Sunday, November 13, 2005

When George Best Calls You A Drunk...

It’s a sad sign of the times when a contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party could learn something from a group of people who think ‘it’s eleven men against eleven men, same game the world over’ counts as inspiring rhetoric. Right about the time David Davis was falling into one of the most obvious elephant traps in political history, the Beautiful Game was showing exactly how to deal with the PC loons. The BBC had decided to send a letter to every Premiership club asking if they’d stopped beating up homosexuals yet. I have the pleasure of reporting that every club in the Premiership plain ignored them (one might almost say they stonewalled them).

Let us take a moment to relish the thought of the impotent fury that descended on the Beeboids when they realised what had happened. ‘But… but…we’re the Witchfinder Generals….they’re not allowed to just treat us like a bunch of pretentious loonies. It’s not fair…..

But it takes more than a complete lack of evidence to stop the terminally self-righteous in their tracks. All Thursday we had fact-light, innuendo-heavy reports like this on the airwaves. On the bright side, this at least means a well-deserved break for a much-maligned one-time Senator from Wisconsin. Nothing Joe did was ever so thoroughly ‘McCarthyite’ as the BBC’s suggestion that failure to cooperate with a fishing expedition by activist loonies is somehow, in and off itself, proof of the truth of their charges.

It says a lot about the current state of the BBC that there was apparently not one person there who could remind his colleagues that ‘freedom of the press’ means you can publish what you want, not that the press has some kind of extra-legal right to coerce people to cooperate with their witchhunts. Then again, that self-same person might well have felt obliged to ask just how exactly this kind of overt activism comes under the rubric of ‘public-service broadcasting’. But of course this hypothetical individual wasn’t there – that’s the sheer humbuggery of the whole thing.

How much chutzpah does it take for an organisation that is the most high-profile practitioner of discrimination in modern Britain to criticise privately-owned businesses for their recruitment practices ? Here we have a corporation that is funded by the public yet resolutely refuses to employ a large chunk of that public. Just how many of the BBC’s staff could be described as ‘openly Conservative’ ? How does that compare to the number of Liberal employees ? And if the BBC won’t tell us, is that an admission of guilt ?

While Liberals at the BBC award each other huge chunks of public money, aspiring journalists of the Conservative persuasion either have to look elsewhere or take part in a political version of ‘The Birdcage’. All of which is by way of saying that the BBC is qualified to talk about discrimination only in the sense of giving advice on the best way to get away with it.

Take the vital importance of the absurd strawman in deflecting criticism. Premiership clubs could, for example, imply that their critics want to legalise child molestation (John Humphries on critics of BBC bias: 'Do we want to return to capital punishment or to see homosexuals persecuted?’)

Of course, every now and then a premiership footballer might get caught claiming that homosexuals are the same as paedophiles, or that gays often murder the innocent, sort of like Orla Guerin comparing Israel to Zimbabwe or Nik Gowring claiming Israel and the US murder jounalists. Fortunately, all the clubs have to do is to remind people that their employees are speaking in their personal capacity – after all, no one in the MSM would ever think to ask why it never happens the other way round, with someone being caught making offensive statements about heterosexuals.

Also, the clubs should commission studies by respected, middle of the road groups such as Christian Voice, and cite them to prove that both heterosexuals and gays complain about discrimination.

Similarly, the clubs should busy themselves investigating every other form of discrimination possible. The BBC would rather employ a dyslexic subtitler than a Conservative, but they’re still agonising over being ‘hideously white’.

Finally, of course, the clubs should keep claiming that if there really were gay footballers, they’d already be playing, while making sure to lobby hard for the passage and enforcement of laws to prevent homosexuals playing footy (they could learn a lot from cases like this).

Alternatively, the clubs could just keep up with their current policy of ignoring the tantrums of a bunch of pampered Metropolitan princes. No doubt the BBC will keep on with the publically-funded slander, but that's OK, the clubs do still have the perfect response. All they have to say is this: just how many openly Conservative people work at the BBC ?

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