THE family of Shamima Begum might as well have openly blamed the Government of causing the death of their baby grandchild. Yesterday, by the time the BBC had finished discussing the Begum family’s ‘demand for an urgent review of the Home Secretary’s decision to revoke her citizenship after her baby son died’, it was able to lay this direct accusation at the Home Secretary’s door.
The day’s opening news headlines led with this report, immediately followed by the sad tones of Justin Webb: ‘The life of three-week-old Jarah was never going to be easy – now it seems he is dead, the third of her children’. True, it was never going to be easy. But we weren’t about to hear about the plight of a child born to a heartless, brutal and totally irresponsible terrorist parents. No. The tragedy of this child was being born in a refugee camp in Syria from which the Government had failed to rescue his pleading mother before she gave birth.
So began the BBC’s fake moral-high-ground field day. Not once during the Today programme or, in the later lunch time news, did the BBC mention the parents’ responsibility, their culpability, or the risk involved in a rescue mission from war-torn Syria of a self-declared enemy of the State, that Laura pointed out here.
It was never going to be about that but all about the culpability of a Conservative Government, with the finger of blame pointing directly at the Home Secretary who for once did the right thing, whatever his motivation. That the camp – though one of the better ones in the BBC’s correspondent’s view – is ‘overwhelmed’ by ex-Isis fighters and their families and running out of blankets and food’, it was the British Government’s fault. Though the baby (and mother) were taken to hospital where the baby died of pneumonia, it was still the British Government’s fault. Though we as yet had heard nothing of the fitness of the baby’s mother or father as parents, all that mattered or relevant to the BBC was that this was the third of Begum’s babies to die; relentlessly rubbed in to make the point, that this was the heartless Government’s fault.
But what actually did these parents expect? The BBC did not ask. Were these risks ones a couple keen to nurture a family would consider to be in their infants’ best interests? Transparently not, but the parents’ choice – whether by dogmatism or sheer insanity – that led to the sad plight of their babies (the father’s role was not mentioned) didn’t feature. And in the interview that followed with the useful Tory idiot, former Justice Minister Dr Philip Lee MP, he ‘made it plain that it was wrong that Shamima had been stripped of her citizenship’ and that was what was to blame.
And so it went on. David Miliband was the next to be brought in, to tell us that Ms Begum and her late child were the responsibility of the British Government again without mentioning her own responsibility to herself, to her child or to society. ‘She was groomed in London’ – implying the State’s failure as her parent! This he said was where the problem now lay. Isis might have been defeated on the ground in the Middle East but it hadn’t been, ideologically, here in Britain. All the more erroneous surely then to ignore her disputatious family’s and her friend’s failure to prevent her grooming.
But whether you inhabit the Left-liberal Miliband/Dr Lee world view or the straight-Left worldview of the BBC and Diane Abbott the onus of responsibility never falls on the family let alone on the individual.
Yes, for it was she whose inverted moral virtue was next to be enthusiastically relayed by the BBC, as she sparked outrage elsewhere for blaming the death of the baby directly on Sajid David. Which meant that by 5.30pm the BBC had accrued, if not provoked, the the story – or evidence for it – they needed to lead for their final headline, ‘Shamima Begum: Sajid Javid criticised as baby dies‘ – reporting it as ‘a callous and inhumane decision’.
Brandon Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party, who’d been wheeled out on Today to make the Government defence, might have forestalled this by laying this fake morality bare from the start. But like the rest of the Conservative Party he’s either forgotten or just dare not talk about personal responsibility and choice (the collective memory failure that impedes proper discussion of knife crime that Fionn Shiner explains today).
It’s this corruption of thought that makes Sajid David responsible rather than the baby’s parents that the BBC exploits but which the Conservatives have only themselves to blame for – for being party to.