The Guardian and David Miller

This is a guest post by Khalid Richards

Has anti-semitism become normative in the editorial policy at the Guardian? Here’s a story that suggests that it is certainly getting there.

Yesterday the Graun reported that Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, had awarded a £2M grant to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which provides security for Jewish schools. For the Guardian this was a “scoop” because Gove had sat on the CST board since 2007.

Unfortunately the Guardian failed to explain that CST is not the recipient of any of the donations it receives. It simply distributes funds to various security companies which provide services to Jewish schools, none of which Gove sits on the boards of. Even Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, tweeted this:

“I’ve had many disagreements with Michael Gove, but on this one he’s right: CST do a great job on security for Jewish schools.”

The decision by the Guardian to publish a false accusation could be put down to shoddy reporting or an over-zealous impulse to “stick it to the Tories”. But that fails to explain its egregious decision to deny CST a right to reply; instead the newspaper buttresses its report with the opinion of Professor David Miller! Yes, you read that right; none other than David Miller “of the Spinwatch pressure group, which campaigns for greater transparency in politics”. Miller is quoted in the report:

“It is blindingly obvious that he should have stood aside, as this is a potential conflict of interest. This is another example of transparency rules in the UK being ineffectual and in serious need of overhaul.”

Readers of the Spittoon are already aware of Miller’s work and his commitment to “greater transparency”. The sources of David Miller’s organisational funding and the fact that certain anti-semitic references have “mistakenly” crept into the information disseminated by a SpinWatch contributor have already been discussed here.

Harry’s Place has condemned the Guardian’s uncritical embrace of Miller in straightforward terms:

David Miller also runs a series of websites, one of which reproduced the thesis of a notorious neo-Nazi, Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald believes that Jews are genetically predisposed to scheme and conspire against non-Jews. The article was eventually removed, after this was pointed out to them. But, as far as we can tell, nobody was “sacked” from Miller’s project for promoting neo-Nazi antisemitism.

David Miller’s various web sites have not been averse to smearing moderate British Muslims who are opposed to organised Political Islamic lobby groups in the UK. Moreover, Miller’s campaigns to “expose” lobby groups curiously fail to expose any Islamist lobby groups. A search for information on the activities of the Islamic Forum Europe or the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to take two examples, draws a complete blank. The selective absence of data on particular lobby groups on a web site that purports to catalogue lobby group activity in the interests of “transparency” is revealing. It would suggest that SpinWatch is not without an agenda.

Toby Young frames it like this:

So, let’s be clear about what the Guardian is doing here. It’s running a hit piece about the Secretary of State for Education that falsely accuses him of acting improperly, the source for which is a purveyor of anti-semitic propaganda.

What’s striking about this is that it inadvertently highlights the two biggest weaknesses of Guardian journalists: their knee-jerk opposition to public service reform and their willingness to regurgitate anti-semitic propaganda. Given that the Secretary of State is a conspicuous philo-simite, I daresay he will continue to be targeted. Let’s hope next time the Guardian does’t rely on the likes of David Miller.

So what opinion should we hold of a newspaper that becomes the mouthpiece for a character like David Miller?

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3 Comments

  1. Lotus
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    The Guardian has apologised for the “timing” of the article but not for the factual errors.

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=255656

  2. fatpie42
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    So long as this mistake is a one-off, I’m not sure how it can be accused of being anti-semitic. The Guardian didn’t publish neo-Nazi theses. They published an article tying Gove to a possible conflict of interest. That Gove has ties to that particular organisation is absolutely true, even if the conflict of interest aspect was mistaken.

    This isn’t outright lies as are often found in the Mail. While it’s worth alerting The Guardian to these ties to anti-semtism from this author to avoid him embarrassing the paper in the future, the actual piece they printed on this occasion was correct on the basic facts and was not anti-semitic.

  3. eldon
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    These people r under the erroneous impression that if Israel would dissapear the Muslimes would settle down a b peaceful!?!?! This is short circuit thinking! The Muslimes r taught 2 hate and kill out of infancy. A truly Satanic “religion”

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