It’s been a busy morning attacking the Conservative led Coalition on the BBC Today programme. The focus of attack, of course, is always on the Conservative element of that Coalition.
We were treated to Ed Balls whingeing about changes to welfare which come into effect with the new tax year today. Balls was allowed to bluster and he stuck to his script paying little regard to the gentle questions asked of him. In fairness, Lib-Dem Danny Alexander was permitted to make some replies although James Naughtie seemed determined to leave the impression that the tax and welfare changes can be made without affecting anyone. This is from the Balls school of economics and it is one that the BBC seem at ease with.
However this was merely the warm up act for the main attack of the day. In essence, how dare the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley order spot checks on Abortion clinics? The BBC brought on a Lib Dem (Can’t remember his name) just before 7am to have a ritual sneer at Lansley and this was promptly followed by Andy Burnham joining in the feeding frenzy. The argument pursued was based on the claim by the chair of the Quality Care Commission, Dame Jo Williams, that the request to audit these abortion clinics has cost “one million” pounds (Is that an extra £1m and if so, why?) and may impact of the QCC hitting annual targets. Do you think that Dame Jo might herself be carrying a little political baggage? The reason I ask is that I note the Guardian raises a few concerns about her…
The inference is that Lansley ordered a comprehensive check on mis-practice by Doctors in these abortion clinics to deflect bad headlines he was getting on the NHS Health bill. Burnham agreed that it was suspicious. The fact that 50 out of 300 clinics were found to be breaking procedures was deemed neither here nor there. To other eyes this would be seen as an utter scandal. Not to the BBC.
Then we moved on to a THIRD and prime time interview with some manager from the NHS I think (running order has not been put up at time of me writing, despite the world class technical resources they have at the BBC). This time, Detective Sarah Montague remorselessly pursued the line that the TIMING of the Abortion Clinic inspections was…interesting. She was an echo chamber for what Burnham had said earlier.
Today had one aim this morning – to spear the Conservative Andrew Lansley because he ordered a thorough audit of Abortion Clinics. To my mind, this was the BBC using the guise of the Dame’s report to smear the integrity of Lansley and by extension, the Conservatives. Plus ca change?