Monday 1 July 2013

BBC Groupthink on Immigration?

There's an interesting article in Standpoint by Peter Whittle of the New Culture Forum which you might care to read:

Here's a taster:
In its coverage of the economic arguments for and against immigration, the BBC has devoted far more time to the pro-immigration argument, while at the same time ignoring many of the social costs. In the 16 years under study, [Ed] West found only a "tiny handful" of TV, radio and online reports in which the anti-immigration voices had not been outnumbered.
"Is it possible," asks West, "for a news organisation that is dedicated to celebrating ‘diversity' in British society to deal impartially with the question of immigration?" The short answer to that, as supplied by this report, is obviously not. So much of the bias in BBC immigration reporting has been a matter of bias by omission, but West has included examples of a quite brazen lack of balance.  So when BBC Online covered a 2007 report into new immigration figures, the Conservative MP Damian Green and Andrew Green, founder of MigrationWatch UK, were "balanced" by four supporters of mass migration. When the 2011 census showed a truly historic demographic transformation — that white British people in London were now, for the first time in its history, in a minority — Newsnight presented the change as of little consequence, and the ensuing discussion was again essentially three against one.    
Sometimes, the analysis offered by the BBC's correspondents is nothing short of propaganda. Either that, or they are living in an alternate universe, or perhaps in denial. Earlier this year, the Today programme considered "white flight" from London, a term that presenter James Naughtie called "loaded". Having spoken to white Britons who had left the East End in recent years, the home affairs correspondent Mark Easton informed us that it was all about property prices, that it was essentially a story of whites benefiting from increased prosperity. "It's a story of aspiration," he concluded, "it's a story of success." No mention, of course, that it might be due to an alienation brought on by a sense that their neighbourhoods were taking on an increasingly unfamiliar air, or that schools and hospitals were overcrowded. Not that there has been any white flight so far as the BBC's soap EastEnders is concerned; as West points out, "The show is stuck in a 1980s demographic time warp: a realistic East London soap opera would have to show a white family moving out every year, to be replaced by Bangladeshis or Somalis, and much of the programme would need to be subtitled."

1 comment:

  1. Did you hear good old Alf Garnet on the Today programme at about 8:25 am?

    Evan Davis found it distasteful, and said the “language” couldn’t be used nowadays, even in satire. (Coons and Wogs, since you asked)

    Alf: “We will rise like lions and get our empire back. The bloody great British empire that your bloody labour rubbish gave away.”

    Tony Booth: “Gave it back to the people it belonged to”

    Alf: “To a load of bloody coons and wogs. Made such a muck-up of it they had to come over ‘ere and scrounge off of us.”

    “Discomfort in the studio, even at the language...."
    Two comedy writers were asked how bad they thought it was. One said “There’s no doubt it wouldn’t be allowed now and nor should it”
    People might be influenced by comedy racism (and be made racist)
    Was Alf Garnet likable? Evan didn’t thinks so.
    No amount of comedy is going to shake you our of your dearly held beliefs, asserted the other writer.

    “The truth is we were laughing at that clip” says Evan, ‘until the language got a bit strong, because it was funny”
    Heaven forfend that we should laugh a something “racist” even though it was funny.


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