by Martin Odoni

The BBC’s increasingly infamous political correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg, is now so shamelessly biased that she is cheerfully copying Conservative campaign slogans (SEE UPDATE BELOW).


(Check out the Swindon Conservatives’ website for the original.)

I am sure Kuenssberg will claim this is a coincidence, but every time there is a ‘coincidence’ or ‘mistake’ by the BBC’s political staff, it always happens in a way that is beneficial for, or at least in agreement with, the Tories. So I hope readers will forgive me if I can suspend my disbelief no longer. (Also, note on the link above the way she refers to a “recent consensus that the UK should be moving to lower borrowing, and lower taxation.” This “consensus” was less clear-cut than she implies.)

Happily, indicators are that the damage to Kuenssberg’s credibility has become almost irreversible. Certainly if this gentleman’s contribution at today’s Labour Manifesto launch is anything to go by; –



UPDATE 17-5-2017:

This article has been shared on Reddit, and I noticed a couple of rather off-colour remarks being made about it. I have decided to write a response to one or two of them; –

Firstly, to a user calling himself/herself ‘Doors of Perception’ – which I cannot help but feel on this evidence is a little like Theresa May calling herself ‘Guru of Spontaneity-in-Public’ – who suggested,

Wait… did he edit Miliband’s head out of the picture so it looked like it was a recent attack on Corbin [sic]?

No. The picture in question had been doing the rounds in this form on Twitter for several hours before I wrote this blogpost, and I simply downloaded it from Francesca Martinez’s feed. For the link above, I found the original using a very, very quick search on Bing. Use a little common sense please, DOP; if I had anything to hide, why would I link to the original at all?

DOP then adds,

Is that really the best he can come up with to make the BBC look biased?

Again, no. This is not ‘the best’, nor did I imply that it is. This is merely the latest in a range of examples of Kuenssberg spinning her coverage in a way that benefits the Tories and hurts Labour. The most profound example of Kuenssberg’s bias is perhaps her insistence, in spite of the very clear conclusions of the Electoral Commission, that the Tory Election Expenses Fraud was just a catalogue of ‘mistakes’.

Laura Kuenssberg is a disgrace to objective journalism.

Laura Kuenssberg continues to be the Tories’ most shameless spin-doctor-with-press-pass.

A somewhat better argument is offered by a user called ‘Quagers’, who says,

This is clearly just a coincidence, I doubt Laura was checking out the Swindon branch of the Conservative party’s 3 year old web page while she was writing her story today.

For what it is worth, so do I. But again, this over-literal speculation is not exactly what I meant. (I will accept the blame for that, as looking at the opening paragraph, I can see that that is precisely the impression I gave.) My point was more that Kuenssberg’s mindset is so inseparable from that of the Tories that she says exactly the same things about Labour that they do. As a ‘neutral reporter of the facts’, that is not healthy.

Quagers later treads onto distinctly shakier ground by adding,

And the headline isn’t biased, of the three elements in the headline two of them are literally how Labour is selling its manifesto. So to suggest they are negatives would be to suggest that you think taxing or spending is “bad”. Which begs the question, what do you think of the Labour manifesto?

I hope I am not the only one to notice the two gigantic assumptions in Quagers’ assertion. Firstly, I never did suggest that taxing or spending are bad, so why does (s)he imagine that I am suggesting that? What I was pointing out was the consistent resemblance between what Kuenssberg says about Labour, and what the Tories say about Labour. As I disagree with the Tories on so many subjects, why should it be assumed I agree with them on tax-and-spend? The bias is not about whether the policy is objectively right or wrong, it is about Kuenssberg agreeing with one side of the debate, when she should be reporting from a neutral perspective. Secondly, Quagers freely admits that two of the three elements in the headline are Labour’s selling points. But (s)he never articulates why the third of them, borrowing, should be taken as read. As public borrowing is often seen (not really correctly) as bad policy by the general public, it is bias on Kuenssberg’s part to report that as part of the equation, when there is no firm indication that that is the case. She makes no reference to the reality that public borrowing has sky-rocketed over the seven years since the Tories got into power, and that therefore the low-tax/low-borrowing ‘consensus’ she speaks of is essentially mythological, and that Labour’s spending plans will have to go some distance just to match the profligacy of the Tories.

Quagers then adds,

Its bollocks like this which is why the BBC, including Laura, has infinitely more credibility than shitty Corbynista blogs.

Sorry you dislike my blog, Quagers (although I doubt that you have read much of it). But just for the record, while I support Corbyn, I am not a ‘Corbynista’. I am not starry-eyed about him, I do recognise he has his failings. I would be pleased if you could acknowledge that the same is true of Kuenssberg.