Wednesday, May 18, 2005

We Have Our Goldberg

The Brit Blogosphere has been buzzing about a forthcoming book by whistleblower Robin Aitkin, who reveals bigotry and prejudice at the heart of one of Britain’s most powerful institutions. Doubtless he’ll be given the full hit: Newsnight specials, Panorama investigations and James Nesbitt playing him in the inevitable two-part dramatisation.

Oops, no. Just checked and it turns out he’s blowing the whistle on the BBC. Guess he won’t be getting a date with Kirsty the Kommie Klown after all. There’s a serious point here – nothing shows the BBC’s bias like the topic of BBC bias. It’s not just the contrast between the lauding of heroic truthtellers who reveal malfeasance in other industries compared to the treatment that will be handed out to that nut Aitkin. Consider, for example, the different standards for detecting bias in recruitment. The Beeb is first to claim that an underrepresentation of blacks in the Police proves that the dress code for interview board members is a white sheet with optional hood, but try finding out how many Conservatives work for the BBC. After all, the justification for the whole diversity boondoggle is the requirement for ‘different perspectives’ – Conservatives at the Beeb wouldn’t offer a new perspective so much as a whole new worldview, but no – that’s a little too diverse.

Some might say that there’s a degree of humbuggery in the BBC criticising the Police for 'institutional racism' when any Conservative journalist aspiring to work at the BBC needs to change either his views or his career ASAP. Myself, I just think we’re missing the nuance in the Beeb’s position – actually, Auntie doesn’t mind a bit of prejudice, it just has to be done the right way. Provided the Police are prepared to take a few tips from Auntie, there’s no need for any radical changes.

  • The Police could cite critical statements from organisations like the Aryan People’s Sturm Abteilung as proof that both blacks and whites feel the Police discriminate against them.

  • It’s also important that the Police publicly obsess over alleged discrimination based on everything except race. They could arrange huge studies to investigate whether gays, women or redheads are being discriminated against, after all, the BBC won’t hire Conservatives but the top brass professes to agonise over the fact their staff roster is ‘hideously white’.

  • The Police could deflect further criticism by occasionally bringing in ethnic minority consultants on short-term contracts, but only allowing them to deal with specific ethnic issues rather than general matters, making sure they’re only allowed to work on projects where they’re safely outnumbered by white officers and carefully marking all their reports so everyone knows they’re ETHNIC.

  • Police Officers could hijack a mechanism meant to protect ordinary members of the public from abuse and use it to wage legal terrorism against their critics.

  • When finally pinned down by critics the Police could claim that they are racists but that’s what the nation is, and besides do you want to see child molesters going free ? (actual quote from John Humphries: Do we want to return to capital punishment or to see homosexuals persecuted? No. That is a broadly liberal position. And that's what the nation is. I bloody well hope the BBC is broadly liberal.)

With techniques such as this, the Police should be able to stride forward into the Twenty-First Century and become every bit as professional, representative and well-respected as the BBC.

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