Under the thumb of Stonewall for too long, the BBC must now restore its impartiality
I have often been critical of the BBC. It's current woke progressive agenda and liberal bias have far too often made a mockery of its history and its commitment to balance. Yet it still produces some excellent programmes that (almost) justify the licence fee – and it still has some excellent journalists who are not afraid to question and do some actual journalism.
One of these is Stephen Nolan from Northern Ireland. Recently he has produced a series of 10 podcasts from BBC Northern Ireland which represent BBC journalism at its very best. To the credit of the BBC, the programmes are deeply critical of the corporation itself.
Nolan takes over eight hours to expose just how far Stonewall has infiltrated organisations such as Ofcom and the BBC. It is one of the most revealing series you will ever listen to. Stonewall and its supporters of course hate it – some of them tweeting within hours just how horrible it was. But for some organisations the penny is finally beginning to drop - as Nolan's exposé of Stonewall and its methods shows.
As a window into the weirdness of our woke world, Nolan Investigates is a must listen. Especially for those of us in the church who seek to understand the times – and those who might be tempted to go along with Stonewall's agenda. It shows just how confused and confusing our society is for our young people when they are taught 'there are lots of different ways of being different things'. Or 'the person who gives birth is different from the person who is pregnant'. Is there any world in which that makes sense?
The list of different genders would be humorous if it were not so dangerous. In episode three Nolan asks Ben Cohen, the Chief Executive of Pink News, and one of Stonewall's strongest advocates – to define 'two spirit' and 'gender queer'. He can't. Stonewall is pushing a doctrine that it cannot even explain.
The LGB Alliance (classed as a hate group by Stonewall supporters – hate group in their language is anyone who disagrees with them) is concerned that the current trans agenda is anti-gay: "Trans transitioning is conversion therapy for young gays." The case for this is clearly made – although one wonders if Stonewall and the likes of Jayne Ozanne or Steve Chalke and the UK and Scottish governments who are so opposed to 'conversion therapy' will be seeking to ban it on that basis?!
Another example of Stonewall's influence is seen in episode 7 where it is pointed out that the Scottish government, at the urging of Stonewall, has removed the word 'mother' from its policies. In addition to this, such biased terms as 'pregnant women', 'and mothers and fathers' have been taken out of their maternity document.
When challenged on this by Nolan, the Scottish government refused to appear and instead sent a statement which justified their actions by saying that Stonewall had praised them for their work! The same programme also points out that Scottish civil servants who are required to remain neutral were actively acting as Stonewall advocates within the government. I have experienced that myself within the Scottish government. All the while, the Scottish government is paying Stonewall to lobby itself. It's no wonder that Stonewall gives them a clean bill of health!
And therein lies the genius of how Stonewall operates. Stonewall audits companies, organisations, schools and gets them to pay for the pleasure of being told that they are not 'diverse' enough. Stonewall then offers them 'training' so that they can meet Stonewall's standards. They pay £2,500 plus per year for Stonewall, and Stonewall alone, to tell them what LGBT rights are. If you dare to criticise Stonewall it's just a sign that you don't care. But as Nolan asks: "public bodies signing up to being gagged by a lobby group.... what the H is going on?"
It's not just the Scottish government who don't want to answer questions about Stonewall's influence. The Welsh government simply said "we are an inclusive organisation". Some organisations would not release information under a Freedom of Information request because it would damage Stonewall's 'commercial' interests.
Stonewall even managed to get Ofcom to sign up to its agenda, with Nolan's investigation uncovering that the regulator told Stonewall it had warned a broadcaster over a presenter who said he would be uncomfortable if his six-year-old daughter was changing in front of a male. Ofcom also said they had commended broadcasters who signed up to be Stonewall diversity champions and went to Pride events. Ofcom has now left the Diversity Champions scheme over the "risk of perceived bias", although it continues to submit information to Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index. When asked about its exact relationship with Stonewall, Ofcom cited confidentiality.
Meanwhile the BBC were left with a lot of questions to answer by its own journalist. Sam Smith, ex-BBC journalist, said that people within the corporation are frightened to speak out and say what they really think. Why is this the case? Why was the BBC's LGBT correspondent fronting Stonewall videos? Why did Stonewall's claim that there are multi-genders end up becoming the position of the BBC education department? Why is the BBC paying money to a lobby group? The BBC has so far refused to answer.
The BBC is a powerful and influential cultural institution. The fact that it has been captured by an extremist ideology which is causing so much harm is deeply disturbing. One of the consequences of this is that the BBC has now redefined homosexuality, gender, bisexuality etc just like marriage was redefined.
Trust is the foundation of the BBC, and it claims itself to be "independent, impartial and honest". It appears that Stephen Nolan has shown these values to be in danger. At one time, the BBC motto was "nation shall speak peace unto nation", based on verses from Micah and Isaiah. In 1934, this was changed to "Quaecunque" meaning 'whatsoever', which came from Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
What a joy it would be if the BBC returned to that standard instead of feeding us the impure, wrong and ugly doctrines of Stonewall. Or at least hold to the values as expressed in their mission statement, which says: "The BBC should reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom both in its output and services. In doing so, the BBC should accurately and authentically represent and portray the lives of the people of the United Kingdom today, and raise awareness of the different cultures and alternative viewpoints that make up its society."
It would be good if the BBC remembered this and gave us more of the kind of diverse reporting represented by Nolan Investigates. That would be a start. Who knows, one day they may even "authentically represent and portray the lives" of the millions of people who profess to be biblical Christians in the UK!
David Robertson works as an evangelist with churches in Sydney, Australia, where he runs the ASK Project. He blogs at The Wee Flea.