Yesterday I had the misfortune to have to visit one of Britain’s premier Islamically enriched shitholes, of which more in a later article, and while in the car, I had BBC Radio London on. I was listening to the Eddie Nestor Drivetime progreamme and as well as covering the big story of the day, which was a big strike on the London Underground, they were asking why UKIP have become so popular.
The programme started quite ominiously with Eddie Nestor saying he would read on air all those commments he was ‘able to’. Of course there might be issues of swearing or libel in a text or an email from a listener, but I wondered what else the BBC might consider inappropriate for broadcast? Sadly as the programme went on I found that many of my fears about partiality were well founded.
This programme to my observation seemed to be taking a line of being shocked that UKIP was doing so well but some parts of the programme crossed the line into being openly partisan against UKIP.
The UKIP section led on the cross party attempt to smear UKIP as ‘racist’ and featured Peter Kellner of YouGov setting out the current state of pre Euro election polling, and Eddie Nestor kept bringing up the few ‘rogue’ or ‘honest’ candidates, depending on your point of view. However, Mr Kellner said that the few candidates for UKIP who have said un-pc things, are not a major concern, and that UKIP are not racist and that he, Mr Kellner prefered to use the more narrow definition of ‘racism’which is hatred of a person due to the colour of their sking, rather than the broader one, which includes nationality..
BBC Radio London gave a considerable amount of time to former Labour MP Barbara Roche of the pro immigration pressure group, Migration Matters. Before she came on Mr Nestor read out some comments from listeners, and the anti-UKIP to pro-UKIP comments were on a ratio of 2:1. The reasons for UKIP’s rise was said by commentators as ‘selfishness’, and ‘it’s because the media talk about them’, but only one comment that gave a positive reason for growth,which was ‘patriotism’.
Barbara Roche attacked the current UKIP posters and called them ‘shock tactic’ posters.. Ms Roche was allowed to attack UKIP with very little intervention from Mr Nestor. The whole tone of this section struck me as extremely biased with an appeal to listeners to give their opinion on whether or not UKIP are ‘closet racists’ looking like fishing for a preferred opinion. The local news was also led by another anti-UKIP story, on the candidate who resigned over the ‘Lenny Henry’ comment.
The programme did feature Gerald Batten, the UKIP Immigration spokesman, who brought up the very pertinent point that back in 2000 Ms Roche referred to the British as a nation of ‘Mongrels’ which is something that if said about another group would be heavily criticised. The programme as a whole had more than a whiff of propaganda about it. It appeared to tick all the boxes for political impartiality such as having a polling expert, a pro immigration person and a UKIP person, but the programme that resulted was anything but impartial.
Even when a very astute London Cab driver gave his assessment of how and why UKIP are taking votes from Old Labour voters, Eddie Nestor interrupted him to try, with questioning, to smear UKIP as being part of the ‘far right’ by mentioning them in the same breath as the BNP and the NF.
All in all, this programme looked like publicly funded UKIP bashing and it is easy to have suspicions that the comments and content and tone of the programme, were carefully chosen to fit the BBC’s own political agenda. It would have been interesting to hear this programme and the views of those contributing to it without the noticable selection bias that in my opinion occurred.
Here’s a link to the Eddie Nestor programme. What do you think?