Tony Greenstein | 16 October 2019 | Post Views:

My Response to the BBC’s ‘Investigation’ into Panorama’s ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’ – Aunty doesn’t even bother to hide her bias

Ofcom said that it had ‘serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints service’. – the reality is that it’s embedded in racism

 On 10th July Panorama broadcast a programme, Is Labour anti-Semitic’Although the BBC would not say, it is known that in the first week alone over 1,500 complaints had been received.
The BBC’s initial response of 5th August to mine and others’ complaints was contemptuous. They refused to answer. Instead they sent out the same non-response to all complainants. This was to:ensure we use our licence fee resources as efficiently as possible, (so) we’re sending this response to everyone.’

On 15th August I sent a further letter to the Executive Complaints Unit, containing 106 Questions. After quibbling about the length of my complaint, they eventually sent me a response on 30th September

This was just one of John Ware’s successes – his attacks on ‘political Islam’ have been expensive but the BBC doesn’t mind since it is the licence payer who really pays

At last there was a detailed response, but what a response! It is no surprise that even the Establishment Media Lapdog (sorry Watchdog) Ofcom had noted re the Naga Munchetty case, when a BBC presenter had been reprimanded for pointing out that Donald Trump might just be a racist, that it had ‘serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints service’.

The BBC claims not to understand what is wrong with these special effects

I have compiled a 31 page response to Richard Hutt, the Director of the ECU, which includes 2 pages of graphics, rebutting every point. The reason for the graphics is that ECU pretended they didn’t understand my objection to their using a ‘grid’ effect when portraying their enemies – Corbyn, Milne etc. Their response was that‘In documentary programmes of this nature programme-makers will use a wide range of techniques to ensure there is sufficient visual variety to keep an audience engaged’.

My complaint was not their artistic skills but that the people they targeted with this ‘grid’ effect were targets of their allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’. The grid made them look aliens, disembodied. To pretend they didn’t understand my complaint only emphasises the BBC’s utter dishonesty.

There are so many dishonest comments in the ECU’s response that it would make this blog excessively long if I attempted to elaborate on all of them. Please therefore go to this link to read my response.

The most egregious of their lies and distortions is when they defended calling a Palestinian preacher, Raed Salah, from Israel an anti-Semite. Salah came to Britain for a speaking tour in 2011. Theresa May had banned him from entering the country but no one had told Salah or the immigration authorities so he entered the UK and spoke at the House of Commons. He was arrested the next day. On appealing against his deportation the First Tier Immigration Tribunal concluded on 25th October 2011 that Theresa May was within her rights to deport him

According to Richard Hutt’s ECU it was wrong for Ms Munchetty to make personal comments about Trump – but about Raed Salah and Ken Livingstone it was fine

The BBC’s Richard Hutt therefore quoted this decision in his letter:

We are satisfied that the Appellant has engaged in the unacceptable behaviour of fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. We are satisfied that the Appellant’s words and actions tend to be inflammatory, divisive, insulting, and likely to foment tension and radicalism.

That seemed pretty conclusive. Except it wasn’t. Theresa May had made her decision on the basis of a poem that was held to be anti-Semitic, which had been provided to the Home Office by the Community Security Trust. See the David Hearst’s Theresa May’s haste to ban Raed Salah will be repented at leisure in the Guardian. It had appeared in the Jerusalem Post. There was just one problem. It had been doctored to include the words ‘You Jews’.

The fact that the Jewish Labour Movement, whose officers, who made the allegations of ‘antisemitism’, is affiliated to a the World Zionist Organisation, which steals Palestinian land, is of no consequence to the BBC

Not surprisingly the Upper Immigration Tribunal of 8 February 2012 overturned the decision of the lower court and substituted this finding:

In the present case it is clear that the facts upon which the Secretary of State made her decision are very different from the facts that she should have had in mind when making her decision. In particular, the text of the poem is not as she thought…This is a case in which the error was such that it is not appropriate to seek to preserve the First-tier Tribunal’s decision. We therefore proceed to substitute our own decision.

What is staggering, even by the BBC’s biased standards, is that the BBC justified their abusive comments about Raed Salah on the basis of a court decision that was overturned!

Below is a short summary of the points in my Appeal:

i. Noone who claimed that they were ‘victims’ of anti-Semitism was named.

ii. No mention was made of the fact that Ella Rose, who opened the programme with an Oscar winning performance of how she had been the victim of ‘anti-Semitism’, was a former staffer at the Israeli Embassy and the first Director of the Jewish Labour Movement.

iii. No mention was made of the fact that all of the ‘victims’ were officers of the Jewish Labour Movement.

iv. ECU reprimanded Naga Munchetty because BBC Guidelines ‘“do not allow for journalists to… give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so – in this case President Trump”. But Hutt defended calling Ken Livingstone ‘cranky’.

v. Perhaps most important of all the presenter of the programme, John Ware, is a racist and Islamaphobe. They simply told me that all presenters have views, which is true, but would they have employed Kate Hopkins?

So although Richard Hutt said that I should now appeal to Ofcom I have sent it back to him on the grounds that they are obliged to carry out an investigation first. What they have done so far is provide a Defence of Panorama’s crimes not an investigation. I sent today the following email to Richard Hutt.

Dear Mr Hutt,

Thank your letter of 30th September in response to my 100+ question complaint regarding the Panorama programme ‘Is Labour Antisemitic’.
It is clear that you conducted no investigation into my complaints or, I suspect, into anyone else’s complaints. What you did was mount a defence of the indefensible.

Parts of your Defence are bizarre. For example you quote from a Judgment of the Lower Immigration Tribunal in respect of Raed Salah when the whole of that Judgment was overturned by the Upper Immigration Tribunal.

You advised me to go to Ofcom and in due time I will.

However first you need to conduct an investigation.

In order to help you in this task I have compiled a letter rebutting all the points you made. I hope you find it useful.

Perhaps you would now investigate my complaint bearing in mind that Ofcom recently said , in relation to the Naga Munchetty affair that it has ‘serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints service’.

Tony Greenstein

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