This morning, I heard most of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Farming Today’ programme. I heard it from about 06:40 and it was all about the farmers’ protests. The hidden hand of BBC Verify and Marianna Spring was obvious to anyone who has had the benefit of reading the articles by The Exposé and is aware of their tactics.
After a report on the protests in Europe and giving us details of the EU’s concessions made to the farmers’ demands, it switched to the British angle and they interviewed a university expert on EU agricultural policy, then a representative from the farmer’s union, the National Famers’ Union (“NFU”), then a representative from some other farmers’ body.
Both of these representatives claimed that British farmers didn’t want to protest. The NFU man said that the NFU had not been given a mandate from the members to take action and he thought there was a better way.
Then they interviewed a farmer from Somerset who had organised protests in the form of blockading supermarket distribution depots.
Then they spoke to the man who set up ‘No Farmers, No Food’.
The last man to be interviewed was a farmer.
In five out of the six interviews, the BBC reporter directed the interviews onto the threat of infiltration by the far right – a standard tactic – throwing in the far-right label, the other one being anti-Semitism.
To be fair, in the first part that I heard (I missed the first ten minutes) they did say both the far-left and far-right were trying to take advantage of the protests, but the BBC seemed, to me, to be trying to convince farmers that the protests are motivated by sinister political actors with the aim of the BBC being to put off farmers from joining protests.