Labour Candidate is BBC Bias Complaints Judge.
(Hat-tips to all who highlighted this in the comments)
Update. Craig has more on this. Good work Ryan.
Update 2. I see that Sarah Bell, the BBC hack who couldn’t find a single non-LibDem supporter in the constituency of her LibDem Facebook friend Susan Kramer, hasn’t tweeted for a few days. Told to keep a low profile, perhaps? (Facebook screenshot from Ryan, via Beeb Bias Craig)
So, let me get this right. On the day when official figures reveal that an astonishing 8.16 million of our fellow citzens are now ‘economically inactive’ and when that rate is now 21.5 per cent of the working age population – the highest since records first began in 1971, good old BBC decides that all is looking quite rosy! Rejoice – Gordon has saved the day! And just in case you may think that this is a one off, here in Northern Ireland the headline is “Slight rise in unemployed” disguising the fact that almost 28% of the working population is not working and the increase in unemployed sets a new record. But with Labour in power and a stooge Assembly here to preserve it doesn’t do to let the details rise too far up the news story, does it? Can you imagine is a Conservative government was in power and these sort of scandalous figures came out the outcry the BBC would lead? This is Save Gordon – the last stand!
The first offering from Simon Schama’s much-trailed ten-week stint on Radio 4’s A Point of View is pretty much as expected – Labour spin from a Labour supporter. According to Schama the narrowing polls prove that “we” the electorate really want bad tempered tough guy Gordon Brown as our leader, in defiance of those nasty anti-Brown newspapers and their politically-motivated narrative about the PM as a bully. (Remind me – where was Andrew Rawnsley’s book serialised? Oh yes, those renowned Tory rags The Observer and The Guardian.) In his attempt to convince us that Gordon’s the man we desire Schama gives much of his essay over to an embarrassingly unfunny imagined phone call between Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell (whose name he misspells). Schama’s services don’t come cheap; if this dire effort is a foretaste of what’s to come I think a BBC Trust inquiry could be in order. There’s not much that BBC bosses enjoy more than throwing bundles of cash at their favourite historian in return for his reliably left-of-centre take on events, but even some of them must be concerned at the quality of this opening piece.
And what’s with Schama referring to himself in the third person? He did in it one of the two oft-repeated trails for the programme (the other had him enthusing about Labour closing the gap in the polls), and he does it again in an interview for the Radio 4 blog. It’s an affectation that’s ridiculous in ego-inflated punch-drunk boxers, never mind fucking historians.
Update. Forgot to add, Schama does get one thing correct – suck up to your opponents and likely they’ll spit in your eye. Last week, in one of those depressingly common celeb-obsessed announcements that all political parties love, the Tories promised to involve big-name historians in their proposed overhaul of the national curriculum. One of those historians? Simon Schama.
Thanks to David Preiser in the comments at this earlier post for tracking down the Jane Garvey clip from May 2007 in which she told Peter Allen her memories of Labour’s victory ten years earlier. Worth another listen:
I’m just hoping that the BBC will afford Lady Thatcher the same warmth of tribute as that afforded to Michael Foot, who, as you know, has passed away aged 96. Today has been running a series of tributes to him this morning and whilst I fully understand that it is civilised to not speak ill of the dead, I look forward to the same standard being applied to the former Conservative leader when that sad moment arrives. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?
Had to smile at the way in which the BBC has been pushing the line that the UK is emerging from recession “faster than previously estimated.” Yes, but it’s not QUITE the way the BBC presents it. Then again recession “deeper than previously estimated” might not be quite as helpful to Mr Brown?
Last October I blogged about the BBC’s silence over Andrew Neather’s revelations about the government’s open door policy on immigration, allegedly to fill gaps in the labour market. But the government’s deliberate policy of manipulating the demographics in the UK was to fill gaps in the Labour-voting market, not the job vacancy one.
Before backtracking and claiming his words had been twisted and misrepresented, Andrew Neather mentioned that the government was paranoid about the media getting hold of this information.
Now that formerly concealed parts of this document have been revealed, the BBC is still strangely silent about this, and to what Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch UK has written. Other news organs still think it is a bit of a bombshell.
During “Today” this morning, there were two instances of outrageous BBC grovelling to Labour. Just after 7.38am who pops up but John Reid to position himself as a champion of “individual freedom of conscience”. I thought this a bit rich coming from someone who has been at the centre of this ever more totalitarian government but he was given an easy ride. Then, just a few minutes later, we had Alan Johnson on to announce punitive legislation against Pub Licensees who dare to hold Happy Hours and the like. Again, Johnson was not pushed in any way and was allowed to waffle on as if Labour itself had not been involved in bringing about 24 hour booze culture.
Via the comments – Iain Dale on One Show bias and the BBC’s response.
The BBC gave the Irish sex abuse cases top billing
They even made a Vatican-driven reorganisation of the Irish Catholic Church the main item on Radio Four news a fortnight later.
Yesterday the resignation of a bishop made the PM news, with interviews and a correspondent report. Three online news items.
You’d almost think Ireland hadn’t been an independent nation for the past 90-odd years.
Yet coverage of the Irish budget, which made such a contrast to Alistair Darling’s earlier statement, was almost non-existent.
Admittedly Darling’s budget was the same day. But the Irish budget was important in that it was an attempt to shore up an economy which was over-borrowed, with collapsing tax revenues, a massive deficit, banks that survived by the skin of the taxpayer’s teeth and questions over the government’s credit-worthiness.
Not too far away from what we see in the UK, in fact. Obvious parallels begging to be drawn, yet Robert Peston, Stephanie Flanders and the BBC News editors heroically denied themselves.
Can’t imagine why the two topics should get such differing treatment. Can you?