Saturday 30 January 2016

Whatever Happened to the Likely People Behind 'The Great European Disaster Movie'?

Having been largely out of action for the past couple of weeks, I know I've missed a lot of BBC-bias-related things - partly because I kept forgetting to remember them.

One thing I have remembered is that one of the people behind the infamous pro-EU BBC mockumentary The Great European Disaster Movie, former Economist editor Bill Emmott, has been made Chairman of the Content Board at Ofcom by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale - a choice that has certainly raised eyebrows. For full details on why that appointment is so surprising (and worrying) and of just how tangled the web of connections are at Ofcom (including with the BBC), please read News-watch's David Keighley's highly informative piece about it. 

All I'd add to it is that the other man appointed to Ofcom alongside Mr Emmott, Dutch businessman Ben Verwaayen (a close advisor to the present Dutch prime minister), is just as strongly pro-EU (and anti-Brexit) as Mr Emmott - as a read through his Twitter feed more than confirms.

With Bill and Ben joining the Ofcom board, it will be interesting to see how impartial Ofcom's rulings are in the run-up to the EU referendum.

The other person behind The Great European Disaster Movie, Annalisa Piras, was one of the guests on today's Dateline London. She's on the 'progressive left' politically, and alongside her today were left-wing Owen Jones of the Guardian, American left-liberal journalist Michael Goldfarb and Rashmee Roshan Lall of the National, the Arab Weekly (and, previously, the Guardian and the BBC World Service). They started by discussing the state of the European Union. 

Obviously Annalisa Piras spoke from a pro-EU standpoint. As did Rashmee Lall. And Michael Goldfarb. Only Owen Jones, in a rather detached way, focused the concerns of the Left about the EU. His semi-detachment probably arises from the fact that, after flirting with an 'Out' vote last year, he's now backing the 'In' side again

So that makes 4 out of 4 of today's Dateline London panellists wanting the UK to remain inside the EU. Wouldn't you have expected the BBC to put up a known pro-Brexit guest (or two) if this topic was going to be discussed (he asks rhetorically)?

This may be a sign of the way things are going. Compelling, detailed criticisms (from pro-Leave supporters) of Jonty Bloom's In Business and Carolyn Quinn's How to Make a Brexit have left both programmes looking deeply biased and demanding answers from the BBC.

As with this edition of Dateline, the BBC doesn't exactly appear to be going out of its way to dispel the fears of many that it will not be strictly neutral in the run-up to the EU referendum, does it?


  1. The bias seems pervasive and unashamed now.

    Take the Radio 4 programme From Fact to Fiction - which provides an opportunity for people to give a one sided view on issues of the day under the guise of fiction. Last week it was Hardeep Singh Kholi - an over-exposed footsoldier of political correctness - and this week it is Shami Chakrabati who needs no introduction (so no surprise the subject is "the migrant crisis" or what fibs she will be peddling).

    Who before that? Chris Dolan who looks like the author of

    I'm guessing he doesn't vote Conservative.

    Who else?

    Graham White. I'm guessing probably this guy:

    1. The Shami Chakrabarti one ticked every expected box - painted doors, wrist bands, even "swarms". Points duly made.

      To Shami's credit, her piece of agitprop sounded just as professional as some of the more political plays you get on Radio 4's Afternoon Drama. In fact, some of those have been even clunkier.


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