BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Friday, 9 April 2010


After yesterday's grim feast of bias on The World at One, was today's edition any better? The answer is NO!
Presented by Ed Stourton, it again began with another assault on the Tories. Their proposal to act against relative inequality (don't get me started on that!), capping the pay of public sector bosses, came in for close scrutiny. Another parade of critics marched by (though not as long as yesterday's). First Steve Tatton, introduced (as you would expect when a Tory proposal is about to be slammed) as "an expert in executive pay". He is "not convinced" by the Conservative plan. Next up was Polly Toynbee (I kid you not!) who savaged Cameron's ideas as "extraordinarily synthetic politics". She also attacked the private sector and defended Labour. What did the Conservatives have to say in defence? Who knows. They weren't asked!! Unbelievable!!!
Now, at least the programme then turned its attention to the Stuart MacLennan story - the Labour candidate who resigned after being caught out making very non-PC remarks on Twitter. But, unlike with the Tories above, here Labour's slippery Jim Murphy was given the chance to spin his way out of trouble. Ed's a gentle interviewer (usually) and was gentle here.
Lord Adonis's wooing of the Lib Dems was the next topic. John Curtice of Strathclyde University was then interviewed. (He's always on the BBC). After a brief quote from the joint general secretary of Unite Tony Woodley. Ed then interviewed his namesake Ed Davey of the Lib Dems, gently.
The last topic was...John Prescott. Becky Milligan joined him on his Prescott Express and chatted with the great idiot. It was, by and large, a feel-good piece for Labour supporters and Becky was very pally with Prezza.
No Conservatives were heard from in this programme.


  1. You've got to admit Craig, their desperation is turning to hysteria.
    Any pretence of Thompson's "impartiality" never even got off the starting blocks.
    I may be wrong but I think many in the BBC see this as a fight for survival.
    My new (feeble) slogan, which I hope the Tories adopt when they get in is:

    BBC: Forget the Funding, Start the Firing.

    Andy C

  2. 'Time for a change' before, 'BBC: Forget the Funding, Start the Firing' after. I like it!

  3. Craig,

    I would like to shake your hand. You are doing a remarkable job. So often when I listen to the BBC I feel 'that's a bit harsh' when the 'Tories' are mentioned and 'that's a bit gentle' whenever Labour are on. But I had never realised, until you started recording and quantifying this bias, just how systematic and pervasive it is.

    This has to stop now. EITHER the BBC is a national non-partisan source of news and analysis OR it is a campaigning left-of-centre broadcaster. Plainly it is not the first. If it wants to be the second then it must stop taking the Licence Fee. I have no problem with left-of-centre news organisations, but as someone of the centre/right I do not want o pay for them!


  4. That's very kind Ctesibius.

    It's been a learning curve for me. I had that vague feeling too - for about twenty-five years! I stumbled across the 'Biased BBC' site a couple of years ago & found that others shared my concerns (which was a relief.)

    I originally started this blog, encouraged by Not a sheep and others, to list interruption coefficients, but having to listen to so many interviews means you hear much, much more of the BBC's news output than is usual and then you begin to notice other things. So many other things. And it means you can check out other feelings, such as that one I'm sure many people have also had - that 'The Guardian' gets far more than its fair share of mentions on the BBC. Now I know that we're not just imagining it. It really does!

    I'd love the BBC to take your first option. It would be wonderful to have such a broadcaster. That would be worth paying for. But a left-of-centre news organisation that behaves in an openly partisan way isn't acceptable at all. I suspect many fair-minded left-of-centre people would agree. It's worth persuading them too.


  5. As a preciously young 15 year old Tribunite member of the Labour Party in 1979 I thought the only real bias at the BBC was towards the Left. I was against it as it was bad for democracy. It is now endemic. Political discourse is dictated by the BBC like a news outlet in a one party state. Political thought is straight-jacketed. I remember a time when the BBC really was impartial and a huge source of national pride.

    Lets hope that if the Tories do win despite the BBC's negative campaigning against them on behalf of Labour that Cameron will appoint a tough-minded DG with a remit to clean out the augean stables and restore impartiality to the BBC. Bye, bye TODAY programme; bye, bye Newsnight; bye, bye at least half of BBC News & Current Affairs.

    If Cameron does get in though, I bet nothing changes. How hard would it be to announce a policy commitment now to restore impartiality to the BBC and make it once more a source of national pride and honour? I'm sure someone like ex-BBC man Robin Aitken ('Can we Trust the BBC?') would be willing to appear at a press conference as an 'adviser' on restoring BBC impartiality. In one foul swoop the BBC would be in the spotlight and on the defensive and the whole nation will be viewing BBC coverage of the election through the filter needed. Needless to say, throwing in the statistics you've so painstakingly compiled would be a key part of any 'BBC reform to restore impartiality' press conference the Tories held. The Tories under Cameron though just dont have the moral bottom to do this sort of thing, not even if they win 'power'. They'll continue being hostages to BBC bias, the country will continue to degrade, and by the time they've finished they'll be virtually nothing left of British moral fibre to salvage.

    One has to keep 'dreaming the dream' though. I remember a better England, a Britain that would make your heart swell with pride just being part of it.

  6. Excellent points. You've noticed the swell of media criticism of BBC bias recently - something I've not seen before (and I've always been looking!) - and the comments pages of all manner of online newspapers are also full of resentment. It's becoming an ever-wider talking point. This might help alert that worryingly large proportion of the public that keeps saying that it trusts the BBC in surveys. Such surveys hardly encourage timid politicians to do the right thing.

  7. Its because the BBC says its impartial and the Tory Party fails to say its not that people assume it is has to be. I mean, its only logical. If the BBC was as biased as people like oursevles say the Tories would make a big fuss about it. Meanwhile, the brainwashing goes on ...


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