Tag Archives: Laura Kuenssberg

Tory muckraker Kuenssberg is trying to undermine NEC statement on Brexit

Labour’s NEC has released a statement of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred policy on Brexit – and the BBC’s Tory-supporting political editor is already doing everything she can to undermine it.

The statement shows that a Labour government would negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU and put it before the people in a new referendum within six months of coming into office.

This deal, following discussion with industry, trade unions and the EU, would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of three million EU nationals in the UK and one million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

And Labour would decide how to campaign in a referendum on this deal – or remaining in the EU – after a special one-day party conference, to ensure that the will of party members is upheld.

Here’s the meat of the statement:

Labour will put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.

The NEC further welcomes the role of the Labour Party in Parliament to work cross-party to legislate against crashing out on 31 October. There is no mandate for No Deal.

A Labour government will get Brexit sorted one way or another within six months of coming to power, allowing us to concentrate on all the issues that matter to people most.

A Labour Government would secure a sensible leave deal with the EU within three months, and within six months would put it before the people in a referendum alongside the option to remain.

Jeremy Corbyn is right to say that as a Labour prime minister he would implement the will of the British people in that referendum.

The Labour frontbench has consulted with industry, trade unions and EU leaders and officials on a deal that protects jobs and investment, while respecting the 2016 referendum result.

Labour’s leave deal would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of 3 million EU nationals in the UK and 1 million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

If people vote to leave on those terms, Labour will deliver that and leave the EU with that negotiated deal. If people vote to remain, Labour would implement that and seek to reform the EU as members. A Labour government will deliver whichever decision is made by the people of the UK.

The NEC believes it is right that the party shall only decide how to campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour Government.

It’s a strong policy, ensuring that the people of the UK have the opportunity to determine their own future – unlike the policies of the Boris Johnson’s Conservatives or Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1175733913668542464

So of course BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg – who already crashed the BBC switchboard with complaints after she outed a concerned father who challenged Boris Johnson over the collapse of the NHS as a “Labour activist” and told Twitter’s Tories where they could dogpile him – had to try to cause trouble.

In a series of tweets, she claimed that the Labour leadership had emailed the statement to NEC members with a request to get replies in before 1.30pm:

But her claim doesn’t take in the realities of conference participation. Was she suggesting that NEC members should have abandoned their commitments to appear, in order to have a meeting about it?

In practice, a round-robin email was the easiest way – and the deadline was late enough that everyone involved would have had time to respond, between conference appearances.

As it was, there was a majority for the statement before midday, so it was released.

So much for the threat that Brexit divisions would overshadow the conference. But how many people will dwell on Ms Kuenssberg’s distortion rather than the facts?

Source: Breaking: NEC statement ratifies Corbyn’s Brexit position – and post-GE special conference plan | The SKWAWKBOX

Burley’s whataboutery fails to get Kuenssberg off the hook

The editor of the BBC’s live politics programmes, including Politics Live, has made a fool of himself trying to defend Laura Kuenssberg.

Ms Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, caused the father of a sick one-week-old girl to be dogpiled by supporters of Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson (yes, apparently some still exist) when she tweeted that Omar Salem was a “Labour activist”.

The backlash was severe and deserved.

In rushed Rob Burley, who edits BBC TV shows which feature Ms Kuenssberg, to tweet the following:

It’s a very interesting point, coming as it does from the editor of a show that has the opportunity to provide information about the political views of people appearing on Politics Live every weekday and also on Sundays, but doesn’t.

This Writer anticipates a flurry of tweets outing the guests on that show, from now on.

Today (September 20), the show’s listing suggests that panellists will include Sherelle Jacobs (Telegraph columnist, rabidly Leave-supporting), Liam Halligan (Sunday Telegraph economics columnist, right-wing), Zing Tsjeng (executive editor of Vice UK, which refused to recognise the National Union of Journalists when its employees voted to unionise – even though the company’s branches in the US had unionised), and Trevor Phillips (former EHRC chairman, Blairite Labour). Will any of them be listed as such?

And what about Ms Kuenssberg’s own political views? They must also be “part of the picture” and it would be “perfectly proper” for Mr Burley to provide that information. Perhaps he had not carried out his own “thought experiment”, as he has never done so.

What about Jo Coburn’s political loyalties, or Andrew Neil’s? Or Faisal Islam’s, as he was set to host Politics Live today?

And of course Mr Burley failed to acknowledge that Ms Kuenssberg had flagged up Mr Salem’s Twitter address to her followers with the message “This is him!”, so they all knew who to dogpile.

https://twitter.com/krustysghost/status/1174453137727479808

At the very least, as Mike Harding points out, it’s “whataboutery”:

And it was also a successful bid to drag attention away from the issue that Mr Salem had raised – the diabolical underfunding of the National Health Service, endangering the lives of newborn children, by a government of hypocrites who then used it for a photo opportunity to pretend that everything is hunky-dory.

While Mr Salem has been dogpiled and Ms Kuenssberg reviled, Boris Johnson has sailed away, back into his “la-la land” of lies.

When will he be challenged over the issues raised by Mr Salem?

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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Kuenssberg the troll: She started a Twitter dogpile on the father of a sick child

Laura Kuenssberg: Rather than report on deficiencies at an NHS hospital caused by Tory underfunding, she triggered a Twitter dogpile on a member of the public who challenge Boris Johnson about it.

Standards of journalism at the BBC slipped to a new low yesterday when political editor Laura Kuenssberg outed a man who challenged Boris Johnson over falling NHS standards as a “Labour activist” – triggering a Twitter dogpile on this man.

Apparently it did not matter to Ms Kuenssberg that Omar Salem was the father of a sick seven-day-old girl and had been terribly worried about his daughter’s well-being. She considered it far more important that the world should know he has campaigned for the Labour Party in the past.

Mark’s question is valid. What was Ms Kuenssberg trying to say, exactly? And if it was as he suggested, then should she not be hauled up before the BBC board and sacked on the spot?

It is not the place of any journalist – even the BBC’s political editor – to heap more stress upon the father of a sick child who is only seven days old.

Or, put more succinctly: who the hell does Kuenssberg think she is?

It seems she has not noticed that a campaign was launched earlier this week, calling for people to report the activities of those who troll innocent members of the public in exactly the way she has done.

And consider this: Even a doctor at the hospital has written about the shortfall in care there:

I was one of the doctors who met Boris Johnson today. This was a highly staged press event in a newly refurbished hospital ward at Whipps Cross hospital where the prime minister met a few select members of staff and patients. This event completely brushed over the harsh realities of this chronically underfunded, understaffed and poorly resourced hospital.

I’m so glad that Omar Salem said the things he did. He was just telling the truth about what it is like to be on the receiving end of poor staffing levels and under-resourcing.

Whipps Cross is particularly understaffed and under-resourced so people don’t get the care that they need as promptly as they need.

And this visit was not reflective of the realities of working at this hospital. Johnson was taken to the nicest ward in the hospital; there were flowers on display and classical music was playing in the background. I wish the prime minister could have seen some of the other wards, which are nothing like what he saw today. He should come on a night shift and see how everything doesn’t function at two in the morning.

There are not enough staff on any level – nursing, physiotherapy, doctors. It is just chronically understaffed. The building is falling to pieces. It is either too cold or too hot. I could go on and on.

I love medicine, but you just can’t do your job properly. You don’t have time to talk to patients or families. Everybody is really demoralised. There’s no point in complaining because you know nothing will be done.

Isn’t this exactly what Omar Salem was saying?

But Ms Kuenssberg turned it around and made it all about him being a “Labour activist”. And what does that mean, exactly?

I think she – and the BBC – has a huge amount of explaining to do.

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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Of course the BBC panders to the political Right; we have been saying it for years

Much of the criticism of the BBC’s decision to screen an interview with Marine Le Pen focused on good taste as much as political judgment.’ [Image: Claude Paris/AP.]

Much of the criticism of the BBC’s decision to screen an interview with Marine Le Pen focused on good taste as much as political judgment.’ [Image: Claude Paris/AP.]


Tom Mills, in The Guardian, argues that the BBC’s interview with Marine Le Pen is less of an issue than the corporation’s supine attitude to right-wing politics – and he’s right.

But he is completely mistaken when he states that “the Left should be more critical”.

Not only have we known about it for years; we’ve been shouting about it for all that time. Here are a few examples from This Blog, if you don’t believe me:

The BBC has a broadly right-wing bias

Political pressure making BBC biased against Labour/Corbyn, says former BBC Trust chair

Researchers consider legal action to stop BBC bias against Jeremy Corbyn.

And has everybody forgotten the rush to protect BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg when she was accused of pro-Tory bias? Suddenly everyone who made such a suggestion was pilloried as a sexist, for bizarre reasons known only to those making the claims. Accusations of sexism and misogyny were checked independently and only one was found to be valid, if I recall correctly.

The problem isn’t that “the Left should be more critical”. The problem is journalists in the mainstream press who want to deny that the Left already is.

More worrying and less discussed is how the BBC’s daily reporting is skewed in favour of conservative movements and business interests – a bias that is rarely challenged. Conventional wisdom has it that BBC political reporting is impartial, or even left-leaning. This makes sense if your comparison is with the Sun or Daily Mail. But closer scrutiny reveals a less comforting picture.

Not only do government and Westminster sources dominate the BBC’s news output with a slant towards the right… research shows, but the rightwing press has an agenda-setting function that influences the BBC’s output, favouring conservative interests.

The corporation’s economic reporting has also reflected a narrow set of economic policies with even mainstream macroeconomic theory, let alone alternative or radical ideas, largely ignored.

Source: Marine Le Pen isn’t the problem – the BBC panders to the right on a daily basis | Tom Mills | Opinion | The Guardian

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Corbyn’s rating falls in ComRes poll – due to bad propaganda?

The interview that caused the problem: It seems it was only half an interview, in fact. Having got her headline, Laura Kuenssberg appears to have neglected to ask Jeremy Corbyn the most important question of all.

The interview that caused the problem: It seems it was only half an interview, in fact. Having got her headline, Laura Kuenssberg appears to have neglected to ask Jeremy Corbyn the most important question of all.

Needless to say, the Corbyn-haters were on This Writer’s back as soon as the Independent published the results of the ComRes poll that claimed Jeremy Corbyn was extremely unpopular with UK voters.

The first thought that occurs is how interesting it is that an anti-Corbyn poll result should become available so soon after one that was very much pro-Corbyn. Now why would that happen..?

The second refers to the claim that he would not adequately defend the UK against terrorism, which seems to come from a Newsnight interview with Laura Kuenssberg mentioned in the Independent article.

On that subject, I’ll pass you on to Oliver Tickell, who wrote the following in the Ecologist article I quote in a piece elsewhere on this blog:

“And then there was his interview with the BBC’s perspicacious political editor Laura Kuenssberg, broadcast on Monday, in which he said – among many other things – that he would prioritise the prevention of terrorism over ‘shooting to kill’ terrorists on the streets.

“”I’m not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy in general”, he told her. “I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often can be counterproductive. I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can, there are various degrees for doing things as we know. But the idea you end up with a war on the streets is not a good thing.”

“These are the words that launched a thousand attacks. Note – there was no outright refusal to allow security forces to shoot and kill terrorists in all circumstances. That’s what he meant, surely, by the words “there are various degrees for doing things as we know.”

“But first, this was just the concluding few seconds of a long (nine minute) interview in which he spoke in careful and measured terms: asking where ISIS was getting its money and weapons were coming from; demanding enhanced security in Britain and across Europe to prevent any further attacks like those in Paris; pointing out that there was no such thing as Al Qaida in Iraq before the war began in 2003; seeking the involvement of the United Nations in Syria; highlighting the role of communities in tackling extremism; calling on Cameron to rescind police cuts that would damage their ability to combat terrorism; condemning ISIS in firm and absolute terms; and seeking political rather than merely military solutions to international problems.

“In short, there was absolutely nothing that any informed and rational person could disagree with.

“And here’s the mystery. Kuenssberg is always good at nailing down the key, defining question. And the obvious follow-up to Corbyn’s reluctance to endorse “war on our streets” was, surely: “But just to be completely clear for our listeners Mr Corbyn, would you or would you not agree to the use of lethal force against terrorists if that was necessary to save civilian lives?”

“But this is the question that was not put. Did Kuenssberg know that she had what she wanted ‘in the can’ and that any further question would only detract from its impact? Was a BBC producer yelling “Cut!” into her ear?

“Because what Corbyn would have said in answer to that question is surely something like this: “The overwhelming priority must be to stop war breaking out on our streets in the first place. But obviously yes, if a terrorist attack is taking place and civilian lives are at risk, security forces must respond appropriately and at times that will mean shooting and killing terrorists – not as a kneejerk response but as a last resort. Because what we should be trying to do is to disarm and arrest them and hold them accountable for their crimes.””

Source: Shooting to kill Corbyn – the coup is on – The Ecologist

It is possible to say we don’t know Corbyn would say that. It would certainly have been welcome for him to have been given the opportunity. Instead, anti-Corbyn activists have leapt to the attack and succeeded in damaging him in the eyes of the public – an opinion that has nothing to do with the facts or with discussion of the issues, and everything to do with making an emotive response.

The third thought that occurs is that ComRes habitually puts Labour a long way behind the Tories. This allegedly catastrophic 15-point trail indicates a loss of only two points for Labour – points that go to UKIP and not the Conservative Party. This may very well be a rogue poll in more ways than one, with the Tory lead over-exaggerated and public responses skewed by the false impression from the Newsnight interview.

Twice as many voters have an unfavourable view of Jeremy Corbyn as have a favourable one, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday – an 8-point increase in his unfavourable rating since September, when he was elected Labour leader.

After Mr Corbyn appeared reluctant to say he would order British police to shoot to kill if faced with a terrorist attack similar to that in Paris, the public are twice as likely to say they trust David Cameron to keep them and their family safe (39 per cent) as they are to say they trust Mr Corbyn (17 per cent).

The change in Labour support “if there were a general election tomorrow” may not be significant in itself, down 2 points, but the Conservative lead of 15 points is the highest recorded by any pollster since January 2010.

Conservative 42% (0)

Labour 27% (-2)

UKIP 15% (+2)

Lib Dem 7% (0)

Green 3% (0)

(Change since last month in brackets.)

Labour MPs are said to be thinking of unseating Mr Corbyn after just 10 weeks as leader, but only 20 per cent of Labour voters agree that MPs “should remove” him, while 56 per cent disagree, and 24 per cent don’t know.

Source: Corbyn’s rating falls in ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday

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