BBC debate asks: should homosexuals be executed?


3:38 pm - December 16th 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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A BBC Have Your Say Debate asks: ‘Should homosexuals face execution?

It starts by saying:

Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question. But this is the reality behind an Anti-Homosexuality Bill being debated on Friday by the Ugandan parliament which would see some homosexual offences punishable by death.

After describing the contents of the Ugandan bill it ends by saying:

Has Uganda gone too far? Should there be any level of legislation against homosexuality? Should homosexuals be protected by legislation as they are in South Africa? What would be the consequences of this bill to you? How will homosexual ‘offences’ be monitored? Send us your views.

Unbelievable.

Blogger Soho Politico has already complained to the BBC, saying:

To the non-psychotic, it will be only too clear just how objectionable it is for the BBC to give house room to this ‘debate’. I have submitted a complaint on the BBC’s Complaint Homepage, and encourage you to do the same, here. Should you find it useful, in drafting your own response, copied below is what I said. Feel free to use some or all of it if you find it helpful.

See his model letter, and complain if you can.

Update: The BBC Editors offer a pathetic response:

The editors of the BBC Africa Have Your Say programme thought long and hard about using this question which prompted a lot of internal debate.

We agree that it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake.

If Uganda’s democratically elected MPs vote to proceed with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill this week they will bring onto the statute book legislation that could condemn people to death for some homosexual activities.

We published it alongside clear explanatory text which gave the context of the bill itself (see above). And as we said at the top of our debate page, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question. But this is the reality behind the bill.

But they recognise it was a stupidly worded question because it has now been quietly changed to: ‘Should Uganda debate gay execution?’

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


I shall not rest until sick scum like me are lying dead where I belong.

This is now more true than they realised at the time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQnd5ilKx2Y

The site is totally fake: Run a search on BBC.com for “Should homosexuals face execution” and nothing comes up Look: http://bit.ly/522Eam

Josh, the debate is definitely on the BBC site, I’ve checked the domains.

But it seems to be aimed at African readers: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/africa_have_your_say/default.stm

Thanks for drawing attention to this Sunny. It certainly puts the Jan Moir furore in the shade, in terms of sheer seriousness, so I hope it gets a fraction of the attention.

The big headline on the page in question is
“Africa Have Your Say”

Well, it is a hot issue in Africa…

The thing with it seems to be that they have pitched this at the African community that reads the site. It isn’t mentioned at all on the regular have your say pages, yet it has been passed around enough for UK homophobes to use it as an opportunity to spread hate speech.

I feel the BBC probably had the best intentions here (a debate on a current issue in an area it is happening in) but completely underestimated the level of bigotry that would be drawn to it from outside of the African continent.

Yup, it’s an interesting demonstration of the pitfalls of trying to serve a globalised audience under a single brand using teams aware of local cultural issues… clearly in parts of Africa it is a relevant question, much as it shouldn’t be.

…while unconcerned about African bigotry?

Homosexuality has long been a criminal offence, punishable by death on conviction, in many Islamic countries with Sharia law:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gARvwzFWSr4

No it never is a relevant question.

A question could be: Is It Time Homosexuality was no punishable by death?

or ‘Should Uganda pass such a law’ or something along those lines.

A headline like that is screaming for people to agree with it and reinforces the casualness of homophobia in the region. There’s no excuse for it whatever the local customs.

Lee…so they weren’t concerned about the African bigotry!

10 – “should homosexuals be executed?” is exactly the same question as “is it time that homosexuals were not executed?” – just less convoluted.

The problem is that because this is such a marmalade dropper in the UK (and the West generally) there is no way for it to be framed in a way that doesn’t encourage the wrong answer.

The current state of opinion and law in Africa unfortunately means that ‘should homosexuality be legal?’ would probably be about as controversial as ‘should it be punished by death?’ Normally I’d end with one of those little cultural relativism kicks – ‘it’s their culture, and who are we with our imperialist attitudes etc…’ – but this area’s a bit too serious and a bit too sad for that.

I agree Sunny, it also implies the alternative is to face some other punishment.

@13, that’s a pretty broad-brush characterisation of Africa. In Uganda in particular, US fundamentalists have been heavily backing this kind of extreme-right campaign (in much of nominally-Muslim Africa, Saudi-backed fundamentalists have been doing much the same thing).

In Ghana, southern Nigeria and South Africa, which had much stronger existing religious faiths – importantly, Anglican rather than vile, the level of homophobia is much greater than the UK, but I’d rather the debate was “should we be in a church that allows active gays to be priests” than “should we kill active gays, whether or not they have anything to do with our church”?

(actually, even the Catholics are relatively OK on this issue compared to the Islamists and the Born-Agains – centralisation means that they need to take the same kind of conservative-who-can-live-in-a-vaguely-sane-world stance that the Vatican takes).

16. Graham Smith

Simple questions: would the BBC ask “Should Jews be gassed?” and if Uganda was killing Jews would it be acceptable for people to say “well, it’s Africa, different culture, not for us to interfere…”

The BBC have stepped way over the line on this and someone should be sacked. The page should be taken down and an apology should be issued. Anything less and I’ll be stopping paying my licence fee.

I can just image the fun the BBC would have had if this debate was on the BNP site.

Bunch of f*&”king idiots.

15 – fair point, but homosexuality is illegal in almost all African countries. SA is the notable exception, where official policy is commendably liberal (although social attitudes, particularly in rural areas is less so), but a swathe of Central African countries (including, perhaps surprisingly the DRC and Equatorial Guinea) have also legalised homosexuality. Almost everywhere else it is illegal.

As regards the death penalty, it is mostly a Muslim thing (Somalia, Northern Nigeria, Sudan etc), with the Ugandan proposals a very unwelcome addition. I think blaming US Christians for African homophobia is a bit of a stretch too (“Imperialist! Are you saying that only the West can impose its values on Africa?!”).

Certainly in the more rural areas, I’d stand by my statement that you’d probably find an even number of people who think homosexuality should be legal and those that think it should be punishable by death. Lets hope SA stands as an example.

The page should be taken down and an apology should be issued. Anything less and I’ll be stopping paying my licence fee.

You’ll be saving some money, I predict.

Soho Politico: To the non-psychotic, it will be only too clear just how objectionable it is for the BBC to give house room to this ‘debate’

I don’t think gays should be executed, but there is a case that those who want to ban political speech should be.

@7: I feel the BBC probably had the best intentions here (a debate on a current issue in an area it is happening in) but completely underestimated the level of bigotry that would be drawn to it from outside of the African continent.

This implies that African bigotry is more acceptable than non-African bigotry.

It isn’t.

The debate is now “closed” while its title has been subtly changed to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?”

A vile episode, although not quite sure what nail cjcjcjcjcjcjcjcj was trying to hammer in; if it makes you feel better than it seems pretty clear that the majority of Ugandans are homophobic, prejudiced bigots.

@19, Phillip Hunt:

Not that old chestnut. Since when does the claim that a piece of speech was objectionable commit one to the conclusion that it ought to be banned?

Dear oh dear, what a highly skilled bunch of ‘offence takers.’

If it is being debated in the Ugandan Parliament, then it is of interest to many Africans. Who may wish to debate it themselves on the BBC’s AFRICA (spot that?) focussed website.

The fact that it offends a handful of full-time hand-wringers in Islington is utterly irrelevant.

Except where said hand-wringers believe that all websites across the globe should only contain questions and content of which they, the arbiters of morality, approve. Then it becomes worrying.

I don’t live in Islington and I take offence. It’s a stupid question, not because it’s insensitive but because no news organisation funded by our money should be permitted to even countenance that the idea of executing someone for sexual preference is worthy of debate.

Contra Sunny, the question should have been, “How can we combat myths about homosexuality in Africa?” I say myths because there is a supreme amount of misinformation slung about as regards homosexuality – even in the Ugandan parliament, one suspects.

@23: Since when does the claim that a piece of speech was objectionable commit one to the conclusion that it ought to be banned?

But it’s not the speech you were caliming was objectionable, you were saying that the BBC shouldn’t have discussed it on their website. That’s what I have a problem with. For clarity, here are my views:

1. people who want to kill gays = bad
2. people who thing the state should kill gays = bad
3. people (i.e. the BBC) who discuss on their website views 1 and 2 and invite comments = not bad
4. people who disapprove of 3 (i.e. you) = bad

Framing the debate in terms of potential legislation in Uganda in the near future conveys a sense of a hypothetical and legalistic issue whereas the killings of gays and lesbians in Islamic countries, whether by judicial means or fundamentalist death squads, is real and immediate. This is how other media deal with the (horrific) news:

“BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Hundreds of gay men have been tortured and killed in Iraq in recent months, some by the nation’s security forces, Human Rights Watch said Monday.”
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/17/iraq.homosexual.killings/index.html

you were saying that the BBC shouldn’t have discussed it on their website.

No, the objection is the way it is phrased and execution of homosexuals casually posed as a serious topic.

The new ‘Should Uganda debate gay execution?’ – is way better and shows there were better ways to phrase the debate.

ConstantlyFurious – if you don’t understand what we’re talking about here or what the objection, then you look like less of a dick if you just don’t say anything.

30. Leonard Hatred

I knew there was a reason I don’t have a TV license.

I mean, beyond not owning a TV.

31. Graham Smith

@Constantly Furious

Please don’t take ‘offence’, but you’re talking bollocks.

The BBC, a national broadcaster, posted a discussion on their website which implied that there was a legitimate debate to be had about whether or not gay people should be killed, and implied there were two sides to the debate. The wording also implied that the debate was about what sort of ‘punishment’ gay people should suffer, rather than whether or not gay people should be left alone. That is inexcusable and has nothing to do with free speech or raising the issue or anything else. They messed up, big time.

I have to ask, how would people react to “Should kids be raped?” or “Should Jews be gassed?” on the forum? Same thing.

Despite progress made over the past 15 years a lot of people have a very hard life in this country because of their sexuality, not to mention the number of people maimed and killed in homophobic attacks. We could do without the national broadcaster implying there’s a fair debate to be had about whether or not we should be killed.

‘No, the objection is the way it is phrased and execution of homosexuals casually posed as a serious topic.’

Absolutely.

And I thought ‘The Execution of Gary Glitter’ was bad….

@26:

By that reasoning,

5. People who disapprove of people who disapprove of 3 (i.e. you) should also = bad.

See how silly this can get? To be clear, there is absolutely nothing anti-free speech in merely criticising a person or corporation for something they have said. Or, if you think otherwise, then presumably you and I are just as authoritarian as each other.

Also the term ‘homosexual offences’ seems to refer to any homosexual act at all. Homosexuality is defined automatically as criminal: the question then becomes simply one of appropriate punishment rather than whether such activity should be criminal at all.

“This implies that African bigotry is more acceptable than non-African bigotry.”

No it doesn’t, it implies that bigotry is happening in Africa through their legislative process because it’s (wrongly) part of the culture and so it actually IS to be expected, unfortunately. It also implies that the BBC shouldn’t go around thinking that just because they put something on the Africa part of a site that the rest of the worlds bigots won’t come and join in the gay bashing.

I actually agree with Sunny – the way the issue was framed is odd, and most un-BBC like. I can only assume the BBC got caught between 2 mutually contradictory PC objectives

1) Not wishing to criticise African culture
and
2) Not wishing to appear homophobic

It looks as though they erred too far on the side of 1)

One of the inherent contradictions of the Politically correct creeds of “tolerance” is exposed in situations like this. If you are “tolerant” of all cultures, you will eventually be in a position of having to “tolerate” a culture which is inherently intolerant.

There is a funny reflexive anti-speech, anti-debate attitude being displayed here. In philosophical/academic debate, it is perfectly common to hear people discussing preposterous notions like whether the whole of humanity should be extinguished therapeutically on general utility grounds. No one seriously objects. I think there is an impression that somehow talking about grotesque policies in a more public realm increases the likelihood of those policies being adopted.

It is worth noting that the holocaust didn’t start with public discussions in German newspapers about the efficacy of gas chambers. It was all kept pretty quiet and neat, just for a handful of professionals (doctors to begin with) to worry about. Perhaps more open discussion of Nazi policy would have made it less likely to happen, rather than more?

@25 Dave Semple: “I don’t live in Islington and I take offence. It’s a stupid question, not because it’s insensitive but because no news organisation funded by our money should be permitted to even countenance that the idea of executing someone for sexual preference is worthy of debate.”

The “idea” is not that of the BBC. The BBC are hosting a debate about somebody else’s vile thoughts. The wording was crass, I agree, and the framing was ill conceived.

But I absolutely love the idea of the BBC hosting debates about the murder of gays, gypsies, Jews, blacks, disabled people, Slavs and others. It helps us to understand race hatred in Europe.

@38 – I think most people understand race hatred pretty well, and can be educated about it without needing to give credence (or air-time) to such absurd notions as the idea that people should be murdered based on sexual preference or race. Which, in your model of the BBC hosting a debate to allow people to act as proponent for their own vile notions, what is going on.

What of course they don’t point out is that this law has been pushed very secretly by an sinister American right wing Christian organisation calling itself “the family.”

They have a number of senior American politicians from both sides of the political isle , and push their agenda in Africa and around the globe. This is not so much African as American Right wing.

They provide accommodation in Washington for politicians and they have helped some hypocrites who have preached morality while being caught in sex scandals. Basically they believe that they are a superior race of people and should be allowed to do whatever they like as the are Christian.

As usual with the American right it is just fascism with the fig leaf of Christianity as the cover.

Yeah that’s the way Sunny – clamp down on that pesky free speech. Everyone must not only think the way you do, they shouldn’t even ask questions that annoy you! That’s the liberal world we want! And those damn fuzzywuzzies should just set aside their own beliefs and culture and adopt Sunny’s “liberal” values, or by god, we’ll bomb those motherfuckers like we did the taliban! Boooorah! Pray for liberal intervention!

You really are an idiot.

41 This must be a joke because no one could be this stupid……

Oh wait, it’s Frank Fisher. That explains it.

Perhaps more open discussion of Nazi policy would have made it less likely to happen, rather than more?

Ehh?? And have you ever encountered a situation where mass discussion of stupid ideas makes them less likely when faced with the intent of murderous lunatic people in power?

And those damn fuzzywuzzies should just set aside their own beliefs and culture and adopt Sunny’s “liberal” values, or by god, we’ll bomb those motherfuckers like we did the taliban! Boooorah! Pray for liberal intervention!

I thought I’d keep this comment up for the hilarious lunacy it clearly illustrates.

At another time this tool would not doubt accuse me of being a bleeding heart cultural relativist happy to sanction the death of homosexuals in Uganda because I ‘worshipped at the altar of multiculturalism’ or something like that.

One can only conclude Fisher is some lunatic robotic troll who copies and pastes comments from the Daily Mail website to oppose whatever the general consensus is here on LC regardless of whether he/it actually agrees with or knows what’s going on.

Still not clear why debate should ever be suppressed.

More on this over here.

Yes ,I can just imagine all these fake Tory libertarian trolls if the BBC had decided to have a debate on Why Conservatives should be executed .

The debate could have put forward the idea that like the French revolution guillotines should be erected in the streets and the Tory front bench put in to tumbrels and taken to their deaths. Yes , I’m sure Conservative home would have laughed like drains at that one.

Leonard hatred said:

“I knew there was a reason I don’t have a TV license.

I mean, beyond not owning a TV”.

Sorry to tell you this Leonard but this debate was on the World Service which is funded by grant in aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ie. your taxes paid for this, not the license fee.

48. Just Visiting

Sally

seems like most American christians have opposed the bill:
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2009/12/uganda_homosexual_gay_law.html

I reported the most recommended comment this morning for being homophobic and it was deleted within minutes, thankfully. But it was so disgusting; I can’t believe they posted it in the first place!

“Ehh?? And have you ever encountered a situation where mass discussion of stupid ideas makes them less likely when faced with the intent of murderous lunatic people in power?”

That is basically the whole liberal justification for freedom of thought and discusssion you have poo-pooed right there: http://www.utilitarianism.com/ol/two.html

I don’t have a direct example, because it a bit like trying to give an example of a negative, a case where discussion of a crap idea led to it NOT being adopted. But there are plenty of examples of crap ideas being put into practice thanks to them not being discussed and debated openly. The gulag would be an example. The cultural revolution preceded without all that much deliberation? This isn’t just about liberty, this is also meant to be one of plus points of democracy.

Suppose that rather than simple incitement to murder that was broadcast over Rwanda before their genocide that there was a robust debate about whether a genocide was justified on the airwaves instead. Could have turned out differently, right?

I think we should have a rational debate about who should hold Constantly Furious down while the rest of us take turns fucking him through the eye sockets.

This isn’t an abstract philosophical problem, it’s one which will have immediate FATAL effects.

If ever there WAS an example of shouting FIRE! in a theatre THIS is it.

That is basically the whole liberal justification for freedom of thought and discusssion you have poo-pooed right there:

Not really, because while I believe in freedom of thought and speech – I’m also not going to stand by if someone is trying to bring an axe to my head.

But, you know, feel free to carry on trying to explain that there is absolutely no difference between two these questions: ‘when is it right to gas Jews?’ and ‘should Jews be targeted for their ethnicity?’.
I’m sure the vast majority of the reality based community is on your wavelength.

“Not really, because while I believe in freedom of thought and speech – I’m also not going to stand by if someone is trying to bring an axe to my head.”

Thats granted, but the BBC wasn’t bring an axe to anyone’s head by having an online discussion. It is that pesky difference between words and deeds which liberals have traditionally taken quite seriously. If anyone is bringing an axe, it is the Ugandan Parliament, but the reason for that is that their decision (if the law passes) amounts to a commission of violent acts against homosexuals (the fact that it is vaguely democratic hardly lends it any legitimacy in this case). By concentrating on the BBC’s actions here, you are just shooting a messenger.

“But, you know, feel free to carry on trying to explain that there is absolutely no difference between two these questions: ‘when is it right to gas Jews?’ and ’should Jews be targeted for their ethnicity?’.”

I never said anything comparing those questions so I am not sure why it is relevant to my argument. I can see the obvious difference, that one contains a hidden assumption or gesture that gassing jews must be right in some context, whereas the other question does not have such an assumption. But the question ‘Should homosexuals face execution?‘ doesn’t have a hidden assumption like that. That particular question seems pertinent because that is (at least part of) what is being debated in the Ugandan Parliament. It is not BBC Africa that is selecting the terms of the debate, they are just reporting it.

Having said that, freedom of speech means you can couch debating questions in whatever way you like, using whatever hidden assumptions you like, and no matter how wrongheaded they are.

Nick,

You can certainly:

Having said that, freedom of speech means you can couch debating questions in whatever way you like, using whatever hidden assumptions you like, and no matter how wrongheaded they are.

My freedom of speech means that I can challenge those hidden assumptions and the wrongheadedness, does it not?

Can I suggest to you that supporting folk that want to murder other folk just because, is perhaps a losing strategy? At least on here.

FrankFisher, have you been drinking?

Mississippi Have Your Say – should blacks be executed?
Germany Have Your Say – should Jews be gassed?
Africa Have Your Say – should homosexuals be executed?

All perfectly legitimate debates, right?

BTW has the BBC apologised?
In fairly typical fashion I see that it closed the (supposedly fully moderated) thread very early, while needless to say fully defending the holding of the debate.
Let’s see how our complaints are dealt with…or not.

Big up Shatterface at 51!

We could do without the national broadcaster implying there’s a fair debate to be had about whether or not we should be killed.

I think this is the key point (and incisively made, too).

Precisely.

Ivan has the point I was going to make. World Service folks, not funded by the licence fee.

The other thing is, of course, that if you’ve got a media operation covering Africa and one country in Africa is proposing to pass such an absurdly vile and hateful law then it would really be rather remiss of you as said media operation (which is funded by the FCO specifically and exactly to promote the British values of, dare I say it, tolerance and fair play (well, no, it’s to make Johnny Foreigner like us but leave that aside)) not to have a discussion about it really.

Of course the law is vile cock: but what do you want a phone in radio programme to say about it other than “why not phone in and tell us what you think about it?”.

(Yes, World Have Your Say is indeed a phone in programme).

An interesting wrinkle.

If the Ugandan government were to put the decision on the new laws out to referendum and the majority of Ugandans voted in favour of executing homosexuals would that make the law legitimate?

And if they voted to ban overt homosexual behaviour in public?

If we say no, that the right to consensual sexual activity is fundamental and overrides the tyranny of the democratic decision, what other individual rights should be seen as being inalienable and not transferable to the whims of the state and its electorate?

Most are covered in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though sexuality is not…of course it should be.

What I find offensive is that while the Ugandan parlaiment is seriously considering executing gays, the first and main reaction of the UK left intelligentsia is to squeal indignantly about the wording of a BBC programme trail.

What a muddled sense of priorities you people have.

But I guess actually protesting the Ugandan action wouldn’t so effectively allow you to preen yourselves and assert your moral superiority.

Of course the BBC was right to ask this question, in these terms, and in this context. What is sick and stupid is your response.

And you are (collectively) ignorant too. It took Tim Worstall to explain even the basics such as: that BBC World Service isn’t licence-fee funded; that WHYS is a phone-in. Pathetic.

Germany Have Your Say – should Jews be gassed?

If the German government were debating a bill on this subject, this would be an important and urgent question for the BBC to address wouldn’t it?

The fact that this measure is before the Ugandan legislature is evidence that a significant section of Ugandan society believes that homosexuals should be executed. There are therefore 2 sides to the debate. The BBC have reacted in an exemplary fashion.

If the German government were debating a bill on this subject, this would be an important and urgent question for the BBC to address wouldn’t it?

Absolutely, in a “let’s see what both sides have to say, shall we?” and “phone in your views” kind of way…

The fact that this measure is before the Ugandan legislature is evidence that a significant section of Ugandan society believes that homosexuals should be executed. There are therefore 2 sides to the debate.

F*cking hell.

Paulo – wait, you’re accusing us of having a muddled sense of priorities while saying its a legitimate debate about killing gays? What a farce.

Nick – I think you should go back to the philosophy books and read up a bit more because you sure as hell aren’t making any sense. Especially since you’re now on the same side as that ignorant donkey Frank Fisher as saying incitement to violence is perfectly ok simply because it’s ‘speech’ and not actual action.

I suppose when the Hutus and Tutsis were making up rumours about each other’s communities in Rwanda you’d have been encouraging it merely because it was speech that had no impact in reality. Right?

‘FrankFisher, have you been drinking?’

Hey, I liked his post-Christmas party blog!

@ Sunny H

Perhaps the difference between us is that I don’t think there is such a thing as an illegitimate debate.

Sometimes there is truth and some sense on both sides of a question. Sometimes one side is clearly right and the other clearly wrong.

In either situation, the BBC is required by its obligation of impartiality to reflect all significant strands of opinion, however wrongheaded. The Ugandans are hardly alone in wishing to execute gays. The Iranian regime has already executed a considerable number. many other Islamic countries prescribe condign punishment for gays. Seems to me that it was time such views were held up to thorough public scrutiny.

Well done BBC!

Moving on from this moment of BBC crassness, the big issue (surely?) is the fact that the Ugandans may pass this into law. Further to this, homosexuality is already outlawed in some other countries, and we appear to be ignoring this. Should these countries be boycotted, like apartheid-era South Africa?

cjcjc – homosexuality is covered in the Refugee Convention under Membership of a Particular Social Group, and I expect a few more refugees leaving Uganda based on this legislation.

I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘illegitimate’ debate, I just don’t see what ‘debate’ we can possibly have:

“Should homosexuals face execution?”

No! It really is that simple.

As for “the BBC is required by its obligation of impartiality to reflect all significant strands of opinion, however wrongheaded.” Well, that’s one if its weaknesses, I think. When there is such a debate, it gives credence to the idea that the opposing viewpoints are equally valid. In fact, it is wholly, utterly wrong for homosexuals to be executed. There is no debate to be had here. The BBC should be drawing the world’s attention to the Ugandan bill, not implying that it is fine to support the execution of homosexuals.

@UKliberty

Despite your moniker you just don’t get this free speech thing, do you?

Where somebody is talking arrant nonsense there is a legitimate debate to be had. By putting them straight.

it gives credence to the idea that the opposing viewpoints are equally valid.

No it doesn’t.

I am debating with you here, but I don’t think your point of view is equally valid. I think you’re wrong and I’m right.

Equally, when the BBC has a Tory and Labour spokesman on to debate some issue, it is not endorsing either or both.

Paulo,

Despite your moniker you just don’t get this free speech thing, do you?

Where have I said people shouldn’t be speaking?

Equally, when the BBC has a Tory and Labour spokesman on to debate some issue, it is not endorsing either or both.

I think Steven Poole skewers this idea of debate in his book, Unspeak:

“Radio and television have a fetish for the duel. In what is called a ‘three-way’, the presenter will chair an argument between two people holding diametrically opposed views. … Maybe someone dreamt that, as in the famous Hegelian formula thesis + antithesis = synthesis, such debates would illuminate an issue. Mostly they are fatuous shouting matches. Worse, this model of ‘balance’ often leads to a distorted and untruthful view of the facts. … the very fact of putting one person in front of a microphone to say that global warming is a threat, and another person in front of the opposing microphone to say that it is a phantom menace, implies that the debate at large is similarly ‘balanced’, with about half of experts agreeing with each guest. In the case of global warming, as with evolution versus ‘intelligent design’, this is patently false.”

UKliberty

You don’t have much faith in the ability of the radio listener to hear both sides, weigh the issues in her own head, and come to a private conclusion, do you.

Oh no…. for you the important thing is to protect the poor simpleton from getting the wrong idea that equal numbers support each side.

I remember the day when those ringing the warning bell over global warming were in a tiny minority. If your system – of regarding only the currently prevailing discourse as valid – had been in force then, Greenpeace et al would never have been able to persuade the majority to come round on the issue.

Liberal Conspiracy is a misnomer – the general approach here seems to be to want to limit or control all forms of discussion or expression.

Paulo,

You don’t have much faith in the ability of the radio listener to hear both sides, weigh the issues in her own head, and come to a private conclusion, do you.

Oh no…. for you the important thing is to protect the poor simpleton from getting the wrong idea that equal numbers support each side.

Well, half the population are of below average intelligence.

But seriously, do you really believe ‘global warming’ science and support for it has been significantly improved by BBC ‘three-ways’ or phone-ins?

If your system – of regarding only the currently prevailing discourse as valid

No, that isn’t my system at all. Try arguing with what I wrote, not what you imagine me to think.

But seriously, do you really believe ‘global warming’ science and support for it has been significantly improved by BBC ‘three-ways’ or phone-ins?

Yes.

And I could cite a number of instances where my own mind has been changed… or my own view has been formed… in response to hearing other people debating an issue.

Were you born with a complete set of public policy prescriptions fully formed?

And I could cite a number of instances where my own mind has been changed… or my own view has been formed… in response to hearing other people debating an issue.

Same here – but not by the usual radio or TV progs debates.YMMV.

Were you born with a complete set of public policy prescriptions fully formed?

You appear to be confusing me with your imaginary friend again.


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  1. Josh Feldberg

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb << this site is totally fake

  2. Jennifer McMahon

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  3. Claire Butler

    A new low, even for HYS – RT @libcon BBC debate asks: ’should homosexuals be executed?’ http://bit.ly/6gkfmA

  4. sciamachy

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  5. Ben Capper

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  6. Ros Ball

    Can't defend my beloved Auntie for this one: RT @libcon: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  7. Ryan Brightwell

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  8. tommyhawkins

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  9. RupertRead

    BBC debate asks: 'Should homosexuals be executed?' ! http://bit.ly/558Wqb This is unacceptable. Our taxpayers'money for 'debates' like this?

  10. Jessica Marshall

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  11. Nicola Davies

    RT @libcon BBC debate asks: ’should homosexuals be executed?’ http://bit.ly/6gkfmA

  12. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  13. Nicolas Redfern

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  14. Soho Politico

    RT @libcon: :: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  15. Claire Spencer

    Seriously? :O RT @JoshFeldberg: RT @libcon: BBC debate asks: 'should homosexuals be executed?' http://bit.ly/558Wqb << this site is fake

  16. Hannah Mudge

    Liberal Conspiracy » BBC debate asks: ’should homosexuals be executed?’ http://bit.ly/558Wqb

  17. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by libcon: :: BBC debate asks: ‘should homosexuals be executed?’ http://bit.ly/558Wqb





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