BBC buckles under Brexit, but bounces back

This is already old news, but I thought I’d plonk the BBC coverage of the Referendum results above the parapet for all who would like a record of it in one prominent place. It’s from 10 pm on the 23rd till 1 pm on the 24th:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I imagine the BBC found itself in quite a dilemma here: though yearning to express its pro-Remain bias as the results came in, it must have realised that the pretence of impartiality had never been quite so critical. And so, with a fairly straight face and a tremendous effort, it managed to behave for the most part like a responsible news organisation.

However, the inbuilt bias was clearly revealed in a number of strange ways:

At 9:50 minutes in on Part 1, Jeremy Vine stands next to a yellow and blue strip, which have both just reached the end of their referendum race. The yellow strip is in the foreground and much wider with ‘Remain’ clearly perched in front of it in black while the white ‘Leave’ text is invisible, having merged with the white finish line. At 9:53, Vine’s leg blocks that meeting between Leave and the finish line. At the end of his demonstration, Vine says, “We put them 50-50 here,” but of course it was more like 75-25.

At 14:20 on Part 2 Dimbleby talks to Arron Banks, founder of Leave.EU, “who helped fund the leave campaign.” At 15:50 he asks him, “How much did you give to the campaign, yourself.” On hearing that it was six million pounds, Dimbleby asks, “Why?” Amazingly, Banks responds politely rather than telling Dimbleby it was none of his damn business. It was difficult to hear Banks. Those unfamiliar with the antics of the BBC would have thought that was purely a technical malfunction.

Then of course there is the funereal announcement by Dimbleby, at 2:39:30 on Part 2, that the ’75 referendum had been reversed as there was no chance of Remain overtaking Leave.

And at 3:21:30 on Part 2, Dimbleby asks Andrea Leadsom, “How can you have calm reflection when the world is falling about your…feet.” She politely points out that it isn’t.

At the end of a speech by Nigel Farage at 1:27:05 on Part 3, Dimbleby says, “Nigel Farage, who has now made by my reckoning three speeches …in fact when he sees a camera he makes another speech.” This was a Dimbleby theme re Farage on the night: somehow he felt justified to mock him for perceived inadequacies like “changing his mind.”

Andrew Neil takes over on Part 4, ending the nudge-nudge, wink-wink Dimbleby bias, subdued though it was by circumstances.

At 22:40, Victoria Derbyshire talks informally to a panel from the public, apparently representing various shades of opinion on the referendum. Fox News had a very similar format during the primaries and I was wondering whether the BBC copied it from Fox. But I can’t imagine any BBC hacks ever watching a Fox broadcast. If caught in the act, they’d never live it down.

Well, as we’ve seen over the past weeks, the BBC has bounced back after the great trauma of the Brexit win and is energetically pushing all the doom and gloom propaganda it can. May it suffer many more such blows. Maybe, just maybe, it has learned a lesson from Brexit.

Sunday Update: Thanks to Dazed and Confused for linking to the full BBC referendum coverage in one video.

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21 Responses to BBC buckles under Brexit, but bounces back

  1. Emmanuel Goldstein says:

    Since we voted for Brexit I’ve heard this question asked on several interviews and panel shows (like QT)

    They ask, “where is the £350 million you promised the NHS”.

    How many times do they need to be told that we are still in the eu and will be for two years plus.

    Why do they also believe that everyone getting ‘eu’ funding will lose it.
    They keep pushing out that eu money/grants is funding various projects and imply that all of it will stop.

    When being interviewed, why don’t our leavers make this clear to the audiences. Maybe they do but the answers are ‘Leadsomed’.

    The mass of talking heads (usually provided by the UK’s most read newspaper, the guardian) all say there were lies told on both sides. The only possible ‘lie’ I can think of from the leavers is the manipulation of the ‘£350 million could be spent here’ one where the remainers say it was a promise to pay the NHS £350 million a week, which it never was.

    Today, many leavers are hysterical about a carefully edited interview with Leadsom, they say it’s disgraceful that Leadsom is slagging off may who has no kids. Of course, when you hear the full interview it’s nothing like that.

    The Westminster lot are so out of touch it looks like the Labour Party mp’s are against their members and the Tory MPs are (hopefully) also against the Tory party members. What a mess.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      Members of Parliament are so out of touch they are at war with the people: The people want Andrea Leadsom, the MP,s want Theresa May: The people want Jeremy Corbyn, the MP,s want Angela Eagle: The people want Brexit, the MP’s want to remain on the EU gravy train. The people want Donald Trump for US President, the MP’s want Hillary Clinton. The people want direct democracy, the MP’s want to end up in the House of Lords. The people want Freeview to be free, the MP,s want the plebs to pay for the state funded BBC.


    • Bones says:

      A family friend with umpteen qualifications and a doctorate no less has complained that “do those supporting Brexit not realise how much funding scientific projects will lose!”. Like it is a given that funding will be lost and not occurred that there is a possibility that once our government can determine where priorities lie funding of good scientific studies might increase.
      So used to hearing the negatives and not the opportunities but also not able to see past the university trained narrow point of view.


  2. chrisH says:

    No the BBC has only learned to go deeper into the swamp for its commentary-there is no news there to speak of.
    Leadsom will need to cauterise it once and for all…put Boris and Nigel in charge, if the Left don`t howl then we`ve got the wrong people.
    The BBC is to journalism what Paedophilia is to nursery nurses…the BBC MUST go-and be rendered dead.


    • john in cheshire says:

      ChrisH, I think it has gotten to the point where it is no longer enough for the bbc to just be privatised and left to sink or swim in the free market, I think it has to be utterly and completely destroyed. I suspect it is now amongst the most reviled organisations in the country if not the world and is, in my opinion, beyond redemption. I hope the Dimblebys are proud to have been key players in bringing this about.


  3. Dazed and Confused says:

    I can put the referendum results in an even more concise soundbite than four episodes…

    Eleven hours worth of pure Beeboid despair..


    • RJ says:

      I had to watch the Sunderland declaration again in part 1, and Dimbleby conceeding defeat in part 2. Pure joy.


      • taffman says:

        Ha Ha, looking back again , the polls got it wrong again !
        Despite the bias of our government to stay in with its one sided booklet, the attempt of the media to link the murder of the MP to Brexit, the the extension for the deadline, the negativity of the ‘stay inners ‘ etc etc…………


      • Wild Bill says:

        Lovely stuff to watch, over two weeks since and I am still bouncing!


  4. The Highland Rebel says:

    You’ve got to admire al-Beeb for smoothness of operation though.
    Two solid weeks of vitriol against a poster blends seamlessly into a witch hunt against Andrea Leadsom.


    • Grant says:

      Rebel ,

      LOL !!! The BBC are too smooth and subtle for me !


    • taffman says:

      The Highland Rebel
      Hopefully their bias and witch hunt will be recognised it for what it is, and our MPs – those who are genuinely interested in our nation, will swing it to Leadsom.


    • Cranmer says:

      I won’t forget in a hurry the BBC webpage on the morning after the referendum. Blacked out and with just two lines, ‘Britain votes to leave the EU; pound drops to its lowest level since 1985’. Sheer scaremongering, of a type which would never have been countenanced at other periods of constitutional uncertainty in the BBC’s history such as the abdication of Edward VIII or the outbreak of war in 1939. I no longer consider they speak for me or my country.


  5. Edward says:

    TrueToo, I think you’re desperately trying to find some bias when you point to “At 9:50 minutes in on Part 1” pointing out that “the white ‘Leave’ text is invisible, having merged with the white finish line.”

    If you rewind to a few moments before you will see that the black REMAIN text becomes invisible against the dark colour of Downing Street.

    Why the f do I bother coming back to this biased website?


    • taffman says:

      You probably will be back , but probably under a different pseudonym.
      So why do you visit this site ? BTW have you voted here yet ?


    • Aborigine Londoner says:

      “Why the f do I bother coming back to this biased website?”

      Because it’s in your employment contract?


  6. zero says:


    The yellow strip is in the foreground and much wider… Vine says, ‘We put them 50-50 here,’ but of course it was more like 75-25.


  7. StewGreen says:

    The BBC has kindly packaged up 14 Brexit radio progs where they either hype DOOM, or BELITTLE Farage in their comedy progs :The Brexit Collection
    (They also include a link to the 2012 series about the Euro currency crisis)


  8. TrueToo says:

    Dimbleby paints a peculiar picture of the referendum at 36 seconds into Part 1:

    “As in every election there’s been the usual round of main players casting their votes – Prime Minister David Cameron out early this morning to cast his ballot. So too are the leading figures on both sides of the debate.”

    “So too?” That’s a bit strange since Cameron himself was a leading Remainian. Surely Dimbleby was not trying to represent Cameron as a dispassionate observer, above it all?

    As Dimbleby speaks we see Cameron and his wife, Nicola Sturgeon and a companion, whoever he is (and I’m not Googling to find out), Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage.

    So that makes four committed Remainians, a half-hearted Remainian and a Brexiter – and not any old Brexiter but one that the BBC in general and Dimbleby in particular fear and loath.

    Of course whoever put that lopsided portrait together was not trying to influence the vote, since the polling stations had all but closed by the time it was broadcast, but simply doing what comes naturally to the BBC – expressing its ingrained bias, perhaps with a touch of wishful thinking thrown in.

    No doubt the BBC would have been in heaven had four-and-a-half people voted to remain for every one who voted to leave.


  9. TrueToo says:

    Edward, old chap, the fact that the Remain text is compromised for a second (and also the fact that at times the blue and yellow strips are of equal width) does not disprove the evident bias at the finish line.

    Stick around. In time you may even get to recognise the devious tricks the BBC plays to push its agenda.

    The BBC is not a genuine news organisation but a news-laundering propaganda outfit.


  10. Peter Grimes says:

    7.50 this morning on Toady, Miss Shouty interviewing (ie trying to put words into mouth of) nice Canadian trade negotiating lady. Questioned her on the Canada/EU agreement, seemed a bit non-plussed to be told that it is likely to be finalised and in force by next year and that it covers services. Miss Shouty immediately tries to get her to say that the UK financial services sector would not have as much advantage as we currently do with passporting, which is itself as Digby Jones pointed out recently, not helpful for UK businesses which seek to set up afresh in the EU.

    Treasonous bitch!