Saturday 30 March 2013

Making A Mockery

Of course the media are either mocking or ignoring the People's Assembly Against Austerity. They remain utterly convinced that their equally too-rich-to-care mates from school are the political norm. Even though those mates have not won a General Election since 1992, have not won a comfortable majority since as long ago as 1987, and are now defined by a long list of shibboleths wildly at variance with mainstream public opinion. But anything else is a joke. Or not worth mentioning. Of course.

Truly bizarre Loony Right think tanks and what have you are never off the BBC (whereas, for example, trade union leaders are almost never allowed on it), while the newspapers treat those bodies' employees as persons whose opinions are of the utmost importance. Yet it is a generation since the party to which those of such mind artificially attached themselves in the 1970s has even been able scrape a workable majority under First Past The Post against a divided Opposition. Before many of these ubiquitous Loony Righties were born, in fact.

The alleged left-wing bias of the BBC is the most deeply dangerous and damaging drivel. The BBC is biased, of course. But not like that. The ubiquity of this absolutely ridiculous allegation is one of the most striking examples of the problem. People with views completely outside the mainstream - the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute, Policy Exchange, the Henry Jackson Society, and so on - are on the airwaves morning, noon and night. Over and above the immemorial and undeviating Two Tories Rule when it comes to the panels on Question Time and Any Questions. Even such Labour politicians as are ever given airtime are always from the dwindling band of Blairite supporters of Hard Right economic and foreign policy.

So much attention is lavished on UKIP, which has never won a Commons seat and which has almost no municipal base, that its candidate was recently a Question Time panellist all of one week after having lost a by-election! Since the last General Election, Nigel Farage has been on it more often than anyone else apart from Vince Cable, who is a Cabinet Minister, and more often than all trade union leaders put together.

This list is very far from exhaustive. But then, the BBC is chaired by a former Chairman of the Conservative Party, who continues to receive that Whip in Parliament. No other party could get away with that. The fantasy that "the Tories are not really in politics at all, whatever they say is just common sense" really is as pernicious as this. Moreover, there is an organised campaign on the Hard Right of screaming "left-wing bias", a very easy thing to do when you have the megaphone a newspaper cartel through which to do it, every time that anyone else at all is allowed so much as the tiniest amount of coverage. As a result, they almost never are.


  1. What do you think of Peter Hitchens' claims of BBC left-wing bias?

  2. He puts it far more subtly than that.

  3. Anonymous.

    Indeed, this facile debate shows the redundancy of the terms "Right" and "Left" in modern discourse. People are just talking past each other.

    The BBC is biased to the Left-as long as you hold to the definition of "left-wing" which Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Tories, the New Statesman, the Independent, the Observer, the Guardian, and almost everyone else does (including Peter Hitchens).

    Whereas it's not Left-wing-if you hold to the definition of Leftism espoused by David Lindsay, the Morning Star and alot of Labour's scorned working-class base.

    That definition of Left-wing, which the BBC most certainly is biased for, is (broadly speaking) pro-human rights, pro-EU, pro-immigration, anti grammar schools, suspicious of British patriotism and critical of British history and law, anti-hierarchy, anti-tradition, anti-Monarchy, Church and Lords.

    That is the position all three main parties (and the BBC) cluster around-and that is what Peter Hitchens means when he says it is Left-wing.

    Lindsay is using a definition of Leftism that ceased to be the dominant one around the time of Antony Crosland.