Monday 31 August 2015

The Great European Disaster Movie III

News-watch's David Keighley has posted an article today which casts a good deal of extra light on the subject of the previous post [Update: Er, actually he posted it in March when the programme originally sent out. So much for my ability to read a date!]. 

He says that when the BBC said that no EU money was used "in the making of the programme being aired on the BBC" they were technically correct but were choosing their words very carefully - or, as David puts it, using "weasel words":
The reality is that post-production, the film-makers Bill Emmott and Annalisa Piras – both of whom are pro-EU fanatics – have told the outside world they are receiving EU money for the transmission of the film in other languages. So put another way, it is an EU propaganda project. 
And the BBC were co-producers of that film.
So it's not quite as simple as I first thought.

(Darn it! Those BBC spokesmen make Sir Humphrey Appleby seem like a rank amateur at times). 

And it gets even less simple as the question still remains: Who did fund the making of the film? 

Given that the funding of the small company behind it (owned by Ms Piras) remains a mystery and that such a glossy documentary wouldn't come cheap, David says:
Someone with deep pockets and a deep desire to spread massively pro-EU propaganda was behind it. The BBC should tell us who this was so we can make up our own minds about the decision to show it.
(As per the comments on the previous thread), he then says that more questions arise due to former BBC top executive-turned Cardiff University professor Richard Sambrook's involvement with the Wake Up Foundation, of which Professor Sambrook, Ms Piras and Mr Emmott are all trustees.

Professor Sambrook was the co-author of a much-cited, BBC-backed Cardiff University report which 'found' - to general astonishment - that the BBC didn't just not have a pro-EU bias but 'actually' has a pronounced anti-EU bias!...

...and this report fed into the BBC's widely-reported Prebble Review:
So, put another way, the BBC commissioned a rabidly pro-EU programme from a programme making duo who have close professional and organisational links with a former Director of BBC News who, in turn, has been appointed by the Corporation to tell the outside world – on a supposedly ‘objective’ basis – how balanced and impartial the BBC’s output in relation to the EU is. 
The linkage raises several awkward questions.  Was Sambrook directly involved in the making of the European Disaster Movie? Was he involved in any way in persuading the BBC to show it and to become co-producers? To what extent is he involved in the dissemination of the pro-EU propaganda of the Wake Up Foundation? Were the BBC aware of his links with Emmott when they commissioned his department to do the Prebble survey? 
Something in the state of Denmark, if not rotten, smells very fishy indeed.
Doesn't it just!


  1. Assuming they dodge this charge, it's still fair to ask: where is the BBC-produced special that's anti-EU, then? Where are the euroskeptic quips in BBC dramas or comedies? Where is the euroskeptic documentary by one of the usual high-profile BBC suspects? And I don't mean one in the way that Nick Robinson's documentary from last year was skeptical about immigration.

    Surely there ought to be some euroskeptic output we could point to. In the interests of balance, you know, over time, in the long term and all that.

  2. I'm sure there was a joke about a butter mountain back in 1975 on the Morecambe and Wise Show. They will probably cite that.


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