Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Panorama stitch-up

“Tonight’s Panorama,” intoned Jeremy Vine in his Most Serious Voice, “will be an eye-opener for anyone who says that Britain has become a more racially tolerant place.”

Well it was revealing, but not for that reason. Here was the plot: a pair of Mancunian Asian undercover reporters decide to make a Panorama programme about racist bullying, so they rent a house in Southmead, the roughest estate in Bristol, and walk around the streets for two months in full Muslim gear seeking out racist bullies to be racially bullied by, until they have accumulated enough footage of racist bullying to make a half-hour Panorama programme about racist bullying. Cue handwringing headline: Britian is still racist! Or, on our local BBC news: Bristol is still racist! Or in the Community Meeting featured in depth on our local news: Southmead is still racist!

Except of course they weren’t bullied by Britain, or by Bristol, or even by Southmead, all of which are chock-full of non-racists; many, many more non-racists than there used to be 20 years ago. They were bullied by a small gang of vile, feral chav kids. I’ve no idea why the Panorama reporters thought there was anything special about their race or religion in this. Small gangs of vile, feral chav kids will be vile to you and make your life a misery if you’re Muslim, black, Chinese, ginger, disabled in any way, or just vaguely middle class-looking.

The revelation of the programme, of course, was the true depth of the liberal, socialist BBC Guardianista's loathing of the white underclass. The only real-life victims on camera were not the undercover Asian reporters (they were actors from Manchester), but the white kids, born without any sense of self-worth into a system of hopeless, circling welfare-dependency. The undercover reporters have now left Southmead and gone back to their real homes. The chavs are still there, and in a few years they’ll be churning out another generation of self-loathing, vile, bullied, bullying, hopeless welfare-dependent chavs into the system created and supported by the liberal, socialist BBC Guardianistas who will then send spies to make more television programmes about how awful and intolerant they are.

28 comments:

worm said...

so true.
I would say that in general, Bristol has to be one of the more racially harmonious cities in the UK. Certainly whenever I used to go clubbing there in the 90's it was always a true mix of black and white, much more than in any other city I've been clubbing in.

It's the ultimate irony of New Labour and the Liberals getting their knickers in a twist about the dreaded BNP - they damn the BNP without acknowledging that the main reason why the BNP exist and are gaining in popularity is because the Labour party no longer represent the white working class, the very people that the labour party was founded to serve.

Brit said...

Yes, although I'm also dubious about the assumption, which seems to be accepted now, that the BNP is 'gaining in popularity'. Fewer people voted for them at the most recent Euro election than at the previous one (they gained seats only because Labour suffered such a crash in support).

The repulsive toad Griffin is on Question Time this Thursday, btw.

worm said...

so if they are not gaining in popularity...

the labour stance is obviously to use the BNP as a foil to make themselves look better by reflection, thus gaining votes.

do you think that in some strange Ballardian way, the Labour party NEEDS the BNP, feeds off it and keeps it alive?

Swineshead said...

My God. Quite the most idiotic article I've seen in some time.

Congrats on shrinking your mind and narrowness of vision to the size and width of a petit pois!

Swineshead said...

In one paragraph these 'feral kids' are 'vile', in the next they're 'victims'.

Bizarre. Again - hats off!

Gaw said...

Panorama is quite silly nowadays. I've given up watching it.

But the existence of the social class you describe has got to be the biggest, most complex and most intractable problem this country faces. I'm not sure what the solution is but we certainly need to try something other than unremitting welfarism. Next up is be the expected implementation of IDS's plans by the next Tory government...

Brit said...

God, I'm not sure I'm that cynical about it, Worm. I suppose a 'keep the BNP out' agenda might help them combat the protest non-voting by their natural supporters. The BNP gained seats only via increase of proportion of votes, not through increase in number, so obviously they have no chance of sending MPs to Parliament in first-past-the-post elections, and when some sort of normality returns next time around (when Labour are in opposition), the BNP proportion will drop accordingly and they'll probably lose those Euro seats. Re: Griffin's appearance on QT, there's two schools of thought: given them the oxygen of publicity and they'll choke on it (ie. their nonsense arguments will be exposed); or don't give them a platform. I think I just about favour the latter on the grounds that all publicity is good publicity, and so they are best ignored or at least refused serious attention.

But going back to Panorama, this programme showed once again how TV is the Great Liar. There was a recent 'Secret Millionaire' which made Barnstaple (which has a few problem areas but is overall a nice little town) look like Chav City for the purposes of its narrative. The Devon tourist board is bloody furious. Southmead residents are bloody furious about Panorama.

As NN Taleb put it: avoid the news media, it decreases your understanding of the world.

---

Swineshead: they're vile yes, and, from a social engineering POV, they're victims. It is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Swineshead said...

Fair enough - I accept that argument because they clearly are at the bottom of the heap and that breeds resentment.

But that bittnerness is their problem rather than their neighbours, and there's no excuse for their racism. One sentence in your text making that distinction might've made the article less incendiary. And it might've made me less inclined to leave an insulting comment.

Brit said...

Perhaps you could try thinking and reading a bit before making insulting comments?

I've discovered that it rarely pays to assume other people are the damn simplistic fools you want them to be, before you have acquired sufficient evidence. They generally turn out to be a quite different, more complex kind of damn fool.

Swineshead said...

I don't think it was an overreaction. Your article is confused and doesn't condemn the racists in the show anywhere near enough, then boils down the argument to 'it's the government's fault' which is simplistic at best. This is not purely a class issue.

Also - minus points for the lack of originality in the use of the tired term 'Guardianista'.

Brit said...

Why should the the vileness of their racism need spelling out by me? It goes without saying, so I'm pointing out something less obvious than the fact that racism is vile. I assume a certain level of intelligence in my readers - you've only just stumbled on my blog so you wouldn't know this.

Swineshead said...

If you don't spell these things out, the casual reader is bound to make that assumption. It's unfortunate, but it's the only way to cement your position.

And I stand by the fact the article is too quick to condemn the powers that be, without detail, and too quick to excuse the idiots on ground level in the doc.

It's important to show the reality of racism. People do actually forget it exists.

Having said all that, your follow up comments have all been decent and I'm not really up for a flame war. I'll continue to read your blog.

Brit said...

Thanks, well I'll be clearer then: my article boils down to a criticism of television, not the government. They made this show about 'racism in Britain', and they want all of us Britons to beat ourselves up about how awful and racist we are. But they could just as well have sent a white disabled person undercover to walk amongst Southmead chav gangs and get bullied. Then the headlines would have been Pilkington-style ones. The problem being exposed here is not racism in Britain, it's chavs in Britain.

So moving on, the question they should be asking is, as Gaw suggests: what do you do about chavs?

(I don't have a simple answer, I only know that welfarism isn't it. And though I do sneer tolerably about Guardianistas, I'm not cynical about community programmes etc).

malty said...

The BBC is the media's equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde, occasionally producing a programme capable of reaching out to the British people..Strictly is that rare thing, Hollywood beaten at it's own game. its current affairs programmes and documentaries consist of myopic, single issue, heavily biased drivel. Vine is a good example of a typical BBC understrapper, a twat's twat. Its news programmes are unwatchable, incapable of accurate reporting, their reporters a group of wet behind the ears, believe anything they are told, Walter Cronkite wannabes.
You can watch the news anchor operatives building up their daily dose of hysteria, over bugger all.
Mind you, they lack the psychotic, twitchy rudeness of the C4 news inmates.
As for racism, what can we say? it will never totally disappear but is today not the major issue we are led to believe. The BNP are better out in the open where we, and Fiddler Hain, can keep an eye on them and it wouldn't surprise me if they all wore jogging pants, white, of course.

Swineshead said...

In that case, consider me corrected.

Brit said...

Unusual to find that statement on a blog comment. I applaud you accordingly, good man.

Gaw said...

Thank you chaps. A good, clean fight - v. enjoyable.

Peter Burnet said...

If Steinbeck came out with The Grapes of Wrath today, the Oakies would all be dismissed as racist fundamentalist wingnuts and some leftist sage would make a mint with a book called What's the Matter with the Joads?

I've been blogging for a while on a couple of leftist sites. For the most part they are decent sorts and sometimes we have good discussions, but I learned very early that the moment the R word is introduced (and it never takes much for them to introduce it), we're out of the world of civil discourse and into the Final Battle of Good and Evil. They don't really use the word racist as an adjective, it's more of a fault line that divides human from sub-human and disenfranchises those who disagree with them. That line keeps getting pushed further and further by declaratory edicts, and you're either on one side or the other. I once tried to to pull a few legs by saying I was perhaps just the teensiest bit racist and I was almost attacked by a righteous mob through the computer. They've all the perspective and sense of humour of a Victorian spinster having a fit of the vapours over a couple petting. In some ways they are like Don Quixotes longing for the glory days of apartheid and Jim Crow. And you can be damn sure not one of them will accept any responsibility for nasty reactions like the BNP.

Gaw said...

Brit, I think you've lifted the lid on what's becoming a bit of a moral panic. Here is one thought as to how it came about.

Peter, I think you'll find it highlights one of those little ironies that I sensed you were beginning to relish at the end of your comment.

malty said...

Very well put Peter, a large dollop of pragmatism is required when dealing with alleged racial intolerance, there is a 37 year gap between myself and my daughter and her friends, at times I feel like a cross between Governor Wallace and Reinhardt Heydrich, any attempt on my part to explain that racism is not one of my more enjoyable pastimes and the comment that I had just made came from a desire for harmony, not a state of affairs readily achievable by shoving the subject down our throats every time we switch on a TV set, is met with groans and obscure counter argument. Truly a gender gap.

You calmed down yet Brit? only 10 weeks 'till Xmas you know.

Brit said...

Always calm, Malty, always calm. Comatose, some say.

David said...

Peter: Although, oddly, it would be child's play to get them to admit that everyone, themselves included, is racist.

Peter Burnet said...

malty:

It's even worse with gays. Everything you say not only has to be 100% politically correct in a world of rapidly shifting goalposts, it has to be expressed with a kind of heavy, solemn empathy that signals you are mindful of their existential struggle 24/7. On one of those sites I mentioned above, I once commented that I was fully supportive (I was stretching it a bit, I should have said resigned) of equality and gay marriage, but could they please stop with those appalling parades. I learned some cool new epithets in the comments that followed.

David:

Yes, I've noticed that. Self-flagellation and self-doubt a la Susan Sontag are bred in their bones. They seem to think it makes them look humble rather than just in need of therapy.

malty said...

Yes indeed Peter, another irritant, more guilt that we are obliged to carry. As a part time resident in Koln, Germany's gay capital I think that I have become used, immunized? to that scene, ever week a parade, each one more vociferous than the last, for goodness sake, who cares?
An interesting discussion on Radio Four some days ago about the early struggles of the gay movement had Matthew Parrish and Ian Mckellen in fine form until th interviewer, in mischievous mood, threw in Tatchells name, cat among pigeons.

Peter Burnet said...

malty:

I sometimes wish our American conservative friends were a little more creative humour-wise. The only way I can see to put a stop to these parades would be for some place like Peoria or Des Moines to have a well-publicized and funded hetero parade with the skill and pizzaz only Americans can pull off. You know, floats with couch potatoes watching sports while their wives read Cosmopolitan in frustration, slimey middle-aged lounge lizards trying to chat up bemused young doxies in pubs, guys caught sending racy e-mails to the secretary, that kind of thing. Surely that would end it all, no?

Brit said...

I think it's fine for teenagers to be ever rushing humourlessly to the moral highground. Indeed, there might be something wrong with them if they don't, and they should be tolerated and taken seriously as much as their parents, siblings and uncles can stomach it

New media types still doing exactly the same thing in their 30s and 40s (the kind who can't comprehend that some of those local community volunteers and tireless charity workers actually VOTE TORY, OMG!) should be kicked wherever necessary. I know "Guardianista" is over-used, but dammit it's just so perfect.

malty said...

Capt B had a wonderfull line "the police, the Guardians military wing"

Andrew said...

I just wanted to share this article on the subject of gay pride parades:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28491