The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association. Peter is reflecting on last Saturday's Today programme.
I switch on Radio Four just before seven o’clock in the morning for the weather forecast, listen to the news headlines and then turn off before the relentless barrage of propaganda from the lefty clones who present The Today Programme has chance to reduce me to a gibbering wreck. But this morning I was late and, by the time I’d switched on, Britain’s very own version of Pravda was in full swing.
They were discussing this weekend’s election in Hungary in which Prime Minister Victor Orban is seeking another term.
This is how the unbiased, balanced, public service BBC presented the matter: “The populist leader Victor Orban is expected to be re-elected with a large majority.”
I pondered ever so hard what this word “populist” might mean. Clearly it was more than enough to send the state broadcasters on Today into a decline.
The distress in the voice of Sarah Montague – or it may have been Humphrys, Robinson, Husain or Webb – I can’t remember, they’re all identikit mouthpieces – was palpable. But my mind was stuck on a word they used to introduce that news item. As we noticed, Orban was described as “populist.”
Anyway, one of the Today clones interviewed an “expert” on Hungary. This man informed us that, while three years ago immigrants were pouring into Hungary in their tens of thousands, now the influx has been halted. Orban has built a wall to keep them out and he makes sure that it is patrolled by soldiers. The expert went on to say, “Unemployment is less than 4% and wages are increasing at the amazing rate of 10% each year.”
Why wouldn’t the man in the Budapest street or the woman pushing her pram through Paprika Park vote for Victor Orban? I thought to myself: Orban pursues very popular policies. And then it dawned on me like a vision, the answer to my puzzlement: a “populist” leader is a “popular” leader whom lefty broadcasters dislike.
I was keen to find out more about Hungary, a country in which the people seem to like and admire their prime minister – an opportunity which I only wish we enjoyed in Britain. Where might I find the information I was seeking? Why, the BBC website of course. Where better to find a balanced, unbiased account?
The BBC website told me that Orban’s policies are “controversial.” Not among Hungarians – Sarah, Justin, John or whoever is holding the red mic at the moment. Or the Hungarians wouldn’t vote so overwhelmingly in Orban’s favour, would they?
The BBC also told me: “Orban alarms other EU leaders with his brand of nationalism and populism.”
And there the BBC is dead right! Naturally, the unelected apparatchiks and international bureaucrats in the European Commission have nothing but contempt for the idea of the nation state and for the wishes of its people.
So hats off to the BBC for such a clear and accurate explanation of what’s going on in Hungary this weekend.
All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.