Standard Of Living and Standards Of Journalism


The BBC has been hitting us hard in the last week with what is without any shadow of a doubt pure Labour Party propaganda about living standards, the minimum wage and ‘breadline Britain’….the central message at the heart of Labour’s election strategy

More on that later but as a run up to a more indepth look at the BBC’s coverage in which we are presented with ‘Jason from Stockport’ who has nothing to eat in his cupboards, you might like to hear what Stephanie Flanders, now off the leash, admits in the Sunday Times today……


The Treasury likes to point out that overall earnings figures make things look worse than they actually are, at least for people who have been in jobs for a while.  On average, people in full-time jobs who have been in work for at least a year have seen their wages go up faster than inflation from 2012 onwards.


It’s a lost cause trying to get people to admit that they feel better off than before.

A decade of reporting on the economy for the BBC proved to me that it was incredibly hard to get people to admit on camera to having become richer.  That was true even in the boom years, let alone now.

I could be standing in a supermarket, surrounded by ‘lowest ever’ price signs, on the day wages werer rising at the fastest rate in a decade and inflation had fallen to a record low:  everyone who talked to us would doggedly insist their grocery bills were heading through the roof and they were haiving trouble making ends meet.  British people find it difficult to be upbeat on television.


So when the BBC wheels out those poverty stricken families and the ‘Jason’s in Stockport’ as evidence of ‘Breadline Britain’ it all needs to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.  We are being very deliberately lied to and manipulated.


Flanders tells us that the economy is 15% smaller than it would have been had we ‘trundled along at our long-term average rate of growth since 2007.’

Bt that’s not the fault of this government….she tells us ‘we are not alone.  Nearly every advanced economy is facing the same shortfall…[but]….we have handled this difficult new reality better than many.’


Flanders also tells us that….

Labour will want to play down Britain’s relative economic success to focus on the ‘crisis in living standards’.  What it is easy to miss is that it’s the squeeze in living standards that as largely made that relative success possible by pricing British workers into work.

That fall in wages has one  enormous beenfit; it helped make it affordable for business to keep workers and hire new ones, even in very tough times.

That made for a very different kind of recession and recovery from what we have seen before.

In previous recessions the pain of the downturn fell on the relatively small chunk of the population who lost their jobs.  Anyone laid off saw their living standards collapse.  Everyone else saw their earnings tick along much as before.  Not this time.

This time we really were ‘all in it together’.


Lower wages have kept people in work and allowed more to be employed……..Labour and the BBC are pushing the line that benefits are higher because people are in low paid wages which conveniently neglects to say what the bill would have been if all those on lower wages had no wages and had to receive full unemployment benefit…never mind the effect on their standard of living.

Last week on Peter Allen’s show(11:10) we heard that the top 20% of earners had seen a large fall in income of 5.2% whilst the lowest 20% had seen growth of 3.5%.

We were told that the average UK disposable income level was £28,700….now the BBC’s Panorama told us a family who had an income of £29,000 including benefits were on the breadline… a result of this government’s policies…and yet average incomes have only fallen by 4% compared to pre-crash levels.

A fall of 4% does not suddenly put people into poverty as the BBC seems to be claiming.


That’s, as I said, just a warm up for the real exploration of the BBC’s coverage of ‘Breadline Britain’ as it pumps out material like this…

Low-paid Britons now number five million, think tank concludes


…on behalf of the Labour Party.




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24 Responses to Standard Of Living and Standards Of Journalism

  1. Bob Nelson says:

    Ah, yes. The good old ‘independent’ think tank, The Resolution Foundation. Often quoted by the BBC and The Guardian. Independent? Maybe. Left-wing? Definitely, but their claim of independence means the BBC doesn’t have to describe their political leanings.


    • Colonel Blimp says:

      Ah, yes the Resolution Foundation

      Chief Exec – Gavin Kelly (Guardian columnist, former Number 10 chief of staff under Blair and Brown)
      Deputy Chief Exec Vidhya Alakeson (Senior Policy Advisor at HM Treasury and at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Labour, and Guardian columnist)

      if these were Tory roles you’d get “right wing think tank” as a Beeb desriptor – any odds on this one being referred to as a “left wing think tank”? thought not


  2. klingon says:

    This is a far more complex story than simple bias. Wages are very depressed at the lower end and as a result Cameron is finding that tax revenues are not rising fast enough despite the good employment figures. Worse, so many people are in low paid jobs two thirds of the people receiving benefits are actually working.

    This not left wing propaganda as Bloomberg had the same article a few days ago:

    What is does do is present UKIP with a real weapon to get the Labour vote. Go for low paid workers and introduce the living wage as an objective if elected. The labour vote is pretty resilient at about 28%: to crack it further UKIP have to provide a costed economic argument that life will improve.

    BTW the BBC clearly states Resolution is left wing. I’d say Bloomberg was hardly in the same category so there is an issue here that has nothing to do with bias


    • TigerOC says:

      Nigel Farage defines it as “wage compression”. I have personal experience of this. My employer has used the European movement very astutely. I used to be paid £2/hour more than the minimum wage. As more senior people in the company got pay rises we got none. When we complained they always said they were reviewing pay which went on for 5 years until we were on minimum wage. Any complaint was met with “there are 5 Polish workers waiting to take your job, you know where the door is.” Senior managers earn huge salaries and the Directors are earning 100 times what we are. For business this is paradise. Increased earnings for the executives and huge dividends for the share holders.
      The balance continues to skew as figures show. We are at the point here in the West Country where local people cannot find houses to live in. There are villages where the majority of the homes are holiday homes owned by wealthy people who don’t contribute anything to the local economy because they bring most of what they need with them.
      How logical it is that the State subsidises the pay of workers so that they can live, for companies like Tesco?
      This situation has developed since the Eastern European countries were admitted to the EU. The EU is totally socialist and this is a socialist policy of wealth redistribution and will result in the EU being as wealthy as the poorest member which has been the result of the Euro.


      • John Anderson says:

        There was a time – some decades ago now – when one could sympathise with much of the money going to “European projects” – to upgrade infrastructure, for example.

        But we are surely far past that point now. I am retired so I have the chance of taking cheap flights all over Europe Everywhere I land – for instance on Mediterranean islands or the Canaries (Spanish) they are reasonably affluent, they have road systems far better than we have, new ports and harbours, new airports etc – and massive subsidies still to their agriculture. Why are we still shelling out billions to improve their infrastructure when our own infrastructure is largely decrepit ?

        Stir in the huge abuses through corruption, and there seems to me to be very little justification any more to the UK being taxed to the hilt to support other economies.


        • pah says:

          I didn’t start going abroad by car until the 1990’s. Then I was shocked at the state of European roads. In France even the motorways were uneven and in places broken up and in Greece you could go around a mountain road corner only to discover half the road was missing and a bus bearing down on you.

          The A16 on the France/Belgium border is a real eye opener on how not to handle motorway traffic.

          I was actually thankful for the state of British roads on return.

          Not any longer.

          Now our roads are worse than those in France. Whilst the motorways are pretty much the same as French ones the rural roads and A roads in the UK have dropped to well below continental standards whilst at the same time motoring taxes have ballooned. The pot holes are now far greater in number and deeper and wider in size. A colleague of mine managed to rip one of the wheels of his car on an Urban A road doing less than 30mph so deep was the hole he drove into (silly sod).

          It is astonishing how bad things have become yet in Greece they now have new, near perfect, straight roads all paid for by us. Mind you in Greece these roads do often end, without warning, in right angle turns by crevasses so the excitement still persists.

          And the buggers still want 1.7Bn more off us!


      • Pat says:

        Coming from the same region as you…hear, hear to everything.

        The local crisp factory advertised a few years back for staff in Polish. They did then run an ad in English with the line ‘the ability to speak Polish an advantage’!

        I am waiting for the BBC to start recruiting from the East European groups. Or have I missed any already?


        • TigerOC says:

          I can go one better. My wife, a middle manager in hospitality, was made redundant 2009. She applied for a job in a similar role (hotel services) in the NHS. At interview they asked her if she spoke Polish and she doesn’t. She enquired as to the significance of this and was told the staff were all Polish. She didn’t get the job!


    • Alan says:

      The BBC has been identifying the Resolution Foundation as ‘independent’ or in many cases not stating their political leanings at all.

      As for Bloomberg, they are reporting the ‘technical’ realities of the economy whilst in contrast the BBC is using those facts to promote a political agenda…Labour’s political agenda.


    • ROBERT BROWN says:

      Mmmm….28% would still vote Labour eh?…..who are these people? I guess, guess mind you….that some are middle-class left-wingers in well paid employment, journalism, Civil Service, Lawyers…etc…..assorted actors/ ‘ creative’ types…..then die-hard idiot Union types, established immigrants who think Labour have done them a favour….then you have thick as a shit types who have always voted / my dad votes Labour…you know the type, some stupid students, and of course those on benefits, well some, anyway. A pretty rum bunch… for UKIP attracting some of them, well, as they say, ‘ good luck with that ‘.


      • Conan the Contrarian says:

        ‘28% would still vote Labour’……………………Don’t forget Liebore’s client groups such as Local Authority workers,Teachers, NHS workers .Most of my peers in this group are retiring now on ridiculous pensions and they can’t see what the problem is ……but they all HATE THE EVIL TORICUTZ!!!


        • klingon says:

          In Labour’s worst two post war elections, 83 and 10, their vote fell to just under 28%. That core vote is actual mostly Northern working class and Scottish with a wavering centre vote that flits between all the parties.

          In 83 the SDP got 25% of the vote but hardly any seats as the Labour core vote held. It also held up in 2010 to deny Cameron a majority. Unless UKIP make a direct appeal to this core, they will do a SDP and the momentum will go.

          In Rochester Cameron needs Labour to put up a fight rather than almost encourage its voters to give Cameron a bloody nose:

          You can see the appeal to Labour if the Tories lose and Cameron is in a leadership crisis. It’s how to keep the protest vote on board which is the UKIP challenge.

          Labour is far more concerned about the continuing fall out from the Muslim grooming gangs and are more interested in the Police Commissioner election in Rotherham and the PR problems a UKIP victory will give them.

          If Farage is not allowed to address the concerns of the 5 million low paid workers, he’s very unlikely to win a sizable block of seats. They will still vote for the devil they know.


      • Glen says:

        You’re dead right with the ‘thick as shit types’, I witnessed it in the recent Middleton and Heywood Bi election. ‘Working class’ (used in the loosest terms) with VOTE LABOUR posters in their window by the dozen?

        Despite everything that has gone on in the area, with the grooming scandal and labour’s rank failure to do anything about it, these people still believe the lies!

        It’s the same in the majority of inner city Manchester and it’s suburbs..people who have no ambition, are happy to live in a taxpayer funded council house all of their lives and have labour run their every move, their only joy is a packet of B&H, a pack of cheap lager and making everyone else’s lives a misery, any self respecting immigrant, who wants to do well to give these areas a miss.

        labour’s idea of ambition isn’t to give people an improvement in their lot, it’s to drag the decent people down to the gutter..that’s everyone equal in their eyes, I’ve watched Manchester sink over the last 15-20 years into a City I hardly recognize, if this is socialism you can stick it.


        • thoughtful says:

          It isn’t helped by the insane reporting of the far left MEN, who spin every story to their own point of view, and delete or ban anyone who posts anything which disagrees with that view.


  3. Guest Who says:

    On the topic of BBC journalism…

    BBC Journalism (@BBCCollege)
    Developing your BBC career @BBCRecruitment – do the Swot analysis

    Not mentioned is the likely advantage of saying what recruiters want to hear. And never thinking of deviating from it in practice.

    Otherwise getting hired in the first place or climbing the greasy pole not really on the cards.

    Stick with it long enough, and teetering atop the BBC sack of rats is assured. On around £350k, a pension that can only go up as well as up, and near zero chance of being let go, certainly not without massive compo.


  4. The General says:

    It would be good if the BBC would ask these people ‘with no food in the cupboard and whose children go to school without breakfast’ just what they do spend their limited available cash on. They receive benefits including Housing benefit so the major item, rent is covered.
    So if the BBC were to ask them to list their expenses not covered by benefits it would be very interesting and help the general pubic understand their hardship. I do not understand why they claim people cannot afford healthy food. Eggs, potatoes,greens, fish and uncooked chicken are much cheaper than processed meals but of course involve more preparation. Are cigarettes and alcohol more important to them than nutritious food ? Is this where the money goes? Why are the relevant questions never asked?


    • GCooper says:

      ” Why are the relevant questions never asked? ”

      And where does the BBC find its complainants? Very often they are provided by unions, political activists or ‘charities’. In other words, they are fed to a willing and grateful BBC by the same liars who have concocted the story in the first place.


    • Barlicker says:

      It’s probably just a coincidence and nothing whatever to do with the “cost of living crisis”, but I understand that there has been a huge growth in the online betting sector of around 15% a year.


    • thoughtful says:

      Oh dear, this is the view of ignorance which I suppose it better than the views of hate & malice – marginally.

      “just what they do spend their limited available cash on.”

      “They receive benefits including Housing benefit so the major item, rent is covered.”

      Obviously not heard of the bedroom tax then? plus there’s the amount for council tax all of which has to be found from somewhere.

      How about benefit suspension for no good reason? The government has been questioned any number of times on the numbers ‘sanctioned’ for no good reason, in fact no one has been able to get a straight answer out of them!

      Then there’s the cuts in working hours, zero hours contracts, lower wages, plus inflation and stealth taxes which all go to destroy someone’s budget.

      I wonder if you are aware of the level of unemployment benefits, and the deductions from that before the poor claimant gets any to spend? Even Iain Duncan Smith admits it isn’t enough to live on and that should tell you something !

      Yes yes I hear about the women pushing brand new designer prams with a fag in their gob while chatting on the phone and the infant screaming its head off because mum didn’t actually want a baby, she wanted the benefits it brings, and will silence the thing just as soon as she gets to Greggs !

      Here lies the problem. You see Mum who obviously has plenty of money, and assume that everyone else is the same. Let me tell you that they aren’t
      Equally don’t tell me that the unemployed ‘should get a job’ those days are gone with the white British consigned to a life of unemployment.
      And don’t tell me that people don’t starve in this country because in February some one starved to death, and the NHS is having to treat cases of malnutrition from people who are genuinely starving.

      All of this is the direct consequence of years of EU and BLiars Nu Liebour in its quest to destroy Britain, but it isn’t helped by foolish people who think that the correct thing to do is to kick the poor when they’re down.
      If you want to do that then why not join Labour and do their work directly ?


      • The General says:

        As your Username suggests your arrogance shines through your posts. You have an image of yourself sitting ‘thoughtfully’ appraising the problems of the world and spouting them out in your arrogant fashion. I asked the questions but you in common with the BBC et al failed to answer. Council tax is paid as well as housing benefit, in most cases the bedroom tax and zero hours are not relevant. Before you spout out about kicking the poor when they are down, why not find the answers to my questions and then answer in a truly ‘thoughtful’ and informed manner.


        • Thoughtful says:

          OOOh touched a nerve there !

          But you’re wrong. Part of council tax is paid – not all of it at the very least in band A you will have to pay £300 pa or £6pw and there’s a sliding scale for those in the higher bands with band H having to pay more in council tax than they receive in benefit! That’s a Labour council for you though.
          Bedroom tax is relevant when it’s being taken from you though !
          It’s impossible to calculate an exact figure for bedroom tax as it’s a percentage of the rent, but it’s a reduction of 14% for one extra room and 25% for two. Assuming a rent of £100 pw (which most seem to be aound) then a claimant would lose £14 & £25 pw plus the council tax so £20 or £31 pw.

          Over 25 years old get £72.40 taking away housing benefit and council tax that’s just £52.40 or £41.40 to live on for a week !
          Then there are deductions such as child maintenance of £5.00 pw with an extra £1 for arrears. Amazingly the government will take this from any income received over £5.00pw ! They honestly believe it is possible to live on £4 pw !

          Out of this remaining £47.40 or £35.40 you are expected to fund job seeking including buying newspapers, internet access, travelling to interviews, and the job centre, and provide suitable clothing as well !

          Then you have to pay the standing charges on the utilities even if you don’t use any !
          You ask about preparing raw food, these are people who can’t even afford to turn the cooker on !

          For these people cigarettes and alcohol are a mere dream, there’s no way they can afford them. The fact you think they can says more about you & your assumptions than you might imagine.

          It really doesn’t matter what you ‘think’ the reality is that people are in severe difficulties, yes you might want to know why & hopefully I’ve told you. Ask the questions by all means but don’t doubt that this is a very real problem.


  5. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    Isn’t it interesting that, when Stephanie ‘Bike’ Flanders was spreading Labour propaganda every day when she was employed by the bBBC, we all assumed it was because she was a leftie, having dated both Balls and Miliband (at least). But now she can write an honest article, from which Alan has quoted, it is clear that she must have been toeing the Labour line because her bBBC bosses told her to do so.


  6. thoughtful says:

    Are UKIP lying too then Alan? Is their major policy tenet of ‘wage compression’ brough on by mass immigration a lie?

    Better be careful here Alan because your flying in the face of just about every political parties view of reality, and when you do that it’s difficult to maintain even a shred of credibility.

    In my opinion falling living standards are an unarguable fact the causes of it are where the political parties do differ.

    Labour are in denial, and of the opinion that they can solve it by forcing employers to pay more in wages, they don’t want to talk too much about it, because they caused the problem.

    Nick Clegg says that working conditions on planet Zog are better than here and we should follow their model.

    Cameron & the Tories simply don’t care that workers are being pushed into poverty. They like the fact that they can pay rock bottom wages to foreign staff who they can replace at a moments notice, and don’t pay any overtime or shift allowances.

    Ukip admit it’s happening and point to the effect that millions of unskilled workers coming into the economy has had.

    There are numerous causes for this, most of them the result of Labour mismanagement and downright betrayal of the working class.
    Zero hours contracts, stealth taxes on life’s essentials; mass immigration, the lowest number of new social housing since the war; the blatant giving away of British jobs to foreign workers; internships.

    Then the Tories with ideologically driven cuts to benefits which has seen work pay less & less, and employers run roughshod over their employees, as the Tories have reduced workers rights.

    So lets not deny it’s happening, lets just make sure the blame is placed where it belongs and is not hidden by the Biased ones


  7. Guest Who says:

    The BBC must have an entire ‘belief set’ of directors on £150k in ECU to wish away the damning factual assault daily from this one source alone?

    They surely can’t complain, as the BBC ME desk just keeps punting it out to be sliced and diced.

    Certainly trying to turn this tragic terrorist murder rampage into some kind of workplace inanimate object accident remake of Stephen King’s ‘Christine’ is bizarre if now unsurprising.