Today programme

This could appy for any day for the last few months. The purpose of BBC reporting on the EU question seems to be to undermine any reports or stories which might suggest that the EU offers anything positive. It seems to want to protect and legitimise the undemocratic way in which the referendum was set up, carried out, and its result interpreted. It does this by inviting into the studio one faily balanced, experienced and often knowledgeable speaker who gives a constructive line on the EU, and one competely biased person, whose point of view is known to be extremely anti-EU in principle, but whose views are accepted wholesale by the interviewer. Today, Anna Soubry was making a sensible point on involving Parliament in debating the many different interpretations of the referendum result, while Peter Lilley, who has been an anti-EU hardliner since the 1980’s, defended the right of an inexperienced Prime Minister to do whatever she wants (because it fits his views). The real story should have been – with so many different interpretations of the Brexit vote, should we really be giving the referendum so much weight in the political discussions? Is giving full sway to a small group of people from one wing of one party really the way to deliver what people wanted from the referendum? Instead, the BBC seems to want to endorse the right wing of the Tory party in using the referendum to make the UK ‘independent’, aping their political counterparts by pretending that the UK is better off without all those ‘interfering’ EU rules. The naivety and ignorance are frightening. The BBC seem unable to question the status quo, which is largely set by the anti-European right wing press. They seem frightened to challenge the simplistic assumption that being balanced means nothing more than taking different two points of view and letting those people talk (making sure to undermine the person who represents a more institutionalised approach, because that is what the more ‘successful’ journalists do in the Murdoch press). Either there is a strong editorial bias in the BBC against the EU (personified by people like John Humphrys, who wears it on his sleeve); or they feel the only way to survive as an institution is to go with the nationalist, anti-EU, insular flow which has overtaken the major party/parties in the UK.

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