Monday, 3 June 2019

The BBC, the Trotskyist and 'toxic politics'

Image result for chris nineham

This morning, as US president Donald Trump arrived in the United Kingdom, the BBC Breakfast programme reported that there would be tens of thousands of people out on the streets of London to oppose his visit.

They also interviewed Chris Nineham who was identified on screen as being from the 'Together Against Trump campaign' and who denounced the 'toxic politics' of Donald Trump.

I must confess that I was unfamiliar with the name Chris Nineham but he came across as an articulate individual, probably in his late 50s, and that is how most viewers would have seen him.

However there is a lot more to Chris Nineham than that.  The son of a professor at Oxford University, he was educated at Westminster School which sits in the shadow of Westminster Abbey in London and is one of the most expensive independent schools in Britain.  

In spite of this rich and privileged background he embraced the politics of the far-left and was a member of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party until he resigned in 2010.

Since then he has been a leading member and spokesman of several front organisations and he is vice-chair of the Stop The War Coalition, an organisation that was set up by the far-left, including members of the Socialist Workers Party.

In case there is any doubt about his own politics, Chris Nineham is a far-left political activist and author.  He has written several books on Marxist politics as well as contributing articles to the far-left Morning Star newspaper.

One of his books, Capitalism and Class Consciousness, explores the ideas of the Marxist Georg Lukacs and another is titled How the Establishment Lost Control.

As regards the Middle East. Nineham was filmed speaking in Strasbourg in 2009.  On that occasion he told his audience:
The resistance of the Lebanese people, led by Hezbollah, and the heroic resistance of the Palestinians in Gaza has, um, constrained and demoralised the Israeli project.
Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organisation and so when it comes to condemning 'toxic politics', Chris Nineham is in no position to criticise anyone.  Most people would regard support for Hezbollah as fairly 'toxic'.

Image result for chris nineham george class consciousnessNineham has also been challenged about the way in which the far-left protests against America while remaining silent about Russia.

So the articulate middle-aged man whom the BBC interviewed today is not merely a spokesman for 'Together' Against Trump'.  

He is a life-long far-left political activist.

The BBC aspires to fairness and transparency so surely it is time for the BBC to consider how it describes such activists and how it interviews them.  

There are two sides to this debate and if there is to be scrutiny of Trump there should also be scrutiny of the protestors.

Viewers have a right to know who is being interviewed and the far-left, whether Marxists, Trostkyists, Stalinists or whatever should not be allowed to hide behind the name of their latest 'front organisation'.