Monday, 16 March 2015

Alas, poor Judas


This week's Start the Week certainly got my brain going - despite it being, in many ways, the epitome of a BBC left-liberal-biased programme. 

Its theme was shame and betrayal.

Under the chairpersonage of its impeccably left-liberal presenter Tom Sutcliffe (of the Guardian/BBC), self-proclaimed left-winger Jon Ronson, anti-'corporate' academic/campaigner Jennifer Jacquet, liberal Catholic Peter Stanford, and Michael Buffong, artistic director of Talawa (on to talk about left-leaning playwright Arthur Miller), discussed those very matters.

My listening experience ran, roughly, as follows - so make of it what you will (especially if you took the time to listen to the programme):

I thought that Jon Ronson made a powerful case that the po-faced-yet-gleeful PC witch-hunters who dominate Twitter are a malign mob who can ruin a life in the space of mere minutes - especially as his testimony came from someone (himself) who confessed to having been that type of po-faced-yet-gleeful PC witch-hunter himself before. I squirmed, however, at his suggestion that such po-faced, left-liberal authoritarian arbitors of taste are 'conservative', as they are (by-and-large) the sort of people (like him) who would obviously vomit at the mere thought of being branded 'conservative'.

I also shuffled uneasily at Jennifer Jacquet, whose argument that modern-day shaming of corporations is a powerful tool to bring about change, included shaming those corporations who (she feels) 'deny' climate change - and who, more generally, get her goat. A whiff of witch-hunting hung about her too, though she was - to her credit - dogged in her insistence that (a) such shaming should be applied to corporate entities rather than individual people and that (b) if the targetted corporation 'fesses up and makes amends it should be forgiven.

Michael Buffong largely stuck to the message of his Arthur Miller play. I can't quite remember what that was.

And Peter Stanford talked about Judas. His point (which was very interesting for us Bible types) was that Judas is 'one of us' - the type of guy 'we' can identify with. Yes, he was a 'posh bloke' from the Jewish elite, but he doubted like 'we' doubt and, poor guy, he hanged himself through shame. God , however, used him to help crucify his own son and redeem us all. Alas, alas though, poor Judas Iscariot is associated with bad things. Poor, poor Judas. So misunderstood. But fear not, Peter Stanford likes him. Ah, bless! (as they say).

All very interesting, but Jon Ronson - despite sticking up for PC people who'd erred on Twitter - expressed his belief that the Left are right to police the thoughtosphere because, well, the Left are right. And Jennifer Jacquet is going to keep on campaigning against capitalist corporations. And, most strikingly of all, BBC Catholic Peter Stanford repeatedly denounced us wicked 'conservative' types as people who only think in terms of 'black and white' rather than in (50?) shades of grey - unlike left-liberals like him who see the world in variegated colours, apparently. (Oh yes???)

It might have helped, impartiality-wise, to have have a 'conservative' voice on the programme but such voices seem to be the equivalent of luxury items at the BBC - even for the "daring" Start the Week producer (/sarc). One may be invited to appear once in a while, but they clearly aren't considered week-on-week BBC Start the Week voices.

And that, surely, is one of the problems with the BBC.

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