BBC’S N-WORD APOLOGY ‘UNHINGED’: Tom Slater (Spiked! 12/8), commenting on the use of the ‘n’ word in a report about a hit and run accident in which the perpetrators had shouted the word at the victim, a black NHS worker, by BBC reporter Fiona Lamdin said the suggestion now being made, that the use of the word was ‘de facto racist’ was ‘unhinged’. Mr Slater noted that more than 18,000 people had complained about the use of the word, a BBC DJ had resigned in protest over it, and InfluenceHers, a group of black professional women had called for a 24-hour boycott of BBC content. He asserted:
‘But apparently the desire of a journalist and a victim’s family to plainly present the facts of a suspected racist attack is irrelevant. The BBC, having originally stuck by the report, has now said it was a mistake and apologised. ‘The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach’, wrote director general Tony Hall in an email to staff. Inevitably, this statement has been met with outrage that he didn’t cave in sooner.’
Mr Slater concluded:
‘InfluencHers, the professional group calling for a BBC boycott, has genuinely said the report’s use of the n-word could itself ‘constitute a race hate crime’. What an absurd, and telling, accusation. The great and the good seem to have spent more time expressing outrage at Lamdin quoting the n-word than they have about K-Dogg having it spat at him while he was run over by a car. This shows just how screwed up your priorities become once you buy into the idea that words really do wound’.
Gary Oliver, also discussing the developments following Ms Lamdin’s use of the ‘n’ word (Conservative Woman 10/8), concluded:
‘Director-General Tony Hall has now overruled the BBC’s earlier justification and issued a mea culpa, but heaven only knows what nonsense will result from his nebulous promise. One can only laugh at BBC bosses. They obsess over internal Diversity and Inclusion, persistently impose the corporation’s metropolitan mores on the rest of the country, yet continue to upset the minority groups to whom they constantly pander.’
BBC DROP ‘RACIST’ KIPLING POEM FROM VJ DAY PROGRAMME: Sebastian Shakespeare (Daily Mail 13/8) claimed that the BBC had dropped a sung version of the Rudyard Kipling poem Mandalay being included in a special programme being broadcast this weekend (15/8) to celebrate VJ day, after the singer Sir Willard White – who was due to have performed it – allegedly objected that a line in the poem was ‘racist’ and refused to sing it. Mr Shakespeare said the line in question was, ‘an wastin’ Christian kisses on an ’eathen idol’s foot’, adding that Sir Willard’s agent, Julia Maynard, had confirmed that he had been due to sing it, though had declined to say whether he had voiced any objections to the poem. Mr Shakespeare said that Phil Crawley, of the Burma Star Association, which still had 1,400 members who had served in the war against Japan, had commented that the poem Mandalay had ‘intense emotional significance’ for members and was a favourite marching tune. He had also noted that Charles Dance had read the poem in a BBC programme about the 2015 celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. Mr Shakespeare said the BBC had declined to say why the poem had been dropped.