The embattled BBC has drawn more accusations of political bias after claiming a statue which was violently overthrown and hurled into Bristol harbour was actually “symbolically lowered” into the water by “campaigners”.
The publicly-funded broadcaster made the claim in a report of the dissolution of Colston Society, founded in 1726, to appease social justice activists demanding the long-dead Christian philanthropist and parliamentarian is expunged from all his former places of honour over his business links to the slave trade.
Referring to the earlier toppling of his most prominent statue by a lawless mob during the height of the coronavirus lockdown, the BBC explained that “Campaigners spent decades calling for the statue to be removed and protesters at the Black Lives Matter rally took matters into their own hands and pulled it down in June,” adding that they “They symbolically lowered the statue into Bristol harbour.
This rather poetic description of events is difficult to support in the face of the extensive video evidence of the incident in question, which shows the statue was not “symbolically lowered” into the harbour but dragged through the streets to it and thrown in forcefully by a jeering mob, clattering off the harbour wall as it went.
— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) June 7, 2020
“The BBC has just referred to Colston’s statue being ‘symbolically lowered into Bristol harbour.’ Funny, I seem to remember a violent, lawless mob being involved, but I’m sure the BBC is right,” remarked the Save Our Statues campaign on social media — likely sarcastically, given they appended the message with the hashtag #DefundTheBBC.
Darren Grimes, a Brexit campaigner noted for his victory over the Electoral Commission following a lengthy legal battle, was equally scathing, comparing the BBC’s coverage of the statue’s toppling to its dubious descriptions of lawless Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
“Why are the BBC acting as propagandists here?” Grimes demanded.
“Symbolically lowered” = Dragged down by a mob in an illegal act of criminal damage whilst the police turned a blind eye
“Peaceful protests” = Officers injured with one facing serious injuries whilst fending off the unruly mob
Why are the BBC acting as propagandists here? https://t.co/5cT1dA8Nko
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) September 14, 2020