This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards,but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to content....

text size: Decrease text-size Increase text-size

Skip to content....

Allister exposes gagging conspiracy

18 April 2009

Sitting MEP, Traditional Unionist Jim Allister, has alleged politically motivated discrimination by the BBC and UTV in their intended allocation of Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs) in the upcoming European Election.


With both BBC and UTV having decreed that the sitting MEP, and poll topper in 2004, will have only 1 PEB, while the parties of government, DUP, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionists and SDLP, will each have 3, Jim Allister has protested that a deliberate conspiracy is afoot to gag him. Even Alliance is to have 2 broadcasts!


In a statement Jim Allister said:-


"Whatever any objective observer may think of my politics, I believe any reasonable person will see the untenable unfairness of this carve up of Party Election Broadcasts. While each of the other sitting MEPs are to have 3, I am to be limited to the minimum allowable, namely 1.


Just as evidence has emerged of the regime at Stormont seeking to suppress freedom of speech in the print media, with their outrageous and intimidatory letter to the proprietor of the Belfast Telegraph, so I detect greater success with the BBC and UTV by those determined to silence all views but their own.


Clearly, my message of dissent from terrorists in government does not suit the present regime, nor the NIO. I firmly believe both have had their way with the broadcast media.


I am, of course, appealing the decisions. 


I have also reason to believe that this anti-democratic conspiracy will extend to keeping me out of the same studios as the candidates of the government parties in election discussion programmes. Such doubtless serves the DUP/Sinn Fein agenda and fits the DUP's fear of debate and challenge, but it ill-serves the public interest of an informed and inclusive debate between sitting MEPs and the contenders.


While this jaundiced decision will undoubtedly delight the hacks of those parties who have lobbied for it and who fear debate, I believe it will astound and appal all fair-minded voters.


The degree to which the BBC and UTV try to suppress even this criticism will confirm the perception."

back to list