>> 12 Sep 2004

Bonkers BBC!

I watched the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday evening. There were live link-ups to gathered crowds in Manchester, Swansea and Belfast (the event in Glasgow was cancelled due to the rain). As the cameras switched to the various live venues, I began to notice a pattern appearing. When the crowds were filmed in Manchester and Swansea, there were copious amounts of Union Flags hoisted aloft by the people present. In Belfast, the cameras studiously avoided filming people assembled in Donegall Square waving Union Flags, lest such a spectacle upset anyone tuning in from, say, Carrickmore or Crossmaglen - who had managed to distract themselves momentarily from wiring detonators and drinking beer paid for by British GIRO cheques and smuggling rackets, by flicking aimlessly through the terrestrial channels of TV sets they refuse to buy licences for.

Whatever the BBC does in relation to Northern Ireland it never, repeat 'never', gives an accurate portrayal of everyday life there. Whether it be discourse on the dreaded 'peace process', or the dramatisation of events pertaining to the Troubles, Auntie Beeb always manages to relay its viewpoint through a prism of nationalist grievance. Kevin Myers picks up on this trait in an excellent submission to today's Sunday Telegraph. Although he cites the latest episode of Silent Witness as his example, he could have referred to any number of programmes. For example, does anyone remember that complete shite, Rebel Heart, penned by republican writer (and alleged murderer of an RUC policeman) Ronan Bennett, which appeared on out television screens in January 2001? What was the BBC doing shooting a drama commissioned by an enemy of this country, essentially paid for the the BBC licence payers of this country (I, quite naturally, exclude those in Northern Ireland who have - ironically - the most sympathy with Bennett's politics, as they seem to get away with not paying their TV licences, road fund licences, etc.)?

I have yet to see a BBC drama illustrating Provo detritus in a poor light. Everything is done to facilitate the maximisation of republican interpretations of history relating to the Province. The majority of the population in Ulster is pro-Union; thus, the majority of licence payers in the Province will also be pro-Union. When are they going to get something in return for the extortion which passes for the BBC licence fee?


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