Sunday 6 April 2014


Following the anticlimactic Panorama that turned out to be a mere shadow of the sensationalised trails that preceded it, Lutfur Rahman’s mayorship is under scrutiny. It says so again here on Trial By Jeory.

Eric Pickles has sent auditors from PriceWaterhouseCooper’s to sift through Tower Hamlets’ financial records.  If illegal practices are unearthed, something will happen. 
Some commenters are hoping Rahman will be found guilty and jailed. Imagine the backlash if that happens! Already the BBC has been accused of racism just for investigating this situation. 
I’ve been following the thread, which contains some fascinating comments. Some contributors are predicting that ‘nothing will happen’. Defeatists!
There are many examples of ‘nothing much happening‘ even after the most conclusive cases of bad practice and injustice.    
One commenter asks Mr. Jeory:
 Graham Taylor: “Ted – What’s the situation if a journalist uncovers a criminal act? Do sub judice / contempt of court type rules apply?”
trialbyjeory : “They’d hand evidence to appropriate authorities. In many circumstances a reporter would also agree not to report something they’d uncovered if it jeopardised a criminal investigation. That’s happened to me several times.”

Hmm. This is not strictly true. For example, remember Don’t Panic. I’m Islamic? 

One of the BBC researchers knew Mohammed Hamid was involved in acts of terrorism, yet she didn’t report him to the police. Instead Nasreen Suleaman went to ‘senior BBC managers” and was told not to go to the police.

I know, I know, that was back in 2005; the past is another country, and all that, but not where historic cases of abuse (or various other misdemeanors from the past) are concerned.

So, on the subject of outcomes, the value of having a complaint against the BBC upheld is questionable. Does having a complaint upheld lead to a significant change of policy or have a consequence of any kind?

Being published on the obscure BBC complaints website, or in a PDF that painstakingly sets out the convoluted passage through the  system of each complaint nestled in amongst a mixed bunch of partly upheld, not upheld and other upheld complaints, doesn’t quite seem commensurate with the effort of pushing a complaint uphill against a tide of glue.  

Even though I wasn’t the complainant here, I’d like to see Sarah Montague publicly apologise in at least a 32 second statement. And promise not to do it again; and perhaps have Kevin Connolly boiled in oil. 
I’d quite like to see John Humphrys made to revisit the occasion where he let Jack Straw get away with a gratuitously offensive remark about ‘stealing land’ during an interview with Dore Gold on an unrelated topic, and perhaps have him brave the black chair live, answering questions on “Israel from 1948 to the present day” no passes; and while we’re at it, I’d have preferred one of the presenters on that early morning paper review, which an eagle-eyed viewer highlighted on BBCWatch, to have at least countered Alpesh Patel’s offensive Jewish Lobby remark with something equally robust about the all-powerful Arab Lobby.

Even if these matters were to form the basis of a successful complaint, I doubt the outcome would be life-changing. 

The consequence was: very little.    And the World said:  Nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.