Here’s a gem of BBC groupthink from last night’s BBC Six O’Clock News

, transcribed in full:

George Alagiah: The number of immigrants arriving in Britain is too high, that’s what the Conservative leader, David Cameron’s said, in his first ever major speech on the issue. He says there’s an unsustainable pressure on public services because of a rising population. The Tories say that there should be strict annual limits on the number of migrants allowed to come here from outside the EU, which would be substantially lower than the figure coming in now.

We then cut to a clip of David Cameron:

David Cameron: Well at the moment the net figure, that’s the difference between people coming and people going to live elsewhere, the net figure, is about 200,000, so that’s two million over ten years, it’s a large number. We think it should be substantially lower than that, I’m not naming the number today, because we think what should happen is a conversation between business on the one hand, that talks about the skills we need in Britain, and public services on the other, about the pressure that immigration brings, and we should arrive at the number, arrive at the limit, through those conversations.

3, 2, 1 and we’re back in the studio with George:

George Alagiah: Well, lets speak to our Political Editor, Nick Robinson, Nick, David Cameron is aware presumably that immigration has proven to be a rather controversial topic for Tory leaders in the past…

We then cut to Nick Robinson, ‘Going live!’, outside at Westminster:

Nick Robinson: So aware that the ‘I’ word, immigration, has barely passed his lips since he became Tory leader, aware yes that Michael Howard, who he worked for of course, and before him, William Hague, were accused of playing the race card when when they spoke of immigration…

Were they Nick, were the Conservatives, sorry Beeboids, let’s use your term, the Tories accused of ‘playing the race card’ when raising legitimate public concerns about population growth, pressure on public services and the establishment of substantial unassimilated foreign communities in the UK on a far larger scale than ever before? Were they really? Who would have done a thing like that?

Nick Robinson: …but quite a bit has changed since then George, first of all the Tories policy now talks of immigration and does not mention controls on asylum seekers. Secondly, there is much greater public concern about a rising population. Thirdly, David Cameron today was careful to talk about family breakdown, as well as immigration, contributing to that increased population and pressure on public services. There could be trouble ahead though when he finally does give us a number, if he ever does, of the number that he wants to come into this country. Why George? He cannot limit the number of Europeans coming, from the EU, those he limits therefore, and let’s just say it, are unlikely to have white faces, they’re likely to have faces that are black and brown, and the controversy will continue. (emphasis added)

George Alagiah: Nick, thank you.

And there we have it: the race card, played by Nick Robinson and the BBC – doing Labour’s dirty work for them. The BBC. It’s what we do.

P.S. In related news, Guido reports former Beeboid Julie Etchingham revealing her leftie prejudices more directly than usual. Her views are usually plain from her disdainful manner when interviewing eviiil toreeeys, but yesterday, whilst Cameron’s speech was being carried live on Sky News, as Cameron said: “Let me outline the action that a Conservative government would take. As we have seen, some of the increase in population size results from natural change – birth rates, death rates. Here our policy should be obvious… “, Botchingham opened her gob, microphone switched on, and said “Extermination!”. Nice – a true professional. It’s a pity that ITN didn’t pick one of Sky’s better presenters to keep Sir Trevor company when News at Ten returns.

General BBC related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

On Thursday night the Guardian broke a story, published on Friday, that Peer was paid to introduce lobbyist to minister

, concerning the payment of cash to former Labour frontbencher, Lord Hoyle, formerly Doug Hoyle, a onetime government whip, MP for Warrington and chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, by a lobbyist:

…for an introduction to Lord Drayson, the defence minister in charge of billions of pounds of military procurement, according to evidence obtained by the Guardian.

The story was mentioned briefly in Newsnight’s round-up on Thursday of Friday’s newspapers, but not all, at least not noticeably so, by any other BBC news programme until Friday’s Newsnight, where Michael Crick had a filmed report with various interviews, but played it down, in the subsequent studio discussion, as not much of a scandal.

Experience suggests there’d have been a good deal more interest in this story across the BBC if Hoyle was an eviiil Toreeey. Strange that.

MEP and Daily Telegraph leader writer Daniel Hannan has been in touch

to report some shockingly biased BBC reporting concerning some comments of his.

Hannan blogged on Thursday, ‘Cast-iron guarantee’ must not rust, about how the Conservatives should handle the EU Treaty. In it he called on his party to make sure they play no games on the issue, saying:

My party calls Gordon Brown a liar because of his sophistry over Europe, and we are right to do so. Let us play no games of our own.

There was no criticism of David Cameron, and in fact nothing but praise for him. But the BBC reported this as Pressure on Cameron over EU poll:

Daniel Hannan MEP told Mr Cameron to “stop playing games” on the issue.

As Hannan writes today, My BBC Barney:

the Beeb made up a false quotation and attributed it to me. This is the sort of thing you get fired for at the Telegraph.

Will anyone at the BBC be fired or at least disciplined for this fabrication?

Whilst it is possible to read Hannan’s original blog post as very oblique criticism of Cameron that’s very much a matter of interpretation and a big stretch at that. But that is beside the point. The BBC quotes Hannan saying that Cameron should “stop playing games” – something Hannan did not say.

The BBC’s fabrication has been online, unamended according to Newssniffer, since 6pm on Friday. The BBC should at the very least correct this story – and publish their correction with the same prominence as the original story, rather than the usual sleazy BBC stealth edit, and issue a public apology to Hannan.

All in all, a fine example of the BBC’s dreadful propensity for making up the news – the BBC wants to push the BBC line about Pressure on Cameron over EU poll, so the BBC scouts about for material to back the BBC line, and then just makes up a quote to hang their story on anyway. Appaling.

General BBC related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

Jonathan Calder of Liberal England asks Why doesn’t the BBC name Emily Thornberry?

Parliament’s standards watchdog, Sir Philip Mawer, has criticised the behaviour of an MP who inserted a quote into an official press release as “unwise”. Sir Philip didn’t name the MP in his annual report, but as Jonathan points out, it takes little effort to find that the MP in question is Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South, subject of a report by the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges (PDF).

Obviously too much effort though for our fearless and inquisitive BBC Views Online cut’n’pasters, who confined themselves to reporting MP ‘unwise’ to alter news release. I suspect they’d have managed a bit more of a splash if the MP was an eviiil Toreeey though.

via Iain Dale.

Sky TV (BSkyB) have applied to Ofcom to remove

their three free-to-air channels, Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Three, from Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT) to replace them with five pay TV channels. This will also require new Freeview equipment for those wishing to subscribe.

I don’t mind Freeview having subscription services on it – indeed, if it did, there would be even less argument than ever for the unique way the BBC is funded by the tellytax rather than through subscriber choice*.

The issue, of course, is that removing Sky News from the free-to-air channels on Freeview will be a serious blow to consumer choice and broadcasting competition, leaving only the BBC providing readily available rolling news coverage on Freeview.

Therefore, Biased BBC calls upon everyone who cares about our democracy and freedom of choice in news services on Freeview to object to this proposal, at least in so far as it affects the availability of Sky News on Freeview.

More details about the proposals are available from Ofcom in the form of an Executive Summary and a PDF of the full proposal.

There are several ways to respond, probably the easiest being online using Ofcom’s online response form. It’s not necessary to answer all of the questions.

* Not surprisingly, when Freeview came into being, the BBC, acting in its own narrow self-interest as usual (rather than the public interest you would expect of a tax-funded public service), ensured that there was no requirement in the Freeview standard for Freeview boxes to have provision for subscription services – with the result that many current boxes aren’t subscription capable. (Though what the BBC didn’t bargain on of course is that the price of Freeview equipment has fallen so dramatically that their self-interested ‘fixing’ of the standard is rapidly ceasing to be a valid objection to the BBC becoming a subscription service).

Thank you to Biased BBC reader Ali P.

Following up on recent revelations about the BBC invasion of Facebook

, Samuel Coates, deputy editor of Conservativehome, has cleverly found a silver lining to such wholesale Beeboid waste of tellytaxpayer’s time – revealing that there are eleven times more ‘liberals’ at the BBC than ‘conservatives’.

Facebook lets you target advertising at people based on various criteria, including their workplace and their declared political outlook (using the American terms liberal, moderate and conservative to represent left of centre, centre and right of centre views).

Currently there are 10,580 known BBC people registered on Facebook. Of these, 1,800 have indicated their political views, as follows:

BBC staff profiles on Facebook:

All BBC staff


BBC liberals


BBC moderates


BBC conservatives


It’s not a scientific survey, but it’s certainly indicative of the imbalance of views represented by those who work for our beloved state broadcasting institution.

For good measure, Samuel goes on to compare the breakdown of BBC political views on Facebook with those of the general UK and London populations on Facebook. It turns out that across the UK, the ratio of liberals to conservatives on Facebook is just 2.5 to 1, with London at 3 to 1 – a long way short of the BBC’s 11 to 1.

There may be an argument that the use of the American terms liberal, moderate and conservative causes confusion, but in that case, why does it seem to cause so much more confusion at the BBC than among the UK population at large?

I wonder how long it will take for the BBC to forbid their employees from indicating their political views on their Facebook profiles…

Update (1pm): Samuel adds:

There are tonnes of stats out there waiting to be found via Flyers Pro in Facebook’s Advertising section, including that the Lib-Con ratio is fairly even throughout the demographics of BBC employees, with men having a very slightly better ratio than women and over thirties slightly better than twentysomethings.

Thank you to Samuel for the tip. Top stuff!

General BBC related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

Biased BBC reader Robinhas kindly submitted this article

Biased BBC reader Robinhas kindly submitted this article:

For the BBC, natural disasters seem to be a golden opportunity to attack President Bush and to amplify the prevailing pro-climate change bigotry. Take the Californian bush fires, which some of the online reporting acknowledges have actually been part of the American climate scene for time immemorial.

Yet in paragraph five of BBC News Online’s main report of the fires, the finger of blame for some part of the problem is sneakily but firmly being pointed at George W.:

A White House spokeswoman said Mr Bush, whose administration was accused of a sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina two years ago, wanted to “witness first-hand” the crisis.

Not per se bias, but the implication is clear. Dear George W. He simply can’t get it right when it comes to climate change. Or anything.

In their background report on the fires, reporter Tim Egan raises the global warming problem in the intro by declaring that the fires “are set to become the norm” for many months of the year. Further down, he gives the reason, and begins to wax lyrical about the main theme of his piece:

We can expect longer, more damaging fire seasons. And they will threaten more homes. Two trends – climate change, and a population surge into the open country – are converging in a place where fire has long had a home.

Oh yes? He goes on to quote the UN’s notorious Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel as the main source that this is happening, and buttresses it with mentions of a geographer’s view that local tree-ring data supports the theory that California is getting hotter. No mention, though, as would be expected in reporting of this kind, of the balancing cautionary notes sounded by those such as Steve McIntyre on his excellent Climate Audit blog, where he points out, in an item posted on October 12, A Little Secretthat the very data that is being cited by Mr Egan as rock-solid proof of global warming hasn’t been properly measured or evaluated in decades.

The BBC – full of hot air, and making it hotter all the time.

Thank you Robin. Most appreciated. Other Biased BBC readers are very welcome to submit articles for the main blog too via, either as a one off or with a view to joining the team permanently. Your help will be much appreciated.