by Martin Odoni

You know, there are people out there who still genuinely believe that the BBC has an innate left-wing bias. I would concede that it has a tendency in its news reporting on social issues that leans towards the under-dog. But in terms of politics and economics, the BBC’s conservatism has become so flagrant that I struggle to see it as any more reliable than Russia Today. Both networks are able to report honestly on rival nations and still score propaganda ‘goals,’ for the simple reason that no country in the history of Mankind has behaved ‘well.’ There have been differing degrees of how ‘bad’ behaviour is, but the spectrum only extends from, “patchy” (the Irish), to “thoroughly repugnant” (the British). (And it must be emphasised, countries in the “patchy” category tend only to have behaved better historically than others because circumstances in most situations have not allowed them to behave as badly as they would have liked to.) But when it comes to discussing their own countries, both the BBC and RT, and indeed most news networks on Earth, tend to spin, censor, distract and fabricate with a creativity that I can only feel is wasted not being deployed in the Hollywood movie industry instead.

It goes without saying that the BBC’s position on home affairs is therefore to be as kind to the most establishment-friendly politicians as possible, and hostile to those who want real change. Hence why the Conservatives get far kinder treatment than the Labour Party, especially at those rare times when Labour are being run by its left wing. There is always a mechanical mantra about “studious impartiality” that the BBC’s news staff recite with almost religious fervour. And like all examples of religious fervour, it is an unchallengeable belief that overlooks nothing, bar the facts.

In recent times, the BBC have more or less stopped bothering to pretend they are impartial, especially given the desperation they shared with much of the rest of the media to eliminate Jeremy Corbyn and the resurgent Labour left. Now Corbyn is gone and the Labour left broken and defeated, it seems the BBC is forgetting that it needs to get back in the habit of at least giving a semblance of fairness.

The once-respectable, now utterly frivolous weekly forum, BBC Question Time, is one programme that has clearly still to get the memo. Fiona Bruce, long the ‘eye-candy’ of the corporation’s newsdesk, but about as effective as a tea strainer against a tsunami when it comes to chairing a debate, this week allowed a question to be tabled in such blatantly pro-Tory terms, it might as well have been submitted by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson; –

Wow, how loaded a question is that?

(And while the question may have been ‘submitted by the audience,’ with BBCQT’s long and shameless history of ‘planting’ Tories in the audience and then ‘just happening’ to pick them to ask questions, I take precisely zero reassurance from that.)

The question of course relates to the recent and very correct objections to the insultingly low ‘pay rise’ of 1% (in real terms a pay cut) for NHS workers. However, the way the question has been worded, like in the most disreputable tabloids and polling companies, makes the pay rise sound generous instead, by emphasising “secure jobs and incomes throughout the pandemic.”

Oh good heavens! I had never realised that a global crisis, which has taken millions of lives in just a year, and left countless more permanently ill through incurable lung-damage, was such a lucky break! How fortunate all those doctors and nurses on the frontline are, to be exposed to a lethal disease day-in-day-out for months!

Cor, those jammy bastards, right? Yeah, I really wish I was in their shoes! Thanks for letting us realise that a killer disease is such a merry happenstance, Fiona Bruce!

And she’s been doing precisely that and nothing else since the day she took over from David Dimbleby. Not that Dimbleby was a great deal better either.

Stuff your preposterous spin, BBC! You are a Tory mouthpiece. And those who say the corporation is left-wing can give it a rest too, and this is clear evidence why. If the BBC were left-wing, the question would have been molded this way; –

“Do the panel believe NHS staff merit a 10% pay rise, when they have spent a year, while heavily under-staffed, and not equipped with adequate PPE, risking their health and sometimes their very lives, fighting the most lethal pandemic the world has seen in a century?”

In that context, 25% would sound mean. And we should not forget that many medical staff, after prolonged exposure to Sars-COV2, have died of the Covid-19 fever. Many others have suffered damaging mental health issues brought on by months of witnessing the terrible suffering the virus can inflict, and the stress of overwork while poorly-protected.

After ten years and more of pay freezes due to futile Austerity, they deserve extra money simply because of the overwork. The deserve a lot more money due to the mental and physical dangers into which the pandemic is putting them.

Is 1% the reward Boris Johnson gives the NHS for apparently saving his life last Easter?

Oh sorry, what am I saying? Johnson’s Government lavishly gave them a round of applause, right?