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There are still a good many people who believe that the BBC is the last bastion of press impartiality in the UK, and that Britain’s public broadcaster reports negative news about the major political parties even-handedly. But, given the BBC’s essentially wall-to-wall blanket coverage of Labour’s struggles with antisemitism over the past three years, their virtual silence over the Conservative Party’s astonishingly prevalent, and increasingly blatant, issues with Islamophobia and outright racism justifiably leave a vast amount of people across the country wondering just how neutral the BBC really are in the matter.
On Monday, Evolve Politics released an article documenting how two Tory politicians were actively running a Facebook group where members routinely ranted about bombing mosques and shooting immigrants (amongst many other despicably racist posts) – a story which has now been seen by more than half a million people across all platforms.
However, despite the utterly disgusting nature of the posts and comments in the Tory-led group – many of which break hate speech laws, and possibly even anti-terrorism legislation (added to the fact that Tory Politicians were literally overseeing such disgusting racism) the BBC have made the decision to completely ignore it.
However, this incidence of the BBC intentionally ignoring a massively popular story documenting blatant Tory racism is far from a one off case.
To prove the point, if you search across the entire bbc.co.uk website on Google, there are 72,900 results for articles and news reports including both the words “Labour” and “Antisemitism”.
But when you repeat this search, but instead replace the words with a whole host of linguistic possibilities for the governing party – “Tory” and “Islamophobia”; “Conservatives” and “Islamophobia”; “Tory” and “Racism”, and “Conservatives” and “Racism” – you are returned with just 307, 757, 7,210, and 3,570 results, respectively.
At the very least, the BBC are unquestionably reporting Labour’s struggles with antisemitism at least 10 times more widely than incidents of racism within the Conservative Party.
Furthemore, when analysing the tweets of the BBC’s two most high profile Political correspondents, Laura Kuenssberg and Iain Watson, the discrepancy in reportage becomes even more ridiculous.
33 of Kuenssberg’s tweets contain the words “antisemitism” and are about the Labour Party, whilst a further analysis shows that more than 100 of the BBC’s Political Editor’s tweets and Retweets have been about the issue, but simply fail to contain either words.
Furthermore, 70 of Iain Watson’s tweets have contained the word “antisemitism” and are about the Labour Party. A further analysis also shows that more than 150 of Watson’s tweets and Retweets have been about the issue but fail to contain either words.
However, despite the huge amount of tweets about Labour antisemitism, their coverage of the Conservative Party’s increasingly obvious problems with Islamophobia and racism has been virtually non existsent.
Just two of Kuenssberg’s tweets containing the word “Islamophobia” – only one of which is actually negative about the Tories, whilst the other is from two days ago and only contains the word in an article preview. Whilst, ironically, the one single tweet from Iain Watson contaning the word “Islamophobia” is a tweet from yesterday barracking people who claimed that he and the BBC were ignoring the issue of Islamophobia!
So, it is fair to say that all the evidence clearly points to a massive difference in the BBC’s coverage of Labour’s struggles with antisemitism in comparison to the Tories issues with Islamophobia and racism.
But, I hear you ask, couldn’t this massive discrepancy in the BBC’s reporting simply be because Labour’s problems with antisemitism are far more prevalent than the Tories’ issues with Islamophobia and racism?
Well, all the evidence actually seems to suggest the exact opposite is actually true – with a report from the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate clearly showing that Islamophobia and racism was rife throughout the Conservative Party.
Moreover, just a quick search through Evolve‘s news stories shows an absolute avalanche ot Tory members and officials being exposed as brazen racists or Islamphobes – nearly all of which were completely ignored by the BBC.
And if this weren’t enough proof, an astonishing 36-tweet Twitter thread from last year documented at least 165 separate cases of racism and Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.
And now, the spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, Miqdaad Versi, has gone even further, publishing an absolutely astounding 58-tweet Twitter clearly exposing the disgustingly rampant scale of Tory Islamophobia (click tweet to open):
My latest in the @guardian on the Conservatives turning a blind eye to Islamophobia in their Party despite the scale of the issue.
This thread will highlight some of the "monumental weight of evidence" of the problem.https://t.co/ioxl7zEzHg
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) March 2, 2019
And understandably, Versi also slammed the BBC for their increasingly blatant under-reporting of the subject, tweeting that whilst he believes the BBC are a “brilliant institution“, it is clearly “wrong to say” that they have “covered the topic of Tory Islamophobia well“:
The BBC are a brilliant institution.
But it is wrong to say the BBC has covered the topic of Tory Islamophobia well (speaking as a monitor of the news). The thread below highlights the scale of the problem, most of which has gone unreported.https://t.co/MHdEAjViHO https://t.co/eosCvHhw16
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) March 2, 2019
The scale of Tory Islamophobia is clearly without question. But the BBC – for whom all UK citizens should be able to rely on to report the news accurately and with balance – are making an absolute mockery of their own supposed “imparitality” with their intentional ignorance of this increasingly worrying problem.
Whilst Labour clearly have a problem with pockets of antisemitism within their ranks – one which the leadership actively admit and are attempting to deal with – the Tory Party are in absolute denial about their own, arguably far more prevalent, racism problem.
And, despite the fact that major figures within the party – including Baroness Warsi and the party’s own Conservative Muslim Forum – have been shouting about the issue for years, Britain’s supposedly impartial broadcaster seems to be wilfully allowing them to get away with it.
The media in this country is clearly broken – and the BBC’s increasingly obvious bias is at the root of it.