All Good Men Must Come to the Aid of The Tea Party

There must be a subversive at the BBC, a Right winger who likes to throw the odd spanner in the works of the Leftwing steamroller that is crushing all opposition before it.

The BBC have booked Niall Fergusson as its Reith Lecturer….The first of Prof Niall Ferguson’s 2012 Reith Lectures will broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 19 June at 09:00 BST.

In an article in the Sunday Times (pay up or miss out) he tells us that ‘The Empire was built on borrowing, but now our (Brown’s?) profligacy has created a timebomb that threatens to ruin future generations’.

He attempts to explain the West’s decline by looking at the reasons for its past success. Personally I believe Socialism is the root of the decline….an ideology which seeks to feather our nests but without paying the cost in terms of work…..they demand more pay but do not in return produce more goods…there is no efficiency, no rise in productivity….it has priced us out of the manufacturing market.

That is by the by, what is interesting in terms of the BBC and its attitudes is what else he says in a BBC ‘Viewpoint’…..

If young Americans knew what was good for them, they would all be in the Tea Party.

In the good, but less likely scenario, the proponents of reform succeed, through a heroic effort of leadership, in persuading not only the young but also a significant proportion of their parents and grandparents to vote for a more responsible fiscal policy.

[We must] alter the way in which governments account for their finances.

The present system is, to put it bluntly, fraudulent.

Public sector balance sheets can – and should be – drawn up so that the liabilities of governments can be compared with their assets.

Here I disagree slightly…it should also take into account realistic forecasts of future growth, either up or down…Brown based his spending on optimistic growth projections….he failed to take into account ‘events dear boy, events’.

But there is also this little aside from a BBC author, note the last bit:

 

Defining Government Deficit

A government deficit occurs when it spends more money than it receives in income.

Cyclical deficit occurs when the economy weakens during a recession and government income falls because of shrinking tax revenues and increased welfare spending.

When the economy improves, the cyclical deficit turns into a cyclical surplus.

Structural deficit is different from cyclical deficit as it occurs no matter how strong the economy is.

It is debt that has come about as a result of government borrowing. Countries are judged on their ability to pay off this debt on the basis of national debt relative to GDP.

If a country’s debt-to-GDP ratio gets too high, investors will worry that the government will default on the debt. However, it is debt governments can try to control through lower borrowing, spending cuts and higher taxes.

 

It seems somebody didn’t get the BBC memo….‘Plan B for Borrow’ is to be sold to the Public.

Three Line Whip

Murdoch’s Leveson statement that Brown phoned him and declared war on his company has been derided by the BBC who like to suggest he is lying….and claim John Major’s statement backed up Brown.

Whatever the phone records show Mandelson says there definitely was a phone call…and other calls Brown often made to ‘vent his feelings’….

Mandelson: ‘There would have been a number of [phone calls]— I mean, Gordon did not hold back in talking to Rupert Murdoch. He did telephone him, he had every right to do so, and when he thought that he was being traduced, as he did, by the Sun, he wanted to give vent to his feelings about that.’

Jay: Okay. You say in your book that Mr Brown was stunned by the news that the Sun had shifted allegiance, and that this grew greater, as it were, over the forthcoming weeks. Was it your assessment that Mr Brown was personally embittered by this?


Mandelson: I think he was greatly upset by it. I don’t think he should have been surprised, but he took these things very personally.

 

And as for John Major it seems even he may not be quite as honest as he is portrayed…apparently Truth is a grey area for Major

Why mention all this? Because the BBC, happy to call Murdoch a liar, has taken to its bosom its old enemy, the arch political spinner who used to be the ‘liar who took us into an illegal war’…step forward one Alistair Campbell.

The Today website has Campbell as its main story highlighting his claim that Murdoch rang Blair to urge him to go to war quickly….

‘Tony Blair’s former director of communications, Alistair Campbell, has said Rupert Murdoch telephoned Downing Street before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, to warn of the dangers of delaying Britain’s involvement.

Mind you he says he did not actually hear the call himself but he did see Blair’s irritated reaction to the call.

The BBC were happy to take his word that Murdoch made such a call and said such a thing.

It was therefore Murdoch’s fault that we went to war.

Ignoring the fact that it was Blair’s policy to be a ‘Liberal interventionist’…ie go to war to impose democracy on ‘tyrants’ and that it was Blair himself who persuaded Bush to go down this road and not be isolationist…. Blair was already totally convinced about the need to go to war and had already committed Britain, subject to Parliamentary approval, to go to war in Iraq….remember the ‘Downing Street Memos’?

Text of the Christopher Meyer Letter – March 18, 2002 memo from Christopher Meyer (UK ambassador to the US) to David Manning (UK Foreign Policy Advisor) recounting Meyer’s meeting with Paul Wolfowitz (US Deputy Secretary of Defense).

‘1. Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, came to Sunday lunch on 17 March.

2. On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used the Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change.’

And…Blair and Bush ‘agreed’ on Iraq regime change in private April 2002 Crawford Ranch meeting.

So Blair was fully committed already…and Murdoch phoning sometime in March 2003 could hardly have been influential as the war began on March 20th. It can be assumed the decision to go to war was already pencilled into Bush and Blair’s diaries long before then.

In other words it perhaps could be suggested with some confidence that Campbell’s claims are merely an extension of Labour’s war against Murdoch and an attempt to smear him by association with the Iraq War….note Justin Webb’s attempt to tie Murdoch in with the ‘Neo Cons’ and US Republican Party….‘was he doing someone elses work…lobbying for the ‘Right’?

 

Campbell says ‘I am not saying remotely that there was anything like collusion.’…but he is just ‘putting it out there’…no smoke without fire….the Spinner knows how minds work.

Not only is this a piece of black propaganda but it illustrates the mendacity of the BBC who opt to call Murdoch a liar but present the slippery tongued Campbell’s word as Gospel when it suits their agenda.

A three line comment in Campbell’s diary has been spun into a major story about Murdoch’s attempting to influence government policy (and thereby lying  at Leveson about never asking politicians for anything), and being in league with US Neo-Cons and lobbying on their behalf.

 

A more ridiculous story it would be hard to find….unless you listen to the Today programme regularly…..though the recent ‘Royal Jubilee Bus Farce’ still must top the bill for most ridiculous story ever to have graced a prime time current affairs programme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set Frasers to Stun

The BBC’s favourite ‘turbulent priest’ Giles Fraser has said something that might be construed as islamophobic in the corridors of the BBC…
“A week before the Occupy thing started I preached at St. Paul’s about violence,” said Fraser. “I’m very exercised, and always have been, by the way the Church justifies violence to itself.
That sermon is really about [the French anthropologist] René Girard. He argues that religions are sublimated forms of violence—and religion is a bad word for him. Scapegoating the one who’s different unites the community, and it’s the priest who sanctifies this, who launders society’s violence. For Girard, Jesus is the supremely anti-religious figure, because he sees the violent secret that binds people together. Above all he sees the role that religious professionals play in concealing and reinforcing it and that is why they hate him. Jesus is saying, in effect, ‘Those ones you’re telling to go home, those ones you’re pushing around, those ones you kill—they are me. That old person who natters on, the gay boy, the foreigner. The one who’s different.’ ”

From that you could take it that ‘Christianity’, the religion of Jesus Christ, is a religion of Peace, turning the other cheek and the meek inheriting the earth and all that good stuff.

Islam of course may well be the religion that is a classic example of sacredly endorsed violence sanctified by the supposed Revelations of a ‘merciful and forgiving’ God…..

Could any Muslim argue with that description? It seems they are unlikely to, in fact some revel in the violent nature of Islam…..

‘We are not a pacifist religion. We don’t turn the other cheek. We hit back.’
Dr. Kalim Siddiqui, director of the Muslim Institute in London

Surely the BBC will not be happy that their latest anti-Establishment poster boy has been so Islamophobic?

You’re a Racist….Go Back to Where You Belong!

The Today programme yesterday wished Enoch Powell, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, a happy birthday.

Well, nearly.

Justin Webb says…‘We’re going to wish him, well, a qualified happy birthday.’

…because you know what a racist hate monger he was….

Justin Webb was very insistent that Powell was a racist.

No he wasn’t….Powell made the clear and powerful point that ‘multi-culturalism’ doesn’t work….not because he had antipathy or hatred of any other race but because it is an inevitable consequence of human nature that people of similar background, culture and race will look to group together…and then seek to further their own group interests, and that cannot be denied.

It is fact and anyone who states that fact should not be labelled ‘racist’ ….. Webb has so easily taken on the language of the race ‘hustlers’ probably because that suits his own outlook on life rather than rigorously asserting the evident correctness of Powell’s argument.

 

Immigration is about race, culture and identity but in the main it is about numbers and the affect mass immigration has on the native population…who have not been given the opportunity to say whether this is what they want…and now post-effect…they are still denied a voice, being branded ‘racist’ by the likes of Webb for raising legitimate concerns.

Behind the Scenes

Over the course of the Leveson Inquiry we have been gravely informed of the deleterious effect of the Murdoch’s malign influence on, and easy access to, politicians.

What the BBC seems reluctant to admit is that all media outlets have access, and demand that access, to the Government in order to lobby in their own interests.

Here is just one (I’m sure there must be many, many more) example of that:

‘Former Beeb boss Greg Dyke says the BBC never curried favour from politicians. ‘I took a decision to stay as far away from them as possible,’ he declared on Question Time. Funny that, as I recall his office begging for a meeting with then Tory leader William Hague during a rough patch for him at the BBC, which was reluctantly agreed to. At the end, the DG asked me if there was a back door he could use to avoid being spotted. What a roaring hypocrite.’

 

We are also informed that it is the power of the ‘Press’, ie the Newspapers, ie Murdoch, that has had such a detrimental effect on the relationship between politicians and the media…and therefore what the Public get to hear and read.

 

However Martin Ivens in the Sunday Times begs to differ offering a different perspective…one that the BBC has noted but failed to associate with its own actions…that of the damaging influence of 24 hour rolling news on political coverage and analysis.

 

Ivens says:  ‘After Margaret Thatcher was ousted, her Conservative and Labour successors became obsessed with the 24-hour cycle of rolling news, to the detriment of a wider strategic vision.  it is important to keep the newspapers on side, but a sense of proportion is required.  The politicians have got the power.’

 

That last point is important….because both Brown and Major claimed they were at the mercy of Murdoch and his battalions….a question that needs asking….is that really true?  The BBC won’t be delving too far down that path as the answer will not suit its narrative of an over powerful Murdoch Press that now needs to be reined in and perhaps an Empire broken up.

So it would seem that it is not just the newspapers but in fact 24 hour news services such as the BBC’s that put the pressure on politicians to always have ‘something to say’ and therefore encouraging them to make ever more either utterly inane and anodyne statements or to make some outrageous claim that will be swallowed by a media desperate to fill the time and generating artificial controversies that can be endlessly picked over.

 

Much like the Leveson Inquiry itself which despite the huge distate about the hacking of Milliy Dowler’s phone is of little interest or concern to the Great British Public who would have happily gone on buying the News of the World had it survived.

 

Leveson is merely the cumulation of Labour’s, the BBC’s and the Guardian’s ideological and commercial ‘War’ on Murdoch.

Gordon Brown may have been lying through his teeth, along with many others, but he seems to have triumphed….like another Scotsman, Lord Lovat, chief of the Frasers in the 18th century, he has imposed his malign influence upon events and has indeed triumphed because his account has been upheld and broadcast worldwide without challenge or question by the BBC, giving him the credibilty and gravitas that he does not merit…Brown has been lent a ‘Grandeur to his villainy’ by a BBC intent on destroying Murdoch and his media organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of The Matter

The BBC presents  a fairly unsophisticated picture of this country’s economic state and the debate surrounding it.  It allows them of course to control the debate and what is said more easily….at a basic level it can invite on speakers who it knows may not be very good at getting their views across (probably a Tory)…or someone who is rather good at ‘soundbite’ debating (usually a Labour person).

AA Gill in The Sunday Times a few weeks back said this about the BBC’s TV approach to debate (and I think it is a fair comment on the Today programme):

‘[This raises] a bigger question about how we treat politics and current affairs on television. It is almost always confrontational and rabidly partisan, a four-minute, invigilated slanging match that is  intellectually bankrupt and obtuse. Television’s way of exploring issues is always more about the desire for lively television than illuminating arguments. The cast list of pugilists, hack and thwarted politicians who will turn up at any studio, anywhere, in the early evening has become the constitutional version of Mexican wrestling: shouty and phoney. Question Time, in particular, needs to be seriously reimagined. None of this is about involving the viewers in political debate or thought. It’s thuggish and dispiriting and adds to the general disgust with the whole political caste.’

 

Even the grand Paxman himself agrees the BBC has dumbed down:

We all remember Paxman telling us all about it in 2007:

“In this press of events there often isn’t time to get out and find things out: you rely upon second-hand information-quotes from powerful vested interests, assessments from organisations which do the work we don’t have time for, even, god help us, press releases from public relations agencies. The consequence is that what follows isn’t analysis. It’s simply comment, because analysis takes time, and comment is free.”

The biggest and most important debate right now is whether the Coalition is making ‘savage’ cuts that are bringing the economy to a grinding halt and whether Labour’s plan to spend more are the only way forward….in other words does ‘Austerity’ work….This suggests it does…but you won’t hear it on the BBC.

Which is why the most important questions are just how much is the Coalition cutting and how much are they borrowing? This is the heart of the matter…the crucial difference between Balls and Osborne, but….

…they are two questions that the BBC singularly fails to ask never mind answer.  To do so would cut the rug from under Balls completely when the Public realise debt is rising now even with ‘cuts’…so imagine how much bigger the debts burden would be under Labour’s profligate ways. 

John Redwood, Tory MP, has been consistently trying to get his point across that there are no real cuts in government overall spending at the moment….the NHS for example is having more money spent on it…but that money is being reallocated within the NHS…so some sectors are losing money others are gaining..but overall the NHS spend is going up.

The fact is debt is going up, just at a slower rate. 

Look at this from the Spectator’s Fraser Nelson who talks about how the truth is being hidden (and Osborne gets some of the blame himself to be fair)

 ‘Like Brown, Osborne’s reaction to economic trouble is to borrow more. He may well be right to do so, but he ought to be honest about it. This matters, because it’s not his money. Every penny of money his government borrows has to be repaid by ordinary people.’

He goes on to suggest we are being badly served by the BBC who fail to make the debate  understandable and wide ranging enough:

 ‘Osborne ought to be shocked at the opinion polls showing that only about a tenth of the public understand that he’s massively increasing the debt, and that most people think he’s reducing it.’

‘The BBC ought to be the custodians of this, with its role as a public service broadcaster. But the BBC has adopted a Balls-lite narrative of harsh, radical cuts – and won’t back down from it.’

In the comments #88′  links us to this which reveals the effect on manufacturing  employment that Labour’s massive Public Sector ‘national service’ scheme had: 

‘The Keynes vs Hayek debate is at its sharpest on the issue of employment. Can government create jobs (as Balls says)? Or does large public sector employment simply displace economic activity that would happen elsewhere (as Osborne says)? A fascinating study has been released today by the Spatial Economics Research Centre at the LSE showing the damage done by public sector employment to the real economy. Drawing on a huge amount of local-level data over an eight-year period, it’s a serious piece of research that is worth looking into and deserves to impact our economic debate.

1. First, what is seen. In the short term, hiring someone to work for the government means another worker, who in turn spends. As the report puts it, ‘additional jobs may be generated as a result of increased demand for locally produced goods and services’. That is what is seen. In the short term — 2003-07 is the time period looked at — the study finds that for every 100 extra public sector jobs you get 50 additional jobs in the service and construction industries.

2. Next, what is unseen. Namely, the effect on other industries. For every 100 extra public sector jobs, the study finds 40 fewer jobs in manufacturing, because local businesses find it harder to hire people. This essentially cancels out the benefit in the service industry. As the study says, ‘Public sector employment has little effect on total private sector employment in the short run’. Over that four year period, expanding the public sector didn’t crowd out the private sector, but it didn’t help it grow either.

3. In the long-term, the public sector crowds out the private sector. Crucially, over a longer period (1999-2007) the study finds that enlarging the public sector causes even greater pain to manufacturing with no gain in the services industry. In fact, adding 100 extra public sector jobs leads to 100 fewer private sector ones, and leaves the overall employment level unchanged.

What the study does not say, but is blindingly obvious, is that manufacturing jobs are a whole lot more beneficial to the economy than public sector pen-pushers. So the net effect of all this is to make government bigger, but everyone poorer.’

 

If the BBC are not discussing this study that Nelson has summed up for you above then you have to seriously question the BBC’s professionalism and impartiality and its ability to inform and educate the public about the  most serious and important issues in the public domain.

Spend, Spend, Spend and ..er..Don’t Tax

Today’s interview by Evan Davis of Ed Balls did neither of them any credit. Davis failed to get Balls to reveal what his actual plans are for the economy and how much they will cost in borrowing, and Balls ignored all the questions and ploughed on battering us over the head with his ‘Plan B’……or ‘Going For Broke’ as you might like to call it.

 

Nick Robinson ‏@bbcnickrobinson
Think it’s time someone arranged for a re-match in which @edballsmp interviews @EvanHD. One for Children in Need if not @BBCr4?!

 

Davis became so frustrated that he almost lost his temper at one stage…though he did get a small ‘Grrrgh!’ out of Balls when Davis stated the obvious…that Balls’ plans for more borrowing would merely burden future generations with debt….so why not try monetary policy first?

 

David Smith ‏@dsmitheconomics
‘I think Ed Balls might be advised to steer clear of Evan Davis for future Today interviews. And Ed needs to brush up on the 1930s’

 

Balls of course would have none of it…..he had his story and he was sticking to it….the Coalition’s ‘fiscal crunch’ had choked off the economy and growth, monetary policy and liquidity weren’t the answer……because they didn’t answer the fundamental problem…which is…lack of confidence in the future economy by the public and businesses.

Lack of confidence might be a problem…along with lack of cash….but you could ask who caused the confidence shortfall in the first place?

Apart from the BBC itself contributing to the atmosphere of doom and gloom (see also the recent survey on the NHS which bore little relation to the real state of the Service and claimed everyone was deeply worried about it….likely due to the BBC’s relentless doom mongering about the NHS) could it be one E. Balls Esq who likes to shout from the roof tops that we are ‘doomed, all doomed’……

“These are the darkest, most dangerous times for the global economy in my lifetime. Our country – the whole of the world – is facing a threat that most of us only have ever read about in the history books – a lost decade of economic stagnation.”
He said: “This is not a crisis of debt as the government claims, which can be solved country by country, by austerity, cuts and retrenchment, but truly a global growth crisis which is deepening and becoming more dangerous by the day.”

or this….
Ed Balls: ‘Lost decade’ for economy looms if George Osborne fails to act
Shadow chancellor warns of Japanese-style stagnation without plan for jobs and growth.
The British economy risks being plunged into a lost decade of Japanese-style stagnation unless the government tempers its austerity drive with a plan for jobs and growth, Ed Balls warns today.

 

Iain ‏@Iain_31
Ed Balls really needs to stop smirking with saying the country is in recession

 

As well as using Japan as a ‘gold standard’ example of why austerity doesn’t work he harks back to the 1930’s to claim we spent our way out of the Depression.

Firstly Japan spent billions to try and dig its way out of recession and famously failed. Secondly Britain implemented far more swingeing ‘cuts’ in the 1930’s  than we have now at present…and only began tax cuts when the economy was on a firmer footing.

‘Myths about the 1930s abound and not just among Labour politicians. Ed Miliband and Ed Balls join many historians, filmmakers, and novelists in wrongly painting Thirties Britain as a
universally hopeless, destitute place, rendered poor and miserable by a heartless, Conservative-dominated National Government. The mood was depressing indeed in 1931, but the economic data is decisive: by the middle of the decade, recovery had come and in much of the country an unrivalled boom was underway.’

‘The cuts of autumn 1931, which were far more immediately fierce than anything put through by the Coalition today. They were felt particularly harshly by ratings in the Royal Navy, some of whom were told they would receive pay cuts of 25%. A few days after the Budget, the North Atlantic Fleet anchored at Invergordon refused to muster.’

‘[The policies] enabled the Bank of England, the commercial banks and building societies to embark on a “cheap money” policy which would henceforth underpin the economic recovery.’


Some lessons from the 30’s…..
First, to stabilize the public finances.
Second, to ensure cheap money was available for
investment by households and businesses to underpin a
recovery.
Third, to reduce taxes, especially on those with low incomes
and families, once it was safe to do so.

‘This was a sort of proto-Thatcherism, ahead of its time.’

So first…Austerity and balancing the books, then cheap money….today Osborne announced just that, then when economy is recovering some tax cuts.

So pretty much as is occurring.

Now Evan Davis, and nearly all in the BBC who comment on finance also claim Japan was a ‘victim’ of Austerity…not only that but here you can hear Davis going along with Balls and his description of the 1930’s policy…..only trick they missed was to mention the USA and the ‘New Deal’…..but Americas massive spending programme didn’t work in reality…the war saved the US.

Both Balls and the BBC experts, such as Stephanie Flanders, like to say that Britain is not a safe haven, that we would not lose the valued triple A credit rating that allows us to borrow money cheaply if we decided to kick over the traces and start borrowing massively in the style of Gordon Brown again…..not so says….‘Senior German and EU officials [who] have expressed concern that the Socialist policies will bring market turbulence to France and increase French borrowing costs, threatening the country’s long-term credit rating.
“France needs its AAA or else the euro cannot bear the debt burden. Germany cannot do it alone,” said a eurozone official.’

And: John Cridland, the CBI director general, said: “Labour has form spending money it does not really have.”

Just how much is Balls really against the Coalition cuts?

“No matter how much we dislike particular Tory sending cuts or tax rises we cannot make promises now to reverse them.” He added: “I won’t do that and neither will any of my shadow cabinet colleagues.”

Perhaps his attitude informs the Public when they come to assess his character as a ‘untrustworthy opportunist’

or indeed what the Boss of Biased BBC says about Balls:

David Vance ‏@DVATW
Ed Balls praising Eurozone growth and damning UK economy. He has no shame and demonstrates why Labour are unfit to EVER govern our country

 

And it would seem that even inside the Labour Party ‘machine’ austerity is order of the day:

From: Iain_McNicol
Subject: *Confidential: Message from General Secretary
Date: 14 June 2012 14:17:58 GMT+01:00
To: All_Staff
14th June 2012

In November, I announced a new structure designed to modernise our organisation and address the issues raised through the review. Each of the Executive Directors reporting to me has been asked to work on plans to optimise our organisation, in order to make us more efficient, refocus and re-energise our work in critical areas and to strengthen and professionalise our operations.
All of this must, however, be achieved against a backdrop of the financial challenge we are all familiar with.

The objective of all of us is that the Party should be a “one term opposition”.
To achieve this we need to make changes which are sometimes painful but necessary like those I’ve described above. I know this is not easy, but if we are to show people we are serious about cutting the debts of the country then we must also cut the debts of The Labour Party.

However Balls does have at least one fan….

@ElliottClarkson ‏@ElliottClarkson
Ed Balls is right. Throwing money at banks doesn’t work. I stood outside Natwest throwing 2p coins at the window and now I have an ASBO.

 

But what to make of this?…..

‘A female contemporary of Mr Balls at Keble said: ‘Eddie was always very ambitious, and he was hardly a sex magnet so I can’t remember him having any interesting girlfriends.

Ouch…bit rough on poor old Steph Flanders!

 

 

Shame the BBC can’t find the time or inclination to ‘fisk’ Balls properly…however as Guido says of their Leveson coverage….‘If you have been watching BBC news or reading the Guardian you would think that Brown’s testimony was proven and Rupert Murdoch had made up the whole claim about Brown “declaring war”.’   They clearly have their own little agenda which doesn’t include a Coalition Government lasting any longer than necessary.

BBC Shareholder’s Revolt?

Neil Turner in the comments has a campaign up and running:

His ePetition is now up:

 “Do you want to keep BBC’s Licence Fee ? Yes or No “ 

 

The Telegraph is thinking along similar lines.

Isn’t it time for a shareholder revolt at the BBC?

‘Isn’t it time that shareholders in the BBC – that means all of us – took a similar stand? Blissfully unaffected by the economic turmoil out there in the real world, it pockets a fixed annual income of £3.6 billion. It doesn’t have to struggle to make money, only to spend it. And it loves to splash it around. While it is notoriously difficult to get any hard info out of the Beeb on the salaries it pays – commercial sensitivity and all that – there’s enough in the public domain to have the hard-pressed licence fee payer reaching for their pitchforks. Last year the Corporation revealed it was paying £22 million to just 19 of its “stars”, all of them earning more than half a million a year. That included a reported £2 million for Graham Norton and Gary Lineker (why?) and £1.4 million to Alan Hansen (an even bigger why?). Is Anne Robinson worth £1 million a year and Jeremy Paxman £800,000? Most licence fee payers will have a view, but unlike shareholders in a company they have no way of expressing it. Surely it’s time they did.’

We’re all in this together

Relax everyone, fold up your tents and steal away into the night knowing you have done your job.

The BBC is no longer biased….or rather it is biased but against both the Tories and Labour, so, em, it is not biased….I guess that only leaves Ken Livingstone and UKIP in the BBC’s good books.

Guido Fawkes brings us this, a letter from a Labour ‘communications facilitator’ who is aggrieved at having too many government ministers being dragged in for the inquisition and ritual disemboweling they normally get on the Today programme.

 

He seems to have chosen a time frame to suit…one over a longer term  might show  more often than not that we get Labour shadow ministers given a free ride and essentially given their own mini party political broadcast.

 

From Guido:

It seems Miliband’s normally jovial spinner Bob Roberts has had enough of the Beeb. Media Guido has got hold of his letter to the BBC Director General Mark Thompson:

Dear Mark
I am writing to complain about the striking lack of balance on the Today programme this week.
From Monday to Thursday, the following Ministers and MPs have appeared on Today:
Government: Eric Pickles, Richard Benyon, Simon Burns, Tim Loughton, Hugh Robertson, Grant Shapps, Louise Mensch, Don Foster, Theresa May, Iain Duncan Smith, Crispin Blunt, David Davis, Nicky Morgan (Total 13)
Labour: Margaret Hodge, appearing as Chair of a Select Committee (Total 1)
By any measure, it is neither fair nor balanced for the Today programme to interview 13 Government MPs and 1 Labour MP over the course of four days.
Why are listeners hearing so much coverage being given to the Government and virtually none to the official Opposition?
We have previously raised our concerns with the Today Programme Editor and with the BBC’s Westminster News Editor, but we have not received a satisfactory response, hence we are writing you as Editor-in-Chief of the BBC.
I look forward to an urgent explanation why this unacceptable lack of balance has been allowed to occur and reassurances that it will be remedied immediately.

Yours sincerely,
Bob Roberts

The Great Hunt Snipe

The BBC website announced as its headline story on its Frontpage earlier, in big, bold type Hunt: I did not lie to Parliament‘.

Now it could just me being sensitive or is that  phrased to be reminiscent of Nixon’s ‘I am not a crook’ …..when of course he was?

Is the BBC trying to give us the impression that perhaps Hunt did lie to Parliament. It manages to give the correct headline on the actual story itself….‘Jeremy Hunt denies Labour’s claim he lied to Parliament’….that is that the totally impartial Labour party are making this claim.

 

What else is strange today? Labour are demanding an inquiry into Jeremy Hunt’s activities….and a vote was held in Parliament today on whether that inquiry will be held…they voted ‘no’.

The LibDems were ordered to abstain in the vote by Nick Clegg.

That might be seen as rather an odd order from Clegg….as he said this today at Leveson…. ‘Mr Clegg in his evidence to the Leveson inquiry, repeated his backing for Mr Hunt, saying the culture secretary had given a “full, good and convincing account” of his handling the BSkyB bid.’

Note how far down the BBC story Clegg’s comment is….right at the bottom…where you might not read it…they hope.

Clegg’s comment is probably the most important one of recent times…it is somewhat of a game changer….certainly for the BBC’s narrative which has always been that Hunt is guilty of colluding with the Murdoch empire and Cameron is isolated after having made a very badly judged decision….and yet the BBC seem to be ignoring its significance.

Ed Miliband in today’s PMQs claimed that ‘even Cameron’s own deputy didn’t support him in his assertions about Hunt’….clearly Clegg does support Cameron’s view.

John Pienaar on 5Live (after PMQs) brought up Clegg’s comment and noted its hypocrisy in conjunction with the order to abstain…..but listen to the news and the comment gets very little, if any coverage and is relegated to an also ran in terms of significance.

It is always a wonder how a BBC journalist will actually give you the facts, the real ones….but when you hear them regurgitated and filtered through the news or other BBC programmes  those facts take on a whole different life and meaning….if they are repeated at all.  The BBC is very fast at plucking out information from a report say on the Today programme, when it suits them…the news team will have disinterred the information, shaped it, edited it, and mashed it together in an instant for the next news bulletin…’hot off the Press’…..however Clegg’s comment was pretty stillborn, the runt of the news litter, the ugly duckling…when in fact it was the Swan, the mighty mouse that roared…just very quietly on the BBC.

Nice to be able to shape the news to your own agenda.

Peter Hunt on ‘The World at One’ (13 mins 50 secs) gives us the important news first…Brown warned Clegg that Murdoch was only interested in getting the Tories into power…and that Vince Cable had had veiled threats against the LibDems from News International if they didn’t back the BSkyB bid.

Clegg dismissed those ‘veiled threats’ as …..’not a credible threat… just rumours and counter claims’.

So why does the BBC make so much noise about Cable’s assertion?

Peter Hunt then tackles the comment by Clegg about Jeremy Hunt…..he downplays it by claiming that Clegg has only offered ‘qualified support’…..has he?

I thought Clegg came out in full support for Hunt and his impartiality in making a decision….saying Hunt handled the bid in a way that successfully insulated himself from claims of bias…..and the culture secretary had given a “full, good and convincing account” of his handling the BSkyB bid.’

So are the LibDems, as the BBC’s Ben Wright (8 mins ) claims, ‘seriously questioning Hunt’s integrity and Cameron’s judgement’…are there ‘serious front bench rifts’?

And why does he suggest that Sir Alex Allan’s letter was ‘rather helpful to the Prime Minister…perhaps unsurprisingly’?

Does he question the impartiality of a highly respected senior civil servant who also served under the Labour government? No such questions about the ‘evidence’ from John Wilson, the Fife NHS chief exec. who stated that his staff were to blame for the leak about Brown’s son…though he had not a shred of evidence or proof to back that up…the BBC believed that it exonerated Brown and damned Murdoch and the Sun.

The BBC seem all at sea over this saga….continually wrong footed and undermined in their suggestions of Hunt’s guilt by the facts…..and being highly selective as to which ‘evidence’ they present as ‘true’ and which they seek to bury.

Still, they seem to be working hard to ignore or play down those facts and not let them spoil a good story.

Labour’s ‘Memory Lane’…the Road to Nowhere at the BBC

Here  the BBC goes to town delighting in John Major’s trip down memory lane to tell us that:

‘ John Major reveals Murdoch’s EU demand’

Sir John said “He wished me to change our European policies. If we couldn’t change our European policies his papers could not and would not support the Conservative government.”
He said the discussion was one he was unlikely to forget. “It is not often someone sits in front of a prime minister and says to a prime minister ‘I would like you to change your policy or my organisation cannot support you’ “.

And here is the slant given to it by the BBC’s Peter Hunt….
‘A second former prime minister in two days. A second direct challenge to aspects of the evidence given by Rupert Murdoch, on oath, two months ago.’

Note how he accuses Murdoch of lying ‘under oath’ whilst giving Brown and Major the presumption of being entirely truthful when we know they both had major issues with Murdoch and would be more than happy to take any chance to put the boot into him and his media ‘empire’.

Is that really what Murdoch asked? Did he ask at all? Isn’t it more likely that he merely stated that if the Conservatives did not have a European policy that he agreed with his papers would not support their position on Europe.

A subtle but entirely different emphasis….not demanding policy change but just saying what will happen if the Tories continue with their policy….. as Major says himself…..it would be a surprise if someone actually demanded a government change their policies to suit them.

The BBC are less than diligent, conveniently so, in asking such questions of Major’s, and Brown’s, statements to Leveson.

Not only that but the BBC seems rather reluctant to look in the Labour Party’s dark corners and look into their murky dealings, well documented, with Murdoch.

Here  is the Telegraph’s revelation from Major, unreported by the BBC:
‘The former PM highlighted the last Labour government’s decision, as soon as it came to power in 1997, to purge the ranks of Whitehall’s senior information officers – all career civil servants – and replace them with political appointees.
This was the pet project of Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who had swiftly realised that impartial civil servants would not do his bidding and so had to go. Many good people saw their careers trashed. The purge was a disaster. As Major observed in his mild-mannered way this morning: “My concern is, once you move towards the politicisation of the government information service, you did move into a sphere where the news could be perverted rather than presented accurately and without spin to the media at large.” And that is precisely what happened as the era of spin and manipulation was ushered in and a gulf of mistrust opened up between the press and Whitehall.
Major conceded that supping with a long spoon made him an easier target for hostile coverage: “It is easier to be hostile to people you don’t know.” How much harm did it do him? In the 1992 general election he won more votes than any party leader in history.’

Funny old thing that…..the great British Public ignored the papers and voted in droves for Major in 1992…and how about this  from Prescott detailing just how much influence he thinks Murdoch had:

‘Then the Sun came out for the Tories during our conference. What an effect that had! The Tories have seen their poll rating go from 41% poll to 33%!
So then the News of the World backed the Tories. Effect? Nothing!’

However just how much influence did Murdoch have on the Labour Party and its policies?
‘Under Neil Kinnock’s leadership, Mr Murdoch’s journalists were banned from Labour’s briefings and its annual conference as a legacy of the bitter industrial dispute at News International’s Wapping plant. The hostile coverage of Mr Kinnock in Murdoch-owned papers, notably The Sun, led Mr Blair to declare: “Never again.” He courted the media magnate as much as Mr Murdoch courted him. “It is better to ride the tiger’s back than let it rip your throat out,”.

Do you remember the book by Lance Price,  a Labour Party communications deputy?

Rupert Murdoch is effectively a member of Blair’s cabinet
‘Only a spin doctor would deny that the media baron has a say in all major decisions taken in Downing Street
In my first few weeks as Alastair Campbell’s deputy, I was told by somebody who would know that we had assured Mr Murdoch we wouldn’t change policy on Europe without talking to him first.

Lance Price, who was deputy to the Downing Street communications director Alastair Campbell has described Mr Murdoch as “the 24th member of the Cabinet”, saying: “No big decision could ever be made inside No 10 without taking account of the likely reaction of three men – Gordon Brown, John Prescott and Rupert Murdoch.”

“For the rest of us, the continued support of the News International titles was supposed to be self-evident proof of the value of this special relationship. The Sun and the Times, in particular, received innumerable “scoops” and favours. In return, New Labour got very sympathetic coverage from newspapers that are bought and read by classic swing voters – on the face of it, too good a deal to pass up….ie Tom Baldwin.
It may be that Rupert Murdoch has never once vetoed a government decision, nor tried to do so. I just don’t know.
Now Mr Murdoch tells us he might support David Cameron, and his papers take regular potshots at Gordon Brown. Do Messrs Cameron and Brown take notice? You bet they do. In a close election the support of News International will be courted as never before.”
Lance Price, a media adviser to Tony Blair from 1998 to 2001

And how about the BBC itself when Murdoch was still ‘respectable’…what did the BBC reveal  about Murdoch and Labour but seems to have forgotten all about now?:

‘Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has told how he can not meet Tony Blair without seeing Gordon Brown because of the distrust between the two men.
“You have to be careful to have a cup of tea with them both or they are very suspicious that you are lining up with the other one,” he says.
In the interview, Mr Murdoch says he has spent more time with Mr Blair and the chancellor than he ever did with ex-Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

She didn’t go out of her way to develop a personal relationship with me,” he said.
“But Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, whenever I’m in town they say, ‘Can’t you come over for a cup of tea?’
Mr Murdoch says being summoned to tea can be ‘inconvenient’

“When you’re invited by the prime minister to have a cup of tea, you have a cup of tea.”. ’

Strange that even though Blair, Brown and Campbell have all been in the dock at Leveson the BBC hasn’t delved into the archives to refresh our memories of these ‘deals’ between Murdoch and Labour.

However they constantly try to remind us of a supposed ‘contract’ between Cameron and Murdoch:

The BBC changes the whole narrative and attempts to give ‘weight’ and credibility to a story by claiming that it is a story ‘unearthed’ by the newspapers…..

‘Newspaper reports  have suggested a deal had been struck months before the election over the Murdoch’s plans to take full control of BSkyB.’

However that is a fabrication to hide the real source of the allegation…no other than the Machiavellian Labour Business Secretary of the time Peter Mandelson, and what is more it was on the ‘Today’ programme that he made the false allegation :

‘The business secretary told Today: “Let’s understand what’s going on here. The Sun’s owner, News International, has made a decision to support the Conservative Party.

“They’ve effectively formed a contract, over the head, incidentally, of the newspaper’s editor and their readers, in which they are sort of bound to one another.
“What the Sun can do for the Conservatives during the election is one part of the contract and, presumably, what the Conservatives can do for News International if they are elected is the other side of the bargain.

Mandelson said it was important for people to understand “what’s going on here”.
He went on: “The Sun’s owner, News International, has made a decision for the newspaper to support the Conservative party. They have effectively formed a contract, over the head incidentally of the paper’s editor and their readers, in which they are bound to one another.
“What the Sun can do for the Conservatives before and during the election is one part of that contract. And presumably what the Conservatives can do for News International if they are elected is the other side of that bargain.” ‘

What else did Mandelson reveal?…..
‘Mandelson also criticised the Sun for suggesting that the government, not the Taliban, was the enemy of the British army.
“If you read the Sun, you would think that the enemy that our brave troops on the ground are fighting is the British government….”Where do you see the reporting of our enemy, the Taliban in Afghanistan? Where do you see the reporting in the Sun of our forces’ achievement and their bravery on the ground? I think that is the most significant aspect of all of this and it’s really unattractive.” Mandelson said.’ (I’m certain he was thinking of the much hated by British troops, BBC coverage…or lack of, of good things that were happening in Afghanistan.)

Funny that Brown comes up with essentially the same line in the Leveson inquiry…..
“I still feel to this day that huge damage was done to the war effort by the
suggestion we just didn’t care about what was happening to the troops.

The BBC a proud and rigorous defender of Truth and Probity in Public Life and an upholder of searching, inquiring journalism that holds to account those who ‘serve’ us.