The BBC: helping the Tories force-feed falsehoods to the masses

"Nation shall speak peace unto nation" according to the BBC's motto. But it seems that same nation's public service broadcaster shall speak lies unto its own people. Why?

“Nation shall speak peace unto nation” according to the BBC’s motto. But it seems that same nation’s public service broadcaster shall speak lies unto its own people. Why?

I think we should all play a little game, based around the Parliamentary debate on the one per cent benefit cap. It’s called ‘Count the Tory lies’ and I’ve already spotted a few on the BBC website’s latest article: Iain Duncan Smith “said inaction would leave the UK ‘bankrupt’, and that ‘like Greece and like Spain… we’ll have huge borrowing costs’.”

Bankrupt, is it? The UK wasn’t bankrupt when its national debt was two and a half times its GDP, so there’s no chance of it now! This is clearly a lie, trotted out to scare people.

He went on to say that pensioner benefits like the winter fuel payment weren’t being capped because pensioners didn’t have the flexibility of being able to go to work – that’s actually untrue as well. I know of many people past pension age who still work. The reason it isn’t being capped is that pensioners are more likely to vote – and the Tories want those votes, so need to keep pensioners sweet. Young people don’t vote as much, therefore they get hammered.

“‘No-one is going to be demonised on my watch,’ he promised.” Except the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, people in work but on low pay…”

Mr Duncan Smith said welfare payments had risen by about a fifth over the past five or six years while incomes had increased by only a tenth over the same period.” Twisting the statistics. In fact benefits as a proportion of average incomes, have been kept at 1/6 of wages, which seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially since wages have been depressed severely over the last 20 or 30 years.

Just to hammer this misleading point home, the article restates it: “Mr Duncan Smith said welfare payments had risen by about a fifth over the past five or six years while incomes had increased by only a tenth over the same period.” Therefore I’m happy to re-state that benefits have remained at only one-sixth of average wages. The difference between the percentages has to do with the differences in amounts – a 20 per cent rise in benefits equals just £11.85, while a 12 per cent rise in average wages is £49. Perhaps that might make it seem a little less unfair to your readers.

“Legislation is needed to implement changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne in last month’s Autumn Statement.” Doubtful – and the BBC should not be pushing this as fact. Was it a Guardian article over the weekend that said the vote was being introduced to make Labour look like the party of slobs, shirkers and scroungers? Instead, Labour will come out as the party for strivers, as it is defending benefits that working people, and people who want to work, need in order to survive in these hard times.

People have been force-fed falsehoods by a government that is desperately trying to justify its unreasonable attacks on the poor and vulnerable.

The BBC should not be part of this. It should set the record straight where figures are available, otherwise its reports are misleading readers.

Let’s have a bit of factual accuracy in the run-up to this vote.

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  1. Tam Hunter January 8, 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    IMO the BBC is not much better than Fox News in the USA.

  2. Silver January 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    IDS is the Minister for Propaganda.

    The bigger the lie,the more its believed,by Joseph Goebbels.

    A inspiration to IDS

    • Mike Sivier January 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Yes indeed – I used the Goebbels quote in my previous article – The benefit cap WILL happen – but we don’t need to believe the Tories’ Big Lie. Click on the link at the top left of this page if you haven’t read it already.

      • Silver January 9, 2013 at 7:39 am - Reply

        Have you read this Mike,the similarity is chilling.

        From Richard J. Evans’s book, The Coming of the Third Reich:

        Social workers and welfare administrators had already long been prone to regard claimants as scroungers and layabouts. Now, encouraged by new senior officials put in place by Nazi local and regional administrations, they could give free rein to their prejudices. Regulations passed in 1924 had allowed authorities to make benefits dependent on the recipient agreeing to work “in suitable cases” on communal job schemes. These had already been introduced on a limited scale before 1933. Three and a half thousand people were working on compulsory labour schemes in Duisburg in 1930, and Bremen had been making such employment a condition of benefit receipt since the previous year. But in the dire economic situation of the early 1930s only a small proportion of the unemployed were covered – 6,000 out of 200,000 people on benefit in Hamburg in 1932, for example. From the early months of 1933 onwards, however, the number rapidly increased. Such work was not employment in the full sense of the word: it did not involve health insurance or pension contributions, for example, indeed it was not even paid: all that those who were engaged in it got was their welfare support plus, sometimes, pocket-money for travel or a free lunch…

        Welfare snoopers reported on hidden sources of income and encouraged neighbours to send in denunciations of those who refused to reveal them. Moreover, welfare agencies, lacking the staff necessary to process a large number of claims rapidly, caused endless delays in responding to applications for support as they corresponded with other agencies to see if claimants had received benefits previously, or tried to shift the burden of supporting them elsewhere. Thus, the Weimar welfare administration quickly became an instrument of discrimination and control, as officials made it clear to claimants that they would only receive the minimum due to them, and enquired intrusively into their personal circumstances to ensure that this was the case…

        Sound familiar?

      • Mike Sivier January 9, 2013 at 9:41 am - Reply

        Yes. And then the apologists come along and try to make me look bad for drawing such an obvious comparison.
        Thanks for this. It really helps to put what’s happening in historical context.

      • Angela Kennedy January 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

        Thanks for that info Silver – very interesting. :(

        Yes Mike the apologists hate the Nazi policy comparison – even though it is a reasonable one.

  3. stevendurrant January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Well said of course, but fat chance of it happening. BBC don’t even respond to written complaints as well as they used to (which tended to be fairly bland and avoiding of the actual points one may have made)

    They are scared of their own shadows and shills for the lies of a global crime syndicate.

    Having said that, outside of economics and politics their output is often world class.

    • Angela Kennedy January 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      That’s true about their ignoring of complaints. all they do is pass it along with the original ‘ we do what we like’ rubber stamped each time.

  4. Stephen Porter January 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    keep up the good work. the truth will out in the end. these damn tories are no better than nazis, selling the country propaganda instead of alternatives.

  5. colin January 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    the bbc have always been a government propaganda tool and why wouldnt they be ..the government make us pay them through the tv licencence

  6. Trevor Warner January 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    No surprise really. You have only got to look st the Andrew Marr show. On Sunday he was so far up Cameron’s anal orifice he could stroke his tonsils.

    I suspect this is a new policy adopted by the BBC in the wake of the Savile & McAlpine debacle ie curry favour with the Tories. Hence the reason why i no longer pay a licence fee, preferring to catch up with any programme on iPlayer. That way I do not have to contribute to the Tories propaganda machine.

    Shame really as the BBC like the NHS was the once the envy of the world. Since that idiot Patten has been Chairman it has gone to pot. But then, he is a Tory after all.

    • colin January 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      trevor if you are watching tv on any device in your home incuding mobile phones you by law need a licence

      • Joanna Terry January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

        Colin, not strictly speaking true. The licence fee is pertinent to the BBC only and it is legal to watch catch up without a licence. You only need the licence if you watch the programme on the day of the broadcast.

      • Gemma Peter January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

        No you don’t “You do not need a television licence to catch-up on television programmes in BBC iPlayer, only when you watch or record at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is being broadcast or otherwise distributed to the public.”

      • Mike Sivier January 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

        Okay – can we get back on-topic, please?

  7. riece January 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Smith would leave Goebbels in the shade with his propaganda,lf anyone believe this rubbish again most of us know the saying fool me once shame on you,fool me twice shame on me

  8. Sasson January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Hi Mike,

    You recently said that you wish that you had more readers, so I hope you don’t mind but I posted this article of the facebook page of a group concerning the bedroom tax. They have 5000 members so hopefully a good number of them will start checking your blog regularly.

    Always enjoy your articles.


  9. kj January 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    BBC = Orwellian double speak

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