Sunday Politics

During Sunday Politics on the 7th of Feb, Andrew Neil was interviewing Peter Bone re the launch of the GO campaign when something quite incongruous was shown. The substance of this segment ran thus: Andrew Neil suddenly took a detour from the subject at hand and complimenting Mr. Bone upon his tie, proceeded to show a picture of Philip Hollobone wearing a union flag jacket, saying,
‘This picture has more than just a tie on…one of your colleagues, launching the campaign with the union jack jacket. People might remember the John Redwood leadership campaign and would wonder if politicians want to be seen on the same platform as that?
Peter Bone (attempting to get back on track), said ‘People are going out across the country, campaigning to come out of the EU.
Andrew Neil (cutting in): ‘Not looking like that!?’
In a few minutes the BBC had managed to malign John Redwood (who has been critical of the Corporation), Phillip Hollobone (Who, no doubt they disapprove of for other reasons, is also critical of the BBC), patriotism, the national flag and Brexit. This could be construed as rather clever of the Beeb but I prefer the words snide, insidious and sneering. By showing the union flag jacket the BBC of course hoped to conjure images of flag waving EDL, BNP, Britain first and/or NF skinheads. It was a knee Jerk Emily Thornberry reaction to a display of patriotism and was designed to smear the GO campaign and by extension Brexit campaigners as a whole.
The BBC, in reaction to my complaint, attempted to tell me that, ‘Andrew noted the GO branded tie Mr Bone was wearing, and questioned whether politics and fashion really mixed. ‘ Which is laughable, they further went on to say that, ‘ It also reflected on the role personalities have in a campaign, rather than policies. There was no suggestion that the flag itself was inappropriate – but simply that some voters might not be impressed by the public image of certain personalities (for a number of reasons – as John Redwood’s leadership campaign was name-checked as a precedent). Whilst I can certainly concede that the BBC would be anxious to draw attention to the more controversial figures in the GO camp it is also certain, since Phillip Hollobone was not mentioned by name, that this was not the intention of this snippet. And unless the BBC have taken to calling fellow human beings (even if they disapprove of them) ‘THAT’ I can only conclude It was the jacket which was under scrutiny and was intended to perpetuate an idea that patriotism is a sole prerogative of the far right. It might seem a small thing to some people but I genuinely believe many undecided voters will have watched this item and been deterred from supporting Brexit for fear of being associated with extreme views.
I have elevated my complaint and await a response with not much optimism.

One Comment on ““Sunday Politics”

  1. M Fahey

    I empathise, Tee2. I watched the program to which you refer and was appalled by the way the GO movement was pilloried by the BBC.
    That said, it doesn’t matter what kind of complaint you send to the BBC or how many people send similar complaints regarding a similar topic. The BBC are self governing, they are pro EU and the only thing they care about when it comes to the license payer is the fee and not their views.
    I only hope this site is aiding in making the BBC accountable to its taxpayers and pressing them on the many complaints it ignores.

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