Computer problems prevented me posting this a couple of days ago, but there's no time like the present, so...
Charlie, on the Open Thread, noted that BBC Home Editor Mark Easton "does not like the emergency Jihadi legislation one little bit".
As I've said before, I personally think that Mark Easton is the BBC's most seriously biased reporter. He has a propagandist's gift for cleverly loading the language of his reports in such as way as to steer viewers and listeners in the direction he desires.
In his report on last night's BBC One News at Ten [Craig - well, it was 'last night' when I first wrote this] he could have said this:
This evening, the Government announced emergency legislation to keep new and existing terrorism offenders in prison for longer and with tougher controls on release.
But, being Mark Easton, a loaded word was added:
This evening, the government announced controversial emergency legislation to keep new and existing terrorism offenders in prison for longer and with tougher controls on release.
With Mark Easton something is "controversial" if he doesn't agree with it.
The worst was yet to come though. Mark Easton employs every trick in the book here to steer the argument his own way:
The trouble is we've been over this ground before: searching for a way to balance the rights of the public to be kept safe against the human rights of those dealt with by the courts. The government may well find even today's proposals come under legal challenge. The Government will most certainly get its emergency legislation through the Commons but will it get through the courts? For ministers to retrospectively basically increase the prison terms of people already convicted by court and change the terms of their release is certainly I think open to legal challenge. But perhaps the bigger problem with the Government's approach is that it won't necessarily stop actually extremely dangerous terrorist offenders being released from prison without anything in their way. It just delays that process. No, the Government could have gone for indeterminate sentences but, as we know, that idea is expensive and difficult to manage and some would argue it goes against the principles of fair justice. Many people, I think, would challenge that idea. And it just goes to show that governments, whenever they deal with this problem of radical extremism, discover there really are no easy answers.
Despite this, the BBC's 'degrees of separation', once again, fell down. In the BBC newsreader's introduction, the News at Ten said:
Critics say the new plans would merely defer the problem of what happens on release.
Later, as we've seen above, Mark Easton didn't even bother to pretend it was 'critics' saying it. He said it himself:
But perhaps the bigger problem with the Government's approach is that it won't necessarily stop actually extremely dangerous terrorist offenders being released from prison without anything in their way. It just delays that process.
So, ergo, Mark Easton is himself a "critic" of the Government's plans here out of the BBC's own mouth and, thus, took a side. QED.
Spot on Craig, and more elegantly written than I ever could. ; )ReplyDelete
I meant eloquently - but elegantly works almost as well.Delete
I just padded out your point. Thanks for the spot, Charlie. Teamwork!Delete
Perhaps they could be released into some of those wide-open spaces that Mark Easton insists that we have, along with lots of George Monbiot's wolves?ReplyDelete
I heard the end of the David Aaronovitch Show (can't recall what it's actually called) on Radio 4 earlier. It was similarly loaded, judging by his summing up, which I would further sum up as "There's nothing you can do about it and anyway it's not that big a problem really."ReplyDelete
Of course there's everything you can do about it, beginning with challenging the sense of entitlement that allows a substantial proportion of the population to (a) despise our liberal democracy and openly or otherwise hanker after theocratic government while (b) claiming victim status.
That would of course require a huge culture change but it is a reasonable alternative: a robust ideological response.
As for whether the actual terrorism is a big problem - well yes as things stand it is it not devastating in terms of casualties but: (a) There are thousands of terror suspects having to be closely monitored day in day out sometimes by teams of 20 highly trained police officers. That is a huge drain on resources. (b) Terrorism is simply one aspect of a multi-faceted problem that includes a whole range of issues from school policy, to election corruption, anti-semitism, cultural norms, free speech and the ultimate political aims of followers of Islam - do you they wish to Sharia supplant the laws of this land?
Remember how we've gone backward in this country. A few years ago, maybe just 15 years ago, someone like Paxman could have an honest discussion with hooky or some other supporter of Islam and Sharia about what they really wanted. That debate is no longer allowed under PC ideology. We all have to pretend that Islam is completely compatible with liberal democracy and that it is the Jihadists who fail to understand that truth.
I think it's called the Briefing Room or something along those lines. I didn't hear the programme but I've seen it listed in the Schedule from time to time.Delete