Monday, November 01, 2004

BBC bias?

The BBC has picked up the FCO press release on the "Guide to the European Union".

Being the entirely neutral public service broadcasting organisation that it is, it featured the guide on the Radio 4 PM programme, having Eddie Mair introduce it with the following words: "Are you confused by the EU, unsure of what the EU constitution is all about? Well, stop worrying…"

And who does the BBC chose to interview about the guide? No less than the "avowedly pro-EU" Paul Adamson. Adamson is the founder and publisher of E! Sharp magazine, and a trustee of the Europhile think-tank Friends of Europe.

Adamson, unsurprisingly, thinks the guide is "a pretty valiant attempt" to explain the EU and the constitution and gives it eight out of ten for achievement.

He agrees with Eddie Mair, though, that this is "a campaign by stealth", an attempt by the FCO to get us to love the EU, and thinks the reason why the EU is so unpopular is because we don’t understand it.

One hesitates to suggest that if we are reliant on the FCO, we will never understand the EU - which is precisely what they seem to want - so hats off to the listener who got an e-mail off to the programme in time for it to be read out just before the news, saying the reason the EU is so unpopular is because we do understand it.

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