13 March 2016

BBC Bias at its Best - the Sunday Politics Show

Andrew Neil lobs a few softball questions at John Mann MP on ‘anti-Semitism’

Some of you may have watched the Sunday Politics show on BBC1 today.  It lived up to the BBC’s honorable tradition of bias when it comes to anything to do with Zionism and Israel.  The title of the particular section, whether or not Jeremy Corbyn has an anti-Semitism problem in the Labour Party, was a giveaway in itself. 

John Mann - a right-wing Zionist MP who uses 'anti-Semitism' to defend Israeli apartheid
It was hosted by Andrew Neil, a right-wing Tory who was a former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times.  After a very short interview with a Corbyn spokesman, who denied that Corbyn was anti-Semitic (a frequent Zionist allegation) and a repeat of a clip of an interview by Neil with the political lunatic Gerry Downing of the Socialist Fight organisation, we then were subjected to a long diatribe, which was passed of as an interview, with John Mann MP.  Mann is the Chair of the so-called Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism Committee.  He is also a noted opponent of Corbyn and on the right of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
The programme is on the BBC’s Iplayer and can be accessed here.  
John Mann paints himself as the hero of an anti-Jewish campaign - problem is Mann is not even Jewish!
Mann was allowed to state, without interruption, that unnamed Jewish students were fearful of ‘anti-Semitism’ on campus.  Reference was made to Labour Clubs at the LSE and Oxford University without any detail of what the supposed anti-Semitism was.  Given the artificial furore which has been stirred up around Oxford University Labour Club whereby support for Israel Apartheid Week is somehow conflated with anti-Semitism, it is quite easy to understand that once again we are dealing with spurious allegations of anti-Semitism against anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians.
Phil Woolas - a racist former MP removed by an electoral court for lying and dishonesty was a good friend of John Mann
Woolas's racist leaflet
It is the same old trick, to allege that opponents of Zionist racism are somehow motivated by anti-Jewish racism because the Israeli state defines itself as a Jewish ethnic state.
I have complained to the BBC, though without any illusions that an organisation that protected Jimmy Saville for 20+ years has a credible complaints system.
John Mann has form when it comes to false allegations of anti-Semitism.  He used to allege that the University College Union was anti-Semitic because it launched the academic boycott of Israel.  When he gave evidence to an Employment Tribunal, the Judgment of the Tribunal savaged this superficial and trite ego. (see below)
It would be useful if people were to watch the programme and then make their own complaint.  
Tony Greenstein
Right-wing Tory and BBC Presenter
BBC Complaint
Andrew Neil’s Sunday Politics Programme asked whether Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism.  It then proceeded to assume that the question it was asking was indeed true. 

References were made to Oxford University and LSE Labour Clubs.  Apart from a very short interview with one Corbyn supporter and an interview with Gerry Downing, a person who represents nobody but himself, there was no alternative viewpoint to the long interview with John Mann. 

At no point did Neil challenge what Mann said, he merely asked him to clarify and expand on his points, viz. that there was a problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.  John Mann is not a neutral party.  He defines anti-Semitism as opposition to Zionism and support for the Palestinians.  He has  a long record for deliberately confusing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. 

Mann was discredited as a witness at the Fraser v University College Union employment tribunal in 2012 [Case No:  2203290/2011].  The Tribunal  found [para 84] that ‘Mr Mann made no bones about his view that the union was operating in an anti-Semitic way …. He did not explain what the anti-Semitic behaviour was supposed to have consisted of besides referring to the boycott debate and characterising any boycott of Israel or Israeli institutions as itself anti-Semitic…’ [para 148] ‘when it came to anti-Semitism in the context of debate about the Middle East, he announced, “It’s clear to me where the line is …” but unfortunately eschewed the opportunity to locate it for us. Both parliamentarians clearly enjoyed making speeches. Neither seemed at ease with the idea of being required to answer a question not to his liking.’

Andrew Neil failed to ask any questions not to Mann’s liking or indeed any probing questions at all.  Another example of BBC bias.’ 

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