Tag Archives: Daily Politics

Labour campaigner slams ‘cliquey’ misrepresentation on BBC’s Daily Politics

False pretences: Crispin Flintoff (right) was invited onto the BBC’s Daily Politics to discuss Stand Up for Labour – but presenter Jo Coburn questioned him on the forthcoming ‘Labour Live’ music festival instead. Why is this show using false pretences in order to get people to appear?

Crispin Flintoff runs Stand Up for Labour, a touring stand-up comedy show that aims to raise support for the Labour Party.

He states in his blog that “Stand up for Labour travels all over the country with the aim of energising people who support the Labour Party, promoting political activity and a sense of community”.

So when he was invited to appear on the BBC’s Daily Politics, a show he now says is “firmly based in Westminster and promotes division between political parties and within political parties; makes politics seem cliquey and often misrepresents good ideas in order to suit its – frankly, very negative – agenda”, he was right to expect the worst.

This Writer saw the spot in which Mr Flintoff appeared and it seemed to me that he had been set up by the show’s editors – and by presenter Jo Coburn – possibly to make the forthcoming ‘Labour Live’ music festival seem ridiculous. After all, it was labelled ‘Jez Festival’ on their running order.

He had clearly been invited under false pretences. Whoever was responsible for the booking should be facing disciplinary action from their BBC bosses – but that seems unlikely in the Tory-dominated news hierarchy. Perhaps they were toasted with champagne instead.

I have a friend who would find this behaviour very easy to explain. As he told me after I appeared on LBC’s breakfast show and gave presenter Nick Ferrari short shrift on Monday, “Do not interact with the right-wing controlled media – they are all a trap and you cannot win on their battleground.

“I urge you – and all fighting this evil empire of right wing extremists – not to engage with those who seek your or our destruction. No good can come of it.”

Here’s Mr Flintoff on the frankly appalling behaviour of the BBC’s politics primer programme. It is clearly time for that bastion of the “evil empire” to change:

On Monday morning, I received an email at half past eight from the BBC asking if I would come on ‘Daily Politics’ to ‘chat about how Stand up for Labour tour makes politics more accessible and what these events can bring to political parties’.

I found out that the promise of a discussion about how Stand up for Labour can make politics more accessible was nothing of the sort.

When I saw the board outside the studio, I found that the title of the short spot on the show in which I would be featured was called ‘Jez Festival’. This was clearly a reference to a music festival that the Labour Party were gingerly suggesting may happen in June in North London. The ‘Jez’ bit was an attempt to make it seem like a celebration of a personality cult, whereas the Labour Party press release was talking of something called ‘Labour Live’.

So the ‘Daily Politics’ had made a press release about a possible music festival for Labour that would engage people through a mix of music and speeches into a personality cult story and it was in their ‘fun’ slot at the end.

I was rushed into the room just before the last segment of the show and the presenter, Jo Coburn, asked me: ‘What is the aim of this festival?’

I was a bit dumbstruck.

‘I don’t know anything about this festival’, I had to reply. I then tried to make light of this by saying that ‘this must be another BBC blunder’.

While Coburn tried to laugh this off, it was actually true.

Coburn never seemed to listen to anything I was saying and always seemed to be on the point of cutting me off. She even started asking the Tory MP on the show what he thought about Labour Party festivals.

At the end of the show, as I went to leave she said: ‘see you soon’ and then turned to me and said ‘I don’t mean you. I won’t be seeing you again’.

Source: Why I won’t be on ‘Daily Politics’ again | Crispin Flintoff – Labour Party campaigner


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This is how you beat tricky BBC interviewers: Straight talking, honest politics

Ken Loach puts Jo Coburn in her place on the BBC’s Daiy Politics.

This site has already shown you the joyful spectacle of Dennis Skinner taking down a TV interviewer:

I also wanted to feature Ken Loach’s words on the Department for Work and Pensions and social security as a whole. Questioned by a schoolmarmish Jo Coburn, who presented the claim that the DWP helps people into work (which isn’t even worthy of sarcastic laughter), the venerable film-maker knocked her flat by saying it exactly as he sees it – and he’s the man who made I, Daniel Blake:

Any further questions? Ms Coburn had to change the subject.


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Of COURSE the Tories wrote the Telegraph ‘small business’ letter!

The Tories wrote the letter that was supposed to have come from “100 business leaders” a few weeks ago – why would anyone think this was any different?

The fact that the Torygraph withdrew this front page story from its website within 24 hours is testament to the weakness of the Conservative Party’s position, having tried – and failed – to hoodwink the public twice with the same trick.

If anyone wants to see where the Conservatives recruited their thousands of small-business signatories, just visit the Conservative Party website here.

If you can’t be bothered (and it’s the Tory website, so who can blame you?) here’s the text that appeared above the sign-up form:

150428businessletter

As you can see, Karren Brady (she of The Apprentice fame) actually put her name to it so her reputation is shot now (more even than it was when she became a Conservative peer for no reason). The author of the document is listed in the metadata as “CCHQ-Admin”.

Here’s a typical response from someone many claim to have been a lifelong Tory voter (until recently):

150428businessletter2

And the agony got worse. The Guardian reported that, not only did the letter originate in Conservative Central HQ, but it contains many duplicate signatures and one belonging to a person who said they never signed it.

150428businessletter3

The Conservative Party’s former tax avoidance minister, David Gauke, was forced to defend the letter – awkwardly – when challenged by Andrew Neill on the BBC’s Daily Politics. It’s very funny – have a look:

How will the Conservative Party claw back its credibility after this?

And, more importantly:

Why is this minority-interest party still managing more than 30 per cent support in the opinion polls?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Part-time Chance(llo)r and towel-folder to explain how impoverishing people makes work pay.

Not fair at all: We love this shot of George Osborne because it clarifies perfectly that, as with Michael Howard before him, there is "something of the night" about him. Will YOU believe him when he says it is fair to punish the poor for an economic recession they never made, while rewarding the rich who did the damage?

Not fair at all: We love this shot of George Osborne because it clarifies perfectly that, as with Michael Howard before him, there is “something of the night” about him. Will YOU believe him when he says it is fair to punish the poor for an economic recession they never made, while rewarding the rich who did the damage?

You know the Tories are scraping the bottom of the barrel when they wheel out Gideon George Osborne to defend benefit changes as “fair”.

It’s hilarious (unintentionally, I’m sure) that they’re wheeling out a man whose appearance in last year’s Olympic Games prompted an international crowd in a full-to-capacity stadium to ‘boo’ him – in order to try to popularise their unjustifiable crimes against the poor.

This is a man whose only proper job was folding towels at a department store, if I recall correctly!

He’s due to make a speech at 12.30pm today (April 2, so it can’t even be defended as an April Fool) in which he is expected to say the Tory cuts mean “this month we will make work pay”, and nine out of 10 working households will be better-off.

They’ll be better of than the remaining one-tenth of households, maybe, but the Tories are never going to convince intelligent people that they’re making work pay by cutting anything! Common sense tells us that, in a country where wages are deeply depressed (such as the UK – oh yes they are) the only way to make work pay is to offer a living wage!

But what can we expect from a political organisation that is now focusing its efforts on redefining the dictionary?

The lexicon here at Vox Political gives multiple definitions for the word “fair”, so I’ll pick out those that may be applied, as follows:

“1. Reasonable or unbiased.” The changes include a below-inflation cap for people on working-age benefits and tax credits, meaning they will become worse-off, year-on-year, while the cap remains in place. Meanwhile, people in the top tax band – who therefore take home the most pay – are getting a £100,000 tax break. Reasonable? No. Unbiased? Not a chance in hell.

Let’s also remember that Osborne is the Chancellor who thought it was a good idea to promote tax avoidance schemes on the Daily Politics TV show, on January 9 this year.

“2. According to the rules.” The Tory-led Coalition is the government that changes the rules to suit itself. Let’s all remember that when Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions was found, by a court, to have been breaking the law by imposing sanctions against people who refused to take part in the ridiculous ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ schemes that take more than a billion pounds out of the economy every year (almost £900 million for companies offering placements, along with hundreds of millions more for ‘Work Placement Provider’ companies), this administration’s answer was to introduce retrospective legislation to wipe away its guilt.

“3. Describing light-coloured hair or skin, or somebody with this.” Let’s widen this definition a little; a person who is “fair to look at” would be deemed attractive, so let’s go with that. Are these changes attractive? Most definitely not. They are designed to make the claiming of benefits unattractive.

“4. Sizeable, as in ‘a fair number of responses’.” This is accurate – the changes will affect millions of homes, throwing many of them into abject poverty.

“5. Better than acceptable.” If they were acceptable, then we would not have seen thousands of people demonstrating against the new Bedroom Tax, in towns and cities across the UK. Nor would we have seen the huge amount of campaigning against the benefit changes online and via petitions. And there will be motions against implementing the tax in local authorities up and down the country. The people responsible for them don’t think these changes are acceptable; nor should you.

“6. No more than average.” It could be suggested that Grant Shapps has been saying the more stringent application of the Work Capability Assessment to applicants for Employment and Support Allowance has created a more representative average number of claims by ensuring 878,000 people dropped their claims when faced by those changes – but, wait a moment, this has been exposed as a lie, hasn’t it? In fact, the number of people dropping their claims has been revealed – by official DWP figures – to be the natural wastage you get from people getting better or finding work they can do while ill, and the number of people receiving the benefit has, in fact, risen.

“7. Not stormy or cloudy.” Clearly the storm of protest around these changes renders this definition irrelevant.

Osborne, who not only advocates tax avoidance but allegedly participates in it himself – he was the target of a campaign by 38 Degrees, early in the life of this Parliament – also seems a strange choice to talk about fairness and making work pay, because of his involvement in a ‘get rich quick’ scheme which was extremely unfair and had nothing to do with work.

Readers of this blog may remember that Osborne used taxpayers’ money to pay mortgage interest on a farmhouse and associated land that he claimed to use for Parliamentary purposes in his Tatton constituency (this has not been proved), and then sold the properties for around £1 million, pocketing the lot. He didn’t work for the money, and this exploitation of the taxpayer can hardly be considered fair – but he got away with it because his privileged position as an MP, apparently, allows it.

Fair? No.

Corrupt?

This seems more likely.