Friday, 16 December 2011

Response From the BBC

This was the BBC response - in blog form to my complaint.
My response to this complaint is copied below


The challenge of reporting Britain's role in Europe

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Helen Boaden | 17:03 UK time, Monday, 12 December 2011
The issues involved in British membership of the European Union represent a faultline that runs not just through UK politics but through British society. It is a topic that frequently enrages viewers, listeners and readers like few others.
You only have to look at the poll in today's Times, suggesting widespread support for the Prime Minister's action at last week's summit, to see the depth and power of Euro-scepticism across the country. Like any highly controversial subject, it is always challenging for an impartial news organisation to report without inflaming strong views on either side of the debate.
Trust must be at the heart of the BBC's relationship with its audiences and that is why we listen carefully to the range of feedback audiences give us. We've had some criticism of our coverage over the weekend claiming it was too "pro-European". I've watched, heard and read a great deal of what we did and without any sense of complacency, I think we reported events fairly and accurately and tried hard to capture a very wide range of views about last week's summit.
It is not our job to hail any summit on any subject as a "triumph" or a "disaster". Our role is simply to report and analyse events and their fall-out.
Nobody disputes that there was a big row in Brussels last week or that the Prime Minister's approach left him standing alone among European leaders - but there is considerable disagreement about whether or not that is a good thing and what it might mean politically and economically. Our job is to explain what happened and interrogate the different perspectives taken on Mr Cameron's stance so that our audiences can judge for themselves.
So on Friday and over the weekend we attempted to discover just what it was that the Prime Minister had vetoed, which safeguards he was seeking for the City of London, and what had changed for the UK and for Europe. We questioned a wide range of politicians and we picked up the unease among Liberal Democrats, which burst into the open with Nick Clegg's appearance on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.
We've backed this up with analysis of the political and economic implications by our most trusted and respected editors: Nick Robinson, Gavin Hewitt, Robert Peston, Stephanie Flanders and a host of other correspondents.
Almost inevitably, this process leads to politicians having to field some uncomfortable questions from BBC interviewers. We don't do that because we have some hidden agenda but because the public expects us as an independent and impartial broadcaster to hold governments and opposition parties to account.
Over the weekend news programmes have featured in-depth interviews with George Osborne and William Hague for the Conservatives, Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats, a range of Euro-sceptic voices and some highly critical Labour politicians. All have different views, all have been allowed to express them - and rightly so.
It is the nature of contentious subjects - Europe, climate change, the Middle East - that they polarise opinion. Among those who feel strongly about them, BBC News is often accused of "taking sides". We must always be open to criticism of course - we don't get everything right. But criticism, however ferocious, should never deter us from focussing on the basics: telling the story accurately and fairly, testing it against a wide range of opinions and challenging all those opinions with rigour.
It's not an approach that makes us popular with everyone of course, but it may explain why audiences have remained so loyal to BBC News output over many decades.
Helen Boaden is the BBC Director of News

This was my response to this piece of BBC spin

Thank you for the response by Boaden to accusations of BBC bias over reporting EU Treaty. There was no apology at all for the BBC reporting style. To précis, the blog seems to say 1 There was no bias 2 That the reporting bias was only an illusion to those viewers that have a strong opinion.
Was the hysterical hyperbole that I awoke to at 06.30 that Friday morning from the BBC reporter just an illusion because I have a strong view? If so, how do you explain the corresponding balance of the Sky News report? I didn't see whingeing criticism there. The contrast was obvious. I accuse the BBC of harbouring the gravest of contempt for the frustrated viewers who cannot get the BBC to answer to their biased reporting. The BBC simply denies bias and hides behind the Trust which is tragically not answerable to an external regulator. The BBC hides behind an FOI act get out clause which allows them to conceal the numbers of complaints on the balance of reporting bias on the grounds this undermines their independence. Are you willing to tell me whether there was fair and reasonable balance of complaints about BBC pro and anti EU reporting bias that morning or is the BBC going to continue to conceal its institutional bias behind a technicality. Your refusal to admit bias is going to foment accusations of breaches of codes of impartiality and further resentment of mandatory payment of the TV licence. Please do simply say you will present it with all the other complaints to the Trust board.

I am awaiting an answer to this from the Beeb. You know it's going to be inadequate

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Complaint to BBC re Institutional Bias

I sent the following complaint to the BBC today. I shall be posting their no doubt lame comment.

"I was appalled to wake up to the BBC breakfast news reporter from the EU summit spouting hysterical hyperbole over Cameron's veto. After an agonizingly biased diatribe, I eventually changed channel to Sky News where I was warmly greeted with an eminently more balanced discussion of the veto. On this channel, David Buik from BCG partners gave a very refreshing and sensible statement over the importance of protecting our financial services industry from potentially ruinous proposed centrally agreed transaction taxes. The presenters themselves asked very sensible questions and generated interesting opinions. The BBC news coverage since this demonstration of biased hysteria has simply not been able to hide its pro European position and once again it has required the paper press and bloggers to uncover the institutional bias that, like a cancer, just cannot seem to be stamped out of the BBC. No doubt, (as you always do when responding to accusations of bias), point out other pieces of BBC coverage that do have a balanced debate and you will convince yourselves and try to convince me that that is commensurate with impartiality. The fact that your opening coverage of the summit was so candidly critical of Cameron's decision rather negates this as answer to accusations of bias. I accuse you of once again violating your duty to impartiality and state my resentment of the mandatory licence fee the TV viewing nation has, by law, to pay to hear this form of State run propaganda. "

Monday, 12 September 2011

Trade Unionists Reverting To Racist Instincts

This article explains how trades unionist leaders are exhibiting primitive racist tribalism when blaming bankers for the economic crisis.

It is only too often we hear how the Trades Unionists blame 'the Bankers' for the economic problems. They say it was the bankers' "wreckless misuse of investors' money" that brought about the crisis and that they should be held accountable for this. It is interesting how they consistently omit to apportion blame on the policymakers responsible for the provision of easy credit within the financial system.

What they don't tell you is that subprime lending is an invention of governments and not bankers. The creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteed $1.4 trillion, or 40%, of all U.S. mortgages. Gordon Brown was so quick to blame the outside factors for the crisis. He was complicit in the encouragement of unregulated generosity of credit and didn't have the sense to understand that this would all end in tears. It was all going too well for him. The bankers, like anyone else, behaved in a way that most people would do in a job if they have the opportunity to do it. It's a bit like blaming your daughter for buying an overly expensive dress with your credit card if you haven't set a budget limit.

It will be remembered that the workers' unions in pre-war Germany also blamed "the bankers" for the German economic crisis. At that time the distinction between bankers and Jews was blurred. Nevertheless, the natural end result was the development of hatred and eventually racism and attempted genocide. Jews historically were placed in a position of money lending because it was deemed immoral that a Christian should profit from the interest. This provided no end of racist opportunities for criticism by those who otherwise should have appreciated the services of Jews for the purposes of enterprise.

I will not however engage in puerile comparisons of individuals to famous Nazi leaders in the same way that Ken Livingstone is happy to do. I do not personally believe that Len McCluskey wishes the extermination of 6 million bankers in concentration camps. I do however see this blame culture to arise from an instinct in those who view the 'workers' in a tribal sense in the same way that encouraged the development of anti-Jewish racism in pre-war Germany.

The Trades Unionists need to have a little more understanding of the political background to the financial crisis and how their tendency toward hatred and blame mirrors the tribal instincts that led to hatred and racism in Nazi Germany.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Raping the countryside to attempt to boost the economy is vile political short termism

This article illustrates the stupidity of destroying our precious countryside for the sake of a short term fix for the UK economy

The coalition feels they have the right to rape the countryside to stimulate growth in the flagging UK economy. They should remember we are the custodians of our beautiful green land and building development on green belt sites is an irreversible process.

The coalition's argument mirrors the foolish notion of encouraging immigration as a short term measure to deal with pensions crisis in an ageing population in an already heavily overpopulated country. It is a short term fix that will need to be re-fed once the immigrants brought in for that fix themselves retire and require money for their own pensions. The natural answer then is to increase the population further.

The analogy is that of bacteria multiplying rapidly in a Petri dish. The bacteria multiply very quickly and appear to flourish in vast numbers. There comes a time when the food source in the Petri dish suddenly comes to an end and then the bacteria die in their billions.

We need to see sensible custodianship of our country by our politicians and not quick fix policies like raping our rural assets and costly PFI public service developments that are designed to show the public how wonderful our politicians are. The costs of this political narcissism are just too high on us all.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Green Party's Breathtaking Confusion of Purpose

This post discusses my observation of the confusion of purpose of the Green Party and how they avoid the elephant in the room - overpopulation.

I had a long discussion with a Green Party (GP) activist over a beer or three last night. He confirmed the Greens are a socialist group that concentrates on the environment and therefore wasn't a single issue focus group. He felt that the environment would be best served through socialist policies.

I am old enough to remember the 1980's when the GP actually really stood apart as a focussed concern for the environment. I was impressed that a political group cared for something that was dear to my heart and even considered voting for them. The policies on the GP website now have the main headings of banking system, health and NHS, pensions, housing, jobs and living wage, transport and young people. While some of what they say on housing seems to make sense, one cannot help wondering if the GP is primarily a socialist party that puts the needs of socialism before the needs of the environment. In other words, any of their green policies are based on an indirect approach to ecology and conservation based on the foundations of socialism and not through any primary concern for the environment. In this way, they will prioritise socialism above any policies that might improve the environment. Where there is a conflict in between these policies, socialism will always be put first.

I raised the point with my beer drinking partner that the subject of human overpopulation was studiously avoided in published statements of GP policies. While it is within the socialist mindset to never even discuss the subject of reducing the planet's human population explosion, it is more acceptable to let the environment suffer the needs of the population if need be by humanity's given right to expand as it seems fit. Instead, the GP would rather concentrate on the more cosy subjects of wind farms and other techniques to reduce carbon emissions while conveniently forgetting that the more humans there are on the planet, the more carbon will be emitted.

My beverage sipping companion agreed that a major GP policy was one of redistribution of wealth in the UK. Also it is interesting and perhaps not surprising that when one scours the GP website for its foreign policy, the only subject that seems to come up is that of criticism of Israel. No mention is made of the hungry, dying masses of Darfur or countless other countries that have such appalling records of sordid violations of human rights. Of course redistribution stops at the borders of the British Isles. As with so many other socialist intellectual groups that pride themselves on their bleeding hearts, redistribution only concerns the people of one country, foreign policy concerns centre around the plight of Palestinians and the rest of the abused, hungry, raped and murdered world can go hang.

After I made these points to my redoubtable companion of the brew, I asked what the GP really stood for. The answer was not easily forthcoming.

I concluded that the Green Party was not a party for the environment but a home for socialists disaffected with New Labour and the Lib Dems. It is about time they changed their name to make it clear to all what they really stand for