Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The BBC on the take

I'm a little late on this, but you might remember that, back in mid-December, there was a protest in the European Parliament by various MEPs who were demanding a referendum.

At the time, I pointed out that, although there were BBC reporters in attendance (I know from several people who were there), that nothing actually appeared on the BBC website. Nor was there much of a fuss from any of the BBC "bloggers".

We know that they filmed the event; we know that many of the journalists on the ground thought that it was a good story. It's just that, somewhere in between the journalists filing their story and the BBC reporting on it the whole thing just... well... disappeared.

A few days ago, Dan Hannan reported on another shocking piece of despotism in the European Parliament.
Yesterday, the President of the Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, asked for, and was granted, arbitrary powers to suspend the rules of the institution in order to disadvantage the tiny number of MEPs who want a referendum on the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty.

I have come to expect hypersensitivity to criticism, flouting of rules, intolerance of dissent, authoritarianism. But nothing had prepared me for such blatancy.

Hans-Gert openly admitted that the behaviour of his Euro-sceptic opponents was within the rules. And he wasn’t asking to change those rules – a procedure that would take time. No, he simply wanted permission to disregard them. Permission was duly granted, by 20 committee votes to 3.

It's worth reading Dan's article in full, to gain the full extent of the perfidy of the EP officers. It's a shocking and obvious piece of gerry-mandering and an utter affront to democracy. In fact, the glossing over of rules of a (barely) democratic institution in order to silence those with whom you disagree is the act of a totalitarian regime.

And yet the BBC was, once again, strangely silent. But why?

We know why many NGOs are pro-EU: they get money from the Commission. But surely the BBC—with its taxpayer-extorted £3.5 billion a year—wouldn't be on the take, would it?

Actually, yes; the editors of EU Referendum actually advertised this some time ago, but they revisit the topic in their usual detailed style.
The first piece was in response to a question from Lord Stoddart of Swindon, which established a remarkable number of loans and payments, while we established that BBC Worldwide Limited had opened up a loan facility of £25 million from the European Investment Bank, "to finance the expansion of BBCW's investments in BBC's new productions over the period 2002-2004".

We also established from the BBC's own annual accounts that the EIB had made two loan facilities available to "BBC Commercial Holdings". The first, was for an amount of £66 million, available for drawing until March 2005 and had either be repaid in full as a single repayment by March 2013 or on an amortising basis by March 2015. The second, which was the one for £25 million, then available for drawing until November 2003 and repayable in one single instalment by November 2007.

Also noted by us at the time was that the task of the European Investment Bank - which is the European Union's financing institution – was, and still is” to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member Countries.”

The British Broadcasting Corporation appears to be, if not actively cheerleading for the EU, deliberately suppressing inconvenient stories concerning that organisation.

It's because of the unique way that it's funded, you see...


Anonymous said...

Couldn't be arsed to watch the vid before but I'm glad I did. Thx DK for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

DK - I think you are missing the point about why the BBC aren't reporting this. I am not sure it is a great conspiracy of silence or that they are in cahoots with the EU.

The real reason is more related to the 'Wong Fong' email below. It is so obviously spam that it would not merit a mention on the Six O'Clock news.

The point is, it has been known for some time that the EU is totally anti-democratic, and will ignore the views of citizens when they are invited to vote at referenda.

So unfortunately that message is no longer news. If they decided that they were going to be a non-federal , honest, democratic institution which was going to hand powers back to the Nation States and call them 'Countries' again, I suspect that this would be newsworthy enough for the BBC to give it blanket coverage.

Of course, it might be pushed down the 'running order' ever so slightly by the news of the delays caused at Heathrow by some flying pigs, the Rome correspondent reporting on the Pope's imminent conversion to the Islamic faith and an environmental report about how forests were no longer the toilet location of choice for our ursine friends. But cover it they would..

Well, at least on Mark Mardell's excellent 'Euroblog'..

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