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So, after the anointment of Baroness Ashton as the EU’s High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security last evening, the BBC has swung into the “Hail Cathy” mode this morning. We had independent commentator Neil Kinnock on to say what a swell gal she was and how no one could be more suited to carrying out such a function as the unelected Baroness. The BBC also provided us with a sanitised version of her CV with the pro-Communist CND dimension left unstated – never mind that Dalek in her sitting room.
I see the BBC is piling the pressure on David Cameron’s new (supine) stance on the EU – using the ramblings of a French politician who suggests Cameron has “castrated” future UK influence in the post Lisbon world. (As if it would have any influence one way or another!) This is a moment of unrestrained joy for the ruthlessly pro-EU BBC – with the Czechs sadly caving in on Lisbon and poor little Cameron with nothing left to do but abandon any pretence of asserting British sovereignty in the guise of a “Never Again” claim that doesn’t matter since Lisbon ensures there will be no need for anything again.
One of the biggest failings of the BBC is bias by omission. That is, they conveniently ignore the issues that really matter because they don’t accord with the BBC mindset. An organisation that spends £800m a year on newsgathering – probably the biggest operation of its kind anywhere in the world – fritters the money away.
Take coverage of the EU, for example. Five years ago, the Wilson report damned the corporation’s analysis of EU affairs as narrow, boring annd unchallenging. The BBC responded by saying – as it always does when criticised – that it’s coverage was actually OK, but even so it would do better.
Spool forward to today. The Lisbon Treaty remains a matter of massive controversy which millions of people in England – as the recent EU poll showed – think is a major step towards a tyranny that they don’t want. So how does the BBC cover steps towards its ratification? By providing measured, in depth debate, as it promised? Not a bit of it.
On BBC1 Breakfast Time this morning an item on the Irish vote on Lisbon was sandwiched between coverage of the cervical cancer scare and – far more important – a lengthy item on the importance of dog-tagging. The Irish piece boiled down to a soundbite from a fish and chip shop owner who was intending to vote ‘yes’ and a fisherman who would say’no’. In between, a bland BBC reporter told us that the reason that Ireland was voting yes was because of the recession. And that was it.
Nothing about the implications of the vote, the claims of vote-rigging by Brussels, or the lies being told about the Treaty. No attempt to show the importance to people’s lives, or to do anything but the bare minimum.
This is what the BBC’s £800m news operation now routinely does. Items of major importance are reduced to their lowest, most simplistic, denomininator, while other matters its judges closer to people’s lives (like dog-tagging) are elevated to inflated over-importance. The BBC sold its soul to the EU years ago, and while Britain moves inexorably towards being a satellite vassal state of Brussels, its journalists sit on their hands refusing to analyse the issues that matter. “Bias by ommission” indeed.
Remarkable story here.
An advertisement for Britain’s judge on the European Court of Human Rights has
stated that the post does not need to be held by a British national. The advert for the £175,000 a-year position says the role is “not restricted to British nationals…” It has been published jointly by the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Office.
I note it adds that candidates must “demonstrate a close current connection with the United Kingdom and familiarity with one or more of its legal systems”. Like Sharia?
Thus far, the BBC has been unable to find any critics of this outrage!
I was looking at this loving BBC profile of Manuel Barroso – he who is EU Commission President. It portrays him as some sort of right wing character although he considers himself “centrist”. You have to wonder at the sort of media prism that presents Barroso as anything other than a hard left anti democratic dictator. Still, since the EU helps fund the BBC, this kind of spinning is always to be expected.
It’s a laugh, isn’t it. The BBC were salivating this morning about the fact that retailers who sell violent video games and 18-rated DVDs to children cannot be prosecuted because of a legal blunder 25 years ago. Yes – made under the evil Thatcher junta! At no point does the BBC query why after more than a decade of Socialist nirvana nothing has been by Labour done to fix it. Nor, for that matter, did it pursue the point why a BRITISH law made by a BRITISH government carries no force in BRITAIN because of the EU!
You should have a read of this BBC item concerning the news that the UK’s Conservative MEPs have formed a new “anti-federalist” European Parliament bloc.
The new European Conservatives and Reformists Group includes 55 MEPs from across eight member states. Leader David Cameron had vowed to take his MEPs out the centre-right European People’s Party, saying its federalist views were against Tory policy.
What interests me is the structure of the article. It starts of by informing us of this move by Cameron before finishing with a critical attack of this move by retiring Conservative MEP’s and, of course, Barroso. The reader is therefore left with the subtle message that the Conservatives are divided over it and have done something which is wrong! Always pro-EU and always anti-Conservatives when they show a little determination not to be rabid federalists.
The BBC probably thought they were doing their bit for balance by inviting Helen Szamuely of the Eurosceptical blog EU Referendum onto a discussion with Zainab Badawi.
On the other hand, they might have considered that UK feelings about the EU are not at all warm, and that two pro-EU bloggers out of three was a touch imbalanced. There was Nosemonkey, a “critically pro-EU and centrist” blogger, Shiraz Socialist, a “moderately angry nouveau-middle-class leftwinger” (I’ll refer to him as SS), and Szamuely, a lovable if crotchety Eurosceptic (I am sure she will love the description). Of the three, I am pretty certain Szamuely’s blog has much the largest readership (circa 3000 daily visits).
Then again, perhaps we should look at another metric- time alloted to speakers. In this regard, by my rough reckoning, Szamuely got 92 seconds, Nosemonkey 112, and Shiraz Socialist 134. Shiraz also got the last word, in which he claimed that EU institutions need to be strengthened. He had also been given the first word, fed to him by Badawi, that politicians in general were in the doghouse. Very conveniently, following that the whole discussion managed to omit mention of which party are firmly in the doghouse. People were angry with the recession, they said, but the “L” word went missing.
Now to the tone- it was clear that Badawi was “ready” for Ms Szamuely. She interrupted her several times and disputed with her the “usefulness” of the EU Parliament (Szamuely had a ready retort about Commission overrules of Parliamnetary objections, but that got lost in Badawi’s hectoring). Badawi interrupted her too when she mentioned UKIP, clarifying who they were while Szamuely was in full flow. Then, during the discussion wind up, she told Szamuely (who we have seen got less time) to say “briefly” how she saw the UK public mood, and repeated that “briefly” so that she could give time to… SS.
She did not once interrupt SS, nor dispute with him when he claimed that EU institutions need strengthening, nor when he stated that people were angry about the (his word) “laissez-faire” economics of recent times. She even murmurred, “mmm, yes” at one stage.
Nosemonkey was mainly there for posing value, but he managed to slip in a cheap jab about Tory MPs resigning over expenses which Badawi… let go, surprisingly.
All in all then, a startlingly biased presentation, once you look closely. But see for yourself and make up your own mind by watching the video on EU Referendum’s blog.
The EU’s Common Fishing Policy has been an unmitigated disaster from just about every angle one can imagine. It has, of course, decimated the British Fishing Industry, but just as importantly wreaked havoc across our seas. So I found this item this morning to be far too generous to the EU, and I also wondered why the RSPB was chosen to be the voice for opinion? Are there NO British fishermen left that could be interviewed? Yes, I know that Dunne was critical of the politicians micro-management of Fishing policy but his critique did not go far enough in also exposing the vast corruption and cynical manipulation of the CFP. The BBC is reluctant to debate the gargantuan scale of corruption, inefficiency and lawlessness that pervades the EU and today this was just one small example.
There’s been an interesting story recently which might tell us much about the BBC’s editorial bias. I was reminded of it by this article by William Rees Mogg in the The Times. According to him, senior judge Lord Hoffman, who has spoken out against the Strasbourg law court the European Court of Human Rights, “has supported the shift to judicial liberalism that followed the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998”
So, a liberal judge.
Who attacks a European institution.
What to do (for the BBC, who are attached to both)?
Well, interestingly, the BBC immediately reported Hoffman’s attack– they may have even broken the story to the wider public – but they made special points of saying where he might be acting from a sense of personal injury, “In 1989 Lord Hoffmann had a decision of his overturned”, or untrustworthy, Hoffman “had contributed to a decision that the former Chilean leader could be arrested and extradited for crimes against humanity, without emphasising his links to human rights group Amnesty International.”
As this kind of background is normally quietly left aside when reporting the thinking of liberal leftists, and in those cases the BBC simply rest on the seniority of the source, we can be sure that this time the BBC came down in favour of supporting a European institution. As Russell Crowe said to Marr on Sunday, pointedly and deliberately- “objectivity is a myth”.
Another morning and another chance to present the notion that the Conservative Party is divided. Yesterday it was on Inheritance tax, today it is on Europe. Mark Mardell was using the line that for the Conservative Party to withdraw from the (utterly useless) EPP would set up a crisis with the likes of MEP Christopher Weasley sorry, Christopher Beasely applying to join the EPP! Labour, and by definition the BBC, will open up more attacks on the Conservatives as we start the run-in to the June Euro-polls and I suspect this was just the beginning. The line being retailed is that the Conservatives are “extreme” if they seek to do anything that might de-rail the EU gravy train. Also, shouldn’t the BBC declare that it receives funding from the EU before it runs any story on this subject? Full disclosure is always a good idea when trying to pretend one in impartial.
With sincere thanks to my proof-readers!
The BBC reports that the EU seeks establish a new pan-Europe Institution to supervise all national institutions such as the City of London. Quelle surprise, another power grab from the overlords in Brussels. BBC correspondent and Billy Bunter look-a-like Mark Mardell thrills that ” supporters of the scheme would like to see national bodies like the UK’s Financial Services Authority made subordinate to the new institution and adds that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has relaxed his previous opposition to tighter regulation at a European level.” Mark seems to have overlooked the salient fact that such is the level of EU financial corruption that EU accounts have not been signed of for fourteen years in a row. Even the BANKS must be envious of that! When it comes to the reporting of EU matters, the BBC is so biased as to be beyond belief. Then again, I guess the fact that the EU helps fund the BBC may account for at least that aspect!
So, when Gordon Brown promised “British jobs for British workers” it now seems that what he meant was “providing people with new skills”. LOL! How pathetic is this? The Dear Leader is on The Politics Show later today so if you see it, feel free to leave your comments here! It seems to me that the BBC is in a real quandary over this one since it wants to Save Gordon, of course, but the only way it can do this is to attack those “wildcat” strikers. The BBC is also fervently pro-EU but at the very heart of this issue is the fact that there can be no “British jobs for British workers” whilst we are in the rotten EU – so one more problem for the BBC!