The leading stories of the main ‘news’ bulletins produced by BBC TV for public consumption, the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock programmes, are seldom worth watching. Most of the time they are non-stories – i.e., zero stories: designed to divert public attention away from things the public really ought to know about. Sometimes the headlines will be nothing more than overt propaganda promoting some government initiative (or that of the government’s controllers in Washington – the British Brainwashing Corporation is, after all, a government department). Sometimes, however, the story that’s chosen to lead the ‘news’ is worth thinking about – not necessarily for the story itself, but why it’s been selected for its leading role. Take the 24.8.2010 headline story for example.
Last night the ‘news’ led with a story that in 1972 the Roman Catholic church conspired with the British government to transfer a priest, Fr James Chesney, from his church in Claudy, Northern Ireland, south into the Republic. A bomb had recently killed nine people in Claudy, and the suggestion is that Fr Chesney had something to do with it.
Now, all the main players are long dead and buried, and almost certainly the real truth behind that particular atrocity will never be known. So whilst it would indeed be interesting to learn the full story, the fact is we’re unlikely ever to do so.
The question is, why did the Beeb choose to lead its so-called ‘news’ with something that happened almost forty years ago? The story was brought into the light of day as a result, we’re told, of a report released by the Northern Ireland ombudsman. But reports by civil servants are being churned out daily, so why does this one, about a forty year old incident, which has attracted zero national ‘news’ coverage in recent times, and was dead ‘news’ within twenty four hours, suddenly deserve such prime-time prominence? Its effectiveness as distraction ‘news’, a primary purpose of the BBC, goes without saying, but why was that particular story chosen from what must have been several hundred alternatives?
I’ve long found the timing of Northern Ireland’s most recent peace agreement interesting. That tragic little region provided employment and profits for Britain’s police-military-industrial-intelligence communities for the best part of thirty years leading up to the new millennium. Throughout all that time peace was a castle in the air, Irish mist on a warm summer morning. Peace? Never in our time. We’ll never surrender. We’ll never talk to terrorists. Then all of a sudden, almost overnight, implacable enemies were suddenly making a government together. The timing was fascinating: war in the Middle East was inevitable – having all your armed forces tied up in the backwaters of Northern Ireland must have been seriously inconvenient.
Today, Britain’s police-military-industrial-intelligence communities find themselves no longer useful in the main region that has occupied their attention for the last ten years. Iraq is now a peaceful, stable democracy (lol); and the public are getting seriously pissed off with the number of body bags returning from Afghanistan. There are promising signs of a new ‘cold war’ building up, and no doubt we’ll be off to play in Iran fairly soon, but what are the boys going to do with themselves in the meantime?
Perhaps in thirty, forty, or fifty years time, when the documents about the curious timing of Northern Ireland’s tortured ‘Peace Process’, which for now must be bolted behind closed doors… ‘in the nation’s interest’… are finally declassified, some of the truth might emerge. Perhaps a dusty ombudsman will write a report, and some junior mandarin in the British Brainwashing Corporation might think it makes a great piece of distraction ‘news’. But I wonder how many people will pause to think about the given proof of government conspiracies thirty, forty or fifty years earlier, and ask themselves… ‘I wonder what are the bastards up to today?’