Monday, 26 January 2009

BBC on a sticky wicket

DON'T you just love John Humphrys. He utterly destroyed BBC Director General Mark Thompson, presumably his boss, on the Today Programme this morning over the Corporation's decision not to carry the charity appeal for the victims of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

I would have liked John to ask him the question that must have been on the mind of those who were listening to the interview: "Aren't you blocking the appeal because you have been instructed to do so by the powerful pro-Israel lobby within the BBC?"

I expect I will be accused of being anti-semitic for just thinking such a thing, but let me tell you that by banning this appeal the BBC are themselves stoking up anti-semitism, especially amongst Muslims living in this country and the supporters of the Palestinians who will wonder just what has to be done for the BBC to say something critical of Israel.

The Metropolitan Police says that there have been 150 anti-semitic incidents in the capital since the start of the conflict in Gaza, including a suspected arson attack on a north London synagogue, verbal abuse, offensive graffiti. No doubt some of these have come about due to the frustration of protestors at the blanket ban by the Beeb on reporting the anti-Israel demonstrations that have been held in the city. Personally, I don't believe that this ban is anything to do with protecting Israeli sensibilities, but more to do with the BBC being worried that the sight of 10,000 very angry Muslims on the march will frighten the life out of ordinary Brits and drive them into the arms of the BNP.

Congratulations to Gerry and Sonia Gable and their Searchlight organisation - they have been awarded the golden goose that lays the golden egg. Labour Party and trade union funds will be channelled into their Stop the BNP front in the run-up to the local and European elections in June, while the SWP- run Unite Against Facism (UAF) will have to be satisfied with any crumbs from their table.

I'm happy with this. For the past 30 years, Gerry has been the main torchbearer of those who oppose British Nationalism. The fact that we are now at our most influential position ever, shows that he hasn't done a very good job. I'm quite content for his Searchlight gang to keep hold of the "anti-BNP" reins, while the virtually untried UAF is kept in the background.

A huge dollop of Labour Party money has already come Gerry's way enabling him to sign up Barack Obama's web strategists Blue State Digital (BSD), to try to stem support for the British National Party. The consultancy was behind Obama's online success and the idea is that they will use the Internet to help Searchlight stop the BNP winning a seat in the European election.

I'm not particularly concerned about this. There is a huge difference in generating support for something - as BSD did for Obama - and generating opposition against something. Anyone living in Britain who opposes the British National Party so strongly is already involved in campaigns against us. BSD say they will help Searchlight by innovative messaging, which I can only think means targetting recently-arrived immigrants in their own language warning them that the BNP would like to take away their seat on the gravy train.

And finally . . . Nigel Farage. Back in the Summer of 1967, my second favourite group, the Small Faces, made a record called Lazy Sunday, you probably know it. It was a music hall number and nothing like anything the band had done before. Although it was a hit, organist Ian McLagan said it sounded the death knell of the group because they had become a joke band and no one took them seriously any more. Months later Stevie Marriott left for Humble Pie and the Small Faces were no more.

I expect you are getting my drift if you watched the Politics Show yesterday. Although he might have been pleased with the personal publicity, Nigel Farage was seen as a joke politician and the high profile BBC slot showed that his UK Independence Party can't be taken seriously any more. I shall leave the last word on this to Anthony Butcher, a longstanding administrator of the UKIP-supporting website Democracy Forum. He said:

"I can't imagine that anyone watching would think that it was his finest hour.
The whole smoking thing doesn't look good to most people, especially littering fag butts - that's just annoying.
"Don't talk to me about money"... "I don't have any money"... from someone on £100K+ (I believe) isn't going to connect with many voters especially in a recession. I thought that he looked a little 'tired and emotional' at that point too.
The many and varied pictures of UKIP MEPs boozing away wouldn't be my first choice of image either. Combine that with the interviewer calling them schoolboys engaging in silly games and I can't honestly think that this will gain UKIP any credibility. It just didn't come across as a serious venture."

. . . . but Lazy Sunday was still a great record - have a listen.

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