Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Let's get the BBC to update its BNP files

I AM grateful to Robert Cherrie for forwarding me his correspondence with the BBC regarding the non-appearance of British National Party spokesmen on the Question Time programme.

Robert asked the Corporation:

"When is the BBC going to accept that a very large number of people in the UK support the policies of the British National Party and would like to see a representative of the Party on your Question Time programme?

"I am not just referring to those of my generation, born in the 1930's, but of all age groups including teenagers.

"The BNP is very relevant in today's political climate, so why are its views not discussed on the programme?"

Alec Mackenzie from BBC Complaints replied:

"I note you feel that BNP representatives are not being given the opportunity to appear on the programme and air their views.

"As a public service broadcaster the BBC is committed to impartiality in its reporting of political issues. Freedom of expression is a very important democratic right and across our news programming we don't ban any group from taking part in debate as long as they are operating within the law.

"Question Time aims to represent a broad range of views but it cannot always do this while ensuring strict political balance each week. The panel usually consists of MPs from the main political parties, together with representatives from various organisations and newspaper columnists or editors. The programmes try to achieve balance over a reasonable period and certainly have a firm commitment to political balance over their series as a whole.

"There is a great deal of interest from many groups for people to sit on the Question Time panel. As far as those occupying the "political" seats (usually three) goes, in general they are taken by parties which have demonstrated a significant level of electoral support in the UK by being represented at Westminster, in the devolved bodies or in the European Parliament.

"A small number of council seats does not, in itself, signify sufficient electoral support to warrant inclusion on Question Time, though there may be other BBC programmes where, depending on the news agenda, appearances may be appropriate from time to time.

I appreciate your concerns that the BNP is not adequately represented on the programme and please be assured that your comments have been included in our audience log. This is circulated widely within the BBC and made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers."

Is that a 'fob off' or is there just a glimmer of hope that the BBC might just be shifting its stance on us. The last paragraph is interesting.

I see that they are still using the line that because UKIP has representatives in the European Parliament it must have a significant support base. UKIP's vote back in 2004 was Kilroy-Silk and media inspired and disappeared as quickly as it appeared. UKIP candidates now get derisory votes, yet the Party's spokesmen are still regularly trotted out by the BBC.

But then, of course, the BBC is painfully ignorant about everything to do with the British National Party. The Corporation's website still has the files for that ridiculous "Under the Skin of BNP" Panorama programme it made in 2001 coming up on BNP searches. Talk about out of date, the BNP leadership page names 14 individuals on the Advisory Council where only Nick and Simon Darby are still in post and out of 30 organisers named, just three are current.

Maybe that should be our campaign this month - to get the BBC to update its BNP files.


Bertie_Bert said...

what makes the BBC a joke, is when programs like question time spend the best parts of the program calling the BNP racists, xenophobics, islamaphobic, homophobic, anti- jewish etc etc,with the brainwashed audience clapping everytime.
whilst affording no BNP spokesperson the chance to reply.

just what are they afraid of ?

alanorei said...

Are we therefore to conclude that a BNP seat in the European Parliament, won in June 2009 say, would therefore guarantee a position on a QT panel?

Would the BBC make that pledge?

Bert Rustle said...

Regarding Drive-By Media appearances:

How corrupt are our Politicians

... This the name of the debate being filmed on Thursday host by Nick Ferrari

On the panel:-

Alex Hilton – Labour Candidate for Chelsea & Fulham

Ian Parker-Joseph – Leader, Libertarian Party

Ian Senior – Author, Corruption: the world’s big C

Michael White – Political Editor, The Guardian (1990-2006) ...

Presumably the Libertarian Party has rather fewer elected representatives than the BNP.