Shocking BBC bias as EU summit gets underway
This isn't funny. It's a disgrace to the licence fee payer and a disgrace to basic journalistic standards
When David Cameron's aides were preparing for Thursday's European summit it would have been logical to take a look at what the press was saying.
Across the traditional media they would have found a plurality of views reflecting the broad concerns that British people routinely express when the question of EU membership takes centre stage.
Not if they'd consulted the BBC.
If you open up the BBC website you'll find a prominent article entitled: "Viewpoints: How experts see UK role in EU". It all sounds very promising; just the sort of thing a political advisor would be looking for. Except that when it comes to the EU and so many other subjects as well these days, even the most basic standards of impartiality have been thrown out of the window.
The piece consults no less than seven "experts", every single one of whom is opposed to British euroscepticism and in one form or another encourages Britain to remain a robust member of the EU.
It's not funny. It violates every rule of journalistic objectivity in the book. And it's an insult to British licence fee payers who have a right to expect an even handed approach to all issues, but especially one so central to the UK's vital national interests.
It starts off with the appalling Martin Schultz, the German President of the European Parliament.
"The UK should remain part of the EU, but at the same time, the UK should not preach to other EU member states from the sidelines without being fully engaged in the process," he tells us arrogantly.
But while he doesn't want Britain giving its views on what other states should do, he has absolutely no problem preaching at Britain:
"UK membership is in the British and European interest. The single market benefits the British economy hugely and the EU remains by far the biggest destination for UK trade, accounting for almost 50% of total exports."
Next up is French MP Herve Mariton helpfully telling the British government not to consult the public:
"Playing with the idea of a referendum is dangerous - many people think they can speak about it, but what might happen is that the UK gets out without people realising what is happening, without all the consequences being totally analysed."
Then we get a nice little slap in the face from Emma Bonino, vice-president of the Italian Senate:
"The UK is not the only EU country to strive for referendums on Europe or for powers to be repatriated from Brussels. It is certainly the most vocal and, by far, the most obstinate - to the point at times of being in complete denial of its national interests."
Objective observer number four is Ulf Sverdrup, head of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. His role in the BBC's propaganda exercise is to head off any talk of Britain emulating the Norway model for a relationship with Brussels.
He does a fine job:
"The fundamental logic of the Norwegian model - not wanting to lose the benefits of dealing with Europe, but also knowing that a majority of the electorate is against formal EU membership - might at first sight seem enticing for many in Britain.
"But the Norwegian model, shared with Iceland and Liechtenstein, is complex and costly, as well as problematic in terms of democracy and national interest."
Then comes Conservative Belgian MEP, Derk-Jan Eppink. Coming to the point, he says bluntly: "Leaving the EU would not be good for the EU or the UK. "
The penultimate offering is from Hugo Brady, Irish research fellow at the pro-EU Centre for European Reform. His message is that Britain would be letting the side down for Ireland if we decided to leave:
"The Irish are very uncomfortable with UK talk of leaving. The euro is irreversible for us and it would be complicated to join a looser trading relationship with the UK."
And rounding it all off is a view from Central and Eastern Europe with Radek Sikorski, Poland's foreign minister. His lecture is based on the following underlying ideas:
"It would be much better if British politicians made a patriotic, British argument about the usefulness of the EU to Britain, because I believe your interests, your trade patterns but also your political interests, lie in Europe, and we can achieve much more together."
And there we have it. Not a single analyst or representative offering the view that Britain might do well either out of the EU altogether or with a radically reformed relationship.
We think that this is unacceptable. If you agree, contact the BBC and tell them so, while also passing on this article to your local MP.
We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.