Caught Red-Handed? BBC passes off Socialist Party activist as ‘ordinary’ interviewee

The BBC has once again overstepped its remit in disguising a Socialist Party member as a non-political member of the public

Matt Whale speaks at the Socialism 2011 conference
The Commentator
On 24 August 2012 12:27

News reaches The Commentator of another inglorious moment for Britain’s state broadcaster.

This week, a Trotskyist campaigner was interviewed by the BBC (38mins), which attempted to pass him off as an ‘ordinary’ unemployed member of the public.

Although Matthew Whale has appeared on BBC programmes before, for what appears to be the sake of having an anti-government, ‘Joe Public’ voice on the show, BBC Radio 5Live conveniently passed over the man’s hard-leftist activist background.

Introduced as a member of the public who says it is impossible for him to get a job, Matt Whale told the BBC of his scorn for the government, how he was unable to go to university because he didn’t have a job (a factually flawed argument even by the BBC’s standards)

20-year-old Matt Whale was an organiser for the 2011 Jarrow March, led by ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’, which lists itself as a campaigning organisation fighting ‘their system’.

It is clear from Whale’s appearance on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show who he believes ‘they’ are.

Far from staying on topic about why he cannot seem to find a job, Whale digresses into a rant about the government being “for the rich”, stating, “I am right to blame the bankers because the bankers are to blame”. He asserts, “[The] core reason why we are in this situation, it was the bankers and the speculation on the stock market that caused this crisis… they aren’t being made to pay for this crisis."

While the statements above can be agreed upon by many on the Left and Right, the fact that the BBC are parading around a political activists as a ‘normal’ guy just trying to get a job is another indication of a slant in BBC reporting.

For those who claim that the BBC was unaware of Whale’s ‘day job’ as a socialist activist, one simply Google Search would have done the trick, bringing up Whale’s Twitter feed and a video of him speaking at Socialism 2011.

From this video, you can even find a video of Whale previously appearing on the BBC, promoting the aforementioned Youth Fight for Jobs.

While members of political parties should not be precluded from appearing on the BBC for discussions, it is imperative that the BBC presents these people for what they are – activists, politicians or campaigners, rather than passing them off as members of the public.

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