s safe to say they have been vindicated on this.

    Oh, regarding that WMD hoax (a convinient lie), here’s a good stop gap explanation for you Iraq war die hards: America had to fabricate WMD evidence to get around the tyranical dictat of UN law.

    That’s a good one. You heard it from me first.


  7. Rob says:

    David Clinch – what a sad, sad bastard. Just look at him. These are the people who have a death-grip on the education of your children, and unless you have a spare £15,000 a year to educate them privately, there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.


  8. Robin says:

    A similar example is in this transcript of an item broadcast on Today in December (at the time of the Bali conference) about penguins under threat. In reality, WWF has become a far left, global warmist agitprop group. But the spokeswoman was treated as if she was a authoritative, neutral observer. It’s hard to see that if someone had been interviewed who contended that the real threat to penguins was cold weather (65 species have become extinct), he or she would have been treated with the same kid gloves.

    James Naughtie: Polar bears are often presented as some of the most likely victims of global warming. Well the charity World Wildlife Fund says that at the other end of the world, in Antarctica, many species are at risk, including penguins. Emily Lewis Brown is marine and climate change officer at WWF.

    JN: What is the problem?

    ELB: The problem is largely that greenhouse gases is (sic) leading to global warming which is reducing the amount of sea ice around the west Antarctic peninsula, which has warmed up five times faster than anywhere else on earth. This is leading to a reduction in the sea ice and that in turn is leading to a reduction in krill which is the main food source for some of these penguin species.

    JN: What is happening to the penguins in terms of numbers?

    ELB: There are varied fortunes for the species that our report examines. A lot of the colonies have been reduced, have been severely affected; some have been reduced by more than 50% , for example, there’s a population of emperor penguins which is reduced from 6,000 to 3,000 breeding pairs.

    JN: Over what period?

    ELB: Over 30 years, these examples.

    JN: And how fast is the ice in that part of Antarctica disappearing?

    ELB: Again, that’s a variable story. We saw the Larsen B ice shelf in western Antarctica collapse in about 32 days which is phenomenally fast and quite scary when we consider the implication of losing sea ice around their to the local eco-system, but also to the potential threat that is to sea level rise.

    JN: Do you think the speed of melting is increasing?

    ELB: It seems that the warming in that area is much faster, it’s unprecedented and this is why WWF is calling on the governments that have convened in Bali to set a framework for reducing greenhouse gases around the world as rapidly and as fairly as possible, which means that industrialised countries like the UK need to be reducing our CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 and reducing them from then on.

    JN: Looking through the prism that you’ve got, the effect on wildlife, what happens to these four species of penguin?

    ELB: These different species are being affected in different ways. The emperor penguin which relies on the sea ice for its nesting is having the nesting grounds reduced and others are affected by a reduction in the amount of food that is available. Krill, which is what they normally eat, has reduced by 80% over the last 30 years and sea ice by 40%.


  9. Laban says:

    I thought the WWF was the front for a New World Government, accoding to some of our wilder theorists.


  10. Hillhunt says:


    In reality, WWF has become a far left, global warmist agitprop group.

    That clearly cannot be the same WWF which has the Duke of Edinburgh as its patron and Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, GCB, CBE, DL as the chairman of its UK ambassadors group.


  11. Robin says:

    Typical BBC evasion and obfuscation.

    I was, until recently, a member of WWF because I strongly believe in constructive conservation. However, I swiftly cancelled my subscription when I read the global warming claptrap that now dominates the site.

    If Prince Philip and Sir John Chapple support such bollocks and naive agitprop, they should be ashamed.


  12. WoAD says:

    Also: Oliver Kamm also supports the establishing of a secular state with a “monopoly of force”* in Iraq. Doesn’t that fulfill the criteria for Imperialism? Bombing and taking over a country?

    I think it does.

    But hang on I hear you say, isn’t that a bit glib?

    But tell that to the folks (i.e. Kamm) who say Iraq wouldn’t have been better off if left alone. He has a Fox-News thesis to peddle. Those who opposed the Iraq war were pro Saddam and the dopey SWP tarts have given him something to seize on. Sadly. But let’s not forget that those opposed to the Iraq war in the run up to invasion were often demagogically called “Pro-Saddam”. Tony Blair for instance said that if 3 million anti-war protestors had their way they would have “blood on their hands” (responsibility for Saddams continued criminality).

    Now I know I have far exceeded the remit of BBC bias in posting this but the Iraq War must be criticised severely and constantly. The architects of that thing never had any idea what the hell they were doing. They never had a “plan” because they thought the Iraq’s would greet them with flowers. Which is not surprising given that Americanists believe themselves to be a fountain head of divine grace (“Democracy”).

    *Our shit head apologist for imperialism once choked with sadness: “I fear that our minimal aim of leaving Iraq with a constitutional government possessing as far as possible a monopoly of the means of force may not be achieved. “


  13. Hillhunt says:


    If Prince Philip and Sir John Chapple support such bollocks and naive agitprop, they should be ashamed.

    I’m sure they’ll appreciate your advice.

    Still, hardly far left, I’d suggest.


  14. Robin says:

    WWF now entirely supports the CO2 reduction agenda, which by definition in my book is left-wing in both sentiment and effect. It’s an overt anti-capitalist stance.

    And I don’t give a damn whether either man appreciates my advice. They are supporting an organisation that has become highly political.


  15. Hugh says:

    Having Royal or ex-army patrons and ambassadors is pretty common in the charity world, and in no way precludes the organisations they lend their names to from being left wing. They don’t actually have any say in how they’re run.


  16. Hugh says:

    WoAd: “monopoly of force”.

    Er, you don’t think an elected government should be alone in maintaining an army? Private militias are a good idea are they?


  17. WoAD says:

    A monopoly of force. In country awash with weapons and surrounded by countries hostile to America and aiding the Jihadis.

    Yes a monopoly of force: A secular democratic state with a monopoly of force. Get that? They invade the country on the basis of fake intelligence and set up a government to their liking ruling over a disarmed population. That’s Imperialism. (A glib appraisal but not as glib as calling the critics of the Iraq war pro-Saddam).

    Even the American government doesn’t have a monopoly of force over its own people. For reasons pertaining to liberty as the NRA will tell you.


  18. Eboreg says:

    Except of course, the population of Iraq is hardly disarmed as each individual household is allowed a small number of firearms (ak47’s).


  19. Hillhunt says:


    Having Royal or ex-army patrons and ambassadors is pretty common in the charity world, and in no way precludes the organisations they lend their names to from being left wing.

    Up to a point, but I can’t somehow see the Duke of E hanging around long if his name was going out on stuff which he violently opposed. Nor would a Field Marshall, even a retired one, carry on sending out his ambassadors if they were selling left-wing views… bollocks and naive agitprop.

    Besides, Prince Philip’s own son is a proponent of the same views. He describes climate change as a self-inflicted wound.



  20. Hugh says:

    Perhaps, but in terms of Philip it would obviously cause a bit of troublesome PR to actually withdraw when he’s already there. I also, for some reason, suspect he’d be a bit less into the tree hugging than Charlie. Don’t know why – just the impression you get of him.
    Generally, ‘far left’ may be over doing it, but it is true that WWF in common with a lot of charities has refocused on political campaigning and these campaigns do tend to be leftish.


  21. Feline says:

    What’s so evil in “imperialism”? It lifted a lot of countries from darkness and barbarism. Are you Lenin’s admirer? He also ranted about “imperialistic predators”.


  22. WoAD says:

    They structured the constitution to allow for militias loyal to the Iraqi state and the owning of arms with a license.

    “It shall not be permitted to possess, bear, buy, or sell arms except on licensure issued in accordance with the law.”


    “Article 27: Armed forces and militias not under the command structure of the Iraqi Transitional Government are prohibited, except as provided by federal law. ”

    This is not a right to bear arms, this is an endeavour to monopolise force. Which isn’t going to happen without American help.

    It wont work. For an Iraqi nation does not exist. The constitution simultaneously affirms that Iraq is part of the Islamic world and its Arabs are all part of the Arab nation (a concession to the Arab racism which fuelled Baathism) whilst granting equality to non-Arab and Christian minorities. The Iraqi Parliament will be a dusty plaza for ethnic Bull Baiting. Like in Kenya. In a country awash with guns and explosives.

    What a disaster. And moreover, this disaster was initiated by hoaxed claims of an existential threat from WMD (to get around the nasty UN demands for real proof), and is continually justified with a pompous, presumptuous, sacrilegious, enlightenment, leftist inspired, and charlatan ideology of Imperialism which justifies unending violence.

    All this John McCain has tacitly admitted to in his megalomaniacal “100 years is fine by me” comment. He also reveals the war is unwinnable.


  23. Robin says:


    Whether or not P Charles supports CO2-induced climate change moonshine is irrelevant to my original posting.

    That pointed out that an anti-capitalist left-wing organisation (the WWF as it is now) was given an easy ride on Today and treated as if it were a neutral oberver, when a strong health warning should have been given about both the fund’s axe-grinding agenda and its political motives.

    It is a fact that penguins are at risk. They have always been at risk because they live in a very hostile marginal environment. 65 species died out before man even appeared on the scene. But it is not accepted by everyone that climate change is responsible for current problems. The cause could be over-fishing or the increased incidence of oil spills. It is reasonable to expect that this should have been made clear in the questioning. James Naughtie, if he was doing his job properly, would have challenged the WWF report on almost everry point. He didn’t – instead inviting the spokeswoman to elaborate her CO2 climate change moonshine on an increasingly detailed basis.


  24. Anonymous says:

    Besides, Prince Philip’s own son is a proponent of the same views. He describes climate change as a self-inflicted wound.

    Hillhunt | 27.03.08 – 12:00 pm | #

    Who can trust the views of an idiot who talks to plants?


  25. Alex says:

    Good Lord B-BBC is getting repetitive. So I shall fight fire with fire.


    All have no mention of political affiliations either.


  26. Hugh says:

    Would be odd indeed if the Mail mentioned it given that they didn’t mention or quote McGarr. The others, those that didn’t considerably cut McGarr’s ramble, such as the Sun, Guardian and Mirror, all seem to have been written largely from the PA piece, which didn’t mention it.


  27. Anonymous says:


    The WMD were a hoax – perhaps so, but everyone was taken in, even many IN Iraq.

    When the war was being argued about it was not whether WMD existed but whether this was the right way to deal with the threat.

    Even most of those opposed to the war were surprised there were NONE found in Iraq.

    The Americans clearly believed there was, they put in very significant resources to finding them and were nonplussed and (rightly) hugely embarrassed when they did not find them.

    Given Saddam and his regime’s track record it is not surprising so many took the WMD’s existence as read.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but at the time of event we are not blessed to having it.

    It is still staggering that nothing at all was found, even the regimes old weapons which we know they took efforts to hide from the world.

    Some say they were spirited away and will turn up in the wrong hands one day, I can’t say, given the non appearance of anything any comment is pure speculation.

    The reasoning behind the war was wrong, it should have been about Iraq’s record on its own people, on its record against its neighbours and of the threat whether it had them or not of getting WMD.

    Trouble is that wouldn’t have been enough to get it through the mockery that is the UN.

    There was no such gnashing of teeth when it came to war upon Serbia, yet it had far less of a track record and reason to be attacked than Iraq.

    I was very literally on a death list from Saddam for giving humanitarian support to Iraqi and Kurdish dissident students in this country and I knew of those attacked physically by Baathist agents in the UK for this.

    The vile tyrannical butcher and his filthy regime that murdered and abused his own people and attacked two of his neighbouring countries with terrible bloody wars has gone and I won’t shed a tear for it.

    We can argue that the war should not have been neccesary or that other methods would have worked, but yes I wanted regime change, for humanity inside Iraq and without and for my own personal reasons, I refuse to apologise for it.


  28. Barry Wood says:

    This reminds of another good example of misrepresentation of an interviewee by the BBC.
    It happened in a BBC report about the anti-war demo and rally in Trafalgar Square in mid-March.
    In the very lengthy BBC Online account of this event there is an interview with one Ewa Jasiewicz who is described as a “human rights activist”.
    However I dug a little bit deeper and came across a different picture of this demonstrator. She turned out to have lived in U.S.-occupied Iraq from June 2003 to February 2004

    Socialist Worker interviewed her in depth about her opinions and about her stint in Iraq.

    Q:SOME PEOPLE in the antiwar movement say that they’re opposed to the occupation, but they aren’t comfortable with a armed resistance, or one that has religious or political views they don’t agree with. What do you make of this?

    EW: “I THINK this confusion happens naturally when you don’t have an understanding of a different cultural context. People tend to imagine the kind of people they’re talking about in terms of what they know from the media or from academia….
    Iraqis have a right to resist. It’s absurd to think they don’t. If people read some history–their own history and the history of all liberation struggles against colonial regimes in the world–they’ll realize that violence has been a necessary part of that. I often find that it’s people who haven’t witnessed the violence of an occupation or even violence in their own specific context who are the first to advocate.”

    So that is it then. The BBC’s “human rights activist” is revealed as a UK apologist of Islamic fascist terrorism in Iraq. But I had to go to Socialist Worker to find that out.
    Thanks BBC.

    Socialist Worker
    March 11, 2005 | Pages 6 and 7