Sunday 30 August 2015

"That carnival, of course, is a celebration of multicultural Britain. And the UK is set to become even more diverse now..."

Going back to the start of today's Sunday Morning Live...

We were greeting by some lively performers before Sian Williams appeared applauding them and saying, enthusiastically: 
Oh, a bit of Brazil to brighten Sunday Morning Live! Good morning, I'm Sian Williams with the Paradiso School of Samba practising for the Notting Hill Carnival tomorrow. We'll have more from them later on in the programme. 
That carnival, of course, is a celebration of multicultural Britain. And the UK is set to become even more diverse now became immigration has hit record levels, Now there are more than eight million people in the UK who are foreign-born.
So has immigration made us the nation we are or eroded British values?
Show and then enthuse about something that's bright and fun, assert it's "a celebration of multicultural Britain", link it to the UK becoming "even more diverse" because of mass immigration and then pose the 'big question'. All rather 'leading', I'd say (as in 'a leading question').

Sian's first question to her panel was:
Some politicians have suggested we should be celebrating record immigration figures. What are your thoughts?
Thus it began.

Fortunately the panel was a genuinely varied one, comprising the ubiquitous Bonnie Greer, The Moral Maze's Claire Fox, Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch and David Goodhart, director of the left-leaning think tank Demos. Bonnie and Claire are relaxed about mass immigration; David and Alp aren't - all in different ways. 

(Having David Goodhart and Alp Mehmet on the programme lifted it well above the usual standard for SML. The programme's penchant for loud-mouthed flame-throwers - rather than quietly-spoken, fair-minded types - is well known. Well to me anyhow).

Sian's questions weren't wholly lacking in attempts at impartiality. She took up some points and passed them on, and interrupted both sides. 

However, she definitely interrupted the anti-mass immigration side much more vigorously and sharply. David Goodhart had barely begun listing some of the downsides of mass immigration when she interrupted to say, "Although they pay more in taxes than they take in benefits." (Unfortunately for her, David Goodhart then convincingly showed her contention to be dubious at best). And Mr Mehmet of Migration Watch's first contribution received five interruptions (some of them expressed with surprising warmth by the BBC's Sian)....

....and she pursued the "or eroded British values?" part of the 'big question' by trying to steer the discussion towards dismissing the idea of British values.

Still, mustn't carp too much. This was a very decent discussion by a well-chosen panel. If only the lead-in hadn't have been quite so heavily loaded.


  1. Great minds, etc. So the panel was stacked 3 to 1, and they still came in overall against the false narrative Williams and her producer were pushing. That's how pathetic the BBC agenda is. Yet they still do it.

    I knew that BBC apology for "getting it wrong" on immigration was a sham, and Nick Robinson's dishonest 'documentary' was not the end of it. They are still pushing the exact same agenda they were before. They don't care, because they know there will be no consequences.

    1. Given government pronouncements in the past few weeks, it looks for sure as if there won't be any consequences.

      I really did allow myself to believe for a while in the past five years that parts of the BBC were genuinely trying to move away from the extreme bias of the 1990s and the 2000s, but the past few months have shattered my illusions about that (if illusions they were).

      Things really do seem to be dramatically regressing, bias-wise, at the BBC at the moment. It's all pretty depressing.

    2. Sopel isn't as bad as Mardell, and they have been a little more honest here and there, for a few moments, about certain issues, but otherwise it's business as usual.

  2. No, the panel wasn’t stacked 3 to 1. It was perfectly balanced, apart from a slight interruption-based bias from Sian.

    It was extremely entertaining, what with Bonnie Greer gratuitously shoe-horning Cameron’s ‘s’ word into the mix; those specs which Sian keeps annoyingly putting on and taking off again. (Keep them on. Get varifocals) Then there’s ‘Tommy’ and those embarrassingly badly read out e-mails. (no-one bothered to send in any of those excruciating videos thank goodness)

    Oddest of all, the thing about ‘cultural rape’ was followed by violent dancing from two girls with the biggest bazookas you’ve ever seen, as if they were there specifically to illustrate cultural rape and the woman’s culpability therein, or otherwise, as the case may be.

    1. I noticed those bazookas too. Unlike you, I might be up for an #everydaysexism award for saying so. It's soooo unfair.


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