Question Time Platforms Extreme Right-Wing Anti-NHS Group without Telling Viewers about Them

A day or so ago I put up a piece discussing how the right-wing Lotus Eaters on YouTube have decided that healthcare isn’t a right, thus showing their opposition to the basic principle underlying the NHS. But they’re not the only right-wingers, who despise the NHS in the name of absolute free trade and private enterprise. Another of these is the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has been promoting these policies since the 1970s. Northern Irish YouTuber Maximilien Robespierre posted this little video on his channel exposing how Emily Carver, a representative of the IEA, was a guest on Question Time. However, the Beeb did not deign to tell its viewers who the IEA was or what they stood for. And in fact, as the video shows, the IEA are very secretive about both their members and the organisation itself. They’re on a list of political organisations and think tanks ranked according to their transparency. And the IEA are in the red marked ‘highly opaque’.

Carver and her organisation’s secrecy was called out by the panellist representing the SNP. He pointed out that he and the other politicians on the show, from the Lib Dems and Labour, had no need to explain what their parties represented as everyone knew already. But Carver and the IEA were just introduced as ‘a think tank’. Carver blustered some rubbish in her defence about being willing to reveal their members’ identities if necessary, but were really just taking care to protect them. Robespierre also goes on to reveal just what the IEA stands for by showing their entry on Wikipedia. He also shows Carver’s own extreme private enterprise stance with a couple of articles she authored, including one asking if people were finally waking up to how dreadful the NHS was.

In fact the Beeb has form when it comes to platforming right-wing organisations on their news programmes without telling people about their connections. A few years ago a friend of mine pointed out how the right-wing Taxpayers Alliance were frequently invited onto the news to give their opinions on government spending and presented as an independent organisation. This is technically true, but the leadership were all members of the Conservative party, making them effectively a Tory front organisation.

Jacky Davis and Raymond Tallis have an entire chapter in their book, NHS SOS discussing the way the Beeb’s coverage of the health service is biased and supportive of its privatisation. Academics from Glasgow and Edinburgh universities showed a few years ago that the BBC was biased towards the political right, though the Tories and their supporters continue to brand it as left-wing and liberal. The inclusion of the IEA without informing the public of what they stand for is just more proof of the Beeb’s right-wing bias and the supporting someone in the Corporation is giving to the NHS’ privatisation.

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7 Responses to “Question Time Platforms Extreme Right-Wing Anti-NHS Group without Telling Viewers about Them”

  1. Mark Pattie Says:

    I believe that Steve Baker is linked with the IEA. It also didn’t escape my attention that Darren Grimes posted some anti-NHS propaganda on his Youtube channel a few weeks ago. I’m all for free speech, but I draw a frigging line at “defund the NHS” screeching.

  2. trev Says:

    The BBC ought to be a bit more careful when effectively it comes to aiding and abetting the fate of a great national Socialist-principled institution as the NHS, very careful indeed; “ask not for whom the bell tolls lest it tolls for thee! “. If the NHS is fully Privatised then the BBC will be next.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I think in the case of the BBC they’re platforming these awful groups in the hope they’ll be privatised last.

  3. Brian Burden Says:

    “Think Tank” A few years ago, Private Eye routinely, and accurately, for the most part, referred to think tanks as “wank tanks”! IMO, think tanks along with focus groups, are a waste of space, devised simply to advance the opinions of their organisers.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I think you’/re absolutely right. Especially in the case of the Labour party, where focus groups appeared to be a device to allow the leadership to hear what they wanted to hear.

    • trev Says:

      Thinktanks such as the odious and perversely named Centre for Social Justice and Policy in Practice actually advise, devise and greatly influence government policies. There are also other sinister groups and organisations that weild influence yet are not democratically elected by anyone or are even publicly transparent, such as the very shady Institute for Statecraft.

      • Brian Burden Says:

        In his IF comic strip in The Guardian, Steve Bell depicted Thatcher’s own newly created Think Tank as a malevolent-looking little tank which followed her around chanting “Everything you say is absolutely right, Ma’am,” and vaporising anybody who disagreed!

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