Complaint to the BBC about “far right” label

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

I was browsing the BBC News website this morning and started to read an article on the “far right” English Defence League (EDL).

The BBC has an obsession with the term “far right”, applying it to any organisation that speaks out against unfettered immigration and criticises Islam or multiculturalism.  In general, I think the BBC is a good thing but their institutional left wing bias really gets on my tits so I’ve sent this complaint:

It is increasingly common to find protest groups and political parties referred to by the BBC as “far right” when they hold views that are not mainstream.

The term “far right” is not a synonym for “different” or “extreme”, it refers to an extreme right wing ideology.  In Europe, the right wing of politics is conservative, liberal, generally christian and monarchist.  Racism is considered to be a trait of far right politics (although the same is equally true of the far left) but by no means the sole or overriding defining criteria.

The BBC labels the BNP as “far right” yet the BNP is a nationalist socialist party advocating nationalisation of industry and illiberal curtailment of freedom of the press.  Yes, they are racist but they are not conservative or liberal.  They have some traits of the far right but their core ideology is a national socialism which is very much a left wing ideology.  In reality, the BNP are a far left party.

The BBC also – bizarrely – refers to the EDL as “far right”.  The EDL is not a political party, nor is it a political organisation.  It has no political ideology at all and campaigns only against Islamification and unfettered immigration.  Whilst the cause of, and answer to, Islamification and unfettered immigration is politicial, so is the cause and answer to high fuel prices and food prices yet the motoring organisations and charities campaigning against those aren’t given left/right wing political labels.

Finally, why do you not use the term “far left” in the same way that you do far right?  I appreciate that the BBC is awash with Guardian-reading communists but there are prominent organisations like the laughably named fascist group “Unite Against Fascism” who are quite evidently far left extremists bent on violence and the suppression of freedom of speech and suppression and advocates of the sort of far left society that George Orwell warned about.

So my complaint is three-fold really and there are therefore three questions that I want an answer to:

1.  Why do you mis-label left wing organisations such as the BNP as “far right” when they meet only peripheral right wing criteria that can be equally applied to the far left and their core ideology is left wing?
2.  Why do you label apolitical organisations like the EDL as “far right” when they have no political ideology?
3.  Why don’t you label left wing extremists like UAF as “far left” in the way you label what you insist on calling right wing groups as “far right”?


  1. Andy Nicholas (7 comments) says:

    Probable reply, ” We don’t answer questions from fascists.” Its a vicious cicle really.

  2. Stan (222 comments) says:

    I’m not sure that describing any party as “left” or “right” wing is particularly helpful.

    You say that the BNP are Left-wing – Quite apart from it’s belief in white supremacy, the BNP has pledged to repeal the Human Rights Act, supports the reintroduction of Section 28, is opposed to free trade unions, opposes comprehensive education and supports Britain’s continued possession of nuclear weapons – all of which I would consider to be right wing views.

    Wasn’t it Nick Griffin who described the BBC as a “thoroughly unpleasant ultra-leftist establishment” during his appearance on Question Time?

    This would be the same “left wing” BBC whose political team includes: former editor of the Sunday Times and now chairman of the Tory-supporting Spectator Andrew Neil, former Tory defence secretary Michael Portillo, former chair of the Young Conservatives Nick Robinson and former deputy chair of the Federation of Conservative Students Robbie Gibb.

    And would that be the same guardian who told it’s “communist” readers to vote Lib-Dem at the last election?

  3. Tracy Rykiel (2 comments) says:

    Hi, I ve had a look your post I don’t think there is any difference anymore between left and right.

  4. Tracy Rykiel (2 comments) says:

    Great post, even if i don’t understand what “right” and “left” wing mean anymore…

  5. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Here is an interesting thing, that is coming up with the AV referendum, because we, the welsh and irish are all having elections on that day, our turn outs will be higher, so we might get to ‘decide’ what happens.

    That is, England votes no but due to such a low turnout, the yes votes in the hairy ginger parts of the country, which are larger due to us having our own elections that day turn it to a national Yes!

  6. John (37 comments) says:

    Stan, the BNP are not a white supremacy party! Wonko has it about right, they are of the left in so many things. Even the anti Immigration policy is based on Legislation that is on the statute books.
    That said they do have ideas to revitalise British Industry and Agriculture and the basic attack on the way money is produced by Banks from thin air does ring true. We should do an Iceland and tell the masters of the Universe to do one!

  7. Stan (222 comments) says:

    “Stan, the BNP are not a white supremacy party!”

    Hi John, I suppose will have to agree to disagree on that one

    The point of my earlier post was to say that there isn’t much point in calling a party left or right wing. The BNP have some left and some right wing policies but as no one wants to be seen to have anything in common with them, parties on the left label them right wing and parties on the right label them left wing.
    As far as I’m concerned just refering to them as the BNP is enough.

  8. […] to take a somewhat uncritical view of the EDL. UKIP Bedfordshire Councillor Stuart Parr  has complained to the BBC, claiming that the EDL is not “a political organisation.  It has no political […]

  9. […] Bedfordshire Councillor Stuart Parr has complained to the BBC, claiming that the EDL is not “a political organisation. It has no political ideology […]

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