Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A Note on Jeremy Corbyn and Panorama

You didn't have to read any of the materials around last night's Panorama to know that their half hour programme was going to be a hatchet job. And it didn't disappoint. The gruel served up on this occasion was the declaration made at the Second Cairo Conference Against Capitalist Globalisation and US Hegemony, held in December 2003. It recognised the right of Iraqis to resist any illegal invasion of their country (in fact, it urged support for the resistance). As Stop the War was present in the form of its then chair, John Rees, because the declaration was then featured on their website, and because Jeremy Corbyn happens to be a steering committee member, therefore he his guilty of urging Iraqi resistance groups on against British soldiers. It's pretty thin stuff, all told

I've written before about Jeremy's questionable connections - some of which can be ignored, while others are more serious. But on Panorama itself, yes, it was a pretty poor piece of journalism. There was no pretense of balance and impartiality. But evidence of BBC bias? Yes, but not in the way most people complaining about it on social media think so.

In recent years, Panorama have done hatchet jobs on Nigel Farage and UKIP, Unite and Len McCluskey, domestic Islamists, George Galloway, and not so long ago Nick Griffin and the BNP. If the BBC was biased against Corbyn, then why have they produced equally shoddy pieces about people who aren't on the left? It's because the BBC's bias tilts toward established politics. That is the centre left and centre right, and the industry that turns around Westminster and press hobby horses. In the absence of democratic input into BBC programming and content, but also direct government interference, could it be otherwise?


Alex Dawson said...

Bravo, Phil, this needs to be said loud and clear.

Of course the BBC and the rest of the media were going to attack Corbyn and will carry on doing so for the forseeable future. We all knew it was coming. Anyone who pretends otherwise is either naive or lying to themselves.

But what is really instructive is the nature of the response which is largely that of acting as incredulous victims.

Why act the victim? The left has become so keen to be the victim of the evil forces of the state - "we can't get a fair hearing in the bosses' media, etc..." But actually it would be better if energy is expended in getting alternative messages out in a different way...by talking to people and engaging. I am sick of hearing the bleats of complaint. Activists fight to change things by doing things differently - victims merely complain.

The trouble is that many have this insane idea that journalism can be "unbiased and balanced" as if there is or should be a global set of neutrally agreed headlines every day and completely dispassionate reporting with no slant. The fact is that all journalism is slanted in some way or another and pretending otherwise is ridiculous. As it stands, much mainstram journalism does come from an establishment viewpoint, but that can be countered with the power of the internet. 9 in 10 people in the UK use the internet now, there is no excuse.

But it is easier of course to pretent we can't do anything about it as we are victims of the evil state.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they will do a programme on Yvette Cooper, that consistent supporter of illegal war and carnage?

Of course for Phil, this is less of a problem than so called dodgy connections.

I guess if we triangulate all this, we can more than confirm Phil sits comfortably on the right of Labour.

And that he is a liar and a time waster.

Phil said...

Getting a little bit obsessed aren't we, anon?

FYI, I'm not biting. But carry on by all means. It's your time to waste.

Gary Elsby said...

The burden of responsibility sits heavy doesn't it Phil.

BCFG said...

A sign of the times we live in I guess but Jeremy Corbyn was asked the following question, and he was expected to answer “No!”

“Do the Iraqi people have the right to resist a foreign occupation force?”

I wish Corbyn had responded with, “Are you fucking serious!”

But I guess that just isn’t his style!

The success of Corbyn reminds the left that we are not as marginal as we sometimes think, instead of 0.01% of the population being open to our views (which is what I thought was the %) I guess we can now make it around 15 to 20%. So great cause for optimism.

On the other hand, a high % of the population have fallen hook line and sinker for the war as humanitarian liberation narrative again and the ridiculous propaganda justifying the bombing of Syria, this coming not so long after they fell hook line and sinker into supporting the illegal and criminal war in Iraq, after they were directly lied to and manipulated.

This tells me there are a lot of fucking idiots out there just ready to lap up every Sun headline and every bit of government propaganda, and who are happy to be lied to over and over again.

So on balance, still on the pessimistic side!