September 30, 2009

The BBC on the BNP - Radio 1's Newsbeat interview is shameful

'Young' BNP members Joey Smith and Mark Collett
Regular readers of this [New Statesman] blog will know that I tend to harp on about the self-serving, right-wing "myth" of the BBC's supposed "liberal left bias".

For those who remain unconvinced, let me point you towards Radio 1 Newsbeat's "interview" with two "young BNP members", on the BBC website. It is so staggeringly soft, woefully weak and uncritically unchallenging that I feel sick to my stomach. Here, in full, is the absurd attempt at rigorous and impartial journalism on the BBC (I mean, Radio 1, what is the point of it?):
'Do you think it's OK for people who aren't white in this country to call themselves British?

Joey: Civicly British they are. You cannot say they are ethnically British. It's denying our heritage. It's taking that away from us.

At what point do they become ethnically British? How long do they have to be here?

Joey: Well I think it would be an awfully long time before someone would become ethnically British.

So when you see someone like Ashley Cole play for England, are you happy to watch him?

Joey: If he wants to come to this country and he wants to live by our laws, pay into society, that's fine.

But if he wanted to call himself British that would be a problem?

Joey: He cannot say that he's ethnically British.

Why is the idea of races mixing such a bad thing?

Joey: If everybody integrated it would take away everybody's identity.

Mark: I would be upset if there were no more giant pandas, I'd be upset if there were no more lions, if there were no more tigers, so equally I'd be upset if white people weren't here any more.

But we're the same species which makes it a bit different, doesn't it?

Mark: You could say that but if all of a sudden there weren't any sparrows and there were only crows, I'd still be sad there weren't any sparrows.

Can you understand that some people are happy to mix?

Mark: No, I think people have been brainwashed. I think the media, the government, have forced it down people's throats and they've indoctrinated people.

You don't think people are bright enough to decide themselves?

Mark: I think when people are bombarded 24 hours a day to force multiculturalism upon them, people are going to succumb to that. We shouldn't have to bend our ways to people who've been here five minutes.

You're talking like people here are on holiday. They've lived here, some of them, for a generation, some of them for longer. Doesn't that count?

Mark: Are you trying to compare somebody, or a group of people who've lived here for maybe 30 years, to people who've lived here for 40,000 years? There's a vast, vast difference in time scale there, my dear.

My point isn't the difference in times between one group of people and another, it's saying they're not visitors, they are not holidaymakers, they are people living here.

Mark: If I went to live and work in another country, then I would still adhere by their culture and they should adhere by ours.'
Is anyone else as shocked as I am by the soft, naive, piss-poor questioning? Why the pleading tone from reporter Debbie Randle? Where in the interview are these two BNP "kids" properly challenged - on the criminal convictions and dubious backgrounds of leading BNP figures; the party's nakedly racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic discourse; the BNP's policies on (voluntary) repatriation and mixed-marriage bans, etc? Why is the piece headline "Young BNP members explain their beliefs", as if they are innocent members of, say, Amnesty International or on an Alpha course, rather than of a party whose members are banned from becoming police officers or prison officers?

In May, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) published "race reporting guidelines" for the media, which included this particular point:
'When interviewing representatives of racist organisations or reporting meetings or statements or claims, journalists should carefully check all reports for accuracy and seek rebutting or opposing comments. The antisocial nature of such views should be exposed.'
Does anyone think reporter Debbie Randle stuck to those (voluntary) guidelines, or even to basic common sense (i.e. if you're interviewing young members of a racist party, those members' views should be challenged and their racism exposed)? According to her profile on the BBC website, she is a "Senior Broadcast Journalist" and someone desperate to interview Prince William, who once wanted to be a singer, cites Jon Snow as her favourite "reporter" because "he's so cool" and had a first job working in a bingo club. Judging by this abysmal interview, and the pass she gives the odious BNP and its "young" members, she should probably head back to that bingo club while her Radio 1 bosses hang their heads in shame for commissioning this awful feature.

The normalisation of the BNP in our political and media discourse continues apace - aided and abetted, as usual, by our public-service broadcaster. It's disgusting and depressing.

Mehdi Hasan writing in the New Statesman

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Mark: You could say that but if all of a sudden there weren't any sparrows and there were only crows, I'd still be sad there weren't any sparrows."

To argue against interracial relationships with this bizzare dross is beyond laughable.

I am in a racially 'mixed' relationship with biracial children and I am anything but 'brainwashed'.

That fact that this moronic bigot is considered somewhat of an intellecual within the BNP (he has a degree, rare among BNP members) says a hell of a lot.

The reporter comes across as simply exasperated with the dimwittedness of these two turds. She obviously got the short straw in having to interview them.

Stephen Sidlo said...

Totally agree mate. From an unemployed graduate Journalist listening to this it makes me double angry that they don't take on journalists like myself with fire in our belly to take on these racists with a full on fire breathing expose! She did a piss poor job and it makes us all look bad. Hate objective journalism - midd road bollocks almost as much as racism. Good post mate!

Anonymous said...

"So when you see someone like Ashley Cole play for England, are you happy to watch him?

Joey: If he wants to come to this country and he wants to live by our laws, pay into society, that's fine."

According to Wikipedia Ashley Cole was born in that far-flung, exotic place called 'Stepney' in a foreign country called 'England'.

I'm sure that in Joey's tiny brain all non-Whites have "come to this country".

AndyMinion (BatsMan) said...

As with the Andrew Marr / Gri££in interview, they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory - again.

Surprised they weren't asked really searching questions (by Newsbeat standards) like "Who d'you fancy for the X Factor? of "What's your favourite Pot Noodle?".

I see that over on the New Statesman blog they've had some much - needed clarity and insightfulness brought to the debate by Lee Barnes (LLB Hons): "You truly are a venal, spiteful, pitiful little man arent you. I bet you were a bully at school werent you, medhi you weasel" (sic).

For an LLB (Hons) who heads up the legal team of a legitimate, electable and eminently respectable national political party, he's as thick as mince, isn't he?

Jamie The Antifascist said...

What the f%$£ is Mark (kiddies beware) Collett on about?

I would have to leave this country if multicultralism was ever taken away from us and we were just left with the so-called "indeginous brits" (probably just a handfull then)

Never understood why the BNP persist to go back in time with their policies...it's certainly doing them no favour :)

Kev Scott loves The Jam said...

Oh FFS how thick are they?

"But we're the same species which makes it a bit different, doesn't it?

Mark: You could say that but if all of a sudden there weren't any sparrows and there were only crows, I'd still be sad there weren't any sparrows.


Defenition of a species: taxonomic group whose members can interbreed .

Now crows and sparrows can't..... Now I know Collett would shag anything from any species... as long as it wasnt 'forin'.... but he really should have tried harder at school.

No comments section for newsbeat, but if you would like to ask who was the stupidest, the interviewer or the nutzies you could get in touch:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/contact_us/default.stm

Anonymous said...

There's only one reason why Collett would be involved with the young BNP members and that has nothing to do with his age.

Anonymous said...

I notice internet warrior and Legal expert Lee Barnes has appeared in the comments page of the New Statesman's article.

Anonymous said...

From Tony Blackburn to this....

Anonymous said...

could have used some of Collets quotes, about Hitler and all of that from young nazi and proud.

If he was young then how old is he now?

Havent the BNP got any young supporters?

Anonymous said...

More interviews with some young bnp here -

http://www.viceland.com/wp/2009/07/babes-of-the-bnp/

Anonymous said...

would Colete be sad if there weren't any black birds?

Anonymous said...

It appears the BBC is giving the BNP an easy time now, all very odd! Hopefully the Technicans' Union can pull the plug on Griffin on Question Time next month though?

Courtney said...

Ok, why all the melodrama?

Call me naive....but the journalist going "soft" on them made them feel at ease to espouse their ignorant, raw racism. I mean, comparing human beings and mixed relationships with pandas, lions and tigers.
Utterly bizarre!

If the journalist went in hard with " fire in her belly" they would have just come out with the tired old party lines of "identity", "freedom" and concern for "unlimited immigration".

Give them enough rope.....

Anonymous said...

"Give them enough rope....."

Good Point Courtney.

The Pandas, Crows and Sparrows stuff should be quoted by us to illustrate what a idiot Collett is.

Hard to believe that this twat would have a senior ministerial post in a future BNP government.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia Ashley Cole was born in that far-flung, exotic place called 'Stepney' in a foreign country called 'England'.

I'm sure that in Joey's tiny brain all non-Whites have "come to this country".

He didn't, but his parents most certainly did. Think that's what they meant.

Anonymous said...

"Havent the BNP got any young supporters?"

Unlike the NF of the 1970's the BNP don't have that many young members. The average age must be in the 30's or even 40's and looking at recent televised BNP meetings they seemed to be packed with retirees.

This has made the BNP policy of 'no marches, no punch-ups' easier to sell as older people are less inclined towards street activity. The BNP may be worried that younger, more robust elements would be drawn to the EDL.

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully the Technicans' Union can pull the plug on Griffin on Question Time next month though?"

This might be counterproductive.

Barbara Suzuki said...

I agree with Courtney - and the rope is coiling quite nicely.

ChildLine said...

BNP kiddy-fiddler Paedo Boy spoke on Newsbeat, hoping to seduce teenage girls into his bed, to admire his child-sized penis.

Can't someone lock up this sick nonce?

A Dad said...

Is it only me, or have both of these "BNP spokesmen" got pervy looks on their faces.

What else do you expect on children's radio.

Mark Collett is a disgrace, and BNP or no BNP, should not appear on television and radio of any sort after what happened at that Blackpool hotel.

I'm a father of two young girls, one eleven, one twelve. Knowing that child abusers like collett escape justice because of some state protection clause, sickens me to the pit of my stomach!

Courtney said...

In reply to anonymous.
Not only was Ashley Cole born and raised in Stepney but he is mixed race. His father being black and mother white.

Just thought I would reply to your comment that his parents "most certainly" came from another country.
Well his mother certainly didn't and given Ashley Cole's age, there is a good chance his father was born in this country too.

Sorry about that...just speaking from personal experience!

Anonymous said...

"He didn't, but his parents most certainly did. Think that's what they meant."

I guess you're right - One of the many problems with the BNP is that it's hard to fathom what it's leaders actually mean when they speak. They seem to use coded language, buzz words, double-meanings and inferences so that it's difficult for mere mortals to get the gist of what they're trying to say.

I suppose that one of the downsides of being a closet fascist party. Always hiding what you actually are. Must be tough.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Collett would be upset if they're were no more Pandas.

Looking at a Panda, aren't they a mix of black and white?

Anonymous said...

"Mark: You could say that but if all of a sudden there weren't any sparrows and there were only crows, I'd still be sad there weren't any sparrows. "

Actually, sparrow numbers have been in decline for a while.

On the other hand, migrants such as the house martin, who seem to arrive first in the south east, and make their homes on other people's houses, are said to be increasing.

How long before the indigenous species are outnumbered and pushed out of their nests by upstarts from Asia or Africa, like the cuckoo?

Anonymous said...

Why would it be counterproductive to pull the plug on Question time. Surely we are about stopping the nazis spreading hate?

Anonymous said...

What amazes me most is why they weren't asked what it is that makes them think white people are an endangered species. There must be more white people, and people of all races, than ever before simply due to the growth of the world's population but now the BNP seem to think us Anglo-Saxons are going the same way as the dodo. Well, as long as they go that way.

Anonymous said...

Read this, about Boris Johnson's appearance on Eastenders:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8284316.stm

A dossier needs to be compiled of right wing bias on our state broadcaster and sent to the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, migrants such as the house martin, who seem to arrive first in the south east..."

Yeah, those bloody Housemartins, Comin' here, taking our jobs, chatting up our women, cooking their smelly food, send 'em all back I say, yadda, yadda yadda.

You'll never guess you I had in the back of my cab the other day...

Brummie said...

You'll never guess you I had in the back of my cab the other day...

The twitcher of the BNP, Simon Darby by any chance?

Anonymous said...

And here's the reply I received from the BBC when I put in a complaint about this...


Hi
Thanks very much for your complaint about our BNP interview - I note your comments. I thought it might be useful for you to understand our thinking editorially on this matter.

The BNP was given airtime because we're an impartial newsgathering organisation. It's our job to examine all political parties and put their representatives on the spot with fair and firm questioning. Impartial journalism and censorship do not sit happily together. We believe in getting the facts and the arguments out there for people to decide - not in judging what is "right" or "wrong" in a political context - that's for you to do. The BNP are not an illegal party - they enjoy electoral support and have elected representatives. It is the BBC's job to properly examine all legitimate political parties that operate within the law and for which people clearly vote.

This may surprise you, but a great many texts we received yesterday - were broadly supportive of the BNP. Over time it's evident from following our listeners that the party touches a nerve of support or interest. The large pile of texts on my desk raise issues around immigration, political correctness and an apparent frustration with mainstream politics that means the BNP, or at least some of their policies, appeals to some people. It's also clear that not much is known about the party's policies beyond immigration and race which is something we were keen to explore - and did.

We put to Nick Griffin some of the texts we received including sentiments as tough as "you're a disgrace" and "how do you sleep at night?". Debbie Randle's handling of the interview was extremely rigorous and the bulk of the tough questions she asked were inspired by or directly quoted listeners themselves.

I hope you will understand that one of purposes of journalism in a democratic society is to explore and question - raising at times subjects some may find distasteful or shocking.

Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Rod McKenzie
Editor
BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat - 1Xtra News


WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT!!!

Brummie said...

and put their representatives on the spot with fair and firm questioning.

What a pisstake!

and an apparent frustration with mainstream politics

Which is why I vote Green!

Anonymous said...

Will they broadcast this shameful interview on the Asian Network too, one wonders 'just to stir up debate'??