Hey, BBC, How About You Let Us Hear From Someone From Labour Who Isn’t From The Red Tory Wing?
May 12, 2015
by Martin Odoni
Following on from a couple of articles I’ve posted since the Election, I thought I should add that I am getting royally urinated-away (all right, ‘p*ssed off’) with the BBC’s general conduct since that time. Most particularly, with Ed Miliband’s resignation as leader of the Labour Party, there has been an unrelenting tide of questions about who is to succeed him, which is fair enough in itself, but in seeking the answers to it, the BBC only appears to be searching in one very narrow corner.
The Labour members who have had big exposure over the last few days have been the likes of Dan Jarvis, Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall, Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair, Tristram Hunt, Alan Milburn, and so on. All of them have had high-profile interviews with the BBC, all of them have put forward (suspiciously similar-sounding) arguments for Labour to move to the right of the ground Ed Miliband had campaigned on, and all of them are in the Red Tory/Blue Labour category of the party.
Where, in all this, are the BBC’s interviews with the likes of, say, Michael Meacher or Dennis Skinner, both of whom have argued against a shift further right? You would never know it, judging by the airtime the ‘real’ left of the Labour Party is getting. Given its formal duty to be impartial on political and ethical matters, why is the BBC not allowing any real air-time for the other side of this argument?
Anybody who tells you the BBC has an innate left-wing bias, a claim that has not been true since at least the late-1980’s when Margaret Thatcher started carving the corporation up – if it were ever true at all – is living in whatever place exists in the even-more-surreal world beyond cloud-cuckoo land. The corporation is almost entirely run by Conservatives past and present, its senior political staff are card-carrying Tories – particularly Nick Robinson – and its news coverage is almost always presented to the nation through a distorting blue lens. Naturally therefore, it is happy to give the ‘Blue Labour’ viewpoint a big, ongoing platform from which to frame the leadership debate, driving the discussion to the point where only advocates for a free market Labour Party can be seriously considered; should the Tories, with their tiny majority, fall from power once more in the near future, the possibility of a Tory-lite Labour Party taking their place is far easier for corporate interests to stomach than the prospect of, say, a Bennite one.
BBC bias towards the right is almost shameless these days, and even when its people refuse to admit to it, they never seem to offer substantial reasons why the accusation is wrong. They just do not want the matter to be discussed, and that is usually a sign of feeling the guilt-of-falsity.
I suggest we keep hounding them with the charge, as it is bound to get to them sooner or later.