Redwood Wrong on the BBC and the Bogeyman

John Redwood writing in the Sunday Telegraph about the BBC’s coverage of his recent Policy Commission report made two interesting points.

The first point was that since the report was finished before Gordon became PM, how could it be, as claimed by Labour, a “lurch to the Right” after the negative polls of the last few weeks?

The second more bitter point: “I do not recall, every time Neil Kinnock made a statement as EU Commissioner, the BBC running the clip of him slipping on the beach. Gordon Brown’s statements are not introduced by running the recent pictures of him picking his nose on the front bench. I look forward to fairer treatment in future.”

Actually that is not quite true, BBC News 24 explicitly re-ran Gordon’s nosepicking the next day. The presenters were smirking in a weirdly restrained manner and referred to “the allegation”. French TV’s premier late night current affairs show ran the footage to much hilarity in the studio, the female TV presenter saying haughtily something like “this is the man the British want as Prime Minister”. Guido never misses an excuse to show it – much to the annoyance of some.

Here, once again, is the re-mixed version of Gordon the Bogeyman. It has also been reconfigured for viewing on video enabled mobile phones (http://messagespace.co.uk/bogey) and released as a text-messaged viral to download. The idea being that people will show it on their phones to their mates down the pub.

Once you watch it, you won’t be able to get it outta your head, unlike Gordon. You can see the close-up Bogeytastic re-mix again on GuyNews.TV.

Is this just typical Guidoisation, the trivialisation and personalisation of politics? You bet. Does this type of thing have an effect on voter opinion – for sure – ask David Steel about his spitting image puppet. For intellectual support for Guido’s thesis read the hit political book of the summer, Drew Westen’s The Political Brain: How People Vote and How to Change Their Minds: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.



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