BBC TOURETTES

It seems that the BBC cannot report on the Conservative plan to devolve power and accountability closer to the people via elected Mayors without, in the same sentence, mentioning the words “Thatcher” and “Poll tax!” I listened to an item on Today early this morning circa 6.40am and essentially the discussion instantly turned away from what Cameron proposes to do and focused instead on Margaret Thatcher taking power away from “loony left” councils, the poll tax and monkeys getting elected as Mayor in Rochdale. I know that Caroline Spelman will be on later, I don’t fancy her chances! Expect to hear the BBC interviewer blurt out “Thatcher – poll tax” before the interview is concluded.

WORD ASSOCIATION

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I was intrigued to read this BBC report on changes taking place in our..ahem…”ally” in the war on terror, Saudi Arabia. The sentence that caught my eye was the one that reads….”Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith has lost his job as head of the commission, which enforces Saudi Arabia’s conservative brand of Islam, Wahhabism.” Now then, Wahhabism is many things – evil, toxic, violent, savage, retarded, malignant….but not, in any way, conservative. However the BBC loves to play word association, doesn’t it?

NAILING THE TORIES.

Hi folks, been away and just back so apologies for lack of posts, so far. I see the BBC have managed to take the puerile action of a young Conservative and use media saints, Gerry and Kate McCann, to ensure that the world is reminded just how nasty those Tories are. Ever been young and done something stupid? Ever expect to see it blasted across the world care of the BBC?

DEATH OF A GREAT MAN

I am sorry to read of the death of Sir Alan Walters – the man who was Mrs Thatcher’s great economic guru and whose vision helped Mrs Thatcher restore our prosperity as a nation to the horror of the BBC. Iain Dale has the story here, as has All Seeing Eye. The BBC does not seem to know about this at time of posting (All those £££ billions and yet this miss this?) but I think it will be interesting to see how they cover it tomorrow morning. Any bets on how the BBC will treat Sir Alan’s memory?


STABBINGS UP.

I was amused to see the BBC do everything possible to ameliorate the news that fatal stabbings are at a 30 year high in England Wales. Spot the lovingly inserted caveats in this BBC report today!

“Fatal stabbings in England and Wales have risen to their highest level in three decades, say the Conservatives. The unconfirmed claim comes as the government unveils tougher new community sentences for those convicted of carrying knives. The Tories say police figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show 277 stabbing deaths in 2007-8, the highest since records began in 1977. The government disputed the claim and said overall violent crime was falling.” Does Labour write these “news” reports and just email them to the BBC?

QUICK, QUICK SLOW…

I am sure you will have been following the media spat between Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick and the Conservative Party. Quick accuses the Conservatives and their running dogs in the press of running a “corrupt” campaign against him as he uses valuable policing resource to investigate that well known threat to national security Damian Green. He has subsequently withdrawn his use of the word “corrupt” from his tirade but I am sure you all get the general idea. Naturally, the BBC delights in reporting this and presents the entire issue as if it were merely between the bad Conservatives and hard-working Quick. It’s not. The broader issues here include why does Quick believe that investigating Damian Green is a greater policing priority than investigating Islamic terrorism? Is it appropriate for senior Policeman to make overt political attacks? After all, Quick was very quick when it came to offering support to the claims of Jacqui Smith over her 42 day detention bill earlier this year. With such an allegedly clear political bias in favour of the Labour government how can any conservative-inclined citizen feel confidence in the work of the Metropolitan Counter-terrorism Police? These are all questions the BBC has no interest in pursuing since the main point here is to paint the Conservatives as the enemies of effective policing.

The Labour Defence Team

The Labour Defence Team Newsnight

Michael Crick and Newsnight did a smear job on Friday on the Government’s abuse of power in arresting Damian Green, in a programme flagged up by John Reith spins in his grave in the comments.

Crick begins his report (20 mins into the BBC broadcast ) by talking of the “mystery” of Damian Green’s leaks, and how this may run and run. Of course, the question (not mystery, as motives are not lacking) of why he was arrested and held for questioning for 9 hours at all is one which needs to be fully and swiftly explained, but this angle the BBC ignores. They wish to imply that the Government’s actions are above suspicion.

At the beginning of the item we are treated to a sinister close up of Green’s eyes- the suggestion being that there must be some sinister underlying issue. We were given a short clip of David Cameron’s response to the arrest, and a short clip of Clegg doing the civil liberties bit, and then we were fully into the Nu-Lab love in. Jacqui Smith worded herself carefully in claiming that the arrest was not authorised by ministers (how about “suggested”, with “suggested” guarantees, Jacqui?). The fact is that the Government is answerable for the actions of the police, and in this case more so than usually, but this angle too was lost. Martin Salter (Lab) backed up the action, making great play of the wording of the accusations against Green of not just receiving but “actively conspiring” to get the leak. This follows Crick’s own use of the word “procuring”. But what does this mean? These locutions are simply smears- leaking is active, and information must be gained. Does it mean the information was paid for? Are they talking of bribery (bribing a public official)? If so, they had better say so. The BBC not only lets a Labour politician smear Green, it participates in advancing that smear.

Then Crick segued into a historical perspective. It seems promising when a young Gordon Brown is shown in archived footage defending his own mole in the then-Conservative Government. Crick though immediately cuts to another Nu-Labour figure, Geoffrey Robinson. Robinson refers to Winston Churchill getting (or procuring?) leaks from Chamberlain’s hapless administration! Genius. Brown and Winston in the same breath- it’s a running BBC joke played on the public.

All the time that they build this picture of noble leaking- to Brown and Churchill- however, they are carefully implying that there is more to it in the case of Green. Crick’s final comment seals it:
“last night it looked like it [the Green arrest] could badly embarrass the Government, but tonight it is less clear, with some Labour sources saying the Home Office leaks didn’t just go to Damian Green, but to other Tories too”

How does it alter the situation that colleagues of Green were involved? In fact it would make it even more likely that the leaks were conventional if they were shared among Green’s colleagues (I don’t know what an unconventional leak might be, actually, but I am sure the BBC/Nu-Lab can come up with something). To the viewer however it suggests conspiracy, and dark forces at work (maybe the vast right wing conspiracy?) in the Green “mystery”. There’s something they’re not telling us, the BBC imply, warming to their theme. But surely it is for the Government (not the Conservatives, or Green) to answer for its arrest of a Member of Parliament? The BBC (and Crick) forgets its place, if it ever knew it.

It’s necessary to reiterate the real issue: Green was arrested over an apparent leak. This was a wholly exceptional response to a normal state of affairs in which many politicians have participated. The question is why this Government is so authoritarian, why it holds such antipathy towards its political opponents, and, for us, why the BBC is so wedded to the Government’s point of view. Smith, Salter, Robinson, and Crick himself are all Labour loyalists (Crick joined Labour aged 15 and intended for many years on a career as a Labour politician)- Crick wheeled out his comrades to peddle a Government perspective. The BBC is biased.

Brown’s Darling to the rescue

Here’s a thread to discuss BBC coverage of the Government’s pre-budget statement. Worth saying I think that it was Labour who introduced the pre-budget statement. This junket that nowadays occurs is in many ways midwife to valuable pro-Government spin. Thanks to Paul S for highlighting Fraser Nelson’s helpful list of Gordon’s spin – how many of these points will the BBC promote in its coverage? Look out for action contrasted with passivity (Gordon v Dave)- especially how Gordon is leading the world in action- and the recession that “came from America”, as well as plenty of party politicals harking back to the “heartless Tories” using false or misleading comparisons with previous recessions. Maybe you’d like to consider counterpunches, since the BBC probably won’t allow for any or properly cover any Conservative rebuttal…

It’s always there.

The bias I mean. I’ve just watched Andrew Marr’s interview with David Cameron for his regular Sunday mornng show. The first minute or two of Cameron’s performance were used in correcting Marr’s premise that the Conservative position was just to let the recession “take its course”. Isn’t this so typical? The Conservative always placed on the defensive by the casual distrust of the BBC man? If you listen or watch carefully (painful I know) it’s always there.

Earlier on I heard the news report say that Icelanders were rioting over the handling af the credit crisis. This is an interpretation that the BBC prefers. Surely demonstrators are protesting at the occurrence of the crisis itself, and the economic management which brought it about? Cameron was under fire from Marr for not ‘getting the scale’ of things. No mention of Gordon’s not getting the entire economic management “thing” which could have mitigated or averted it. I would say that- given British banking’s swollen role compared with the British economy- Gordon’s management of gold, regulation, taxation and interest rates should very much be on the table as a cause of the world’s crisis. Instead we have Marr lamenting the lack of a positive Conservative response. Where’s the room for positive responses? It’s only damage limitation thanks to Gordon.

The last part of the interview, patiently fielded by Cameron, was Marr’s questioning of Osborne’s position. Prior to that we had “Business Secretary” Peter Mandelson spinning the economy for Gordon. No questioning of his suspicious reintroduction into UK politics, or his ability to take the flak that Darling or Brown should be facing.

It makes me sick listening to the skewed BBC coverage. But whether I listen or not, it’s always there.

Quote of the Day:

“Look, we know we keep going on about the pants lefty tax-funded BBC, but we’ve just had enough. On a personal level we are seriously thinking about joing the telly tax rebels who refuse to pay (especially now we know the BBC has backed away from prosecuting). And on a national political level, there have to be consequences for the way they systematically undermine our future well-being by supporting Big Government Labour and bashing any Tory who even hints at believing in smaller government.”

Tyler from Burning our Money takes on the BBC’s coverage of George Osborne. Brilliantly. Hope you enjoy by reading on here.

Get Osborne! (save Brown)

Looking at the many valuable comments in the latest open thread, it’s amazing how many ways the BBC have found to get at George Osborne in recent days. Speaking from what I have seen, it was noticeable how Marr stacked his progamme this morning with better-then-average lefties like Doug Alexander and Dr John Reid (plus Jarvis Cocker for leftist chic), to foreground a lengthy interview with Osborne which began with the line from Marr: “Do you think your job is on the line this weekend?”

Sums it all up really- not the reality, that is, but the BBC’s preferred narrative. Alexander- the Secretary of State for International Development- was there to demonstrate how (in accordance with the Brown narrative) the crisis is global, first, and we are the victims, second, while John Reid was there to show how he was burying the hatchet and uniting behind Brown and to blame Osborne for not doing the same.

In fact Osborne performed superbly on the Marr programme, so despite Marr’s repeated attempts to bring up the world crisis in defending Brown, Osborne swept past him. Yet is he actually winning this argument? Difficult to say, because the BBC has so relentlessly depicted him as on the defensive, the “George Osborne under attack” meme. This has been partly justified by bringing up a so-called convention regarding commenting on Sterling which, as the commenters at B-BBC have noted, is bogus. Meanwhile David in the comments points to this article as a related note, where Brown “regrets” Osborne’s comments highlighting the risk to the pound. Surely in fact Brown regrets that his economic incompetence is being exposed? It is no good his shaking his head over that unpublic-spirited Osborne- it is Brown who has been frantically trying to look competent in situations he has been instrumental in creating. So far he has done only the most obvious things, like bail out faltering banks, huddle with world leaders and pronounce “routemaps” as he poses for photos.

Earlier I saw an BBC online article where Gordon was shown in a decidedly odd picture (actually used above) at the G20 meeting towering over the Russian President, the Russian’s eyes upraised to meet Gordon’s (ie. where on earth was Gordon standing in relation to Medvedev? [Update: apparently Medvedev is unusually small. This does not explain the particular photo with Gordon facing the camera and Medvedev looking up to his eyes, or indeed the very choice of this photo- why these two men and only them? Generally I think the BBC’s photo-story-telling is abysmal]). In a more sensible world Brown wouldn’t even have been able to take the reins of the Government a year and a half ago because his incompetence over boom and bust would have already been made apparent by a sentient fourth estate (Labour’s favourite bank Northern Rock was melting away as they feted Gordon). Instead, those who have the temerity to question the inevitably compromised economic wisdom of Gordon Brown are put in the media dock by the BBC-led media.

Meanwhile, Guido points to yet another angleof BBC bias in favour of Brown.

Consistent double standards

She was fooled. She was duped. Sarah Palin gets the full unquotemarked treatment after listening politely to an imposter’s ramblings. I don’t know when it’s right to switch off a call in disgust, myself. Perhaps if the caller had made remarks about having sex with Palin’s daughter, eh? In the end Palin recognised instantly that she was talking to a radio DJ, and asked too quickly for the DJ’s own mind about their station’s listener call back facility (full audio, not on the BBC, here). The BBC meanwhile should know this only cheapens politics and public life, and that listening politely is a virtue not a vice. I can’t say I can fully defend Palin in this instance, but actually I don’t know what it must be like in her position with all the demands on her time, to be patient and polite and diplomatic in all manner of circumstances. What I do believe is that the BBC is selling this story with intemperate unqualified demeaning language which they would certainly not use of The One.

Another note about these consistent double standards- Martha Kearney rejoices herein a gotcha interview with George Osborne. She says, with a BBC hack’s usual mental rigour:

“What took me by surprise was George Osborne’s immediate admission that he had made a mistake.

I cannot recall the last time a politician did that (without being on the verge of resigning).”

Well let me help the dismal memory of this hackette out a bit- let me take you all the way back to, well, April, and to an obscure and unknown politician called Gordon Brown. I am sure he must have resigned after admitting mistakes? Otherwise we’d know that Martha Kearney’s memory was worth about as much as the BBC’s broadcasting standards and indeed their commitment to impartiality.

THE GREAT COP OUT ON THE BAIL OUT.

So, let me see if I get this right. Shares are down again, the pound is at a five year low, the economy is heading into deep recession, unemployment is rising, the banks are not lending to each other — and yet Gordon Brown stands as an economic colossus. The great Brown Bail Out has been such a success that it is now the global template, apparently. Have I missed something? The BBC seems to have decided that it is possible to report all this economic gloom and doom but simultaneously detach it from the actions of a government that has been in power for more than decade. Can you just IMAGINE the headlines if this was all happening under a Conservative government? It is shocking to see inherent BBC bias provide a tatty pass to Prudence Brown when to any remotely neutral commentator, it is obvious that considerable culpability lies with the British government for the aware of the British economy. But we must not speak the obvious lest it offend the Great Leader – the man who also provides the cash for the BBC.