I dare say that the day US Senator Ted Kennedy pops his clogs the BBC will go into full on mourning. They just love that aquatically challenged oaf. However it seems that there is one Kennedy that has invoked the ire of the BBC, and her name is Sarah.

Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy has been chastised by the BBC for praising
right-wing politician Enoch Powell during her show. During her early-morning
show on Wednesday, Kennedy, 59, described Powell as ‘the best prime minister
this country never had’. Enoch Powell was famously sacked from the shadow
cabinet by Ted Heath in 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech about the dangers of
mass immigration. A spokesman for the BBC said that the corporation had received
25 complaints by Friday and that the presenter had been ‘spoken to’ about the

I actually do listen to “Bunty” each morning and find her a harmless and good natured person. But god forbid that a BBC presenter should say something positive about a demonised figure such as the late great Enoch Powell. I suppose if she had praised Aneurin Bevan she would have been given a salary increase…

Easy money, expensive words

The BBC have given £45,000 to the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari, to settle a legal case brought by him against the BBC for comments made by Charles Moore on Question Time in March. Charles Moore accused the MCB “leadership” of failing to condemn attacks on British soldiers, thereby implicitly condoning them, and this was deemed libellous of Mr Bari.

I read Cranmer’s response to it, and it simply reinforced my sense that a wrong had been done. The big question seems to be why the BBC so tamely ponied up telly-taxpayer’s money and imply that even mild indirect criticism of Islam is not within the law in the UK. I understand from Cranmer’s comments that Mr Moore is seeking legal advice of his own. The BBC don’t mention him in their own report, possibly mindful of such escalation, but it seems to me this is an attack on the mildest kind of free speech, and the BBC are binding themselves to being wary of who they allow to speak on the BBC. We often express dismay at the liberal-leftist consensus which the BBC supports by stacking their panels with centre-leftists; here the BBC are accepting legal reinforcement of their natural instincts; perhaps it’s no wonder they surrender so meekly to the heap big chief of the MCB.

Needless to say, the libel lawyers in this case were Carter-Ruck, tyrants of the UK libel laws renowned for squeezing money out of the flimsiest cases of offence and reputational damage. What a bunch of evil shysters they are.


The BBC attack on the Conservatives is ongoing.

Just consider; The Andy Coulson attack story is being kept alive here. This is despite the fact that it has no no legs whatsoever. Meanwhile on the PM programme, I listened to Eddie Mair running a shock horror story about how poor old David Cameron’s Conservatives are linked to a Polish politician who allegedly made “homophobic” comments – NINE year ago! Is Mandelson on speed dial to Auntie?


Anyone catch the Toady programme this morning? From 8am onwards, the ENTIRE prime time period was devoted the story concerning whether the News of the World had used private investigators to hack into the mobile phones of celebs and politicos. It was amazing to have this entire 8.10 -8.28am time slot allocated to attacking News International and repeatedly demanding the resignation of David Cameron’s Communication’s Director, Andy Coulson. Total bias – out of all proportion to the merits of this story.


Well, not a great night for socialism, was it? And the BBC are not happy campers. I listened to an orchestrated onslaught against the UKIP here and the Conservatives here. Osbourne got a real mauling from Humphyrs. It appears that once again we have an election result in which there are no winners. The other BBC meme being pushed remorselessly is that the BNP is “extreme right”. It’s not. It is hard-left but because this is an inconvenient truth to the BBC champagne swilling socialists, it is turned around and re-presented as being extreme-right. The BBC’s idea of “centre-right” is the likes of the Euro-fanatical socialist EPP group. Having watched BBC election coverage last night and then listened to it this morning, I am so grateful that we have better choices to glean information these days – particularly the net. But this makes the continued imposition of the license tax unbearable when the bias is so evident! Tired after the late night but thanks to those who came across to the Liveblog!

Framing the debate

In the great BBC interview bias debate, we’ve already identified one factor, what has been called the “interruption coefficient” (by commenter Ctesibus). There are other factors though of course; one that usually strikes me is what I could term “framing”. The opening 1 minute and 30 seconds of this interview with Conservative Caroline Spelman were conducted by John Humphrys analysing the local elections results WITHOUT mentioning the expenses scandal, while claiming that the Conservatives had failed to meet expectations at a time when Labour were at a low ebb. Actually, before the election I can recall the BBC intoning hypnotically that all politicians were in the doghouse together. Now that the Conservatives pass an electoral test, suddenly the expenses scandal disappears from their thinking and the Conservatives have allegedly disappointed.

The rest of Humphrys’ interview too was dripping with oleaginous cynicism directed against Conservatives- insinuating that the Conservatives would be punished at the General election, that Spelman was dishonest (“come on, you’re a politician”), that Brown had the new Cabinet behind him (Humphrys fluffs this hilariously as he realises he’s spouting more than his usual nonsense quotient) and that David Cameron would get his comeuppance soon over expenses.

All of this Spelman sailed through with the fair wind of success behind her, but Humphrys’ framing of the discussion was a persistent effort to mitigate bad news for Labour. For now, it has failed, but to the truly ideological every little counts.


Cameron to Hugh Edwards: “Even the BBC… will have to say these are good results” (smirk)

Nick Robinson (on a day when Labour failed to retain a single county council): “Gordon Brown is stronger than he was, but not by much.”

Gordon: “I will not waver… I will get on with the job”

The job being what, exactly? Add your faves below.

Selected targets

Anyone know why Bill Cash MP has been splashed all over the BBC website frontpage for most of the day? As someone who gets most of his news online, I have to say I wonder. I can’t see it now but I am certain earlier today that there was a reference to him as an “arch-Eurosceptic”. I know many might just be happy to see an MP in the stocks for a day, but the way all this has been conducted very much suggests to me a studied campaign. Yes, this originated from the Telegraph, but the BBC has very much played ball- very much the old footballing one-two. Yes, there is an extremely serious point about MPs’ abuse, but there was also (as with most jobs) a legitimate need for an expenses program in pursuit of the goals of the job (ie. constiuency representation). Not defending MPs who trough here, but raising the question about the legitimacy of this broad based campaign against MPs, and asking cui bono? It certainly might seem a matter of luck whether an MP is targeted or not (disturbing enough, as it’s so inefficient)- but the BBC has seemed determined to focus on backbench Tory MPs- Cash, Kirkbride, McKenzie; seems to me Blears, Smith, Balls and what’serface have got off more than lightly… given their frontbench Government status and all.

So I would raise a question about which discredited and miserably failed party stands to gain from spreading the blame across the whole House of Commons for the indulgence combined with ineffectiveness of the chamber and its leadership during the last ten years (plus)?


So, Conservative Julie Kirkbride has fallen on her sword and will not seek re-election. On the One News the BBC has been covering this from the feminist angle on of just how difficult it is for “working mums” to get the work/life balance and also from the angle of how few female MP’s that Cameron will be left with. (Nice dig at the unrepresentative Tories, natch!) In addition, did you notice the way that Labour trougher Margaret Moran has been thrown to the media wolves just as Kirkbride hits the buffs. A good day to bury bad Labour news?

It’s not the jokes, it’s how you tell ’em

(NB: This post is not by Natalie, but by occasional B-BBC poster Niall Kilmartin.)

It’s not the jokes, it’s how you tell ’em: BBC red-button news this morning reported the arrests in the US. The final sentence of the report was:

New York has been on alert for a new terror assault since the 9/11 attack claimed by Al Quaida militants

(no emphasis in original) Al Quaida do indeed claim the attack and one would hardly accuse them of lacking militancy, so the sentence is not factually wrong. It seems an odd way to put it – except, I suppose, inside the BBC, where it presumably seems natural to phrase things to accommodate the ‘truther’ viewpoint. (As the post below suggests, some other viewpoints get less consideration.)

Similar ‘how you tell it’ thoughts occurred to me during last night’s 10 o’clock BBC news in a piece on the never-ending expenses scandals. As usual, numbers were balanced: they mentioned one Labour MP and one Tory MP (there are few LibDem MPs so I concede some difficulties in their mentioning a LibDem every time as well). The report on Hazel Blears consisted almost entirely of a summary of Labour MPs’ sympathy for her and criticism of Gordon’s criticism. It was all reportage of others’ views but it had a ‘sorry for her’ flavour and lacked balancing hostile remarks – except Gordon’s, and ‘her behaviour was unacceptable but she’s doing a great job’ (I paraphrase) is already balanced, whatever else you may say about it. No such considerate remarks were reported of the Tory MP whose ducks benefited from our taxes; no suggestion that spending public money on wildlife habitat was very much the norm these days. 🙂 To be sure, there were probably no sympathetic remarks to report: David Cameron’s statement about him was not as ‘balanced’ as Gordon’s about Hazel, and if any Tory felt otherwise, perhaps they (wisely) kept it to themselves.