If we follow foolish European Union Foreign Policy (God knows why they should have a foreign policy department, commissioner and team financed by our taxes) over Egypt, we risk a great deal of our interests being badly damaged, not just in Egypt but among Egypt powerful, rich influential allies like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman as well as Jordan ( they are also essentially part of wider historic British interest in Middle East and the Gulf region).
Not only our news organisations, Broadcast and Fleet Street ( and the American ones across the pond) covering Egypt failed to do any research on Muslim Brotherhood history of and association with terrorism, they also omit, from their copy or videos, historic facts, personalities and information vital to the narrative thus misleading British listeners, viewers and readers.
By constructing false and untrue narrative of the Egyptian Crisis the BBC, followed by other liberal left media, then copied by nearly all, is harming long-term British interests in Egypt and the Middle East region, especially with our Foreign Secretary William Hague unwisely following a foolish European course threatening Egypt while Cairo influential and rich Gulf allies led by Saudi Arabia have already warned the European Union against such folly. It seems that BBC led other left-wing/liberal media in setting the agenda to convince the British chattering classes and the larger political establishment of a false narrative of the crisis in Egypt. A false narrative and analysis which is not only misleading and doesn’t reflect reality on the ground, but also causing anger and resentment among the vast majority of Egyptians and their interim government, which, alongside the military, enjoys huge public support. Even the perception of policy that Egyptians might interpret as racist, demeaning or hurts their pride, poses a danger to our long term interests in Egypt and in the Arab world, especially UK Britain economic interests in the important markets of the Gulf and security interest in the Middle East region that could be damaged beyond repair.
Looks like the Independent is heading for a costly and damaging liable case about to be launched by two, and possible three Egyptian publishers and media companies, unless the Inde prints a humiliating apology and retraction, although the injured party, being a publisher and media savvy himself, tells me he is adamant the apology printed to the same space of the offending piece.
I try to monitor UK media reporting on Egypt ( since we have contacts and correspondents there and can check facts on the ground with near 100% accuracy) to see whether correspondents , analysts or columnists stick to the traditional fleet street criteria ( ie PPC Press Complaints Council Editors Code of Practice ) ; the Of-Com Broadcasting code ;& the BBC Editorial Guidelines ; the NUJ ( national Union of Journalists) Code of Conduct and last but not least the obvious commonsense practice of sticking to facts, sourcing information, abiding by laws, and making a clear distinction ( easily noticeable and understood by readers/viewers/listeners) between hard facts, and opinion, analysis or guess. In the light of such criterion I will try to highlight shortcomings or errors by British media. I hope fellow hacks and hackettes are not offended but try to see it as an extension or further explanation to what might have been overlooked in the rush to meet deadlines.
Cairo Today (Qahera el Youm) have just reported a shocking police intervention that goes to confirm something we already knew. A bus was stopped en route to Rabaa Adawiya as part of a routine check. In the bus were dozens of orphans, street children and children of poor families under the supervision of an MB cleric. They were scruffily dressed but were clutching bags containing smart new clothes. They told the police that the ‘sheikh’ had given them the clothes plus LE 20 and promised them good food. They said their didn’t know where they were going. In a few cases, their parents had been given substantial sums to release their kids in the temporary care of the cleric. The program showed photos and videos of those poor kids scheduled to be used as human shields and to boost the MB’s PR campaign. This really is too much. I had heard about it but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
It was exactly a month ago that Egyptian Military put its three day old ultimatum ( to all political forces in the country to form a national unity government, or the army would enforce a road map out of the crisis). The result was the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi, and following steps clearly defined in the constitution for such eventuality. This account I wrote three weeks ago for the New African Magazine, now it has been printed. I can put it on this blog.
Four weeks after masses of Egyptians –between 18m to 35 Million ( de-pneds whether you take police or protesters figures) at least three fold the numbers who overthrew President Honsi Mubark regime in February 2011, took to the streets all over the country in “ June 30 Revolution” a tale of two Egypts still unfolding and edging toward serious, and possibly nasty clash.