Legal purposes crossed

There’s been an interesting story recently which might tell us much about the BBC’s editorial bias. I was reminded of it by this article by William Rees Mogg in the The Times. According to him, senior judge Lord Hoffman, who has spoken out against the Strasbourg law court the European Court of Human Rights, “has supported the shift to judicial liberalism that followed the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998”

So, a liberal judge.

Who attacks a European institution.

What to do (for the BBC, who are attached to both)?

Well, interestingly, the BBC immediately reported Hoffman’s attack– they may have even broken the story to the wider public – but they made special points of saying where he might be acting from a sense of personal injury, “In 1989 Lord Hoffmann had a decision of his overturned”, or untrustworthy, Hoffman “had contributed to a decision that the former Chilean leader could be arrested and extradited for crimes against humanity, without emphasising his links to human rights group Amnesty International.”

As this kind of background is normally quietly left aside when reporting the thinking of liberal leftists, and in those cases the BBC simply rest on the seniority of the source, we can be sure that this time the BBC came down in favour of supporting a European institution. As Russell Crowe said to Marr on Sunday, pointedly and deliberately- “objectivity is a myth”.

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18 Responses to Legal purposes crossed

  1. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    There are few things a typical member of the liberal-Left despises more than one of their own who really is liberal rather than bigoted like most them.

    The Left have never forgiven Lord Hoffman for moving an amendment to the 1996 Defamation Bill, thus facilitating Neil Hamilton’s libel action against the Guardian:


  2. Peter says:

    Mr. Marr not too keen to look at the role of broadcast media, and maybe those in state versions married to print ‘journalists’ who as couples enjoy cosy relationships with those upon whom they are supposed to report… um…. objectively.


  3. sawtooth says:

    Hoffman is a judge who supports the Human Rights Act, as giving him and other like-minded judges (Mr Justice Collins, anyone?) more power to impose their liberal/leftist agenda. So far, so BBC.

    However, Hoffman objects to European judges at the Court of Human Rights encroaching on his own power in that respect; hence his criticism of them, as a Euro-Federal institution.

    What a dilemma for the BBC! I happened to listen to their news story on Saturday morning, and it was obvious that they were appalled. They even managed to drag a “leading barrister” off the golf-course to rubbish his Lordship’s criticism.

    For the BBC, Europe trumps everything except Islam.


  4. Martin says:

    Lord Hoffman’s failure to disclose his bias in the Pinochet case is one of the more famous things about him (which is a shame, because he is a long serving judge of distinction). It lead to the House of Lords having to re-try the whole case with nine Law Lords, which was pretty much unprecedented.

    The note about him getting over-ruled is unnecessary, however.


  5. Martin says:

    Someone else is posting as Martin. That wasn’t me.


  6. Ricky Martin says:

    For the BBC, Europe trumps everything except Islam.
    sawtooth | 06.04.09 – 9:47 am | #

    Interesting how the Obamababy goes on his Blairlite World Tour and tells everyone what they want to hear. He goes to Turkey and tells them he’s gonna get them into the EU. Roll on Islamo-europe.

    The BBC only cover the story as “Obama wants closer ties with Turkey.”

    What the federalists don’t tell us that European leaders like Merkel and Sarkozy(apart from BRuin, the One Eyed Stiff One) are livid over his interference and presumption.

    But then more and more people are only just getting to realise that the BBC’s Chosen One is just another wind-bag from the Windy City.


  7. weirdvis says:

    It’s interesting to see how the BBC reports on cases where British judges tow the party and EU line.

    Compare this:

    with this:

    Says it all really…


  8. will2001 says:

    I note that the thespian Crowe is suited, tied & sitting smartly. The journalist slouches with open neck & trousers not matching the jacket. And to think, at one time BBC newsreaders wore dinner jackets.


  9. Nick Good says:

    OT last night the Yentob documentary on BBC2 on Oratory was a massive Obama fest, gosh it went on.

    They critiqued Bush’s oratory by juxtaposing an Obama teleprompter pre- written speech with a Bush interview gaffe.


  10. Millie Tant says:

    Lord Hoffman is talking about the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg but what he doesn’t mention is the European Court of Justice (i.e. the EU court) in Luxembourg which interprets and enforces EU law across the member states.

    So we have TWO European Courts with supreme authority in their respective jurisdictions – including us.

    The Strasbourg court enforces the European Convention on Human Rights (a creature of the Council of Europe, which pre-dates the EU). We could withdraw from the Convention, of course, but we won’t.

    And ditto the EU.


  11. JohnA says:

    Nick Good

    I am astonished there are still many people who do not know how useless Obama is without a teleprompter, how much his so-called oratory is simply reciting someone else’s speech.


  12. Lee Moore says:

    The report in the Telegraph is almost identical to the BBC’s. One assumes they both got it from somewhere else, or else the Telegraph got it off the BBC. (The Telegraph doesn’t appear to have any actual journalists left, as outside its own leader columns, it’s mostly a copy and paste job from the lefty press agencies – Reuters, AP and of course the BBC.)

    Hoffman is certainly a lefty, but I understand that he is one of the more intellectually honest judges, and, in a blow to his lefty street cred, not reliably an Inland Revenue stoolie like some of his colleagues.

    I confess I found the report confused and confusing rather than a stitch up. It is quite hard to work out precisely what his complaint against the ECHR court is, from the jumbled mixture of soundbites provided. Perhaps that’s what the stitch up is – make him sound incoherent.


  13. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I got the same impression as Lee Moore.

    Just reading the BBC brief, I can’t actually understand what Lord Hoffman’s beef is. Without any other information, all I get out of this is a muddled idea that Hoffman doesn’t like something or other, but not to pay attention to him as he possibly has a personal grudge against the Court.

    I’m sure there’s no bias in the headline.

    Interestingly, News Sniffer reveals that the whole section on the ECHR overturning one of Hoffman’s decisions and the Amnesty issue was added by the late night crew. Funny how that seems to happen sometimes.


  14. David Preiser (USA) says:

    JohnA | 06.04.09 – 2:41 pm |

    I am astonished there are still many people who do not know how useless Obama is without a teleprompter, how much his so-called oratory is simply reciting someone else’s speech.

    A big part of His oratory style is based on the US black preacher and activist speech patterns. Check out some old Rev. Wright videos, or other activists, on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. That speech pattern, that rhythm, and the way He moves, is successful for a reason.

    Neither Bush nor Palin had that influence.


  15. ed says:

    Lee Moore- you’re right that the DT report has some bits in common- what we don’t get from the BBC is Lord Hoffman’s extended comments, quotes from Nigel Farage of UKIP, and more detail about the case that was overturned by the EU. That seems to me to put an entirely different complexion on the negative statements about Hoffman. It’s also not beyond the bounds of possibility that the DT actually ripped some BBC phrasing- there’s almost a full day’s difference between their timestamps.


  16. Lee Moore says:

    I don’t believe the Telegraph’s timestamp. Their story is much fuller than when I looked at it (which would have been this afternoon (Monday 6th.)

    The BBC also has trouble with timestamps.


  17. James says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Hoffmann one of the law lords who opposed the release of the Balen report? Surely this is a key factor in how they report what he does?


  18. CSS says:

    Somebody said this video site has Bush masterbating on it!! Filmed by secret service at the white house!! He ain’t big!!