In his book on BBC bias, Robin Aitken states that the default BBC political mode is more Lib-Dem than Labour. It’s a view that I largely agree with and it was on display this morning in the TODAY interview that took place with Nick Clegg by Sarah Montague.
Cleggy’s big idea is…gasp surprise..to soak the rich, or as he puts it, to spread “fairness”. (Wealth redistribution is so passe se days!) This reduces down to forcing those who live in properties valued at more than £1m to pay an extra annual tax -the proceeds of which would be spread to increase “fairness.” Montague chose NOT to pursue the obvious question as in whilst the property may be valued at £1m+ there is no direct link to suggest that those living in it have the sort of disposable income that can stand an extra tax hike. In many cases, elderly people live in properties bought many decades ago that have considerably appreciated in value but their wealth is on paper unless they sell their homes. So where is all this cash coming from, Cleggy? Doesn’t matter – Saint Vince Cable endorses this planned assault on the assets of the prudent. Instead of challenging Clegg on the substance of this latest Lib-Dem fantasy, Montague decided to ask him just how “savage” his cuts would be! This set up Clegg to declare that he would indeed by savage when it came to removing our nuclear defences by axing Trident.
The Lib-Dems get the easiest of rides from the BBC because the BBC is broadly sympathetic to the policies of Clegg and co. I see it as part of the ratchet mechanism by which the UK body politic shifts ever further left. The Lib-Dem’s adopt the most demented leftist policies and the BBC generally approves of these. Labour then competes by moving onto similar ground which then in turn pressurises the Conservatives to make at least some token movement in the same direction.
Clegg has no chance of ever getting into power and the BBC knows that. But by treating Lib-Dem policies in such a sympathetic manner, the BBC influences the national political debate and moves it in the direction required. That’s part of the menace of the bias. It’s not just visceral, it’s dangerous.