|Her Majesty In Robes By Dhimmi Designs, Foreign Office
The leftists who infest Al Beeb's news programming could not just lie back and enjoy the historicity of the occasion, of course.
So, invited onto News24, was a bloke with the right royal name of Graham Smith. Smith has a right royal grievance about the monarchy - he heads a group called Republic - and he also has (or rather, had) a right royal gripe about the BBC.
A year ago, as the nation geared up for the Royal Wedding (Kate and Wills), Al Beeb gave Mr Smith a guest spot on its College of Journalism (CoJo) website, so he could rant at length.
(Al Beeb's other critics, especially those of us who bemoan its anti-American, anti-Israel thrust, and deplore its suppression of the Balen Report, should be as lucky!)
This is part of what he wrote:
'The BBC has failed to convey the diversity of opinion about the monarchy. It has presented the issue as being one-sided and implied that the whole country is excited about the wedding. It has covered the plans and expectations of monarchists (who in a sense are also a minority) while ignoring Republic and republicans....
I believe one source of this problem is the BBC's failure to categorise the monarchy as a 'controversial issue'. I would stress that even without this categorisation our argument stands up and the Corporation's duty of impartiality applies. However, categorising this issue as controversial is not only appropriate, it would place greater emphasis on the need of editorial staff to ensure balanced and impartial coverage....
The issue is regularly a subject of debate in the media and is certainly contentious.... [O]pinion is clearly divided on the various issues around the monarchy. A number of MPs support the abolition of the monarchy, including Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party [and, incidentally, a veteran critic of Israel - D.A.]. Parliament has recently debated reforming the finances and secrecy of the institution....
Republic is not alone in questioning the BBC's royal coverage: there is a widespread view that the BBC has a pro-monarchy bias, a view even shared by some of the Corporation's own distinguished journalists. Not least, apparently, Jeremy Paxman, who in 2008 accused the BBC of "fawning" over the royal family, adding that the BBC did not know whether to "report" or "celebrate" royal events. I would suggest that the job of the BBC is to report, yet instead it ends up celebrating.
And that is why Republic is seeking a meeting with BBC executives, asking for a review of royal reporting and a fairer, more balanced and more representative take on the issue of the monarchy.'
BBC executives obviously caved into him. It was surely on the cards that they would. After all, it has been some years since Al Beeb instructed its staff not to refer to Wales as "The Principality" anymore (even though, constitutionally, a principality is exactly what Wales is) for fear of offending Welsh republicans!
In welcoming Smith to the airwaves yesterday newsreader Emily Maitlis observed:
"We love plurality on the BBC, Graham Smith, but this is going to be a tough old year for you, isn't it?"The interview started well but ended with Ms Maitlis (notwithstanding the expectation of neutrallity inherent in the BBC's much-flouted Charter) giving her own personal endorsement to Smith's closing statement that the institution of monarchy should be subject to scrutiny and criticism:
"I couldn't agree more with that statement."So here's my message to Ms Maitlis and the gang. You want to put the right royal British Establishment right royally on the spot? You want to demonstrate afresh that love of pluralism, to ensure a voice for the dispossessed?
Next time a representative of the Foreign Office is interviewed, ask him/her point blank why, in her 60-year reign, the Queen has never once visited Israel (almost uniquely snubbed in this regard), whereas she has paid many visits to Arab countries, and when we can expect this right royal wrong to be put to rights.
For further posts by me on this subject see here and here