Saturday, October 03, 2009

Valuing respect and diversity (part 3)

When Newsround reported on the European Parliament (blog 8 June 2009), Adam Fleming told viewers that a group called the British National Party had won places, and that's "caused a huge fuss." Adam said the BNP didn't want any more people from abroad moving to Britain, and Mr Fleming said the BNP "have been accused of being racist."

The BBC is supposed to be impartial, so surely Adam should have been honest and straightforward, and told kids that the BNP is a racist political party. After all, they ban millions of Britons from belonging to the party. Adam ended that section of his report about the BNP with ".... but they say they're standing up for white British people."

Oh well, that's alright then isn't it? So much for the BBC being sticklers for impartiality.

The BBC has decided that the BNP, principally because it won two seats at the European elections, has become a respectable political party, entitled to the same courtesy as the mainstream parties.

So I've put a hypothetical question to the BBC Trust:

Dear BBC Trust,

Please allow me to put to you a hypothetical question, which is pertinent in view of a forthcoming edition of Question Time, and the fact that, for example, the BNP limits its membership to certain ethnic groups.

In a response to complaints about the programme the BBC said ... There is evidence of electoral support after the British National Party won two seats in the European Elections so like any party in this position the BNP may appear on programmes like The Andrew Marr Show and Question Time.

And BBC Chief Political Advisor, Ric Bailey said "... So how do we decide what are appropriate levels of airtime for the different political parties? Our starting point for that judgement - though not the only factor - is how real people vote in real elections."

In 1930 the National Socialist Party won 107 seats in the German Parliament behind the Social Democratic Party's 143 seats.

Now if the Corporation were the national broadcaster in 1930's Germany, would it conflict with the BBC's current Values and Public Purposes to issue an invitation to the NSDAP to participate in a political discussion programme?

Thank you for your help.

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