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.

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

  1. The Fat Contractor says:

    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.

    A blatant lie if ever there was one. It is the BBC and Liebore that conflate immigration and asylum, two very different things. The Tories have always been careful to separate the two. AFAIK the Tories have never rowed back from the country’s duty on asylum only on the idea that unfettered immigration is anything but a disaster in the making.


  2. dave t says:

    The BBC graphics department are being shifty too; the map here showing where immigrants come from is misleading at best. There is no way 43,000 pure Germans immigrated into the UK – most of these are more likely to be Turkish and the same for the Spanish and French numbers – more than likely to be African or Arab racial mix than European as the BBC tries to imply. Note the graphics shows “country of last residence”. And it is a passenger survey – from airlines or suchlike?

    Why do they not show a bar chart showing country of ORIGIN which will reveal the true figures from the African/Arabic and Indian sub continents. eg South Africa 63,000 yet no mention of Zimbabwe which must be higher or are they actually the SA figure? The whole graphic tries to hide the true figures and nationalities that are coming here. If there is no-one from Somalia coming here then why is my cousin’s primary school in Barking full of Somalis most of whom speak FRENCH as their second language not English?

    In years to come the BBC will be blamed for causing much of the problem within communities by their bone headed refusal to (a) report ALL the facts and (b) often deliberate efforts to conceal the problems due to their ridiculous political correctness.


  3. Martin says:

    Funny that Gordon Brown’s British jobs for British workers speech wasn’t considered “racist”

    Not only that but that very phrase is illegal. No EU Country can deny jobs to other EU citizens.

    I bet Gordon got ruffed up by his “chum” Andy Marr on that one. NOT!

    On and can we all kill the myth that Sky News is some sort of Israel supporting right wing media outlet?

    It never has been. It’s just as pro left bum licking Nu Labour as the BBC. It employs the same sort of arts educated left wing media types that the BBC does (many of course who now work at Sky worked for the BBC and vice versa)

    The difference is, if you don’t like what Sky says, you don’t have to pay for it.


  4. bodo says:

    Reminiscent of the run-up to the last general election campaign in 2005 where Labour, ably assisted by the BBC, shamelessly played the race card.
    All three main parties had remarkably similar declared policies on immigration — i.e. some sort of vague limit in conjunction with a points system. I suspect the only real difference was that the Tories intended to actually do something, whereas with the other two it was no more than “covering the bases” in the run-up to the election. The BBC repeatedly asserted that this represented a “lurch to the right” by the “nasty party” — or whatever the phrases of the day were. Admittedly the Tory campaign was lamentable, they should have merely pointed out the similarities between the parties, but it was shameless way the BBC repeatedly smeared the Tory party, especially in the all-important week or so before the actual election.


  5. NotaSheep says:

    I saw that exchange yesterday and was amazed, even for the BBC it was brazen. The BBC anti-Conservative bias is getting more obvious, I don’t think they even care about seeming even handed any more.


  6. Jeff says:

    Oh my word, did anyone catch the hilarious BBC’s 6 o’clock performance just now about the immigration cock-up?

    Bizarre fixed manical grins, platitudes about immigrants working hard and contributing to the economy, etc, al. The Beeboids are sounding more and more like little Thatcherites when trying to justify this mess. I thought society was more important than the economy?

    And their disgusting sneering attitude about lazy British workers refusing to be like migrants, ie, living five or six to a room and working for less than the minimum wage.

    The sooner BBC is broken-up and sold off the better!


  7. Martin says:

    Yes. But did you see the kicking Caroline Flint (she’s very cute but dumb) got off Jon Snow.

    Considering Channel 4 has always been (at least in my eyes) more liberal than the BBC (especially the news) they do seem to like kicking this useless bunch of losers we have in power at the moment.

    The wet Tory that was on C4 news was hopeless.

    C4 do seem to be the only ones pointing out that extremist Islam is far more common in Britain than the BBC would have us believe and that immigration is not as good for us as the lefties at the BBC would have us believe.


  8. Chris says:

    Yes Jeff I saw the news, and the comments about them making work where there was none and contributing to the economy although as we don’t seem to know how many are here how can they be paying tax?
    But then another thought struck me that was not mentioned, such as the extra strain on hospitals, schools, Doctors, Dentists Etc. Etc. So I wonder when the beeb will do a programme on that.
    I suspect we will wait a long time.


  9. Stephanie clague says:

    Hsa the BBC ever told us how much money immigrants and asylum seekers send back to their countries of origin?
    We are always being told how much immigrants(sorry migrants)contribute BUT on its own the figure is meaningless!
    I bet that if the BBC were to have a collective mental breakdown and publish the figures of money flowing JUST to the Indian sub continent alone it would make many British people gasp! No wonder then that they will never publish these figures!


  10. The Silent Majority (aus) says:

    I have just read 2 articles about the hate literature in mosques, and just cannot believe the BBC bias and HAD to post it here. Sorry if you have already discussed it
    First link to associated press

    Second link to BBC

    Correct me if I am not reading something correctly, this is unbelievable.


  11. Jeff says:

    Yes, it was odd. They don’t know how many are here, but they know these invisible people are doing jobs, and creating extra jobs we’re not doing. Truly unbelievable!


  12. Oscar says:

    It is quite incredible that Gordon Brown got away with his ‘British jobs for British workers’ slogan – which he has repeated several times at PMQs without media censure. Daniel Finkelstein had a hilarious exchange with the Labour party definitively proving (as we all know anyway) that the phrase was coined and promoted by the BNP. Of course if Cameron had used it he’d have been roasted alive. Yet he makes an impeccably moderate speech about demography and immigration and Nick Robinson tries to inflame the debate playing the race card. Actually black people in Britain are just as worried about immigration as white people. Indeed the BBC defence of immigration is increasingly sounding like an old colonial policy – getting an underclass in to do the jobs the Brits are too good for. And pay them exploitation wages so the rich can get richer.


  13. John Reith says:

    Oscar | 31.10.07 – 12:37 pm

    It is quite incredible that Gordon Brown got away with his ‘British jobs for British workers’ slogan…without media censure. …. Of course if Cameron had used it he’d have been roasted alive.

    A strong point there, Oscar, and one made as long ago as 10th September by the BBC’s Political Editor, Nick Robinson – even before Da Fink got in on the act.

    Gordon Brown is about to deliver a speech to the TUC pledging to deliver “British jobs for British workers”. ….Ponder for a second how exactly the same policies or phrases would have been written up had David Cameron delivered them. A “lurch to the right” anyone? Or, even, “language normally associated with the far right BNP”?

    Funny how you neglect to mention that.


  14. recovering liberal says:

    A couple of days ago you were complaining that commenters here were concentrating too much on the BBCs online output, which few people read, and not enough on the broadcast output, which the whole population hears. Now you contradict yourself by claiming that Nick Robinson’s online comparison of Gordon Brown to the BNP is equivalent to the Robinson/Alagiah slurring of Cameron on the Evening News.

    Did Robinson ever compare Gordon Brown to the BNP on air and if not why not? I certainly did not hear it if he did.

    If it is good enough for his blog and the kind of political nerds who read his blog then why is not of interest to Aunty Ethel and the audience of the evening news to hear the Brown/BNP comparison over and over again in the same way that we heard the Cameron “lurch to the right” allegation?

    The BBC: from morning till night, from birth till death, propaganda for the nation.


  15. Susan says:

    Silent majority — yes, quite breathtaking isn’t it? The sneer quotes around “hate literature” in the Beeb version says it all. I doubt if al-Beeb would use the sneer quotes when describing BNP literature. Then there was the nice soft puffy quote at the end by the soothing Islamo-apologist, a BBC specialty.


  16. Oscar says:

    Funny how you neglect to mention that.
    John Reith | 31.10.07 – 2:28 pm

    Well thanks for pointing that out. On this I agree with Nick Robinson – Cameron WOULD have been roasted alive. The fact is Gordon Brown WAS NOT. Why not?


  17. dave fordwych says:


    “Ponder for a second how exactly the same policies or phrases would have been written up had David Cameron delivered them.”

    Written up by who JR?


  18. Martin says:

    John Reith. you really are a star (not)

    When you consider the BBC love to play any old bit of film that might embarass a Tory, will the BBC play that clip of British jobs for British workers every time Brown nose sticks his mug on the BBC? Of course not.

    The comments made by Brown were a lie for staters (as pointed out by David Davis, NOT THE BBC) as you can’t have British jobs for British workers and it was clearly a racist statement.

    Just look at how YOUR liberal friends at the Guardian treated Brown.

    I quote.

    “…The patriotic message to be delivered in his first speech to the TUC as prime minister is also intended to head off recent moves by David Cameron to warn that the scale of recent immigration from within and outside the EU has damaged the country…”

    So if you’re a Socialist calling for jobs for British workers only is seen as patriotic, but if you are a Tory it’s racist?,,2165819,00.html

    The point you miss John Reith was WHY didn’t the BBC say Brown was being racist or that it was a lie or a lurch to the right? Why was it simply tucked away in Nick Robinson’s blog (that no one reads)

    How come Andy Marr didn’t rough Brown nose up over it?


  19. John Reith says:

    recovering liberal | 31.10.07 – 3:43 pm + Martin

    Why was it simply tucked away in Nick Robinson’s blog

    It wasn’t. I heard the same sentiments voiced on air several times by various reporters, presenters and guests.

    I do find your attempts to cast the former chairman of the young Conservatives as biased in favour of Gordon Brown very funny.


  20. Oscar says:

    I do find your attempts to cast the former chairman of the young Conservatives as biased in favour of Gordon Brown very funny.
    John Reith | 31.10.07 – 6:11 pm

    In which role he was nicknamed ‘red robbo’.


  21. Oscar says:

    JR – I recommend you read Peter Oborne’s book The Triumph of the Political Class, which includes a very good section on the Media Class, to get an insiders account of how large swathes of the media work as fixers for their political patrons. It’s evident that some highly influential editors and journos at the BBC have been longterm clients of Gordon Brown. I don’t think Nick Robinson is one of them. But I do think he succumbs to the ‘group think’ of the BBC with a firm eye to keeping his job. That’s the way it works. His disgraceful report on Cameron’s speech was a particularly egregious example of this.


  22. John Reith says:

    Oscar | 31.10.07 – 6:34 pm
    Oscar | 31.10.07 – 6:24 pm

    In which role he was nicknamed ‘red robbo’.

    Wrong. He was known as ‘Blue Robbo’. Amazing the effect of chinese whispers in the blogosphere…..

    he became a national chairman of the Young Conservatives in 1986, the height of Thatcherism. Briefly he was known as “Blue Robbo”, a reference to Derek “Red Robbo” Robinson, a trade union firebrand of the Seventies.


  23. Thomas Mann says:

    Maybe this is the first sign of paranoia: Has anyone noticed the increasing use of the words ‘Migrant’ and ‘Migration’ on the BBC of late (last few weeks, as opposed to those commencing with ‘Immi”. Perhaps by changing the name of the problem we will not notice it anymore ?


  24. John Reith says:

    Thomas Mann | 01.11.07 – 11:45 am

    Not just the BBC. There’s an organization called MigrationWatch UK…..don’t forget.


  25. Andrew says:

    JR, I’m well aware of Robinson’s political provenance – and believe me, I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt – but, whatever his politics, his bit about “faces that are black and brown” was just sermonising, ‘playing the race card’, to use his own term.

    The other day you lamented:

    “Those of us involved in the real business of broadcast journalism (making TV and radio) get a bit narked by the way you guys keep judging the whole of the BBC on the basis of small but significant shortcomings of the News Website.”

    This was interesting in itself – “significant shortcomings” is an admission from you, even when prefixed with the somewhat contradictory ‘small’ (presumably the shortcomings of Views Online are either significant or they’re not). Perhaps you could enumerate some of these shortcomings for us, in order to help BBC Views Online address them and us to understand them better.

    Perhaps you could ameliorate the negative effect you perceive that BBC Views Online has on those who are so grand as to work “in the real business of broadcast journalism” by renaming BBC Views Online to, say, BBC Views Online Lite, a subsidiary operated by BBC Cubs on behalf of the Grand Old BBC (Real Business of Making TV & Radio Division) or something like that, so that we don’t make the error of presuming that BBC Views Online really is quite as good as, or indeed representative of, the Grand Old BBC (Real Business of Making TV & Radio Division).

    Getting back to this discussion (though please do address the above thoughts!), here we have an example of Nick Robinson (Grand Old BBC, Real Business of Making TV & Radio Division), stating that Cameron’s policy on immigration is about race and playing the race card. Perhaps you’d care to address what Nick Robinson actually said, rather than merely point out what is well known about his days as a student.


  26. bodo says:

    Cameron was interviewed by John Humphries on R4 Today programme this morning. Humphries was at his interrupting worst throughout the interview (in marked contrast to his fawning and attentive manner when interviewing Hazel Blears later in the programme). They were talking about the Tory immigration proposals and towards the end of the interview Humphries played the race card in just about exactly the same way that Nick Robinson did the other day – even the wording used was very similar. The conspiracy theorists might think that there is some sort of official BBC policy to try to portray the Conservatives as racist at every opportunity. Heaven forbid.

    Switching over to Radio five a little bit later, Victoria Derbyshire was talking about immigration. In the studio they had spokeswoman from the Institute of public policy research (IPPR) who was supposed to be acting as some sort of “honest broker” to help establish the “facts” on immigration. The BBC did not think it necessary to inform us that the IPPR was a pro immigration leftwing think tank with very close ties to Labour. A typical example of BBC bias, i.e. omit to tell us of the agenda of a so-called “independent” spokesman, and don’t get anyone on to present an opposing point of view.


  27. Rob Clark says:

    The IPPR is a bastion of political correctness • just today it has suggested that we should only continue to celebrate Christmas if other religions’ festivals are given similar recognition.

    It should never be allowed to offer its views on immigration unless it is counter-balanced by, say, MigrationWatch.

    Even Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has praised Cameron’s approach.


  28. George W Bush says:

    Nick Robinson?
    He still hanging around?


  29. Bill says:

    ‘Were they Nick,… were theTories 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?



  30. John Reith says:

    Andrew | Homepage | 01.11.07 – 12:14 pm

    his bit about “faces that are black and brown” was just sermonising, ‘playing the race card’, to use his own term.

    No it wasn’t.

    It was simply predicting that the policy would prove controversial in these terms.

    Another way of putting it is that Cameron’s opponents would seek to frame it in racial terms.

    It is Robinson’s job to make such predictions.

    Frankly I can’t see why you make an issue of it. You don’t need either the intellect of Karl Popper or the prophetic powers of Cassandra to see this coming.

    As it happens, Damian Green, Cameron, Steve Hilton and others have been talking for some time about the tricky problem of how to talk about immigration without exposing themselves to this kind of attack. I’d guess Robinson has probably discussed the issue with some of these players too.

    He’s given a pretty good explanation of what’s in store.

    If you think he’s wrong – I think you’re naif.


  31. Ronald says:

    Cameron’s opponents include the BBC, as the Conservatives know full well (and that’s why handling BBC opposition is a part of the Conservatives’ planning).

    The BBC is always amongst the first to suggest these responses, and will always make the most of them in a way consistent with seeming not to take sides (on-air, that is, what they say in private, or when they think the mic isn’t on, is usually more explicit).


  32. Reg Hammer says:

    I hate to be pedantic but isn’t the expression “Playing the race card” being mis-used here.

    I always took it to mean, someone using race to claim victimhood or special treatment.

    You know, just like the Beeb are always doing.

    In this reported context, wouldn’t have just plain old ‘racist’ have served all the hacks. It’s never failed them before. What’s going on?


  33. johnj says:

    Reg Hammer:
    I hate to be pedantic but isn’t the expression “Playing the race card” being mis-used here.

    Yes Reg I agree it’s,derived from “to play your cards right”– to deal successfully with a particular situation so that you achieve some advantage or something that you want.

    At the same time I have no doubt that the BBC does see it as advantageous to Cameron and the Tories to talk about Immigration. So just as some opportunistic ethnic minorities(especially in the civil service & police force- no names) play it and are applauded(& awarded) by the BBC for doing so, in this case it is classed as negative. Clever Trevor applauding Cameron one day, and than Hain the attack dog going for the “racist underbelly”.
    Only a fool would deny the veracity of Enoch Powell’s historical predictions- 7/7 very much a delayed timer.