Political Promise

Good Riddance BBC Asian Network

In Charles Maggs on July 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

By Charles Maggs

The BBC trust have announced that it will not permit the axing of BBC6 music however it will be scrapping the BBC Asian network, and not a day too soon.

Launched in 2002 the station has consistently been spending above and beyond its budget, last year by over £500,000 with total expenditure of over £12 million. However my issue of contention with the station is not about cost, nor whether it provides good value for money at all, but the fact that a state funded broadcaster provides different radio stations for people of different races. Is differentiating by race not the principle that was so bitterly opposed by liberal minded thinkers regarding ‘separate but equal’ laws in the US until the 1960s? Of course it would be obscene to compare 21st century British race relations to those of the deep south in the 1960s but for the state to be communicating with people according to their race can only lead to negative impacts.

Among the negative impacts of this policy (part of the embracement of PC driven multi-culturalism under Labour) are an emergence of racial, religious and cultural identity among ethnic minorities-identities which crucially are not assimilated with British cultural identity. This makes a fractured and divided society not only inevitable, but inevitable due to the direct social engineering of the state. Looking on the website of the BBC Asian network gives this impression clearly The main feature on the homepage is a feature about the Pakistani cricket team, reinforcing the fact that the majority of Britons of Pakistani origin support not England but Pakistan and among its program lists are a number of shows in Urdu, Mirpuri and Bengali.

Factors like the BBC Asian network and Councils and government departments spending millions on translation services (over £50 million in 2008) are huge barriers to integration and social cohesion which in the long term are also part of the wider war on terror (if a young British Muslim sees themselves as British first and Muslim second, they would be far less likely to fall to extremist views.) Such factors reduce the need for immigrants to learn English, a crucial aspect of integration. Government has for too long been embracing multi-culturalism, born often out of a feeling of colonial guilt held by many of the elite, ahead of a policy of integration.

Such polities have also been a gift for the BNP. Stations like the Asian network and BBC1 Extra which proudly claims to play “the best in new Black music” spit in the face of the dream of a post racial society. It leaves some white people to ask “what if someone set up a station for ‘white music,’” implying that it would lead to accusations of racial exclusion-and with some reason. This was certainly the case in 2008 when the BBC launched its ‘white season’, a season of programs looking at the supposed demise of the white working class. Cue the inevitable outrage from the PC brigade with the Guardian’s Gillian Evans saying the series risked “succumbing to nostalgia about Englishness that will make it nothing more than a feather in the cap of the BNP.” The fact of the matter is that the BBC should not be making programs aimed at specifically white people, because it should not be making anything that aims to separate people according to their race. This will only serve to enhance feelings of racial identity and loyalty which are the bedrock of the BNP’s bigoted agenda.

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  1. […] Read this article: Good Riddance BBC Asian Network « Political Promise […]

  2. Good post. If you check the tags on my latest post you can read all I’ve posted about the Asian Network. Chat soon.

  3. I see your point but the whole purpose of the BBC to is to represent all members of society. i’ll agree that the asian network hasnt spent their budget wisely, but they bring together all various asian communities. if there was a BBC TV channel for asians then im sure that shows will get a number of complaints and people will be attacking all asian communities. the service that the asian network provides isnt available elsewhere.if asians (foreign born) are going pay tax to the BBC then i think that they should get something in return.

  4. The purpose of the bbc isnt to represent anyone. It is, according to the bbc’s website, to ‘inform, educate and entertain’. However, political impartiality is also a bedrock of the BBC, it should therefore not be openly embracing a policy of multi-culturalism which has clearly led to social divisions.

  5. People are informed, educated and entertained in different ways. The asian network does exactly this especially as it is funded by the public which includes asians. You cant possibly blame the BBC for the social divisions. Look at the north/south divide (a social division). Is the BBC to blame for that? Surley a multi-cultural is good. Why have a society where everyone is exactly the same? We wouldn’t have a society otherwise.

  6. the north south divide is an economic divide not a social one. you haven’t said why a multi-cultural society is better. people often say this without questioning why for fear of being labelled racist, despite the fact that race and culture are not the same thing. to say that without multi-culturalism ‘you would’nt have a society’ i find truly baffling. does this mean that there was no society in Britain before the 1960s? I don’t think so somehow.

  7. the benefits of a multi-cultural society are (to name a few)
    .Experience of learning other cultures which may help later in life
    .Learning and appreciating new languages, foods, music, religions etc
    .Showing others that we are a tolerant nation.
    how can we show the world that britian is ready for business if we are not tolerant of those that are already in our nation. these would offend certain countries.
    you’re forgetting that britian isn’t a super-power anymore because their policy to its empire consisted of the british trying to force their culture on others. we forced african tribes to wear clothing, changed their religion
    I’m not accusing you of being racist, i’m deeply sorry if you thought i did. my argument is that asians pay for the BBC and should expect something that they want and understand in return. many other BBC stations have different audiences, BBC 1xtra,(young black people) you haven’t argued for their cancellation.
    britian before the 1960s still was multi-cultural, many people of different religions ie various sects of christianity and the jewish communities.
    i did not say “without multi-culturalism ‘you would’nt have a society” i said we wouldnt have a society whereby everyone in it is exactly the same. surely a society consists of various personalities?

  8. I simply cannot accept your list of supposed benefits of multi-culturalism. the overwhelming majority of British people have very little experience of other cultures due to the informal segregation that has taken foot in many british cities (having lived in leicester for three years I have first hand experience of this). This is also the case for different languages and religions (how many average Brits can speak urdu or name the five pillars od Islam?).
    The fact that you have included diversity itself as an example of why diversity is beneficial would imply that you where somewhat scrapping the barrel for examples.

    Also on your point of showing that we are a tolerant nation. I am not advocating laws that would force people to integrate, such as banning the burkha in France. I am saying that the state should not be doing the opposite by encouraging diversity as opposed to integration as it has contributed to the segregation that we see today.

    On your point of being open to business I do not believe that the BBC’s decision to axe the Asian network will lead to trade disputes. China has one of the worst human rights records in the world and the almost all nations are willing to do business with it.

    You’re reference to the empire however is quite correct, (when the British tried to force its culture on others it backfired massively, in instances such as the Indian mutiny) though I struggle to see its relevance to this debate. If anything multi-culturalism has lead to Britain being a less tolerant nation. The laws relating to incitement of racial and religious hatred have set dangerous precedents in the curbing of free speech and last year saw the home office refuse entry to a an elected Dutch MP.

    There was pre 1960’s of course different sects of Christianity-indeed they spend hundreds of years killing each other over their differences, if anything this is evidence that for a society to function harmoniously then emphasis should be placed on what brings people together, not what divides them, which is the basis of my entire argument.

    Finally I did mention radio one extra in my final paragraph as a further example of state led racial division.

  9. i understand that you didn’t agree with the bbc asian network, but as an indian, i feel offended by your post. the bbc asian network was an incredible radio station, it brought joy to my day, because i got to hear the news from india, and enjoy my culture. I think that embracing multi-culturalism is a virtue because it allows the nations society to become more diverse, and stations like the bbc asian network embrace this. the bbc asian network and other stations alike are open to all listeners, no one is stopping anyone from listening to their network. Also, the translation services are not “huge barriers to integration and social cohesion” because they make immigrants to england feel welcome, and its these services that will lead to further social coherence. this is a pitiful article that is single minded.

  10. your offended and this is a pitiful and single minded article? what are you offended by-is it the accurate historical or contemporary references? these rather desperate slurs seem to lowing the tone of this otherwise well mannered debate we have been having and would suggest to me that you have lost the argument. yes the asian network is open to other listeners, though I can see many english speakers wanting to listen to a show in Punjabi.

    the translation services are clearly barriers to integration as is lowers the need for immigrants to learn english, how would it be possible for integration to take place if everyone is not speaking the same language?

  11. Any public service that discriminates due to race is never going to help integration.

    I see the arguments for the BBC Asian Network, that the BBC does not provide many informational or educational pieces about the cultures of our immigrant population. It is sorely missed in my opinion, as Britain is in the enviable position of having thousands of cultures – each one with brilliant quirks and a rich heritage – on our doorstep.

    Integration and embracing each other’s cultures is not a one-way street, which a lot of people forget sometimes, whatever side of the debate you sit. It is not right to be told to forego all of your customs and traditions once you enter a new society, but it is just as wrong as trying to enforce your cultures on other people.

    This post is not an attack on the Asian community, and the only ‘single-minded’ people on this issue are those that cannot accept my first point. Integration means coming together. Separate radio stations for separate races is anti-integrational. It is a step backwards.

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