It’s interesting to consider how the BBC frames a debate and how in doing so it carefully ensures the required conclusion. Iain Duncan Smith suggests (rightly, in my opinion!) that those thugs involved in looting, rioting and rampaging through our streets could lose their benefits if convicted of their crimes. Cue BBC outrage.
So, David Blunkett and Peter Lilley are wheeled on to discuss this. Superficially you might  think this is balanced, but of course it never could be. Lilley and Blunkett both made it clear that IDS could not take away benefit. Blunkett was allowed to waffle on about “restorative justice” -that oxymoron of the Left, whilst Lilley pointed out why legally benefits removal as a consequence of conviction was impossible. If the BBC wanted to have a real debate (which it didn’t) could it not have found ONE politician who endorses the stance taken by IDS? Of course it could but it didn’t want to since the agenda in play was to make Duncan Smith look “extreme” and his policy “ill-considered.” I was particularly appalled at the way Blunkett was able to walk away from the chaos created by the Government he was such an integal part of for so many years but then again this is the BBC, the broadcasting arm of British socialism.

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  1. fred bloggs says:

    I saw this ‘PFI’ story in Google news with 18 entries, one being the bBC.  As I was sure it would show Labour as incompetent, and the contempt with which we are held, I predicted it would be biased.  

    So on the theme of a balanced debate, here are two versions of a stoty about PFI, the first by the bBC, note the almost immediate excuse ‘used by both previous governments’ there is a tone of playing it down throughout the article.

     As an alternative, I could have picked the Daily Mail, but choose neutral Reuters   The real point is that Labour used PFI on a scale a 1000 times larger than the previous Con gov ever did.  The overall effect is that the average citizen will  never understand how they have been financially shafted by Labour, from the bBC.

    ‘bBC never knowingly tell the truth.’ 


  2. My Site (click to edit) says:

    IDS must be becoming a real pain for Cameron. He keeps behaving like a conservative!


  3. Umbongo says:

    Blunkett (I think) made the point – a good one and the killer argument on this topic – that (in his experience) whatever was desired at the centre, the front-line bureaucracy always fell at the last hurdle of actually withdrawing benefits to those who should have been so penalised. Again, neither Blunkett nor Lilley opined that benefits should not be withdrawn only that (per Blunkett) getting the bureaucrats to do so was next to impossible and (per Lilley) that the law, as it is (and that, presumably, includes human “rights” crapola), prevents – or makes incredibly difficult – the wholesale withdrawal of benefits.  Yes the BBC does not like IDS’s proposals or indeed any proposals which might damage the benefiterati and their public sector enablers.  Unfortunately, IMHO, IDS’s proposals have never been clearly and unambiguously set out with a realistic implementation plan: this, for instance, is an example of IDS’s – well-intentioned I grant you – waffle although admittedly it’s only a “consultation” document.

    Coming off-topic, the later interview with Jeremy Hunt showed Today – in the person of Evan Davis – interviewing unusually from the right.  Hunt – whose soubriquet beginning with the letter “C” has never been more deserved – blamed “market failure” for the lack of local private sector broadcasting in the UK.  As a CINO he blamed the Conservatives (natch!) for the 1950s legislation setting up the ITV network on a regional not local basis: apparently, had this been done (Hunt asserted) we would have had the dream of 8 local channels – in Birmingham (like Birmingham AL in the US).  Davis kept asking Hunt to spell out how exactly the “market” has failed. Hunt could not or would not say.

    Davis, as a trained economist knew the answer to his question: the cause of “market failure” is the presence like a rash of the state-funded broadcaster in all areas of British broadcasting which, manifestly, has crowded out the local opposition. Hunt feebly argued that there were no wavelengths available and refused to draw the conclusion that this is not market failure but regulatory failure.  Davis became exasperated with this pack of inchoate junk and the interview ended.  The DG and Lord Patten must be hugging themselves with delight having this idiot as their boss.


    • fred bloggs says:

      The flip side is the down side of a benefits culture.  The lack of incentive to work or self reliance; aspire in work or school achivements.  The negative aspects of a benefts culture have never been explored by the bBC.


  4. Roland Deschain says:

    How typical of the BBC to frame the debate in terms of why you can’t do it, rather than how you could.


  5. London Calling says:

    There are times when you almost admire the bBC’s skill at “reverse engineering” stories. They start with the answer –  the conclusion they want to leave the viewer with, then assemble the components that will get them to it. Select the ground, pick the “right” people, interviewer sets it off, let’s you and him fight, runs like clockwork.

    Journalism by numbers.


  6. freddo41 says:

    An hour earlier than the main course Blunkett/Lilley debate, Today served up a starter with a report on the subject of benefits cuts.
    Spokesmen from three think tanks – Demos, IPPR and Policy Exchange – were asked for their views Two left wing against one right wing, you’ll notice.
    In the interests of balance, as you can imagine, only one of those think tanks was labelled. Yes, it was the “right-leaning” Policy Exchange, the only supporter of the idea of cutting benefits. As you can further imagine, the conclusion of the report was that the idea was a non-starter.
    But to be fair, balance is a difficult thing to achieve – and all the more difficult when you’re not even trying.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    Blunkett eh?…there`s a name from the past then!
    Guessing that Prescott was having a lie-in on top of his secretary!
    I did tell the Beeb to move the ramps and talking door knobs in case Mr “My Little Lad” came by without the dog!

    Those Sheffield Student Games paid for yet I wonder?…over thirty years ago now surely!
    In many  ways this man is a fake-has done for blind people what Prescott has done for bulimics.

    If Umbongo is right-and I`d say he is…then Blunkett makes fair points,but IDS deserves some credit for trying to settle up with those shy dry little lads that would have been crying for help, had it not all  been so hot and frantic last week.

    IDS and Blunkett do have a moral code of a kind that is worth the argument…but to have Peter Lilley reading from his “little list” as he once did means that the name fits the man.

    IDS could not do any worse…even as the Quiet Man!

    Umbongo though underrates Jeremy Hunt…I think he managed to patronise and get under the BBCs skin in that interview.
    No-not the way I`d like…but that smarm and personalising seems like homoeopathic kryptonite…don`t ask me how?
    Maybe something spiritual perhaps?
    I dunno…life`s too short to ponder lifes complexities…


    • Umbongo says:


      I don’t think it’s possible to underrate Hunt.  He didn’t “patronise” Evans because Evans spotted early on (with the rest of the audience) that Hunt didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.  You know, if your civil servants give you a briefing note it’s always a good idea to 1. read it and 2. understand it (and with Hunt’s lot 3. discard it). Manifestly Hunt has been captured by his mandarins and is spouting any old rubbish they wish him to (and, BTW, appointing any passing lump of excreta as Chairman of the BBC Trust).  He’s useless – and Evans exposed him as useless – even though, had Hunt been able to explain the cause of this market “failure”, it wouldn’t have made the BBC look very good.

      As for Lilley – he’s one of the (very) few good guys – a genuine Conservative (unlike Hunt and the rest of the Cameron administration).  His voting record is admirable.  He was one of the, what, three/four MPs to vote against the Climate Change Bill for which I can forgive him a lot were it necessary.


      • Span Ows says:

        Well said! Re Lilley, you are perfectly right and what many don’t know is that he told Brown (all recorded as it was Parliament) exactly where his FSA/Treasury/BoE regulation would end up…he told him in 1997! What a different place we’d be in had Brown listened (ha!)


  8. cjhartnett says:

    I defer in that I was only half-listening.
    I `m sure though that Hunt mentioned the metroplitan bias towards centralisation-and said that Evan Davis was patronising in saying that the people of Birmingham couldn`t possibly be in need of more TV channels, as opposed to Birmingham ,Alabama who do want and need them.
    Concur completely re the calibre of the likes of Hunt etc…but think that the likes of Lilley and Portillos stunts to Party Conferences have done long term damage to all involved(remember “Who D.ares Wins”?).
    Thin, thin pickings here eh?…pigmies like Hunt and Davis?…and we CARE what such lowgrades think or say!