Jonathan Isaby of ConservativeHome posts:
An outrageous breach of BBC guidelines on political reporting
I rarely get into the realms of attacking the BBC for its political coverage.
But there is a story running on its website today which beggars belief.
Bear in mind the BBC's editorial guidelines are especially strict during election time and state:
"News judgements at election time are made within a framework of democratic debate which ensures that due weight is given to hearing the views and examining and challenging the policies of all parties."
And then read this story on the BBC News website written by Sarah Bell, who conducts a straw poll of six voters in one constituency - all of whom are voting Lib Dem.
He's right. It is truly outrageous.
Part of the outrage (which Mr Isaby doesn't mention) is its gunning for the Conservative candidate Zak Goldsmith. It's not gunning for him because of his rampant environmentalism of course (perish the thought!):
But it seems issues other than his leader's performance are playing on the minds of the electorate, with the words "non-dom" on the lips of many voters during the afternoon.
In November, Mr Goldsmith admitted inheriting non-domicile tax status from his father James, but denied he had dodged paying huge amounts of tax.
"The whole non dom thing has been disastrous for Zac Goldsmith," says teacher Paul Daniel, 44. "Especially somewhere like this, where people work very hard and pay large amounts of tax".
Mr Daniel, who supports Labour but plans to vote tactically for the Lib Dems, agreed Mr Clegg had come out on top during the debate."
I have to add though that Jonathan Isaby's opening sentence - "I rarely get into the realms of attacking the BBC for its political coverage" - is deeply worrying. It's symptomatic of Conservative thinking for years. (It might explain, incidentally, why he didn't respond to my e-mail!!) I was hoping that this ostrich-like behaviour is changing (maybe his post is a swallow for such a spring), but this really suggests that the Conservatives are still not taking the subject anywhere near seriously enough. It's well past the time that they did. Mr Isaby should be getting into those 'realms' on a daily basis.
UPDATE: I just clicked on the BBC's website The Full Election Story page & it lists the three people who are running the BBC's live election blog (who I had thought were anonymous). They are Jon Kelly, Andy McFarlane and, yes, the lady of the moment, the perpetrator of the outrage herself Sarah Bell.
That explains a few things!
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