Tony Greenstein | 19 March 2019 | Post Views:

Imagine interviewing a spokesman for ISIS after the Paris massacres or Oswald Moseley after the capture of Belsen – BBC Heads Should Roll

It seems that the BBC’s idea of Balance is to give equal weight to the Right and the Far-Right. How else to explain the BBC’s decision to interview, on the day of the New Zealand massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers, a spokesman for the fascist Generation Identity, Benjamin Jones?

It was akin to asking ISIS for their views on the Bataclan massacre in Paris or the Manchester bombing. There was no possible justification for presenter Richard Watson interrupting a report on the massacre by White Supremacist Brenton Tarrant to interview Jones.

Jones whole purpose in the interview was to provide a justification for what happened, to explain the background from the point of white supremacists whilst distancing himself from the massacre itself. What was worse was that far from challenging Jones, Watson allowed him to develop and elaborate his points. Watson opened by explaining that

Richard Watson – BBC Interviewer Completely Folded when attempting to challenge Benjamin Jones

‘His (Brenton Tarrant) document is titled The Great Replacement, a reference to European culture being subsumed by immigration. That’s precisely the same phrase used by European group called Generation Identity which campaigns against immigration and Islam. Generation Identity uses similar arguments to those found in the New Zealand document. I spoke to its UK leader, Benjamin Jones [BJ], today.

Firstly BJ was allowed to make the unsubstantiated assertion that they are ‘fundamentally opposed’ to the American alt-Right when in fact there is no substantial difference. Both are ethno nationalist groups.

BJ: Generation Identity is fundamentally opposed to what we call alt-Right tendencies and the vast majority of what we find in this manifesto we classify as alt-Right. It’s simple as that.

Benjamin Jones

Then BJ was given the opportunity of condemning the violence, which of course he did. Watson, in typical Establishment-speak talked of ‘extreme and offensive’ views. It is irrelevant whether they are extreme or offensive, what matters is their content. There is nothing wrong in being ‘extreme’ or indeed offensive. It depends on whom you are being offensive to. The views espoused were overtly racist, a word that Watson never once used.

Jones was allowed to get away with talk of ‘the typical Muslim’. Just imagine if he had said ‘the typical Jew’. There would have been uproar because there is no more a typical Muslim than a typical Jew or a typical Christian but Watson as with the BBC in general, is completely incapable of challenging racism since the BBC continually gives racists like UKIP a platform.

BBC’s Reporters are so useless that they don’t mention that Replacement is nothing but Refugees fleeing our Violence

Jones was then allowed, twice, to explain that this violence was ‘inevitable’ because you could not have different peoples mixing. It as if BBC reporters have learnt nothing over the past 30 years. This was the argument used repeatedly against Jewish and indeed any form of immigration. It was a lie then and it is a lie now. But the pathetic Watson could only ask Jones to elaborate.

Jones spoke about ‘radically different points of view’ of Muslims without ever being challenged to explain this nonsense. Indeed at no point did Watson, even once challenge any of the arguments or tropes of Jones. One can only presume that the reason for that is because the BBC operates within the same right-wing consensus of Generation Identity. That is why Nigel Farage is such a regular guest on Question Time. True it is just a bit more civilised but there is no fundamental disagreement. The interview continued:

RW: So you absolutely condemn his use of violence?
BJ: We condemn the use of violence in all circumstances and contexts.
RW: But Generation Identity does have very extreme and offensive views especially about Muslims.
BJ: As far as the typical Muslim is concerned their way of life is completely incompatible with the lifestyle of the average person in this country lives. I see instances such as this as inevitable if we continue to put different peoples with different perspectives, radically different points of view in terms of how we conduct our lives as human beings together and I think that will come from extremists across the spectrum which is why it is so important that we continue to advocate the advantages of a homogenous society.

Instead of challenging any of the above Watson throws a softball question.

RW: You just said that violence of this kind is inevitable if this kind of immigration continues. That’s a very serious thing to say.
BJ: It’s something that all sorts of people have been saying for many decades. This goes all the way back to Enoch Powell.(inaudible) We don’t want it to happen. But we are fundamentally bringing people from parts of the world who have a radically different perspective of how to conduct their lives as human beings to the typical Westerner. That is inevitably going to lead to conflict.’

Tommy Robinson’s supporters outside the Old Bailey last year

The first thing a Labour Government should do is to remove the Establishment’s control of the BBC. We need an exodus of the Tory boys and girls – Laura Kuensberg, Andrew Neil and Andrew Marr for starters. When was the last time the BBC employed a socialist or radical political commentator?

Although her usual timid and hesitant self, Chakrabarti at least raised the question on the Andrew Marr show. Perhaps she should find the same fire in her belly that she displayed when arguing for Ken Livingstone’s expulsion. See

We need to talk about BBC Newsnight’s coverage of the New Zealand massacre. It’s not okay.
BBC defends inviting far right leader to speak about Christchurch mosque attack on Newsnight

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Tony Greenstein

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