It’s Tuesday 28th January, at exactly 8:56am, when a member of BBC London’s social media team makes the questionable decision to tweet the following:
Maybe it should no longer come as a surprise that the BBC’s political output continues to miss the mark, and yet, somehow, it proceeds to instil a sense of amazement. Receiving 1,400 replies in just over 3 hours, it seems reasonable to suggest that they have, once again, outdone themselves.
Many now consider [the BBC] a mouthpiece for the establishment, despite its apparent dedication to impartiality
At first glance, the tweet is no more than a bizarre (albeit slightly disturbing) image of a bulldog which has been partially edited green for a reason nobody can quite decipher. However, among the witty responses, some genuine concerns are raised.
The BBC has faced palpable criticism in recent months for its failure to remain unbiased – one of the alleged core values of the publicly-funded British broadcaster. Many now consider it a mouthpiece for the establishment, despite its apparent dedication to impartiality and freedom from political control.
This tweet has only served to further spark – and arguably strengthen – these accusations. One individual questioned: ‘Why are an ‘unbiased’ broadcaster like the BBC linking Brexit with a pro-nationalist symbol like a Bulldog?’
The British bulldog symbol has long conjured notions of Winston Churchill’s ‘tenacity’ during World War II. However its roots stretch back to the 17th century satirical character ‘John Bull’, considered a personification of England and a caricature of the typical ‘hard-headed, plain-dealing, bold, ale-loving Englishman.’
The British bulldog symbol has come to connote a glorification of ‘militarism, racism and imperialism’
Since then, the British bulldog symbol has come to connote an aggressive form of nationalism; a glorification of ‘militarism, racism and imperialism’ that has been adopted by British fascist organisations.
With this in mind, the BBC’s use of the British bulldog when discussing Brexit has understandably been perceived as an implicit nod to the xenophobia plaguing the Brexit debacle. Rather than attempting to oust these sentiments, the BBC is seemingly propagating it.
This ‘plain-dealing, hard-headed’ nation remains divided
As the UK is just days from exiting the EU, tensions are high – despite any concrete changes only likely to occur much further down the line.
This ‘plain-dealing, hard-headed’ nation remains divided and uncertain of what the future holds.