Stability Monkeys

The BBC is a firmly ideological organisation. One way you can see that is that the messages they purvey rarely change, even though they may evolve somewhat.

Take the Iranian election this week. The BBC’s John Simpson said when Ahmedinejad was elected in 2005 that Iranian politics was “complex and sophisticated”. The invitation to consider his election as an expression of an intelligent electoral system was clear.

Now, following the latest election in which Mahmood strengthened his position with suspicious symbolic perfection outlined by Amir Taheri here, Simpson describes Iran as “a relatively sophisticated country”. Relative to what he does not say. As I did before, in 2005, I invite you to discover some examples of this “sophistication”, all of which documented by Amnesty International (for which I hold no uncritical admiration) since Mr Simpson voiced his view of Iranian “sophistication” in 2005.

Simpson, now apparently ensconced in Iran as he used to ensconce himself in Iraq when he befriended Saddam’s ministers, makes the case for stability:

“it certainly is not in the outside world’s interest to have a long period of disorder in Iran. Political chaos in a leading oil-producing country would do more economic damage to Western countries.”

In so doing he makes the case for Ahmadinejad’s continuing in office, and breaches the code for impartiality. But that is more or less a stable state with the BBC, isn’t it?

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29 Responses to Stability Monkeys

  1. dave s says:

    Naive at best. Iran is firmly under the control of the mullahs and revolutionary guards. Whoever wins the sham elections makes little or no difference.
    After all democracy is not a pre-requisite of an Islamic state.
    My view has not changed. We should withdraw from all but the most minimal diplomatic, social and commercial contact with the Islamic world for the foreseeable future making it clear that any offensive action against the West will meet with instant retaliation.
    In return we will leave them to sort out their lives as they see fit.
    Maybe in a century or so we can start again to try to live together.


  2. Not a sheep says:

    As I wrote the other day – "The BBC seem determined to convey the impression that the Iranian presidential elections are in some way democratic. What is almost never mentioned and indeed appears only at the very end of one of the BBC's web pieces is that:

    "All candidates are vetted by the powerful conservative-controlled Guardian Council, which also has the power to veto legislation it deems inconsistent with revolutionary principles."

    In other words the only candidates standing are those that the Guardian Council have approved to stand. It would be like the UK having a directly elected Prime Minister but only candidates approved by the Labour NEC being allowed to stand.

    I was going to make a joke about how in those circumstances we might have a choice just between Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman, David Miliband and Alan Johnson BUT then I realised that we wouldn't even have that choice as Gordon and Peter would ensure that there was just the one candidate – Gordon Brown."


  3. archduke says:

    unconfirmed – but apparently all foreign journalists will be ordered to leave Iran.

    I guess they're getting ready for their own version of the Knight of the Long Knives.


  4. ed thomas says:

    Not a sheep- good point. If you go back to communism in Eastern Europe, they then had a variety of parties- but all of them were approved by the ruling communists.


  5. archduke says:

    something you will never see on the BBC

    hanging by crane in Iran


  6. George R says:

    Ex-BBC, now 'Sunday Times', Rod Liddle:


    "Like you, I’ve been bitten by Iranian election fever and stayed up all night to watch the results roll in from Tehran Central, Isfahan West etc. I was originally rooting for Mir Hossein Mousavi’s exciting modernisers, whose young followers wear daring green burqas rather than the officially approved ones in matt black and ash grey. Mousavi wishes to continue the policy of scraping together enough plutonium to expunge Tel Aviv, but will at least do so in a pro-western suit and tie and without a clerical beard. On social policy, I believe Mousavi still thinks adulterous women should be stoned, but the stones should be smaller with fewer pointy bits."


  7. hippiepooter says:

    Notasheep 8:03 PM, June 14, 2009 "In other words the only candidates standing are those that the Guardian Council have approved to stand."

    Exactly the type of society BBC subversives would like to have, only it would be the 'Guardian Readers Council' deciding if candidates had acceptable views to be allowed to stand.


  8. Anonymous says:

    "Exactly the type of society BBC subversives would like to have, only it would be the 'Guardian Readers Council' deciding if candidates had acceptable views to be allowed to stand."

    Or, in shorter words, their hiring policy


  9. David Preiser (USA) says:


    You've highlighted everything that's wrong with the BBC's attitude towards informing the public. In each case, from Simpson's old piece to the latest musings of Jon Leyne, the Beeboid in question is trying to create an impression, rather than give a laundry list of facts and details.

    It's one thing to argue that there's an inherent subjectivity in the various facets of journalism; choosing what is news and what isn't, which source to trust, or which angle on a story is more important all require a personal choice at each step of the proceedings. Nobody's denying that, I know.

    But it's another thing entirely to say that, beyond the basic relating of details, the goal of today's journalist – in the minds of Beeboids especially – is to create an overall impression for the audience. More than providing information on events, the average BBC News Beeboid wants to tell a specific story. When facts don't fit that story, they're either fudged, left out all together, or replaced with falsehoods which do support the intended impression (narrative).

    I think we saw that in the overall picture of the BBC's reporting and in-studio discussions of the Iranian elections. They wanted to tell you all about the "youth" movement (what happened to that articulate young woman you found who supported Ahmadimjihadi because she felt that he would be best for Iran's interests, Mr. Leyne?), reassure everyone that this was a real democracy (with…ahem…some rather severe qualifications buried in a couple of reports), and – exactly like I complained about their coverage of the US elections – prepare the audience for a specific interpretation of either outcome.

    Having already created the impression that Iran is a fully functional democracy in which we all must accept the outcome as the awesome will of the sophisticated (including shots of young adults sending text messages on mobiles! I mean, what more proof do you want?) Iranian people, the BBC now has to figure out a way to make it work. So it's "stability" contortions now, and sweeping the riots under the rug tomorrow.


  10. amimissingsomething says:

    i wrote here some time last year my take on iranian elections: isn't it rather like all candidates having to be approved by the anglican synod, which would also have the power to veto any legislation it found inconsistent with its take on biblical principals?

    can't imagine the bbc going easy on that!


  11. Rob says:

    I presume the Anglican Synod would veto any legislation which was in anyway consistent with Biblical principles.


  12. Anonymous says:

    'ensconce', 'ensconced'.

    Post (and blog) much appreciated-

    Carping Pedant


  13. Anonymous says:

    The BBC is a firmly ideological organisation. One way you can see that is that the messages they purvey rarely change, even though they may evolve somewhat.

    Ed may I respectively say that the above statement is rubbish?

    The BBC is not an ideological organization, although I fully understand why you may believe it is. That reason being, that you have been yet again CONNED by the BBC.

    The BBC's message, as you call it, does change fairly often, and has also evolved quite considerably over the years.

    Back in the seventy's there was rarely a political debate had on the BBC without a contribution from a trades union representative. Global cooling was then the BBC promoted issue of the decade, not global warming. The BBC dishonestly concentrated on issues such as poverty, and republicanism. The BBC was seen as being broadly libertarian in its thinking, which always was a sick joke.

    The list is almost endless, as to how the BBC has changed from one establishment agenda to another. Almost as quickly as a crack whore drops her knickers for a fiver.

    IMO the BBC works wholly for the British establishment 100% of the time. If any one still believes otherwise, it is simply a testament on quite how cleverly and collectively dishonest the BBC is, and has ALWAYS been. Also how stupid so called educated people can be, and very often are.

    The BBC supports RADICAL establishment agendas, because the establishment PROFIT from them. The establishment has long since conspired to cause change, not the ordinary people.

    Who are always suckered in by promises that change will be good for them.

    In reality/practice radical change is usually bad for almost everyone except the establishment and the multi-national conglomerates the establishment control and own.

    The establishment have always controlled the political agenda.

    Firstly because they have the power and hard cash to do so. Secondly, so that they can prepare in advance for the coming change. Thirdly because they need to arrange in advance for the tax payers to bail them out. This because of their long standing inability to run ANYTHING efficiently and ultimately profitably for their shareholders.

    I own and run a small but still profitable and growing small manufacturing business, and have done now for 31 years. In that time I have never run at a loss. Simply because I cant afford to, and don't have a massive and massively inefficient corporate command and control structure to finance.

    I have yet to hear from a politician or his/her party that claims to hate and despise small business. Quite the opposite in fact, they ALL claim that small and medium sized enterprises are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Yet it is plane for all to see that ALL political parties are married to BIG BUSINESS, and seriously want to destroy as many small privately owned enterprises as they can get away with.

    In reality if there is a difference between our political Parties at all, it is only the degree of contempt or indeed utter hatred they have for private independent self sufficient individuals in general.

    I would go as far as saying that the only thing that the BBC is consistent in, is retaining the ability to seem to be one thing, when in reality being the exact opposite.

    Which is appearing to be for the people and independent of the establishment. When the truth is, that the BBC has always been a servant of the establishment, and the most dangerously dishonest enemy of the common people there has ever been.

    If this is not self-apparent reality by now, I seriously am beginning to doubt it ever will be.

    Atlas shrugged


  14. Anonymous says:

    Sorry that should read respectfully,not respectively.

    Atlas shrugged

    BTW could you please just for once, try reading my comments properly, you may actually learn something very important.


  15. George R says:

    The Obama line which we can expect to be touted by the BBC now on Iran:

    "Obama will keep trying to appease Iran despite rigged election."

    (-from 'Jihadwatch'.)


    "The appeasement will charge on full-speed ahead. And meanwhile, although many American analysts are making a great deal of the unrest that has followed the voting, in reality the pro-Mousavi sentiment is not quite the encouraging sign that so many wish it would be, and assume that it is. As Pamela [Geller, of 'atlasshrugs'] points out, Mousavi was a founder of Hizballah and participated in the creation of Iran's intelligence service. Some reformer!" ('Jihadwatch')


  16. Anonymous says:

    Nentayahu has told Obama where to go as have the North Koreans.

    How can the beeb spin this for Obama to tell us that he is a superior diplomat to George Bush?


  17. Abandon Ship! says:

    Mick Hartley neatly sums up how the BBC can neatly outGuardian the Guardian on Iran:


  18. Ed T says:

    Thanks pedant for the correction.

    Thanks Atlas for the instruction. I think you and I agree that the BBC are essentially statists- you call it establishment; I think of it as ideological. Both could be true, more or less, it seems to me.


  19. Dazed and Confused says:

    Iran's now "Stable", in a similar way to New Labour. Two highly corrupt entities favoured and championed by the BBC.
    I see that disgraced New Labour spin doctor Damien McBride is ALREADY back working for "The Party". What a surprise it is, that the BBC have failed to mention this ANYWHERE!


  20. Roland Deschain says:

    Despite what the BBC tells us, it seems the turnout was not 85%.

    That was the abstention rate


  21. backwoodsman says:

    Another stable beeboid policy is to always present yet more gun control as the correct option.
    Thus when discussing transfering to the Scotish parliament various revenue raising items, they manage to work into the story ' including control of air weapons'. This is a totemic issue for a couple of dotty msp's, but something the beeboids always promote.


  22. George R says:

    BBC, 'The Editors' in a faux fit about its freedom of information and Iran:

    "Stop the blocking now"

    (by Peter Horrocks.)


    "It is important that what is happening in Iran is reported to the world, but it is even more vital that citizens in Iran know what is happening. That is the role of the recently-launched BBC Persian TV which is fulfilling a crucial role in being a free and impartial source of information for many Iranians.

    "Any attempt to block this channel is wrong and against international treaties on satellite communication. Whoever is attempting the blocking should stop it now." (''.)

    Yes, doesn't the Islamic regime in Iran realise that the BBC is determined to propagandise against Israel everywhere in the world?


  23. John Bosworth says:

    "In so doing he makes the case for Ahmadinejad's continuing in office". Of course.

    The history of this goes back to the narrative constructed by the BBC in the 70s/80s: The Shah (American friend and therefore bad guy) is overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini (revolutionary and therefore good guy). Long live the revolution!

    But now it is transparent that Iranian revolution, so loved by intellectuals in the west, has produced a cruel police state and the Beeb is trapped in its own headlights. This shows the dangers of any media organization getting itself caught up in advocacy. There is no doubt they were anti-Shah – and they didn't need to be. They needed to be unbiased and REPORT THE FACTS.

    Furthermore, in the BBC's approach to Iran, the old Iraq baggage rears its ugly head as expressed by so many reporters including Rageh Omaar (now a Middle Eastern correspondent for Al Jazeera News). The consensus seemed to be that Saddam may have been a tyrant but he was better than what followed. Ego: leave well alone in Iran.

    Editorializing by a "news" organization is quicksand and the Beeb is up to its waist in it.


  24. Martin says:

    The poor BBC. We all know that a lot of male beeboids fancy a piece of Dinner jackets arse.

    But the BBC was a joke tonight. The anti Dinner Jacket protests in Iran are just HUGE really HUGE.

    Yet the BBC still managed to give equal balance to the anti western protests outside our Embassy. Everyone knows they are arranged by Government stooges. But the BBC failed to point that out. As if somehow millions of people being denied their right to a democratic vote is somehow on a par with a vile corrupt regime's attempt to deflect the blame.

    Perhaps the BBC are just getting ready for our election next year when they try to help this corrupt bunch of left wing jocks try to steal our election?


  25. JohnA says:

    I said on another thread that Obama's inaction on Iran is a disgrace, a total appeasement.

    Here are some comments from the US side :

    Michael Totten :

    Nile Gardiner :

    Not any hint of such sentiments from BBC reporters, of course.


  26. Dong says:

    In this "relatively sophisticated country" (even without election rigging) people have no voting booths and have to mark their ballot papers under the watchfull eyes of local officials.


  27. hatethebias says:

    Atlas Shrugged, maybe we would read your posts if they weren't so long, boring and full of paranoia. Most of us don't believe that there is a giant conspiracy to run the world (the jews? the masons? the Bilderberg group…?) using the BBC as its mouthpiece.
    I happen to believe that it is just that the BBC has an incredibly one-sided view of politics, life, the universe etc, and geninely think that everyone else has (or should have) the same point of view – ie that of a left wing liberal Hampstead bien pensant. They are truly shocked when they encounter differing views.
    Yours, I usually scroll past rapidly. (Is that why you use "Anonymous" as your heading, only putting "Atlas Shrugged" at the end when it's too late to avoid reading it! Sorry – doesn't work; your style is recognisable after a few words!)


  28. Grant says:

    I think you should try and avoid insulting the intelligence of contributors to this website.
    I don't read all of your posts, but , if I hadn't read one recently, I would not have known that Obama is "directly related" to Queen Elizabeth II.
    They don't report that on the BBC !


  29. Anonymous says:

    I believe there is s a problem. David Vance is posting under your name Ed Thomas, what other explanation can there be?