Sunday, 2 October 2016

A BBC expert

"A prophet of intolerance", according to the BBC's Nick Thorpe

In between the previous two items on referendums on The World This Weekend came a report on today's Hungarian referendum by the BBC's Central Europe correspondent (and blog favourite) Nick Thorpe. 

Loyal followers of ITBB will know that Nick isn't afraid to express a strong opinion in the course of his BBC reporting (notwithstanding BBC impartiality guidelines). 

He's been quite vocal about Brexit recently (and clearly isn't keen), but has been even more opinionated about the migrant crisis, especially as regards what he sees as the appalling behaviour of the Hungarian government. 

As a brief reminder, here are some of his previous opinions on the subject, expressed during his BBC reporting:
This whole refugee crisis sometimes seems to me like a football match. Rich Nations of Europe 2: Wretched of the Earth 3.  
At first light, a Syrian man in a suit stained dark with sweat, still wearing his tie, swung down the railway track towards me on his crutches. And who are you? I asked wearily, like so many Europeans. "I am, Sir, a sovereign man," he replied. Among so many sovereign nations, it was a relief to meet a sovereign man.  
This has been a pyrrhic victory for the Hungarian government. [The huge fences erected to keep out migrants, which Nick kept predicting wouldn't work anyhow - even though they did]. The economic costs are high. Its good name is in tatters.  
Parallel to that, there is a hostility among some Hungarians to them. The government publicity has not helped that. I think it's whipped up a certain degree of xenophobia here. 
In these Hungarian stations you can witness the best and the worst sides of the Hungarian reaction to this crisis. Many stories of the indifference or even the hostility of the authorities, but also a remarkable outpouring of generosity from the Hungarian public.  
Today's The World This Weekend saw him using his brilliant way with language to drip damning irony on the Hungarian government for today's referendum on EU migrant quotas whilst simultaneously presenting the EU's demands on Hungary in the mildest, meekest, most reasonable light. 

"It seems to me this referendum is more about Viktor Orban's fate than about his country's", said Nick today re Hungary's prime minister and his referendum. 

And he went on to call Mr Orban "a prophet of intolerance". 

He may be wrong, he may be right, but still...there's really no doubting, is there, that the BBC's Nick Thorpe is very keen on offering us his opinions (merely at the price of many hundreds of BBC licence fees)?

PS. As of now (16:50), the apparent low turnout is predicted to be causing Mr Orban's referendum to fail. 

1 comment:

  1. Nick loves the open borders virtue signalling and I don't suppose he remotely touched on the fundamental issue here. Which is that Hungary is relatively small and poor. It doesn't want or need immigrants. However, the rich bully that dominates the EU and which unilaterally invited in over one million migrants is telling Hungary it must take some. I.e. the issue is one of sovereignty.