Tony Greenstein | 14 March 2023 | Post Views:

When the BBC’s Tim Davie says ‘We are absolutely driven by a passion for impartiality” it’s like Hitler saying he was driven by a passion for Jews

Tim Davie Interview

We should celebrate a rare victory over the BBC who have been forced to client climb down, reinstate and apologise to Gary Lineker. If Lineker had spoken out in support of Cruella Braverman’s abolition of the right to claim asylum and attacked refugees does anyone seriously think that Lineker would have been suspended?

That is why, when Tim Davie, talks about his ‘passion for impartiality’ he is a liar. Was Fiona Bruce suspended for defending Stanley Johnson’s ‘one-off’ breaking of his wife’s nose? Was Jeremy Clarkson suspended when he said that strikers should be shot, ‘in front of their families’ no less?

The list of BBC pundits and presenters who make right-wing comments without any action being taken against them is legendary. But when Lineker spoke out in support of refugees and had the audacity to compare the vitriol directed against them with the attacks on refugees in the 30s, both from the Mail and Express all hell broke loose. The Tory tabloids barked and Tim Davie jumped to attention.

However Lineker stood his ground, unlike the shameless cowards on Labour’s front bench who rushed to criticise Lineker’s remarks.  Yvette Cooper and Lady Nugee (Emily Thornberry) like good Zionists condemned the comparison with the 30s. Yet in the 30s the same attacks were made on Jewish refugees to this country that the Tories make now. The Daily Mail wrote on 20th August 1938 that:

 The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage:  the number of aliens entering the country through back door – a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed”

Let no one pretend that Britain has a good record on refugees. It is bloody awful and the record of the Labour Party is equally appalling.

The BBC was born in the womb of the British state. For decades, until the 1990s. MI5 vetted its staff to ensure that those deemed ‘subversive’ were excluded from employment.

In 1926 the BBC’s founder Lord Reith excluded the Archbishop of Canterbury from broadcasting to the nation because he favoured a settlement with the miners during the General Strike whereas the government sought to starve them back to work. The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster was allowed to broadcast because he condemned the strike as a sin against god.

Throughout its history the BBC has distinguished itself by hostility to the working class and trade unions. Whenever there is a strike they focus, not on the workers’ grievances but on the  impact of the strike on the public. They emphasise the inconvenience to the public not the struggle to get by of the workers. They tell us the cost of meeting the workers’ demands but never the cost of tax avoidance by the wealthy.

When was the last time the BBC questioned, still less informed us, of the catastrophic effect of NHS privatisation? When did they connect the PPE shortages at the start of the pandemic with the outsourcing of contracts and the ‘just in time’ mentality of the companies involved.

When was the last time the BBC questioned the incompatibility of the profit motive and the mission of the NHS to care for people regardless of cost?  The BBC has the values of capitalism and the market embedded in everything they say and do.

Not once do they ask, as with the Post Office or the Railways why workers are expected to take pay cuts in real terms when hundreds of millions of pounds go to shareholders. When they tell us how much it costs to meet workers’ demands have they ever gone on to ask why that cost could have more than been met by reducing dividend?

Jonathan Pie

The most infamous case of BBC bias was during the 1984-5 Miners’ strike when they focused, not on police violence but that of the miners.  At Orgreave Coke Depot where there was mass picketing, the BBC reversed the sequence of Police attacks on the miners and the miners retaliating by throwing stones. The Police attacks were portrayed as a response to the Miners’ actions. Eventually the BBC owned up but by then it was too late.

The coverage of the gross corruption in the allocation of COVID contracts, with the Tories having a VIP lane, whereby cronies and friends of Tory MPs and Ministers gained preferential access, has been virtually nil. What is inconvenient to the government is inconvenient to the BBC.

On Israel and Palestine the BBC is a byword for bias. Israeli attacks on Palestinians are always a reaction to Palestinian violence never the cause of such violence. Watching the BBC you would never know that Palestinians in the West Bank have experienced the rule of a military junta for over half a century. They speak of the Police keeping order whilst not mentioning that this is a colonial police force that is hostile to the Palestinians whilst protective of Jewish settlers.

When demonstrators in Jerusalem were chanting ‘death to the Arabs’ the Police attacked the Palestinians who protested.  Imagine that there were Palestinian crowds shouting ‘death to the Jews’. It would feature on every BBC news programme. But when Israelis chant ‘Death to the Arabs’ it provokes no comment.

Last year a riot of settlers on Jerusalem Day, a veritable pogrom, in East Jerusalem, was portrayed by BBC correspondent Yolande Knell in this 44 second video clip, as follows.

‘‘the mood of them is jubilant, festive.  It feels like a party…. they’re celebrating their presence at this spot.’

This video of last year’s march shows a variety of racist slogans such as ‘Mohammed is Dead’ ‘A Good Arab is a Dead Arab’’The Arab is a son of a bitch. and of course ‘Death to the Arabs.’

BBC reporters know that Jerusalem Day is a demonstration of Jewish Supremacism whose purpose is to make it clear that the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem is unwanted. Hence the reference in the above video to a second Nakba (ethnic cleansing of Palestinians). Notice the reaction of the Police.

The excuse made for Knell’s piece to camera, in response to my complaint, was that it ‘should be considered within the wider context of the article’ was pathetic. A visual piece to camera is clearly going to have more impact than a written article on the BBC web site.

Andrew Neil, who was a high profile political correspondent for the BBC and also chairman of the tory Spectator hasn’t hesitated to air his opinions on Brexit, Corbyn etc. without any come back.

Is it any wonder that the BBC behaves in this way when its Chairman, Richard Sharp, donated £400,000 to the Tory party while helping Boris Johnson, to secure loan of £800,000? We should treat the BBC for what it is – an Establishment Broadcasting Corporation.

Fiona Bruce defends Boris’s dad breaking his wife’s nose – just a ‘one-off’

When Martine Croxall said she was ‘gleeful’ at the news that Boris Johnson had dropped out the Tory leadership race and would not return to Number 10 she was taken off the air.

Not only had Croxall said “Well, this is all very exciting, isn’t it? Am I allowed to be this gleeful? Well, I am!” but later she could be heard giggling and said: “Sorry! I shouldn’t probably. I’m probably breaking some sort of terrible due impartiality rule by giggling.”

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries said it was an example of “deep seated bias” within the BBC. Croxall was not only taken off air following the comments but the BBC launched an “urgent” investigation, saying in a statement:

It is imperative that we maintain the highest editorial standards. We have processes in place to uphold our standards, and these processes have been activated.”

Why has there been no action against the anti-Corbyn presenters Laura Kuenssberg and Fiona Bruce?

Throughout the Corbyn era the BBC led with attacks on ‘Labour anti-Semitism’. Andrew Neil devoted the whole of his Sunday politics in 2016 to attacking Labour ‘anti-Semitism’.

The tone of the programme was set by the voice over which asked:

‘Does Jeremy Corbyn support 4 causes like the Palestinians or Stop the War mean he’s not tough enough when there are allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour.’

There was no explanation why supporting the Palestinians or opposition to war should mean hostility to Jews, unless it is being suggested that Jews are war-like. Itself an anti-Semitic assumption.

There was a 45 second rant from Wes Streeting on Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ followed by a 25 second response from James Schneider, a Momentum supporter defending Corbyn but not saying much else.

John Mann, the Zionist MP and Chair of the so-called Parliamentary Anti-Semitism Committee, who believes that boycotts of Israel are inherently anti-Semitic, was given an uninterrupted 6 minutes and 4 seconds. In other words those arguing that the LP was saturated with anti-Semitism had a mere 16 times as much time as the person who defended Corbyn. At no point did Andrew Neil question Mann’s assumptions of Labour ‘anti-Semitism’. It was taken for granted.

Mann wasn’t asked, at any stage, for any evidence to support his arguments. Neil asked 6 questions, none of them probing.

The first was ‘is there a problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.’ An interviewer with any sense of balance of fairness would have asked ‘Why do you say there is an anti-Semitism problem… ‘ or ‘what is the evidence for your assertion that…’

Mann engaged in empty rhetoric but provided not a scrap of evidence for his assertions. 

The second question was no better. It assumed there was a problem of anti-Semitism. ‘Why has it come back’ and his third question simply asked ‘why in the Labour Party. Again no challenge to the central thesis.

Neil’s fourth question referred to Corbyn’s ‘friends in Hamas and Hezbollah’ which is a repetition of the media lies.  Corbyn chaired a meeting at which he referred to the speakers as ‘friends’ in a general and polite sense.  That was all.  They weren’t his personal friends. In any event neither organisation is anti-Semitic.

Neil then suggested that Corbyn shared platforms with people hostile to Israel and whether that is anti-Semitic. The assumption being that hostility to the Zionist state is anti-Semitic.

His fifth question was no different. Are you doing enough about this. Again the assumption that there was Labour ‘anti-Semitism’.

But it was Neil’s 6th question which was most ironical. Andrew Neil demonstrated that the only problem with anti-Semitism lies with people like himself.  He asked about the ‘Jewish vote’ as if there is a block Jewish vote to begin with.

Another irony is that when Andrew Neil was Editor of the Sunday Times who did he hire to verify the Goebbels Diaries? Holocaust denier David Irving!

And when Boris Johnson was Editor of The Spectator he hired Taki, the owner of Takis magazine for whom David Duke of the KKK wrote. Taki supported the openly Nazi Golden Dawn Party in Greece. And who was Chairman of the Board of Press Holdings Media Group which owns The Spectator? Andrew Neil! The hypocrisy is endless.

Taki himself was deeply anti-Semitic. As his biography records:

Taki was able to run columns on ‘bongo bongo land’, West Indians ‘multiplying like flies’ and one on the world Jewish conspiracy, in which he described himself as a ‘soi-disant anti-Semite’.

So where are the left-wing reporters and news journalists at the BBC?  We have Tory Laura Kuensberg and Nick Robinson, ex-President of the Oxford University Conservative Association.

Former communications officer for Theresa May, Robbie Gibb, is on the BBC board. Tim Davie, the current BBC director general, previously stood as a councillor for the Tory Party in Hammersmith and was deputy chair of Hammersmith & Fulham Conservative party.

The question Davie has repeatedly failed to answer was why was Lineker silenced for a tweet criticising the current government when it had no issues with Lineker’s political views when he opened the BBC coverage of the Qatar World Cup with a monologue detailing human rights issues in the Arab country? Impartiality, it would seem, is only relevant when criticising policies of the Conservative party.

Under the heading of ‘impartiality’ the BBC has neglected to cover the scandal of our sewage-filled waterways. Corporate vandalism is never a good story.

The BBC’s coverage of Ukraine has been lamentable. When the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up the BBC highlighted US and Ukrainian accusations that the Russians had blown up their own pipelines. A child of 6 could have told them this was unlikely given that the Russians owned it. But if your ‘impartiality’ guidelines dictate you support NATO’s narrative then the absurd becomes true.

The BBC has failed to so much as mention the revelations of Seymour Hersh, the legendary Pulitzer prize winning reporter, that it was the United States that carried out the bombing of the Nordstream pipeline.

And then there is Jeremy Corbyn. Who can forget the lying dishonest production by John Ware, Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

In Liverpool Riverside Jewish member Helen Marks was under investigation. Her investigator was Ben Westerman who alleged that Rica Bird had asked him ‘where are you from? Are you from Israel?

What Rica had said was ‘‘so I’m just curious about what branch are you in?’ and when Westerman said it wasn’t relevant Rica accepted it. There is a world of difference between asking what Labour Party Branch someone is in and asking if someone Jewish is from Israel.

The interview was recorded so it is clear that Westerman was lying. As the Labour Files rightly said, the Jews interviewed in the Panorama programme were drawn entirely from the officers of the anti-Corbyn Jewish Labour Movement. Not one Jewish anti- Zionist was interviewed. Another example of BBC impartiality!

Rica Bird

Lord Sugar of The Apprentice has a history of political outbursts including interviews calling on people to vote Conservative to tweeting a mocked-up image of Corbyn sitting next to Adolf Hitler. But ‘passionate’ Tim Davie was unmoved by such bias.

Given Tim Davie is so ‘passionate’ about impartiality there is a long list of issues that he could tackle. The first could be the sycophantic coverage of the deaths of the Queen and Prince Philip. Endless interviews with the queues to see her coffin. Given around a quarter of the British people are Republican why is there no balance on the  Royal Parasites?

We could ask why Nigel Farage has made so many appearances on Question Time. As the Scottish National reported in May 2019:

IN a completely unsurprising turn of events, the BBC has come under fire over its lack of impartiality. 

Last night’s episode of Question Time marked Nigel Farage‘s 33rd appearance on the show.

The third-largest Westminster party was of course not represented on the broadcaster’s flagship political show.

It is clear that the BBC has always had a racist agenda. Why else put Farage on Question Time so much? UKIP and the Brexit Party never son a single parliamentary seat. This is the clue to the action taken against Gary Lineker. The BBC is a thoroughly racist institution that thinks a few token Black presenters will overcome its racist agenda.

Not forgetting Andrew Marr who, when Blair launched an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq outdid himself.

Mr Blair is well aware that all his critics out there in the party and beyond aren’t going to thank him, because they are only human, for being right when they’ve been wrong…

it would be entirely ungracious even for his critics not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger Prime Minister as a result.

We all know how that turned out! Researchers at John Hopkins University and the Lancet, estimated that more than a million people died as a result of the war. The BBC naturally ignored these findings.

It was no surprise that Marr’s book launch for Head of State, was held in Downing Street with David Cameron as the host.

Liz Thomson, breached the bonhomie and etiquette when she asked Marr if having Cameron host the book launch ‘mightn’t compromise his position as impartial political interviewer for the BBC’.

Marr’s wife, Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley went ballistic telling Thomson that ‘you’ve ruined my evening’ before she ‘resumed the harangue, calling [Thomson] ‘despicable’ and ‘a B-I-T-C-H’.

The BBC has reported the Ukrainian resistance but during the Iraq invasion there were no favourable reports of the Iraqi resistance or the American atrocities that Wikileaks revealed. Nothing on the thousands of deaths in Falluja. To this day the BBC has ignored the kidnapping of Julian Assange, who did the job that the BBC failed to do. Investigate American war crimes.

So when Tim Davie says he is ‘passionate’ about BBC impartiality my only response is ‘pass the sick bucket Alice.’

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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