BY BEN PENSANT
There are few institutions more infuriatingly disappointing than the BBC. On paper the Beeb should be cherished by progressives everywhere: state-owned, publicly funded, impeccably PC and overwhelmingly staffed by the kind of people who suffer recurring nightmares about post-Brexit hate crime and Islington kale droughts.
Yet it can’t help but let itself down with its rampant anti-Corbynism, regularly smearing and disrespecting the Dear Leader by reporting stuff he’s said and done. Meanwhile its news coverage constantly abuses Labour MPs, Jezza supporters and anyone else it deems a threat in increasingly vulgar, childish terms. And worst of all, it still employs that Laura Kuenssberg.
The fact that the BBC are yet to sack this Scotswoman who spends more time whining about death threats than slagging off the Tories speaks volumes about its priorities. (BTW Laura, next time you want to report me to the filth for ‘stalking’ why not say it to my face? I’ll be in your back garden at 3am Saturday morning as if you want to discuss this man to mardy cow.)
Thankfully, when the Beeb get it right they get it very right. They did sterling work recently after a group of men murdered a policewoman in Jerusalem before being shot by security forces, bravely reporting the incident as ‘Three Palestinians Killed After Deadly Stabbing In Jerusalem’. Great stuff and rest assured when PM Corbyn takes power his first priority will be editing the BBC’s archives to re-report 9/11 as ‘Nineteen Arabs Killed In Tragic Air Disasters’
And let’s not forget their longstanding attempts to promote diversity by discriminating against white people when advertising low-level positions. This should be applauded from the rooftops, not least by their predominantly white roster of rich presenters, who would be devastated if they thought the people making their tea, ironing their ties and buying their drugs came from anything other than non-Caucasian stock.
But the greatest recent example that the Beeb can still cut the mustard came last week when BBC3 issued a brave rebuke to Islamophobes everywhere by releasing an uplifting video celebrating tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism. Which they did by interviewing women who wear cloths over their faces so men won’t sexually assault them.
Titled ‘Things Not To Say To Someone Wearing A Burqa’ this charming look at the daily micro-aggressions faced by Sharia compliant Muslims featured half a dozen giggly ladies extolling the virtues of covering their faces in the middle of summer. Questions they regularly have to field from bigots include ‘Are you a ninja?’ and ‘How can you be a feminist and wear a burqa?’, all of which they batted away with the kind of wit and good humour you’d expect from progressive women brought up in a liberal democracy.
It was part of the BBC’s long-gestating agenda of normalising mediaeval religious practices, which is why it showed bright middle-class women in full hijab, as opposed to those not so bright and considerably less middle-class women in full hijab – those that liberals like to pretend don’t exist.
In fact, if you closed your eyes they could have easily been typical, educated British women. (Though to be fair, they could also be mildly effeminate builders called Keith from Ruislip for all we know.) Because these are the Muslim women who really matter: not the decidedly un-educated ones across the Islamic world who are denied the basic freedoms enjoyed by the women in the video, such as going out on their own and wearing what the hell they like.
Because as everyone who’s read about Islamic countries in The Guardian knows all too well, these well-spoken, independent women who choose to wear the burqa are a world away from the non-speaking, un-independent women who are forced to wear it unless they fancy being assaulted in the street. Which is why the first group have colourful videos made about them by a state broadcaster while anyone who mentions the plight of the latter or expresses a negative opinion of the burqa is dismissed as a racist by people who think the height of misogyny is calling a barmaid ‘love’.
Luckily, thanks to the modern left’s proudly skewed values we never hear anyone accuse people who attack judges for saying women in short skirts are ‘asking for it’ – of being prejudiced against blokes in wigs. Which is as it should be because there’s nothing more damaging to community relations than holding a reactionary religion that oppresses millions to the same standard as a doddery old men dressed as Santa.
Indeed, it’s a measure of said skewed values that we devote considerable effort to showing solidarity with Western Muslims yet remain unconcerned with the suffering of Muslims everywhere else. And it will stay that way until the West starts forcing Muslim women to wear veils and stoning them to death in which case both will become vile, oppressive practices which must be stopped NOW.
Still, it’s refreshing to know that despite being a nation of beer-swilling, Brexit-voting hate-criminals, there are a healthy minority – Remainers, Corbynites, MOTD presenters – who are proud of Britain’s tolerance; proud of her dedication to freedom; proud that she allows women to go out wearing a bag over their head if they want to. Of course, that the countries in which women are forced to wear bags over their heads have a habit of treating women who dress in Western garb – Mary Whitehouse, The Spice Girls, Lily Savage – somewhat less kindly is of no concern to the left.
Because we’ve done enough damage to Muslim countries without diluting their cultures by enforcing the imperialist notion that women can dress how they like. And if a man decides the sight of a female face leaves him with no option but to rape her, well, that’s the price she pays for betraying her faith by not dressing up as a black lampshade.
So let’s pray this gloriously illiberal tradition continues and the BBC keep doing their bit to promote it. Hopefully we’ll soon get past our squeamishness about Islamic customs and join the Beeb in celebrating them: I look forward to quirky idents in which FGM survivors compare scars and swap amusing anecdotes about how painful giving birth is. And I can’t wait for a wacky segment on The One Show featuring men who had their hands cut off saying how cool it is to have something in common with Luke Skywalker.
In the meantime we leftists must stay on message and defend our values the second some Tory troll suggests leftists are enabling misogyny by embracing the burqa. Please. Much like black people are physically incapable of being racist, so it’s also scientifically impossible for a left-winger to hate women. That’s a fact, it’s in the Encyclopaedia Metallica and everything. Really, it’s such a simple truth even Laura Kuenssberg could grasp it.
And she’s one of the dumbest bimbos around.
Ben Pensant is a Country Squire Guest Writer. His writing is housed here.