Tag Archives: BBC

Outrage after Tory agent on BBC board sabotaged job appointment for political reasons

[Image: Sketchaganda].

It was never going to work.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative government put its man Robbie Gibb on the board of the BBC as a non-executive director and he has tried to block the appointment of a news boss on political grounds.

The irony is that non-executive directors are responsible for “upholding and protecting” the BBC’s independence – not to make demands on the behalf of their political leaders.

Gibb used to be Theresa May’s communications director when she was prime minister. Before that, he was a BBC journalist and he started his career as a Tory aide – so it seems likely that his politics has coloured much of his work.

The BBC has often been criticised as the propaganda wing of the Tory Party and this intervention will only strengthen that impression among members of the public. It proves that attempts to rig decisions of organisations like the BBC by stuffing their ruling bodies with Tories can only backfire.

What did he do?

He sent a message to the Corporation’s director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, warning her not to appoint Jess Brammar to a new post of BBC executive news editor, saying it would shatter the relationship between the BBC and the Tory government.

It is clearly a political intervention. Brammar’s career is now being trashed by other Tory propaganda mouthpieces:

What could this “borderline fake news lefty clickbait website” be? It seems an odd way to describe HuffPost UK, and This Writer looks forward to seeing that organisation’s reaction to the smear.

Previously, Brammar had been deputy editor of Newsnight.

According to the Financial TimesGibb’s message to Unsworth said she “cannot make this appointment” and the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she went ahead. One of his cronies has apparently denied the claim.

The recruitment process has now stalled. Gibb’s message was allegedly sent on June 22 and the post has yet to be filled.

Apparently the Corporation is going through Brammar’s past statements, in public and on the social media. To see if it can find some dirt on her that would invalidate her application?

It’s alleged that Gibb would want her defence of HuffPost journalist Nadine White to count against her – but if so, natural justice would demand that he be disappointed.

White was attacked by Tory minister Kemi Badenoch, who claimed she was “creepy and bizarre” in asking questions about a Covid-19 vaccines video that Badenoch branded unnecessary.

In response, Brammar filed a former complaint to the Cabinet Office, stating that “this characterisation of a journalist asking questions as somehow undermining a public health message or fostering misinformation should alarm anyone working in journalism or anyone who believes its job is to hold power to account.”

Realistically, the vetting process is unlikely to provide any reason to reject Brammar because Gibb’s intervention has forced the BBC’s hand.

Turning her away would indicate that the Corporation is vulnerable to political pressure – the kiss of death for an organisation that has long had to defend itself against such accusations.

And there is another possible reason for Gibb to have intervened now.

Awkward

The BBC is currently negotiating a five-year financial settlement with Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

Still-newly-appointed director general Tim Davie – himself a dyed-in-the-wool Tory – has spent a lot of time, and used up a considerable amount of his own credibility, steadying relations with the government in the midst of aggressive (some would say unreasonable) criticism.

Doesn’t it seem likely that Gibb’s claim about Brammar may be just the excuse Johnson needs to cut BBC funding further than previous Tory governments already have?

Whatever happens, the public response has been a PR disaster for the Tories:

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The Johnson government’s lies are blatant! Why are ministers getting away with this?

Liar: Rishi Sunak.

Today on BBC Breakfast, Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak lied blatantly that poverty has fallen as a result of government policy.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to put the record straight:

And the BBC team should have known it.

If they knew Sunak was going to come onto their show and talk about poverty, then they should have done the modicum of basic research required to unearth the figures Peter quoted – and then they should have countered Sunak with the facts.

But they didn’t.

No wonder Peter is so determined to get his other video – you know, the one that shows Boris Johnson lying repeatedly to Parliament; the one that should have had Johnson kicked out of Parliament altogether – shown on BBC Breakfast and the other BBC News outlets:

Meanwhile, Johnson lies and lies again:

And a fat lot of good it will do, appealing to Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle.

Only yesterday, there was an appeal to Hoyle to get Johnson to apologise for misleading MPs – and he just brushed it off.

Here’s Sammy Wilson explaining what happened. Johnson walked out of the Commons while he was speaking:

Hoyle’s response was:

“The Prime Minister and the Minister will have heard the right hon. Gentleman’s comments. If the Prime Minister believes his answer requires a correction, there are processes by which one can make that happen, although he may take a different Toggle showing location of view from the right hon. Member about the facts of the case. In any event, the right hon. Member has put his point on the record, and I am sure he will find other ways of pursuing it. I do not think this is the end of the matter for now, but it is just for this moment.”

In other words: “Shut up.”

That’s Hoyle’s attitude to everything done by Johnson and his government; he bends over and takes it.

And that’s why the rest of us – especially those supine pseudo-journalists at BBC News – need to raise our game and challenge them on their lies wherever and whenever they happen.

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Are people turning on Boris Johnson because they’re tired of lies like this?

Boris Johnson: He’s all ‘blood and thunder’ in Parliament but analyse what he says and it turns out to be ‘bull**** and bluster’ instead [not This Writer’s words].

Even the BBC is criticising Boris Johnson. Well, at least it’s sitting on the right side of the fence.

The Corporation fact-checked Johnson’s comments about the delta variant of Covid-19, made during Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16.

Criticised for failing to close the UK’s borders to travellers from India after delta was discovered, Johnson said: “We put India on the red list on April 23 and the Delta variant was not so identified until April 28.”

But the BBC fact-checkers pointed out:

It had been identified through genetic sequencing as being in the UK in the week beginning 8 March.

And it had been designated as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 4 April.

While health bodies are constantly monitoring large numbers of emerging mutations, they are given these designations only if they seem to be making the virus spread faster, making people sicker or escaping the defences put up by vaccines or prior infection.

At a meeting on 21 January, the government’s scientific advisers, Sage, said: “No intervention, other than a complete, pre-emptive closure of borders, or the mandatory quarantine of all visitors upon arrival in designated facilities, irrespective of testing history, can get close to fully preventing the importation of cases or new variants.”

And in its weekly update on 30 March, the WHO pointed out India had the third highest number of new cases in the world, with a 55% increase on the previous week.

So we see that Johnson allowed the delta variant into the UK from India for a month and a half before actually doing anything about it at all.

It is lies like this that undermine trust in the Conservative government – rightly. And this is likely to be what is motivating Tories (and former Tories) to speak up against him.

Source: Delta variant: Fact-checking claims about Covid and borders – BBC News

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Biased – and contradictory – BBC attacks Munchetty AND Edwards over flags

If all nations’ flags are supposed to be equal, it seems the BBC’s bosses think some are more equal than others.

The Corporation has attacked its own newsreaders, Naga Munchetty and Huw Edwards, for ridiculing the current policy of Boris Johnson’s Tory ministers to hang a Union Flag behind them whenever they’re interviewed.

Tell you what, Tory Tim*, is this better for you?

The Munchetty controversy arose after a BBC Breakfast News interview with corrupt (see past articles) Tory Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, who – of course – had made sure a Union Flag was visible behind him. Co-presenter Charlie Stayt passed a comment about it which she enjoyed, conspicuously:

The incident prompted some anti-Conservative social media users to post messages on Twitter that Ms Munchetty graced with a ‘like’ – and it was this that dropped her into trouble with her bosses.

She later wrote on Twitter: “I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning. I have since removed these ‘likes’.

“This [sic] do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”

So it seems the BBC wants people who fly their flag to be treated with respect.

Right?

Why, then, did it treat Huw Edwards the way it did when he tweeted a tongue-in-cheek response to the row?

BBC bosses ordered Edwards to take down a tweet that said – well, see for yourself:

Several hours later, Mr Edwards tweeted this:

Do you think he was being altogether serious in that last comment?

The Corporation’s contradictory attitude has sown more than a little confusion:

Particularly confused, it seems, was Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who appears to have indulged in overkill, just to be sure:

*Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, is a former Conservative politician at local level.

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BBC documentary asks: Who cashed in on Covid?

Don’t expect too much from this: it’s a Panorama documentary from the BBC and, judging by Is Labour Antisemitic that was produced under the same banner, is likely to be biased towards the Tories and full of falsehoods.

However, even the fact that an attempt is being made to bring this to public attention means it has to be worth watching. Right?

According to the BBC’s publicity,

As the government faces mounting criticism that well-connected people made millions out of Britain’s PPE crisis, Panorama investigates who won out.

More than £12 billion was spent in the first six months of the pandemic on contracts to provide personal protective equipment.

Reporter Richard Bilton meets one man who made £40 million on a deal and speaks to others who felt ignored in favour of less-experienced suppliers.

As the government refuses to reveal the full details of all its so-called VIP deals, the programme reveals the high-profile connections to one lucrative contract.

Wow – £40 million on a single deal.

I suspect the conclusion will be one we know already: success depends not on what you know, but who; the Old School Tie opens doors that would otherwise be closed.

Panorama: Cashing in on Covid is broadcast on BBC1 tonight (March 15) at 7.35pm GMT. It will be on BBC iPlayer soon afterwards.

Source: BBC One – Panorama, Cashing in on Covid

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‘Left-wing’ Mash Report axed by BBC to make way for ‘new comedy’. It won’t be funny!

“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: I know this image refers specifically to BBC News. It seems with the arrival of ‘Tory Tim’ Davie, the Corporation’s right-wing bias is spreading to its comedy output. Look out, drama and documentaries!

The BBC has axed Nish Kumar satire show The Mash Report on the grounds that it was biased toward the political left.

Director General ‘Tory Tim’ Davie at first said he would not make big changes to the corporation’s comedy output, saying that comedy had always “poked at authority”.

He seems to have changed his mind.

Of course, ‘Tory Tim’ is at a bit of a disadvantage when referring to political bias, since it is widely understood that he owes his position to Tory intervention:

Mash had been a target for right-wing commentators since 2018, when Andrew Neil singled it out while complaining that the corporation’s comedy output was too left-wing.

Neil is, of course, chair of that ultra-right wing publication The Spectator, so he’s a fine one to complain about bias!

Asked for a comment on Twitter, Nish Kumar responded with this:

Was this something he wasn’t allowed to do on the televised show, and he was taking the opportunity now?

Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the kind of bias supported by a show with similar ratings to The Mash Report. I refer to Question Time. This is an actual question from the March 11 edition:

Do I need to spell out the wrongness of the question and the thinking behind it?

This Writer certainly wishes Kumar, and co-presenter Rachel Parris, a brighter future beyond the Beeb.

As for the corporation’s new comedy output: I look forward to seeing the new wave of diversity heralded by ‘Tory Tim’.

Looking at comedy history, I think we’re about to be deluged with right-wing material that simply isn’t funny.

Source: The Mash Report axed by BBC bosses after claims of ‘left-wing bias’ | Metro News

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Mainstream media finally notice nurse strike threat – after being prompted by This Site?


Isn’t it odd that the BBC only realised that nurses were threatening to go on strike over low pay after Vox Political ran a story on it?

I published my piece yesterday lunchtime (March 4) and the BBC came out with its story (link below) just before midnight.

I’m not going to make extravagant claims about being first with the news because I had found the story on the website Nursing Notes, where it had been published on March 3.

It had taken the BBC at least a day and a half to realise this was a major news story (it was the lead on the Corporation’s politics page when it was published).

Would the BBC ever have mentioned it at all, if I hadn’t picked it up and published it on my little social media site?

I don’t know. The implications for news reporting in the UK if the answer is “no” are terrifying.

The message for you is simple: don’t rely on the BBC and the other mainstream media giants for your news because you won’t get it.

All you’ll get is what has been passed as fit for you to be spoonfed, plus whatever media bosses realise has gained traction elsewhere and can’t be ignored.

If you want to know what’s really going on, come to This Site – and the others like it.

Source: Nurses’ union anger over ‘pitiful’ 1% NHS pay rise – BBC News

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‘Compassionate Conservatism’: Covid deaths to cut state pension costs, says BBC

This BBC story could explain much about the Corporation’s wholehearted support for Rishi Sunak, even though he’s utterly vile.

The Beeb presents as a good news story the deaths of so many over-65s that the cost of paying pensions is set to plummet by £1.5 billion by 2022.

And wait! because there’s even more Good News!

The government will also receive an extra £0.9bn from inheritance tax, partly due to Covid-related deaths.

Every cloud has a silver lining, eh? As in thirty pieces of silver, if you recognise the reference.

Here’s an interesting slip, though:

More than 144,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred in the UK since the start of the pandemic, figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show.

That’s 21,000 more than the official figure of 123,000 at the time of writing.

I think somebody’s been lying again – don’t you?

Source: Budget 2021: Covid deaths set to cut state pension costs – BBC News

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BBC accused of ‘client journalism’ as it tries to make Rishi Sunak acceptable to the public

SuperTory: this previous BBC attempt to make Rishi Sunak acceptable had just one thing right – the “£” sign on his chest, signifying that he exists for one thing alone: money.

Let’s get this straight: Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak is an out-of-touch money-grubber whose wife is richer than the Queen.

He has nothing in common with you.

But the BBC keeps trying to turn him into something acceptable – as if there was any such thing as a “cuddly Tory”.

Its latest attempt at a free party political broadcast for the Tories was broadcast today – Budget day – and received the roasting it deserved:

Steve Topple’s piece in The Canary* hit exactly the right notes:

BBC News‘s video was little more than a cuddly look at a man who, however you dress him up, is a Tory. He’s one who’s left some sick and disabled people in dire straits. Sunak is a man who’s ignored the plight of the so-called three million “excluded” people. Yet BBC News even went as far as to push the idea Sunak could one day be PM.

Client journalism” is where the government uses reporters for its own agenda. Peter Oborne wrote about this for openDemocracy. He noted an example where both BBC and ITV political editors Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston quoted an unnamed government source in 2019. Here the news they put out was, as Oborne said, “fake” with no basis in fact. But the two corporate journalists pushed it anyway.

This latest BBC video, with its upbeat music, rapid-fire delivery, and glossy production reeks of client journalism. What the public needs on Budget day is critical and unbiased analysis of Sunak and his policies. It doesn’t need yet more pro-government propaganda from the BBC posing as something informative.

Damn straight. Now try complaining to the BBC about it. You’ll get a load of hogwash about “balanced reporting”.

But this is nothing like that.

It’s unbalanced reporting – verging on insane.

Source: Here’s the BBC’s most insidious bit of Rishi Sunak propaganda yet | The Canary

And there’s another excellent take on this issue here: BBC, is this your idea of journalism? | The Critique Archives

*If you’re about to hit the ‘comment’ button to come out with a claim that “The Canary is unacceptable because…” then step away from the keyboard because you have been brainwashed.

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If Johnson makes Dacre chair of Ofcom he’ll be betraying the BBC – and the facts

As editor of the Daily Heil, Paul Dacre spent decades misleading the general public with an increasingly right-wing slant on the news, for a sadly increasing proportion of the public with increasingly stiff right arms.

That’s This Writer’s opinion. If Boris Johnson appoints him to chair Ofcom, the communications watchdog organisation, then he will have an opportunity to impose his bias across all of the UK’s media organisations.

I know. Ofcom is supposed to be impartial. But that’s in a properly-run United Kingdom and ours is being run by Boris Johnson. A majority of people wanted it and the rest of us have to just get used to it while we wait for the chance to get rid of it.

According to The Guardian, his first task – handed down by Johnson – will be to target the BBC, despite the fact that Auntie has bent over backwards for him and the Conservative Party since it slithered back into public office in 2010.

It will be a betrayal of the public service broadcaster. But what did anybody at the BBC – even its new Tory-donating chairman – expect? A news organisation with even the briefest brief to actually inform the public impartially is anathema to a political party that survives on propaganda and outright lies.

Remember: seven-eighths of the Conservatives’ election campaign in 2019 was found to be lies.

There is a lot wrong with the BBC, it’s true – but that is mostly caused by the overt Tory influence exerted at its highest levels. Impose impartiality and these problems may disappear.

But that will never happen under a Conservative administration.

Instead, your BBC is likely to be dismantled; your licence fee divided between Tory-donating businesspeople.

That is what appointed Dacre to chair Ofcom means. To me.

And I don’t think I’m alone:

There is only one way to stop this – and all the other elements that mark out Boris Johnsons wholesale corruption of public life.

He hates adverse publicity.

If you think this should be stopped, then get on the social media and say so. Write to your local (and national) newspapers and say so.

You could even try to get yourself on Points of View, Any Answers or Question Time – Richard Sharp (he’s the Tory-donating BBC chair I mentioned above) will hate you for doing it but you have every right to!

Or you could just sit back and sink into lockdown-derived depression. It’s up to you but personally I’d rather try to do something than be blamed for apathy by the future.

Source: Johnson poised to appoint Paul Dacre chair of Ofcom | Ofcom | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook