Thursday, March 31, 2005

No Blacks, No Scots, No Irish

I sometimes feel a bit sorry for the good folks at the Commission for Racial Equality. Their latest caper involves a full investigation into, of all things, the 2004 appointment of Zoe Salmon - aka Miss Northern Ireland 1999 - as Blue Peter's latest presenter.

According to an article from the BBC website, the Commission "received a complaint that the BBC practised racial discrimination by targeting people from Scotland and Northern Ireland for the role."


Several questions spring to mind here, such as who made this complaint in the first place? One deranged xenophobe? And if so, why is the CRE taking it so seriously? Because surely it's fairly obvious to everyone that one nutter's "racial discrimination" is everyone else's inclusiveness and regional representation? I would have thought that most of us would agree it's a good thing that we've begun to move on from the days when everybody on the Beeb sounded like they were from the Home Counties. Wouldn't the world be a duller place without the fantastic Marcus "Deh 44 in tha Big Brootha House" Bentley? If anything, we need a bigger variety of accents and origins on the BBC, not less.

And on a more sombre note, if the CRE is seriously validating ludicrous claims such as these by launching an investigation, what will they do if a similar complaint is lodged, only this time over the media's "unfair bias" towards blacks or Asians? Slippery slope, etc.