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  • Its “lack of depth was…. inexcusable”


    by Sunny
    14th October, 2009 at 11:22 am    

    Oh dear, BBC Radio 1′s BNPgate saga continues to run and run, attracting even more criticism. David Modell, filmaker and producer of Dispatches film Young, Nazi and Proud, writes for Channel 4 News:

    The interview was typical of the sometimes flawed reporting of the BNP when the BBC engages its representatives in mainstream broadcasts. The BNPs heritage of neo-nazism and position in the “white supremacist” movement is often not understood by poorly briefed reporters, who conduct interviews in a format designed for credible politicians.

    In the case of the Newsbeat interview the lack of depth is even more inexcusable as this was clearly prerecorded and edited, so there should have been time for proper research and scrutiny.

    I would never argue that we should not allow the BNP airtime. But reporting the organisation has to be done with great care because of the distress and damage it has the potential (and the will) to cause. Failure to do so risks collaborating in the dissemination of a destructive hatred.

    Spot on. I’m not letting go of this story that easily because we’re entering a dangerous stage of our politics where the voice of the BNP is slowly being legitimised by a media (principally the BBC) through some very shoddy reporting and journalism. Next week we’ll have to watch Nick Griffin on Question Time and see how that progresses. The BBC’s argument that it’s only giving him space because he is now an elected MEP has been shown as rubbish.

    On that, I agree with Mehdi Hasan that picking Bonnie Greer is a bad choice. Look - most BNP supporters are working class people. To undermine Griffin’s credibility, using a middle-class activist/intellectual from America is hardly going to resonate is it? They need people from working class backgrounds to point out that the BNP offer the politics of anger and hatred - and will never end up helping working class people. I doubt Bonnie Greer will be able to do that. If they pick Trevor Phillips on the panel, that’s it - I’ll officially brand it a conspiracy to support the BNP.


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    Filed in: Media,The BNP






    30 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. James Cowley

      RT @pickledpolitics Its “lack of depth was…. inexcusable” http://bit.ly/4ieJuq


    2. Adam Fish

      Good post from @pickledpolitics on the BBC soft-soaping the BNP http://bit.ly/qjgdy


    3. Nicholas Stewart

      #PickledPolitics Its “lack of depth was…. inexcusable” BBC radio peice on the BNP http://tinyurl.com/yzvhzqp


    4. pickles

      @MTPT explained on my blog post here: http://is.gd/4joJ6




    1. James Cowley — on 14th October, 2009 at 11:29 am  

      I recieved information from the BBC Complaints team regarding this, and they said they needed to give all parties in the political spectrum broad coverage.

      They said this is what happens in a democracy, and sorry I did not agree with it.

      I said eh?

    2. Paul — on 14th October, 2009 at 11:58 am  

      The BNP can be banned. Is members can be given house arrest and/or issued restriction orders banning all contacts with the media. You, Sunny, and many others, support the BNP’s right to legal party status, and its right to free speech. You support its right to issue political propaganda, to candidacy in elections, and to campaign in support of candidates. You are opposed to any restrictions on their press releases, on their campaign material, or on the content of their interviews with the media.

      And then you say, that the way to deal with the BNP is to select interviewers / talk-show guests / panellists for their empathy rating among the white working class. They will, you think, deflate the BNP’s claims. So a huge range of issues - immigration, national identity, Islam in Europe, integration - is reduced to the sole question of whether panellist A or interviewer B has the right working-class accent, and working-class credibility. And that strategy will, you imply, cure the problem and make the BNP go away…

    3. Refresh — on 14th October, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

      Sunny, nor should you let go of this one. A lot will flow from this, as a society if we get it wrong at this critical point, the problem will only accelerate.

      See this piece, also from the Independent:

      ‘Johann Hari: The looming threat of terror that comes from the far right

      The threat comes not from jihadis but ‘neo-Nazis’ out to kill black people, Jews and gays’

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-looming-threat-of-terror-that-comes-from-the-far-right-1802167.html

    4. Ravi Naik — on 14th October, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

      Sunny, I disagree with you here. In my view, this has nothing to do with finding someone that can resonate with working class voters. This is about ensuring that the BNP is exposed for what it is (incompetent and dishonest). Fighting them on class or ideology lines is far less efficient, because it is very hard to change people’s preconceived ideas. In other words, people from all classes will not vote for the BNP if they are convinced that the BNP will not benefit their lives, and for that you only need to show they are incompetent and damn liars.

      I do not think journalists should provide moral lessons, castigate the BNP or even show bias against a particular ideology. A good journalist should allow the BNP speak from the heart, not from talking point and in the process show that they are dishonest and incompetent. It would be very useful if PP provided guidelines to journalists as to how achieve that. Clearly, being armed with facts seems like a good place to start.

    5. Kismet Hardy — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

      Why anyone is so surprised is beyond me. This is the radio station that barfs the nation out of bed each morn with Chris Moyles

    6. Shatterface — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:34 pm  

      I’ve just Googled ‘BNPgate’ and the only articles coming up are by you, Sunny. Nobody’s taking this up and you look sadder every time you use it.

      Rob Newman used to take the piss out of those using the ‘gate’ suffix, and that was over a decade ago.

    7. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

      -”The BNPs heritage of neo-nazism and position in the “white supremacist” movement…”

      That may be true, however, neo-Nazism and white supremacism are not the official views of the BNP. Just as revolutionary Marxism is no longer the views of the sundry former Trots skulking in the Labour Party.

      They’ve got some nasty ideas. But so do you. I support both your rights of free speech.

      The BNP represent the votes of over a million British people, and I suspect the views of many more.

      Ravi:

      “I do not think journalists should provide moral lessons, castigate the BNP or even show bias against a particular ideology. A good journalist should allow the BNP speak from the heart, not from talking point and in the process show that they are dishonest and incompetent.”

      An excellent statement from an excellent post.

      The only fascists I see are those attempting to silence debate.

    8. fugstar — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:43 pm  

      Bonny Greer might go down quite well, london race activist types tend to come across as inbred and jealous.

      Though by your reasoning, one might pick somebody like vinny jones.

      Im really interested to see how this question time big brother house unfolds.

    9. persephone — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

      @6 try googling with a hyphen and a space b/n the bnp and gate & you’ll see others who have called it a softball

    10. Kismet Hardy — on 14th October, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

      Before gate was it just water? In that case, it should really be called dam. BNPdam sounds better.

    11. Jai — on 14th October, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

      The BNP represent the votes of over a million British people, and I suspect the views of many more.

      It was under a million people. “Reza”, you have been corrected about this before; on the previous occasion, the exact figure was provided to you, including the specific source of the number.

      Persistently attempting to inflate the number of people who voted for the BNP will not assist your efforts to counteract continuing suspicions about your motivations and your real identity, regardless of your claims to the contrary.

      For that matter, neither will repeatedly quoting from American Renaissance in an attempt to support your arguments (as you have done on several recent occasions), a website/magazine devoted to white supremacism and with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and promoters of racial genetics.

      And as for the following remark:

      The only fascists I see are those attempting to silence debate.

      The fact that you would make such an assertion regardless of all the facts you are already aware of possibly unmasks your true identity and sympathies more than anything else.

      Trojan Horses are frequently identified and exposed, sooner or later.

    12. falcao — on 14th October, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

      On question time next week BNP great more islam bashing and who is in the red corner good old Jack straw aka don’t wear a burka if you wanna talk to me. The muslim community must be well happy!

    13. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 3:31 pm  

      Jai

      “…repeatedly quoting from American Renaissance…”

      What????

      I’ve never heard of the organisation. When did I quote from it?

      I f*cking hate the BNP. They’re racists. They don’t believe that my kids or I can be British. And they’re far-left socialists when it comes to economics. And surely I’ve been explicit about my loathing of socialism. I can think of nothing worse than racist socialism. That’s as nasty, in my eyes as the Islamist/Internationalist Socialism of those SWP goons.

      Why is it that because I acknowledge that (okay Jay, I made a mistake) just UNDER one million people voted for them, and that they are addressing areas of immigration policy and nationalism which click with many British voters but are ignored by the political mainstream, you repeatedly accuse me of supporting them?

      Perhaps I should give myself a rationality lobotomy and simply shriek “RACIST!” at the situation and it will all go away. “Let’s censor them! NAAZIS!” “No platform! Faascists!”

      And the stupid British people will soon forget all about them…

      Jai, you come across as pretty bright sometimes but not here.

    14. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

      shatterface - when I need your opinion on what I should title my posts and how I should write on something - I’ll be sure to ask. Until then….

      Ravi: Fighting them on class or ideology lines is far less efficient, because it is very hard to change people’s preconceived ideas.

      But if you’re trying to compete for who connects with a certain constituency - why not put forward someone who can relate to that constituency?

      You have a very idealised version. But in reality people will look at Bonnie Greer and might find that she cannot relate to them - and be further driven into the arms of Griffin.

      A good journalist should allow the BNP speak from the heart, not from talking point and in the process show that they are dishonest and incompetent.

      Agreed. And this is the problem I have with the Radio 1 interview in that it failed in this basic regard

    15. Jai — on 14th October, 2009 at 3:59 pm  

      “…repeatedly quoting from American Renaissance…”

      What????

      I’ve never heard of the organisation. When did I quote from it?

      Reza, you have recommended the website and its contents on two occasions, here: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6150#comment-180958

      and here: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6150#comment-180976

    16. Ravi Naik — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

      You have a very idealised version. But in reality people will look at Bonnie Greer and might find that she cannot relate to them – and be further driven into the arms of Griffin.

      Griffin is not working class, but middle-class. Which proves that you do not really need to come from working class background to empathise with that electorate. I agree that perception is important, and you can screw up on that front. I do remember the Al Gore vs Bush debate, and I could not believe that anyone would think Bush won. But for all the retarded things Bush said, Al Gore was penalised for having sighed. Nick Griffin is a populist. While it seems safe to talk for the people, you always risk looking like an opportunist. I really hope no one underestimates Nick Griffin.

    17. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:22 pm  

      Jai

      You’re mistaken. Here is the actual text:

      “Take some time to read the link Jimmy gave in No.5. Here it is again:

      http://www.amren.com/ar/2007/02/index.html”

      I cut and pasted a link given by another ‘Pickler’, Jimmy earlier in that discussion.

      I wasn’t aware that the link had anything to do with a white supremacist organisation. Nevertheless, I believe that the argument put in that link; that ‘diversity’ is not necessarily a ‘strength’ was sound. I have read the argument elsewhere, but chose that link as it had already been introduced into the debate.

      Whilst I’ll be avoiding links to that website in future (thank you for pointing out its nature) I will never automatically discount a viewpoint just because the person giving it may have other views I oppose.

      That would be stupid.

      Like those morons were when they said Phil Woollas was “adopting the language of the BNP” because he discussed concerns about immigration. Like those cretins were when they said Trevor Phillips was “adopting the language of the BNP” when he criticised the ideology of multiculturalism.

      And like those idiots are that shout “racist” at anyone who criticises immigration policy, multiculturalism, Islam, or any foreign cultural practice.

    18. Shatterface — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

      ‘shatterface – when I need your opinion on what I should title my posts and how I should write on something – I’ll be sure to ask. Until then….’

      Argument by elipses?

      Fantastic, now you’re Harold Pinter.

    19. KB Player — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

      Bonnie Greer seems an odd choice. Doesn’t she do arts rather than politics? Jack Straw too - remember his cravenness about the Mohammad cartoons? That would be a stick for Griffin to beat him with.

      Though I’m a big BBC fan I agree with Sunny that they don’t know how to take on the BNP and when I’ve heard them they haven’t been well informed about their policies or past history. I’ve thought I could do a better job of interviewing them myself.

      Kenan Malik’s Analysis a couple of weeks ago was fairly good but that was for Radio 4, which is your educated audience who think the BNP are something the plumber would find when clearing a blocked pipe.

      Sunny accuses the BBC of giving the BNP an easy ride. That may be because they regard them as so obviously repugnant that they don’t bother trying to find out anything about them. No-one they know would ever vote for them.

    20. Shatterface — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      ‘@6 try googling with a hyphen and a space b/n the bnp and gate & you’ll see others who have called it a softball’

      Just tried hyphenating: it’s still just Sunny tilting at this windmill.

    21. camilla — on 14th October, 2009 at 6:19 pm  

      there is constant mentioning of working people, supporting the BNP…

      excuse me, is there any other movement or party or whatever in your country which also support the working class? or is it a bad taste or out of fashion in UK?

    22. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

      Reza: evertheless, I believe that the argument put in that link; that ‘diversity’ is not necessarily a ’strength’ was sound. I have read the argument elsewhere, but chose that link as it had already been introduced into the debate.,

      So you absolutely hate racists but frequently agree with the arguments they make? Very enlightening.

      Ravi: I do remember the Al Gore vs Bush debate, and I could not believe that anyone would think Bush won. But for all the retarded things Bush said, Al Gore was penalised for having sighed. Nick Griffin is a populist.

      But Al Gore did lose - he completely failed to see the emotional messages that Bush was giving out and counter them. He came across as weak, craven and too elitist. That may not be how he is but that is how he came across.

      Nick Griffin’s origins are irrelevant - it’s how he comes across that matters. And my point is that Greer is a poor choice to counteract that.

    23. Refresh — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:16 pm  

      Reza, however much you want to protest going by all your contributions I am afraid it comes across as an interview to be the next ethnic liaison officer of the BNP and/or EDL. Either that or you are an incompetent fool.

      Here is what they said of a predecessor:

      ‘This was the man who agrees with BNP on islam and spoke in the freedom of speech trial to tell the judge the BNP does not hate ethnics and when Nick says muslims he doesn’t mean all asians just muslims.Also he was in the 2004
      euro elections broadcast.
      Rajinder Singh is not a member of the BNP but promotes BNP to ethnic minorities and understand that BNP is not about hating ethnic minorities. ‘

    24. Reza — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

      Sunny: “So you absolutely hate racists but frequently agree with the arguments they make? Very enlightening.”

      I don’t hate racists. I hate their ideology. I don’t even hate the far left and multiculturalists, despite the incalculable harm they’ve done to this country. I just hate their ideology.

      And yes, I agree with the BNP’s immigration policy far more than I agree with your views on immigration. (Woolas a hardcore extremist; what a ridiculous thing to claim.)

      And it would appear that I’m not alone:-

      “The public like some BNP policies, but not the BNP”

      http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/196

      Your type are in a minority Sunny, you always have been. But you knew that didn’t you.

      However, you’ve now lost the war keep the issues out of the political area through ‘no-platform’ censorship, screaming “racist!” and violent intimidation.

      And you lefties are clearly sh*tting yourselves.

    25. Sunny — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:10 am  

      Your type are in a minority Sunny, you always have been. But you knew that didn’t you.

      I’d rather be right that in a minority where people are driven by hatred.

    26. highfieldoval — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:56 pm  

      David Modell - not an objective analysis/assessment just bog standard opinion, he’s talking to you Sunny which is the point I was making in that tetchy phone call on Richard Bacon.

      The Newsbeat interview was perfectly robust she asked all the necessary questions and pushed for answers. Andrew neil seemed to think that he did a much better job on Griffin, regurgitating holocaust denial which he (Griffin) eschewed years ago. Yep no contest Newsbeat informed rather than willy waved.

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