Robin Aitken on BBC Bias, Diversity and Social Liberalism

you know the diversity agenda so-called always amuses me in in in this in in regard to the BBC because okay I'd like to see diversity at the BBC I really would I think it would be a huge advance if we had proper diversity at the BBC some political diversity for instance and maybe some diversity from the current monoculture of social liberalism and a few social conservatives that would be a kind of diversity would it not hello and welcome to trigonometry I'm Frances foster i'm konstantine kitchen and this is a show for you if you're bored with people arguing on the internet over subjects they know nothing about a trigonometry we don't pretend to be the experts we ask the experts are brilliant guests this week is a former BBC journalist an executive Robin akin welcome to trigonometry thank you very much well for anyone who doesn't know you will get into the couple of books you've written about bias of the BBC tell us a little bit about how are you in this chair today what's been your journey through life and how have you come to you know be talking about the issues we'll be talking about today um yes well I'm a journalist and have been for 40 years and more so my Kant journey through journalism if you like was a bit of a march back in time in the days that I started I started out on a local newspaper that my pre story was that I was a medical student and so I started out at Medical School and I was lazy and feckless and the Dean of the medical school had me in and said mr. Aiken you have been outstandingly idle and we can do without you so I left and I became a journalist there's only really two options from that point journalist to become a comedian yeah absolutely I discovered actually that that idleness is not a not an advantage Infantino it's a hard-working professional when you get into it but I started and because of this rather rocky start I started a bottom on a local newspaper in Walsall in the West Midlands the black country although I come from Somerset I was brought up in Somerset and so that was a real education for me because the black country is a real working-class area and I had been brought up in bath and in Somerset in a middle-class environment so I learned an awful lot through that by various stages I made my way first of all for local radio for the BBC and then I was appointed to a reporting job in Scotland and I was the economics and business correspondent for BBC Scotland for some years in the middle of the 1980s and after that I moved down to London I came down to work for BBC News so I was working on the main news outlets what we used to call the firemen's service so you were sort of sitting there on the taxi rank and whatever came up you went and did it involved a fair bit of travel and you got to do you know everything from air crashes to I can't think of a suitable BBC wasn't really into that but you know I get everything anything in anything and then I went to the money program and I worked there for a few years and then a program called on the record which the politics program and then it did a bit of news again and eventually I was hired by The Today programme and Rod little was the editor in those days and he hiked me out of obscurity put me on the Today programme and those were my best years as a reporter really it's a strange dystopian kind of unrecognizable world that you describe where Rod little could be on the Today programme I don't imagine that happening today which I suppose is the subject what we're really talking about so you're a conservative as I understand yeah and you've worked your way through the BBC and your books are essentially your reflections on being a conservative at the BBC what is that like okay well let me just explain something to your constant down now I am a conservative that is true and and I'm a conservative social conservative I would say well and I make the distinction because I think that social conservative values of one are the ones that matter most to me and they are the ones which are most neglected and most discriminated against by the BBC I also happen to be and have been in the past a supporter of the Conservative Party itself so I'm a conservative in both in both senses in in those terms but what matters most to me is social conservative what was it like at being at the BBC it was like being the only black guy in a crowd of white men so when I was at the BBC I've always been interested in politics and I always used to quiz my colleagues about their political affiliations and it became very clear to me from an early stage in my BBC career that I was surrounded by left wingers in short what we were were Liberal Democrats or they were sort of they thought of themselves as centrists but essentially they were on the left or slightly on the Left center-left it became particularly apparent during the Thatcher years because snatcher was such a divisive figure and I had as I said I worked as an economics correspondent and it became clear to me that the in purely economic terms the way we were running the country in the 1970s where we had large hugely loss-making nationalized industries this was a foolish way to run our economy because what we ended up doing was putting a lot of money into industries which were increasingly uncompetitive and if you take Adam Smith the great economist and his Wealth of Nations the idea that the simple idea boils down to this that there's some called competitive advantage so Iceland um has a competitive advantage in producing fish Germany does not why is that well Iceland's in middle the ocean as long as a trawler meant Germany's the middle Europe and doesn't so you let alertly you let Iceland produce the fish Germany produced the cars right in our case in Britain we were very good at some things and still are very good at some things for instance we're very good at many of the service industries like architecture marketing advertising banking these big service industries we're excellent of us in fact we're world beaters we're not so good as it happens at making steel and there are reasons for that built-in reasons why we're not particularly competitive when it comes to steelmaking Thatcher realized that and her whole economic thrust was to move money away from these loss-making industries free them up sell them off see how they could do in the free market and allow the wealth of our nation to be put into more productive and more productive ends but the consequence of that social consequence of that was hugely disruptive and very divisive people lost their jobs it was absolutely awful for many people and the human pain and misery which resulted from that shouldn't be underestimated but I took the view that this was a necessary form of shock treatment to get the country's economy back on track within the BBC you could count on one hand the number of people who thought like that I found myself in the position often of working on programs where they were quite explicitly hostile to – Thatcher and and this hostility was an ideological hostility to what Thatcher herself was doing although she won three big election victories and was obviously popular people understood in the country what she was doing the BBC almost became the official opposition during that time so I found myself as a conservative in BBC somebody who was politically friendless although I have many friends and at the BBC know they're great people to work with you know there're that people like you know they're well educated they're decent polite people but they overwhelmingly come from liberal social backgrounds and they overwhelmingly inclined to the left now I suppose a counter-argument to that is this whenever I look at you know there's a Labour forum on Facebook great people you know anyway um all I see from the Labour forms are brexit Broadcasting Corporation why is Faraj on there all the time you know the BBC is right-wing it's a cabal is it not the fact that as the BBC you know they forgot to put on left and right they're gonna take a pummeling from both sides um well funny enough actually what you say Francis is is exactly the BBC the argument the argument the BBC itself uses to justify its own its own stunts it says well look we're criticized from both sides therefore we must be right however I don't know if if either of you saw did either of you see the interview between a chap called ben shapiro and andrew yeah yes we okay so and i thought that was a very telling interview and the reason I thought it was telling was was this that Andrew Neil is the BBC's in-house right winger he's widely recognized I think you'd agree people see him as a very right-wing personalities right but and that interview went off the rails because Andrew Neil started a line of questioning about the abortion debate in the US and he said he used the words he used was he said he said yes but the you know some of the laws being introduced in some of the states are taking us back to the dark ages these are barbaric laws and he was talking about restrictive abortion laws in the US and Shapiro who is of course a right winger in American terms is a social conservative and he immediately bridled that he said he said you know it he said – he said 200 and he said are you a comment journalist or a you an objective journalist the point being that he was the point he was making was that Andrew Neil had included in the question a very loaded comment that was that these laws which were trying to restrict abortion were taking us back to the dark ages what that showed to me was this that the BBC's most notable most clearly right-wing journalist is actually a social liberal when it comes down to it he's on the side of the social liberal argument the social liberal argument which says that we are we we are liberal about issues like abortion divorce euthanasia sexual moral conduct in general we don't care what you're doing your bedrooms you can do whatever you want in your bedrooms and that's no concern of ours we approve it you can worship whoever you like we don't care about that we don't think it matters and this is the social liberal position this is actually what one of your previous guests on this show Sir John Curtis is exactly what he was saying which is that the dividing line now in the brexit debate is between not between left and right it's between social conservatives and social liberals the point I'm trying to make to you is that yes the BBC gets criticized from the left but underlying it the BBC's stance is solidly socially liberal in fact it has no as far as I know and I believe me I I keep a close eye on it there are no what I would call social conservative voices on the BBC fact they don't invite on for interview social conservatives so the things which concern me as a social conservative not subjects for debate on the BBC let me give me an example you tell me for instance that you were a teacher in an Eastern school a deprived Eastern London School right and you were accounted an anecdote about a child who came from a troubled background one of the biggest problems and facing the country I think in a social sense is the breakdown of family life and and the state can do many things but it cannot act as a substitute for proper parents if you're a boy and you're brought up without a father the consequences of that can be dramatically bad because you have no proper role model you might have a mum who loves you and I'm not knocking single mums some of whom I know do a fantastic job self-denying job to raise their kids but if you don't have a stable male figure with the mum over a long period of time you have bad consequences now that debate which i think is is underpinned so many of the other debates which are picked up endlessly about the BBC for instance how many times have you heard on the BBC people agonizing about the crisis in mental health amongst young people the crisis in mental health among young people is inseparable from the breakdown of family life because mental disorders in young people are very often the result always but very often the result of family breakdown we've had people want to talk about this on this show so we're doing the job the BBC is not doing but to come back to your point about getting height from left wingers we get hate from right wingers to every time we every time we talk to anybody about anything to do with Tommy Robinson we just get this massive wall of hay or how we are Kuck and it starts there happening now the right now is what tell me Robin that's what's happening so we get a lot of that but my point to you by Andrew Neal a counterpoint might be I personally agree with you I think the BBC seems to me as a socially liberally dominated institution but Andrew Neil has eviscerated people like Owen Jones and Munroe Bergdorf and Kant living some beautifully right so you could argue that the reason that he was putting that point to ben shapiro isn't that that is his point of view is that the style of interview that Andrew Neil does is to put the opposite side of the point of view that he's challenging in the strong and sometimes emotive terms as possible in order to I mean let's be honest create clickbait sure and you make a very good point that Neil is a hostile interviewer and a very good interview yeah I mean I would say he's probably the most effective it he's the the most effective effective interrogator the BBC has on the front line however and the reason that interview the one with Shapiro you know we're talking about it now because it made it there was a bit of pickup in the press because it was seen as a bit of a car crash car crash interviews reveals something usually not about the interviewee but about the interviewer you think of Kathy Newman yeah that's exactly right okay so there you heard so the point of these interviews supposedly is to is to put the interviewee on the spot if the interviewer shows their cards and becomes instead of being the interrogator becomes a protagonist in the debate lets their own opinions as it were go up against those of the interviewee not in the formula of some people would say or you know some people might think but as Andrew Neil now in that interview he didn't preface his remarks with some people might think he had he said but these is it but these laws are taking us back to the dark ages that's with his words right it was quite clear after I mean no one after an interview I thought well I didn't learn a lot about jaw I didn't learn very much about Ben Shapiro's views oh nothing I couldn't a guest I learned something about Andrew Neil's views I actually tweeted about this that I thought they both came out of it badly in a way I I and actually I say they both we all came out of it badly because you watched an interview with somebody for 16 minutes and you're nothing about them if you hadn't known who Ben Shapiro was before then you've learnt almost nothing about what are their point of views why is he so incredibly popular in America what is it that he's saying what is his view on Donald Trump which is quite nuanced and and not just massively Pro time so you spent 16 minutes of your life yeah listening to something yes that tells you nothing about the person to whom you just listen it see the for me the difference between the Kathy Newman interview and the Andrew Neil is I think it actually did show something about Shapiro and I think it was an inability to cope under pressure and the moment we had a direct question because Shapiro likes to portray himself as someone who goes up against students and essentially truth bullets and all the rest of it but when he came up as somebody who was at the similar level I don't think he could cope under pressure that was the impression that I got from it well I'd agree with that actually and I'm in fact I I agree with both of you I think they were both losers innocence I and I I do think that Shapiro to me came across as a very brittle rather thin-skinned individual and he couldn't cope with Andrew Neil's gravitas I mean you know Neil's he is a really serious journalist you know he has held all these positions you know he's been the editor of The Sunday Times and times you know he heads up the what I'm saying is here's a seasoned journalist be good at what he does he's bloody good at what he does to me shapiro looked a light-weight sort of he looked young and I was scared I mean didn't handle it at all well and but also I didn't I didn't I would like to have known what it was about Shapiro that as you say made him why is he popular why does anybody you know why was Andrew Neil bothering to interview this guy Shapiro because he's got this huge following in the states why what is it that he's saying we never got to that point no because we got sidetracked into all this kind of into this battle between the two of them which was I would say to Francis as well Ben Shapiro I think came out of a badly because she didn't know her and Rinna was and he was unprepared you go the the reason Ben Shapiro is as big as he is you go and watch him being interviewed by Piers Morgan while Piers Morgan was doing his American show on gun control which is a very difficult issue and he he he comes across as very very calm and measured but also very strong so it it's an issue where everybody did badly I think we all came out of it very badly I mean I think a more prescient interview and I know this will go out when this goes out you know the European elections will be done and dusted but Andrew Mars interviewer Faraj I thought was a disgrace and I'm not probably brexit and I was watching this going why are you not addressing about brexit why are you talking about that's absolutely five ten whatever years ago I could not agree with you more I thought at ten you okay a lot of people don't know the mechanism of these things I do and I know what happens right you've got a big political interview on a show like the marché that is thoroughly prepared for so the production team in a first of all they learned their man midweek and then they have a few days and as some usually bright young junior producer who who puts together a brief and the brief is presented to to tomorrow so he knows everything that you might care to know you know often that with the little embarrassing quotes or little gaffes that the guy has made and then the Maher and the editor senior producer types would sit around there and then they try to plan an interview right so this is this is how we're gonna play it start on this and then at this point you know we'll use we'll start quizzing him about these things which is supposedly embarrassing now um I think I was the wrong game plan because we're not electing a prime minister you know we're not electing a prime minister in these euro elections however well Faraj does he's not going to be walking in the gates of number two it by the time they century comes out you never know maybe already there you know I mean you know basically the thing is so all this stuff that math through it through it Faraj did he say this about the NHS Diddy's what about the poster these were irrelevant issues as Faraj rightly pointed out as far as kept trying to bring the thing back on track and st. but you know and you're ignoring what the issue is here and I do think that Faraj is right when he made the issue of democratic accountability the central thing he wanted to talk about because that is certainly one of the big issues the big issue really in in these elections which are now a few days away from us but by the time you see this will be done and dusted and I suspect we know how that's that's gonna turn out guys we wanted to take a moment to say thank you to every single one of you that has supported us on patreon subscribe start that sent us money through PayPal we could not do the show without you please keep supporting us and if you haven't already please consider doing so because that is exactly what allows us to keep improving the show every single week having said that we've now also got a corporate sponsor to sell out to indeed we have and it is the magazine the week and what the week does is it pulls together the best articles from over 200 different sources from publications such as a Times The Telegraph or for our one liberal snowflake fan The Guardian they do exactly what we do on the show which is pulled together balanced opinions from 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with is that we must leave question time with no deal good because it's just it's unwatchable I couldn't agree more and it's not because it's Faraj or someone else every time I've tried to watch it in the last year maybe watch a five minute clip I just can't watch it know it's unwatchable so what is happening to an institution that I personally think is very important yeah British public life well you would get many BBC people who would say and it would acknowledge the fact that the question time you know has been and still is in some people's eyes one of the most important political programmes of the week so what's happened to it well um it has become trivialized in in a certain way I think I've stopped watching it actually because I I find like you there is something about it which no longer does what it says on the tin so what you want from a parrot or what I want from a program like that is to see serious I want to see the questions which are in the mind of the public put two serious people in politics and hear what their responses are and I think that as a format is a very respectable honorable in fact a vital thing to do in a way but somehow question time seems to have lost the ability to do that properly I'm not quite sure why actually maybe it's to do with I know that they have their debt you know that if you I know that um I know someone actually who has worked on question time as a no I does but and she was telling me that how difficult it is for them to balance the panel right you know it's very difficult at a time when politics seems to be fragmenting to get every point of view so that's one problem but also I think sometimes you know I was started someone else on a slightly different issue but I've started to sell on a friend recently and we were talking about and I was saying you know something has happened in my lifetime is that 3040 years ago no one gave it because about what actors thought about politics right actors had their place and they might be very engaging and good at what they do but no gave a about what they thought because because you know actors spend their whole time pretending to be somebody else what credentials are those what what is it about being an actor that qualifies you to appear on question time to ask a question to answer questions about brexit well frankly the answer to that is absolutely nothing but over the pier over the course of the last thirty years with the suraíhs of the celebrity culture the we've all been sucked into that and somehow suddenly you know what Hollywood thinks matters and I think that's one of the problems with with with with with question time that so the the the personnel if you like has been somewhat watered-down downgraded in a way they're no longer and they're no longer quite serious people that they should be but see this is where I agree with you in theory but I think in practice it's actually quite often the other way around our good friend Jeff Norco who we found on the show who's a comedian every time he goes on the he seems to be the lone voice of reason yeah yeah you know what I mean yeah and so what I'm talking about isn't so much that they've watered down the intellectual talent or whatever it's just that it's it's a they're just bickering yeah well that's so so well that's a very interesting observation so what does that really if they're just bickering and that's very good that's actually a very good description of what you do see so that would tell you wouldn't it that they're not arguing about substantial issues what they're doing is they're squabbling over they're in their own little position they're fighting their own little corner but actually in a way all the politicians are in somehow they have more in common with each other than they do with the rest of us but actually you know the political classes it were and it's bit I think this is becoming clearer and clearer actually because of the rather harsh light that the brexit debate has shown on our politics it's becoming clearer and clearer that that that em that our politicians and our the ruling class the media class so you know the the politicians the the senior journalists the senior academics senior civil servants they United they all share the same view their almost on men their anti brexit I mean you wouldn't have the problem we've had with brexit where it not for the very simple fact than the hassle Commons you've got nearly 80 percent of MPs who are personally opposed to brexit they voted to remain as one factor in the House of Lords is probably 95 percent so what you've got is you've got a ruling class of politicians who are sitting there on top of the pile running the mechanism which is supposed to get us out but they all want to stay in it's no great surprise that you know we've ended up in the muddle we have and I think maybe that's what's maybe that's what's on showing in in question time now they you know they're it's kind of politicians against the people somewhere do you think the BBC's engaged in a race to the bottom because of social media because everybody wants to see a two-minute clip where so-and-so gets in inverted commas destroyed or whatever else so they feel that need to buy into it hence the bickering hence the talking over one of each other hence you know the lack of listening oh you an see if you could just destroy France what do I think about that I think well I think that the there is an ineluctable pressure to go down market in certain respects so the BBC is alerts publicly-funded of course it fills pressure from commercial rivals and so inevitably it has to compete in the same market right in a way it has it hasn't gone quite as low as some of the other outlets for instance I don't know if you ever watch naked attraction so so so I hadn't seen it but when I was writing when I was researching the book I was thinking about and you know the way in which for instance now we can access pornography right at the press of a button you can see anything you want really you've led a sheltered life yeah so anyway I am for the first time I heard about naked attraction I watched it and you know for anyone who hasn't watched it basically it's a it's a genital beautiful Beauty parade right so you people they they they stand there they hold their breaks down and you get a look at either Willy or Fannie and oh this one I like this one I don't this one's a bit sort of tattoo this one's a bit droopy this is the point I'm making is that this I mean you know can means that can't we go lower than that I mean the point is if that is you know that is trash culture yes right I mean you know we like okay well guys there in the room we're all smirking right it's it you know and it's you know wow you know Fanny is on the TV yes great you know but actually you know when you think about it to be a man to be to stand up and be a man and not to be led by your dick your whole life to exercise some self-restraint as best you can is a lesson that every man needs to learn and put into action if you pander constantly to the sexual urge in males a it's almost irresistible for young males and for old males to I mean look you know me I mean I'm not dead yet but you know it's the sex drive is immensely powerful and it can be exploited for commercial reasons which is what pornography does in my view pornography exploits both women sometimes not always but certainly men because males are have this biological imperative we're fascinated by the subject we can't resist images of the other sex and the sex act itself and these things just are immensely powerful drivers of male behavior and if you allow that unrestricted access to that you do damage because I do think actually that I mean I am naked attraction is an example of a sort of creeping pauna fication of television and some mainstream uses it it's in its third or fourth series now so and you know actually funnily enough you know when it first came on there were some complaints to Ofcom the orbital regulator right so people said you know this is indecent show off gamma Idol look at it and they said well actually we don't think it's indecent because basically what this is doing its just a variant on a dating show and and because there's no actual sexual contact it's fine well um forgive me but I think that is really feeble and a pathetic response from Ofcom because but then Ofcom is entirely staffed by social liberals who presumably see nothing at all wrong with a show like that whereas I think actually that it's debasing and degrading it degrades the culture it degrades the individuals who are involved in it it degrades the audience for watching it and I think would be a better happier healthier country now what you've talked about with social liberals do you not think that the problem and the challenges that a lot of these broadcasters face is that certain types of people are attracted to certain professions for example bankers yuju you're naturally they're gonna be more materialistic they're gonna be you know less you could argue less socially conscious they're gonna be more driven because road to cocaine more prone to cocaine absolutely all these sitting all these things I mean there's stereotypes but there's a reason that they exist yes and you don't think that Sochi liberal people are more attracted to being journalists because a lot of people they go into journalism that they have this fantasy you know that they're going to be the one bringing down you know this evil corporation with a big scope and the rest of it how do you bring a corporation down to the news of the world yeah that got to its name sorry it was just a terrible pun yeah oh I just don't ever do that again a number of interesting points one is you're absolutely right that journalists play up to the mental image of the journalist is hearing so you know there's this long-standing tradition of movies and television programs and books where the journalist is the hero character right you know he's the he's the seeker after truth it brings down the big corporation or whatever it is so journalists are very attracted to that as an idea but the the other point that you make about isn't it the case that bankers naturally know that a mercenary instinct is the sort of select or is that it is the reason why people might go into banking and they might not go into journalism but my point is slightly different which is that probably you would find you in fact you would certainly find that the upper reaches of the banking profession is just as socially liberal as is as are the upper echelons of the journalistic profession there was a a sociologist by the name of Peter Berger and he was very prominent in the 1960s in in in America and he he wrote a very influential book about secularization theory and and what he predicted was he said that by the 21st century so he was writing in 1968 death and called thereabouts here is a very prominent piece in the New York Times and it said that by the by the 21st century religious believers would be restricted to isolated pockets beleaguered in a sea of secular of a secular world and he saw this as the future of the world this is 1968 right so in this Sun in the succeeding 40 years you heard what you heard the Iranian Revolution in the ayatollahs kicking out the show you heard the fall of the Soviet Union precipitated let us remember by a sort of by a Roman Catholic subversive resistance in Poland which was the thing which sparked the whole thing of if had the rise of Islamic state you've had all these phenomena phenomena and you've had actually the reconversion of Russia back into a a much more religious state than it used to be so far from being far from fulfilling Berger's prediction that the world would become secularized in fact religion has not gone away and in some ways religion has become more prominent in our world today than it was back in the 1960s but now Berger is very very interesting and very intelligent you know he's someone well worth reading actually but he so he had a long life and in the in the about ten years ago he thoroughly recanted secularization theory he said I got it wrong his new take is this he says that secularization theory is is is carried by a very select elite group of Western people Western type people they have some things in common they are all very well educated they all come from well-educated backgrounds and they occupy senior positions in all those professions and occupations which mold our current reality so in the law in government in the media you've got people who basically subscribe to secularization Theory they are themselves secular they're not believers they are atheistic and materialistic and secular and but because of their influential Pacifica's there in these very influential jobs they of course have a massively disproportionate influence on the way the rest of us think I've slightly lost my train of thought we're talking about why so why would so – what I'm saying is that the is that is that basically it's the same sort of people you would find you would find very similar attitudes at the in the boardroom of goldman sachs as you would in the boardroom at the BBC or in the boardroom at channel 4 or in the newsroom a channel 4 but I guess Francis point is that when we talk about the BBC being biased yeah that's not because evil BBC directors are hiring only people that they agree with it's because what he's saying I think is that you know naturally attract a certain type of person and therefore you get this naturally created actually occurring bias if you like right um yeah I think there is certainly I mean Oh There is obviously truth in that because you know you didn't become a journalist unless you like writing you know it's all it's all you've got to be able to write and you've got to be able to think straight and you've got to be like you don't have an intellectual curiosity about the world I mean I I'd say about you know in my own experience um I went to some fascinating places did some fascinating jobs but what ended up fascinating me most was the organization I was working for and I found it highly resistant to the idea of any critical analysis the BBC's capability when it comes to self examination I'm not great and and so but of course so yes I mean it in one sense of course you're right and and no one who is enumerate goes into banking a suspect and no one who is illiterate goes into journalism so in that sense you're absolutely right what the point I'm making there is that in fact the the elite in Western societies all share by and large the same outlook on life I was we were a conference last week and I was talking to a particularly notable academic from one of the best universities not known in the UK in the world and he was saying that he cancelled his BBC subscription which first of all blew my mind that you know somebody would do it and I said why and he said I don't like the way the BBC reports on certain subjects on certain topics in particular the Julie Jones and he used that as an example and he said that the BBC were ignoring that because it did not fit with their political outlook would you agree with that 100 percent 100 percent you know I think it's deeply ironic the BBC keeps reporting on this idea of fake news right so the BBC has made I mean the BBC has made it absolutely plain that it hates everything to do with Donald Trump it can't stand the man can't stand his platform and it and this shows through in everything it reports about him now the BBC picked up on this phrase which originated with Trump or at least he made it he made it he popularized this phrase of fake news and he said you know the the the mainstream media in the US was full of fake news now what did he mean by that you see I think that this is the critical distinction which people miss things can be accurate news can be accurate but still unfair so if I only relay accurate but negative information about you on my news program I'm being accurate but you're not being fair you know what I says so I was I was raised a Catholic and the the good nuns who raised me used to teach me about the difference between calumny and detraction right so calumny is when you tell a lie about somebody detraction on the other hand is when you tell a truth about somebody but a truth which ought not to be told so maybe private information which is greatly to their disadvantage the BBC is a great detractor of Trump it doesn't it doesn't lie about him what it does is it only tells a negative side of the story the Sheila Joan the flip side of that coin I mean the Jillian of the French version of that the Sheila Joan as I understand it and I haven't he had minimal contact with them personally and that was at a road block in northern France I found them absolutely charming this is France you and I were discussing yes well the fact that what when I look at the BBC News website which is still the place that I go to yeah to see some of the news what I notice is not I don't feel that the story in Acura is just there clearly selected to present a very particular view and nowhere is that more true in my opinion than the diversity agenda and one of the things I wanted to ask you about is the BBC now has policies in place to increase the representation of certain minority groups they have this I saw an article the other day that the BBC want to make sure that 1 out of 7 headline TV presenters is gay or lesbian which made me wonder why they want to reduce the number of gay right so they've got this again they'd seemed like to me in hiring this positive discrimination in favor of certain ethnic minorities and that seems to me now in the world that we live in to be part of a particular mindset mmm that isn't just something that people do just because that seems to be a reflection of a particular view do you think those things are connected I do and you know the diversity agenda so-called always amuses me in in ingress in regard to the BBC because ok I'd like to see diversity at the BBC I really would I think it would be a huge advance if we had proper diversity at the BBC some political diversity for instance and maybe some diversity from the current monoculture of social liberalism and a few social conservatives that would be a kind of diversity would it not I mean the fact is that simply having a colour chart you know color code chart and making sure you've got every you know the right proportion of everyone from from black to Alvino and everything in between and guarantee is nothing about the fairness of the out of the output all it means is that you have window dressed the screen in some way which is thought to reflect modern Britain without doing anything to seriously consider the content of what you're broadcasting which is surely the important thing you know there is no diversity in the BBC in that they in there in that sense they are all social liberals as I really know as we started going about Andrew Neil the great right-wing yeah he's a social liberal there are no social conservatives at the BBC Robin wants his job back how many I'll be no Derek and there are the BBC I reckon there's somebody here discussing it now is the office we have no Albano's this needs to change they want that go from The DaVinci Code but but you see this a lot in comedy and this is one of my bugbears the majority of people in the referendum voted brexit there is only one Pro brexit comedian on the BBC it's Jeff and all got we love you Jeff you're brilliant there should be other comedian of course why is there not anymore well right when he's out funny because that's what people say as if as if being on different sides of the political spectrum somehow effects are funny yeah well I mean oh you know there yeah so why is that okay let's it's a very interesting question you know I've often I often wondered why it was that Jeremy Hardy r.i.p bless him who I didn't find funny at all I thought he was merely a propagandist um you could not imagine someone the obverse of Jeremy Hardy on the right ever been given a platform by the BBC it just wouldn't happen when I was wait I mean so um this comes down to the idea of what is it work here is a very pernicious and insidious way of patrolling the reservation right within the reservation certain things are allowed we're all in the reservation and the reservation is guarded by a liberal elite which allows certain things to be said but certain things are not allowed to be said that's why I've got mine in my book that the noble liar and the idea behind the title of that book is this that the BBC is not a Millian organization motivated to do us harm on the contrary it thinks of itself as being a very good organisation motivated by the best of intentions and it wants to do is all good and that's why it won't allow us to talk about certain things which it doesn't feel a proper to talk about because they're nasty so for instance one might say that the BBC has thrown its protective weight behind the Muslim community in Britain so anybody who attempts to critique Islam is almost instantly labels as an islamaphobe and the effect of that is to crush all comment about Islam and to bully those people who have genuine concerns about Islam and and and the way that it operates it's to bully them into silence that's why you you don't hear those debates on the BBC but there are lots of other things they won't talk about you know the limitations of feminism Rob's decided to lighten the mood feminism his Russian is pricked up yes we must talk about feminism excellent tell me why women are inferior I just like to say that was racist and Francis is getting fired tomorrow I'm sorry well you know I think that um that look my generation of men British men I was born in the 1950s and my generation of British men rapidly came to the conclusion that feminism was making points which could not be refuted in it there is no reason why women shouldn't follow whatever career path they want there is no reason why when they're in that career they shouldn't be given exactly the same opportunities as men however I've got so many jokes in my head I carry on Robin will have to strap in he's gonna start foaming an ideology which which a 90 so so feminism started as a crusade and it started as a sort of outsider crusade it's now become mainstream and its beliefs have hardened into an ideology which have the effect of suborning the interests of others and so you've got the paradoxical effect now that that males young males particularly a beginner and I have met some young men who feel that the Dyson air loaded against them in fact feminism has become divisive and it is no recipe for for harmony between the sexes that we have this constant feminist crusade to achieve yet more equality I mean I think equality has already there are of course you know pockets of resistance there always will be but look the world isn't fair and it never will be you can't just wave the magic wand and make things fair of course you can pass laws which make things fairer but there will always be instances of unfairness what we have to strive for is not to empower one particular section of the community but to look at us all as you know we're all human beings we all deserve respect we all deserve our own dignity we deserve to to fulfill ourselves in the best way we can of course all those things that are absolutely true but feminism tamina seems to be the it they're akin to feminism to me looks like the soldier on the backs of battlefield gain down bayonetting the wounded right so they vanquished the foe which was male chauvinism but they can't kick the habit of attacking men and maleness and actually for all its apparent strengths and you know that kind of macho stuff you know underneath men are just as vulnerable as women by and large and and I don't think that I don't think that the continuation of the feminist crusade is doing us any favors it's very well put now we've had several people to talk about it on the show and we probably we're not as articulate as you–as batter when we probably haven't thought about it as carefully as you have but this is the reason we started trigonometry is that we saw that all these conversations that are crucial to the time that we live in into the future of our society when not being had in the public media and that's why we started the show and that's why we're grateful for people like you to come on in and tell us your views and others that we've had we've got time for one last question for us well the last question is what is the thing that we're not talking about but we really should be talking about right well I've given that some thought and I think that what we should be thinking about and we're not thinking about is not talking about enough is the place of God in society so it is my belief and it's a firm belief of mind that a belief in God from a belief in God flew the things that a good society needs we need an objective morality which restrains us all from doing things which they we want to do them are not good for us and what I think is required is the humility and it needs humility you need humility to recognize and accept the belief that the existence of God scientism the belief that science solves all and that science is in some ways our replacement for God will lead us eventually down terrible blind La La's and we need to we need to rediscover our sense of our own insignificance and ignorance we have to understand that we don't understand and we never will understand there are mysteries beyond human comprehension I think and the pretense that in some way we do fine without God is a huge mistake so that's what I think we should talk about and I think that one of the things which is which is tearing the country apart at the moment is the lack of any unifying belief system we've got an elite which believes in nothing beyond what is concrete and human and materialistic and that ignores the experience the entire experience of humankind from it's very beginning you know it's striking you go to I recently went to Mexico and I saw these huge strange Mayan temples out in the middle of the jungle and I've never been before more and I know very little about Mayan culture but the strange thing is that everywhere you go in the world as you see the ancient structures not redeem for instance you know all these things are built to the glory of God's plural they all they're all an expression of human belief in God and actually I don't think we can do without that I don't think that I mean we think we can do without it and atheists are very trippy and sort of cocky about it you know we've done with all that crap you know we don't need that rubbish and you know that's not true and because in the end the truth of the matter is that that God does exist and he is a reality or she is a reality to billions of people in the world and that's what a humanist and and the secular don't really take into account it's an interesting point because Francis and I are both non-believers but I hear a lot of what you're saying because I see the effects of our loss of God we had Douglas Mary on the show recently and this is one of the things that he said he said look I'm a non-believer but I recognize that we need something higher than us in order to keep us and our worst impulses in check and I also think that whether it's a belief in God or maybe just an or some kind of maybe secular I I don't know but there's something that comes with the the place where you pray there is a community something that binds you not only in a broader sense as a society but also binds you to your nearby community that human beings absolutely need and without which we struggle and we wither away and our mental health is affected and I I'm a non-believer but III see that I I can't ignore that you know it's very it's very interesting that that I would expect both of you to be normal leaves because that is how society is especially in a young Blake's like you well educated very aware of the world it's actually being announcing yourself as a believer is actually a tricky thing to do and it takes a bit of courage to do it but it's strange that when you see people for instance why do people go to art galleries like you get all these people who flocked into to take modern personally I think it's aw it's just so many warehouse junk as far as I can see but but people stand in front but if you go to a true work of art a great work of art do you see people standing there and there is something numinous and beyond them because they are they are awed being in the presence of something they don't know what it is and I can't put it into words because you can't put this thing into words but it's a feeling that there is something greater than us right and that to me is like a sort of vestigial religious belief it's the same instinct seeking an explanation for why it is why things are as they are you stand in front of something you think wow this is incredible in it and it's sort of beyond human in some sort of way and that is as I say it it's the same it's the it Springs from the same the same part of the human experience the same part of the human consciousness where religion comes from and it's it's it's about recognizing and developing that ability in ourselves to see to see to to to come to grips with and try to understand what this thing is that's where God comes for all that you know and it's um it's something which which is a society I think we we need to rediscover and because I think that the the headlong you know um the the things which we've put in the place of religion satisfactory naked attraction for instance trash culture absolutely and what a wonderful way to end the interview so Robin thank you so much if people want to follow you on twitter on social media you use it if you use it no I didn't think you do but do by Robins book the noble liar it's a brilliant brilliant book and I'll see you write another one as well yeah well well that was that was the yes I mean no get the latest one alright forget that one even Robin doesn't want to sell that one get the novel AIDS brilliant both in Francis and I read it and thought there were some really good points and they enjoyed it as always follow us on all the social media if you're not yet a patron of the show this is your opportunity you can get one of these mugs if you give a certain amount and in general if you believe in what we're doing and want to support us please do that and as always Francis always says this and it is really important every week every single week we get notifications of YouTube unsubscribing people from the channel and then you having Teresa bribe if that is happening keep telling us because we well we won't get anything out of them but at least we can feel like victims and you've also forgot one thing Constantine you know what the thing is Constantine is doing an Edinburgh show oh yes how can i yeah you need to come on yeah promote your Edinburgh shot ok he's shy bless him he's been in England too long go and watch it it's gonna be great it is on at what time is it 7:00 p.m. and they'll give them balloon for the whole of August it's called oh well that ends well if you go to my Twitter it's the pinned Twitter you can see a little trail of what the show is going to be about and I'm doing two shows at the Bill Murray in August so come along for there it's called a mixed race white bloke I will be and I'll pin or something there so come along and say hello but guys thank you so much please spread the word share it tweet it we've we always get tagged and we see you showing it with sharing what we do and we're really grateful so thank you so much leave us a nice review on iTunes and we'll see you next week bye bye bye there is the form that you were asked to I said by signing this contract this is a UNICEF on campus SOAs right he was asked to sign an agreement that his routine would not contain racism sexism classism ageism ableism homophobia biphobia transphobia xenophobia Islamophobia anti religion nante atheism I think you're doing some quite complicated mental arithmetic to offset the people didn't think you were funny you have absolutely no sense of humor you feel like you're just I mean you're just so fing a bevin outright you know all right now that we got there in the end you did do the good thing about people the magic needed right as i now got in each one of them is i haven't got any racist sexist homophobic jokes have been a student of university where you can't make any joke about anything if these poor little local students get upset triggered get over yourselves it's not about comedy it's about ordinary people up and down the country in here in britain and in america feeling like they can't say what they think I really got I get it I get it especially especially the women who want to become anyone Gareth Bale right when from talking to Real Madrid the guy left a perfectly good club for more money everybody feels like we're we're all kind of under arrest we're all everything we say can and will be used against us in the court of public opinion and they're coming for the comedian's first because we're we're the ones that is you say are allowed to transgress but everybody else feels it and that's why the stories got the rest on them so it has you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Sorry about the Premier problems this week, boys and girls! Remember to support us on Patreon, SubscribeStar and Paypal so we can afford to pay someone to do these things properly 🙂

  2. Do not mistake criticism for rage. That's half the problem you speak about on the left.

    I understand if you get Tommy on the show you won't be able to attract 'higher class' guests but it is dishonest to pretend you have an unvarnished opinion informed by both sides.

    Again, don't consider this rage. The inability to handle criticism is a common problem with all sides on the debate. Even the 'free speech' 'facts over feels' guys.

  3. Konstantin and Francis are rendered into giggling schoolboys as if to prove Robin’s point about the power of pornography on grown men🤣🤣🤣

  4. 55.50 what a shame you couldn’t control your idiot sniggering and so interrupted an important line of thought. I enjoy your content but this showed you both up for armatures. You impacted negatively of on depth of the discussion.
    Disappointed – please do better.

  5. Much respect to your guest. He is an honorable man and his thoughts mirror many of the lessons offered by Dr. Jordan Peterson.

  6. What a lovely, thoughtful man is Robin Aitken. I particularly enjoyed his last observation and found myself agreeing with not only his but your (Konstantin) views on this matter. Thank you chaps.

  7. The BBC is full on 'baizuo'. Obsessed with defending islam at all costs, pro LGBTxyz and 3rd wave feminism. Yes, it is very biased, to the point of being a far left, cultural Marxist cult, and echo chamber of ideas and ideology. It pushes a cultural Marxist agenda only, anything else is 'haram' and 'far right'. Criticise islam you are far right, support BREXIT you are far right etc. Seems very biased to me.

  8. Great podcast, as usual. A few thoughts: 1) Francis has a point about the BBC getting criticized, but it's not from both sides, it's from the right and the far left. Why? Because you're more likely die in a car crash (1/5000) than find a self-identifying conservative in a BBC newsroom (4/21,000). Same thing in the US, where 90+% of journos donate to, identify as, and register as Democrats [1,2,3]. 2) The New Statesman's blatant maligning of Roger Scruton is a clear example of how conservatives, and especially social conservatives, are treated by mainstream media. 3) Shapiro crashed and burned, but let's recall that the whole point of the interview was to promote his new book arguing the need for Judeo-Christian values plus Greek reason. 4) A gotcha interview can be fun to watch, but is the point of an interview to show what person X thinks or to challenge what person X thinks? The former is an interview, the latter is a debate.


  9. This channel has sold out, with the ads, I’m not listening to them anymore. I’m going to get all my news from The Week from now on as they have the best articles and interviews fact. Great news source, beautiful news source, great guys really great guys, yuge following.

  10. Guys, I just linked this to my Minds channel 'Offhedge'. Then I noticed it's still the preview. Had to delete and use this YT link instead. Unwise, nobody wants to link to YT these days. Play your part and upload to Alt tech first.

  11. Triggernometry is the best. As for Question Time, I think you have all missed what has happened. It isn’t only because they spend much of the time bickering and that grime artists and comedians are hardy perennials.

    It’s because apart from the occasional heretic like Farage, Norcott or Douglas Murray, our establishment have succumb to orthodoxy.

    From the production staff to the majority of panelists and often the audience (depending on the location), they’re all staunchly of the left, feminist, minority activist; diversity, equality and inclusion mindset.

    Just the word “diversity” uttered will have presenter, and most panelists nodding like nodding dogs and the audience in rapturous applause.

    And woe betide any evil bastard who dares disagree.

    The ubiquity of orthodoxy is the problem

  12. This interview felt a little to accommodating.
    I would of liked the concept of socially conservative to be investigated further. What is his views on homosexuality, other religions and social freedoms.

    It felt that because there was agreement on SJWs, diversity and freedom of speech, there was no need to touch on subjects that there might of been disagreement on.

  13. Wonderful stuff.
    Only one bugbear. Don’t agree with the need for a God, though I get where he’s coming from. Unfortunately with that comes the Pythonesque ‘my God’s better than yours’ ad infinitum shite you see around the world.
    Maybe if ‘Life of Brian ‘ were taught in Religious Education the world would be a happier & funnier place?

  14. "It was like being the black guy in a bunch of white men"
    Even a self confessed Conservative can't bring himself to say " Like a white guy in a bunch of black men"

  15. Ref Andrew Neil watch him go for and twist Peter Hitchens words while discussing Syria
    It backs Robins comments about Andrew

  16. Shapiro acted like he was told the interview was going to go one way, when it was always planned to go another. Even if you aren't ready for it, you might not like feeling lied to, and that feeling might undermine any ability to answer questions after that. I'm not a big Shapiro fan either.

  17. Fiona Bruce was the death knell of Questions Time although the rot had already set in. When This Week is axed they'll be no decent political programing left on the BBC.

  18. The worst thing about the Andrew Neil/Ben Shapiro interview is that the focus on Ben's (admittedly bad, even by his own estimation) performance somewhat overshadowed the fact that even the supposedly great interrogator Andrew Neil appears to now favour the terrible 'interview' technique of dredging up someone's old tweets and reeling them off one by one as the interviewee struggles to remember even writing them in the first place.

    This tells us nothing useful about the subject of an interview other than how good they are at countering repeated 'gotcha' attempts with pat responses, and frankly is one of the reasons I'm happy for old media to burn.

  19. I would suggest that billions of people around the world should be able to provide some kind of tangible proof for Gods existence, yet they keep coming up short.
    All the while science continues to find good real world demonstrable explanations for how and why things work the way they do.

  20. great interview, only critique would be the usual mischaracterisation of the "early" feminist ideology. I did like his description of it being the soldier bayonetting the wounded… but the premise that it had ANY utility other than as a feminist supremacist movement is bunk.

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