Saturday 7 May 2016

BBC Bias and Missing the Real Story

The BBC News has become tedious; it is biased in its emphasis on Labour's weakness, and seems not to realise there is yet another reason why Conservative weakness should lead to an early General Election.

I know that it is a feature of the blog world to run conspiracy theory including the reporting of BBC journalists, linking the BBC reporting to a corrupted BBC Trust and government connections. I don't know about that, but there does seem to be something profoundly obsessional about Laura Kuenssberg and her reporting, among others. The weight of the focus is on Labour and its inadequacies after the local elections. Meanwhile there is next to nothing on the 27 MPs where there is apparent evidence of overspending so that we are having policies inflicted upon us by a corrupt government. Channel 4 News has made this story, but with police forces taking up investigation it should now have made BBC News. Nor has the BBC News criticised the timing of the government's about face regarding compulsion and school academies.

Now I'm not saying that the BBC News is like Russia Today. Russia Today is corrupted journalism. It puts out opinions as news and lurks in its own conspiracy theories as a way of slinging mud in various directions. Its journalists have sold out - there might be little option of course for them. In fact the channel is misnamed, because it rarely features Russian news at all, but goes on and on about the United States and less so the United Kingdom. When it features direct Russian policy, e.g. towards Turkey, it shows its bias without shadows and interferences, but on other subjects it seeks to undermine by speculation. Only occasionally does it feature an insight clearly missing from BBC News and Sky News etc..

Rather, BBC News is timid, and frightened of a government that has salami-sliced the licence fee and cut its budget heavily, and fears worse. Imagine if Channel 4, in fear of privatisation, had told Channel 4 News to go easy on the corruption story regarding Conservative Party election expenses. Meanwhile, in order to be investigative, BBC News weighs-in to Labour, if it analyses the Tories with any intensity at all.

The Labour Party has more than a problem in Scotland, of course. But the analysis is that devolution has so cut the direct link so that the Tories can now redefine and recover north of the border. It is precisely the distance from Cameron and Osborne that has allowed its redefinition as a broader yet Unionist party. The Conservatives chose one side of the faultline in Scottish politics, to anti the SNP, and has replaced Labour that was tainted with a Unionism and a London semi-Toryism before further devolved powers happened.

This faultline does not exist in Wales, where Labour held on far better than might have been expected, especially with UKIP picking up disgruntled and simplistic ex-Labour voters, the old Tory working class voter that blames others for things that have gone wrong. Labour also held up well enough in areas where it would have been expected to have been in meltdown.

And in London Labour showed what a positive multi-ethnic campaign can do, compared with a horrible Tory campaign. Sadiq Khan is regarded as a politician of strategy and integrity.

What is missing in the BBC analysis is that Jeremy Corbyn is a slow burn as he maintains his integrity. This integrity is attractive and, whatever doubts one might have about him as a politician who can wield a knife, a decisiveness sometimes necessary in decision making, the man has this attractive integrity. He says what he thinks, and he actually stands for a radical alternative. He is contrasted with Cameron the PR man, who fakes his interviews to then 'rush off' oh so decisively, who fakes his performances in speeches and visits, and has back of a postcard policies regularly sent off into U-turns (thank goodness) and who, one thinks, believes in one thing - privilege and himself and his pals near and far.

Where in the BBC is there an analysis of the wealth economy, for example, and how it works. Paul Mason told us, once he arrived at Channel 4 News temporarily. He did actually explain Corbyn's alternative.

Now I, along with many, maintain that the European Union in-Out Referendum is entirely about the Conservative Party and the electorate making a decision that the Conservative Party cannot (rather than a policy that is so deep and changable from the present that it needs a popular vote beyond the role of our representatives). The government wants us to stay in Europe, but to solve its party's angst wants a popular vote to confirm what continues.

Except, if the BBC was doing analysis properly, it would discuss the weakness of Cameron (and Osborne) whatever happens. If the vote is to exit, Cameron must resign and take his Chancellor with him. But if Cameron wins, his party will cry foul, and will become wreckless. The BBC seems to take the lead from the agenda set in an increasingly unimportant national press or government announcements. We know why Sky News does this, but BBC News ought to make its own decisions.

If the BBC cannot analyse then it ought to adopt the stance of C-Span in the USA, which is that of utter neutrality plus some history and let voices speak for themselves.

I have predicted an early General Election because of this European dimension, but I also predict one now because of the electoral corruption. One way to overcome 27 potential by-elections and punishment by the electorate for cheating is to call a General Election. No doubt the BBC will continue to focus on Labour and its weakness. Don't be so sure. The coming General Election will be a sign of the Tories' weakness, both as a result of the referendum and as a result of allegations of corruption.

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