A strange concept of balance at BBC Radio Ulster

Last week we wrote about the BBC Radio Ulster ‘Sunday Sequence’ programme of May 19th 2013 in which Mairead Maguire was given free rein to promote Assad regime propaganda and antisemitic tropes. 

At least one member of the public who wrote to presenter William Crawley following that broadcast was told by him that ‘balance’ to that particular interview would come in the form of another one with Professor Richard Landes a week later on May 26th and in his introduction to that interview, Crawley makes the same claim.

“You’ll remember last week we interviewed the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire regarding in particular Syria, but also wider issues in the Middle East. During that interview she spoke about the alleged role of Israel, blaming it and its supporters for contributing to a great deal of the strife in the region. We said we’d focus this week on the other side of that argument where attention is on whether or not the West should be and should have been tougher on the rise of radical fundamentalist regimes which are bitterly opposed to Israel.”

Sunday Sequence 26 5

The interview with Professor Landes can be heard here for a limited period of time and it is also worth listening to the interview immediately following it with Dr Simon Waldman of King’s College London.

However, as interesting as these two interviews are – and even presuming that those listeners who heard Mairead Maguire bothered to tune in again a whole week later to hear “the other side” – they do absolutely nothing to counter the torrent of misinformation and hate speech which Maguire was allowed to promote from a BBC platform. 

5 comments on “A strange concept of balance at BBC Radio Ulster

  1. Duvidl’s question: Why did Mairead and Betty, the Ulster Peace Women, vanish from the public consciousness so very soon after they were founded?

    Duvidl’s suggested answer: Because the Irish Republican Army threatened them with a fate they later imposed on journalist Veronica Guerin when she wouldn’t shut up.


    Duvidl’s question: Why did Mairead then embark on an Isra-hate career, but not Betty?

    Duvidl’s suggested answer: Because Betty got a good job in the USA, while Mairead turned to an Arab-financed career, knowing Jews would not kneecap her or worse.


    • Menachem Begin alone set out to kill Truman in Washington, Konrad Adenauer in Bonn and Ernest Bevin in London, along with a whole pile of other people. One policeman died in Germany and the brother of an RAF officer died in the UK.

      Perhaps one day Islamicists will be as ambitious.

  2. I’d have thought much of what she said was wholly uncontroversial and highly relevant to the business in Syria. eg “America says nothing because America’s afraid of Israel and President Obama is afraid of the Israeli [sic] vote in America because it is powerful.”

    What’s the US saying nothing about? Why, the unprovoked and wholly illegal attack by Israel on Damascus. If there is a problem there, Israel, in very serious breach of mandatory UNSC resolutions concerning a considerable part of Syria, is the very last entity that should be interfering.

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