Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon could not have put it more directly when she told last October “I believe passionately in free speech but … I will not be part of any process that risks legitimising or normalising far right, racist views. I regret that the BBC has put me and others in this position … The email the BBC sent to my office justifying [Steve] Bannon’s inclusion described him as a ‘powerful and influential figure … promoting an anti-elite movement.’ This kind of language to describe views that many would describe as fascist does seem to me to run the risk of normalisation”. As well as appalling dishonesty.
Steve Bannon is not “anti-elite”. He is part of the elite. This is the same excuse advanced to justify the continued accommodation by the Corporation of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals. The BBC including Bannon on a panel was endorsement of his exhortation to racists to wear that label “like a badge of honour”. And worse.
It was acceptance of someone who described serial criminal Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, as “the back-bone of Britain”. That was bad, but now the Beeb is at it again, giving Steve Bannon not just a seat on a panel discussion, but an extended interview, broadcast this morning on the Radio 4 Today programme.
And what Bannon had to say should make voters shudder. Sterling is in freefall, our alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson clearly has no idea how to extricate himself from the corner he has boxed himself into, once again the conceit that the EU will cave in and give us the deal we want turns out to be fantasy - and there is Bannon, happily telling us that it’s going to get a lot worse. He clearly likes the idea.
“The British people have not seen, I don’t think, even the beginning of the turmoil … The beginning of the turmoil is about to start”. What does he mean? Job losses? Civil unrest? Open racism? Rocketing food prices? Rising transport costs? An even more organised run on Sterling? Banking collapse? Military conflict, perchance?
What was clear was that Bannon was effectively telling us what he thinks we should be doing. “You’re still not out [of the EU] and now you have a hard deadline on October 31st. You’re burning daylight. That 31st and the EU is dug in now, in Brussels. They’re not going to back off. They’re not going to give you an inch … I have said from the beginning, a No Deal hard out is the way to go”. Then comes the big lie.
“Everybody in the United Kingdom, all the voters, even people that are Remain people, are saying that October 31st is a hard date”. They aren’t. They really aren’t. But one thing he has got right: “I’ve got to tell you, if you’re not out, I think it fundamentally changes British politics”. Dead right it does. It would show his interference is not working.
And it would show the BBC has once again got it wrong: instead of probing his role in setting up Cambridge Analytica, and the murky world of voter manipulation that stemmed from weaponising data, the Corporation instead chooses to amiably chat with Bannon, letting him normalise his interference, and the abuse of Democrat Congresswomen.
The Brexiteer right is welcomed by the BBC. Those exposing election interference are not. This interview is more evidence of the pattern to this behaviour. That’s not good enough.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at
The BBC isn't just "getting it wrong".
Over the decades its "news and politics" programmes have moved slowly but surely further right. The evidence is plain for those who want to see and hear. So small wonder the BBC now involve neofascists like Bannon.
We expect that of print media. They are, after all, wholly owned and perpetrated by disgusting thugs who share Bannon's repulsive politics and behaviour.
But the BBC is an objective publicly owned service, not a profits-gouging promoter of spivvery. Or is supposed to be. This means there should be an open inquiry into the policies of its editors, journalists and governors. Nobody should be allowed to say, "It wasn't me, guv."
Enough of the platitudes and lies already. Flush them out and hold them to account. Identify the creeps for what they are.
One has to question why it is that the BBC flagship progrmmes i.e. the one's with the most viewers/listeners are the those promoting the racists and fascists and not those calling out the frauds being perpetrated in pursuit of "the right wing coup" (some don't recognise it as such).
It seems to be part of the pattern of disinformation sown by the right wing press and the trolls inhabiting social media, by no means limited to the right wing, but advertising such extreme views unchallenged should not be part of a state broacaster's remit i.e. it's not Fox News yet.
So,why? Follow the money? Follow the clicks, ratings? Follow the history of the news editors of these programmes, the hierarchy of the BBC? Or something more perfidious?
If Tony Hall's darlings were around in the mid 1930s they'd be making 'news' programmes with titles like 'Hitler: Is He Really All Bad?'
Back in the 1930s it wouldn't just have been the likes of Hall or the Daily Heil who "accommodated" Hitler. Churchill praised both him and Mussolini. Get a load of this from Churchill by Himself, the “People” chapter, Hitler, page 346:
"I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tolerance, and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity and of mercy and of pity to the forlorn and friendless, to the weak and poor.
Since he has been good enough to give me his advice I venture to return the compliment. Herr Hitler also showed himself unduly sensitive about suggestions that there may be other opinions in Germany besides his own. It would be indeed astonishing if, among 80,000,000 of people so varying in origin, creed, interest, and condition, there should be only one pattern of thought. It would not be natural: it is incredible. That he has the power, and, alas! the will, to suppress all inconvenient opinions is no doubt true. It would be much wiser to relax a little, and not try to frighten people out of their wits for expressing honest doubt and divergences. He is mistaken in thinking that I do not see Germans of the Nazi regime when they come to this country. On the contrary, only this year I have seen, at their request, Herr Bohle, Herr Henlein, and the Gauleiter of Danzig, and they all know that.
In common with most English men and women, I should like nothing better than to see a great, happy, peaceful Germany in the vanguard of Europe. Let this great man search his own heart and conscience before he accuses anyone of being a warmonger. The whole peoples of the British Empire and the French Republic earnestly desire to dwell in peace side by side with the German nation. But they are also resolved to put themselves in a position to defend their rights and long-established civilizations. They do not mean to be in anybody’s power. If Herr Hitler’s eye falls upon these words I trust he will accept them in the spirit of candour in which they are uttered."
Yeah, good old Winnie. He knew how to play a tune to suit himself and his own extremist politics.
I listened to the interview.
First it’s unlikely that the listeners to Radio 4 are generally sympathetic to Mr Bannon, but second he didn’t have an easy time. We all heard his words and none of us are in any doubt about his motives.
I note that the readers of the Mail are utterly convinced that the beeb is a ‘lefty’ organisation....
The first requirement of any Coup, is to gain control of the news departments of the state broadcasting organisation. ;)
"Follow the history of the news editors of these programmes" Nick Robinson, Laura Kuenssberg et al - all Tories, in the case of Robinson, Tory activist.
Many have now ditched the TV Licence, myself included, which I hope the BBC will now wake up and smell the coffee. Plenty of (non iPlayer) catch-up TV available free of any licence requirements. Bear in mind the Radio Licence was abolished in 1971 so no licence needed to listen to the radio.
You see, President Barack Obama makes one comment in response to a direct question and he is told to ''keep his nose out of British affairs''. Obama to my knowledge has not made comments on Brexit post-presidency.
And yet, we have the idiot-in-chief Trump not only apparently telling Theresa May how to conduct Brexit, he indeed calls himself 'Mr Brexit. And now the sleazebag Bannon threatening all manner of mayhem should Brexit not go his way. If the BBC for some reason feel they have to invite him into their studio, they could at least ask him why he takes such a keen interest in a key aspect of British policy and whether a British PM can legitimately comment on US gun laws in return for example.
@ Wildswimmer Pete
Yes, the presenters in the main are right wing, most of the left wing ones having departed, whether pushed or not I wouldn't know but it is the news editors behind the scenes who push the agenda. People like Robbie Gibb, brother of a Tory MP (which shouldn't matter), but known to be a rabid Brexiteer and eventually turns up @No 10.
It was not for nothing that Murdoch turned up @No 10 as soon as Cameron was elected PM and he hasn't relinquished his hold ever since. And as I may have mentioned before I believe The Old Murdoconian Mutual Aid Society are able to arrange matters betwen themselves with the added plus of plausible deniability (as they did with the phone hacking scandal). As one of the Anon commenters on this blog might say "no hard evidence" when "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your" deals are done, cf when Trump accepts aid from Russia in return for dropping sanctions.
Post a Comment