16 4 mins 9 yrs

The BBC has been to the fore in REPORTING the violence in north Belfast, but is it possible that it may have contributed to the creation of the problem? An ATW reader writes;

“The BBC NI website was instrumental in making the band at St Patrick’s the biggest news issue around the 12th. It was their main headline for about ten days  As a consequence, it became the defining issue of the summer – not the Ardoyne riots. The y used Sinn Fein-supplied video footage (just about acknowledged) of the circling band and did not put up any explanation or counter-view for days and then mostly on radio.

Ormeau Avenue was presumably in Donegal en masse and some junior was running the website. Normal news and views programmes were also off air.  (The website is and has been much more biased/unbalanced than BBC NI broadcast news over recent months in choice of stories, emphasis and headlines.)

BBC NI has a record of not sending journalists out to cover events at weekends, at night or during holidays presumably because of the ‘cuts’, we will be told, which, by the way, are not ‘cuts’ but consequent on the diversion of £1 billion of licence fee money from programming and news to the BBC Pension Scheme. The result is their website goes without updates for hours or days. Sinn Fein spotted that gap and supplied dream footage of the band.

The impression, uncorrected, was given that the band were playing at the church by choice and circling as an extra sectarian point. Both untrue. Circling happens when the parade stops for a time or rests, as happened in Donegall Street that day. There was one dubious tune played and a bit of shouting at the Sinn Fein camera team – duly recorded and displayed.

The result is that the focus of Belfast parading disputes has moved from the Ardoyne roundabout to that at Carlisle Circus, largely as a loyalist paramilitary response to the Sinn Fein challenge, so enhanced by the BBC spotlight. And we have serious rioting not dissimilar to that in East Belfast a couple of years ago.

The Parades Commission has not helped with its Alliance Party chairman coming on the radio in July making assertions in advance of receiving his team’s reports while developing new Commission policy as he went along.

There needs to be an independent (Leveson-style) enquiry into how the issue was handled by BBC NI and a policy enunciated on when and how they use film footage supplied by non-BBC sources, in particular by political parties.

Obviously the real issue is territory but the BBC prefers to concentrate on sectarianism which is usually seen as a Protestant preserve. Republican misbehaviour like the mistaken attack on a car belonging to nuns living in a Protestant area in West Belfast is addressed briefly, if at all.

Would that the BBC broadcast a livecam of life for Protestants in the Fountain area of Londonderry which has to be protected by two massively high steel fences. The police now longer count sectarian incidents there as it would distort their crime figures so massively”.

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  1. OK, so let’s get this straight: he (and you?) believes the Loyalist band stopped and did their wee dance and played their anti-Catholic song in front of a Catholic church merely by chance not choice? They were just tired and needed a rest?

    And because the BBC showed footage of this, er.. rest, they are responsible for the riots in N Belfast over the past few nights.

    Pity he doesn’t explain why, when they spotted a cameraman filming their little rest, two bully boys of the parade with sticks walked over to him and beat and kicked him until he stopped filming.


  2. David,

    So according to your last two posts on the north Belfast rioting, the cause of the problem is:

    a) the peace process;
    b) the BBC.

    It’s good to see a conservative sticking to its traditional principle of personal responsibility.

  3. David,

    you make a big play of condemning all violence yet here you are making excuses for the loyalists. It was the BBC! It was the Parades Commission! This is Paislyism 101. Keep yourself covered with a condemnation but all the while finding excuses for the Orange Order and their tattooed thugs.

    God be with the days when you could carry out insulting sectarian behavior and nobody bothered to report it. Can we also blame the media for the London riots perhaps. After all if they didn’t tell people what was going on it might never have happened!

  4. The BBC broadcast about World War II and thus are responsible for the Invasion of Poland, Pearl Harbor and Dunkirk.


    Short answer – no.

    Absolutely ridiculous question, followed by a ridiculous assertion by ‘An ATW reader’

  6. You are all being deeply unfair to David. I’m sure that if there had been 3 nights of Republican instigated rioting , David would also be eagerly trying to find other organisations to blame 😉

  7. So, let’s see The BBC, Sinn Fein, the Alliance Party & the Parades Commission were to blame for the rioting in north Belfast over the last few nights because a “Sinn Fein camera team” caught a loyalist band and their supporters played and sang a vehemently sectarian song outside a Catholc place of worship last July?.

    Were there no rioters involved in the rioting?

    Personally I blame John Logie Baird for pioneering the projection of moving images.

    I wonder who the ATW reader was? It sounds like it was written by the TUV’s Press Office.

  8. It’s like that Jacksons song:

    Don’t blame it on the sunshine,
    Don’t blame it on the moonlight,
    Don’t blame it on the Loyalist rioters,
    Blame it on the BBC, Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, the Parades Commission, Republicans…

  9. Or even that Jamaican who was the loin’s fruir of a Syrian Jew?

    Say I remeber when we use to sit
    In the Shankill estate
    And then wee Sammy would make the Peelers run
    As petrol bombs lit up the night . . .

  10. David,
    A genuinely hilarious post, not because of the rather predictable narrative, but because you actually didn’t intend it as a satirical piece.
    I’m surprised at your lack of research to be honest.”an ATW Reader” – eh right so.
    Was great to see the RBI finally taking a lead, again, as they have in Derry previously.
    Now, would you care to post a piece on that? I’m working on one for my site and it is positive.
    ps: Is “Comical” Nelson planning on joining the TUV? He seems to have put a bit of distance between himself and his party, particularly Nigel.

  11. It’s only the outward display of a shared future that put 60 odd Police officers in hospital. Is it time to call the peace process a success yet?

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