Thursday, 10 September 2009

The British Council Financing Pro-Turkey Propaganda

The British Council is a public body that subsists largely on funds from the British government. Its remit is to spread knowledge of the English language and British culture and to assist the formation of cultural ties between peoples. Given this rather innocuous mission statement, therefore, it is disturbing to note that the organisation is indirectly propagandising on behalf of Turkey's admission to the EU. It provides funds for the so-called Independent Commission on Turkey which recently released a report condemning Europe for refusing to be enthusiastic about the prospect of 80 million semi-literate, semi-civilised Muslims turning up to destroy European civilisation from within.

No one who reads the report issued by this "Independent Commission" could be in any doubt about where the commissioners stand. There is not even a pretence of impartiality. They are actively lobbying for Turkish accession and deploring any effort to impede it.

So we are presented with a situation in which British taxpayer funds are being used to propagandise the British public on behalf of a controversial political issue. This is absolutely outrageous, and a gross violation of the British Council's remit. Of course this is no great surprise since for the last few years it has been led by none other than former European Commissioner and failed party political leader Neil Kinnock.

This violation of acceptable norms should not be casually tolerated, however. If you are a British citizen, please contact the British Council here and complain about their inappropriate funding of pro-Turkey propaganda activities.

Today I sent the follow email of complaint to the British Council :

As a British taxpayer I want to communicate my resentment to you of the fact that you are providing funding for the so-called “Independent Commission on Turkey”. The work of this commission has shown that it is a propagandistic body. Rather than impartially examining the “challenges and opportunities” of Turkey’s prospective EU membership, as stated in its charter, it has, in fact, become a lobbying organisation actively campaigning for it.

The potential accession of Turkey is a controversial political issue. Opinion polls have shown that a clear majority of Europeans are opposed to Turkish membership. In providing funding for propaganda on a controversial political issue, therefore, the British Council has, in this instance, exceeded its lawful remit. It cannot be right that British taxpayer funds are used to propagandise the British population on a matter of legitimate controversy.

I ask that you immediately cease to provide funding for the “Independent Commission on Turkey”.

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