when democracy won’t behave itself

A curious thing is happening in the UK at the moment. There’s just been nation-wide elections for local councils and 2 main results have emerged.

1. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, is in trouble. His party got soundly beaten and it’s only fueled the speculation as to when he will go.

2. The British National Party (BNP) doubled their number of council seats. The BNP are a nasty lot. Thinly disguised racism at best, they advocate some pretty unsavoury policies such as repatriation of all non-British ethnicities (and where do they think the Anglo-Saxons came from, anyway?).

Now, I’m not fan at all of the BNP, mainly for this reason…

…but their success has brought up an interesting little oddity. The BBC News website refuse to link to them. Not small deal you may think, but consider it a bit deeper; what right do the BBC (or any other news organisation) have to decide that a growing political party cannot be treated like any other party? Normally each BBC webpage has a links section linking off to relevant pages but in every BNP-related page I looked at I couldn’t find a link.

Consider this; even on the BNP profile page there is no link. It’s bizarre.

The BNP themselves (the BBC couldn’t prevent me finding their site) have also got a bit of a grumble with the BBC. Check this out. Apparently the BBC, despite having a flash Flash page dedicated to the results, weren’t updating the BNP results.

It’s interesting, isn’t it? Liberal democracy, particularly of the more left-wing persuasion, just doesn’t know how to cope when those it doesn’t favour become even moderately popular. So much for objectivity. BBC, shame on you.

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2 comments on “when democracy won’t behave itself

  1. This is fascinating.

    Pardon my ignorance, but I need to ask 2 questions, the answers to which I should already know.

    (1) Is there a party you can (pretty much) fully support? What do you think of the Conservative party?

    (2) Is the BBC a government entity, or does it receive government funds? In the US, there are sometimes greater burdens for “fairness” (meaning equality of linking in this case) to media that receive government funding. However, in our broadcasting, I think the requirement is already there, because the airwaves are considered a public resource. Thus our current discussion of the “fairness” doctrine. I think that, here, media other than TV/radio broadcast are not similarly limited.

    I’ve liked Tony Blair, myself, though I am of a differing political stripe. It does seem hard, in this case, to find a viable via media between Blair’s party and the BNP.

    • 1. Yeah, the Tories are growing on me again. There was a long time when i was completely unsatisfied with every option put before me.

      2. The BBC is an independent entity funded through the license fee that every British resident pays in order to watch TV and through additional government funding and whatever they can make themselves.

      As for Tony Blair, he blew it. He has quite clearly lied to the nation over the need for war with Iraq. It was a pointless lie, he could quite readily have said “Saddam is a nasty piece of work and I’m going to get rid of him” but he didn’t. He contributed to a load of nonsense about weapons of mass destruction.

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