Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Bill does what the BBC won't do!!

(Please see UPDATE at end)





Visit the Disasters Emergency Committee website to make an online donation;

or

Make cheques payable to:
DEC Gaza Crisis

and

Post to:
DEC Gaza Crisis,
PO Box 999,
London EC3A 3AA

- or go to any Post Office quoting Freepay number: 1210.


I generally adopt a pretty hands-off attitude toward the regular criticism of the BBC for its alleged partiality in reporting various aspects of the news. In my experience the BBC is pretty impartial, most of the time and it does try to broadcast competing points of view. My own position on the political spectrum being what is called somewhat 'right of centre' (basically I am for small government and low taxes which, in 'socialist' Britain under either of our two main political parties in recent decades, is something of a 'no no' for rather too many of my fellow-citizens) I do try and factor that into my usually tolerant attitude toward the perceived (by me and many others) 'left-wing' bias in reporting and general commentary by the BBC.

However, the BBC has said in the last few days that it won't broadcast an appeal by the charity organisations 'umbrella' group Disasters Emergency Committee for donations to relieve the human suffering in Gaza, stating that it (the BBC) does not wish to open itself to the charge of potentially aiding and abetting Hamas as some of the funds might end up in their coffers, or in something they run (e.g. a hospital or school). Hamas is the governing political party in Gaza, having won an election there against rival party Fateh; I don't recall hearing that the election was particularly flawed or "undemocratic", no more than many others in many other parts of the world, at any rate.

However, what the Disasters Emergency Committee are trying to do is to help a little in relieving the real, ongoing human suffering currently being experienced in Gaza and I think any suggestion that they may be assisting, inadvertantly or deliberately, one or other side in the conflict is not only despicable, but faintly ludicrous. Some guest commentators in the media have, over the past few days, suggested (and in the case of Tony Benn, stated as a fact) that the BBC has been influenced by Israel not to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. Personally I don't believe this for a moment; if the BBC is (so far) resisting the strenuous requests of a British government minister to reverse its policy, then I think it is vanishingly unlikely that it is instead listening to the alleged pressure from a foreign government. It is pleasing that the BBC's commercial rivals have now agreed to broadcast the appeal.

It is theoretically possible, I suppose, that there are those within the BBC itself who have a partiality toward Israel and who might be seeking to advance its cause completely independently of it and without its knowledge, making use of their executive influence within the BBC; my view is again that this is extremely improbable as such influence would inevitably become public sooner or later. No, I think that what is going on here is part of the delayed fall-out from the infamous Andrew Gilligan/Dr David Kelly affair, in which the BBC was found (largely erroneously as it turned out, in my view) to have falsely accused the Government and the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, of having been dishonest in their statements about the level of equipment and readiness of Iraq's military, as a result of which both the Chairman and Director-General of the BBC left or were dismissed from their posts precipitately. The BBC has become afraid of offending anyone, probably because it fears that any accusation of this may lead it to lose at least part of its revenue, the compulosry licence fee, payable whether viewers ever watch the BBC or not. This latest unsavoury episode is yet one more reason for either ending the licence fee completely or at least the BBC's monopoly on receiving its proceeds.

Finally, if you wish to donate to the 'umbrella' fund for charities appeal for the humanitarian suffering in Gaza, please visit the Disasters Emergency Committee website to make an online donation, or send your donations by post as follows:



Visit the Disasters Emergency Committee website to make an online donation;

or

Make cheques payable to:
DEC Gaza Crisis

and

Post to:
DEC Gaza Crisis,
PO Box 999,
London EC3A 3AA

- or go to any Post Office quoting Freepay number: 1210.


This has been a public service announcement by Bill's Comment Page, which is very pleased to do something that our national broadcaster, the BBC, has declined to do.

UPDATE: See my later post here, where I have embedded the DEC Gaza appeal video.

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