“No Nuclear Hypocrisy - Report on UK Nukes,” read dozens of placards outside the BBC's Portland Place HQ on Thursday 9 February. CND called the midday protest to draw attention to the BBC's failure to report fairly on the nuclear non-proliferation obligations of all nations.
Speaking about BBC Radio 4's Today programme of 31 January, Bruce Kent, CND Vice-President, said, “Once again the BBC has run an item on Iran without any mention of the major breach by the `declared' nuclear weapons states of a major provision of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”
Bruce Kent was referring to Article VI of the NPT, which calls for nuclear weapon states to pursue negotiations for complete nuclear disarmament. The nuclear weapon states signatory to the NPT (UK, US, France, Russia, China) have not made any progress towards meeting this obligation since the Treaty came into force in 1970.
An accurate picture?
Speakers at the event included CND Vice-President Walter Wolfgang, Bruce Kent, CND Chair Kate Hudson, Air Commodore Alistair Mackie, Lindsey German of Stop the War, Dr Elaheh Rostami-Povey of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Roudabeh Shafie of Action Iran.
”Today's protest showed that media organisations cannot report unfairly on nuclear issues without being challenged. Simply reporting on accusations against Iran does not give the public an accurate picture of the global context of nuclear weapons proliferation,” said Kate Hudson.
In a letter to the BBC's Board of Governors, the protesters wrote, “We would like... to receive an assurance that the BBC will hold Britain to account for its obligations under the NPT in the same way that it does for Iran or any other nation.” At time of going to press, no reply from the BBC had been received.