Tuesday 3 May 2016

The BBC and the EU: a bromance made in left-liberal heaven

While working for TV news in the late 1980s, I was helping a senior BBC political journalist choose clips from a speech by a prominent Tory eurosceptic minister, when, irritated by the stream of jeering anti-Little Englander comments issuing from my colleague, I asked him to name one identifiable benefit arising from our membership of the EU (still the EEC at that stage). To my astonishment, a man who could deliver an articulate three-minute piece-to-camera live from College Green in the face of a howling gale was totally non-plussed. After casting around desperately for a minute or two, he muttered something about the availability of a wide range of European cheeses in Sainsbury’s. When pressed, he said we really must be getting on, and asked the video editor to restart the tape. So ended my first and last discussion at the BBC regarding the merits of the EU. The Corporation had already decided that the EU was A Good Thing. Its attitude to those foolish enough to oppose membership was made clear to Rod Liddle when he was the editor of Today: “a very senior BBC executive said to me…about the Eurosceptics: ‘You do realise, Rod, that these people are mad?’”

From the BBC’s unstintingly adulatory coverage of the EU during the intervening years - despite the migrant disaster, multiple economic crises, the implosion of Greece, terrorist attacks, events in Ukraine - the BBC still gives every impression of believing that the EU is A Good Thing and that Euroscepticism is a form of mental illness. So why has the BBC fallen so totally, madly, head-over-heels in love with a bloated, sclerotic, bureaucratic, undemocratic, secretive, dirigiste organisation lavishly funded by taxpayers whose money is spent without their consent on whichever daft “progressive” schemes take its fancy, and which is ultimately answerable to nobody - oh, hang on, I think I may have answered my own question. The uncanny resemblance between the two entities doesn’t end there.

For instance, they both support policies which have already failed, or those which are bound to:: the BBC has never encountered an item of government spending that didn’t need to be increased, or a proposed spending “cut” that wouldn’t leave a trail of human devastation in its wake, or an area of human activity that didn’t need regulating, or a useless deadbeat who didn’t deserve a subsidy (“Shawneesha Quotts is an unemployed alcoholic single mother living with her fifteen children by twelve different fathers in a £10m council house in Hampstead. If the government goes ahead with plans to cut the ‘Feckless Trollops’ payments introduced by the last Labour government, she says her children will have no choice but to become drug-dealers and prostitutes - and it’ll be our fault.”). The answer to incontinent public spending is to print more money. Any energy policy with the words “renewable”, or “green” in its title - no matter how inefficient or ruinously unaffordable - must be subsidised by raising current energy bills. There is no greater threat to humanity than climate change. The British people can elect a right-of-centre government if they really feel they must, but the EU and the BBC will consider it their duty to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of any remotely right-wing policies it might try to implement - the BBC with relentlessly hostile propaganda, the EU with threats, red tape, directives, and legal SWAT teams.

The failed policy that has the BBC and the EU currently marching in lock-step is mass immigration. The comedian Lee Hurst recently tweeted the following: ”The BBC appears to have cameras that can find a child in a crowd of thousands of young men, but not on BBC premises.” If your only source of information regarding Europe’s current migrant catastrophe was the BBC, you might have gathered that the only migrants seeking to enter the EU are refugees from Middle East war zones, and that most of the men are doctors who all speak impeccable English and who are invariably accompanied by their wives and children. An item on the corporation’s News site entitled “Migration to Europe explained in seven charts” includes three photographs of migrants, all prominently featuring women and children. None of the charts breaks down asylum seekers by age, marital status or profession (if any), but several highlight Britain’s lack of generosity in accepting migrants compared to our compassionate European partners. It fails to mention that 72% of those who have attempted to cross the Mediterranean are adult males, while just 13% are adult women. But is the BBC as a whole focussing on this point? Of course not. The danger inherent in a mass influx of young, unmarried, mainly uneducated Muslim men is obviously the threat of Islamophobic violence from the Far Right (i.e. anyone to right of David Cameron): the threat of “radicalisation” stems from xenophobic hostility to those who do manage to get here.

The policy of encouraging mass migration feels like an attempt by the EU - with the BBC’s wholehearted support - to punish the indigenous peoples of Europe for disappointing them. Here, our left-liberal elite lost faith in us in the ’80s, when, unforgivably, we kept on voting for Mrs. Thatcher. In particular, the working and lower-middle classes have proved a sad disappointment, with their refusal to embrace socialism, or to give a stuff about feminists, gays, the transgender community, nuclear disarmament, immigration, multiculturalism, foreign aid, political correctness - or the EU itself. Despite decades of propaganda from the BBC, the lower orders have proved obdurate when it comes to signing up to the Great Progressive Programme: pride in the flag, the military and the monarchy and a propensity to celebrate our national differences are, if anything, increasing. The indigenous working classes - here and in many parts of Europe - have proved themselves unworthy of the compassion of their enlightened overlords; now, the elites seem determined to replace them in a sort of endlessly prolonged punishment beating. (It never occurs to the BBC or the EU that perhaps it’s their attitudes which need to change, rather than those of the tax-payers who fund them.)

The oddest aspect of the EU’s open borders policy and the BBC’s support for it is that the left-liberal elites which have been busily feminising European manhood have now opened their arms (well our arms, actually) to hordes of the most unreconstructed, hairy-chested, misogynistic male chauvinists on the planet. The EU plans to force publicly-listed companies to reserve 40% of their board seats for women (inevitably the BBC has signalled its virtue by announcing a 50% quota by 2020) — while leaving European women vulnerable to attacks by testosterone-charged young men from relatively primitive cultures where an uncovered female head is regarded as an open invitation to abuse. Is there something about the unfettered masculinity of these recent arrivals that awakens atavistic urges in those liberals who have created a society in their metrosexual image?

This lack of logic over immigration thickens the general air of unreality which envelops the BBC and the EU. Watching BBC coverage of current events sometime feels like getting reports from a parallel universe in which everything looks much like it does in our world, but in which all the conclusions are the diametric opposite of those which a rational, sensible human being would draw: the EU and the BBC both seem certain that the only way to solve a problem is to do even more of what caused it in the first place, whether that be more Europe, more bureaucrats, more green energy, more public spending, or more migrants. And both organisations seem utterly convinced that those who warn of a potential problem are always somehow guilty of causing it. (A similar warped logic dictates that the beliefs of a religion in whose name innocents are being slaughtered around the globe are to be accorded the utmost respect, while the beliefs of those who follow a religion which isn’t killing anybody, and which lies at the very heart of our civilisation, are to be dismissed with contempt.)

Finally, both organisations believe that they are somehow necessary: without the BBC, Britons would rapidly sink into cultureless savagery (or vote for UKIP, which is much the same thing), and, without the EU to keep us safe, Europe would be swept by waves of rabid nationalism, inevitably leading to another war: Tony Hall and Jean-Claude Juncker are all that stand between Britain and Armageddon.
Well, at least the BBC produces some good programmes. The EU can’t even claim that.


  1. Excellent, with a very good analysis of the problem linking the BBC bias towards the EU agenda is all very clear to us Radio and TV listeners who often doubt that the BBC has anything 'negative' to say about the EU at all. It is a land of make believe.

  2. I am sorry to say that I have never read any of your work before but this is superb. Without question one of the most coherent, objective, easy to read accounts of everything that is wrong with the BBC (and much of the mainstream media) and the EU (and much of the liberal elitist leaders of the West) that I have read in a long time. Tremendous job Scott. I shall seek out your writing in future.

  3. ...and boy, are we paying for it..

  4. Sorry to say this is the first time I have ever heard of you Scott. But I must say I am impressed. You expressing my views exactly!

  5. Thank you for your kind comments - glad you enjoyed it, and welcome to the blog. (And thanks to GCooper for spreading the word.)

    I was employed by the BBC for two decades, thoroughly enjoyed my time there, think it does a lot of good stuff, and always feel guilty when I'm criticising it, no matter how richly I feel it deserves it. But then I read something like this from today's Guardian (inevitably) and my feelings of guilt instantly evaporate:

    "BBC News plans to earmark £1m a year to recruit disabled journalists as part of a plan to improve the diversity of its workforce.

    In a meeting with staff on Wednesday, BBC head of news, James Harding, outlined plans to appoint more women, people with disabilities and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds into senior jobs.

    His remarks come a week after the BBC as a whole pledged that half its 21,000-strong workforce and leadership would be female by 2020, 15% BAME and 8% disabled."

    If anyone can explain how this is meant to improve the quality of the BBC's programmes - the only reason for its existence - in any way whatsoever, I'd be really interested to hear from you. As for fairness and equality and widening the spectrum of views its programmes reflect, why not start by hiring some more conservatives and right-wingers, who, in case anyone was wondering, are almost non-existent on the programme-making side (or anywhere else in the organisation for that matter)?

  6. Yes. Really excellent post. Thank you.

    Apropos your reference to this diversity nonsense, I was listening to the Media Show on R4 and on came a Mr Tunde Ogungbesan who is Lord Hall's new appointment as "Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession" at the BBC. His job is to make sure that members of the BAME Community get a fair crack of the whip within the BBC. He reports to Valerie Hughes-D'aeth [yes], Head of HR. He will be working alongside our old friend, Sir Lenworth, who is an official BBC "Diversity" advisor and the ubiquitous Lady Grey-Thompson, "Disability" Advisor. There is no equivilant job in existence for an "LBGT" advisor yet, but as that community basically manipulates the knobs of power within the BBC there is no need.

    Sir Lenworth has already pressured Lord Hall into providing £2.1 M for diversity issues and Lady Grey-Thompson feels that £100 M should be made available for both respective areas. I wonder where they think it is going to come from?

    I think you should send a copy of your post to Mr Ogungbesan as it was apparant that he did not know his arse from his elbow and it would give him some very valuable background as he is new to the BBC. Just a thought.

  7. Excellent post, Scott. Says everything I would have liked to say but was too dim to do it.

  8. Brilliant p[ost and Ron Liddle would be proud of the mention ^.^

  9. This is brilliant-cogent,witty,original-one of your best.