BBC Editor: Ignoring Immigration Concerns a 'Terrible Mistake'

BBC Editor: Ignoring Immigration Concerns a 'Terrible Mistake'

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson is lashing out at his own company for what he calls “terrible mistakes” in covering the UK’s internal immigration debate. The network, he alleges, decided on its own that concerns about large influxes of immigrants were “not acceptable views” and did not cover them.

Robinson, who is speaking out against his own network’s immigration coverage before the release of the new BBC documentary The Truth About Immigration, has told several media outlets that the new reporting is meant to correct what has been a chronic deficiency in coverage of immigration at the network: that concerns about the potentially negative impact on immigration have been swept under the rug. “Historically at the BBC [we] didn’t have a warts-and-all … debate about immigration,” he told The Sunday Times, because many at the network “thought it would unleash some terrible side of the British public.” 

The end result, he concluded, was an underinformed public facing unprecedented increases in immigration numbers now that Bulgaria and Romania have new arrangements with the European Union on trans-European migration. The topic has been controversial, as public opinion soured on the idea of thousands of Eastern Europeans potentially flooding the UK and burdening the job market. The conservative government has already begun a crackdown on public benefits, aimed at preventing non-British citizens from signing up for public benefits, taking the money, and going home. The UK is already experiencing significant problems with their Muslim immigrant population, which has contributed alarmingly to jihadist causes in the civil war in Syria and caused problems trying to force non-Muslim British citizens to follow Sharia Law.

Robinson added, according to the Daily Mail, that the BBC was too worried “about airing views that might offend some viewers and listeners and not enough [about] the offence caused to people who did not hear their own concerns reflected on air.” This led to silence regarding the potential economic and social consequences of immigration. 

He repeated those concerns last night on BBC’s Daily Politics, arguing that it had been “many, many years” since the UK had anything he could consider a “proper political debate” on the matter, as the subject had reached levels of taboo. The current thawing of the conversation, he observed, had something to do with the changing face of the British public: if many of those British citizens concerned about immigration were not white, but of Afro-Caribbean or Indian ancestry, and the influx of new immigrants was expected to be mostly white, then the fear of the immigration debate becoming fodder for white supremacists was too remote for the BBC to refuse to dismiss in exchange for making the public less informed.

Robinson’s take on the issue on Daily Politics below: