The BBC and the UN’s problem with morality

It was only a couple of days ago, and it was a story about Africa- but the UN’s renewed choice of Zimbabwe to sit on their human rights commission cannot be found in the Beeb’s Africa section. In fact it is difficult to find anywhere- and the relevant article is filed as an ‘Americas’ news item. Bizarre.

It is considered an ‘Americas’ story because the US has been one of the complainants against this action.

Surely this is another case of protecting Annan from the consequences of what happens on his ‘watch’?

But meanwhile, by contrast, this story about a Burundian woman being honoured by the UN for humanitarian actions has been prominent everywhere, including where it belongs, in the ‘Africa’ section.

This just sums up the wrongheadedness of the Beeb and the UN, who often these days seem partners in crime. The cause of suffering, ie. the tolerance of foul and callous leadership in Africa, is demoted to a footnote, while the sticking plaster of what amounts compassionate gesturing (whatever the great good that this hard-pressed woman has done) is foregrounded- and thus we get warm and fuzzies about the UN and totally misled about our failures to confront the evils that plague Africa.

Interestingly, this article, about the UK cutting aid to Uganda in a political gesture, is considered relevant to Africa. Somehow the US (and others unnamed) complaining about Zimbabwe being given a human rights podium at the UN is not.

(p.s.- also check out the articles for UN apologism eg. making Annan seem in tune with UN critics- rather than out of touch as he is; not mentioning the UN’s failure in Rwanda and Burundi as they proceed to honour a woman who didn’t fail.)

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26 Responses to The BBC and the UN’s problem with morality

  1. EK says:

    OT Bob Marshall-Andrews on C4 tonight – unless Blair stands down as leader within 12 months there will be a concerted effort to remove him.

    Let’s see how much BBC (or other media) space that gets.


  2. alex says:

    BBC = Large Socialist Organization.

    UN = Large Socialist Organization.

    EU = Large Socialist Organization.

    Anyone still Confused?


  3. Joerg says:

    Your forgot “Labour Party = Large Socialist Organization”, Alex


  4. dan says:

    “concerted effort” – amazing that anyone would want to act in concert with that pompous ass Marshall-Andrews.


  5. say what says:


    Does anyone here know what a “pressure group” is? I can’t figure out what this means:

    A pressure group close to the Republican Party even doctored a picture to show a tousle-haired Kerry standing close to “Hanoi Jane” at the same demonstration.

    It doesnt say what the name of this “pressure group” is, or how they are “close” to the Republican party.


  6. anon says:

    ot. don’t hate the daleks because hey! yah! right-on! they’ve got feelings too.
    even dr who is now about social engineering.


  7. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Off Topic
    Vote against war

    Come the General Election on May 5th, I’m going vote for a candidate who has no hope of winning the seat. In fact, in the unlikely event of this candidate getting a much bigger vote than last time, the result might be to get the Tory challenger elected. That’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m not doing it for the candidate. I’m doing it for the party. If enough people vote for this candidate’s party we have a real chance of electing a government that won’t take us into another war. Yes, I know – this is pure gesture politics. I’m going to vote my conscience and hang the consequences. I’m going to vote Labour.

    Because there’s only one possible Prime Minister who can be relied upon not to involve Britain in another imperialist war: Tony Blair. He can be relied upon, because no one will ever trust him again.

    Michael Howard could stand up in the Commons and announce that a friend of a friend had heard down the pub that Al Qa’ida had supplied the Real IRA with North Korean nuclear missiles, and within 45 minutes South Armagh would be toast. Tony Blair could introduce Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, and Hans Blix, all swearing blind that this time he is telling the truth and the sky is, in fact, blue, and he’d be trampled in the rush to the windows. Imagine him trying to freeze our blood with talk of Iranian or North Korean WMD capabilities, or Syrian Ba’athist repression!

    Vote for the party of imperialism, of crony capitalism, of attacks on civil liberties. Vote for the party of lies and spin. Vote for the man of blood.

    Vote for peace.

    Vote Labour!


  8. Rob Read says:


    Is that sarcasm? The left is so close to parody that it’s hard to tell sometimes…


  9. dan says:

    Perhaps the occasional objections on this site to the choice of BBC pics of Howard should bear in mind this horror in the Telegraph, on the day they back him in the election.;sessionid=K30HF2QIRP2ZHQFIQMFCM54AVCBQYJVC?view=HOME&grid=N1&menuId=-1&menuItemId=-1&_requestid=16002


  10. chevalier de st george says:

    Anyone who has seen “the interpreter” will realise than it is not only the BBC that deifies the UN, but Hollywood as well.
    This film is political propaganda designed to repair the damages and scandals that has finally surfaced.
    IF the BBC had made a similar film the bias would have stood out like a sore thumb.
    But Hollywood bias still passes almost unnoticed.
    No wonder the filmakers were allowed to film within the holy sanctums!


  11. Natalie Solent says:

    Well spotted about the placement issue – i.e. UK cutting aid to Africa is held to be more relevant to Africa but US complaining about Zimbabwe on the HRC is held to be more relevant to the US. I hadn’t thought to look at it in such detail. The furthest I’d got was to ask myself whether a story was “buried” or not.

    As well as the general tendency to do whatever puts the UK/US in a bad light, I think this placement reflects (unconsciously) the mentality that sees Africa as a passive recipient or victim. This mentality overestimates the extent to which Africa’s fate is determined by aid.


  12. anon says:

    ot. A radio version of the blogosphere where individual presenters and their audience have the power to wreak havoc on the corporate behemoths? Does anyone know about satellite radio? Could it come to the UK?,,2088-1592845,00.html

    Sullivan mentions the Beeb at the end of this.


  13. David Field says:

    OT –

    I see from the papers that the chap who thought he had the right to take part in our general election debate and quiz our politicians so rudely is – wait for it – as predicted by several perceptive observers on this site A BOGUS ASYLUM SEEKER who is now in this country illegally. Goes by name of Adrian Lala. And he is a bit lala by the sound of it.

    The poor chap obviosuly doesn;t understand how our system works. He thinks he can jsut stay here like all the other hundreds of thousands of bogus asylum seekers. But this is an election – things are done differently for four weeks. There’ll be SWAT squads out looking for you over the next few days matey boy! Once he’s caught and on the plane Tony Blair will address the cameras with welling sincerity as he stares at the vapour trial of the departing aircraft and tell us that; “No can flout our laws; no one can buck the system. I pledge to the British people that our sacred shores are safe, that we will be vigilant in defence of this land, that no one may lay claim to our hospitality without just cause…” etc etc. And then it will be back to business as usual.


  14. Robin says:

    It used to be illegal for aliens to indulge in politics within our country.
    Who scrapped that law?


  15. anon says:

    Natalie. That’s such an important issue you’re touching on. Ever since I was a kid I can remember pictures of starving Africans on the TV. These charities have proliferated in size and number, and still the African children don’t seem to have the basics.
    Is it true to say that we have grown used to thinking about Africans/Palestinians/US Blacks as victims?
    And that the mentality you mention will instinctively negate the possibility that instead of being passive dupes, these people would like more than anything to stand on their own two feet and give two middle fingers to handwringers in the UN/Charity/US Liberal establishment?
    This mentality seems to need ‘designated victims’ to use as a convenient stick to bash people who oppose their ideology.
    So the African kids get just enough food and water to last them until the next aid shipment. And woe betide anyone who talks about getting to grips with the root and branch corruption that ensures African/Arab kids grow up to be the sort of the person the liberal left can’t seem to live without, the needy victim.
    This mentality needs to be vigourously contested.


  16. alex says:

    With regards the Africans and other “victims” so beloved of our State Broadcaster and Socialist hangers on, the old adage that you can give a man bread daily or teach him how to bake it himself comes to mind.
    Left wing ideology relies on dependents and clients, the last thing they want is free spirits doing thier own thing. Do not expect any improvement in Global Poverty as long as Socialists retain thier stranglehold on the poor and dispossessed of this planet.


  17. Verity says:

    David Field – Watch it! Blair’ll nick that speech! It sounds exactly like him. The bit about watching the vapour trail was a very nice touch. I have no doubt this has already been filed away under “Really Cool Ideas”.

    Robin – This “government” doesn’t waste time. They don’t scrap laws. They just allow them to fall into disrepute. I am sure it is still illegal, but some illegal immigrants may find it offensive.


  18. JohninLondon says:

    The id orgnisations and NGOs are all mixed up with the soft and irrational UN approach – it is all the fault of capitalism, not to be blamed on African politicians and the societies that put up with such thieves and tyrants.

    NGOs are a growth industry – often highly inefficient as the tsunami showed, but with lots of money, lots of Toyota land-cruisers, lots of ways of distorting the economies in which they operate. Plaaying on the conscience of the west to solve other people’s problems – and often doing very nicely out of it themselves, thank you. A nice bolt-hole for woolly-minded lefties who don’t want to work in the real economy. Sre, there are many aid workers of conscience who are devoted and caring. But there are many others who are ripping off the system at our expense – and to the detriment of real economic progress in the target economies.


  19. JohninLondon says:

    OT Grossly biased survey of opinion on the immigration issue on The World This Weekend at 1pm Radio 4.

    The BBC interviewer repeatedly stating all the attacks on the Tories. Not one single word from all the brits who want someone tpo get a grip on illegal immigrants and bogus asylum seekers. To judge by the report, everyone in Britain is saying “Open the floodgates”.

    Howard is then interviewed – but in attack-dog mode, the interviewer citing all the bogus arguments. Totally one-sided, no attempt to get at the facts, to strike a balance. Not a word of criticism about the government that has totally lost control.


  20. JohninLondon says:


    Outstanding IMHO analysis of blair’s record as Labour leader by Philip Stephens in the FT :

    This is the sort of depth and balance that we should be able to expect from the BBC. Depth, balance and perspective that we seldom get from them. All we get is “reporting” skewed by the BBC’s own internal world-view.

    For instance – yesterday evening the BBC radio news was giving second place to a couple of raggle-taggle demos by a few hundred Muslims. With nil descri[ption of some of the nasty links the demo organisers have, to their tacit support for terrorism. The story was sick, the prominence it was given was even worse.


  21. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    The ‘asylum seeker’ who was so mouthy on Question Time on Thursday; is it confirmed that he’s bogus? The BBC placed him at the front of the audience for prominence. Did they not carry out checks ?


  22. Rob Read says:

    I think he must have passed the only check the BBC want, namely, would he attack the conservatives.


  23. jon livesey says:

    The BBC World Service has now adopted the lazy American habit of repeating the same headlines four times an hour, so I couldn’t help noticing yesterday that their top headline was “194 nations gather at the UN to try to limit the spread on nuclear weapons”.

    I found it ironic that they were highlighting the exact characteristic of the UN that make it inevitable that such a meeting would fail to have any effect in the real world.



  24. Verity says:

    Hmmm. That must be the “194 nations” that don’t have nuclear weapons or any friends with nuclear weapons.

    Never mind. There’ll be cocktails and receptions and nibbles and dinners and after dinner speeches and after dinner drinkies and limousines driving away containing delegates with tottie, and it will all meld into a blur anyway. And as it was never intended for any other purpose, so what? They certainly never thought for a nano-second that they were going to accomplish anything other than get their picture taken looking influential for the peasants back home and get laid.


  25. Jason says:

    Sources inform us that the bbc is close to a major breakthrough. They’re just days, if not hours away from revealing a sure way to blame Israel and the US for all the corruption and venality of Africa’s regimes. An announcement is expected from ‘Humph’ Humphries on Radio 4.


  26. Susan says:

    I thought everybody knew that Mugabe is actually a “secret” Jew. One of the African descendents of King David. . .