Well, as several Harry’s Place commenters have wisely remarked, last night’s Panorama was a bit of a damp squib. Since we’re using firework analogies, the background outlined on Trial by Jeory is the issue that is by far (potentially) the most explosive.
Read the H/P thread. (Please) It has some interesting comments as usual.
Lutfur Rahman’s dodgy practices were exposed, but on a scale of financial dirty dealings nought to ten, the revelations in this much too short programme didn’t seem to be revelatory enough to merit all the fuss. I’d give it foive.
The underlying accusations of racism, litigation, betrayal and BBC machinations are a bigger point of interest.
These are some of the questions I wanted to ask.
What material was left on the cutting room floor?
What is the precise evidence of ‘Muslim’ favouritism wrt diverting substantial amounts of funding? After all, the improved housing, which was organised by Rahman and praised by a resident was for the benefit of all, not just the Somalis and Bengalis.
Why did the investigating team entrust this unreliable lady with their innermost secrets?
Judging by her lengthy apologia on Voice of Bangla she was no literary genius. Her articles were framed as a struggle between her ‘career as a journalist” and her conscience, i.e. loyalty to the Bengali community. She found John Ware’s remark that her (Asian) appearance would help with undercover filming disconcerting as she wished to be engaged ‘for my ability’ rather than “because of my appearance”, the implication being that the BBC’s agenda/racism pushed her over the edge and sent her scurrying off home with her secret dossier.
As it happens I can well believe her allegation that the BBC had a preordained agenda, into which which they fitted their evidence. That is standard BBC, albeit a practice more commonly exerted in the opposite direction, as outlined over and over again on sites like this one and BBCWatch.
What is really worrying is that corrupt goings-on in local government seem to have been imported from the third world; bullying and intimidation on a grand scale.
As if this isn’t bad enough, taken together with the so-called Trojan Horse tactic, it’s something that needs governmental intervention. One Panorama does not a summer make.