IT is ironic that, in the week that the Labour party manifesto promised to conduct an audit of Britain’s colonial contribution to violence and insecurity in regions previously under British colonial rule, the citizens of our last colony were rising up with one voice, rueing the handover of Hong Kong to China and indicating how much they valued the British rule that brought peace, security and stability.
The events in Hong Kong are of huge international significance. Under British rule and free trade it became a magnet for those who wanted to work hard and prosper. Far from pillaging resources from an area to benefit euro-centric imperialism Hong Kong demonstrated the symbiosis which benefited both itself and the UK. And now, with the loss of British rule, what was built up is now precarious.
We hear little on the subject from the BBC because the view that there were benefits to countries of being in the empire is frightfully unfashionable. Faced with undeniable evidence, the last thing our state broadcaster would like to concede is that empire had virtues as well as vices. So the BBC carefully leaves the subject alone.
Hong Kong is a long way away. More important to young people today is the cost of housing. Here the BBC does have a view. There is a long talk to camera from an unhappy thirty-something-year-old bewailing the broken housing market. She lays it all at the door of lack of housebuilding. But surely the number of houses needed doesn’t just depend on how many houses we have? Doesn’t it also depend on how many people there are here? Over the last twenty years we’ve let in ten million people. Isn’t this the real cause of the housing crisis, the real reason why homeless is such problem?
Again we are in unfashionable territory. The suggestion that there will be consequences if large numbers enter the UK from abroad the BBC finds almost unsayable and again it is silent.
The countries to which people across the whole world want to immigrate into are all in the West. Of these the UK is the fourth. Why? Because the UK is one of the best countries in the world to live in. The UK is free and prosperous. Of course there are some men and women who quarrel, some black and white who quarrel, some gay and straight who do battle. But the over-riding view of the UK is that it is a place where people live freely and prosper and the world votes with its feet and clambers to get into the UK.
The BBC, however, sees things differently and stands firm on its agenda. ‘Unequal! Unequal’ it whispers under its breath. ‘The UK is unfair! You, too, should be aggrieved at just how bad Britain is.’
And so the BBC digs. However light the slight may be, however exceptional may be the wrong it finds, the BBC shines the spotlight on it. The message is the same: ‘Look how wrong things are and how much we must get the state to change things.’ It seems to forget that such changes turn countries from places that have walls to keep others out, to countries that have walls to keep the unwilling population in.
One has to be steely in these days of internet news and identify much of the BBC output for what it is – obvious propaganda. Below are examples, collected over 36 hours this week, of items from the BBC website. BBC bias comes not only from what it says but from the way that it selects the agenda it wishes us to think about. ‘Fill your minds with this,’ it says, distracting us from the really important things that affect our country.