ACTIVIST JOURNALISM

Let us be clear, anything that brings to light the mistreatment of the vulnerable is to be commended. The BBC has made headlines itself today by revealing a pattern of abuse in a private nursing facility. Four people have been arrested as a consequence. Good – that’s how it should be. Can we look forward to similar undercover investigations into NHS facilities?

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46 Responses to ACTIVIST JOURNALISM

  1. George R says:

    And will INBBC eventually report this, and the long-term cost impact on the NHS?:

    “‘Bradford is very inbred’: Muslim outrage as professor warns first-cousin marriages increase risk of birth defects”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1392217/Muslim-outrage-professor-Steve-Jones-warns-inbreeding-risks.html#ixzz1O17xNR5U

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  2. matthew rowe says:

    Nope i doubt it! as the main point the BBC will run with  from this is the word “private” !

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  3. cjhartnett says:

    Always dodgy when the BBC writes its own news…entrapment in effect.
    Panorama is just  “Watchdog” for the public sector/charity slugs that seem to need this kind of story. It gets wheeled in when the hatchet job needs to go beyond a mechanic/telesales pay grade and approaches their own.
    But because it had its teeth removed round the time of the Falklands, it`s an infinite dilution of maudling and meddling.

    Of course, it is a scandal…but as has been said, Panorama got nothing at Stafford or any number of NHS facilities equally despicable…it is happy never to be allowed into schools,prisons, care homes for kids..which is where systematic scandals and abuses like those in Bristol go on-unreported,save for maybe a belated enquiry once everyone has been retired or promoted a la Railtrack!

    Noted this story being bled into a couple of related ones on the 8a.m news-about “lack of investment” and “harsher assessments for benefits”. “Todays” editors have obviously been at a marketing seminar or two regarding “reinforcing the brand identity”, as displayed so shamelessly this morning.

    Yesterday a policeman was sacked for stalking a “vulnerable” girl in the care of the local authority-can the State tell us why she is STILL vulnerable whilst under their roof then? We sure as hell won`t be allowed to to SEE why she was will we? No Human Rights comeback for for a few years either.
    In the same vein, kids in foster care can be shown as obnoxious as possible until they go into the care home-and that is where the cameras get switched off for some reason I can`t possibly think of!
    I reiterate-when the BBC are as fearless about schools,mental hospitals and prisons…care homes that the State run…then I will take a lecture on the pockets of private provision and associated scandals attached. Until then-it`s just a stick to beat the private sector…AGAIN!

    In short-the BBC hates anything private…hates anything that doesn`t call for more money from the rest of us…and hates its self-righteous virtue being shown for the sham that it is.
    Be easier and more honest if they just prefaced all they said with these axioms of their greatness actually stated.

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  4. David Gregory says:

    Hmmm, like “Panorama: Undercover Nurse” ? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4655929.stm

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    • cjhartnett says:

      Remember what happened to her David?
      I rest my case!

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      • Roland Deschain says:

        Actually, I didn’t remember, so had to Google it.  For those with memories as bad as mine, she was struck off for breach of patient confidentiality.

        Which was pretty shitty.

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        • cjhartnett says:

          So in my opinion then
          1. Only BBC undercover reporters can blow the whistle on scandals like this.

          2. A practicing professional who does the same without the BBCs blessing is “in breach of client confidentiality”-so is hung out to dry by the union, the state employing them and all regualtory authorities that train and/or monitor them.

          3. The media-BBC in particular-can then say that the likes of the professional who would tell the truth if they were free to do so in (2) above-are complicit and won`t reveal these scandals-so the BBC can go back undercover again and get more cheap copy.

          Being a monopoly and one-stop judge,jury and provider of fall guys to be sacrificed for the authorities that conspired in creating and covering the scandal in the fist place.That seems to suit the BBC and their scandal mongers quite well don`t you think?
          Doesn`t help the old folk at Brighton or Royal Free though does it…and isn`t helping in Bristol today.
          But does ensure plenty more scope for the BBC to pose as the peoples champion-no undercover work into the running of OFSTED,CQC, Railtrack etc though…wonder why?

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      David G, the key phrase here is “look forward”.  A piece from six years ago doesn’t count.

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    • Grant says:

      David G,
      The problem is that anyone can always find one or two exceptions to the rules of BBC bias. Scottie and Dezzie, who sometimes post here, are masters of this technique.
      You, as one of the few Beeboids with serious scientific qualifications ( and I commend you for that ) , should know all about statistical significance in probablility theory.
      The few exceptions don’t  change the overwhelming evidence that the BBC is a Left-wing propaganda machine whose political viewpoints are blatantly obvious and predictable.

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  5. David Gregory says:

    Hmmm, like “Panorama: Undercover Nurse” ? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4655929.stm

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    • Grant says:

      David Gregory,
      Sorry confusing you with David P, now there is a compliment. My post above should have appeared under yours !

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  6. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    Hmmm, like “Panorama: Undercover Nurse” ?

    ——————————————————-

    Hmmm July 2005. 

    Hmmm how many panoramas have there been since then?

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    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      how many panoramas’

      At least politely posted without resort to one of those all-inclusive ‘you people’ that can lobbed around and steer perilously close to some kind of ‘ism if one is affront-disposed enough to invoke a quango.

      Though a fair point/mitigation, it does, as subsequently noted, rather highlight the intervening six (OK, 5 years and 10 months, lest our pet vulture fall off his perch scrambling to score another crushing ‘gotcha’) years to raise a whole raft of new questions too. If that was the intention.

      Call it a draw?

      Now, about that genetic impartiality on display around other posts, dail.. hourly…

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      • David Gregory says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I think my first point still stands, David V asked when the BBC would mount a similar programme into the NHS and I said it had already done so.
        Roland and CJ are right the nurse who agreed to take part was indeed struck off. That was “shitty” but Panorama stood by her and the BBC supported her(1). She appealed that decision and was eventually allowed to return to work last year(2).
        To those that say this was back in 2005 what have you done since? Well, the whole programme will have taken months to set up and then three months of uncover filming before eventual broadcast. The fallout then dominated the life of Margaret Haywood and the BBC actively stood by her for the next five years until she won her appeal.
        We may all have an opinon on the managers in the BBC but in this case it was their job to deal with all this.
        So sure there was a 60 minute programme in 2005 that viewers saw but the BBC’s job started months earlier and lasted for five years after that.
        The BBC only really finished work on Panorama: Undercover Nurse last year. Given what Ms Haywood went through I’m not sure it will be very easy to find someone else to do what she did, but for all I know the BBC is working on a follow up today.

        Would have been much cheaper just to stick someone in a mosque with a secret camera in their hat ๐Ÿ˜‰

        (1) http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8020000/8020888.stm
        (2) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8303304.stm

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        • Grant says:

          David G,
          Any more examples ?

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          • David Gregory says:

            Of B-BBC being wrong recently? Well that Tim Henman outrage turned out to be spectacularly incorrect.

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            • Millie Tant says:

              Oh, not you too.  Don’t you read Biased BBC with due care and attention? ๐Ÿ˜›  

              If you did, you would know that I posted here the correction and apology printed by The Mail and that I later pointed out the fact that I had done so to the benighted Scott or Dez who was crowing over the same non-error by this blog.  A non-point to you too. ๐Ÿ™

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            • Grant says:

              David G,
              Love your BBC wit, but I think you know what I mean  ๐Ÿ˜€

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            • Grant says:

              David G,
              So how much of our money is being spent on the spectacularly boring Henman ?  Shouldn’t the BBC be open and honest and reveal all ?

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        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          The entire Corporation was stretched to the gills on this one story?   Newsnight is able to hire outside help to do all sorts of investigative reporting.  Getting a political activist like Greg Palast to “investigate” ACORN in the US, for example. 

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          • David Gregory says:

            I was more making the point that investigative journalism takes much, much longer than most people think and there may well be issues arrising that go on for years. And if you miss the show like DV clearly did you think the BBC has no interest in the issue.

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            • Grant says:

              David G,
              And the BBC have the staff, time and money, our money, to do it. So why are they so selective about who they investigate ? Surely they don’t have a political agenda ?

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            • My Site (click to edit) says:

              I was more making the point’

               

              Whilst very much appreciating the effort being made to do so and, mostly, the tone adopted, the selectivity too often displayed seems counter-productive, especially when ‘complemented’ by a sudden desire to go mute or scoot off elsewhere (one notes that the site’s main resident semantic vulture, having raised the issue of political party representation onscreen in % terms, seems a bit stumped now on how often one minority leader is given voice over another. I, for one, would simply appreciate a BBCphilic response to the related issue of ‘guest’ commentary from one media outlet over another. Craig has often provided simple stats which one presumes are not disputed).

               

              A reasoned defence against inaccuracy is legitimate*, but dipping in with a snipe and then bailing when challenged merely makes a whole other point, even more powerfully.

               

              Considering the volume of the BBC’s body of work in totality (£3-4Bpa should buy a fair bit), whilst valid and laudable, harking back solely to a piece from 2005 and then moving to ‘difficulties’ of funding and time to derive such efforts then or subsequently seems weak.

               

              And is now well shown up as being so.   

               

              *were it that the BBC was as prompt and responsive in its culture and systems as here. You might wonder, along with many, as to when the promised replies will be appearing here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2011/05/our_next_step_in_news_blogging.html, 

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  7. cjhartnett says:

    The closing headlines on the World at One says that the Care Quality Commisssion say that there was none of the usual incompetence,indifference and tick box massaging with malice in the case of Bristol.
    Not a bit of it-unlike the other state snoopers that don`t do the job until their “watching brief” is “watched”on Watchdog.Then its serge and sirens wailing…with plenty of blue tape and high viz for the main news that evening. Oh dear no!

    I thought I heard young Sean say that an “anonymous whistleblower” puts it all down to the CQC being ..er..”overstretched…yes,that`s it!”

    Letting the much vaunted boast of “transparency and accountability” go as too easy a target here….I hear that Money Box later will be hounding debt management monkeys lower down the food chain to say how come they aren`t listening to those they`re fleecing and defrauding.
    Reckon their “being overstretched” ought to do it eh?…Mladic has his defence too I`m thinking!

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    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      With complaints now at the level of several Ombudsmen over the failure of elder care oversight authorities (too many, too little, no accountability, all pointing at each other, with box-ticking ‘managers’ on £80kpa to say ‘lessons have been learned’) this case has resonated with me and many on blogs and forums around such issues.

       

      First up is the odd notion that such things are somehow new. Grotesque for sure, but simply part of a long and terrible situation that has gone on, and been allowed to do so, for too long. And the danger is all the focus will now be on extremes, allowing lesser, but no less terrible abuses to become almost tolerated as the authorities dance to the media’s tune.

       

      They are only interested in the epic fails as it makes good TV. And i wonder when we will get to a point where a reporter allows a murder to proceed to just to get the best footage. Tricky dilemma when developing a story I know, but where are the limits to humanity? However, our sick legal system pretty much demands filmed affronts such as this before ‘acting’. And once the fuss dies down, and the media moves on, we may be depressed at what actually happens after several millions have been spent, not on care, but to ‘inquire’.

       

      The other thing is the near default that all this gets solved by money, and money alone. Or, of course, will be devastated further by ‘cuts’.

       

      Sure money can help. But without a sea change (which ain’t going to happen with the vast mediocrity defence industry that exists) into the culture of zero accountability, from care providers (private or state) to those who act in oversight (CQC, LGO, NHS, PCT, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all), and irrespective of level (Mum’s home was £3.2k a month), if the people in the system are the wrong ones in it for the wrong reasons, and if they are not nailed (up to platitude-spouting Minister level) when they cross clear lines of ethics or competence, bugger all will change.

       

      But a few more outrage ratings and spurious agenda narratives will surely get spun.

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      • Millie Tant says:

        Yes, and the cuts mantra so relentlessly spun by the Beeboid Corporation, can be used as a convenient “get out” and excuse for not  confronting the deep-seated reasons and attitudes that lie behind such a state of affairs.

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  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    This is just being used as a wedge issue to attack the Tories’ plans for NHS reform.  Sopel was talking to some advocate on the News Channel just now and the spectre of cuts was raised, and the discussion closed by her saying that this kind of abuse was probably going on elsewhere, but it’s going to get worse now.

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    • Grant says:

      I am looking forward to Panorama  ” Undercover BBC reporter “.

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      • Natsman says:

        Or “Under the duvet BBC Today bum-boy”.  That should raise a few eyebrows (and duvets…)

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  9. MarkE says:

    Back in February there were a few articles about neglect of elderly patients by the NHS and I remember thinking at the time we would soon see a BBC expose of neglect in the private sector.  The only surprise is that it took them so long.  Maybe they were busy.

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  10. Phil says:

    Radio 5 currently has a news item about how the NHS is busy transferring the poorly treated vulnerable patients from the private hospital into their care – along with a little quote from a Unison official about how they’ll be cared for from now on.

    Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire!

    I wonder how many Unison staff in the NHS are reponsible for the poor level of care that the NHS often gives to vulnerable patients? 

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  11. cjhartnett says:

    Eddie Mair is the BBCs resident popinjay licensed to apply a little dusting of irony on the news he processes for us all.

    So it is that he puts more research into “what happened to last nights pips” than into the lead bod in charge of the CQC( I`d not get too used to the acronym though-seems to change every few years!)

    Anyone worthy of his job would skewer this publicity shy clot who trots out rehashed state cliches like a Fortune Cookie at the barrel of Maos gun…lessons will be learned, disappointed sad etc…
    Mair however seems to think that her job is to CARE-he soon is put right…her job is to INSPECT, not to care! Perish the thought. An obvious error-but very revealing.

    This unprepared gem was one even Partridge would have stuck in the back of her net…but becasue he didn`t know what the woman is notionally responsible for…he let her flounder in her cliches at the bottom of the tank. Muddied waters and no light ensued.

    Listen Eddie-the reason we`re in this pickle is that no-one is paid to care. If they did they`d be ostracised and sacked. This craven state trooper gets loads of money to sit on a pile of self-assessments until it goes wrong.

    Mair can be good-but tonight he seemed not to care any more that the states sandbag of the day-and ,again: that is why we`re in this trouble.
    Tomorrows train crash due soon…so Ipswich etc get no incentive to mend their ways…neither will Bristol once the pack have gone.
    As our states inspector of stable door hinges said…”sad”!

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    • Grant says:

      What is amazing is that the myriad of incompetent jobsworths use the phrase “lessons have been learnt ” with no sense of irony. Are they so thick that they don’t realise that most of us are laughing at them and don’t believe a word they say ?

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  12. Cassandra King says:

    And right on queue up pops our resident beboid? Welcome welcome a thousand welcomes David ๐Ÿ˜€ .

    The timing of this Panorama is very very interesting is it not? NHS reforms are on the horizon(not the programme) and what a coincidence! Out comes a no holds barred secret investigation into the private sector healthcare.

    Now is the Panorama show timing with union/labour/leftist opposition to the NHS reforms a mere coincidence? The narrative is clear, crystal clear for all to see is it not? Let me spell the narrative out for all to see.

    THE NHS IS SACRED, THE PRIVATE SECTOR ARE CAPITALIST GREEDY SCUM ITCHING TO BLEED THE WONDERFUL NHS DRY. LOOK HOW EVIL AND NASTY CAPITALISM IS AND HOW HEARTLESS IT IS. ONLY THE LEFTIST STATE IS ABLE TO RUN THE NHS PACKED TO THE GUNNELS WITH CARING LEFTISTS OF COURSE.

    See how clear the BBC Panorama show is, its a a classic clear cut case of tailoring BBC programmes to accomodate and mirror a left wing political cause. The effort to save the NHS is no such thing, it is the concerted campaign to halt reforms which might actually work well, the BBC is a prime mover and shaker in this political campaign. A great many vested interests in the state run NHS feel threatened, the money tree is at risk but also the political power of those vested interests is at risk.

    The NHS has become a bastion of statist leftism, the propgation and sustaining of left wing values and leftist causes and leftist aims but more importantly leftist income and boy howdy does the NHS provide a massive income for leftism. In fact I feel a fearless BBC Panorama investigation into how much NHS funding is siphined off by the left for the EXCLUSIVE benefit of the left? It has become a mojor employer of the leftist elites ahead of even the BBC in its corpotate generosity.

    No really, it would be a perfect BBC investigation wouldnt it? How many unions cream off money for their own coffers? How many leftists are installed in cosy well paid powerful appointments in non jobs nilking the system for all its worth? Bo folks/comrades, the NHS is a money spinner for the left, it is their golden goose.

    Up pops our beeboid friend just in time to protect his rancid corrupt politicaaly biased BBC from genuine accusations of bias and unethical behaviour. Panorama? I call it unirama! a scalpal sharp protector of leftist values and leftist causes and leftist dogma. Hey I have an idea for a truly wonderful Panorama investigation, ‘isnt leftist socialism wonderful and great?’

    HOW DYA LIKE THEM APPLES COMRADE?

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    • Cassandra King says:

      Please to forgive the spelling errors my ever understanding friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. Cassandra King says:

    Here are a few ideas for BBC panorama investigations:

    The Hiding of the Balen report.

    How the BBC hides from FOI requests.

    The symbiotic relationship between the BBC and eco green shirts/ fake charities/NGOs/quangoland.

    Who attended the secret meeting at the BBC to deny sceptics and realists airtime.

    How much NHS funding is siphoned off by fraudsters and the left and how much NHS funding is lost to corruption.

    How corrupt is the UN/the UN IPCC/ the UNEP/ the UNRWA?

    An undercover investigation into fake charities, examining charities like greepiss/fiends of the earth/oxfraud etc and how they are now political action groups abusing their charitible status as a money making front in order to peddle and pursue a wholly political narrative.

    Who and what are common purpose? An in depth look into the new freemasonry.

    Foreign aid, how much is wasted, how much is siphoned off by fake charities, how much goes to corrupt officials and despots, how little actually makes it past the legions of spivs and parasites?

    Undercover islam, how mosques are a breeding ground for islamofascism, how islamists have infiltrated the corridors of power and are abusing the UK.

    A look at the corruption and dishonesty in climate science at the UEA/GISS/UN.

    And last but by no means least, a secret undercover in depth investigation into the new modern Nazi brownshirts, those street thugs the UAF, how much state funding it gets, what planned hate and violence campaigns it launches.

    So that quite a list of reports that the BBC will never ever allow on the air and I suspect there are hundreds more reports that will never see the light of day at the BBC.

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    • cjhartnett says:

      Quite wonderful Cassandra.
      The NHS as a Trojan Horse we should all be freeding sugar lumps too-because it`s the NHS(no further questions m`lud!)-is so prevalent that there IS likely to be some sinister coordination of news with personnel that cross infect us all.
      It would make a good Family Tree -who is related to who-who speaks at each others “joined up” conferences-how they hop from union-to quango-to media-to MP-to consultant and back round ,as the money tree you mention drops its plums.

      Your thinking on Reviews to come, being linked to the media stitch ups is good…I think I`ve noticed that one rule is that an Issue gets raised for the MSM at the very time when those who need the issue for their funding are at threat of losing it…end of the research grants and employing of fellow peers/students that give them their oh-so soft power! 
      Heard a classic on All in The Mind yesterday that tells me there`s a research paper saying nothing…but it gets points from the Higher Education beanies that pay for puff in the MSM. It`s a hit and so the “research” will-indeed MUST-go on. Three more years girls-stretch limo`s on me this weekend !

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    • Millie Tant says:

      You’re in fine fettle today, Cassandra. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Grant says:

      Excellent , Cassie,
      I am sure, if he reads this, David Gregory or the elusive Scottie and Dez will have very cogent reasons for the BBC not investigating any of the scams you refer to.
      Or the bog-standard excuse  ” The BBC did an investigation in the 15th century into whether William Shakespeare was a freemason and it was transmitted by carrier pigeon, that should be enough to satisfy you for a 1000 years and prove we are not biased “.
      They are just so boring, dishonest and predictable in their pathetic excuses for their perverted reporting.

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  14. John Anderson says:

    David Gregory

    Thanks as ever for your courteous comments.

    BUT – anyone who knows the NHS well recognises that very serious problems have arisen in recent years.  Total expenditure has ballooned under Labour,  but the outcomes are in many respects worse.  For example –

    1  Nursing standards have deterorated seriously under the new regime for training nurses – Nursing 2000. 

    2  The agreements with the BMA have let the GPs increase their salaries hugely,  while reducing the service they give – eg night cover.

    3  Massive increase in overpaid administrators,  many of whom are incompetent and interfere or fail to support properly the front-line staff.

    Most of this has happened on Labour’s watch.   But as Cassandra says,  the NHS is a sacred cow to most in the BBC,  so criticism or investigation has been muted,  to say the least.

    Likewise with the education system – massive increase in spending for nugatory benefit – or negative outturn.  

    The BBC apparently sees itself as the People’s Tribune on some issues – the cuts,  firm treatment of suspected terrorists,  the poor Palestinians.   But when it comes to representing the interests of the broad mass of the British people,  the BBC has been a failure.  At £4 billion a year.

    re. the nursing exposure 5 years ago,  yes it is good that Panorama and the BBC stood by the whistleblower.  But the NHS is such an important part of national life,  there surely should have been follow-ups.

    To many of us – the BBC has been asleep on the job.

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    • Grant says:

      John,
      Spot on and irrefutable.
      3 cracking posts here from Cassie, cj, and John Anderson.
      Where are the Beeboids to knock holes in these arguments ?

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      • John Anderson says:

        I had a better primary education (and so did all of us,  all taught to the same fairly demanding standards) at an orphanage with wooden dorms and schoolrooms just after the war than some of my grandchildren have been getting in posh London suburbs.  Much of my time is doing remedial teaching for them in science,  maths and even basic spelling.  The curriculum is specific to the Nth degree – but the teachers often leave whole chunks out,  and they do not try properly to bring their entire classes up to reasonable standards.

        But their heads are stuffed full full of climate-warming and other PC garbage.   (And they have been taught more about Islam than about Christianity in their RE lessons,  and nil about other religions, to judge by their workbooks)

        Declining educational standards is an ongoing public scandal,  dangerous to Britain’s economic future.  Does the BBC give a jot – no.

        My grandkids are now of an age where they now also get lots of insidious BBC propaganda too.  Lord help them.   But they will probably be bright enough to emigrate.

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