The BBC is a strange beast. The past few days have seen it giving lots of publicity to those trade unionists/marxists/hard leftists who oppose the Coalition plan to allow unemployed people to gain unpaid work experience. I guess falling unemployment is unhelpful to the Left but am less sure why the likes of the BBC Nolan Show (both on 5Live and Radio Ulster) seem intent on persecuting TESCO for having the temerity to offer work experience.

I was on the Nolan Show yesterday debating this issue. You can listen here – go to 22 mins in. As you will hear, I debate with a Guardian journalist who quickly exits the scene and the rest of the debate is really me versus Nolan. I thought he was supposed to be impartial in debates? You will hear some unfounded allegations against the likes of Tesco and the whole bogus “slave labour” narrative is reinforced by Nolan at every turn. I took the opportunity to mention the fact that Tesco is not the ONLY large company to run such schemes…the BBC also offers unpaid employment. He briefly acknowledged that, in passing, and moved on to bear-baiting against Britain’s most successful private employer.

Then, this morning, on Today, the topic bounced up yet again. (7.53am) This time, the BBC found someone who had actually been on this scheme and gotten a full time job out of it! He was up against someone from “The Right to Work” campaign who despite the undeniable success of it as regards the chap who had managed to get a job, simply sneered at Tesco and repeated the “slave labour” meme. It struck me that the “Right not to Work” would be a more apt name for this leftist propaganda group.

The entitlement class out there hate the idea that they might have to be asked to work for their benefits and there are sections within the BBC that are quite happy to provide a soapbox for Big Sloth. I do not deny them that voice but there has to be balance in the debate. To my mind, that was entirely missing yesterday.

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  1. London Calling says:

    A BBC internship is a path to a glittering career, £90k a year for looking pretty sitting on a sofa reading off a teleprompter. It is worth doing an internship for nothing to join that club. Where as a  Tesco trainee shelf-filler learns to get up early in the morning and work for a living. Not the type of experience the entitlement class want at all.


    • ian says:

      Unpaid work for the BBC is only possible if you have the right family, class, or university connections, or if you are dead sexy and willing to be tested on the casting couch, or of you are a fanatical jihadi, black power organiser or surviving cocklepicker.

      Most people are white, not particularly good looking and only went to a comprehensive. For them only a low-paid job at Tesco beckons. Well, would you be enthusiastic about it?


      • London Calling says:

        Off topic slightly but I had about five different jobs as a youth – factory assembly, manual labouring, dustcarts, warehouse packing, all sorts of sh*t jobs, taught me a great deal about the people who do these jobs. Decent funny and hardworking people who got paid very little. Taught me to hate loathe and despise the scroungers like Mr Poppy Burner who sits on his arse and lives off these poor working people’s taxes. And the working poor have to pay the telly tax out of their meagre earnings. Work experience is life education not taught in a classroom.
        Those smug superannuated cultural Marxists at the bBC don’t understand lots of people could do their jobs better, at a third of the salary.


        • cjhartnett says:

          I`m afraid that they doLC…which is why they love to make films about the likes of “working people”.
          In Marxist speak…all this agitating for the lip flapping poppy burners is REAL work…raising “real consciousness” is THE full-time job and they shall never cease…but they need our money to do it!
          F6666`in popinjays on the shovel!


  2. ap-w says:

    I heard the Today segment and it’s something of a rarity but I must say that I thought it was very fair and balanced. For once they had picked someone who had positive experience from the scheme, who was articulate and could defend it well, my wife and I both thought he got himself and the scheme a lot of credit against the rather tired and predictable points made by the other interviewee – I would recommend giving it a listen. And I am as far away from a fan of James Naughtie as you can get, but he did give both a fair hearing here. For once an interesting discussion broke out.  


    • Natsman says:

      Did we listen to the same interview?  I thought the interviewee was halting, and constantly prompted and interrupted by Naughtie – I didn’t think much of it all.  Just an opinion.


    • Millie Tant says:

      I thought he wasn’t doing too badly for someone who is young and not an experienced broadcaster but when he came to explaining which field of work he chose “which turned out to be the …” I couldn’t decipher what it turned out to be even when I paused the iPlayer and replayed it. The nearest I could come to making out what he said was that it sounded like photo something. 


  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    It sounds as though our borders have continued to remain open for Labour voters during Komrad Kameron’s reign, so surely they don’t need to create any more Labour voters!?


  4. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    The programme asks…

    Is it fair to ask young people to work for nothing?

    The programme could have asked

    Is it fair to ask young people to work for their benefit payments.

    Biased before the first note of the theme tune.

    What we do/ unique/ about right etc etc etc.


  5. cjhartnett says:

    I agree that it was fairer than I`d now expect of the lavender warriors on the ToadyShow.
    Naughties bloody convoluted questions and caveats prevent proper discussion but it could have been a lot worse.
    That said-Mark Dunk(is that his real name then?) had obviously had a bit of media training with his “akin to slavery” soundbite as borrowed from the SWP)-unlike the real person who had actually got a job from it.
    Couple of points
    1. As Dunk is an “unemployed rights activist”-is he unemployed…or is he a spokesman/activist…in which case surely the SWP should be paying him as a media spokesman…or is he too a slave labouring for less than the £6.08/hr?
    2. Was he actively available and seeking work this morning-or gassing on to the media, which ought therefore to call his benefits into question?
    3. Will the BBC furnish the DWP with payments, expenses and taxable incomes involved in employing Mark Dunk Limited for that prime spot location up until the 8.00 news?…and let`s hope it`s not another of those slippery tax dodges used by Attenborough, Paxman, Maitlis, Dimblebys, Bruce, Raworth etc.
    And is Naughties company-Pagoda Works…liable for the taxes due-or does Dunk lose his benefit?
    Wonder if I`ll be on the news tomorrow to be all clever and smug about my whistleblowing dobbing in of one of the workers?…and Dunk and Naughtie fight over who is due for the Morning Star subscription?


  6. Richard says:

    <puts on brakes>*SCREEECH*

    Working without demanding proportional repayment? Is this not the cornerstone of the socialism that the BBC admires so much?

    Did I miss a meeting again?


  7. Umbongo says:

    When “challenged” by Naughtie about his slavery allegation, Dunk said that the “dictionary definition” of slavery was being “forced” to work for less than the minimum wage.  So that’s what Spartacus was making all the fuss about!  Who knew?

    Needless to say, Naughtie just left that piece of tendentious stupidity hanging in the air to sully the discussion.  BTW since when did a discussion between an admittedly positive beneficiary of this scheme and a professional activist with no standing whatsoever (AFAIAA with no expertise, no experience, no economics or financial background in fact no qualification except that the BBC like his opinions) constitute reasonable, let alone informative, coverage?  I would not expect Iain Irving to mount a defence of the scheme, only to say – which he did – that his experience was positive.  The politics was left to Dunk and Naughtie: not exactly an “impartial” couple.


  8. Elby the Beserk says:

    On on the 1pm news. Martha Carney spoke of how it is “targetted **against** younger people…” making it clear where she was coming from. Good plugs for the scheme for someone involved in getting young people to work, usual utterly negative stuff from the other person interviewed, who quite clearly felt it better for kids to be left on the dole as a matter of principle, rather than gain workplace experience


  9. Millie Tant says:

    Blimey, Stephen Nolan isn’t half vehement, is he? I was waiting for him to burst a blood vessel. It was good to hear the Beeboid Corporation hypocrites being outed…for exploiting young people for no pay! (I’m not being emotive or anything in my choice of language there).  It was an interesting discussion, though. I kept waiting for someone to bring up the question of why there is so much unemployment and who took all the jobs in supermarkets that school leavers and those graduates awaiting career starts, used to be able to count on . That didn’t seem to be touched on at all.

    Plainly, there are hard cases which came across from the the middle-aged skilled tradesmen having a tough time getting work, the outraged grandfather, the disabled woman and the man from west Belfast who sounded like that comedian, (I forget his name, James or Jimmy), who used to do a trade union character, and equally there will always be difficulty in incentivising some on either side to use such schemes in the way intended, whether employer or would-be employee. 

     I wonder what happened on the follow-up programme re the man who was out of pocket for his work experience stint and didn’t get the money for his fares.


  10. TomR says:

    It was quite funny to hear the whimpering of the ‘Right to [not] Work’ lot.  “Di… di…” near the beginning was a slight chuckle but “THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS!!” got me rolling.


  11. Nick Chambers says:

    I’d have the long term unemployed sweeping the streets, picking up litter, cleaning off graffiti and repairing damaged property. No doubt it would be against their human rights.


  12. Barry says:

    Didn’t the “slave labour” argument contribute to the decline in apprenticeships in the 1960s and 70s?


  13. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I’m just wondering how one is supposed to accept that having one segment biased to one side on the Nolan show is supposed to be balanced out by a fair segment on Today, when it’s  highly unlikely that the two shows have the same audience.

    If we’re supposed to accept the BBC line of defense that they do provide a balanced output when one considers the bigger picture, of their overall coverage of an issue, how is it really possible when they really mean different reports/segments on different channels on different days? Are we also supposed to assume that everyone who thought the Nolan segment was biased listened to Naughtie’s segment for balance, and so all is well?


  14. Anon says:

    Shame on any company (and the Goverment) taking unpaid labour

    Charles Dickens would have a field day about these modern day Scrooges