Friday, 19 March 2010

Tories Attack the BBC (via the Sun)

Today's Sun has an online article  (no idea if it is in the printed paper) claiming that the BBC is biased against the Tories. Among the many accusations were claims that;
"The Sun's analysis" showed Labour politicians on Question Time were allowed to speak for a full minute longer than Tory counterparts.

On March 11 ex-Labour minister Caroline Flint got SIX minutes more than Tory Justine Greenings.

And on February 18 Labour veteran Roy Hattersley spoke for nearly three minutes longer than Tory Rory Stewart.

Last week bosses tried to make Mr Cameron look a laughing stock by putting out footage of him checking his hair in the wind before making a serious statement on Northern Ireland. Party chiefs complained.

A POLL on The One Show ignored issues with Gordon Brown to ask only, Is David Cameron too much of a toff to be PM? (the BBC later apologised).

Then last Sunday BBC2's Basil Brush Show featured nasty "Dave" - complete with blue rosette. He beat nice Rosie, with a purple rosette, by promising free ice cream but was arrested because it was out of date.

Last night the BBC admitted the One Show slot was "not as good as it should have been".

But a spokeswoman insisted: "The notion that the BBC is biased in is palpably not true. Our news coverage scrutinises all parties with rigour and impartiality."
So is it true?

Even allowing that the "Sun's analysis" on Question Time speaking allowances is accurate, it would not be surprising if Government spokesmen took longer to respond. They are usually defending attacks from at least two hostile guests (a Tory and a Lib Dem), plus the "celebrity guest" could be a Tory as well (two weeks ago Carol Voderman was openly Tory). So it is not unreasonable that a Labour representative would get time to address the various attacks, from two or three other guests, on their position.

It could be also that the Labour representative has more to say, and is a better speaker, that is certainly the case with Caroline Flint/Justine Greenings.

As for Roy Hattersley speaking for three minutes longer than Rory Stewart: well, I've heard of Roy Hattersley....

The other claims may or may not be trivial, but I'm grateful to the Sun for bringing the Basil Brush story to my notice: I think it's priceless, if  a little naughty. But does it outweigh the Sun's relentless daily attacks on Labour and its corresponding and unstinting support for the Tories? I think not...

The truth is the Sun has pledged its support to the Tories for this election and in return the Tories have promised, if elected, to weaken the BBC and let Murdoch take large chunks of the corporation's TV and online business.

It's not a secret, the Tories have already said they would abolish the BBC Trust, they have threatened the licence fee and have made other veiled threats against the BBC.

I find it interesting that the Conservatives oppose the BBC, the NHS and the Trades Unions: all the organisations that ordinary Britons love and support and depend upon. They pretend to be patriotic but they attack those institutions which make Britain the country it is and which serve the majority of UK citizens.
As for the Sun: if it wasn't for the effect of its poisonous influence on public life in the UK nothing would be more pleasurable than to ignore it completely. But if the Tories win the upcoming election, the Sun will  want to extract its pound of flesh. Heaven help social cohesion and public discourse then.


  1. Except of course, the Basil Brush show was first aired in 2004. Besides which shouldn't a fox be against the Tories?

  2. And the "Dave hair" moment was actually broadcast on Sky!

    I tried to get them to publish a response along the lines of;

    "The Sun supports the Tories and in return the Tories have promised to attack the BBC and let the Murdoch TV and online empire benefit from a weakened BBC".

    I tried three times, but they did not publish.

    It seems the fearless hacks at Sky are extremely scared of Mr Murduch... and the truth...