An Open Letter to BBC Scotland on Steve Bannon
Dear Ms MacKinnon,
Like thousands of licence fee payers across the country I am deeply concerned by BBC Scotland’s decision to support the upcoming News Xchange event featuring Steve Bannon.
As an individual synonymous with white nationalism and the rise of racist, hate-fuelled politics I believe Mr Bannon’s inclusion is fundamentally dangerous, and simply by supporting his participation BBC Scotland are tacitly legitimising his rhetoric and ideology.
I understand the justification for his inclusion which you reiterated before the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee; you intend the event can serve to hold him to account by interrogating and scrutinising his views.
However, I would ask you to weigh the benefit of such an interrogation against the longterm cost.
In his current incarnation as a populist espousing the benefits of “economic nationalism” Steve Bannon’s views remain within the bounds of acceptable discourse. It’s only when these more benign views become part of mainstream discussion through the help of credible events like News Xchange that Steve Bannon and the far-right will be sufficiently emboldened to pursue their real agenda – a witch-hunt against Muslims, immigrants and minorities.
I acknowledge and respect BBC Scotland’s journalistic duty, but like each one of us, our Scottish institutions have a a duty which supersedes the obligations of any given profession – and that is the moral duty to stand in defiance of tyranny and oppression.
If Steve Bannon is permitted to speak in Edinburgh with the full cooperation of BBC Scotland then your journalistic remit may be satisfied, but the moral duty to those who will suffer under the rise of the far-right will have been abdicated.
As the fires of fascism begin to burn across Europe once again, I ask you to consider what role BBC Scotland are about to play in further fanning the flames.
On behalf of the more than 2,300 people how have signed my petition I implore you to withdraw BBC Scotland’s support for this event.