Monday, 22 June 2009

Something's in the air

AM I just being over optimistic or is change in the air.

Two events in the past few days have bucked trends that have been the norm since 2002 and probably long before.

Firstly, at the end of last week, we had the Chartered Institute of Journalists, stepping forward and issuing a statement that the British National Party should be treated in the media as any other legal political party with elected representatives.

Its statement was prompted in response to a meeting of the National Union of Journalists where the tactics of its members reporting on the BNP were to be discussed.

The NUJ deliberately encourages its members to doctor news to show the British National Party in an unfavourable light. It's a despicable policy but it has been in effect for over a decade and has never been challenged by anyone in the profession.

For another union to come forward at this time and issue, what is in reality, a condemnation of NUJ policy is very heartening indeed.

Over the weekend there was a call for BNP members to be banned from the teaching profession. The call was prompted by the Labour Party, the discredited Ed Balls in particular, but it was also backed by some members of the General Teaching Council of England.

Today, in The Guardian, the General Teaching Council of England distances itself from the comments of these Labour lackeys. Registrar Alan Meyrick writes:

"The five members of the General Teaching Council for England writing about teacher registration and membership of the BNP (Letters, 20 June) were acting independently of the GTC.

"As the regulator of the teaching profession, the GTC must carry out its responsibility - to hear cases of alleged unacceptable professional conduct, serious professional incompetence and relevant criminal convictions - fairly.

"Membership of any lawful political party cannot amount to unacceptable professional conduct. Council members, all of whom hear disciplinary cases, must not risk prejudicing themselves by expressing views that could be seen as predetermining the outcome of a case. We cannot regulate against the beliefs of professionals, only their actions and conduct.

"Where employers, such as the police, stipulate that membership of any particular political party is not permitted, this is a matter of employment contract rather than a matter for a professional regulator. For the GTC to take a position or advise government on this matter would be prejudicial to our position as a fair and impartial regulator."

There are also two other letters which buck the usual persecution trend when discussing the British National Party in newspapers like The Guardian, and they can be found here.

1 comment:

alanorei said...

The journalists realise that they can't keep the anti-BNP finger in the news mafia dyke any more, Martin, as you'll no doubt have already surmised.

It's a bit like the story of the dinosaurs, adapt or perish and clearly they don't want to perish.

To be fair, no doubt journalists also have a proportion of good investigative professionals in their ranks who are as sick of pc-ness etc. as any of us.