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”?