The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 23rd May 2014
IT IS NEARLY 90 years since the inception of the BBC with its motto: “Nation shall speak peace unto nation”. That is now a long-forgotten aspiration as the BBC has, over the years, become more and more solidly identified as the mouthpiece and apologist for Anglo-American imperialism.
And its foreign news services have always been the worst in this respect. The decline began early in its history with a total failure to report a famine in Bengal just after the Second World War that resulted in around 10 million deaths and was the result of a deliberate British imperialist policy of deprivation. It has also consistently turned a blind eye to Zionist atrocities against Palestinians while portraying Palestinians as natural-born terrorists. This goes on even after other parts of the western media have shifted to recognise that the Palestinians are human and are being oppressed.
But the affair of the dodgy dossier — a tissue of lies paving the way for the Anglo-American onslaught on Iraq — and the very suspicious death of Dr David Kelly marked a turning point. The Blair government put such pressure on the BBC that journalist Andrew Gilligan was sacked and Greg Dyke forced to resign as director general of the BBC — all because Gilligan had exposed the lies that led to that terrible war. Gilligan has now made his peace with the powers-that-be and won his place back in the establishment by doing a hatchet job on Ken Livingstone. Gilligan is now the Telegraph’s London editor.
Since then the BBC has been anything but politically independent and is now firmly under the thumb of Tory grandee Chris Patten, who was installed as chair of the board of the BBC in 2011. But, because it is funded through the licence fee, the BBC still has a false aura of independence and reliability to many who follow world events superficially.
Its main faults have been those of omission, as many of our readers can testify who have taken part in giant demonstrations against government policy only to have the event totally ignored by the BBC while it focusses on a protest by a handful of monks in China. We have to look to outside news sources to find out what is happening in our own country — never mind what is happening overseas.
Its reportage on events in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now the Ukraine has been totally one-sided and it has ended up so far from its original vision that it is now brazenly promoting military coups against elected governments.
Only this week less than 24 hours before the Thai army declared martial law, the BBC’s Asian Business Report carried an interview with a Singapore-based stock market consultant not only discussing a military coup, but declaring it would “get the economy going again”.
David Kuo, chief executive at The Motley Fool Singapore, a stock market consultancy with branches in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia, told the Asian Business Report: “Thailand needs stability to help its economy which has been caught up in the prolonged political crisis. The last coup was in 2006 so we’re overdue for one now.
“The army has always said that if there is no stability within the country, then they may have to sort of step in and take over. Ultimately, for a country to function properly you must have stability.
“If the army steps in then people will be able to go out and walk the streets and spend money, companies will be able to invest and then you will start getting the economy going again”.
Rather than pointing out that the ruling Pheu Thai party won an outright majority in parliament in the 2011 elections, or asking why the army could not protect the government from street protests, the BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl merely asked: “So you’re saying a military coup might actually help the Thai economy?”
Kuo concluded with this “advice”: “The army may have to step in and say we’re going to re-write the rules now and put in an interim government and then have elections, and then Thailand will be able to grow for the next six or seven years.”
So it seems the official western mantra now is, “to hell with democracy, what really counts is a stable business environment”. And the BBC apparently doesn’t have a problem with that.