BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

Those of you who claim left-wing bias by the BBC: Anything to say?

Some of you may wish to complain to the BBC about its lack of coverage. Here’s how you can do it:

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922

For more coverage (and photos) see: Austerity Protest in London (June 21st 2014)

And for more information on the impact of austerity that is being hidden from the public, take a look at Cumulative effect of welfare reform revealed – deprived areas hit much harder than the rich

160 thoughts on “BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

  1. maria

    government don’t want nobody to know and since the press scandal I don’t think the press have the same freedoms they used to

      1. Mike Sivier

        It was a big news story that happened right on the BBC’s doorstep and Auntie stuck her corporate head in the sand and ignored it – apart from employing a few extra security guards and deploying extra shielding at her gates. These actions make it perfectly clear that the BBC was well aware of this newsworthy story but was choosing not to cover it.
        The BBC has received many complaints because of the lack of coverage during the day yesterday and since, and my belief is that this is what prompted the excuse for a story that you mention.
        Notice that this event of national significance is mentioned only on the BBC’s London news page, and not on the national Politics page where it belongs.
        I notice, also, that you repeat the false claim that the last Labour government caused the economic crisis “through appalling economic mismanagement”. You should know by now that this is a lie put forward by Conservatives. In fact the economic crisis was an international event, fuelled in this country by the appalling mismanagement of the banking system by Tory-voting bankers, none of whom have been penalised in any way for what they did, because they are close friends of the current government.
        I suggest that you are suffering from a bad case of Confirmation Bias. The Tories have told you things that you want to believe, so you are keen to undermine any opposing arguments and don’t mind using long-debunked lies to do so. My advice is that you go and do a bit of research before spouting falsehoods in sites like this.

      2. Darren

        Call that coverage? 3 shortish sentences.
        Generally, for a demonstration, a good news service will interview at least three crowd members – two pro-demo and one anti-demo, approximately – and have a little more detail about it.

      3. John Purton

        Well said Mike – fed up hearing this Tory crap about how the Labour government caused the economic mess. Massive greed caused the meltdown – it was inevitable and because the Tories won’t do anything about that greed we are heading down the same route. House prices are shooting up again – mortgages are getting easier to acquire and I have had three credit card companies tell me in the last 4 weeks that my credit limit has increased – my circumstances haven’t changed so why should my credit line. Only one reason – the Greed Breed want me to get myself in the shit again. Wake up Nigel !!

      4. Nigel

        Don’t you remember Labour basked in a economic global credit fuelled boom – The Chancellor then took full credit ending “boom bust economics”. You can’t take the credit and not the blame. I hold politicians accountable for economic mismanagement – and that was the worst case ever. I agree with John, the current Government is in danger of going the same way, will you be blaming the bankers again? Or will you blame the Government this time. I will hold the Government accountable whatever the party.

        But Labour’s worst crime was the Iraq war would you agree?

        Our biggest problem today are down to the Labour Legacy

      5. Mike Sivier

        Your argument is a non sequitur. Gordon Brown tried to take credit for ending “boom and bust”, but obviously he didn’t because a crash happened. Therefore credit is not due to him. Blame cannot be apportioned to him because he was clearly trying to ensure that the economy WOULDN’T crash! It was the bankers who did it.
        Now the situation has changed. The current government has the benefit of hindsight. Knowing what the last government did wrong, that allowed the bankers to cause the crash, they should be able to take preventative action, but instead they are facilitating the same problem. Therefore, if another crash happens on the same lines, blame will be due to both the bankers AND the government.

        I would agree with you as far as saying that Parliament should not have followed Tony Blair into war with Iraq. You should note that the Conservative Party was full-on in support of this action, too.

        Our biggest problems today are NOT a legacy of the Labour Party, though; they are rooted in Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberal plans to destroy the welfare state and NHS, and to destabilise the working and middle classes through impoverishment and the loss of negotiating power over wages… as anyone with an ounce of intelligence can tell.

      6. Nigel

        Gordon Brown did claim to have ended boom and boom – but yes he was very wrong and turned into Britain’s most unpopular Prime Minister ever.

        He was very proud of his record when the economy appeared to be doing well under the credit boom and he and his party took full credit for that (and some Labour fools still do!). So I think it is reasonable that he should take the blame for the crash too. Bankers, Bilderberg or the Illuminati don’t run our country or the world – governments do – The people should hold them accountable for everything – the economy, global warming, wars…

        I don’t have a Phd in Economics but it is easy to see when assets (houses) are overpriced (then as now). There are less options today because the economy is so fragile, but Labour (and other Governments of different colours) recklessly let the credit boom grow and grow.

        You can’t still be blaming Margaret Thatcher after all those years of New Labour? What were they doing when they were in power? Even under Margret Thatcher public spending and the State grew, it is only after New Labour’s Crash that it is being cut.

        Perhaps I lack intelligence, but what do think was behind Margret Thatcher’s evil plan to “destroy the welfare state and NHS, and to destabilise the working and middle classes through impoverishment and the loss of negotiating power over wages” Did she succeed? Were people richer or poorer after Margaret Thatcher’s Government?, were we the spending more or less on the NHS? How did she win so many elections with this evil plan?

        Iraq war -You will find Ken Clark was a main opponent of the War, I knowTony Ben must have been too.

        Some believe Tony Blair mislead Parliament. Labour was the Government and should take full responsibility for the war and the Economic crisis. (Alistair Darling was quite impressive in the aftermath of the crisis).

        This Labour Government also did more to increase income inequality in the UK than any other – any comments on that? – or is that another Evil Illuminati Bankers’ plot that has nothing to do with Labour?

      7. Mike Sivier

        I don’t think Gordon Brown was Britain’s most unpopular Prime Minister ever. Even if he was, he’ll have been replaced by David Cameron by now.

        It’s perfectly reasonable to blame Thatcher for the rise of neoliberalism in the UK – a disastrous political theory that can only cause harm. It is sad that Tony Blair embraced neoliberalism because he could have done much more good than he eventually managed (and Labour managed a LOT – there is a large list of achievements in circulation and it should not be forgotten that Labour ran the economy better than the Tories. Even after the bankers tried to foul everything up, Labour’s solution was the right one). But Blair would not have been neoliberal if not for Thatcher. You need to think about the underlying reasons for events.

        I think you will find that the Coalition government has done more to increase income inequality in the UK than any other.

      8. Nigel

        No I think Gordon Brown will still be thought of as the worst ever, at least David Cameron was elected. I think the Tories are just behind Labour mid term so I expect as UKIP fades away they will win. I think you will find plenty about New Labour success at increasing inequality more than any other Government below, please let me know if you have another information

        If you look at their total record you will see Labour did not do a good job – Have you forgotten about the credit fuelled boom and mega bust? Voters didn’t, they might not next time too if we can keep reminding them.

        You are now proposing a banker conspiracy, saying they “deliberately fouled things up” – Don’t you think the Government should be accountable rather than lamely blaming others? (bankers, trade unions …)

        I didn’t get an answers to the questions I put to you – I hope I do.

      9. Mike Sivier

        David Cameron was not elected. He did not gain a Parliamentary majority. He became Prime Minister because he had done a backroom deal with the Liberal Democrats, two months prior to the 2010 general election.

        You keep on about the credit crunch and how voters will remember it, and I’m sure the Tories would love people to accept their story, but it’s just a fantasy. Voters know that the problem was caused by bankers. We’ll have to agree to differ on that one.

        I’m not proposing any kind of conspiracy. Bankers caused the financial crash through their own greed. There didn’t have to be a conspiracy.

      10. Nigel

        Is YouGov not a good polling company because it is not what you hope for?

        You still have not answered my earlier questions – I think the poll says most of it,

        I do think Gordon Brown takes on some blame for Tony Blair

      11. Mike Sivier

        YouGov is fine as polling companies go, but my comment is an accurate representation of their drawbacks.

        I thought I had answered your questions.

      12. Nigel

        There was no “backroom” deal with the LibDems they formed a coalition with the Tories because they were the biggest party by seats – surely you recall Nick Clegg explaining the decision after the election? You do follow politics don’t you? It would have been terrible to have another Generally Election when urgent work had to be done on the economic crisis.

        Nick Clegg did what he thought was best for the country rather than his party – that is admirable. His party might not like him but I do.

        Try reading something a bit more impartial – I am sure the BBC or Guardian has some good analysis.

        Let’s close the debate now

        Thanks for allowing my comments


      13. Mike Sivier

        Let’s not close the debate.

        You want to check your facts. The deal was done in March 2010. Nick Clegg’s explanation appears to have been economical with the truth. A Tory MP even wrote a book about it. The news story was in The Guardian, I believe.

        Urgent work was necessary on the economic crisis but, considering the work that took place – and stalled the economy for three years – another election would have been preferable.

        Nick Clegg did what he thought was best for himself, and grabbed the chance to have a Deputy Prime Ministerial paycheck – and chauffeur-driven car – for five years.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Nigel followed this up with a lengthy series of questions that I have already answered – if not here, then elsewhere on the blog, in responses and full articles.

        Rather than waste my time (and yours, dear long-term reader) going over them again – all of them off-topic for this discussion thread – this seems an appropriate place to announce that I am planning to produce a new website dedicated to providing definitive answers to the oft-repeated political questions of our time.

        The aim is to provide a resource for anybody who is plagued by these endlessly-repeated questions and assertions; rather than go through a lengthy process of explanation yourself, all you have to do is pop the appropriate page URL into your response and send the questioner on his or her way.

        This is not a task that may be accomplished in a day, but I hope to have it running in good time for the 2015 general election.

    1. Nigel

      Thanks Mike

      It is very disappointing that you cannot answer my very short simple direct yes / no questions after you asked me to continue the debate.

    1. Ian M.

      We do, but sadly it seems that the press have the right not to acknowledge said free speech.

    2. Nigel

      I think free speech means you can say what you like, not that people have to listen. It’s the same with any protest.

      (We don’t have completely free speech in the UK, unlike other countries you are not allowed to lie about people and there are some reporting restrictions on court cases to protect justice – a good thing I think)

      The BBC is great – but too powerful when determining what is news – there is far too much about Royals and football for me (any amount is too much).

      That is the great thing about the Internet as an alternative forum (with some different views)

      I think if you want to make the BBC News today you need 50,000 bloggers not 50,000 marchers.

  2. Steve Mann

    What do you expect from an organisation that has Lord Patten as it’s political officer. They have had their budget cut so much and are being threatened with privatisation that they don’t dare cover this as they had a story about the governments benefits crisis the other day and they dare not do another anti government story so quickly as they are scared of the repercussions.

  3. casalealex

    Quite frankly, having an uninformed populace works extremely well, particularly when you have a media that doesn’t understand its responsibility and feels more like it’s an arm of a political party. They can really take advantage of an uninformed populace. Benjamin Carson

  4. MrChekaMan

    Demonstrations are only reported if there is rioting, looting and general bad behaviour. There could be a demonstration of 200,000 and if 200 of them start smashing things up, what would be reported in the mainstream media is that 200 people rioted, not that nearly 200,000 people demonstrated peacefully.

    1. mary o'neill

      I to have made a complaint….not that I think it will make the blindist bit of difference, But it makes me feel better…. I pay for BBC news All news, I wonder what would happen if I stopped paying my TV licence!

      1. Tranquilmind

        Don’t wonder about it just do it, why should you pay them just to have them ignore you. What are they going to do if everyone here did it? Besides precedent has already been set in the courts, just claim that they knew about Building 7 falling down hours before it did fall down and that paying them is funding terrorism. The case will get thrown out, already happened.

  5. david pearce

    thought there were a few more people down Regent street (shopping I assume), a nice ‘free’ festival in Trafalgar sq sponsored by MasterCard and a lot of tourists in parliament sq. oh and for some reason the Beeb had a lot of metal fencing round their doors and a few extra security guards outside. But protest march nah didn’t notice

  6. Lisa

    When well over 50,000, maybe 70,000, marched past the Tory Party conference last year, they claimed Tory conference security ‘prevented’ them from filming.
    So we began this demo right outside their HQ. What’s the excuse this time?

  7. Joanna

    I suggest people hit the BBC exactly where it hurts, and flat out refuse to pay the crappy TV licence! Make the bbc listen!!

  8. Pingback: BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London | L8in

  9. philipburdekin

    Nasty party and THIER little friends in coalition have probably threatened bbc with the licence fee, again lol, BBC Big Bad Cowards.

  10. Joanna

    Mike why did you cut off a part of my comment? I don’t mind if it was a reason that could harm your blog, then I will understand. If it was I do apologise!

      1. Joanna

        Thanks Mike that was really considerate of you, though although I don’t open the door to anyone unexpected, if I am having a good day however then I might slip up, so thank you!

  11. Kim Roper

    Just telephoned the BBC and put in a verbal complaint. I was on that Demo today and we all gathered at, and set off from BBC HQ, so how the hell they didn’t give some space to what was in front of their very noses is anybody’s guess. Or maybe BBC now stands for Bullingdon Boys Club!

    1. Mike Sivier

      This has to be an attempt at humour.
      A dozen people on a side street would have been a minority parade.
      More than 50,000 people, including celebrities, in central London, is a mass demonstration and a media event.

      1. Pete

        I don’t think so. London is so far out of touch with the rest of the country it’s actually beyond belief. People think that if something happens in London we all know about it. Believe me, there’s probably 45 million people in the country that don’t give a s*** what happens in the capital. Most of the population have never been there, and have their TV tuned so that they don’t have to watch London b****cks news. This is the reason why politics is failing. The government believe that if they fix the south they fix britain….. well that’s pants. Sweet F.A. to do with left/right bobbins.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I don’t think your reasoning is valid. It doesn’t matter whether London is out of touch with the rest of the country – people came to London from all over the rest of the UK to take part in yesterday’s demonstration because London is the seat of government in this country, and the government’s austerity policies are failing them in their home towns. If 45 million people really don’t care what happens in London, they absolutely do care what people in London do when it affects them directly. Watching London news has nothing to do with this discussion as it was an event of national significance.

  12. ldev

    only fools still deal in the illusionary left v right paradigm. owen jones was prominent part of this. he is part of an Imperialist party that serves saxe coburg gotha and nothing but a career politician making aims for leading the BANKING PLUTOCRAT LABOUR PARTY. F*** ALL TO DO WITH SOCIALISM

  13. Bring back immediately women's state pension at 60 / Loss of state pension for life from 2016

    Mass austerity marches happen all over Europe, but the media ignores them. The public could not care less as they believe welfare is for the idle feckless unemployed, and politicians keep saying getting people off benefit and into work and is a burden on their tax money.

    We are all divided up and pitted against each other. Young, old, able bodied, disabled/sick, in work, working poor, squeezed middle.

    The rich are not the cause of austerity. Wealthy politicians are. Austerity is bad for business as commerce needs the mass of people with spending power.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Austerity isn’t only about ‘welfare’, as the government likes to describe social security these days. It’s about the amount of money that is allowed to pass through the British economy. Restricting it is harmful for precisely the reason you mention in your third paragraph.

  14. DanF

    “The ability of the BBC to ignore tens of thousands of people marching past Broadcasting House on 21 June in order to demand an end to austerity cuts prompts me to question either the fairness or the competence of the news service. Yet again, a massive demonstration of ordinary people showing concerns and the temperature of economic and political issues in this country was embargoed by the BBC and left to other news sources like the Guardian to cover. If the BBC cannot fairly cover this as a news item, it calls into question the trust placed in the BBC to provide a news service of important events to the public.”

  15. Pete

    There ain’t no socialists vying for power any more. Just different flavour tories. Some strawberry, some blueberry. If anyone knows different please pass me the detail, cos the parties fail to do so.

  16. Crazy Joe

    How can anyone trust the news anymore? They filter what they want you to hear! Can you believe this is happening in 2014?

  17. Geoffrey Palmer

    I think the general public can survive without the BBC covering a group of people moaning.

    1. Mike Sivier

      This blog can certainly survive without publishing your moan, but I’ve done it anyway. It’s called free speech, and this country used to champion the concept. Now it seems the mass media want to suppress such expressions in favour of an approved line from the party in government. That’s the exact opposite of free speech.
      Why are you supporting such repression?

      1. Geoffrey Palmer

        Think it’s more of an opinion than a moan. Like the post that latterly described me as an arse (curiously, describing my own post as moronic and offering nothing more articulate than “You sir, are an arse”).

        It appears that your opinion is along the lines of the media/politicians following their own agenda while my opinion is that despite often disagreeing with all the political parties I understand the task is nigh on impossible to please all and deal with my own concerns myself.

        As for me “supporting repression” then perhaps that’s the issue – I feel no more repressed following the government’s agenda as I do following the anti-governments agenda. I am me. I do not expect 50,000 people to agree with all my opinions so don’t get bothered by it but equally don’t let people change my opinion through mass demonstration.

        And thank you for retaining my original post when I realise it is likely to be against the grain of most people who follow this blog.

      2. Mike Sivier

        You’re still failing to accept the intention behind the demo, which was not to have a moan but to bring to wider public attention the desperate situations into which more and more people are being forced by this, yes, repressive government’s policies.
        Just because you don’t feel repressed, that doesn’t mean repression isn’t going on. At risk of having Godwin’s Law invoked on me, I’m sure that life in Nazi Germany was quite comfortable during the 1930s, if you were a middle-income German-born citizen who followed an approved religion and wasn’t actively anti-Nazi.
        Ultimately, though, you will be affected. Looking the other way won’t help you when the ultimate effects of this government’s very stupid policies start to be felt.

  18. Bernadette Bridget Ward

    Yes. I like to ask about your comment about left wing biased press. Would you like to explain your point on that comment. It is a little vague……..

    1. Mike Sivier

      I was referring to the BBC’s Right-wing bias, as demonstrated by researchers at Cardiff University. Have a look at the penultimate paragraph in this article: //
      It has the link to the relevant information.

  19. Kesmeralda

    Why do you think the main headlines have been about ‘the long-term threat of jihadists’ all weekend… When they’re obsessing over foreign threats you know they’re trying to distract ‘the plebs’ from what’s happening on their own doorstep. Sensationalism for the win.

  20. Moz

    Undoubtedly organised by an anti-Tory interest. They haven’t covered it probably because they are starting to realise the rest of the country doesn’t give a monkey’s about London. As 2 out of 3 babies are born from parents from another country (usually a much poorer one) it hardly qualifies as a British city anymore.

  21. Sebastian R

    The government cannot be allowed to have such power over the BBC. It’s not OK and it can’t continue like this.

    The BBC is one of the most cherished British institutions, but it won’t last much longer if this ridiculous level of obviously biased reporting continues.

    What can we do as voters and license fee payers to change this terrible situation?

    Incidentally, the other two cherished institutions are the NHS and the welfare state, both of which the government is gradually dismantling. If they succeed… its too horrific to even contemplate.

  22. Pepster

    I never watch BBC news, BBC is unreliable!!! is part of the political interest only!
    so don’t be surprise!!! Best new you can get from the TV is from Channel 4 news!!!

      1. Pepster

        didn’t realize it was from last year, i just looted at the title thinking it was the one!

  23. Ian Jay

    i usually keep up with news/events every day via Radio 5Live and Radio 4, i watch very little television these days…but strangely, i was unaware of this happening until the day after…why…??? i appreciate that there’s a World Cup on…but HOW did BBC News manage to ignore this entirely…??? questions need to be asked…disgraceful…

    1. Mike Sivier

      The only coverage on the day came from The Guardian, Russia Today and the Socialist Worker.

      Nothing from The Times, The Independent (although I believe a piece may have appeared today), The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Mirror, The Sun, The Star, ITV News, Channel 4 News, BBC TV and radio.

      That’s what you call “almost universally covered”, is it?

      1. Mike Sivier

        I’ve just had a look at the times of these reports – mostly 17 hours ago, so around 8pm yesterday. The blog piece was posted around 5pm, three hours previously, when there was NO press coverage of the demonstration itself.

        Your argument is not valid.

  24. Dave Smith

    To be perfectly honest I believe a more objective viewpoint should be adopted here. Firstly let me state that I consider myself left wing and have always voted for the Lib Dems however I agree with austerity and the Beebs lack of reporting….

    WHAT!!! WHY!!!!! you may ask? (This guys a twat your probably thinking)

    I believe that limited austerity now has avoided cataclysmic austerity in the future. Therefore it is a bad thing but not as bad as it could have been. Here’s why….

    In 2008 Gordon Brown took a very brave desicion in bailing out the banks. Th banks had ben greedy and retared and din’t deserve it. Unfortunatey poor Gordon was however stuck between a rock and a hardplace. He had two options:

    Options A: Don’t bail out the banks and the country goes bust overnight and suddenly there are massive austerity and NO benefits.
    Options B: Buy some time by bailing out the banks and deal with it later.

    As we all know Gordon chose option B. Well done Gordon!!!! However by 2010 when the nasty Tories took over there was still a very really prospect of the country going bust. They also had two options:

    Option A: Do nothing let the country go bust slowly which would have resulted in unsustainable emergency loans tied with massive complosary benefit cuts. (See Greece and Portugral financial crisies).
    Options B: Introduce the bare minimum of austerity required to avoid the slow slide into bankrupy. This did mean pissing a lot of people off and therefore probably not winning the next election.

    The nasty Tories chose option B. Well done nasty Tories!!! Remember option A would have resulted in far worse cuts than what we are currently experiencing.

    So why didn’t the BBC or the main media report this? I suspect that the BBC and the main media didn’t report this for the following reasons.

    1. Austerity covers a set of government policies that have been introduced since 2010. They have already been extensively reported by both the main stream media and the BBC. Both the media and the BBC have explored both sides of the argument and I suspect (as outlined above) appreciate that austerity is the lesser of two evils. Therefore it was not in the ‘public interest’ to report yesterdays event unless there was a new development**.

    But the rally yesterday was a ‘new development’ I hear you say. Yes it was ‘new’ but it wasn’t a ‘development’. All it showed was that people who were already pissed off are still pissed off. A development could have shown an otherwise unforeseen increase in the number of people agrieved. This leads me on to the second point.

    2. 50,000 is a lot of people but isn’t that much considering recent rallies. For example, the fox hunting rally in 2002 (which I didn’t agree with) had 400,000 people – most of who travelled into London for the demonstration. Later in 2003 as part of the anti-Iraq war demonstration (which I did agree with) between 1 and 3 million people marched through London.

    Both of these rallies were in response to current item on the political agenda and both events produced unprecedented numbers of people. By repsonding to the current political agenda these rallies were attempts to sway the argument. Yesterday’s rally was an attempt to dictate the the political aganeda. Yes, attempting to dicate the political agenda is ‘fair game’. It is also fair game to attempt to dictate the news agenda. However, ‘attempting to dicate’ is different to ‘forcing’ the news agenda and by hosting the event outside the BBC building yesterday crossed this. See my third point below:

    3. By hosting a demonstration outside the BBC it was a clear attempt to artificially dictate the news agenda. I suspect that the BBC has policies to not report such things in order to prevent this. Otherwise any lobbyist could host an event outside the BBC building at get guranteed air time. This post is actually the response of the ‘desire to get some airtime’ not working. Well done BBC!!!

    This ends my rant….

    However, I congratulate everyone for taking the time and the energy yesterday to stand up for what you believe in. And that means everyone!!!

    Well done everyone at the rally yesterday. Well done to the Beeb. Well done nasty Tories and done Gordon (Smile a bit more).

    This is what free speech is all about!


    1. Mike Sivier

      Your theory is based on a fallacy. The UK is not, and never has been, in danger of going bankrupt.

      We have a sovereign currency. As long as our debt is in that currency (Sterling) we can always bail ourselves out, simply by printing more of it. This is, essentially, what ‘quantitative easing’ was all about. The Tories dressed it up in a hard-to-pronounce phrase to hide the fact but plenty of us were able to see through the Emperor’s New Clothes.

      Now you know that Option A was never a possibility, here’s why Option B is hopelessly impractical: Austerity sucks money out of the economy. With less being put in by the government, there is less opportunity for businesses to trade and make profit – the money passing through the system is necessary to, in effect, lubricate it.

      Your theory about the BBC’s lack of reportage falls down because news reporters have a duty to cover the news, and a demonstration/rally involving 50,000+ people from all over the UK, STARTING OUTSIDE THE BBC’s FRONT DOOR, is big news. Why did these people feel it is necessary to come all the way to London to express their opinion? If they think austerity has failed, what’s their alternative? How do they propose to change the system? These are all questions that could have been asked, and I’m sure there are more (these were just off the top of my head) but the BBC didn’t bother. That’s dereliction of duty, as far as its reporting team is concerned. I know – I’m a news reporter and former newspaper editor.

      Starting outside the doors of the BBC wasn’t an attempt to dictate the agenda – it was a strategy to ensure that the BBC could not say it was unaware of the event, and it has worked. The level of feeling against what the BBC has done (or rather, failed to do) makes this point more eloquently than I could hope to manage.

      So, no. I don’t accept your arguments. And you need to brush up on your economics.

      1. Dave Smith


        Thanks for the quick reply.

        I totally agree the BBC has a responbility to report but equally it must have a duty to ensure that it is still in control of it’s news agenda. Personally, if I find myself in a position were I’m forced to do A I often do B so I can claim I’m still independant. Like I said before if all any lobbyist had to do to get some air time was to protest outside the BBC I would be equally concerned. Did anyone invite the BBC to attend in advance BTW?

        With respect to my economics I concede I’m not an expert. However, I know that ANY economy has the possibility of going bankrupt. If this were not the case then all economies would be in position take infinite risks for potentially unprecedented returns. In fact taxation would be a thing of the passed. We could just use ‘quantative easing’ like strategies to pay for schools, hospitals, trains etc etc… If this was really the case I’m sure that a politician somewhen would have promised ‘An end to all taxes’!! I’ve yet to hear of this..

        However the principal problem with the debate is that the economics is generally too complicated and abstract for the average person to understand (Myself included). Ignorance is often utilised when by parties when making claims in any argument and the debate over austerity is no different. Both both sides in the debate have utilised ignorance to exagerate their positions:

        In 2010 the Tories (George Osborne to be precise) stated that Britain was on the ‘brink of bankrupcy’. This was not true. As I said above by this point we were on a ‘slow slide to bankrupcy’. Robert Chote (Head of the Office for Budget Responsibility) set the record straight somewhat by stated’

        “In terms of thinking about whether the government’s finances are sustainable, a key difference [between the UK and the eurozone] is that we are in a position where we have our own currency and in that sense we have a greater degree of flexibility that means the notion of the danger of insolvency is a much different question for us.”

        This was not the position George Osborne had described we were in but neither was does this state that we were never in danger of insolvency. It does however as you pointed out give us more options than non-sovereign currencies. I.e We had the ability to buy ourselves some time.

        It was what Britain decide to do in this ‘extra time’ that was essential. Back to Tory options A and B.

        Well done nasty Tories for choosing to do something – Options B. Like I said they will probably lose the next election because of this descision. Which means they must have truly believed that it was the only option.

        Once again thankyou for your quick reponse


      2. Mike Sivier

        You think the BBC ignored the demo to prove it’s still independent? Dereliction of duty. It’s supposed to REPORT the news, not to DECIDE what the news should be (or perhaps have that decision made for it by the Tory upstairs).

        You are wrong to think any economy can go bankrupt. Ours can’t. France’s can, because it does not have its own currency – instead it relies on the Euro. This is why Greece was in such danger a couple of years ago.

        Your comment about taxation is worth a bit of time – your time. Go and look up Modern Monetary Theory for an explanation of what taxation is for (in brief: pushing money through the system to keep that system running).

        So you’re still wrong.

      3. Joanna

        Mike a friend whose brother emigrated to Greece, said the country went bankrupt in large part, due to the fact that the citizens there, were not compelled to pay taxes if they didn’t want to. Is this true?

      4. Mike Sivier

        My impression was that they broke the law by not paying their taxes. It’s not that they didn’t have to – just that they didn’t.
        Greece lived well beyond its means, though – and of course it didn’t have its own currency.

  25. Bob

    I don’t know how much of this is deliberate media blackout and how much is the sheer laziness of the media machine. In our saturated digital age, you need to hire a PR company and spoon-feed the news outlets the story you want to present. Go outside in the hot sun and interview people? Far too much work for today’s average journalist.

    Seriously, give them a press release with plenty of advance warning. Include links to your own stories on other sites and all the Twitter hashtags so they can harvest quotes without needing to see anyone’s face.

    They’ll report it if they don’t have to get off their arses.

    (The actual demo? These days that’s not really the story – it’s just the illustration to a story written online.)

  26. DJ Tony Wrightley

    So why don’t we just set up our own online TV Channel or Radio Channel even and publicise the events that way ? Have a dedicated website and market that so people know where to tune it…. Better as a radio channel I think as it makes it more available via Smartphones and tablets as well as online…. Or both TV and Radio…. Have the servers based aboard and that way there is sweet F.A they can do to silence it !!! Its NOT expensive and we can have a donate button….

    1. Yo

      yes Tony like thailand had bluesky that reported the truth througout our fight against the evil government regime.

  27. John

    You would of got publicity if you caused outrage and carnage 🙂 that’s the only way to get noticed on this day an age!

  28. willmansfield

    Seriously. They could have covered it with the title, “Look at these ignorant plebs”. The government can’t pay for everything, and they have tried and now the UK borrows around £12,000,000,000 (billion) a month, A MONTH! We have to spend less, way less. Yes it is unfortunate, Yes people suffer, but we cannot spend more than we make.

    And the person reading this thinking we need to tax the rich more, go look at the cost of living in Switzerland and flying into London city airport. It doesn’t cost as much as people pay in tax, so you can’t just rape the people who have worked hard. Yeah some people are deserving, but there are a lot of free loaders out there too.

    1. Mike Sivier

      There are a lot of mistaken assumptions here.

      First is the assumption that we have to spend less. This assumes that the system cannot make any more money. The only reason for this to be true is that the government doesn’t invest – mark that word, invest – enough money in the economy to start with. By taking money out of the economy (austerity), the government is ensuring tax receipts will not grow, therefore it has to borrow more, encouraging people like willmansfield here to say that we’re borrowing too much. Vicious circle. And, just to rig the system a little more, note that this government has cut Corporation Tax and the highest rate of Income Tax, to make sure that the richest people – the only section of society that is actually capable of making a profit at the moment, don’t ruin the plan by handing over more than they are expected to. The lack of effort in the direction of tax avoidance also contributes, of course.

      As for Switzerland… isn’t that a tax haven? Hmm.

  29. maxwell1957

    Well, I think that I heard some background noise just before the six o’clock bells on Radio 4 and thought it might be something to do with the protest…but nothing was mentioned on the news… oh well.

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  33. stuartwooster

    The truth of the matter is not any news outlet that finds itself working for the government will spread news of a protest in fear of adding more numbers in real time.

    Although the 2011 riots were sparked initially for different reasons, I wouldn’t be surprised if the media have been warned off from reporting on protests in fear of more of the same.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The riots were a different matter entirely – criminal behaviour.
      And the BBC is not – nominally, at any rate – working for the government.
      There is no excuse.

      1. stuartwooster

        If they’re not working for them, then they’re doing a mighty fine job at inadvertently helping their agenda of keeping the status quo 😉

  34. Jonathan Ellis

    A reply to those who say that a nation in control of its own currency cannot go bankrupt, because they always have the option of printing more:

    Zimbabwe over the last decade or two.

    Germany in the 1920s.

    Yes, even a nation with sole control of its own currency, and the ability to arbitrarily print more, can go effectively bankrupt. This is not a thing we want to happen.

    Therefore, the argument that we have to reduce government expenditure is a valid one (as well as increasing government income).

    And it’s all very well to talk of increasing government spending in the name of “investing”, but profits from that are not instant. And these profits are usually, as has been done for the last several decades, only used as collateral for yet further borrowing at yet a higher rate: this is like opening up two credit cards to pay off a first one quickly, and use the speed at which you paid off the first credit card as a justification for doubling your credit (DEBT) limit and maxing both of them out. Then borrowing up to the hilt on the first one again (now that it’s paid off) to pay off parts of cards 2 and 3 quickly, then using that speed of repayment as justification for getting a fourth.

    This is not a sustainable way to exist. At some point there must come a reckoning – a point at which total annual expenditure is actually reduced “right now” to a level that is, in total, absolute, concrete terms, not just less than the interest but less than the total annual income.

    For whatever reasons, it appears that the current government – and, to an extent, even the last one, and the next one – have come to the conclusion that the need for a time of reckoning is *now*, because the later it is postponed, the worse the situation will be.

    They may or may not be correct in this, and they may or may not be wiser or more foolish in deciding *which* expenditure cuts have to be made: but this is a question of competence, not corruption. And, I’m sorry, but I agree with the fact that cuts DO have to be made, even if in some places they are painful. People have been living on the idea of “someone else can pay for lunch” for way too long: including the government of the early- and mid-2000s, which increased government borrowing and thus government debt even in the time of economic boom, exactly the time at which we should have been laying aside some reserves especially for the lean years. What Gordon Brown did after 2008, as Prime Minister, is not half as much a problem (indeed, some of it was even sensible) as what he did between 2001-2005, as Chancellor – the years in which he increased our total national debt hugely when he could and should have been running a budget surplus.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Hang on a second – you try to trash the argument against bankruptcy, but then go on to use that old ‘credit card’ nonsense?


      You are right, though, in saying that people have been living on the idea of “someone else can pay for lunch” for way too long – bankers, politicians, the Big Four accountancy firms that are writing our tax policy to help their clients avoid paying, the private healthcare companies that are taking so much from the NHS that they’re putting it in financial jeopardy, Unum, Atos, Capita, G4S, A4E… I’m sure we can all think of a few more.

      Oh, and Iain Duncan Smith, of course – except in his case it was “someone else can pay for breakfast”.

      Benefit scroungers, the lot of them.

      1. Joanna

        I don’t know if this is relevant? But didn’t Russia go under because of printing too much money?

        By the way, Off topic, but is your brother ok? I haven’t had anything from his blog for a while, starting to get worried. I really do enjoy his historical comparisons!

      2. Mike Sivier

        He’s fine; I think he’s just doing other things at the moment. I’m not sure but he might be doing something about a book – something to do with his doctorate.

  35. Danny Arnold

    Re: Failure to report on the People’s Assembly (anti-austerity) march – London, Sat June 21st.
    It’s time to complain officially as the BBC have a duty to investigate complaints. Questions must be asked about this censorship of a major demonstration. So I implore you all to take the time to complain to the BBC about the BBC coverage. Maybe if we complain enough they will get the message.

  36. Peter Ross

    The BBC is a puppet for this government and the US government and thats why it doesn’t give any truthful reporting on the situation in Ukraine, Fukushima, fracking or anything else that might interfere with British and American government agendas for the sheeple. Thankfully we have alternative media giving the truth the BBC is instructed not to give you.

  37. Louise

    Truth is, it wasn’t very ‘newsworthy’. No political bias, no pressure from ‘above’ (whatever you think THAT is). There was a lot of annoyed people, yes, but it didn’t carry the story forward, there was no real news ‘peg’. It was a local story, nothing more.

    1. Mike Sivier

      What absolute bilge.
      It is the most-read story in The Guardian.
      The People’s Assembly’s own coverage has had more than 100,000 hits.
      My own coverage has had ALMOST 100,000 hits – and Vox Political is tiny compared to either of the other organisations I’ve just mentioned.
      Don’t try to tell me that isn’t a lot – most of the newspapers and magazines you’ve ever heard of don’t manage to get that kind of readership.
      The truth is, certain people don’t want the general public to be thinking about the effect of government austerity policies.
      The truth is, it is a national story – people came from all over the UK to London to protest about an issue that affects us all.
      The truth is that you came here with an agenda but you’re leaving with your tail between your legs.

      1. Joanna

        I personally think not reporting the protest is an insult to everyone, some of who had paid a lot money to get there!

  38. Jennie Evans

    I was stunned to see the opinions of 50,000 people being ignored by the BBC. I wonder if this was as a result of self -interest and a desire to maintain the present funding through the license fee, as controlled by the present government.

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    1. Mike Sivier

      Do you mean your link to a BBC news story that has already been referenced on this page – a story that appeared nearly a whole day after the demo took place? Approving that would have been a waste of readers’ time. You should have bothered to read the page before posting to it.

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  41. Carl

    The government do not give a stuff about the people they govern. They just want to keep them and their families in the life they are accustomed to. This means keeping the banks going with our money and cutting everything that drains their recourses so they can keep sipping £100 a bottle water in the air conditioned board room, sat in the comfy £500 chair wearing that lovely £1000 suit whilst we are supposed to be happy working our rears off to keep them comfy. United we stand. Divided we fall. We are the ones with the real power and they know it. They will continue to divide us if we continue to let them.


  43. Diana Allinson

    How hypocritical of the media and bbc to give such glowing coverage of the D day veterans The very people who fought for freedom and democracy given the accolade they truly deserved. Then to kick them in the teeth by trying to keep us in the dark regarding the austerity march refusing to acknowledge the rights of freedom of speech

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    1. Mike Sivier

      It would be nice to know what point you’re trying to make. If it’s that The Guardian reported on the march, then yes – we know. The report was published a significant length of time after the blog article, which was correct at the time of publication. Also, as one of my own recent comments makes clear, this was a rare exception to the rule laid out in the blog article.

  45. mercedes

    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.” Karl Marx

  46. Matthew Bailey

    I was listening to Radio 4 and heard Russell Brand talking on there so I think it is unfair to say the BBC didn’t cover it. There’s a lot going on the World so a fairly minor protest isn’t likely to get masses of coverage even on a slow news day.

    1. Mike Sivier

      When was this radio show with Russell Brand?
      What makes you think it was a “fairly minor” protest? Its omission from TV news sparked a very major protest to the BBC, after all.

    2. Mike Sivier

      On the subject of fairly minor protests, the BBC covered a rally in favour of austerity by the taxpayers’ alliance, back in 2011. Total attendance was 350.

  47. smantha

    These sort of things are happening all over the United States as well. And our media is also pretending they don’t happen. But they’ll send out cameras when 5 or 10 people have a pro muslim rally, or pro illegal immigration rally, and then try to make it look like there’s a crowd. There’s limited or no coverage on events going on in Egypt or Venezuela of people fighting back..
    Looks like governments everywhere are working hard to push their agenda.

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