Wonder what you make of this article by Peter Oborne in the Telegraph? I agree with some of his points but think he fails to grasp the overwhelming bias of the Corporation.

“There are very few institutions – maybe only the monarchy, the Armed Forces and Parliament – that express what it means to be British more than the BBC. The state broadcaster enjoys a very privileged place indeed at the heart of our national conversation. But this, in turn, means that there is an implicit deal between it and the British people. On the one hand, the BBC is funded by public money and given a semi-monopoly of broadcast news coverage. On the other, the BBC is by charter expected to reflect the British values of fair-mindedness, decency and tolerance.Sadly, it is only very rarely that the BBC keeps its side of the bargain, and this negligence is starting to become a scandal.”

It’s been a scandal for DECADES, Peter.

Question Time LiveBlog 27th October 2011

Question Time tonight comes from Winchester.

David Dimbleby is joined by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith – who after the EU referendum rebellion declared yesterday that he will not vote against his Eurosceptic principles again.

We also have ex-GMTV presenter, permanent feature on Guido’s political totty reports and occasional Labour politician Gloria De Piero, Deputy Leader of the Liberals in Scotland Jo Swinson (oddly an absentee from those same totty lists), UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Julian Fellowes, As Baron Fellowes of West Stafford he takes the Conservative whip in the Lords.

Two Tories on the same panel? Surely a booking mix-up? Heads will roll.

TheEye can’t be here tonight so will leave you to the tender Moderating mercies of David Vance and David Mosque.

It’s a 10:30pm kick off. You know where to be. And how much alcohol to bring.


Check out the BBC’s profile of Giles Fraser. I was just wondering what the odds are of him getting his own BBC series within a year when I saw that Toby Young had had a similar thought:

“…no opportunity for Giles Fraser to air his Left-wing views in the media is ever neglected… Perhaps the BBC can find him a berth. He’s already a regular on Thought for the Day – surprise! – and The Moral Maze could probably cope with another Left-winger on the panel. Perhaps he could present a 12-part series on BBC2 about how every church in England should be occupied by hysterical anti-capitalists until everyone in the City of London has turned over their annual bonus to the Labour Party.”


Is the UK’s NUJ developing its own more radical version of the now-disbanded left-leaning JournoList group from the US?

Thanks to BBC London journalist Jane Bradley (first seen on Biased BBC a couple of weeks ago) my attention was drawn to an event called Reclaim The Media which took place last night. Fresh from interviewing St Paul’s protesters for her employer, Jane asked yesterday if any of her colleagues would be attending the NUJ-backed meeting:

The link in that tweet goes to a website called Right To Work (“Save jobs. Stop the cuts. Defend public services.”) but the speaker list advertised there was a bit out of date. The actual line-up – apart from Pilger – included BBC NUJ rep Becky Branford, the NUJ’s “anarchist” president Donnacha Delong, and Gary McFarlane, Socialist Workers Party activist (and not, sadly, Gary McFarlane the Christian relationship counsellor sacked by Relate for refusing to give sex advice to gay couples. Now that would’ve been an amusing mix-up.)

Unfortunately for Jane, as with the Trafalgar Square demo a couple of weeks ago, she didn’t make it herself. But hey, she wanted to go and that’s good enough for radical cred at the BBC.

What did she miss? Well, according to one student journalist (not BBC – yet) who attended there was an exhilarating political vibe to the evening:

The same student said that they were getting a list together:

I wonder how many BBC journalists will sign up.


“Why might the BBC be reluctant to criticise the EU?

Could one reason, apart from ideology, be that it has received over £15 million in grants from the EU since 2007.


Much of it goes towards media training for environmental pressure groups. £600,000 of that money was given to Palestinian groups. The BBC says ‘To conflate the work of the BBC World Service Trust and the BBC’s coverage of the EU in this way is completely absurd.’

Course it is!”


Half the story, all the time. B-BBC contributor Alan writes;

“The Unions, the IFS and the BBC have come together to put the boot into the government cuts. The BBC has been giving much air time to Union complaints over the last few days…all of which seem to be part of a concerted plan.

First there was the Border Guards who claim that government concentration on immigration meant more drugs and guns were on our streets. The BBC naturally loved this….any immigration control is an anathema to them…so claims it causes death and crime are good news.

Then there was the complaints about the recalculation of pensions using the CPI instead of the RPI….the BBC’s business correspondent on ‘Wake up to money’, whom I won’t name to spare his blushes, asked why were the government doing this, the government and business would save money but why would they do it? Odd that…who knows…maybe they just wanted to save money! Quality journalism form the BBC financial experts.

Then we have union warnings that youth funding cuts will only lead to riots…coincidentally released at the same time as the IFS report on education cuts….’Unites’ ‘Doug Nicholls said the August riots had shown that the “devil makes work for idle hands” and it was in communities where there were few youth services that “difficulties had occurred”. ‘
The BBC gave free rein to Nicholls on 5Live this morning and again on the Today programme.
This is what the BBC itself tells us….’cuts to youth services would – not just could – hurt Britain’s future….these youngsters demand to be heard – or else, they say.

Without a youth club or an after-school club, they say the young people of today are destined to fail. ….they fear Britain could see a repeat of August’s riots – but on an even wider scale – unless people their age have enough to do.

….’they’ point out that their area was free from the rioting in the summer because they have services for young people.
“We should be their highest priority because we are tomorrow. We are the future.” ‘

It’s curious what the BBC choose to publish from the IFS…..

They give headline pride of place to cuts to education but ignore totally this also from the IFS which is even more revealing….in that it condemns social spending as the drag on the nation’s economy and the reason why growth is held back….
 ‘The changing composition of public spending

Our analysis is quite revealing. At the time of the OBR publication there was much commentary on the fact that spending on pensions and health look like taking an increasing portion of public spending going forward.
In 1990–91 health spending accounted for 12.2% of total public spending but by 2010–11 its share had grown to 17.5%. Over the same 20 year period, spending on pensions increased from 10.6% of the total to 12.6%.

The obverse of this, of course, is that other areas of spending must have become relatively less important.

Defence is one of the most notable….and…Over a slightly longer time scale the role of the state has changed more substantively; in the late 1970s much more significant amounts of money were spent on housing and support for business than are spent today.

Over the past 30 years or so the role of the state has changed to accommodate increased spending on health, pensions and other areas of social protection. Spending on defence, housing, and direct intervention in the economy to support business, has taken the strain.’

In 1978-79 we spent 45% on health, welfare (including pensions) and education…now it is 60% of public spending….and ever increasing. Support to business has slumped from 9% to 3% as funds are redirected from these areas to pay for social costs. Defence and housing also lost huge amounts of funding.

Clearly such costs are not sustainable….it is business and economic growth that funds social spending and therefore to cut back support for business undermines the long term viability of the system and means future social spending will be impossible….or rather the spending we have now as labour met these demands by ever more borrowing. The BBC seem not to keen to publicise the conclusions here….that massive rises in social costs are eventually going to bankrupt us.


An outraged B-BBC reader brought this to my attention. It’s on the BBC Children’s TV site and it seems to take quite a positive spin on young girls pandering to the sexual needs of dirty old men. What say you? This could be seen as a virtual advertisement for a very murky activity. Surely someone in the BBC should have raised a concern over such encouragement to licentiousness? Then again….