Saturday 20 June 2015

Laura Kuenssberg calls for moral action over the Med crisis

Sticking with the theme of this week's Newsnight (regardless of how little you care)....

Thursday's edition gave over its first quarter of an hour to roving BBC reporter Gabriel Gatehouse's report on the Mediterranean illegal immigrant crisis (or 'migrant crisis' as the BBC calls it).  

Gabriel is one of the BBC's finest reporters, but he's BBC to his fingertips - as we've noted before, here and here. He'll obfuscate for Islam and hymn the EU with the best of them at times.

This report, observing with a bird's eye from within one of the immigrants' vessels, has earned him Twitter plaudits a-plenty. He gave voice to many a migrant's sad story (as the BBC is wont to do).

To his credit, his report didn't disguise the fact that some were clearly economic migrants though, 

The thing that really struck me about this edition of Newsnight though was the series of interviews that followed, conducted by Laura Kuenssberg. 

First came Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, bemoaning the situation and calling on us to take in more of these illegal immigrants (not that he called them that) via legal means. 

Laura largely let him speak and didn't challenge him...except to press him on this question of hers:
What does it say about our morals, European morals now, that there is such resistance from many countries to take people in?
But does it say something about our morals, sir? Europe has been accused as a continent previously of turning its back on people. Is there a moral question here?
Mr Guterres capitulated and agreed with the BBC's Laura that there is a moral question here, but one of 'enlightened self interest' too.  

Laura thanked him very much indeed.

After a report that stirred the emotions to help those desperate 'migrants' and an interview that called for us to help them (with the BBC interviewer seemingly goading her interviewee to denounce us morally over our failure to do so sufficiently), what came next?

Well, an interview with Italy's centre-left European Affairs minister, Sandro Gozi (who said he agreed with Mr Guterres of the U.N.), who wanted "collective" action to tackle the crisis. 

Laura largely let him speak and repeatedly asked him what more he wanted - though she interrupted him to press him on what more Britain could do. (Mr Gozi denounced Britain for being "so negative", though he praised some of our actions too).

So far so biased, you might think, but....a British Conservative, Nadhim Zahawi, appeared next. What fate would befall him?

Well, Laura immediately began by citing Mr Gozi's denunciation of Britain for being "so negative" about relocating the Mediterranean migrants and pursued her point about the "moral case" for Britain doing more. 

Interruption after interruption followed, as Laura kept pursuing her point about the "morality" of refusing to take in these "desperate" people and the failings of British action. (I counted 15 interruptions in five minutes - a remarkably high count).

My feelings, on watching this, were that Newsnight was very strongly urging us to take head of the U.N. spokesman and the Italian minister and Gabriel Gatehouse of the BBC and rise to the moral challenge and take in lots (and lots) more of these desperate 'migrants'.

I felt as if I were being lectured by Newsnight here.


  1. It's not the fact that these points of view are put or held by BBC staff. It's the fact that no other viewpoints are put. For instance, why do we not hear the other moral case e.g. that it is morally wrong to provide a gateway for ISIS terrorists, that it is morally wrong to suck the best and brightest out of the poorest countries or that it is morally wrong to allow millions of people into our country who actively hate our values.

  2. Funny-when the law is broken and buckled-when the politics is clear that was want IS supporters to piss off to their frontline, and we want IS disguised creeps blown out of the water in the Med(not sent over here) short when we want them dead or replanted back in Raqqa or always seems to be termed (ultimately) a MORAL crisis!
    WTF...a "moral" crisis lads and lassies?
    You Godless suckups have denied morality for years now-the last refuge of the likes of the Lord Chamberlain and Mary Whitehouse-and morality has damn all to do with politics, with law-keep the moral churchy types out of it all!
    And then when the Pope sets his windmill tilting at Harrabins hobby farm?...when the British don`t want Muslim hordes pushing Christians out of boats, and sponging up the peroxide and ricin-the likes of Kuennsberg call it a "matter of morality".
    These people have long forfeited to use that word in public-they scotched the whole notion when they banished the church to its limpdick hidey holies like Stourton and Longley.
    No-it`s NOT moral-but getting rid of the BBC would be-so we shall go on like onward soldiers!

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