RAMSGATE, ENGLAND - MAY 08: UKIP leader Nigel Farage reacts as Conservative Party candidate Craig Mackinlay is announced as the winner of the Thanet South constituency on May 8, 2015 in Ramsgate, England. After the United Kingdom went to the polls yesterday the Conservative party are presumed winners of a closely fought general election which has returned David Cameron as most likely Prime Minister again with a slender majority for his party. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Some things, it seems, never change in the BBC’s worldview.

To the Corporation, for example, the EU is a bringer of peace and a vital bulwark against the nasty excesses of sovereign states and the possibility of a Third World War. No matter how many times ‘Leave’ say that it is NATO that has kept the peace, up pops a BBC presenter or correspondent to tell us otherwise.

Latest in this long line was Radio 1 Newsbeat’s Greg Dawson, who on Monday evening warmed to the EU’s favourite propaganda line as he reported attitudes to Brexit in Berlin. In his pre-edited feature, a local observed:

‘The EU encourages peace all over Europe, so that’s basically the achievement of the whole European Union. And maintains this peace.’

That was clearly exactly the peg Dawson was looking for and he was off like a shot on the peace theme. He first told listeners that Berlin was a city with ‘lots of history, much of it bleak’.  Then came his key point:

‘The reminders of World War II are never far away, with memorials and even the shells of bombed out buildings.  People here think the decades of peace since then has (sic) much to do with the EU.’

There followed another vox pop contribution. This one observed:

‘If Britain would leave, I feel like this stability would not be guaranteed any more.  I think the UK at the moment is a very strong player in the European Union, if they don’t see it sometimes maybe.’

Bingo! Job done. The EU, the saviour of Europe, the bringer of peace. Cue Beethoven’s Ninth. Yet again. Dawson demonstrated that, somehow, the ‘EU equals peace’ assumption is in the BBC’s DNA.

Also never-changing in the BBC’s worldview is the treatment of Nigel Farage. News-watch has been chronicling this since 1999, and the painting by numbers approach to him in interviews – which involves the raising of charges of racism and incompetence – has seldom varied.  For example, here during the 2015 General Election, and here, earlier in the referendum campaign.

Many have observed that the BBC’s approach to the EU in general has improved since the start of the referendum coverage, and that for the first time, ‘outers’ are on occasions being given chances to put their case.

Among those now in this camp seems to be the Mail on Sunday‘s columnist Peter Hitchens, who – noting this week that he believed there could be a ‘Leave’ vote –  stated this:

‘I underestimated the BBC, which has, perhaps thanks to years of justified and correct criticism from people like me, has taken its duty of impartiality seriously.’

If this is the case (discuss!?) it is to be welcomed, of course. But much on the News-watch website suggests otherwise. And, guess what, Farage has somehow been left firmly out of the equation. Yes, the BBC now put him on programmes like Question Time, and when he does appear in such contexts, he’s a consummate media grown-up who can more than hold his own, even with the likes of the boorish Eddie Izzard.

But no matter what Farage does, the bracketing of him with racism and incompetence never varies by the BBC. Whenever he appears, this takes precedence over the exploration of policy – especially excluded are his views on exit from the EU.

Farage appeared last Friday in the series of interviews being conducted by Andrew Neil, and also in the ITV programme last week which featured sequences with him and David Cameron. Also interviewed by Neil was George Osborne.

BBC1’s News at Ten reported each of these appearances, but the treatment meted out to the respective interviewees was vastly different. After the ITV programme, it was mentioned that Cameron had faced a tough audience, but there were two sequences of him outlining his ‘Remain’ policies.

Not so Farage. Virtually the entire focus was on claims of racism against him by a particularly strident accuser. As a result, the contribution by him amounted to a few defensive words. Anything he said about the case to leave was left firmly on the BBC’s cutting room floor.

George Osborne’s appearance with Andrew Neil also made the News at Ten headlines, and the feature that followed contained more than 300 words from him about the ‘Remain’ case, covering more than half a dozen separate policy points. The programme chose to edit out almost completely Andrew Neil’s penetrating questions. The result sounded like a party political broadcast for ‘Remain’.

The equivalent treatment of Farage? You have probably guessed. Two minor policy soundbites, but the main thrust – emphasised also by comments within the report – was that he was still answering claims of racism from the Archbishop of Canterbury and incompetence over his remarks back in January that the New Year’s sex attacks in Cologne could spread to the UK.

In the Neil interview itself, Farage did put forward a range of policy points. But the programme had a relatively small audience. The millions more who watched News at Ten only heard a very narrow selection of what he said through the prism of habitual BBC bias that has applied with only minor variations since 1999.

During the referendum, News-watch is monitoring almost all of the BBC’s news output for pro-EU bias. If you spot any examples, you can register them at a special website: www.bbccomplaints.com.

News-watch research is at www.news-watch.co.uk.


  1. “£20,152,022 (€24,435,906) to be precise. That is the sum dispersed to the BBC from EU funds between 2007-2012 inclusive”
    (Courtesy of EUReferendum.com).

  2. I think it is possible that Nigel Farage knows a fair amount about his family history. If so, he will be aware that in the generations where the ancestors are in double figures there are some indications that it seems there is an interesting mixture in those before.

  3. Great article and you are absolutely correct. Noticeable that Camoron, Brown, Blair, Clegg, and the rest only appear when there is a selected audience. Farage goes everywhere, takes the rough with the smooth and tries to get every hostile person to see his point. He is a proper gentleman.

  4. NATO kept the peace with the Soviet Union. There is a respectable argument to be made that the EU has helped maintain peace *within* Europe. And the addition of the Balkan states should be borne in mind.

    • When I served in BAOR, I was under NATO and when I served at NATO headquarters, I was also under err…NATO. I was never aware that I was serving the EU or its predecessors. There was no need to ” maintain peace *within* Europe.” as there was not the slightest chance of conflict between any western European nations. See Tom’s comment (and mine) below.

      • There was no need to maintain peace within Europe arguably because of the EU. It’s certainly the longest I can think of without a land war within Europe. you weren’t serving the EU. But your presence was not about stopping west Germany from popping over to France via Belgium but politely deterring the third shock army from reuniting Germany the kinetic way.

        • “There was no need to maintain peace within Europe arguably because of the EU.” Countering the threat that never existed.

          • Because jaw jaw is better than war war? There has never been such a long period of peace in Europe before. NATO secured its borders and the EU provides the framework which keeps those within talking and not fighting. Now, I suggest you go back to going on the lash and playing soggy biscuit with the rest of the mortar platoon and leave the geopolitics to those who served in Corps which did the thinking 😉

          • If all you have is crude insults, then your arguments count for nothing.
            BTW, the soggy biscuits thing belongs in “Urban Myths – Military Division”. Anyway, I was in a technical Corps so spare me the condescension.

  5. It was ever thus, after 25 years it is all water off a ducks back and effectively counterproductive, it just doesn’t matter anymore. We have won the argument.

    Being the victim of an establishment stitch up has been very productive territory for our Kipper crusade, and despite their best efforts we are within a week of completing the task of restoring the stolen democracy of the British people. For that Andrew Neil, David Dimbleby and all the other Anti-UKIP useful idiots of the BBC/ Ch4 etc and their colleagues in the dead tree press should take a bow, we couldn’t have done it without their bigotry.

    Nigel Farage has cemented his place in British history, and will be long remembered in the British tradition of the little man standing up for those weaker than him, overcoming monumental odds and prevailing.

    • In fairness to Andrew Neil, unlike standard-issue lefty Beeboids, I have no idea how he votes and love that he gives all politicians a hard time.

  6. They are desperate for Farage to do something of a ‘Johnny Rotten’ on the TV. I can imagine them rubbing their hands together and each taking a guess at the moment that Farage reveals himself as as Medusa and turns the audience to horrified stone.

    Yet each time he appears his ratings increase and the leave campaign do even better. I was amazed the David Dimbleby asked Farage for the true figures on some aspect of the For/Against argument during a recent QT-because he said he trusted Farage to have the correct facts.

    It looks to me like they don’t know what they should do with Farage. He hasn’t lived up to his potential-in the Beebs eyes-of being corrosive or divisionary. It’s only the intellectuals who dislike him-as they do anyone who tells the truth and has a proper job-and the Beeb is stuffed to the gills with them.

    The Beeb will have to wake up and realise that the days of ‘the public service broadcast’ are over. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but this referendum is revealing that the people have decided they don’t want to be taken for fools, so the Beeb better watch out, because it would seem a natural progression to turn the lasers on the establishment mouthpiece in the coming months. Aunty may find it has to rediscover its inner ‘white van man’ and rid itself of the intellectual snobs that run it.

  7. Once this EU referendum is over, we MUST have a national referendum on the existence of the BBC. It cannot be justified with a compulsory tax levied on every household in the country.

    • The BBC badly needs to be broken up. It is utterly unacceptable in a democracy to have such a concentration of broadcast news in the hands of one provider. Lefties wouldn’t tolerate Rupert Murdoch owning so much, and the same applies to the BBC.

        • ‘Unaligned’ – I love it! Mind you, I am assuming you mean more than just political alignment.

    • No, this is a government competence. (Christ….I sound like an EU apparatchik) We’re referendumed out.

  8. Meh racist. Doesn’t mean anything. I saw some pictures of “toxic” Nigel on his tour yesterday. Random members of the public were accosting him for selfies and dragging him into shops and bars to buy him a pint. Anyone imagine Cameron exposing himself to the public like that. He would give his right arm to be that toxic. And still the MSM smear Farage and call him toxic.

    • It’s because they’re all frightened of what he has already done. Lots more to come and they’re unprepared. Vote LEAVE.

    • Rotherham dads reporting their daughters had been raped and turned into sex slaves by Muslims were called racist. It’s a badge of honour.

  9. I would have said that NATO has spent most of the past two decades trying to destabliise the peace in Europe, as a puppet of US foreign policy.
    A string of NATO uniforms has been relentlessly bigging up the threat from Russia since Clinton first broke US promises not to add Poland etc. into the club in 1999, on top of putting frontline bases all around the eastern and southern perimeter of Europe in former soviet-block countries.
    NATO needs taking down a peg or two, it has NOT ensured peace and stability at all.

    • Oh yes it has. NATO has been key to keeping ‘the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down’. It is a pity that the Germans are not quite as down as they once were, which is why we are seeing so much trouble brewing in Europe.

      • “Say, I know, let’s have a Europe with Germany as the hegemonic economic power, but a military non-starter– what could POSSIBLY be wrong with THAT arrangement?”

        Now, what you hear can be summed up more or less as: “Well, it SOUNDED like a good idea at the time…”

    • During the Cold War it was NATO troops from the US, UK and Canada who were on the front line. And they knew that if the Russians did attack their life expectancy would be vey short.

      • Cold War – you are absolutely right.

        The Cold War ended before 1989 however.
        The single SuperPower option that US Empire decided was the best way to go, was when it took NATO down the wrong road.

  10. Apart from to those who have an agenda, Nigel Farage comes over as someone who is not pompous and would be good company. This is not the case for other politicians. He has the added advantage that he is saying things he believes to be true, rather than spouting a party line to climb the greasy pole.

  11. It’s not the first time he’s been called that, and it won’t be the last. He’s always thrived on a rejection of silly people labelling everything they don’t like as racist.

    But really, if they’re going to call Farage racist, one has to wonder what they’ll call somebody who thinks ethnic minorities are inherently inferior to himself.

    Oh, I wasn’t going to write this, but what the hell — one can only wonder what Pritti Patel is doing sharing a platform with such a dreadful racist. I’ve read that her father is a UKIP member and even stood once as a UKIP candidate.

  12. Why does anyone expect anything different from the BBC and it’s hierarchy .
    It’s what they do ! The poor lambs can’t help it . They are so far up their own backsides that , if it wasn’t so obvious , no-one would believe it . Over the years I have regularly watched the various ” Viewer’s / Listener’s Comment ” slots and apart from an occasional half-hearted ritual acknowledgement that they can’t please everybody , they simply do not admit that they have ever been unfair …….. never ! When they start employing an equal number of left-wing and right-wing presenters thing might change , but honestly , can anyone who is not self-medicating see that happening…………. I think not !

  13. It is NATO that has kept the peace in Europe.
    If we remain, NATO strength will be undermined by the EU’s plan to create its own army.
    Our 5-eyes anti-terrorist intelligence network will be weakened as the UK will have to hand over these competences to Brussels.
    Our ability to deploy our armed services will be compromised – this power, which currently rests with our own parliament, will be transferred to Brussels.

    • Mate, I don’t think SIS will hand over as much as a cheese sandwiches to any EU clown
      The Yankies wouldn’t allow it
      Hence the bugging of Merkel’s mobile

  14. The problem with NATO is that it is an organisation hidden in plain sight.
    Todays generation mostly 1990 plus have no sign posts that it was Nato that guaranteed peace
    in the world, not just Europe.
    When the British Army was still heavily in Europe, and the USSR still exsisted as an existential threat kept everyone on their toes, the hardware of war and the cold war reality meant that NATO was the umbrella under which the Western world shelterd.
    The EU has never replaced that, in fact the Germans have not contributed in any meanifull way to post cold war international issues, much the same as other European GDP high counties whose % spending on defence has been poor.
    With Putin using fly by Russian bombers and submarines as pathetic foot stamping exercise, due to being balmed for Ukraine, Crimea, shootiung down an airliner, drugs in any Russian sport, world cup bribes and state assainations,…
    It’s beyond ironic that Brexit will enbolded Putin, yess. is that more than he currently is..whilst the EU does what ? certainly not bother Putin who just sets his pet Alsatian in Merkel

  15. Nigel Farage inspires in those who have a deep-seated distrust of the MSM the sentiment: “Well, if’n they’re agin’ ‘im, then I’m a-fer ‘im.” It would almost be irrelevant what the particulars of his stance on the referendum would be– “Don’t vote ‘Leave,’ you’ll only encourage the Nigel Farages of the world!” invites the retort, “And this would be a ‘bad thing’ WHY, exactly?”

  16. “The EU encourages peace all over Europe, so that’s basically the achievement of the whole European Union. And maintains this peace”

    EU Militarism? The EU couldn’t collectively force the crossing of a street against a determined crossing guard. There isn’t any such thing as militarism in the EU because there isn’t a credible military force in the EU.


    The idea is laughable.

  17. The BBC very quiet on reporting the enquiry into labour party anti-Semitism that’s going on at present. Why ? Isn’t Jew hatred racism ?

  18. If Hitchens thinks the BBC has improved, he needs a brain transplant. Al Beeb is just as much a lying, antisemitic, corrupt pile of stinking bigotry as it has been for decades.

  19. One of the greatest problems is the BBC’s use of the word “Europe” for the eu. This has been going on for years. It is biased AND incorrect, yet we are being brainwashed to use this incorrect term and therefore to associate leaving the eu with isolationism

    • And that difference is extremely important. The EU is an ideological fantasy that one should dismiss on the spot, whereas Europe is a beautiful continent.

  20. I sure hope that we leave, but if the result is a disappointing narrow remain vote, I wonder how many Tory and Labour voters will join UKIP (having given up on Cameron and Corbyn) – and with a vastly increased vote for UKIP in the next General Election holding the balance of power on a manifesto pledge to leave the EU by Parliamentry vote. Admittedly, it’s an uncertain Plan B and hopefully not required. I must keep my chin up though. For every Remainer I come across I know of three Leavers who have actually already voted. Feasible – anyone?

    • I am abhorred at the treatment of Farage by the BBC. He’s not a “RACIST”. He just wants some common sense applied to our immigration policy. It is key to the public services and their affordability.

  21. Whenever the BBC pulls the “racist” card, the people of Britain, who are forced to finance this sheltered workshop full of mentally incapacitated journos, instinctively know that the target of the Beeb’s criticism cannot be beaten with any factual arguments. So it is with Nigel Farage.

  22. Accusations of “racism” are yapped day and night, without respite, on every radio wavelength that the BBC controls.

  23. The problem is that the BBC is fighting its own concurrent campaigns alongside, and taking advantage of, the referendum conflict.

    One of these is the obvious one of maintaining its future as a dominant propagandist for the soft-Left, with all its dependent narratives on climate change, identity and feminism, globalism and all the rest.

    The other is simply the overriding need of any organisation, highly profitable to its members, to protect the hand that feeds it. In the case of a media and communications organisation, that naturally extends to actively managing any potential carriers of adverse opinion on its own protected status.

    Mounting reputational attacks, controlling any political narrative where the BBC perceives its interest to be at stake, and maintaining links of mutual obligation with those who supply the feeding-chain of cash and privilege – these are inevitable, dominant, themes in times of political upheaval, as now.

    I do not believe there is any way to stop the BBC from acting in this way. The only solution is a long-term one, and it is to circumvent their monopolies – their monopoly with the consumers, their monopoly with the funders, and their monopoly with the organisations of political influence.

    These are three separate areas of action, and they need undertaking as separate commissions. If they can be brought to success, they will provide a model for the control of media which has never been systematically attempted, and will serve in the future to avoid the partisan or self-seeking wrecking of the communications economy which underlies our democratic trusts and consents.

  24. ….To the Corporation, for example, the EU is a bringer of peace and a
    vital bulwark against the nasty excesses of sovereign states and the
    possibility of a Third World War….

    Check the list of conflicts in Europe in wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe
    There were just under 90 in the 20th century – averaging 0.9/year.
    In the 21st century so far the average is 1.0/year.
    How then has the EU reduced conflicts?

  25. Just watched Michael Gove on BBC with a Nottingham audience. Never seen Dimbleby look so uncomfortable ! Gove got the message across time and the again – take back control – have confidence in our country. Finished with cheering!
    Dimbleby had to finish with a dig that Geldof had a face off with Farage on the Thames. Half truth as usual as Geldof (who cannot even vote as he is not a citizen) had has gin palace surrounded by angry fishermen with water hoses and had to be rescued by the police. And Labour activists got off wanting to distance themselves from a confrontation with the working class!

    • Sadly Geldof should get a vote. I get a vote and I am Irish born and raised. I feel I owe the country an apology for Geldof – the most annoying Irishman abroad.

  26. I can honestly say I have not watched a single BBC broadcast on the referendum. The reason is that I don want to be spoon-fed a diet of contrived, filtered bias. Even Channel 4 News has managed to show a degree of balance over the campaign. The BBC just sees itself as a Remain propaganda tool, and that is all it knows how to do.

  27. I have the greatest respect for Nigel Farage. You only have to consider who else in politics can measure up to his degree of honesty, consistency and tenacity to realise that he is the kind of unique figure that pops up all too seldom in British public life. He is fearless and endlessly patient in the face of an utterly disgraceful campaign to vilify him by the majority of the media and the political establishment. Whatever his faults, and we all have faults, he is a giant in a world of political pigmies, and this country will owe him a massive debt of gratitude whatever the immediate result of the referendum.

    • Thanks for that Don. It saves me posting the same.
      I truly don’t know how he maintains his composure in the face of such disgusting behaviour, especially as no one else, from any side, is subjected to anything similar.
      Maybe the totally opposite way he is treated by the ‘common’ people is what keeps him going after all these long years.
      God bless him and his family.

  28. I suppose the BBBC has to justify their kick-back from the EU, what is it, something like £33 Million, Like all the other organisations the EU funds, all are calling for Remain.
    About seventeen organisations on the list I’m looking at, with a total of nearly 160 Million Euros, of our money. (the BBC is extra).
    Nigel Farage is a Saint to put up with 25 years of abuse from these people, just because he puts Britain first, and points out the corrution in the EU.

  29. Biased and incapable of impartiality. The BBC substitutes its own left-liberal viewpoint at every occasion for impartial reporting and analysis.

  30. Assuming that the European community has contributed towards peace, the EU wasn’t created until the Maastricht Treaty was completed in 1992, so the EU cannot possibly have been responsible for aiding peace before that date.
    Could it possibly be that they are dishonestly conflating the co-operating nation states which comprised the EEC with the single unitary state EU?

  31. Am I missing something? Peace in Europe where ? there is so much strife at the moment protests and clashes with police in many of its countries and all caused by the EU. Think they need to rethink this one.

    • People seem to forget the role the EU – mainly German arrogance – played in starting the Balkan War. It was the UK & US through NATO which finally stepped into sort it out. It was the EU which precipitated the crisis in Ukraine and that is yet to play out.

    • There is also the increasing sectarian tension and violence which the EU’s reckless immigration policies have exacerbated.

  32. In every one of the discussions I’ve seen on BBCTV between a Leave and a Remain proponent, the chairman or woman seems instinctively to adopt the Remain view and joins in the interrogation of the Leave supporter. The Remain supporter on the other hand is simply asked to respond and is allowed to do without supplementary questioning by the chairman or woman. Look out for it. It’s become the norm.

    • I’ve noticed that too. It is obvious that the presenters cannot conceal their own bias. The worst example was with Farage and the “diversity podcaster” who ranted at him and when he tried to respond the presenter shut him down!

  33. I’ve noticed that whenever a Leave supporter asks a Remainer a tricky question the BBC host immediately dives in and changes the subject to save the Remain side from embarrassment.

  34. On Question Time last night with Gove they had a Spanish guest in the audience telling us how offensive it was than Britain wanted to limit immigration from the EU and that he must be a racist. Why was she even allowed in the audience when she cannot vote?

    • Exactly my comment at the time! One can only hope that it was because they could not find enough Brits for the Remain side of the argument.

Comments are closed.