Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Street, Same Old Drivel

The BBC’s (supposedly) factual coverage rightly gets a lot of attention in the Blogosphere, but it’s worth taking a look at their overtly fictional programming. Even Orla Goering has to try and relate her reporting to some kind of reality, but when it comes to drama, the BBC is free to expound on their worldview free of any such constraints.

What set me off thinking about this was a viewing – wearing suitable protective clothing, of course – of the BBC’s latest effort: New Street Law. Painful to watch though it was, it showcased the BBC’s metacontext better than Shakespeare could.

In case you’ve had the luck to miss this horror, the main characters are a set of impecunious, maverick lawyers. Yes, poor lawyers – it’s just like real-life. That threw me until I realized that the BBC’s childish cultural Marxism demands that the rich be beasts, hence the heroes are the only poverty-stricken lawyers in history. Ditto, the whole maverick thing. With Law Lords like Brenda ‘BSE’ Hale and Lenny ‘No Threat’ Hoffman, just how wild and dangerous is it to preach Liberalism in the judicial system ?

Needless to say, other forms of Liberal humbuggery were present and correct. There were, for example, plenty of BIPAs there – as in blacks in positions of authority. A man from Mars could easily think Britain was 40% black. The only problem was that about the eighteenth time you met a black high court judge passing through, you suddenly realized that there was no one on the top half of the bill that would upset even the most sensitive of Combat 18 members. Personally, I could do with a lot less PC posturing from folks who are so obviously loath to let a black guy headline a show.

A heavy pall of PC also hung over one of the main plot points. Two of the characters were representing a bloke at a mental health tribunal to decide if he should be released from the nuthouse and so…. Oh, who cares ? You know what the outcome was, just as assuredly as you know what the PC homily it was trying to deliver was. Yep, it was ‘nutters are people too’ time. Well, funnily enough Beeboids, we know that too, the debate isn’t about the humanity or otherwise of people who think the toaster is plotting against them, it’s whether they’re safe to be on the streets. In evading this central question, the BBC was being wholly dishonest.

Still, all that was a mere aperitif of humbuggery compared to the other plot line. This involved two police officers charged with torturing a terror suspect. Now isn’t that special ? The BBC has been either ignoring the war or dealing with it with kid gloves for years and now they suddenly produce a program which sounds like an Abu Hamza speech ? ‘Bad Day At Black Rock’ is a good film, but it would have been less impressive if Hollywood had produced it in 1944 after ignoring WWII for years, and especially so if there were folks trying to stir up Japanese-Americans to go on the rampage at same time.

Lest we be in any doubt over who we were supposed to sympathise with, the suspect was super articulate while the baddie copper appeared to have wandered in from ‘Life On Mars’. Forget wider issues, even in the context of the story, this was absurd. Here we had a character who thinks blowing up buses is a perfectly reasonable way to advance your religion, yet the script writers saw him as a soft-spoken ‘voice of reason’ while Mr Plod was a knuckle-dragging bigot ? If nothing else, can we be spared the BBC accusing other people of using inflammatory rhetoric ?

So anxious were the scriptwriters to let us know just how much they hated cops, that they forgot to actually make any sense. At one point a prosecution witness disappeared. Cue the main characters remarking sarcastically to each other that the police wouldn’t be looking too hard for him. Twenty minutes later, we found out that the police wanted to force through a conviction to rebuild relations with the ‘Asian’ community, but that they were framing a Muslim officer as an accomplice to the torture to show even-handedness. Huh ?

Just in case we’d been rendered insensible by the previous barrage of Liberalism, one of the cast members helpfully rammed the point home, telling the Muslim officer that he’d probably be convicted as there were 'eleven white faces on the jury’. Meanwhile, the dialogue was thick with references to Muslim ‘brothers’ and ‘family’. Take home message: you can’t trust those Infidels, best stick with the Ummah. But watch out for the Right and their divisive rhetoric!

Again with the central point. No doubt the Beeboids would defend this show by claiming it was just a work of fiction that dealt with something that could happen. Leaving aside the show’s own pretensions to ‘realism’ and ‘topicality’, how come this door only goes one way ? There’s nothing theoretical about Islamic terrorism. Even in Britain alone we’ve had July 7, the attempted follow-up on July 21, Richard Reid…and so on. The BBC ignored them all. Now they produce a drama that may as well have been written by Bin Laden, so studiously did it mine every negative stereotype of law enforcement, and indeed British society in general. This is what the BBC calls balance.

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