about Bias and Facts
All history is biased
This, rather pessimistic statement, is only true up to a point. For any significant event a ‘true history’ – that is, one that accounts for all the facts, and all the details – would be impossible to write, even were it possible to obtain the data. But it is possible to find historical truth even where data is incomplete. So, the aim must be to be as balanced as possible in our presentation of history. In order to achieve that we need to know our own bias.
What we are attempting here, for the sake of truth and justice, is a re-balancing of mainstream media bias. There is a massive imbalance in news reporting especially of the Middle and Near East. Few have the time to access multiple newspapers, listen to/ watch several news broadcasts, access on-line media. And how do we know we are getting a balanced dose of ‘the news’? This, ‘history in the making’, contributes to our worldview, informs the way we understand the world, its people and events, and affects our opinions and decisions.
Included in these pages, in the blog and the links is news and background that, generally, is missing from the mainstream. To understand Irish nationalism you need at least 400 years of British history. Similarly with the Basques in Spain. If you want to know a little of why Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, are so problematic you will be lost without at least an overview of 300+ years of French, British and Russian imperialism and that is before ever we get to German unification and World War 1. (It is possible to ‘make do’ with the more recent history as long as we are aware of the more distant past!)
Here we hope to provide sufficient of an overview for a basic understanding. Links will be provided to authors and websites which will fill out the story, although never enough. Some will always be dissatisfied that their viewpoint has not been given sufficient weight. Ultimately that is down to our/my bias and inadequacies. Errors of fact can be corrected -please use the contact form. We will either set it right or give an explanation as to why we disagree.
This website is a mix of fact, comment and opinion. What’s the difference?
- A fact is, or should be a statement that is actually true. Since this is what this document is about, I’ll come to that below.
- A comment is, usually, a response to a statement or an opinion. Some comments on this site, for instance on the blog/news posts will be from third-parties, that is, not the author of the site/post/page. Comments will be moderated, but will only be edited where they are excessively lengthy, or irrelevant. Abusive comments will be deleted.
- An opinion may be a response to an event or situation but can be more general, broader in scope than a more limited post. Opinions may be represented on the website by pdf documents authored by third-parties as on the Resources and Information pages.
So, what about facts?
Every effort has been made to check the data on this website. Where possible I have viewed original documentation, whether British Government Archive or other source document or book. Quotations are from source material unless otherwise stated, (as i.e. where the quote is included in a book and it is difficult or impossible to obtain access to the original. Where I have used an ellipsis – those three dots … – they indicate text omitted from a quotation without it affecting the text’s meaning. (Please note, that is not always the case where an ellipsis occurs in 3rd party items!)
What about items of news? We have all become aware of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon but news that isn’t ‘true’ has always been around. We might ask, “Did that event happen?” It’s a reasonable question, but equally important, perhaps more so, is to ask, “Did it happen exactly in the way it’s been reported?”. Often the language used in reporting an event conveys an impression that can ‘bend’ opinion. For instance, we might hear of a ‘black man apprehended for a violent assault’ where a white person would be described simply as ‘a man …’. It is a kind of bias that can easily slip past us.
On the news page and the blog you can be sure that I’ve done everything I can to check the facts, but that doesn’t mean I will always get it right. If you see anything that is incorrect please let me know using the Contact Form and I’ll put it right. But please make sure you aren’t simply giving me your opinion. Tell me what’s wrong, why it’s wrong and what is your, better source: checking my sources is my job, checking yours is yours!