Monday 11 September 2017

Is the BBC flouting its own 'no value-judgement' policy?

Not that I know much about the Rohingya, but I understand they originate from Bangladesh. It is said that they have been infiltrated by extremists who were responsible for instigating the recent crisis in Myanmar by planting bombs. This, they claim, was in response to persecution and discrimination against them by the Buddhists of Myanmar (formerly Burma.)

The progressives in the west had long revered Aung San Suu Kyi, seeing her as the epitome of saintliness. Now that the Rohingya have been forced to seek refuge in Bangladesh, she appears to be standing by and ‘doing nothing’ and not intervening to save the beleaguered Rohingya. In fact, she’s even tacitly defended the Myanmar military, citing, amongst other things, fake news (with all the connotations that has!)

For these reasons the progressives and liberals are deeply disenchanted with her. 

Another other long-held misconception has unravelled. It seems Buddhists are not inherently and uncompromisingly ‘pacifist’ after all. Other paragons of virtue, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  Malala Yousefzai, (and no doubt, from the grave, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela) have pleaded with Aung San Suu Kyi, begging her to ‘have a heart’. 

This tale has certain parallels. Is it me, or is there a smidgeon of deja vu about this sorry tale?
Where is UNWRA? Will the Rohingya and their descendants be granted permanent refugee status? Might this new ‘unprecedented’ refugee crisis temporarily divert the left’s righteous indignation away from the Zionist entity? 

A couple of days ago John Simpson had a good old rant about this topic. It wasn’t a report proper, but an opinion piece. Had it been aired under an Opinion Piece umbrella, like ‘A point of View,’ say, it would be fine - (or it would be if John Simpson wasn’t the World Affairs Editor of BBC News) 

He cited Aung San Suu Kyi’s heroism and resilience during her house arrest, and listed each of the above paragons of virtue, and even bragged about his meeting with her when she was still a heroine. 
Now disillusioned, he suggested that the Buddhists’ hostility to the Rohingya Muslims was due to their (the Buddhists') prejudice against all minorities.

To illustrate the reasons for his own disappointment he said: 
“When our own Mishal Husain interviewed her she insisted that there was blame on both sides.” 
He evidently judged that statement in the same way the BBC judges what they call Israel’s “claims”. Namely, with cynicism and disbelief.
“You will accept that there is a global fear that Muslim power is very great” 
said Aung San Suu Kyi in a clip from her interview with Mishal Husain. I think it’s safe to assume that neither John Simpson nor Mishal Husain would accept any such thing. Then he said disparagingly:
“Afterwards - a biographer said  of her - she muttered, ‘No-one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim’  “

In all I gathered John Simpson is deaf to allegations that the world has good reason to fear Muslims, and he was actually hinting at a kind of unseemly “Buddhist Supremacy.” 

In a resigned fashion he virtually admitted his own naïveté. 
“We all thought she was a saint. Maybe she’s just a politician after all.”  
As I said, I don’t know enough about the Rohingya to condemn them or defend them, but I do know enough about the BBC to question the decision to air such a value-judgement laden piece on the Today Programme, when such a thing goes against their own “no value-judgement” policy.


  1. What, the BBC has a "no value judgement policy"? Wow. I really hadn't noticed. Oh except that it is applied to Muslims.
    In the Far East, Burma, Thailand and The Phillipines seem to be having problems being sufficiently nice to Muslims. I wonder if there's any underlying reason. I wonder who funds these nice friendly Muslim groups. Is there any link to those nice peaceful Muslim groups in Nigeria?

    Well I just have to keep wondering because my world class state broadcaster would rather lecture me than inform me.

  2. We've seen this 100 times before with the BBC. Some ethnic cleansings are OK, some are not.

    Ethnic cleansing of San people by Zulu peoples? OK. Ethnic cleansing of Greek people from Asia Minor by Turks? OK. Ethnic cleasing of Jews from North Africa? OK. Ethnic cleansing of white South African farmers? OK. Ethnic cleansing of Tibetans by Han Chinese? OK (didn't used to be, but the BBC have now abandoned that once fashionable cause). Ethnic cleansing of Asians from East Africa. No problem. Ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo. OK. Ethnic cleansing of Germans from Eastern Europe. Good.

    The BBC always has its favourites.

  3. John Simpson's behaviour is becoming increasingly pompous. His arrogance in being so dismissive of one of the bravest women in history is astonishing.


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