The BBC has a pretty rigid set of social and political preconceptions that people, politicians, activists, commentators and Joe Public have to conform to or be cast out into the wilderness as ‘untouchables’. The BBC is not a tolerant organisation, it does not accept difference despite its own grandiose self-proclaimed celebration of diversity.
Janet Daley in the Telegraph expands on the Left’s intimidation and bullying tactics…
In the end, what does the Left (and its army of media friends) accomplish by all this activist pressure on public opinion? In a circle of mutually congratulatory agreement, the liberal establishment may demonise the social attitudes of the majority until they are blue in the face. They may succeed – as indeed they obviously have – in making ordinary people afraid to utter their real views. But there is a dreadful price to be paid: if you browbeat people into withdrawing from the debate, then you will never know how robust their convictions are – until it is too late and you have catastrophically lost an election, or staked your professional credibility on unsound predictions.
This is the danger of the activist trap. As I said last week, if you are surrounded by a crowd of people whose opinions are identical to yours then together you can make a great deal of noise. But what you don’t hear is the silence of those outside the crowd. If parties of the Left are ever to become electable again, they will have to stop shouting and listen.
I won’t list the things we are not allowed to discuss on the BBC, the list is long, numerous and full of the usual suspects. The BBC’s worldview is extremely narrow and uninformed, it sets the parameters of debate and limits what you can say in the hope that it can limit what you think…so far so Orwellian. Of course the Internet has helped break the BBC’s stranglehold on free speech, free thought and the democratic, free flowing use of information…knowledge being power…giving strength to the arm….perhaps the Tories won a majority because of that…hard to prove but a quite probable likelihood that the BBC’s narrative was broken and the social media got its message out.
Here are a couple of examples of narratives that the BBC will not accept and in fact actively works against…the first a ‘peacenik’ who offered herself as a human shield to Iraq in 1991 but who now, after working with American forces in Iraq after the last invasion, has become a supporter of ‘liberal interventionism’ and the use of military power to maintain the peace.
The second is a female Pakistani, brought up in Saudi Arabia and now safely living the dream in Canada who talks of her conversion to the idea that free speech is absolutely essential and, well…
‘It’s important because religion.. all of it… needs to be questioned – too many humans blindly put their faith in it. It’s important because an instance from Mo’s life was used to justify the killing of 132 children in Pakistan last December.
The ‘peacenik’ is Emma Sky who says in the Sunday Times (you need to read the whole thing really to appreciate the full import of what she says) that…
‘My opinions have changed…I understand more now what you can achieve with forcer. I was aware before of the problems of force, the limitations of miltary force. I have now seen first hand what it is that can be done.
I had no interaction with the American military before. I had always been concerned about the US propping up dictators in the Middle East. Now I am more concerned about disorder. Before, I was worried about state violation of human rights; now I have seen what happens when the state collapses.
I am much more concerned with order. I have come to appreciate what the US military can do, its capability. You look at the world for the last 70 years and think stability was kept by Pax Americana.
Now I have a much deeper understanding of the role that America has played in the world. When you look at American withdrawal from the Middle east, and look at the consequences of that withdrawal, you go ‘oooh’…the consequences of disengagement are tragic.’
Here she is in an interview….one thing of note is that she says the major mistake that was made in Iraq was not encouraging the notion of being ‘Iraqi’…rather there was a tendency to encourage identity politics, multiculturalism based upon religion or ethnicity…Sunnis, Shias and Kurds……which led to tension and infighting that might have been avoided….
MARGARET WARNER: You said you thought the big mistake was for the Americans and the British to try to get Iraq to reorganize on the basis of ethnicity and sect. What was the alternative?
EMMA SKY: I think the alternative was to create the sense of Iraqiness.
And you organize based on regions and towns. And so you don’t say we will have 20 percent Sunnis, 20 percent Kurds, 60 percent Shia. You actually think, we will have representatives from Basra, from Anbar, from Irbil. And that way, you’re building up geographical representation, not based on the sect and ethnicity.
Instead, we wanted to build a pluralistic society, but what this did was institutionalize sectarianism. So, there was nothing about being Iraqi. It was all about being a subcomponent.
Here is the second person who overturns the BBCs preconceived prejudices about Islam, racism, free speech and Charlie Hebdo…..
Being a Pakistani child, raised in Saudi Arabia left me feeling like I never really belonged in Pakistan. My upbringing in Saudi was too westernized for me to ever fit in, in my motherland. I have never felt more alien anywhere else, in fact. Yet I shared the same pigmentation, the same struggles with a strict, patriarchal culture, the same language, the same history…. I didn’t belong in Saudi because they have strict rules putting foreigners in their place. We have no rights there, regardless of how many years we call it home. My siblings were born there, and knew no other place, but Saudi ..they were still told at every step that they were foreigners. It’s kind of hard to feel a sense of belonging in a place like that.
In teenage years, I searched for my tribe through subculture. The place I fit in terms of interests and ideas was predominantly white. Dog collars and fishnets, were fun for self-exploration…the ‘goth’ subculture gave me a huge sense of belonging when I needed it most in young adulthood. But I was still the ‘token’ brown girl. Despite many in the ‘scene’ having similar values and ways of thinking to mine, no one really understood the struggles of belonging to a culture like mine.
When we moved to Canada, I felt like I was home for the first time in my life. Only because my city (Toronto) embraces the diversity I’ve always been accustomed to (as an expat amongst other various expats). Anyway, I digress… my point is, that these constant instances of ‘unbelonging’ everywhere helped me dismantle my tribal feelings. It took a while, and I still have feelings I recognize but try not to cave to.
She says she used to think that critics of Islam shouldn’t be so vocal and should raise matters within the community…..
How naive I was. No… Ayaan, could not take it up internally within the community. Obviously, she would be killed for even trying. Anyone that raises their voice from within – in any context…is at the very least, collectively shunned (I would soon learn this for myself). Any critic, or any challenger of Islam is shut down on many fronts. You’ll lose liberal Western support in this regard for standing up for women’s rights (bizarre, I know), you’ll lose progressive Muslim support too. You’re basically left with conservatives, anti-immigrants and conspiracy theorists as allies. This happens because many of us internalize blasphemy concepts to some degree…if we perceive someone as challenging something ‘sacred’, even with the most valid reasons, we just cannot offer support. We don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, even if that means politely tolerating homophobia, misogyny, oppression.
At large, we are taught to think of imperialism as a white-on-colour occurrence. Rarely do we acknowledge the Arab imperialism spreading throughout the Muslim world, even today.
And so on…read the whole thing…..and when you next hear the BBC piously lecturing us about white racism, Islamophobia or the evil British empire think of what this girl says and compare.
Maybe we’re not so bad, as the BBC tars us, after all.