Saturday, 24 January 2009

Just in Case Anyone's Missed This - Beeb and DEC

I know I'm well behind the curve here, as you can get the story from any of these excellent news nodes:
Socialist Unity
Enemies of Reason
Lenin's Tomb
Beau Bo d'Or
Stop the War
Tony Benn
and of course weirdly, the BBC.

Anyway, for anyone who did miss - this apart from wondering where you've been living, in a chinese pipe? - here's roughly what's happened:

Palestinians who've had their hospitals, schools, universities and UN aid buildings reduced to rubble, who've suffered the loss of 1,400 of their fellow countrymen, women and children and trying to treat 5,400 wounded. People who've seen their medical workers attacked. People who in their hundreds of thousands have no access to drinking water and food, and most of whom do not have a stable electricity supply, apparently don't constitute 'humans' enough to have their situation called a 'humanitarian crisis'.

The Disasters and Emergency Committee wanted the Beeb to carry adverts launching an appeal for Gaza, and the Beeb said that it wouldn't because it might be seen as biased. The other networks promptly used this as an excuse not to carry it either.

Presumably, in order for the Beeb to carry the ads, Hamas will need to inflict a comparable level of damage on Israel. (Note, comparing population figures for Israel to those in Gaza, I estimate that Hamas would have to kill around 6,500 Israelis and injure 25,000. Current civilian casualties in Israel from Hamas stand at 3. Time to get busy with the rockets I'm afraid, if you want any money for reconstruction!).

It is interesting to note that even the government, who have actually supplied some of the weaponry that made this disaster possible, have criticised the Beeb on this one.

Anyway, please protest to the Beeb about this. 03700 100 222.
Update: or here

Update updated:
Here's my polite, almost wheedling complaint...

There is no case to answer over issues of 'balance' - this is about the alleviation of human suffering, pure and simple. Indeed the logical corollary of your alleged concern for balance here would be to encourage a proportionate crisis in Israel, given that you are unwilling to support attempts to help the men, women and children who are suffering in Gaza. The deprivation and kiling of Israelis would be the only way to restore 'balance' here, and as I can't believe that is the BBC's policy, I equally can't believe that the BBC will not throw its weight behind the judgement of 13 humanitarian agencies but stand by whilst people die. Please rectify this situation immediately and reverse your decision.

There are other harmful consequences of this decision. Your reluctance to follow the only honourable course of action in this has given other networks pause and further reduced exposure of the DEC's campaign. This is a wrong decision and I refuse to believe that the BBC's management are not aware of it, especially given Mark Thompson's flannelly response to criticism.

I never thought I would see the day when I sided with the Daily Mail and the other private sector rivals who would see the BBC castrated, but this is ludicrous decision with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Palestinian people and I must repeat: please reconsider your decision.

I want to complain regarding the BBC's refusal to carry the DEC's Gaza campaign. Given the suffering of the people in Gaza (84% of the population have no access to a secure supply of food, for example) and the dire state that the recent Israeli onslaught has left the already fragile infrastructure in the Gaza strip, it is clear that this constitutes a humanitarian crisis of the gravest kind.

Updated Update Updated:
I have now received a meaningless boilerplate from the Beeb. Cheers the Beeb. Oh wait, actually, fuck you.

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