As Craig and Cassandra have been pointing out in the comments, the Beeb have been subtly downplaying the cash for influence scandal of senior Labour figures. First there’s the fact that the headline to their article says “Ministers attack ‘MPs for hire'”. Ah, so senior Government figures are on the side of the angels then? The Gvt is acting decisively? What exactly is “for hire?” Is that anything like soliciting bribes? Then it’s noticeable that only one of the miscreants, Stephen Byers, is even identified directly as a Labour MP in the article. Moreover, they are described as “ex” ministers- for whose actions it would surely be churlish to blame the Gummint; be rather like a husband being blamed for his ex-wife’s behaviour, wouldn’t it? How about “senior Labour figures caught in bribery scandal”? How about “three senior Labour former ministers have been caught in a sting operation soliciting payments for influence. These are Stephen Byers, Labour MP for… who was minister of…, Patricia Hewitt, Labour MP for… who was minister of… and Geoff Hoon, Labour MP for… who was minister of…”
I’ve only talked here about the framing sentences of the BBC article. The rest is rather detailed detail. By the time they get to it readers will have given up the will, and just be glad that “due process” is being followed and isn’t it wonderful our media is able to bang to rights those grubby “not Gordon’s Labour but ex- Labour” types.
Incidentally, it’s no surprise that washed up pols peddle influence for cash- but then it wasn’t back in ’97 either ands that’s when the BBC was washing down “things can only get better” with flutes of champagne.