Monday, 7 December 2009

A follow up to Victoria Derbyshire - from Frank Ellis

Further to Frank Ellis's earlier open e-mail to Radio 5 presenter Victoria Derbyshire (pictured above) who is currently presenting her show from Zimbabwe, Frank has now sent a follow up e-mail to her and to the BBC Radio 5 Editor:

From: Frank Ellis
To: Editor of BBC Radio 5 & Victoria Derbyshire
Date: 7th December 2009
Re: BBC Radio 5 in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Further Comments

I suspect that many listeners to Victoria Derbyshire’s broadcast from Zimbabwe, apart from those who have been persecuted by Mugabe’s regime or know people who have been persecuted, will not fully understand why Zimbabwe has been brought so low by Mugabe. A visit of this kind requires that the broadcaster provides a general summary and outline of the history of Zimbabwe from independence. This would focus on Mugabe’s terror tactics against tribes that resisted his tyranny (the use of the Fifth Brigade to kill very large numbers of tribal/political rivals in Matabeleland) and his attempts to dispossess successful white farmers, the beginnings of Zimbabwe’s descent into penury and misery.

In her blog Derbyshire notes the many portraits of Mugabe at the airport. Here lies an important clue for someone who has some grasp of Marxist regimes. Ubiquitous portraits of Marxist leaders are a sure sign of a Stalinist-style personality cult such as we find in North Korea, and which was the norm throughout the former Soviet Empire. Idi Amin, the murderous buffoon, that turned Uganda into an abattoir, was another African leader that liked to see his picture all over the place. Derbyshire failed to grasp the significance of these portraits so missing an opportunity to set the scene for the listener.

Derbyshire’s observation that there was food or some food in the shops suggests that there was a time when there was not food in the shops. I wonder: what would American viewers make of a documentary about Britain in which the broadcaster pointed out that there was food in the shops? So why was there a time when there was no or little food in the shops in Zimbabwe? Did it have anything to do with Mugabe’s thugs dispossessing competent white farmers and destroying a once thriving agricultural sector? The food-in-the-shops observation invites the suspicion that food was placed there so that Derbyshire could see it and that it was part of a scam to fool na├»ve visitors that all was in order. This was precisely the method used by Stalin. At the very moment when millions of Ukrainian peasants were being starved to death, Western socialists visited the Soviet Union and were shown model villages full of smiling and well fed children. Duly fooled (or wanting to be fooled), these Western socialists returned home and told the world that rumours of starvation and mass death were untrue. Were Derbyshire and her retinue the victims of Mugabe’s Potemkin villages?

In the Day 2 blog Derbyshire records that they have been advised not to have loud conversations in public. Why is this so? This is surely another indicator that all is not well in Zimbabwe and that the unity government is another charade. How can the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) promote its agenda when people are advised not to have loud conversations in public? The clear implication is that the state is spying on and monitoring the people’s conversations, and that intimidation of political opponents is the norm.

Derbyshire’s conversation with Edith also betrayed a woeful grasp of what Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe. Edith related her story of how she was beaten up by Mugabe’s thugs, almost certainly because she was a member of the MDC. Derbyshire’s response is to ask that if the MDC is in government with ZANU PF, why would anyone in the MDC be beaten up? Once again, this reveals appalling ignorance of the nature of Marxist regimes. Having gained power, Mugabe and his party are not going to surrender it to rivals. Why does Derbyshire not grasp this fact? Moreover, when Edith stated that there was “no rule of law”, I got the distinct impression that Derbyshire was embarrassed and just did not know how to respond. The reason there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe is because Mugabe is a Marxist dictator who has used terror, extortion and starvation to secure and to retain power (see what happened in Matabeleland). The chances that the South African ANC will in any way ameliorate the situation in Zimbabwe are nil for the very obvious reason that the ANC is a communist organisation that approves the dispossession and murder of white farmers as well. Mugabe is free to do as he wishes, and without any constitutional checks and balances, which in any case Marxists dismiss as ploy to fool the masses, there can be no rule of law. The other striking thing about this interview with Edith was the way it was terminated so that the travel news on British roads could be broadcast. I suggest that jumping from Edith’s moving and desperate plight to the banality of road conditions in the UK was utterly incongruous and, above all, thoroughly disrespectful to Edith and her suffering. UK listeners could surely have foregone the weather and traffic conditions so that the thematic and psychological continuity of the broadcast from Zimbabwe was not violated, above all when we were hearing first hand from one of Mugabe’s victims.

The interviews with Viola and Lance who had fled Zimbabwe and were currently resident in the UK came close to giving the British listener some idea of Mugabe’s state terror. Of the three that were interviewed by Derbyshire, Lance, the radio journalist, was not fooled by Mugabe and his alliance with the MDC, dismissing it as a “charade” and “window dressing”. In the exchanges between the UK-based radio journalist Lance and the Zimbabwe-based Raymond we got some idea of the contrast between what people really thought about Mugabe and his regime (and what they said outside of the country), and, on the other hand, what people felt able to say in Zimbabwe about Mugabe. Mindful of the fact that he was in Zimbabwe, and not the safe haven of London, Raymond declared that “Nobody doubts that Mugabe is a great leader”. Here was a wonderful opportunity for Derbyshire to jump in and say something about the dispossession of white farmers, the massacres, the sham elections, Mugabe’s use of terror, (Edith comes to mind) the corruption and economic incompetence. But nothing: just silence. Raymond provided something of a clue to what happens in the heart of African darkness when he said: “We’re in an African country”. Raymond’s observation comes perilously close to conceding that what can be taken for granted in Western Europe – the rule of law and free and fair elections - cannot be taken for granted “in an African country”. Lance quite rightly dismissed the new constitution as meaningless since the real problem was not a model constitution but the refusal on the part of Mugabe’s regime to be bound by any constitution unless it suited ZANU-PF.

I did not listen to Derbyshire’s broadcast from South Africa so I cannot arrive at any firm judgement. However, I will hazard the assumption that she conspicuously failed to tackle head on the ANC’s indifference to, even its tacit approval of, the large-scale murder (genocide) of white farmers, the middle-class white flight from South Africa (why are they fleeing the rainbow paradise?), the lawlessness and general incompetence of blacks once in power. I suspect that Derbyshire preferred to highlight – or was instructed to highlight before leaving the UK – the optimistic, above all to say lots of nice things about Mandela and how the FIFA World Cup would bring everyone together. If pressed then she or her interviewees could lay any shortcomings in South Africa as being due, as in the by now exhausted phrase, to “the legacy of apartheid”. Given that blacks in the USA are still whining about the “legacy of slavery” (abolished in 1865 by whites), then the betting has to be that the “legacy of apartheid” excuse for black failure in South Africa has a very long way to run before its efficacy as a propaganda ploy to blackmail and to intimidate whites finally expires (if ever). If Derbyshire and her editors can demonstrate to me that they did indeed confront head on the ugly, black side of South Africa and what has befallen whites since 1994, I will amend my comments accordingly.

Returning to Derbyshire’s broadcasts from Zimbabwe, I consider that the sort of chat-show hostess, hey-I-care, text-me, Twitter-me approach which Derbyshire employs on BBC Radio 5 in the UK, and which works reasonably well when she tackles lightweight topics, is and was wholly inappropriate when applied to the political, psychological and economic conditions obtaining in Zimbabwe. That this was the BBC’s return after a long absence to a country ravaged by violence, murder, mind-boggling political corruption and economic incompetence surely mandated the dispatch of an acknowledged BBC heavyweight, someone who had the detailed background knowledge of how Marxist states work and someone with the necessary interrogation skills to put evasive and lying interviewees on the spot. One can only assume that the reason the BBC did not send an individual who understood the ways of communism and revolutionary violence was because no such person with the necessary expertise is employed by the BBC. Victoria Derbyshire displayed an appalling ignorance of Mugabe’s despicable regime and was way out her depth. If I had been a white farmer who had been thrown off his land and witnessed a once thriving farm’s being reduced to a wasteland in the name of some gruesome, agricultural equal opportunities experiment, a black activist in the MDC who had been beaten up (people like Edith) or a relative of someone massacred in Matabeleland, I would have felt cheated by Victoria Derbyshire’s broadcast. People who see and hear their suffering ignored, misrepresented and incompetently reported, relive the suffering. The BBC did not want to hear their screams let alone broadcast them.

Click here to Read Dr. Ellis's open e-mail to Victoria Derbyshire.


Dr.D said...

Very interesting comments from Dr. Frank Ellis. He has found a good place to attack the BBC, and he is making the most of it. Power to him.

As usual, he has the facts on his side. This will not endear him to the BBC, but I really doubt that he cares very much. He is not doing this for popularity.

Well done, Frank!

Anonymous said...

The Derbyshire woman is the BBC equivalent of Harriet Harman. Nothing but another well paid (from licence fee naturally) piece of feminazi nigger loving white trash. This thing would sacrifice its white father to "tow the line" and be titilated by vile communists

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask what she thinks might be the source of Zim & SA's problems.

Is it socialism or black rule - or both?

Always a good one to ask left-liberals! Unfortunately right-liberals have a cop out - they can blame it all on socialism.