Alex Deane: The BBC's attack on the Freedom Association should not go unpunished
I have made my position on the BBC pretty clear on this site and elsewhere and had intended to let the subject lie for a while.But I'm afraid that something specific has happened that merits a further post.
As Dan Hannan has explained over at the Telegraph, unfunny comedian David Baddiel has a new film out shortly, called The McWhirter Chronicles. To stir up some publicity for it, Baddiel was interviewed by Alan Davies for the imaginatively titled Alan Davies Show broadcast on Radio 5 Live on 18 December.
In the course of that interview, Baddiel said that the Freedom Association is "a very, very right-wing, kind of sub-BNP, slightly posher version of the BNP organisation."
This is not true. It is also typical of the cultural left - elide any organisation you wish to criticise on the right with fascism and racism. To that extent, this sort of abuse should trouble all readers of ConservativeHome, whether or not they are members of the Freedom Association or even sympathise with its freedom- and libertarian-minded aims.
The show's presenter, Alan Davies, went on to suggest that Norris McWhirter, the Association's founder, was a "brownshirt with Mosley". Of course, the BBC had nobody there to defend McWhirter, despite the fact that the whole segment was about him, and of course he's not here to defend himself because the BBC has waited until he's dead before saying such things about him. He in fact served in the Royal Navy during the war.
I gather from Simon Clark that some in Parliament might take up this issue. I do hope so. In the meantime, I urge you to join with me in complaining to the BBC via this link about this disgusting slur, which was broadcast, unchallenged and uncorrected, in primetime by our national broadcaster (for which, of course, we pay).