Was it bias or blunder? What David Vance on Biased BBC rightly calls a 'Newsnight disgrace'
(http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2010/04/newsnight-disgracei.html) witnessed a discussion on national insurance between Labour's Liam Byrne and Dragon's Den star James Caan, who was billed as a former government advisor who is now backing the Tories on the issue. The result on the night though was two people strongly arguing against the Conservative position!!!!
This followed on from a post on the BBC's web blog:
1829: The Conservatives now have a Dragon on their side. James Caan, entrepreneur and one of the stars of the BBC's Dragons' Den, has joined the list of business types backing the Tory plan to block any rise in National Insurance. Mr Caan said an increase would cost "thousands of jobs" andFollowing on from Mr Caan's Newsnight performance, which was everything Labour could have wished for - and a whole lot more! -, the BBC blog posted this retraction:
claimed Labour's recent Budget had been based on "exaggerated" growth figures.
2255: James Caan, entrepreneur and star of the BBC's Dragons' Den, doesn't seem to be backing the Tories as we'd previously thought he was. He says Labour's National Insurance rise would only add £15 to the cost of employing someone, and that wouldn't realistically be enough to put him off filling a vacancy that needed filling.After Mr Caan's sustained attack on the Tories, Jeremy Paxman turned back to Liam Byrne and said "Well, that must be music to your ears, I suppose?" I should say it was!
Well, wasn't that all a big boost for labour and a blow for the Tories! Conspiracy or cock-up? Bias or blunder? If the latter, why on earth didn't they check and make sure what Mr Caan's position really was?
To add insult to injury, Jeremy Paxman was (by his standards) very gentle with Mr Byrne - just 3 interruptions and a light-hearted manner!!