BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


The main story on yesterday's Today programme was public sector pay.
At 7.09 the issue was discussed with Labour's Phil Woolas.
It was returned to at 8.21, where it was discussed with Tony Travers of the L.S.E., then further discussed with BBC perennial Ken Livingstone of the Labour Party and engaging Labour blogger (and former Blair advisor) Matthew Taylor of the R.S.A. (Why?) The whole thing was good-natured.
The subject was returned to again at 8.53 where, for the first time, a voice from the Right was heard - Andrew Haldenby of Reform, who was jointly interviewed with that most left-wing of union leaders, Mark Serwotka of the PCS union. It was noticeable that John Humphrys's sympathies lay with the latter during this closing item as Mr Haldenby was interrupted 3 times, whereas Mr Serwotka was only interrupted once.
5.00 Question: "Isn't that an entirely fair point Andrew Haldenby?"
5.03 Answer (AH) "Well if there's any tax uncollected the government should definitely go and collect it..."
5.08 (Interruption by JH) "Well there is. We know there is."
(AH's answer then continues)
5.24 (Interruption by JH) Question: "But why do we have to cut it in half in four years. Why is that..that is, as Mark Serwotka (sic), that's an arbitrary figure, arbitrary time frame"
5.30 Answer (AH): "Well it probably need to be done quicker than that..."
5.32 (Interruption by JH): "Why?"
Mark Serwotka had to put up with nothing like that.
Why so many voices from the Left on the issue? Why only one from the Right? Why was the voice from the Right treated in a somewhat tougher way? The answer might have something to do with BBC bias. (I bet you never saw that coming!)
(The programme also featured another Labour minister John Denham and Ratna Lachman from the anti-racism think-tank JUST discussing the government's so-called Prevent programme, which hopes to tackle Muslim extremism, whereas - as Ratna says - the real focus should be on far-right extremism!!!!)

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