BBC debates executing gays

BBC-Africa-Have-Your-Say-001The Guardian reports that the BBC news website has been running a debate on the charming topic ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’ on a talkboard discussion for a World Service programme for African listeners.

This is in the context of the new Ugandan legislation that makes homosexuality a capital crime. There’s an interesting story about the links between high-profile American fundamentalists and the murderous laws in Uganda but the point I want to make here relates to the connection between the BBC’s provision of airtime for the fascist British National Party and its willingness to ponder the extermination of gays. That is, in the stoush over BNP fuhrer Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, the BBC management asserted, almost as a matter of principle, the necessity of giving time to abhorrent views of the far right (even when, as in the case of the BNP’s racism, these views contradict the BBC’s charter).  And once you’ve debated fascism, why not debate mass murder?

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

Subscribe | Renew | Donate November 9–16 to support progressive literary culture for another year – and for the chance to win magnificent prizes!

Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland. He is the co-author (with Jill Sparrow) of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, the editor (with Antony Loewenstein) of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left and the author of Communism: a love story, Killing: Misadventures in violence, and Money Shot: A Journey into Censorship and Porn.  On Twitter, he's @Jeff_Sparrow.

More by


  1. And while we’re at it we should execute everyone in the world who disagrees with me … wait, being the last surviving human may get lonely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>