BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Even BBC political correspondents need a holiday, so let's be charitable and assume that's the reason why Norman Smith, the BBC's Anti-Tory Correspondent, has been missing from the Today programme's airwaves throughout the National Insurance debate of the last few days. Yesterday it was left to young Ross Hawkins to discuss the matter (briefly) with James Naughtie (who got his facts wrong over the number of businessmen who had added their names to the campaign).
The odd thing about this is that, besides this discussion at 6.35am and some references to the story during the paper reviews, that was pretty much it for this major story as concerned yesterday's Today programme. You would have expected at least one segment after 7.00am to touch on the matter, but no...Editor Ceri Thomas doubtless felt again that it was unnecessary to dwell on a story that had been discussed across the BBC the previous day (his earlier excuse for ignoring an embarrassing story for Labour).
Still, looking at this morning's run-down (as some of you who listen live with already have heard), I see that Today are returning to the subject now - but it looks as if they are only doing so through Labour's eyes again. I can only see Geoffrey Robinson's name on the itinerary.
UPDATE And talking of seeing the story through Labour's eyes, today's programme began with the BBC's Tim Reid reporting to Naughtie about Lord Mandelson's latest doings - an attack on the boss of Barclays and on David Cameron. The BBC often acts like Mandy's lapdog.


  1. Craig,
    Do you detect an air of desperation creeping into certain quarters of the BBC?
    From your excellent postings and from various comments in the Telegraph and Times it looks like they know the game's up.

    Meanwhile over here, BBC Canada offers us a scintillating array of star-studded entertainment: Graham Norton, Robin Hood (the socialist version of course), more Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross and yet more Graham Norton and all for $2.50 a month. Needless to say it's not something we care to subscribe to, nor indeed do any of our Canadian friends.

    Off topic a bit, but whenever there's an article about how dire the BBC has become, it always attracts comments from people claiming to be ex-pats, who berate the TV output where they are living and offer up praises to the BBC and pronouncements about how they would love to pay treble the licence tax.
    We don't watch that much TV here, but from what I've seen the comedies and dramas are often streets ahead of the UK counterparts. The news tends to be more parochial than UK output but the bonus is that you don't get a constant stream of Gaza or Africa rammed down your throat. The closest we've come to that here is Haiti.

    I've long suspected that many of these so-called ex-pats are BBC plants.

    Andy C

  2. Andy, the BBC seem to have as low an estimation of the Canadian public as they do of the British public!

    I envy you not having to hear about Gaza. It's been Gaza all week here. My tolerance for the BBC reaches breaking point every time I hear the word 'Gaza'. If you have ever seen that Laurel & Hardy film where Ollie goes crazy every time he hears a horn (having worked in a horn factory for so long!), you might guess how I feel.

    You could be onto something with the plants. I've had that feeling about some of the letters to the 'Radio Times' for about twenty years. Some of the most crawly ones just have such a strong whiff of unreality about them.


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