Balen Report

Today’s Telegraph reports that Steven Sugar’s widow is to take on his battle with the BBC over the Balen report.

In the article a BBC spokesman is quoted as saying:

“If we are not able to pursue our journalism freely and have honest debate and analysis over how we are covering important issues, then how effectively we can serve the public will be diminished.”

I’m not entirely sure whether this argument supports or attacks the BBC for spending £270,000 worth of licence-fee money on keeping the contents of the Balen report a secret.

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16 Responses to Balen Report

  1. Little Black Sambo says:

    Every  posting (on my screen) is followed by the words “0 comments”, which simply can’t be true. How do I make the comments appear?


    • Deborah says:

      not sure why it is happening or how to correct it but a couple of days ago there were comments to say 0 comments wasn’t just happening to you and me. And it is still happening – but by the word ‘Echo’ at the start of the comments you will see the number of ‘items’.


      • All Seeing Eye says:

        I have just fixed this.

        Unsure why it randomly stopped working but it should be okay now.


  2. barrenga says:

    Mr Sugar lost at the Information Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Secret reports are bound to encourage the conspiracy theorists, but there have been plenty of other internal and external reports published.

    None of these are yet to reveal the smoking gun of an over-arching anti-Jewish conspiracy you believe exists.


    • sue says:

       “None of these are yet to reveal the smoking gun of an over-arching anti-Jewish conspiracy you believe exists.”

      I assume the £270,000 worth of legal wrangling was over the scope of the FOI Act, i.e. whether the BBC’s conveniently all encompassing defence that the Balen report,  (or anything else they want to hide) is “for the purposes of journalism, literature or art”. Not particularly over the findings of the Balen report. 

      As to the “you” in your comment, if you mean me, I don’t like to think of the BBC’s anti Israel bias as a ‘conspiracy,’ a term which is associated with the fanatical paranoia of the kind of folk who think Mossad was behind 9/11.

      No. I like to think the BBC’s anti Israel bias is a result of their collective unquestioning acceptance of the Palestinian Arab ‘narrative’, and their incongruous identification with the rhetoric, if not the actual religion, of radical Islam, which they have absorbed, alongside the rest of the herd.
      If you call that a conspiracy, so be it.
      I hope over the time I’ve been posting on this website I’ve provided enough material to justify this deduction.

      If the report is ever revealed, by now it’s so out of date that the actual contents are almost irrelevant. What is alarming is the concealment, the amount of money they’ve spent on it, and the fact that they insist on keeping their inner workings a secret at a time when, in almost every other area, transparency is considered to be essential. The BBC is a public service. We pay for it.


      • Reed says:

        £270,000…I’m guessing they wouldn’t have gone to that expense and effort if they thought that just releasing the report would cause them no damage.


  3. splodger says:

    Well since the report will obviously exonerate the Beeb, and conclusively prove how even-handed and unbiased they are, could you suggest a reason as to why Auntie is desperately trying to keep the whole thing secret (at massive expense)?

    I wonder what the Beeb’s reaction would be to a secret taxpayer funded report being witheld from them?


  4. Demon1001 says:

    Barrenga – true what you say, but there is plenty of evidence in all the BBC coverage of the ME and in its drama that there is an overwhelming anti-Israel bias.  They could easily prove a lack of bias by publishing the report in its entirety; not doing so gives even more ammunition for those who are already pointing out their complete double-standards on Israel and omission of any facts that don’t suit their agenda. 


  5. cjhartnett says:

    As splodger says-it` OUR BBC…I`ve got this card from Lord Birt of Toxteth block to say that it`s so!
    Therefore I would very much like to know how deep the rot and malice is in the BBCs “honest and free” reporting of Israel…marinaded in bile, venom as always… but a few facts and figures might be nice to confirm the evil antisemitism that cascades from Patten …trickling down via his leg, via the tools of Islam and down onto we poor serfs below!
    Surely if you`ve nothing to hide you`ve got nothing to fear-as St Jacqui of Smith said re Identity cards the nice blind bloke left for her to post out to us all!


  6. Deborah says:

    The thing that amazes me is that the BBC have now had I think 6 years to edit the Balen report  into an acceptable form before publishing- how long do these things take?


    • cjhartnett says:

      Yes Deborah, but the estate of Roy Castle think that we`ll never break that record held by the paddies in Ulster and that Savile Enquiry…30 years!
      Still we can go for the “costs” record, once McWhirter stops goosestepping with the Zimmer frame and accepts that the death of his twin was indeed a cheap price to pay for “Our Mo” and Tonys Triumph of the Will.
      Dear Deboarah…these things take time, reflection and plenty time to clean the discs etc!
      Lessons will be learned but we`ve taught them in ignorance for years now…Israel Bad…Islam “appropriate to our cultural context and in need of more conversation regarding gays, women and amputations etc”….


  7. hippiepooter says:

    I think the BBC Spokesman was suffering from Fran Unsworth style stupidity, he made a great argument for why the report should be released.


  8. barrenga says:

    Lots of background here:

    I think they should win the legal principle, and then release it.


    • sue says:

      The article you link to largely endorses my comment above.
      This seven year old article in ‘left-wing Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz’ hints that the Balen report will not find institutional antisemitism in the BBC, but will perhaps highlight their tendency to present an unfair and unnecessarily unfavourable impression of Israel. 
      But all that was before the Israel/ Hezbollah war in Lebanon, Operation Cast Lead, the Flotilla Fiasco and the Arab Spring.
      I think any belated release of the Balen report is almost an irrelevance, but overturning the all-encompassing defence that anything the BBC wants to hide is exempt from the FOI Act on the grounds that it is “for the purposes of journalism, literature or art” has considerable significance.

      I think the fear of a hostile reaction from the left-wing /Guardian /Muslim world is one of the things that is cramping their style and hampering their ability “to pursue our journalism freely and have honest debate and analysis over how we are covering important issues,”
      and “how effectively we can serve the public” is a matter of interpretation.

      “honest debate and analysis over how we are covering important issues?”
      If only.
      If there’s one thing that concealing the Balen report doesn’t facilitate, that’s it.


  9. Daphne Anson says:

    I missed this! I am ecstatic! The news has made my day!


  10. cjhartnett says:

    Thankfully with the calibre of Israels politicians-as opposed to the woodlice that seem to gather under our damp stones by choice-and Mighty Mark Regev, Rabbi Sacks and Mr Blue amongst the others-it`s safe to say that no-one in Israel will be the slightest bit bothered at the slime and slop buckets of liberal affectation that masquerades as “progressive politics” in this septic isle( to quote Geldof!).
    Their opinions are best confined to Ordes incense burner preferences…and do the Tories have enough in reserve to cover the smell of the next riots?
    Israel has a country to run and a future to win…the more the Beeb squauk-the faster we`ll see it!
    Evidently Chickentown indeed !…welcome to Londonistan!