Sunday 16 September 2018

"Because why would anybody be opposed to it?"

If there's one area of BBC bias that's surely beyond question it's that the BBC has a pronounced bias in favour of social liberalism and against social conservatism. 

It has (institutionally-speaking) a progressive outlook on such matters - except, very occasionally, when they clash with the sensibilities of one particular faith group.

Tim Stanley of the Telegraph, a Catholic, noted that the BBC News website's report, Reform of 'archaic' divorce laws revealed, concerning the introduction of 'no fault' divorce, "includes no quotes from anyone opposed to it", adding that it "includes quotes from the Government, who proposed it, Labour, who wants it go quicker, and a lawyer who thinks it's a smashing idea".

Some people are agreeing with Tim, others disagreeing. Those disagreeing are all basically making the same point: "Because why should anybody be opposed to it?"... which Tim is replying, "Not the point. BBC is state owned and has impartiality rules."

Another Tim, Tim Montgomerie (also a Christian), drew a broader point from this - not dissimilar to the one I was making at the start of this post, but with an added twist:
The scrupulous balancing by BBC News* of their reports according to a right/left axis completely misses eg the conservative/liberal debate. See Tim below. 
* BBC drama? Not so much.
I'm neither religious nor much of a social conservative, but the BBC undoubtedly has a major blind spot here. 

Yes, on programmes like Sunday Morning Live and The Big Questions, when they are conscious of the need to be balanced, they usually are balanced on such questions. But when reporting news stories like this I suspect it simply doesn't enter most BBC reporters minds that there might be people out there who don't approve of the socially liberal measure being proposed or introduced. 

And, so, I bet whoever wrote that piece about divorce law reform never gave a moment's thought to people who might oppose the reforms. "Because why would anybody be opposed to it?"

1 comment:

  1. Also absent from the BBC take is my sort of non-religious view that:

    (a) Marriage is an incredibly important institution that is absolutely vital to our culture.

    (b) We need to differentiate between marriages involving adults only and marriages where children have become an "add on feature."

    (c) I couldn't care less if two adults divorced on a no fault basis.

    (d) I do care v. much about how we handle divorce involving children. The children's voice is rarely heard. Most children (despite what you migh hear on BBC soap operas and however unrealistic their hopes might be) want their parents to stay together (it's pretty much a built in biological necessity - and of course one could cite thousands of crimes committed by step-parents against children to back up the kids' viewpoint). We should certainly build in financial disincentives to frivolous divorce. I would like our law to be framed in a way that supports children in divorce. So, for instance, a spouse should lose all inheritance rights on divorce - they might be entitled to basic maintenance, but no more. The children not the spouse should benefit financially when they reach adulthood.


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