BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Monday, 3 August 2009


'Tory cuts v. Labour investment' has been the deeply dishonest Brownite slogan of recent months (despite opposition to its crassness even within the ranks of the Labour government). The attack has been coming off the rails ever since it was launched.

Labour diehard's can always rely on the BBC's Carolyn Quinn though. She launched a last-ditch cavalry charge against David Cameron on last night's 'Westminster Hour'.

Though the 15 minute interview scored a modest I.C. of 0.8 (with just 12 interruptions, including a blatant heckle: 'Tinkering!'), there were 22 questions asked and of these 19 were about 'Tory cuts' (even the last one, which began by mentioning the coming holidays then twisted back onto the same theme).

Shouldn't Carolyn Quinn have taken the opportunity to tackle Cameron on a wide range of topical issues? After all, he's the leader of the opposition and a potential prime minister. A whole world of foreign and domestic issues could have been discussed. What would he do about Afghanistan and Iraq? How radical are his plans to reform the banking sector and safeguard us against another economic crash? What is his position on assisted suicide or the Gary MacKinnon case? Can he spell out what his party's policies are on education, health, crime, immigration, transport, the environment, etc? Why is he so shy about policy? What is actually 'conservative' about his Conservative Party? But, was "Are you going to cut this? Are you going to cut that?" for almost the whole length of the interview. Bad, biased interviewing.

Hopefully, Carolyn Quinn will be talking to Gordon Brown in the next few weeks. Will she spend over 80% of the interview tackling him on 'Labour cuts'? Will she be just as fixated on one issue (any issue) as she was here? If not, she will be confirmed as one of the BBC's most biased interviewers.
Oh, and after the pre-recorded interview ended she had a little dig at Cameron (safe from comeback): "The whole thing was conducted without swear words from him and from me." I'm tempted, but I'll restrain myself from the obvious response to this!

I am watching.
As a sign that I.C.s are far from infallible, in the following panel discussion Labour's Janet Anderson scored, like Cameron, a 0.8 for Carolyn Quinn, despite the good humoured nature of the challenges. Should I not reject such interruptions as being not challenging enough to count? I don't think I can, because then I would have opened the can of worms labelled "Subjectivity" & the whole project would be compromised. I'll just have to be stoical about this flaw in the system.

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