The BBC leads the Radio 4 news this morning with the shock horror revelation that the June budget will hit poorest families hardest, or so alleges the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Yes, those Nasty Conservatives are back in power and instantly hurting the poor and disadvantaged, thank goodness we have the BBC to repeat this claim. Tomorrow. Tories eat their own babies? It strikes me that the BBC has become the official opposition to the Colaition, doing the work of Labour whilst it seeks to reconstruct itself.
With the electorate having engendered the wrath of the BBC for daring to throw out Labour. it’s only natural that every story be taken and given a twist that puts the knife into the evil Coalition. And so it is that on an item on an exhibition of life in the Victorian workhouses, there is the suggestion that “in a way” this is what the Coalition is proposing bringing back. Next week – Cameron to send kids up chimneys?
I am far from being a fan of the Coalition government (being way too blue in tooth and claw, so to speak) but you have to give credit where it is due and so the fact that it has hung together for a 100 days and tackled some big issues is commendable. But, obviously, the BBC is not going to happy about any of this. It wanted a coalition but one built on the political left, as we covered in these pages back then, What it got was not what it wanted and so it, like Labour, has gone into opposition mode. That means it will give extra spotlight on those who seek to see the Coalition unravel, be they Conservative, Labour or Lib-Dem. This explains the weight it has given to the warbling of Simon Hughes this morning. It explains the attention given to Ming the Mindless yesterday. The idea is to cause a split within Lib-Dem ranks that can then detonate into the actual Coalition. Labour is the broadcasting arm of Labour. And we fund it.
Been away for the past few days and have been mercifully spared BBC coverage. But just back to see the BBC once again pimping Alistair Darling as an economic genius. It seems that as we now live in year zero, Darling has been repackaged as the sensible voice of the economy there to keep that young whippersnapper George Osborne in his place. Meanwhile Derek Simpson was on the news to give us his received wisdom on inflation. Can’t wait for Gordon Brown to return to the scene as the man with the golden economic touch.
Anyone catch the FAWNING interview with Alistair Darling on Today this morning 8.30am (no link yet, they are sooo slow) It appears that Darling was in fact an economic guru and he saved us from the worst of the recession which, of course, started in America. The BBC are revising history to make us think that the Darling years were the golden years and now the wicked Coalition is undoing all the good work he wrought on our behalf. Vote Labour, pip pip.
Well, you can be certain that any attempt by the Coalition to cut back on the rampant Welfarism that has disfigured the UK so under Labour is going to met by BBC resistance. Just after 8.10am on Today we had pro Labour Common Purpose loving Demos vs Chris Grayling, with the BBC as independent arbitrator! Demos were arguing for higher levels of benefit (with tougher conditionality, sure) and the BBC seemed intent to suggest that most Welfare fraud was done through error, as opposed to wilful and deliberate fraud. As time goes on, the BBC narrative is building into what will become the next Labour manifesto, one seamlessly morphing into the other.
Had to laugh at the BBC’s promotion of the idea that the “economic recovery” (?) of the last six months is being put in peril by the wicked plans of the Coalition that the State sector should live within it’s means. Yes, the good work of Labour is being undone by nasty Mr Cameron. Economic realities are never mentioned – the crunch issue for the BBC is that the Conservatives are going to preside over rising unemployment and therefore all guns will be trained on them. Is it too late to bring back Ben Elton? The BBC appears unaware or disinterested in the simple fact that Labour allowed the State sector to grow to unaffordable and elephantine proportions and corrective action is both timely and necessary. The narrative is going to be simple one – Voting Conservative costs jobs and the BBC will be the fore in assiduously promoting this in the time ahead.
Did you catch this “interview” on Today between Zac Goldsmith and John Prescott? I feel that James Naughtie allowed Prescott to interrupt, make childish class-baiting allegations and then dared to suggest they were both “going at it”. This is not what I heard. I carry no candle for Goldsmith but he was courteous whilst Prescott was rude and arrogant and got much more time to defend his own stupid housing schemes. This is a favoured BBC tactic – invite on two people, allow one of them (usually from the left) to rant and rave uninterrupted and then when the other interviewee dares to respond they are both labelled the same. Prescott hectored and blustered and Naughtie made no attempt to ensure any fairness. More pathetic bias.
Did you see Diane Abbott on with Marr? What an easy ride this ego on stilts was given, no tough questions, just a series of softballs that allowed her to waflle. She compared herself to Obama at one point Is it cos she is black?
Labour Candidate is BBC Bias Complaints Judge.
(Hat-tips to all who highlighted this in the comments)
Update. Craig has more on this. Good work Ryan.
Update 2. I see that Sarah Bell, the BBC hack who couldn’t find a single non-LibDem supporter in the constituency of her LibDem Facebook friend Susan Kramer, hasn’t tweeted for a few days. Told to keep a low profile, perhaps? (Facebook screenshot from Ryan, via Beeb Bias Craig)
So, let me get this right. On the day when official figures reveal that an astonishing 8.16 million of our fellow citzens are now ‘economically inactive’ and when that rate is now 21.5 per cent of the working age population – the highest since records first began in 1971, good old BBC decides that all is looking quite rosy! Rejoice – Gordon has saved the day! And just in case you may think that this is a one off, here in Northern Ireland the headline is “Slight rise in unemployed” disguising the fact that almost 28% of the working population is not working and the increase in unemployed sets a new record. But with Labour in power and a stooge Assembly here to preserve it doesn’t do to let the details rise too far up the news story, does it? Can you imagine is a Conservative government was in power and these sort of scandalous figures came out the outcry the BBC would lead? This is Save Gordon – the last stand!
The first offering from Simon Schama’s much-trailed ten-week stint on Radio 4’s A Point of View is pretty much as expected – Labour spin from a Labour supporter. According to Schama the narrowing polls prove that “we” the electorate really want bad tempered tough guy Gordon Brown as our leader, in defiance of those nasty anti-Brown newspapers and their politically-motivated narrative about the PM as a bully. (Remind me – where was Andrew Rawnsley’s book serialised? Oh yes, those renowned Tory rags The Observer and The Guardian.) In his attempt to convince us that Gordon’s the man we desire Schama gives much of his essay over to an embarrassingly unfunny imagined phone call between Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell (whose name he misspells). Schama’s services don’t come cheap; if this dire effort is a foretaste of what’s to come I think a BBC Trust inquiry could be in order. There’s not much that BBC bosses enjoy more than throwing bundles of cash at their favourite historian in return for his reliably left-of-centre take on events, but even some of them must be concerned at the quality of this opening piece.
And what’s with Schama referring to himself in the third person? He did in it one of the two oft-repeated trails for the programme (the other had him enthusing about Labour closing the gap in the polls), and he does it again in an interview for the Radio 4 blog. It’s an affectation that’s ridiculous in ego-inflated punch-drunk boxers, never mind fucking historians.
Update. Forgot to add, Schama does get one thing correct – suck up to your opponents and likely they’ll spit in your eye. Last week, in one of those depressingly common celeb-obsessed announcements that all political parties love, the Tories promised to involve big-name historians in their proposed overhaul of the national curriculum. One of those historians? Simon Schama.
Thanks to David Preiser in the comments at this earlier post for tracking down the Jane Garvey clip from May 2007 in which she told Peter Allen her memories of Labour’s victory ten years earlier. Worth another listen:
I’m just hoping that the BBC will afford Lady Thatcher the same warmth of tribute as that afforded to Michael Foot, who, as you know, has passed away aged 96. Today has been running a series of tributes to him this morning and whilst I fully understand that it is civilised to not speak ill of the dead, I look forward to the same standard being applied to the former Conservative leader when that sad moment arrives. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?