BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Sunday, 4 October 2009



Last week's Politics Show featured the Labour MP for Stourbridge, as part of its ongoing report on the constituency in the run-up to the general election. Presenter David Thompson gathered together a group of former Labour supporters to talk to her. My post at the time make this point: "We'll see if next week, when it should be the Tory candidate's turn, he gets to talk to former Tory voters."

Well, it turned out to be a 'she' rather than a 'he', but the answer was 'no'. Margot James was introduced to bikers from Stourbridge Motorcycle Club, some of whom (Thompson said) "work in the public sector". Well, it was interesting anyhow.

The naughty bit came in Thompson's scene-setting, where (following the trend of the day) he said that Margot lives "in one of the nice parts of Stourbridge" and went on to call her a "wealthy would-be Tory MP".
As for the rest of the Politics Show, there was one of those rare BBC interviews with Nigel Farage, in which he got in a good complaint about the Beeb's treatment of UKIP during the Norwich North by-election. It contained 5 interruptions (though curiously not when Jon Sopel asked him a vague question about what he made of the Conservatives' position on the Lisbon Treaty, giving him a chance to attack the common enemy!) and earned Sopel another high centre-right I.C. of 1.2.

Then there came a dual interview with Eric Pickles and David Miliband. This was evenly-balanced, if only because Mr Pickles took firm action against Sopel, shaming him into not interrupting any more. "I'm sorry, am I interrupting you again?", he said drily. Prior to this exasperated comment, Sopel had been interrupting him with a vengeance in that over-excited way of his (which reminds me of a puppet whose strings are being pulled by a drunk). Good on Eric Pickles!

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