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 ?