What do you make of the news that a senior BBC executive told reporters to ‘go easy’ on the Labour Government now it is lagging behind the Tories in the polls. According to a well-placed source, the man in charge of BBC Radio 4’s flagship “Today In Parliament” told his staff that it was right to be ‘aggressive’ when things were going well for the Government but not when it was in trouble. Some of those present were outraged by the comments attributed to Peter Knowles, editor of the BBC’s parliamentary programmes, at an ‘away day’ gathering in London. Naturally the BBC denies this but then again they would say that, wouldn’t they?

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51 Responses to LAY OFF LABOUR

  1. Andrew Ian Dodge says:

    Anyone shocked to hear this? Not me…


  2. backwoodsman says:

    Yes, its official, beeboids re-afirm house policy to staff. “Lay off labour – don’t bite the hand that feeds you, blah, blah, etc.”
    The bbc, it’s an utter disgrace, at least one of their ex-presenters has stopped contributing to the broadcasting wing of nulab !


  3. Peter says:

    Shame there is not more ‘on-record’ attribution, but hardly surprising.

    However, assuming it to be true, I did manage a slight smile at this… as a defence:

    ‘…maybe he did not express himself very well and some people got the wrong end of the stick.’

    For a professional communicator of objective stories for a national news broadcaster, I am coming to see how they justify those big bucks at senior level.

    Maybe an ‘away-day’ with a ‘consultant’ to help improve on those skills? On us, of course.


  4. Sebastian Weetabix says:

    wow. Bears do shit in the woods…

    when are they going to admit being biased on man-made global warming? They have promoted with gushing approval Michael Mann’s latest hockey stick paper, yet fail to report that it has already been shredded by McIntyre et al.

    Lying scumbags, all of them.


  5. George R says:

    In the past hour, on BBC RADIO 5, Gabby Logan and her guests all showed their pro-Labour Party views, but especially their pro-David Miliband views. Of course, he appeared on the programme. It was all chums together.

    It looks like the BBC political message is: ‘lay off Labour, and support Miliband for the leadership’.

    (It’ll be on BBC i-Player.)


  6. Pat says:

    Mail on line is carrying the ‘lay off labour’ story – 20 or so comments already could have been taken straight from this site


  7. Ian E says:

    I simply don’t believe the story!

    What, the BBC tell their staff to lay off Labwhore now they are down??

    A ridiculous idea – since when have the BBC doen anything else?


  8. Jason says:

    Great to read the comments on that story. Virtually nobody to come to their defense at all. It pretty much confirms everything that is said on this blog on a daily basis. I think this could be the start of the momentum the British public needs to have the license fee abolished. Take the trough away from the pigs, and the pigs will eat each other. I can’t wait.


  9. Will86 says:

    I wish I could say I’m amazed, but after a year reading this site, it just confirms what I’ve thought all along: there is a BBC policy to defend the Labour government in it’s political reporting. If ever there was a case for BBC privatisation, this is it- how can they justify the production of what is essentially a visual Pravda at the tax payer’s expense in a free, democratic country? I just hope this emerges outside of the blogsphere and kickstarts the rebellion against the BBC and it’s sycophantic peddling of lies and half truths on public money. A total disgrace.


  10. Neil Reddin says:

    What a few above have said – whaddya know – the Pope’s a catholic.

    Trouble is (and this would be the problem even if they really were equally beastly to all parties) when they do attack Labour it’s from the left.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Well know we know why pollwatch upadtes have vanished from the BBC website.


  12. archduke says:

    “Anonymous | 14.09.08 – 6:10 pm”

    i’ve noticed that as well – the complete and total lack of coverage of polls in bbc news output, now that gordon brown is most hated PM in history.

    and yes – its is interesting that the comments on that story could have been lifted from this site.

    you certainly wouldnt have got that sort of response from the general public a few years ago.

    maybe this blog has done its job? and succeeded?


  13. Original Robin says:

    They should lay off Labour. You give a condemned man a good breakfast dont you ?


  14. The Bias Must End says:

    The BBC certainly didn’t go easy on the last Conservative government.

    In 1996, near the end of the Conservative government, the BBC’s Harry Enfield did a “Tory boy” character – “a repulsive 15yr old with glaringly out-of-date ideas”. It’s a character that really stuck in my mind, that Tories are really evil and that you shouldn’t vote for people like that. I’m sure that Harry Enfield would claim that he was simply reflecting public opinion of an unpopular government. So in 2008, near the end of a deeply unpopular Labour government, you would expect Harry Enfield to reflect public opinion and do a character that portrays Labour as “repulsive with glaringly out-of-date ideas”, Labour Lad perhaps? Maybe something along the lines of an incompetent control freak that doesn’t like elections, incapable of telling the truth and always meddling in other peoples lives?

    In this weeks episode, we finally got to see Harry Enfield’s Labour version of Tory boy. It was Colin Dexter, “a fine upstanding African-Englishman-Londoner”. In stark contrast to Tory boy, Harry Enfield lavished the Labour Colin Dexter character with praise and the scene ended with cries of “Colin Dexter for president” along with a man on a megaphone shouting “Vote Labour” in the background. Enfield even shoe horned a load of positive references to Barak Obama in the sketch.

    Going easy on Labour? It’s what the BBC does.


  15. dave s says:

    They are really running scared.
    Conspiracy or not the two typical school run nulabor women have finished Brown off. Their very ordinariness is resonating with huge numbers of voters. They look and sound sincere and are just so very ordinary and “just like us” How can the Beeb’s spinners compete with this?
    They have terminated Brown with their school run motherly concern.
    A masterstroke by someone or a lucky break for the country.
    It won’t be long now.
    The BBC sounds really worried.


  16. Jon says:

    dave s | 14.09.08 – 9:14 pm |

    There is only one reason some of these Labour MPs are calling for a leadership contest and it has nothing to do with their rejection of Labours utter contemt for the British people – it is because they are scared witless that they may loose their cushy jobs. If they were sincere it would be the policies that they were attacking not the leader.
    They think someone else with a bit of charisma may help them – but the policies will be the same.

    No doubt the BBC will soon lay off labour, with a general election coming soon – it will be wall to wall critiscm of the conservatives, who at the present time don’t exist (ever see them on the BBCs “politics page”?)


  17. Anonymous says:

    Most people think if they do get rid of the fat one eyed jock that there should be a general election. However, I expect the BBC to start spinning that there is no reason to hold one (despite replacing two leaders).

    Remember the prime directive of the BBC.

    To ensure the continuation of the TV licence fee.

    The BBC would eat the turds of any Labour politicians so long as they get the nod that the TV tax will continue.


  18. Gordon BrownStuff says:

    Anon, there is no *legal* requirement for a government to run an election if it changes leader. Politcally, however, it doesn’t look good.


  19. Martin says:

    Gordon BrownStuff: That was me above. I know that, but to change leader TWICE without giving people a chance to have their say, especially when they are so unpopular in the polls is a joke.

    The Tories got rid of Thatcher, but for Nu Liebour to get rid of Broon who by the way didn’t even face an election by his own party!!! and replace his with some other failed jock (as it probably will be) is just too much.


  20. Garden Trash says:

    To paraphrase Sergei Lavrov,”Who the fuck is Milliband to lead us?”


  21. Jason says:

    The Bias Must End | 14.09.08 – 8:39 pm | #

    Harry Enfield still has a career? I’ve been out of the country for a while. The only thing I can remember about him was “Only me!” and “I do not think you wanted to do that!”. I think that was back in the early 90’s. Didn’t his humor fad get overtaken by Paul Whitehouse and The Fast Show?

    Harry Enfield still kicking around the Beeb. Who woulda thunk it? I thought he’d gone the way of Phil Cool.


  22. Jason says:

    My apologies to Phil Cool. I just Googled him and it appears he’s still going strong (just not on TV)


  23. Gordon BrownStuff says:

    Martin, as I say, politically, an election could not really be avoided, but it looks like the Beeb could be looking foward to supporting another jock in John Reid.

    See Guido Fawkes at


  24. Martin says:

    Nu Liebour is infested with Jocks. I hope they pick another one. They will end up 30 points behind in the polls.


  25. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    “lay off Labwhore”

    Clever. I see what you’ve done there. Have you considered appearing on Countdown?

    I’m sorry, but I watch the news every day and it simply not true to say that the BBC have not been reporting the polls.

    If anything it could be argued that they are one of the main contributors to the sense of instability in the government, since the continual flow of stories about the wobbliness of the present government simply reinforces it. Not that I’m complaining, that is what they are there to report on.


  26. Bartleby the Scrivener says:


    “Mail on line is carrying the ‘lay off labour’ story – 20 or so comments already could have been taken straight from this site”

    Yes, The Mail is incredibly unbiased and balanced when it comes to the BBC, isn’t it? 🙂


  27. Pat says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener – Depending on your point of view most papers could be accused of being biased. It is up to you whether you buy them or not – we are all forced by law to ‘buy’ the BBC and it should offer a balanced view to all and I think does not.


  28. Hugh says:

    “I’m sorry, but I watch the news every day and it simply not true to say that the BBC have not been reporting the polls.”

    That’s that argument settled then.


  29. Martin says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener: The day you are forced to buy the Daily Mail will be the day I’m sure the rent boy loving liberal mafia will be on the streets protesting.

    You thicko lefties need to get this through your thick skulls.

    I couldn’t give a shit what crap the BBC pumps out so long as I’m not forced to pay for it.

    Oh and why is it I get NO choice in the funding of the Guaridan newspaper from my taxes?


  30. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    Whoa, bit aggressive there Martin. You might want to pop a valium or two, take a few deep breaths. Have a cup of camomile tea (or is that the sole preserve of beardy lefties?). There, that’s better, isn’t it?

    Hey Pat, thanks for replying. I do agree that all media has a “bias”, in that it is aimed at a target audience. However, that is totally different from saying it is false or misleading.

    For example, both the Guardian and The Times are good papers, they are just designed to appeal to people of different political persuasions. This is clear, for example, in how much space each devotes to each subject, or how it treats certain issues.

    As the Andrew Marr quote on the blog homepage makes clear, the BBC has a liberal bias, in the sense that people who want to work for the BBC are generally young and university-educated. But the idea that the BBC is “state TV” – in the manner of Pravda, or the Chinese authorities – is just silly. The BBC is an institution chrished globally, and I think that’s a great thing. What does privatisation lead to? Well, Burlesconi managing to get himself elected by owning all state media.

    That was kind of childish Hugh. My point was simply that people claimed the BBC wasn’t reporting Labour’s terrible poll results. Which was factually untrue. A point you failed to address, I see.

    Martin, the first part of your post is basically unintelligible (“The day you are forced to buy the Daily Mail will be the day I’m sure the rent boy loving liberal mafia will be on the streets protesting” – um, okay), and you have no knowledge of my political persuasion, so don’t be presumptuous.

    The fact you disagree with the license fee is irrelevant to the question of whether the BBC is biased or not. Personally, I can’t see the license fee lasting much longer.

    The reason you don’t get a say in the funding of the Guardian is the same reason you don’t get a say in the funding of any other private enterprise. The Guardian is run by The Scott Trust, a charitable foundation which, they claim, “aims to ensure the paper’s editorial independence in perpetuity, maintaining its financial health to ensure it does not become vulnerable to take over by for-profit media groups, and the serious compromise of editorial independence that this often brings.”

    The BBC, on the other hand, as a quick visit to Wikipedia will tell you, is “a quasi-autonomous public corporation” – “a public service broadcaster. The Corporation is run by the BBC Trust; and is, per its charter, supposed to be “free from both political and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners”.

    Tell me what part of that you don’t understand, and I’ll explain it to you in pictorial form, using A4 paper and orange crayon.


  31. Hugh says:

    My point was that you failed to provide any evidence to support your argument, which made it a bit difficult to address.


  32. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    Okay, well go back and watch the news on BBC i-player for the last week. Watch the coverage of Siobhan McDonagh, the assistant whip who resigned this week because she wants Brown to face a leadership election.

    Watch the politics show, which had an interview with David Miliband unconvincingly backing Brown. Or This Week, in which Diane and Portillo rib him endlessly.

    The BBC is hardly a Brown love-in at the moment, is it?


  33. Hugh says:

    No thanks. I saw the Miliband interview, though. Did that give a detailed run down of the polls? I don’t recall it. It was also good of them to cover Siobhan McDonagh, but they are a news group after all; I’m not going to get too excited when they occasionally do their job properly – nor I think is anyone suggesting they haven’t mentioned that Gordo’s not exactly polling brilliantly. However, given the number of records that Labour have broken in recent polls, I’d say the Beeb’s coverage has been scant. We can argue about that, though, and I don’t fancy trawling through iPlayer for the past three months to try on prove it.
    Specifically on the website, however, there’s no argument – the Beeb’s political research editor first started to forget to report the party polling when Labour’s fortunes turned and then stopped producing his Poll Watch column altogether. Is he dead?


  34. It's all too much says:

    Bartleby – stick to the lost letters department.

    The reason the BBC has gone off Brown is that he is failing to advance the “cause”. I seem to remember a bit of a Brown love-in when the BBC thought that he was going to replace Bliar’s policies with something a bit more to their taste – ant-American and hard left and “popular”. He hasn’t delivered and is ruining their beloved party. The party and the “struggle” are bigger than one person. The BBC loves Labour because it is supposedly left of center and makes sure that its’ coverage is slanted in that way.

    I ask you to cast your mind back to the last days of the Major administration and the orchestrated faux ‘sleaze’ campaign. Is the BBC coverage of labours disintegration and its’ questionable probity in any way comparable to the psychopathic venom poured out on the foul Toreees in 1997. Remember the champers rolling about in broadcasting house in 1997?


  35. Martin says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener: I get fed up of limp wristed wet liberals who come on here and try to defend the liberal bias of the BBC by pointing their grubby little fingers at the likes of Fox News or the Daily Mail.

    As I have pointed out, the day you nappy wearing liberals are forced to pay for the Daily Mail or Fox News I’m sure you’ll be having a good whine.

    The BBC has a duty to be fair and balanced in their reporting as they are funded by a compulsory tax.

    If you look at the shite pumped out by wankers like Frei, Webb, Peston, Easton and the rest, the one thing you can say is “NOT fair and balanced”


  36. Gerald Brown says:


    Can you list the right of centre editors of the Guardian. I thought not, so it is left of centre editorial independence the Trust protects. If the Scott Trust is a Charity should their status be questioned in view of the undoubted leanings of their output? Being a Charity I presume they also receive tax breaks so their output is being subsidised by the taxpayer? Added to which an obscene proportion of BBC and recruitment advertising is spent with it – yet another public subsidy for their viewpoint?


  37. TPO says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener | 15.09.08 – 7:18 pm |

    Sod off sillybunt


  38. The Bias Must End says:

    Jason | 14.09.08 – 11:45 pm | # Harry Enfield still has a career?

    Harry Enfield is still on prime time BBC1, although his new series isn’t very funny. It must be another case of the BBC hiring comedians based on their politics rather than on talent.

    Compare and contrast the BBC’s “impartial” and “balanced” portrayal of Conservative and Labour governments lagging behind in the polls, see if you can spot which party they give a kicking to and which one they go easy on:

    When Tories were behind in the polls:

    Now when Labour are behind in the polls: (9mins in)

    Hmm, I wonder which party Harry Enfield votes for?


  39. Jon says:

    Hmm, I wonder which party Harry Enfield votes for?

    Well he was one of the first ones invited around to 10 Downing Street with other BBC “comedians” in 1997.


  40. Kill the Beeb says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener:

    I can’t even read your posts for laughing at how pretentious and public schoolie your user name is.

    Bartleby the Scrivener indeed.

    You old fart.


  41. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    @Kill The Beeb
    I actually went to a “bog-standard comprehensive” (in fact, more of a sub-standard comprehensive) and I’m probably about half your age. I’m just, um, y’know, literate.

    Your moniker, on the other hand, makes you sound like the kind of man who is 35 but still lives alone with his mother, has a pile of gun magazines under his bed, and when not frothing over the supposed inpartiality of the BBC, spends his days masturbating over pictures of girls half his age.

    Just saying, like.


  42. Bartleby the Scrivener says:


    Put simply, where we differ is that you think the BBC is this biased institution, and I don’t – or only in the sense that is inevitable given the people who want to work for them: young, university graduates wanting a career in the media.

    You’re right, I would be aggrieved if I had to buy the Daily Mail, but that’s not because it has a right-wing editorial bias (so, for example, does the Times, a paper I like) but because it is sensationalist and scaremongering. And REALLY badly written. I think the same can be said of The Independent, on the other end of the political spectrum.

    And stop with the “museli-eating leftie” rubbish, as I’ve said, you have no idea about my political beliefs!


  43. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    Re: Harry Enfield

    He’s terrible. But to be fair, there aren’t many funny conservatives out there. PJ O’ Rourke maybe. Other than that I’m struggling. Any suggestions?

    Oh, and Jim Davidson. Say. No. More.


  44. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener | 16.09.08 – 3:23 pm |

    You’re right, I would be aggrieved if I had to buy the Daily Mail, but that’s not because it has a right-wing editorial bias (so, for example, does the Times, a paper I like) but because it is sensationalist and scaremongering. And REALLY badly written. I think the same can be said of The Independent, on the other end of the political spectrum.

    What you seem to miss is that, aside from being forced to pay for it by tax, the BBC is your Official State Broadcaster. Even though there is a piece of paper which makes it nominally independent, it still has an inherent authority that no truly independent broadcaster cannot have.

    Consequently, when your Official State Broadcaster takes clear positions on certain political issues, that should frighten you. Apparently it doesn’t, which is too bad. Further, the BBC most certainly does engage in scare-mongering and sensationalism when it comes to certain topics (in case you don’t know what those are, just have a look at other threads on this blog). Even worse, the BBC deliberately hides facts, misrepresents stories, and tells actual lies when it suites their agenda. Editorial decisions are regularly made along these lines.

    And stop with the “museli-eating leftie” rubbish, as I’ve said, you have no idea about my political beliefs!

    Sorry, but your protestation about liking the Times even though it has a right-wing editorial bias is a bit of a giveaway, no?


  45. Hugh says:

    Why on earth is it inevitable the BBC should biased to the left, when the Telegraph, Mail and – by your reckoning – the Times all manage to be right-leaning. And what about Sky News? I’m sure some here will say it’s biasd too, but it’s a lot better than the Beeb.


  46. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    But those “clear” political decisions rarely are clear. My flatmate, a Syrian, thinks the BBC is inherently pro-Israeli. However, the Jewish lobby is obsessed with the fact that the Beeb is Pro-palestinian.

    As for your second point, I merely used the Times right-wing bias as a comparison with the Guardian’s left-wing bias. I like good journalism. The Times is good journalism, the so-called “paper of record”. The Guardian is good journalism – forget the comment section, I’m talking about their coverage of news. My politics are actually centrist, so it grates to have people calling me a “tofu-eating, sandal-wearing pinko” or whatever!


  47. Bartleby the Scrivener says:


    I think it’s inevitable because of it’s make-up, for the reasons I outlined. Read the Andrew Marr quote again:

    “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias”, Andrew Marr, the Daily Mail, Oct 21st, 2006.

    I think that expresses it well. Its new coverage is, I think, impartial (unless you’re the type of person who thinks mentions of “conservative” mullahs is an attempt to smear David Cameron), but as an organization it’s certainly skewered towards middle class, young liberals.


  48. Hugh says:

    Of course, because the Beeb goes to such effort to ensure that cultural liberal bias doesn’t find it’s way into its programming. And it is, of course, only fringe lunatics who disagree – fringe lunatics including a good number of mainstream journalists, MPs and close to half of all conservative voters. Not even the BBC, and certainly not Marr, has your confidence in its impartiality.


  49. Kill the Beeb says:

    Bartleby the Scrivener:

    You went to a comprehensive did you? I can only imagine the amount of bullying you must have been subjected too.

    Which makes me smile.


  50. Bartleby the Scrivener says:

    @Kill The Beeb

    I actually really enjoyed my time at comprehensive, made some close friends and had a laugh.

    I’m glad you enjoy bullying though, well done. Comments like that can’t fail to add to the credibility of your views. 🙂