But of course! To Leftists "There's no such thing as right and wrong"
Adrift and too vast to control, the BBC is a floundering giant that has lost its moral compass. Hardly a week goes by without another controversy engulfing it. Chris Moyles's sick joke about Polish women making good prostitutes. . . Frankie Boyle's grotesquely obscene reference to the Queen's private parts . . a blunt refusal to give airtime to a humanitarian appeal for Gaza. . . Now Carol Thatcher's dismissal from the One Show offers yet more evidence of the yawning gap between the politically correct elite running the BBC and the great mass of the British people.
Compare Miss Thatcher's treatment with that of Jonathan Ross to see how the corporation is fumbling in a vacuum, its principles and purpose long forgotten. In Ross's case, it took days (and a public outcry) before it even crossed the BBC's mind that there might be something offensive about taunting an elderly actor with jibes about his granddaughter's sex life - and then broadcasting the stunt. Even then, Ross was allowed to return to his 6 million a year job, after a token suspension and a facetious apology - only to carry on exactly as before.
There's no such mercy for Miss Thatcher, whose very surname, of course, is enough to damn her in many BBC eyes. On the word of an informant, she is summarily dismissed for a remark she made in private whose context and tone we cannot judge. Unlike Ross's apology for an apology, the BBC rejects hers, demanding that she must publicly humiliate herself.
But then in the warped world of the BBC - in which terrorists are 'freedom fighters', love of country is 'bias' and truth lies permanently to the Left of centre - there is no crime more evil than saying anything that might be interpreted as a slur on a racial or sexual minority. Otherwise, anything goes. Ross, Jo Brand, Adrian Chiles and the rest can joke to their smug, PC hearts' content about bodily functions, the Christian church or the elderly.
Meanwhile, every under-75 TV owner in the land is obliged to pay for their filth, on pain of imprisonment. Of course, there's a temptation to lay all the blame for the BBC's degeneration on the top man, Director-General Mark Thompson. But that would be unfair. In truth, the corporation - with its 28,500 employees, its monstrous bureaucracy, and its host of TV and radio stations, websites and publications - has become far too large for anyone to control.
That must be put right. In this digital, multi-channel age, shouldn't we be thinking seriously of preserving the best of the BBC - Radio 4, the World Service and the two main TV stations - and selling the rest to the highest bidders? Wouldn't that be the surest way of slashing the licence fee, restoring the corporation to its place in the nation's hearts - and increasing the plurality of opinion in the British media?
There are still some of the old-style Brits left
Some may have used the bad weather as an excuse for not going to work. But one NHS radiographer was so determined to support his patients and colleagues that he walked 18 miles to get there. Peter Cartwright, 53, trudged through the snow in his wellies [gumboots], caught two lifts from passers-by and took a train and a Tube to reach Guy's Hospital in central London.
The father of four left home in Ashford, Kent, at 5.30am on Monday before catching a train to Maidstone for the first leg of his 55-mile trip. He then walked around ten miles to Borough Green, before stopping for a bacon roll at a cafe, then accepted a lift to Swanley. He walked a further five miles to Eltham in South-East London, before a 'kind chap' gave him a ride to Rotherhithe. Mr Cartwright then walked to Bermondsey station to catch a Jubilee line train one stop to London Bridge before eventually arriving at the hospital at 2pm. He stayed on-site overnight on Monday and Tuesday to complete two further day shifts.
He said: 'I felt I needed to make the effort. I just like the team spirit at Guy's.' He added: 'It would have taken much longer without the kindness of people around. 'I like walking, I do a lot of long distance walks and my body is used to it. I chose to wear my wellies which kept my socks and trousers dry. I was quite warm walking along.'
Mr Cartwright's wife Tina, 51, added: 'It's just typical Peter, he will always do his best to get into work. I wasn't surprised, he was just determined to get there. 'He has a responsibility to his job. He knew there would be others who couldn't get in, so if he got there if knew he could help out.'
The age of the snitch: A nurse suspended for praying. Carol Thatcher sacked for a private remark. How public sector informers are creating Stasi Britain...
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to remember that Britain has historically always been the cradle of liberty. For today we seem to be sliding inexorably into a culture of control which would have been very familiar to the Stasi or the KGB. Carol Thatcher, the daughter of former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher, now faces being banned from the BBC after reportedly referring to an unnamed tennis player as reminding her of a 'golliwog'.
Carol, who was crowned Queen of the Jungle in the 2005 reality series I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, has been a regular presenter on The One Show - a daily magazine programme on BBC One - for three years and is described as part of the family on the BBC website. But yesterday the BBC threw her out by announcing in the wake of the 'golliwog' row that it now had 'no plans' to use her again in her regular presenting slot.
Let it be said loud and clear, racially offensive language is unacceptable. Ms Thatcher maintains, however, that she made merely a jokey remark. Her friends say that all she did was to compare the player's hairstyle to the 'Robertson's Golly' which once adorned that company's jars of jam and marmalade. But without knowing the context in which she made this remark - and the tone in which it was said - none of us can judge what to make of it. And that surely is the point.
For the really disturbing thing about this episode - unlike that involving Jonathan Ross, who deeply offended millions in public, had to have an apology dragged out of him and kept his 18 million job - is not so much the remark itself but the fact that Carol Thatcher made it in private. We can't gauge whether or not this really is a hanging offence or a trivial aside of no consequence, because she made the remark after several drinks in the show's hospitality room to the presenter Adrian Chiles, who is said to have been 'outraged' by it. So outraged that it seems it is being used to hang her out to dry. But it was a remark made in the course of a private conversation - which has now been used to sack her after someone involved in that lighthearted banter passed it on to BBC executives in the form of a complaint.
It is the BBC's reaction which is really shocking and offensive, together with the behaviour of the person who turned in Ms Thatcher (would they have done so if she'd had a different mother?) to the Corporation's commissars. It is hard to think of anything more despicable than snitching like this on a private conversation. People say or do all kinds of things which are perfectly acceptable in the context of drinks with friends or colleagues, but which would cause a very different impression if they occurred in public. If we were all to be treated in this way, how many of us would remain in our jobs? Is there anyone who can honestly claim never to have uttered an injudicious remark when sharing a drink with friends?
This is the whole point of privacy. The very essence of a liberal society is to acknowledge the distinction between public and private, and to tolerate in private what might not be acceptable in public. To seek to enforce codes of behaviour in private relationships is totally coercive and illiberal. Yet that is precisely what has happened in the case of Carol Thatcher. By reporting her remark to the BBC hierarchy - and who knows whether or not it was distorted or taken out of context in the lodging of this complaint - her disloyal and sneaky colleagues took an axe to her right to privacy.
The implications are deeply disturbing. For such behaviour means that no one can ever relax with colleagues for fear that one of them might go running to the boss to complain. It destroys the freedom to speak in private for fear that this might be used to cast you into outer darkness for having a view which falls foul of some arbitrary definition of what is acceptable. After all, no offence could possibly have been given to the unnamed tennis player or the public at large because the remark was not broadcast.
This is, in fact, the second time in just a few days in which someone has found herself facing the sack for behaviour which has caused no actual offence but where charges have been laid by officious colleagues enforcing an oppressive code of behaviour. Community nurse Caroline Petrie offered to pray for an elderly patient who was being treated at home. The following day, Mrs Petrie was confronted over her offer by a nursing sister. The day after that, she was told that she was suspended while disciplinary action would be taken against her which might lead to the sack. But although the patient had turned down her offer of a prayer, she said she was not the slightest bit offended and certainly had not made a complaint.
As with Carol Thatcher, it was this nurse's colleagues who were offended that Mrs Petrie had transgressed codes of 'equality and diversity' - which apparently preclude a nurse offering the Christian solace of prayer. And it was professional colleagues, both in that NHS Trust and in the BBC, who took it upon themselves to enforce those approved attitudes from which there can be no deviation.
Mr Ross's offence is that in sick language he offended the elderly. Old, white, middle-class people don't really count for much in the BBC mindset. Ms Thatcher's alleged offence involved race - which to the BBC constitutes the most heinous crime of all.
Such political correctness is now the governing characteristic of public sector institutions such as the BBC and the NHS, along with an intelligentsia determined upon a draconian process of social engineering aimed at changing not just society but human nature itself. Ostensibly designed to protect disadvantaged groups, it is actually all about advertising the moral purity of those who enforce it. It's a dogma enforced with the zealotry of a secular inquisition and is profoundly totalitarian in character. Indeed, behaviour such as this has always been a key feature of police states and totalitarian regimes.
The Stasi or the KGB gained much of their power over the population they tyrannised by getting people to inform on each other, using such informers to bring forward evidence of 'thought crimes' from private or overheard conversations. Such use of informers sets people against each other in a climate of permanent and corrosive suspicion. Destroying the trust which is the basis of relationships, it is thus a principal means of controlling the population.
In Communist regimes, Stasi and KGB informers and apparatchiks designated dissidents, religious believers and other free spirits as enemies of the state. In politically correct Britain, BBC informers and NHS apparatchiks designate jovially gabby broadcasters and Christian nurses as enemies of society, to be summarily convicted by kangaroo courts of conformist bureaucrats and banished in opprobrium and disgust.
It's all part of a wider trend. The police 'hate crime' division urges the public to inform on anyone who expresses an opinion they deem hateful to the usual range of disadvantaged groups. An energy company invites children to become 'climate cops', reporting on parents, relatives and friends who leave TV sets on and commit other examples of 'climate crime'.
It is this combination of lunacy and coercion which leads one to think that the land of those great apostles of free thinking, John Milton and John Locke, is fast turning into a nightmare straight out of the pages of George Orwell or Franz Kafka.
NYT whitewashes Islamic murderers (again)
There's a curious omission in a New York Times report from Baghdad on the arrest of Samira Ahmed Jassim al-Azzawi, a quinquagenarian woman who goes by the nickname "Um Huda" ("mother of believers") and who confessed to Iraqi police that she had recruited at least 28 female suicide bombers for al Qaeda:
Her remarks suggested that she had to work diligently to persuade women to become bombers, speaking to them many times. She also appeared to confirm what many military and intelligence officials had asserted: that insurgents prey on women in dire social and economic situations who are often suffering from emotional or psychological problems, or abuse.What does it mean, "she had to work diligently"? What the Times leaves out can be found in many other news accounts, such as this one from London's Times:
She has apparently confessed to helping to organise the rape of young women. She would then play on the shame associated with victims of rape in Iraqi society to convince the women to become suicide bombers as their only means of escape, according to a prison interview with the Associated Press.The London paper notes that "it was not possible to verify independently the claims of using rape as a means to turn women into suicide attackers"--a fair disclaimer, but one that does not justify ignoring the claims altogether.
In any case, assuming the rape story is true, consider the many levels on which this is depraved. A Muslim woman is arranging for Muslim men to rape Muslim women in order to shame those Muslim women into committing suicide for the purpose of murdering other Muslim men, women and children. And all of this is done in the name of Islam.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.