Why didn’t I hear about the 5.1% increase in public spending on the BBC?

 

               Yesterday’s news broadcasts usually referred to the 0.2% increase in retail spending in March. I did not hear any BBC news broadcast mention the fact that public spending was 5.1% higher in 2010-11 than the previous year, though that too was announced yesterday.

            As the BBC seem to welcome every spending increase and condemn every cut, you would have thought they would welcome such news and want people to know that more of their money was being spent.  Nor did I hear them tell us that we had all paid 6.9% more in tax last year than the year before. Again you would have thought they would be ringing bells in joy at this, as so many of their broadcasts seem to urge higher taxation, to pay for the higher spending they favour.

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62 Comments

  1. Javelin
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The reason the Government is not supposed to control the BBC is because they are supposed to be impartial. They have been using the term “cuts” rather than budget rebalancing when there has been a reduction is spending, but to be using the term cuts when there has been an increase in spending in teal terms discredits their entire output for the past year. If I were David Cameron I would simply call them on it. I would stand up in Parliament and read the BBC the riot Act – give them 3 months to sort their editing out and then if they don’t make a 180 degree turn sack the editors and break the BBC news off from the rest of the corporation – given half the news budget to commercial news stations to keep them in business. Unless the Conservatives do this they have a very good chance of losing the next election purely on the untruthful output from the BBC.

    • Javelin
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Thinking about it, I’d also sack the managers and break the BBC news up even if they made a 180 degree turn – because that would be an admission of guilt. Wisdom is about being in touch with reality. Democracy relies on the BBC and the BBC can’t be relied upon. Cameron is in a huge state of fear not tackling this problem – he needs to move to a “new normal” – as the yanks would say – where the output of news on the BBC comes from different providers – why can’t the 9 o’clock news slot be tendered for? Why can’t newsnight, breakfast or all the other different news slots be replaced by non-core companies. It would add to the independence of the news.

      • waramess
        Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Why not privatise it and the problem would be sorted. No more leftie bent or their viewers would shove off to sky. No more enforced payment of license fee monies and, the benefit to the exchequer would not be insignificant.

        Unfortunately along with the NHS and Education, it’s another piece of “family silver”

  2. Matt
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure why you single out the BBC on this issue. Nor was it on Sky news, ITN, Bloomberg, CNN or Euronews. I doubt it was in The Sun or Mirror and it certainly isn’t mentioned on the Mail’s web site – who are very positive about the latest economy “results”.

    There’s plenty of choice in news source but very little variation in interpretation.

    • norman
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      A good point and it’s of the governments own making that no one reports this.

      To show that ‘we’re all in this together’ so that taxes on the productive sector can be hiked and other counter productive measures retained such as the 50% tax rate, it’s suited the government perfectly to reinforce the perception that we are in the middle of a programme of stringent cuts.

      If it wasn’t for the likes of John Redwood we’d be totally in the dark as to the real state of affairs, that the plan is to increase spending at less than above trend growth starting, hopefully, in this financial year.

      Whether this magic formula will work out in the end we’ll have to wait and see.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        ‘we’re all in this together’ You actually believe this to be true?

        • norman
          Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Of course I don’t, that’s why I put it in quotes. The government would like us to think it’s true but the truth is that the deficit is being reduced on the backs on ordinary taxpayers.

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Why is the BBC singled out? Because we pay for them and they are charter bound to be impartial in their presentation.

      Simple, really. With a little thought.

      • David Price
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 2:25 am | Permalink

        Precisely.

        It doesn’t matter if the Sun, The Times or Sky or Gonzo the Gorilla don’t report the truth; we have the right not to buy them and/or listen to them.

        With the BBC it is different; we all have to pay for them and what we get in return is supposed to be uniquely impartial and accurate. It is not, by a long long way.

        I still love much of the Beeb’s output but their news/politics coverage is getting increasingly tawdry and their one-dimensional coverage of climate change is an insult to everyone’s intelligence; it’s not to far to say that Goebels would have approved with the ‘methods’, and certainly Orwell’s ‘1984’ is eerily prescient in this particular respect.

        I just want balanced coverage; both sides to the story; and let the viewer make up his or her mind. I don’t want an angle, an attitude, a world view, a single proselytising ‘take’ on things, I just want them to go back to “one side says this and the other says that…” type reporting that they used to do.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The BBC has its big state, pro EU, Equality and pro the new green religion agenda, Pro free at the point of use NHS and the politics of envy. Virtually all staff work towards that aim. No one with sensible views is likely to get a job or any space there and certainly would not last long.

    I assume that is why the top BBC jobs are all over paid by a factor of about 10 relative to the top staff’s actual ability and true market value. This in order to keep the big state agenda on the track and all views in line with the absurdly damaging BBC agenda.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I wonder what effect the BBC will have on the AV referendum in their reporting and presetting of the arguments.

      The whole basis of democracy is in the hands of these Guardian “thinkers” who have been proved wrong time and time again but still keep pushing their discredited agenda down the public’s throats. Using the public’s own money to fund it.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Have you ever considered the collusion by governments with Rupert Murdoch and his monopoly SKY. Don’t suppose you have?

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

          He clearly has no real monopoly and you do not need to pay for it if you do not want to.

  4. lojolondon
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    This is absolutely correct John, but the tragedy is that the BBC is the biggest waste of money in the UK today –
    Hundreds of BBC personnel go to every cool event, eg. Glastonbury, the Olympics, rock concerts etc.
    The politically motivated move to the north is a massive waste of billions of taxpayers funds, and ensures that the BBC maintains its institutionalised bias towards Labour.
    The BBC notably fails to deliver unbiased reporting in the areas of alleged Global Warming, the subject of the EU and UK politics.

    I believe the BBC budget should be cut by at least 50%, and the apparatchiks who run it should be replaced by media people with no mandate for biased reporting.

    • sm
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The license tax should be abolished- approx £3.6bn. (thats a few frontline service personnel)

      Its public service elements could tendered off.
      e.g. News with the output going out on the usual BBC channel and slot.
      The public service bit not able to be tendered off, should be reviewed as to whether it is necessary to attract a direct public subsidy by project.
      Any other bits the management wish to produce should self fund -they can encrypt it and charge for it via an encrypted channel.

      Needless to say, it would slim down to the size the public wants pdq, along with all the expenses,perks and pensions.

      Whilst your on it why is the House of Lords growing in numbers fast?

      • norman
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        The House of Lords is growing to counteract the fact that Labour packed it with their nodding donkeys during the 13 years they held office. As part of the coalition deal the Conservatives promised the Lib Dems to stuff a lot of them in, and the Conservatives also need to increase their numbers to offset the increases Labour made.

        A shocking situation but there you are.

        Although if the No vote wins the AV referendum substantial House of Lords reform will be offered as a consolation prize to the Lib Dems. If we do go to an all elected upper House if it isn’t staggered in mid-term to allow us to put a brake on governments that will be another disastrous result of this coalition.

    • Andrew Curry
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      The only industries where the UK is still globally competitive are those where there is significant public procurement: BBC, pharma (health service) and aeronautics (defence spending). The same is true in other countries. But pro-market anti-tax people never understand this.

      • norman
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Because, of course, if the NHS wasn’t a wholly nationalised operation none of us would need medicines.

        No pro-market anti-tax person ever calls for defence cuts, it being one of the real legitimate areas of government.

        A state controlled media outlet stuffed full of cash will be ‘competitive’ due to the fact that traditional media is suffering heavily due to free internet access to news, something the BBC doesn’t have to worry about as we are all obliged by law to ‘subscribe’ to it.

        Do you have Sky by the way? I do and I find the service and range provided by it knocks spots off the BBC. But the real cost of the BBC is that it keeps out real competition, choice and market forces from my preferred medium of entertainment – local radio.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    It’s not just the BBC which has selective reporting; the other news channels seem to have swallowed the “spending cuts” propaganda. None of them now report anything factually but employ their own editorial interpretation.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Indeed even Cameron fails to make the point by pretending to make cuts while not doing so. He should be making real cuts while minimising publicity and the actual effects of them. He has it the wrong way round.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        As long as those same cuts do not affect you personally that’s for sure.

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

          They won’t negatively anyway – done properly they will benefit all.

  6. APL
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JR: “I did not hear any BBC news broadcast mention the fact that public spending was 5.1% higher .. ”

    Why don’t you sponsor a private members bill?

    The BBC license fee is abolished.

    How they fund themselves after that, be it pay to view, subscription, is not the concern of the government.

    In fact I would say the only arm of the BBC the government might have a justifiable reason to be running is the World Service.

    • acorn
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      APL; Peter Bone MP already has a bill tabled on the BBC licence tax:-
      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/broadcastingtelevisionlicencefeeabolition.html

      • APL
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        acorn: “Peter Bone MP ..”

        Good man.

        I notice the second reading of the bill is due on a day Parliament isn’t sitting …

        Lifelogic: “that Cameron likes this “Guardian Broadcasting Company””

        Not to mention the BBC has for years acted as a conduit to channel tax payers money directly to the Guardian through its jobs advertisements.

        Didn’t Pickles make a song and dance about that a while ago?

        You’d think the BBC with the largest online presence of pretty much any broadcaster, could put it’s own job vacancies on its own website. Resulting in considerable saving to the information tax ( AKA the television licence payer).

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      In fact Cameron has just appoint Lord Patten as chair of the BBC trustees so, one assumes, that Cameron likes this “Guardian Broadcasting Company” just as it is. Pro an ever bigger state, against any cuts, pro the undemocratic EU socialist superstate, pro the quack green exaggeration “proven science” and the rest.

      Perhaps he aspires to have a nice EU job and pension in due course too and maybe a chair of the BBC trustees in retirement. Certainly the interests of private industry and voters does not seem to concern him much.

      • APL
        Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Cameron has just appoint Lord Patten ..”

        Do I discern a pattern ?

        Patten life long wet and EUrophile appointed to give succor to the BBC, that body that has taken loans on ‘favourable’ terms – [else why not just borrow at commercial rates from a bank?] – from the European Union. What could the European Union be getting in return?

        Clarke life long wet and rabid EUrophile appointed to sinecure in Cabinet that involves sleeping while on the job.

        Teresa May, Life long wet, Europhile and Leftie appeaser – we must stop being the nasty party.

        Hague, fifth columnist masquerading as hard Eurosceptic but turns out to be the most limp wristed EUro appeaser and the most incompetent Foreign secretary we have had since the last Labour government a year ago.

        The Tory party today, it’s enough to make one vomit.

  7. Nick
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    So lets see. Massive deficit, huge government debts, and you’re bragging about making it worse.

    Reply: I’m not bragging about it – I have made many suggestions to reduce spending compared to current plans.

    • CHEESED OFF
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Most here are missing the point. JR’s comments are not really about the BBC but the fact that the Cameron government has not yet been able to rein in the splurge of the Brown years.
      It may well be because they have lost sight of that overriding obective and are far from the hard-headed and hard-hearted goverment the country needs. Waste and lost opportunuity for belt-tightening are listed on this site virtually every day but I fear none are heeded at the Cabinet table.

      Camco might be able to blame the latest figures on the running out of Labour’s policies but I fear this is not entirely true and Team Cameron will not get away with that argument for much longer.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I no longer expect much serious content or balance from the BBC. For business news I find that Sky`s Geoff Randall Live (free to air on Sky News at 7.00pm on Monday to Thursday each week) is good value. There are two reasons for this. The first is that he (or his occasional stand ins) actually get well informed business men and women (eg CEOs), economists, academics and trade unionists to turn up for discussions on issues of the day. The second is that they get a chance to say what they have to say without the constant interruption that disfigures so much BBC interviewing. They get questioned on their views – but without the interruption of their replies. This can enable him to tease out information and opinions you just do not get from the BBC.

    • CHEESED OFF
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear!

    • rose
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Besides the constant and stupid interruptions, another infuriating habit the BBC employees have is talking about “MY guests” instead of “our guests”. They make it sound as if they are paying for it all out of their own pockets!

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        The most annoying habit is the framing of any debate in an absurd childish way before any discussion from the guests even begins.

        The constant assumption that the government must do more on everything and that taking taxes off people in taxes is helping the economy but on the other hand cutting services is taking money out of the economy – perhaps causing a double dip.

    • Robin
      Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      From one old timer to another, “very well said”. I too like Randall, he could show the bbc how to conduct a meaningful interview.
      Why Cameron does not take effective action against the bbc I do not know. What hold do they have over him?
      A weak PM, Cameron appears to have as much contempt for the responsible people of this country as does the bbc. Thank goodness for UKIP.

  9. Electro-Kevin
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    As with previous comments – the BBC is not alone in this reporting. (Though I agree – the BBC is terribly left-leaning, especially in drama and soaps)

    David Cameron promised to get a grip on our economy and talked tough. This is the light in which everything the Government does is now being viewed by the media.

    Mr Cameron also promised to get a grip on immigration and talked tough on that too. So they adopted a similar perspective that he was about to make radical changes. (The EU makes it impossible for us to control immigration)

    Very few of us (including the media) seem to understand that Mr Cameron is not being very tough on anything at all. It’s the way he’s set things up. This is to sell himself to traditional voters as being something that he’s not whilst being true to his own beliefs (whatever they are !)

  10. GeoffMM
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Where is the UK’s Glen Beck we need someone else apart from Jeff Randel to put an alternative point to the country instead of the pollytype garbage thats sprouted out from the likes of R4 and QT

  11. Posted April 22, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I’m not an expert on mental health but your blog seems very close to being paranoid. BBC is such an easy target in the leafy lanes of Berkshire, John, and you can guarantee a welcome at the Golf Club with this sort of selective, superficial bile.

    40p a day for all that the BBC offers is the biggest bargain in Britain!

    The charge of bias against the BBC is oh so old and oh so stupid! It never stands up but it is as old as the hills. And successive dim-witted politician of all parties will no doubt go on parroting this garbage as long as the BBC lives – which I for one hope will be for ever.

    • norman
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      If the BBC is such a bargain make it an ecrypted subscription channel. We may have to charge more than 40p a day to give free access to pensioners but even at 50p a day if it’s such a bargain it shouldn’t make any difference – what’s to be afraid of?

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The bias charge emanates from current and past BBC news presenters in a position to know. It is neither old nor stupid but current and well sourced.

  12. acorn
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    ” … and at the end of March 2011: net debt excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions was £903.4 billion, equivalent to 59.9 per cent of gross domestic product (£2238.6 billion, equivalent to 148.5% including interventions)”.

    It is worth having a read of at least page 9 of the PSF. This shows how reconciliation is done on the intervention and non-intervention PSND and PSNB accounts:-
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/psf0411.pdf

  13. Martin
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps not the angle you were wanting but some signs that the growth in borrowing is slowing ….

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13155599

    There are incidentally links to a lot of stories about inflation on there.

    Radio 4 annoyed me this morning when some religious stuff came on – not what I pay my licence me for. (Needless to say it was time to head to another station.)

  14. Posted April 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I take great comfort John that you have first reported that government spending has risen by 7% over the year some months ago, then more recently you reported that it has risen by 6% over the previous year. Now apparently it has risen by 5% over the previous year (in nominal terms). It seems the battle against spending is being won. At least to some degree.

    I was also extremely surprised that there was so little reporting of the lower deficit figures for the past year. The deficit came in at £141 billion over the previous financial year. As against £148 forecast by Mr Osbourne last June and £157 billion by Darling in March last year.

    The Coalition has successfully cut the deficit by £16 billion more than Labour said was possible. Despite the poor winter quarter. Surely this is a massive vindication of Conservative strategy as put forward at the last general election.

  15. Paul B
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if you’d be happy to post this John, but a few of the contributors on here:

    http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com/

    have probably covered some of the reasons why/how the Beeb’s news agenda is framed.

    ‘This website is not responsible for external content’ and all that….

    • Bazman
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Interesting how this site has a direct link to SKY in it’s banner. Even with my little education I can smell a rat here, as it is run by a shall way say a ‘traditional unionist’ called David Vance. You and the likes of you need to pull your head out of the ground Paul B.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    This selective reporting, which seems to have grown over the decades shows no sign of stopping, infact it will get worse as each type of news media gains/seeks its own agenda.

    I have posted before that I believe we should have a state of the nation/nations broadcast by the Prime Minister very 6 months whilst this selective reporting continues.

    Aware that people can switch it off, make the tea, or do a host of other things, but at least it is then on record.

  17. Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is the state funded propaganda arm of the civil service. This is more subtle than simple party political bias (though they still have that or UKIP would be on 4 times as often as the Greens and the BNP twice as often). It is equally & perhaps more effectively biased within the parties – look at the way they supported Cameron for party leader.

    As civil service propagandists they are bound to push the line that our civil service are not geting enough of our money and that the state isn’t sufficiently powerful (against domestic enemies like smokers & warming sceptics or foreign ones like Serbia & Libya) (etc ed)

    BBC delenda est.

    • APL
      Posted April 24, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Neil Craig: “look at the way they [the BBC] supported Cameron for party leader.”

      Bingo!

      The Statist which is to say pro big state everything, supported one candidate over another in the Tory party elections.

      Why would they do that?

  18. REPay
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Admitting that the government has failed to control spending runs counter to both the government’s spin and the BBC’s editorial line that the UK’s public sector budget is being slashed…I am not doubt swivel-eyed because I am appalled that we are not addressing the budget. Big question marks still hang over Coalition presentation…the need for cuts not sufficiently made, the blame not apportioned, no cuts overall in hand and yet bad PR for cuts. Delta minus – see me!

  19. Posted April 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    was not the BBC originally funded by the licence fee because there was no alternative save for from direct taxation?
    the world has moved on.
    let the funding move on and lets abolish the licence fee and leave them to attract revenue from advertising and the like.
    tough on culture?
    so what why should people like me who have no time for culture subsidise it?
    if i said please subsidise 67 year old solicitors running a business from his own capital and general resources you would say”you must be joking”.
    and quite rightly.
    yet i am running a business with over 30 people contributing a small fortune one way or another to the exchequor.
    culture provides entertainment to a minority audience and does nothing but drain taxes i pay for the benefit of other people who will do nothing to help me.
    i am married to a third wife i have been with for 19 years.
    when last year i was told she might die of a rare infection i sat and waited to see if they had cut out enough of her body to save her.i cried for what seemed like ever and i knew that if she died so would i.she is alive living with the pain on 23 pills a day yet working full time ,gritting her teeth in pain,in the business.
    when she and i attended the divorce hearing with my previous wife i was asked if i liked culture as my previous wife did.i was asked if i went to glynebourne and covent garden with her.
    yes i replied i wanted to se what she was spending my money on when she took her men friends to these events. culture i replied was, for me anyway, going to watch brighton and hove albion play football and having a few beers.
    so i am ,you may think,biased.
    yes but logic is logig all the same and what is wrong is wrong.
    and this country is very wrong at the moment and has its values all upside down.
    so long as we have self satisfied people like cable anywhere near us we will not change much.
    cannot david lawes be sorted .
    he was just shy about his sexuality.
    maybe he should come to brighton.
    no problem with that sort of thing here.
    he need never feel shy again.

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I am going to be honest. I am getting to find that Mr Cameron is the heir to Blair.
    This worries me.
    Now that there are stirrings in the Labour Party (this morning’s Telegraph) to get out of the EU, I am beginning to find myself torn.
    Is it really just the Libdems who are holding to the Labour Party position on spending, the BBC, the Health Service and Schools? Or, more sinister, is it Mr Cameron himself?

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Cameron has always been the heir to Blair, it is said that is how he described himself. A majority of members of the Conservative Party fell for his presentational skills, a la Blair, and rejected a true Tory, who wasn’t as PR slick. As time goes on more people are realising what was evident to many from the start of his rapid(too rapid) elevation to authority and power.

  21. zorro
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s inability to deal with the BBC issue is linked to his inability to deal effectively with the deficit issue. In short, I don’t think that he has the stomach for it.

    zorro

  22. Epigenes
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, if you believe the BBC is not impartial then you are in a better position to do something to remedy the situation than most other people.

    So why not do something? Why not campaign to have it sold into the private sector? It must have some financial value.

    Also, why is a bankrupt country increasing spending? Is this worthy of an accolade? I do not think so.

  23. Dave
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    5.1% increase in public spending? Does that figure include payments towards PFI consortia? You know, the payments that Cameron and Osborne told us they would be putting, officially, on the books? The PFI that Cameron and Osborne told us we had to stop buying into?

    Reply: regular payments to PFI/PPP were always in the official figures. The issue was the capitalised liability which should appear on the balance sheet.

  24. Bazman
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose many of the contributors to this site are particularly bothered by biased right wing pro big business reporting from the likes of Murdoch owned Fox News. That will be the ‘truth’ though, even when right wing reporter Ann Coulter is telling everyone a little bit of radiation could be healthy. She is just trying to create doubt where there is none like much of their news is just pure disinformation and in many cases and for whatever reasons such as lies or bad research. The fantasists can eat this nonsense as nobody else will and Coulter can go to Japan and help clean up their nuclear fiasco.

    • norman
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Baz, most of we biased right wing pro business commentators on this site live in Britain – Fox News concerns itself with the USA. We could never have a Fox News, or more importantly a Talk Radio with the likes of Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, here due to the hegemony of the BBC.

      By the way, do you happen to know of the long term effects of the Chernobyl disaster? A situation that couldn’t have been handled worse by the Soviet authorities (Iodine is a good google search term in any research). It’s almost as though they wanted to see how bad a nuclear disaster could be and put in place the worst option at every step of the way.

      I confidently predict that in Japan, under the worst possible imaginable circumstances (that could never happen here), that there will be less than a hundred provable deaths over the decades. Still bad news if you’re one of the hundred, undoubtedly and I won’t argue that it isn’t, but is it worth writing off our best hope to ‘keep the lights on’ on this evidence?

      • rose
        Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        The Japanese reactors do everything they are designed to do in their earthquakes, even the old reactors. They shut down automatically. The record-sized wave was something else, yet even then the unimaginable was managed, in a remarkable show of selflessness and discipline.

        The heartless way in which the Japanese tragedy has been shown primarily through the prism of our stock markets and our own nuclear programmes, rather than their tens of thousands of deaths and displacements has been truly shaming. And it has all been led by the morally superior BBC.

        Radiation comes from the rock underneath our houses and from the stones they are built with. It seeps in and then stays because of the double glazing and insulation; it also comes from the sun, and especially from flying in aeroplanes and being scanned at airports. The constant exposure to wireless technology and microwaves, and the other x-rays you have from time to time… the ill effects all add up yet are rarely taken into account. Of course we all got an extra dose from Chernobyl- which Evan Davies and his studio pals have no idea how to pronounce – as the leaked radiation blew round the world, but Fukoshima is different.

        I seem to remember left wing people then, including on the BBC, pooh poohing the disaster at Chernobyl, because they didn’t want their beloved Soviet Union brought into disrepute.

  25. Tom
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The best coverage of international news is Aljazeera in English, which has excellent reporters and is pretty unbiassed (more so than the BBC). You hear about inportant events which the BBC and Sky do not even mention. It also omits much of the junk in UK news reporting but also covers important topics and events.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      The BBC and Sky have larger budgets but then disinformation doesn’t come cheap.

    • norman
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Russia Today, bizarrely, is also another good source.

    • rose
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      And all the foreign channels speak English better than the BBC – Mr Stourton and a very few others excepted.

  26. Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I have had the impression for a while now that DG Mark Thompson is well aware of the left-centre bias at the BBC.

    He may also be aware that broadcast journalism sets the agenda for the day and that the BBC is a big fish in a relatively small pond. Broadcast journalists subconsciously toe the BBC line and look at the BBC running order as a benchmark. In a relatively small community, broadcast journalists – especially in the tight times we have today – will tend to keep on the right side of the BBC. Thus the cancer spreads as other broadcast journalists and editors look at the BBC as the only employer with any money and any future employment.

    The first, very simple question that the BBC could never answer is “why does it report public spending cuts as bad news?”

    The second question alludes to John’s post: “why do most people [that I know] think that the government has been cutting public spending when, in fact, the opposite is true?”

    I put this failure partly down to our own ministers but I also think the BBC is largely to blame. If many – possibly most – people have a perception that is the opposite of the truth then surely our public broadcaster must be doing something very wrong. In short, I blame the messenger.

    If Mr Thompson is an honourable man he will admit this failing and, after the fairly long run he has had, he will resign and, free from restrictions, tell us all. Only HE can realistically spill the beans as nobody from the Left of politics would do so and it could severely damage the career of a politician from the Right if he or she did so. For the sake of the country Mr Thompson should tell it as it is.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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