Carry on Complaining

Grimer has drawn our attention on the general thread to the inadequacies of the complaints procedure. The BBC does have one, and complaints are sometimes upheld. If they are, what is the outcome?
When the the horse has bolted – and no one seems to know how to shut the stable door – they say something like:
“Editors were reminded that, when there is an active controversy over an issue, it is important to consider carefully how to reflect varying shades of opinion.”

Continue to perpetuate inaccurate misleading agenda-driven misinformation because that’s all you know, till another complaint is made, we uphold it, ad infinitum? In other words carry on regardless.

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17 Responses to Carry on Complaining

  1. Martin says:

    The problem with the BBC complaints is not the only one.

    Many of my complaints to the BBC relate to political bias or lack of balance. As I’m sure Grimer and others are aware the standard beeboid reply is something to the effect of “… the BBC ensures balance across the network and this may not be represented in any one particular show blah blah blah…”

    however, if you get such a reply, ask the BBC to PROVE this balance. How does it audit political balance and fairness across the networks? When I challenged the BBC over this they couldn’t provide hard evidence and simply stated it’s down to editors.

    So if the BBC doesn’t have a formal system of monitoring/auditing the political balance of its output HOW does it know that it is being fair and balanced?

    Answer: They don’t and they don’t care.

    This to me is the real problem and one that those of us who believe the BBC is institutionally biased should be targeting.


  2. Martin says:

    I should point out I wrote tot he BBC Trust over this once. I’m still waiting for a reply.


  3. pete says:

    The best form of complaint is to withhold your custom, but as I don’t fancy getting a fine and a criminal record for the heinous crime of watching football on Sky without first funding the BBC I won’t be taking that particular form of customer action. And it is a heinous crime too, with typical fines many times those given to people who speed in their cars, shoplift or wilfully damage property.

    Under the current funding system why should the BBC care about complaints or take them seriously?


  4. Grimer says:

    But Martin, everybody knows the BBC is impartial.

    Because they know that they are impartial, it means that anybody complaining (from the Far Far Left or the right of Trotsky) is simply confirming this fact.

    How many times have you heard a beeboid claim they are impartial because they get complaints from both the left and right? If you had Pol Pot on one side and Pinochet on the other, would that mean you’re impartial? Would it hell. Of course, nobody ever gets the chance to challenge their smug consensus.


  5. Grimer says:

    Pete: If you’re paying for Sky, I’d keep paying the TV Tax – there is no point getting a criminal record over it.

    However, I did work experience as a teenager at the Magistrates. During a recess the Magistrates were all laughing about an advert on the back of a bus threatening £1000 fines for not paying your TV licence. They said they would never fine more than the cost of the licence itself.


  6. Velvel says:

    Here’s my complaint: How do they explain actually dragging one Justin Webb, the US hater, back to the UK to “report” on the G20? How much does that cost? Last time I checked there were British journos in Britain! And BTW, just what is the number of people al-beeb has in the US, an English speaking country? Also, Justin W. and the others are woefully misinformed about so many aspects of the USA. This is poor value for rate-payers.


  7. Grimer says:


    Not to mention the carbon emissions! Won’t somebody please think of the planet?


  8. deegee says:

    If you had Pol Pot on one side and Pinochet on the other, would that mean you’re impartial? Would it hell.
    Grimer | 04.04.09 – 11:50 am

    Wouldn’t that mean you were dead and in Hell?


  9. deegee says:

    Would one of the BBC employees, occasionally online, tell me what is the process by which the results of the complaint process are transmitted to journalists/editors, if at all?


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Grimer | 04.04.09 – 11:50 am |

    How many times have you heard a beeboid claim they are impartial because they get complaints from both the left and right?

    I also heard Stephen Nolan tell a caller that the BBC wasn’t biased, and that the proof of that was that they let people call in to complain on air. And that was it: opposing views aired, problem non-existent.


  11. Mesmereyesed says:

    I thought I’d post this extract on the BBC complaints procedure from a recent item on BBC bias over at Harry’s place:

    The point is that this extract from the comments section that follows provides some insider help and hope:

    25 March 2009, 7:22 pm

    Which is why you appeal

    They really hate that because it bogs them down in the paperwork and appeals internally first and then at the BBC Trust. All you need to do is effectively get in touch three times to have the programme makers hauled over hot coals. And if enough people do this guidelines get changed, researchers get their knuckles wrapped and (deputy) heads roll.

    If you are really irked complain and then write to your MP to get him/her to write to the Chairman, Sir Michale Lyons. These MP letters always end up being taken very seriously and put the programme makers on alert on what not to do.

    So that next time they may decide to grill the MCB too.

    Trust me, I am at the BBC.
    25 March 2009, 8:10 pm

    Hannah – thank you. Noted. Much respect.

    As things stand, they’re reluctant to criticise the Muz because of all the complaints they might get. If they reralise they’ll get just as many complaints from us it might rectify the balance.
    Roley Poley Dahl
    25 March 2009, 8:53 pm

    Many thanks Hannah. I just complained and will appeal, as you advised. But, as other commenters seem to suggest, I won’t be holding my breath.
    parity ErRor
    25 March 2009, 9:21 pm

    Spot On, Someone

    Don’t be absurd, Hannah. The BBC rejects complaints with total snottiness. In their own minds, they can do no wrong. They regard it as impertinent for viewers to question anything.

    However, it worked AGAINST MCB who complained about that excellent Panorama expose. Here in all its glory, the great Piss Off,
    25 March 2009, 10:37 pm

    Thanks, parity.

    But thanks also to Hannah. OK, I’ll give it a go.

    I did ask my MP to take them up on something a few weeks ago. I have no reason to think that he is a great BBC fan, but he seemed rather reluctant (which is unusual for him). I’ll have to press him harder, I suppose.


  12. Mesmereyesed says:

    … er, that last post got sent off before I could edit it properly. Sorry.


  13. JohnA says:

    The BBC (and other channels) have to allocate Party Political Broadcasts according to the balance of votes at the last election. We’d see a lot less of Vince Cable if they applied that fair rule to the proportions of appearances/interviews with politicians. That should not be difficult to manage and monitor – but I bet the BBC has no such general oversight in place.

    Then at the level of WHO does the BBC interview from each party – why has it always favoured Ken Clarke against John Redwood for example, soft or wet Tories as against the harder and crisper sort – it would not be difficult for the BBC to assemble a panel of 100 or so voters from each of the parties and ask them – ie US the people – which of our party senior folk we want to see and hear.

    Indeed it should not be too difficult for the BBC to keep the pulse of voter opinion a bit – eg asking a panel from each party how they felt the balance had been over the past week.

    That is – getting the views of voters on how the BBC was performing against its requirement of neutrality. Outside views, not defensive and complacent in-house views.

    But that would all add up to the BBC taking the bias issue seriously and fairly. Which it clearly does not do.


  14. Velvel says:

    There was an item on Fox news last night about how rabidly biased and opinionated the New York Times has become ever since the lamented passing of Abe Rosenthal and the more enlightened era he represented. It was all hand-wringing and crying. Of course it wasn’t about the bbc, but it could have been. All they had to do was take out the name NYT and put in al-beeb. Of course there is one essential difference. We are forced to pay for our left-wing, biased, opinionated, unrepresentative rubbish.


  15. Peter says:

    Don’t know if the work-experience kiddies are in while the grown-ups are on hols for Easter (are we supposed to celebrate Christian festivals?), but just got in a series of ‘responses’ to complaints made over the last weeks and months, on all sorts of topics.

    The odd thing is, and I might point this out to them, that they all seem to be saying pretty much the same thing in the same way, about clearly diverse points made.

    Such that I might suggest that, when they say ‘they value my feedback and give it all due consideration..’, I don’t believe a single word from their forked-tongued ‘system’. Or feel it would be any different if I took it any higher, via the Trust to even the inner recesses of Dear Leader’s lower intestine via the head of Aunty’s head, via Peter (Call me Lord or else) M’s private member’s entrance.


  16. Oscar says:

    I don’t think complaining to the BBC makes any difference at all – even when complaints are upheld. They are simply a valve for people like us to let off steam. Then the BBC can pretend they have ‘listened’ and seamlesssly return to their systemic, institutional propaganda. I have stopped making complaints. It is a mugs game. Complaining to the BBC is as futile as complaining to the Stasi or the Kremlin.


  17. CSS says:

    Somebody said this video site has Bush masterbating on it!! Filmed by secret service at the white house!! They call it pork!!!