WHAT sort of twisted, poisonous mindset leads the BBC to brand Winston Churchill a racist mass killer?
One disturbing answer has come from Tom Mangold, the distinguished journalist and author who spent 50 years at the heart of the corporation.
Mangold, who worked mainly on Panorama, has spoken out after it was claimed on BBC News at Ten on Tuesday, July 21, that Churchill was responsible for the deaths of up to three million Indians in the 1943 Bengal famine.
He said: ‘The six-minute segment on News at Ten was biased, partial, unbalanced and filled with the spite and venom of the worst of toxic woke culture now pulsing through the heart of the corporation.’
In a scathing denunciation of the corporation’s contemporary ethos, he went on to warn: ‘The BBC’s bizarre obsession with youth, diversity and the ever-growing pressure of woke argument threatens to become its final act of self-harm . . . now suddenly, the Twitter trolls, the social media addicts, the young, the immature and the often daft have become the BBC’s recruitment and audience target.’
What utterly damning words about our supposedly impartial national broadcaster – ‘biased, partial’ . . . ‘spite and venom’ . . . ‘toxic woke culture’ . . . ‘bizarre obsession’. And how alarmingly true they are.
To anyone with the slightest knowledge of 20th century history and an ounce of humanity and common sense, the BBC’s outrageous calumny against Churchill beggars belief.
Remember, we are talking about the wartime Prime Minister who stood fast against Hitler and the godless ideology of the Nazis, the monsters responsible for the ultimate racism – the industrialised mass murder of millions of Jews.
But for Churchill’s courage and strength of purpose in 1940, Britain could now be a satellite state of a Nazi-controlled Europe, ruled by the Gestapo and the SS and dotted with death camps.
In 2002 Churchill was rightly voted our greatest Briton, ironically in a poll organised by the BBC. Like any human being, he had his faults. But are we really to believe that he coldly and deliberately condemned millions to death by starvation?
Why is the corporation now denigrating such a towering figure of greatness? Why is it now an apparent ally of the mobs who defaced Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square during the Black Lives Matter protests?
As Mangold indicates, the BBC has sold its soul to the Left-wing creeds of progressiveness, virtue-signalling, identity politics, diversity, race, gender and man-made climate change.
In this seething, unsavoury netherworld of the woke and the woeful, the trashing of historical figures is the latest must-do. And the corporation is desperate to jump aboard any bandwagon that confirms its right-on credentials.
Long gone is its original mission to ‘inform, educate and entertain’ with rigorous impartiality that made it the most trusted broadcaster on the planet.
But it is not just the BBC denigrating Churchill. Earlier this year, he was branded a racist in a Sunday Times article by historian Max Hastings. And last year in the Times, Daniel Finkelstein made the same accusation.
Both writers sought to qualify their remarks by saying Churchill was nonetheless a great man. But they well know that mud sticks.
Hastings cited as evidence of racism: ‘Churchill decreed that while Indian officers were obliged to salute British soldiers, British soldiers were not required to return the compliment. It would be abhorrent, said the Prime Minister, to oblige white men to suffer “the humiliation of being ordered about by a brown man”.’
Where is the evidence concerning the Indian officers or is this confected issue? In fact, Churchill’s ‘brown man’ remark was one exasperated outburst at a Cabinet meeting in July 1942, when the weight of the war weighed heavily on his shoulders – Hitler bestrode most of Europe and Japan was overrunning the Pacific.
The question being discussed was whether Indian officers should sit on the courts martial of British soldiers, something that was permitted later that year.
Hastings’s talk of a ‘decree’ by Churchill over the saluting of Indian officers is puzzling. It seems highly unlikely any Prime Minister would interfere with matters of military custom and procedure.
In the Indian Army, most officers held a commission from the viceroy and were regarded as equivalent only to a senior non-commissioned officer of the British Army and so would not be saluted.
But Indian soldiers were able to gain King’s Commissions. In that case, it would have been inconceivable for a soldier of lower rank, Indian or British, not to salute such an officer – Indian or British.
As Kathy Gyngell reported on TCW on Monday, it is alarming to see the direction in which Times newspapers – once the much-admired standard-bearers of brilliant journalism – are going.
And things looks likely to worsen under the current regime. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, publisher of the Sunday Times and the Times, recently sent staff an email imploring them ‘to use their media outlets to fight racism’.
So we can perhaps expect more ‘progressive’ contributions from both papers.
As for the BBC, it remains brazenly unapologetic about its News at Ten attack on Churchill. A spokesman said: ‘We stand by our journalism.’
We should tell this bloated, hypocritical, arrogant monolith that feeds off our hard-earned money but holds us in contempt: ‘You may stand by your journalism. We won’t stand for it.’