Monday, 11 February 2019

Seeing It All The Time?

Peter Hitchens writes:

The BBC likes nothing better than to hijack a popular, cosy entertainment and turn it into propaganda for its radical opinions. 

When Call the Midwife first began it swiftly gained an audience because of its reassuring backgrounds, likeable and admirable nuns, midwives, doctors and an old-fashioned working class district on the edge of change. 

But then it developed an agenda, politically correct (of course), making use of its well-liked and attractive actors, such as Helen George, to make various points.

I’m old enough and suspicious enough to think that a lot of this is false to the period it claims to portray. But let it pass. 

What I cannot put up with is the repeated propaganda for abortion on demand. The programme has now done this twice.

In 2013 it featured a gruesome back street abortion before the watershed. 

Last week it depicted another one, in which a happily-married mother of two was shown as being so upset at becoming pregnant that she sought to destroy the baby (this time the crime was unseen) in some dingy kitchen. 

Speaking like a 21st century feminist, this 1960s woman was shown saying, ‘It isn't what I wanted. Are women not allowed to want or not want things? I thought it was going to be different for us, that we were going to be able to choose.’

Note the word ‘choose’, the abortionists’ euphemism for the choice they support – killing the unwanted baby. She then died of the resulting infection. 

Everyone involved, from the doctor who had refused to arrange a legal abortion, to the midwives who knew her, to the supposedly devout nuns, was shown regretting that she couldn’t have had an abortion. 

‘Trixie’, played by Helen George, was shown making a pro-abortion speech to the police:

‘We see this all the time. Young, young girls, exhausted older women, mothers who don’t know when their next penny or next beating is coming from, and others who want to take control of their bodies and their lives. And all we can do is pat them on the hand and say “you’ll manage, everybody does”. But not everybody does. Not everybody believes us. So sorry. I can’t help you. I’m even more sorry that I couldn’t help her.’ 

Not one doctor, nun or nurse defended the law against abortion. Actually, I would guess most nurses, midwives and doctors, and all nuns, were still very much against abortion at that time. 

It had in fact been legal under very restricted circumstances since a case in 1938, where a brave doctor, Aleck Bourne, turned himself in after aborting a young girl who had been gang-raped by soldiers, and was acquitted. 

Bourne ever afterwards refused to do another abortion, and opposed the 1967 Act which hugely liberalised it. 

As for ‘seeing it all the time’, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the 1960s flatly refuted pro-abortion claims that there were tens of thousands of illegal backstreet operations, and huge numbers of deaths resulting. 

They said that the number of such deaths averaged 50 a year throughout England and Wales. Regrettable and tragic, no doubt. But instead we now have 180,000 babies killed every year in legal abortions. Is this better? 

There was, after all, another solution to such problems. In 1968, there were almost 25,000 adoptions a year, by parents who very much wanted children. Now it’s nearer 5,000 a year. 

If programmes such as Call the Midwife are going to editorialise on this subject, let them at least give both sides. 

I have personally complained to the BBC about this plot line (the trick is to keep rejecting their responses until you get to a body called the Executive Complaints Unit , after which you are also free to go to OFCOM), and will let you now how I get on. The tedious procedure begins here.

Bear in mind as you plod through it that they would much prefer you to give up, as you will often be tempted to do by the sheer tedium of being asked your age, postcode etc. 

Your complaint will be dismissed after a few days with a bland response from somebody you cannot contact; this is invariable.

The thing you then have to do is to complain again, using the number you will have been given with the bland response, that the response is inadequate. 

This is the point at which it begins to penetrate the BBC outer defences, and moves for the outsourcing firm Capita, which handles initial complaints, to the BBC itself. 

Eventually you will be offered the option of taking the matter to the Executive Complaints Unit. This is the point at which your complaint actually touches the surface of the BBC. 

If you are dissatisfied with the ECU response, you may then go on to OFCOM. But not before. The text of my complaint is as follows:

The episode of Call the Midwife broadcast on Sunday 3rd February 2019 contained a major plot line about abortion. This was wholly one-sided. A married woman with two children, who had become unexpectedly pregnant, was shown seeking and being refused an abortion (as was the law at the time - apparently 1964 as identified by the playing of the song World Without Love on the radio). She is then shown obtaining a back street abortion and dying as a result. 

The woman herself is depicted as saying (using language and terms unlikely to be current in Poplar in 1964): ' It isn't what I wanted. Are women not allowed to want or not want things? I thought it was going to be different for us, that we were going to be able to choose.' After she dies, the nurse 'Trixie' was shown saying to the police, 'We see this all the time. Young, young girls, exhausted older women, mothers who don’t know when their next penny or next beating is coming from, and others who want to take control of their bodies and their lives. And all we can do is pat them on the hand and say “you’ll manage, everybody does”. But not everybody does. Not everybody believes us. So sorry. I can’t help you. I’m even more sorry that I couldn’t help her.'

This is a good summary of the pro-abortion position, but not one of the doctors, nuns, midwives or nurses portrayed in the programme was shown defending the pre-1967 law against abortion. Nor was the possibility of adoption (then far more common than now ) even mentioned as a possibility. This is especially unlikely to have been true of the nuns depicted in this programme, who would have been very well-versed in, and strong defenders of, the arguments against abortion. Such arguments were made at the time. 

This is a controversial subject on which people have differing, valid views. It was a severe failure of impartiality, and a false portrayal of the past, to portray only one view, and to fail to give time or matching sympathy to the other.

7 comments:

  1. One may also question why there was a Euro-wide need in the 1960s to advance race equality if, as the BBC suggests, there was equality with black persons occupying chief of police roles in France from the time of Louis the Pear onwards.

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    1. Well, you have floored me with that one. I genuinely have no idea what that means.

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  2. I refer you to, respectively, the recent BBC adaptation of Les Miserables and Louis Philippe, King of France during the period of the July Monarchy 1830-1848. He was commonly known as Louis the Pear.

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    1. I never got into it. The book is much better. I have never seen the musical, either.

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  3. But have you eaten a pear... and not of the Madame de Pompadour variety?

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  4. You would, of course, eat a pear properly... sliced with a knife with the slices then being either picked up between thumb and forefinger or with a fork.
    You, however, are a leader of men and a political guru. Whereas those on the Labour right who do not know how to eat properly - I think, for example, of 'Baconsandwich gate, possess none of your abilities.

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