I love Tony Benn, Chapter 94

The BBC always loves reporting on itself, so the story about its ridiculous refusal to air an appeal for humanitarian aid in Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee is getting a lot more airtime than the appeal itself ever would have done…even better, however, was the decision to get Tony Benn on the Today programme to talk about it this morning.

The BBC’s arguments are absurd: this conflict is particularly controversial? As opposed to all the other conflicts, which everyone agrees on? How can they possibly pretend to impartiality when this is the only humanitarian crisis where they haven’t broadcast a DEC appeal?

As Tony Benn pointed out on Today, the only way it is at all controversial to call the situation in Gaza a humanitarian crisis is if you don’t want to openly disagree with Tzipi Livni. Brilliantly, however, Benn then said “I assume this is why you asked me to come on this programme…”, listeners could hear the sound of paper being unfolded, and he broadcast the appeal himself. If you’d like to donate to the DEC’s work in Gaza you can do so here.

Alternatively, the political student groups at my old university are doing a sponsored walk to raise money for the Mercy Corps in Gaza; if you’d like to donate to that – and it would be nice – go here. Many thanks 🙂


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