Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'll Have My Say

Rant time.

I'm beginning to loathe the BBC News 'Have Your Say' page, not because there is anything wrong with the concept but because of the kind of commentators it attracts. It's rather ironic that despite the supposed and much-touted left-liberal bias of the BBC, the majority of commentators and recommenders appear to be anything but. Time and time again they whine about anti-Americanism (when anyone is critical of the US for, you know, the absolutely awful things it tends to do). And they will seize on any point to tout their conservatism in the most condescending and spiteful way possible.

So on the issue of immigration in the US (arranged for popularity), you have to go a long way to find anyone dissenting from the anti-immigration chorus, and yet they still go on about how anti-US Have Your Say is!

On US v socialised healthcare (likewise), the board is dominated by Americans mocking the idea of healthcare for those who can't afford it, with one stating "I have full medical, dental, and vision coverage; I even get legal coverage as a perk too. This is a reward for my hard work and education I paid for. I know this offends socialists but in America you have to EARN YOUR WAY." Apparently the poor deserve to die in the street from wholly treatable illnesses, because they aren't trying hard enough.

These are the prime examples at the moment, but long experience shows that it is not just domination by American conservatives which causes this. Although specifically UK debates tend to be less one-sided (see the smoking debate), I know from long experience that it still tends to be the most self-righteous and self-indulgent conservatives who manage to get recommended to the top of the pile.

But wait... It's not quite a simple as that, because I also know from experience that HYS commentators on the whole hate religion, and will use absolutely any excuse to bash it. Now I'm none too keen on religion in general myself, but these pronouncements are generally rude, unnecessary and simplistic. More importantly however, they are not really in the general conservative mould, since conservatism generally trusts old established power structures. Taking this into account, it looks less like the commentators are simply conservative, more like they are simply jaded and cynical, unwilling to think anything but the worst of anyone. To a large extent this supports the conservative agenda, but without the established structures bit, leading to a particularly dire view of humanity and an 'every man for himself' mentality which no longer seems to give a damn about anything we might call justice, only our right to be left alone.

Right, rant over. Any comments?

1 comment:

Abi said...

Sometimes BBC Have Your Say can be good - by good, I mean it agrees with me - but it is increasingly angry and cynical. It is a shame, as I used to enjoy reading it to see the different opinions, but now there are usually only 3 or 4 opinions, expressed by hundreds of different people with varying levels of anger!