Friday 28 December 2018


Across the past week, and amounting in total to almost an hour of drive-time BBC output across four evenings, Radio 4's PM has been broadcasting a series of personal reports from BBC radio presenter Adrian Goldberg...

...(a regular host on Radio 5 Live, among other things, who sounds uncannily like another Adrian: namely, Adrian Chiles).

British, and from a German-Jewish background, Adrian says he's been agonising over whether to apply for a German passport in the wake of the Brexit vote.

I suspect I can guess what some of you are thinking already (or is it just me?): Why is a BBC presenter being blatantly partisan over Brexit, and why is BBC Radio 4 airing his partial views over an entire week of BBC broadcasting?

(P.S. Adrian's written the whole thing up, in a slightly more toned-down way, for the BBC News website). 

Well, the big question on PM was: With members of his family having been murdered by the Nazis, and his father having been a refugee to the UK from Nazi Germany, would it be right for him, Adrian Goldberg, to take German citizenship because of his fears over Brexit?

I have to say that, from the moment his first report began on Christmas Eve, it was obvious (to me) that he'd end up applying for German citizenship in light of "the post-Brexit world".

After all, why would the BBC broadcast it otherwise?

And so it turned out, at the end of the fourth and final episode tonight.

His application has now gone in.


The whole thing was a fascinating listen, often genuinely absorbing (especially on the Nazi-era-related material), but it was also a very strange, very BBC, listen.

Yes, the programme featured voices from 'the other side' (e.g. Gisela Stuart), but here was a British BBC radio presenter actively considering, and eventually choosing, to apply for a German passport explicitly as a result of the Brexit vote, because of his fears of a 1930s/1940s-style situation for Jews arising here in the UK, sometime in the future, because of that public decision.

(How weird is that? What evidence does he have for such a wild fear?)

And here also, of course, was BBC Radio 4's PM, ever-so-impartially, spreading his 'agonised decision' across four days. 

(How biased it that?)


For, yes, despite worries about continuing antisemitism in parts of the EU - specifically Poland - and his own concerns about the rise of AfD in Germany (one of whose leaders he got into a very heated debate with, and who he openly associated with the Nazis), Adrian still decided that Germany should be his own place of safety should the UK turn dangerous for Jewish people in the wake of Brexit

I'd have thought that he'd have been more concerned about the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government as far as antisemitism goes, but that was never mentioned, so it mustn't be much of a concern for him. (But what do I know?)

The peculiar thing is that, despite Adrian being an engaging presence and despite him being nice to everyone (except the lady from AfD, with whom he seriously lost his cool with, and with whom he took 'the low road' rather than 'the high road' - as Michelle Obama might have put it), this 'series' struck me as being BBC reporting at its most 'bubble-dwelling'.

Obviously, I could be wrong. But, seriously, how huge is the clamour among British Jews to flee to Germany to escape a 1930-Germany-style Britain emerging in the wake of Brexit? Isn't that hysterical nonsense?

And isn't a Jeremy-led Labour government more of a genuine danger?

And is Adrian Goldberg, in fact, a 'very BBC' tiny minority (of a minority) here made to seem like the voice of the people by a biased BBC?



    I’ve no idea of the accuracy but there was a similar BBC report - approx 7 thousand and something in 2017. Even if it was another 168% increase (laughable stat that that is on such a small number relatively speaking) in 2018 it would still be a tiny tiny minority of the population. I’d also like to know how many have applied the other way, could be interesting....


  3. Interesting last statement in the BBC report;

    “British citizens who fit a nation's requirements will still be able to apply after Brexit, although for some countries there may be complications. For example, Germany allows dual nationality only with EU states. Unless this changes Britons who become German after Brexit has happened could then find they have to renounce their UK citizenship.”

    1. Germany allows dual citizenship with Turkey, and no German civil servant would have the courage to refuse an Israeli citizen.

  4. That last bit could backfire massively for our BBC reporter - think of the tax implications, paperwork etc etc.

    Sorry for the spam just adding things as I think of them.

  5. So I’ve just read his report which includes:

    “I don't honestly expect that will ever happen in the UK, and even when I get my German passport there's no way I'll be giving up my British one.”

    If the quote from my first linked BBC report is true I’d suggest that this is therefore just a political exercise by him and the BBC to score points against Brexit. Its at least pointless, if the Germans dont change their laws he’ll have to give it up if we ever Brexit or chose to become German with all the difficulties that will create for somebody living in a different country.

  6. Well done have earned your 15 mins of Virtue Signalling Fame on BBC PC Radio. If you want a gold star you can have one.

    Now please shut up and never again cause our attention to drift in your direction.

  7. I read the article, not a lot of 'facts' there. Why is getting a German passport now a 'no brainer', why not 'wait and see'? Presumably a German passport costs money and has to be renewed in time, how much will that cost compared to getting a visa? Can it really be true that it is easier to apply for a new German passport than to renew a British passport? I doubt it.

    But most of all I love the closing paragraphs, so BBC! Our Adrian walks the streets that his grandfather walks and he gets a sense of place. He has roots! So unlike Britain and particulary England, a place with no culture, a place stolen from the noble 'black' man who, with the help of the BBC, will soon take it back, innit!

    1. That claim about it being easier to get a German passport than renew one here struck me as hogwash. I sent the application with my old passport and new photos, using secure next-day delivery. My new passport arrived in the post about three days later. I'd used the secure guaranteed next-day Royal Mail delivery because it was the height of summer and I didn't want my application to get lost in a pile in some post room. This wasn't a fast-track procedure, although I think you can opt for one. There is also an emergency procedure. On a previous occasion when a close family member died abroad, I got a new passport on the spot in person at the Passport Office.

      It's a measure of how smug he is and how little regard he has for this country that he could broadcast in so crass a manner and think it is something to shout about. Not a chance he will give up his gilded life here and depart for Germany but at least he might have to give up his passport. It'd serve him right.

  8. I heard some of it but haven't read it. The most striking part for me was The No Go areas in Germany and the risk of upsetting the new Muslim incommers.

  9. For those who have not lived in Germany let me enlighten you. The establishment in Germany recognises one taboo above all others: no word or sign must ever be given that Germany will not forever be atoning for the Nazi period. The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany wields enormous power. When he or she pronounces on a subject, and it doesn't have to be about Jews - the AFD and Muslims are favourite topics - all the newspapers carry it as front page news the following day. In interviews on TV or radio obsequiousness is taken to an extreme that you would never find even at the BBC. Any politician or journalist that doubted whether Goldberg should have a passport would immediately lose his or her job and be investigated by the Bundesamt für
    Verfassungsschutz, an organisation straight from the pages of 1984; and in the case of prosecution would likely receive a prison sentence. There are at least 10,000 Israelis living in Berlin, living the life of Riley, in the knowledge that any problem is easily overcome by playing the trump card. If you don't believe me or think I am exaggerating spend a while in Germany, or ask someone who has.

  10. I am currently a 20 min walk from the Brandenburg Gate.

  11. Uk National? German National? Both?

  12. Also from the comment above about German atonement you acknowledge that the Holocaust occurred? I’m just wondering how you reconcile that with you previous comments that seemed to imply that the Jews brought it upon themselves?

    1. I’m not sure that I understand what you mean, but here goes.

      Scientific method dictates that if something keeps reoccurring and there is a common factor, you examine the common factor for the cause.

      Morality, which I believe is a relatively late addition to civilisations, recognises blame when something occurs that contravenes the tenets of a moral code. The various regimes who have in the past mistreated the Jews all had their codes but when faced with what they saw as bad behaviour put the well-being and solidarity of the host community first. Incidentally the codes for both Judaism and Islam allow for differing treatment of believers and non-believers. Ironically it was Germany, unlike Russia where Jews were treated as second class, that gave Jews full civic rights in the optimistic belief that they would then behave as other Germans. In my opinion Germans are fair and generous, if naïve, to a fault, showing the same generosity today with recent immigrants. When many felt that the Jews had not integrated but were gaming the system, antisemitism arose. I don’t believe it was ever the Nazis’ intention to kill all European Jews, but to take such measures as necessary to remove all Jews from German territory. The progress of the war and their interpretation of what was guiding the other side led to progressively harsher treatment.

      I hope this answers your question.

    2. Clockworkorange,
      He’s not implying that the Jews brought it on themselves, but flaunting it. And trying to rationalise it by alluding to unspecified ‘bad behaviour’.

      Like a parrot, his meaningless squawking is repetitive and ugly.

      The population of Germany comprises approximately 82 million Germans including about 5 million Muslims and less than 200,000 Jews.
      The Central Council of Jews in Germany must indeed be very very frightening. (Not)

      The Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz is the domestic security agency; it is concerned about Nazi and Neonazi extremists.

      There’s a hotline. It’s just as well for our Fred that he lives in the UK then, isn’t it?

    3. I haven’t always agreed with everybody here, but this is certainly the first time someone has posted who is clearly deranged.

    4. Sue - according to him he lives in Germany at the moment as a UK national.

      Terry - agreed

    5. Indeed, but you asked: “have you lived in Germany...?” I saw his reply: “I am currently a 20 min walk etc” as ambiguous and evasive - i.e., maybe he’s just on his hols?

  13. Today has gone a bit dark, too.

  14. Why can't he get a irish passport through his mother


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.