Thursday, May 30, 2013

The BBC and its bias towards pro-immigration lobby: Report accuses 'left-wing Corporation of downplaying violence by Islamists'

The BBC gives too much weight to pro-immigration voices and ‘almost totally ignores’ the negative social impact of multiculturalism, a new study has claimed.

The corporation suffers from left wing ‘groupthink’ that prevents its journalists from challenging institutional bias and results in pro-immigration ‘propaganda’, according to the research published yesterday.

It was also accused of ‘downplaying’ violence by Islamists while being happy to criticise Christianity and report on the activities of other violent extremists.

The report, by independent think-tank The New Culture Forum, looked at coverage by BBC news and current affairs programmes since 1997.

It comes as the BBC undertakes an ‘impartiality review’ by former ITV and Sky executive Stuart Prebble to see whether it gives ‘due weight’ to a full range of opinion on controversial topics, such as immigration.

The study’s author, Ed West, concluded: ‘In its coverage of the topic of immigration, the BBC has given overwhelmingly greater weight to pro-migration voices, even though they represent a minority – even elitist – viewpoint.

‘And in its coverage of the economic arguments for and against immigration, it has devoted somewhat more space to pro-migration voices.

‘In terms of the social costs, the BBC has almost totally ignored certain areas. The more awkward a subject is for polite society to deal with, the less coverage the BBC gives it.’

He added: ‘It would be no exaggeration to say that a foreigner who subscribed only to the BBC might visit this country and be blissfully unaware of many of the social problems associated with immigration.’

According to the study, it is ‘common practice’ for the BBC to give a platform to multiple pro-immigration spokesmen with no dissenting voices.

Mr West said: ‘Between 1997 and 2013, of the hundreds of immigration news reports that I have personally watched, listened to and read, in literally just a handful have anti-immigration voices not been outnumbered.’

The report was particularly scathing about a BBC Online article on ‘Migrant Myths’ published in 2002.

The article said the idea of the ‘scrounging, bogus asylum seeker’ was a ‘misconception’, while opponents of mass immigration were guilty of ‘racism, political opportunism, misinformation, media mischief-making and sheer cowardice’ as well as genuine concern.

Mr West said: ‘However laudable its intentions may be, a feature like this – which presents only one side of the argument – is propaganda.’

He said BBC bias was often unintentional or provoked by ‘basic decency’ and a desire to protect the underdog.

But he said by focussing on personalised, emotive cases of asylum seekers and immigration success stories, the BBC failed to cover the views of ‘working class natives’ or to ask awkward questions about the difficulties of integration.

Damagingly, in the wake of the Woolwich killing last week, the study accused the BBC of failing to report accurately on violence by Islamic fundamentalists.

It said: ‘In contrast to violence perpetrated by white-skinned extremists, the BBC tends to downplay any violent activity on the part of extremists.’

It added: ‘The BBC feels uncomfortable tackling Islamic extremism or aggression by minorities; it feels more at ease to see Muslims as victims of racism or Islamophobia.’

In 2010, the BBC’s then director general Mark Thompson accepted the corporation had once been guilty of a ‘massive’ Left-wing bias and admitted its coverage of immigration and Europe had been ‘weak’.

He said: ‘The BBC doesn’t always get it right. I think there are some areas, immigration, business and Europe where the BBC has historically been rather weak and rather nervous about letting that entire debate happen.

In 2007, a BBC Trust report into the BBC’s impartiality found the corporation had self-censored subjects it found unpalatable.

The BBC said coverage of immigration is ‘impartial and balanced’, but Trustees are carrying out a review to see if ‘due weight’ is given to a range of opinions on hot topics.


A libertarian case against mass immigration

The consensus among modern libertarians seems to be that free immigration is the only libertarian stance possible in this debate because of the ‘economic benefits’ and that those who oppose free immigration are just statists who want the government to control who can and can’t move about from here to there.Conversely, it is my opinion that a state policy of open borders amounts to an infringement of property rights and that, consequently, border controls tighter than those currently in force are perfectly compatible with propertarianism, though certainly not compatible with the modern, vile, Marxist flavour of libertarianism to which many of us have become accustomed.

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is a right-wing, populist party which advocates a reduction in taxes, exit from the European Union, and full control of UK borders by the UK government.On the whole, I think the way to summarise UKIP’s stance on the topic in question is: an end to multiculturalism and allowing people to enter the country only on a work-permit basis.Those libertarians who consider themselves cosmopolitan and tolerant may cry ‘racist’ and ‘far-right’ at such policies, but I wholeheartedly support them.Hoppe did advocate something similar to UKIP in his 1999 article, which was “…requiring an existing employment contract with a resident citizen” for any immigrant.

It does not help the libertarian movement in the UK when self-proclaimed libertarians like Sam Bowman, of the Adam Smith Institute, write such things as “…immigrants bring new skills to the country, allow for more specialization, tend to be more entrepreneurial than average, pay more in to the welfare state than they take out, and make things cheaper by doing the jobs that Britons won’t.”2This is true, yet Bowman is only arguing from an Austrian economist’s viewpoint with no conception of absolute rights.Yes, real incomes may well increase as a result of mass immigration, but the answer to the immigration question is not that simple.As libertarians, we must take into account the rights of individuals: property rights.3

Indeed, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, a sound Austrian economist himself acknowledged all of the arguments made by Bowman and more in his 1999 article on Immigration:

“The classical argument in favor of free immigration runs as follows: Other things being equal, businesses go to low-wage areas, and labor moves to high-wage areas, thus affecting a tendency toward the equalization of wage rates (for the same kind of labor) as well as the optimal localization of capital.An influx of migrants into a given-sized high-wage area will lower nominal wage rates.However, it will not lower real wage rates if the population is below its optimum size.To the contrary, if this is the case, the produced output will increase over-proportionally, and real incomes will actually rise.”4

However, Hoppe – who helped to change my mind on immigration – still does not support a policy of mass immigration.In fact, Hoppe calls for a return to the time when monarchs would take it upon themselves to take out the ‘human trash’ and argues the case for near-closed borders.For the remainder of this essay, it is my attempt to explain my position in terms of property rights and justice rather than the laws of economics.

Ignore governments for a moment.Abandon any thoughts of a state existing and forget any such talk of ‘immigration policy’.Let’s now talk purely and simply about our ‘rights’ to ‘move’ within this free society.For example, do I have any right to move onto my neighbour’s property without his consent?

Furthermore, even if we call it migration, do I have a right to burgle a house?All rights we have stem from our rights to the property that we have acquired or been granted use of and thus it is plain wrong – and stupid – to talk of any ‘rights’ to move onto anyone else’s property without negating the concept of exclusive rights to property itself.Even if, while I break into your house to steal your television, I empty my wallet onto your couch to compensate for the robbery before I quietly leave, it can’t be said that I ever had any right to break in in the first place.

But government blurs the issue beyond recognition.Firstly, we are so used to and comfortable with the idea of an ‘immigration policy’ – meaning merely the government’s interference in the movement of people from one person’s property to another – and secondly, the government has ‘acquired’ property which it calls its own.To be sure, no consistent libertarian can think of ‘government property’ as anything other than an oxymoron; the state has no just property and all that it possesses belongs to its original appropriator or his heirs.And there are only two ways in which an immigration policy can unfold: either it becomes forced integration or it becomes forced segregation.

Accordingly, then, we must choose between the lesser of the two evils.Forced integration can be viewed as nothing less than the government allowing swathes of burglars into one’s home; nobody, but the state which is a criminal, gave the immigrants permission to enter ‘their’ property.As the state has decided to assume that it owns the borders and most of the country, it can be further said that the present population of the country must consent to further entrances to it.Anything less than a total consensus on free immigration from the present citizens is unsatisfactory as everyone has absolute property rights which can’t be violated – not even by majority consent.


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