No holding back from Marr asking awkward question to Miliband…Did he use the word ‘weaponise’ in relation to the NHS?
Miliband refused to answer, saying somewhat surprisingly in an interview that ‘This isn’t about the words we use…’. I’m sure the televised debates will be fascinating without the correct words in the right place.
What’s interesting is that the BBC has been holding ‘secret’ meetings with, presumably, all the political parties….which ones we don’t know…well, we know they had one with Miliband….
Ed Miliband has come under pressure to admit that he plotted to “weaponise” the NHS as an election issue after it emerged he secretly briefed up to 15 executives at the BBC over his plans, The Telegraph can disclose.
The Labour leader used the phrase during a meeting with some of the corporation’s most senior figures in around November of last year and said he intended to make the NHS the centrepiece of his campaign. He made the comments weeks before the NHS began to experience unprecedented pressure.
You have to assume, as the other parties aren’t kicking up a fuss, they too have had these meetings….might be nice to know what was said.
Why do they have these meetings with the national broadcaster? You can only think they are laying out their election strategy…but why? Why does the BBC need to know that in advance? Surely that is an open invitation to prepare their coverage in a way that is helpful to a particular party….and to prepare arguments against whatever the not so favoured party has revealed.
For a example Labour’s election campaign is centred on the NHS and in the meeting, in November, Miliband said he was going to ‘weaponise’ the NHS to blitz the Tories.
All Winter the BBC has been concentrating on the NHS and hyping every little story from whatever source, even the hated Big Pharma’ drug companies demanding their products be bought by the government ‘or patients will suffer’. The BBC has even created its own A&E winter crisis tracker which highlights any falloff in performance….the BBC knows that A&E is under enormous pressure so they know that performance of the NHS will inevitably dip and this ‘tracking device’ will only show negative results and create an impression of disaster and crisis.
Too cyncial? Perhaps…but then history suggests the BBC is not above fixing the debate…..such as when Roger Harrabin held his seminars on climate change and effectively shut out climate sceptics from the debate everafter.