We don’t normally scrutinise the BBC’s essayists. We haven’t tried a survey of how many we consider right versus how many left. As a matter of fact I’ve never read any in-house commentary on the BBC that showed any strong right orientation, but I thought I’d look at this piece from Iain Watson. It’s about the Labour party launching its election campaign for the Euros with the expenses row echoing around it. The bottom line is the most interesting:
“the party will have to hope that their core voters will be thinking more about the economy than expenses. “
Objection, your honour! Only a true Labour hack laden with assumptions of “it started in America” and “it’s all about deregulation” so “what would the Tories have done differently?” would come up with this marvellous summation of wrong-headedness. It’s the economy, stupid, that Gordon Brown has taken from boom to bust.
There’s also a sly aspect to this: the journalist ignoring the base reality that the “core” vote don’t judge the Labour party on their handling of the economy- they judge them by their benefits cheques and their cushy state incomes and pensions. Anyone who were to judge the Labour party on their handling of the economy would vote against them. Simple as. To suggest that the economy might be a selling point for the Labour party is Goebbelesque.
In addition, if you look closely at the article you will see it has a certain wry affectionateness towards Labour, and deals with the expenses scandals humorously, pointing out just a few individuals who have apparently failed their genial and public spirited leader. Ok so Gordon’s a little old school and a bit stuffy, but y’know, basically it’s all about schools n’ stuff and good folk.
Can you imagine- is it possible to conceive of such a situation even- of how the BBC would be covering matters had the Conservatives been presiding over the economic meltdown?