Guests on today’s Daily Politics enjoyed slice of cake dedicated to the Treasury’s over-zealous “wellbeing workstream“. More sweet defiance of yesterday’s killjoy ban on sugary treats which Guido revealed to a horrified Whitehall. Send over a slice…
As the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg questions President Trump on torture and Russia, he looks to Theresa May and jokes:
“That’s your choice of question? There goes that relationship.”
Nick Sutton has announced that he will no longer be tweeting out the nightly newspaper front pages with the hashtag
#tomorrowspaperstoday. He has handed over the responsibility to @hendopolis, @AllieHBNews and @MsHelicat. He is busy enough running the BBC News website…
It is fair to say that his tweets influence front pages in terms of layout and timing. When tabloids have a scoop they have to weigh up the publicity versus the risk of giving away the one fact story for free. Some of us wonder about Sutton’s definition of a newspaper; the Independent’s digital “front page” only exists in virtual reality to be tweeted and the union-printed Morning Star has fewer readers than Guido, yet is still worthy of BBC promotion. These are quibbles, the initiative sets off nightly social media conversations and is a valuable public service for the chattering classes…
Remember when Nick Clegg accused Michael Gove of lying about the Queen backing Brexit at a private lunch at Windsor Castle? Well, BBC political editor Laura Kuennsberg has revealed a source came to her with the same story before she was scooped by the Sun:
“In a casual chat with one of my contacts, they said: Do you know what? At some point this is going to come out, and I’m telling you now and I don’t know if the BBC would touch it, but the Queen told people at a private lunch that she thinks that we should leave the EU. Apparently at this lunch she said ‘I don’t see why we can’t just get out. What’s the problem?’ My jaw hit the floor. Very sadly, I only had one source. I spent the next few days trying to prove it. I couldn’t find the evidence. Lo and behold, a couple of months later, someone else did. Of course then ensued a huge row between that newspaper and the Palace over what had really been said or not said.”
Who to believe, Laura K and her sources and The Sun and their sources, or Nick Clegg…
A study conducted ahead of the parliamentary debate about the BBC’s Royal Charter reveals that 75% of the British public think the licence fee is too expensive. A survey of 1,023 respondents carried out by Strategy Analytics* found 10% said they didn’t pay the telly tax.
Of the one in ten households that admitted to not paying the telly tax 17% were entitled to a free one as they were over 75 years old. This means that 8.3% of all households, some 1.6 million, are not paying for it. Isn’t it time to switch to a pay-as-you-go system? Netflix and Amazon have joined Sky in proving this is easily possible. If the BBC is as well loved as their propaganda claims they will thrive. If it is not they will shrink, rightly so….
David Mercer from Strategy Analytics’ digital consumer practice says, with some understatement, that the BBC “struggles to identify with younger and lower income groups”. Of those that were willing to pay the telly tax, £101.57 was the average figure – 30% lower than the actual price (£145.50). The advent of widespread broadband means that there is no technological barrier to abolishing the outdated telly tax. There is popular support for such a move…
*The interesting thing about this research is that it was not commissioned by the BBC or a rival. BBC commissioned “independent” research always finds that the BBC is wonderful.
Maggie Thatcher will top the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List today, a roll of honour that “celebrates the seven women who’ve made the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past seven decades”. Awkward for Auntie, who broke its own golden rule of news writing – always put the most important line first – to bury Thatcher’s victory in the fourth paragraph of an online piece. Instead they led with Bridget Jones, who came sixth out of seven on the list. Meanwhile, from The Guardian:
One panel member, Ayesha Hazarika, a former adviser to the Labour MP Harriet Harman, said she felt “uncomfortable” with the choice of Thatcher, but said the list was about celebrating impact “both positive and negative”.
As the Mrs T once said: “I owe nothing to Women’s Lib”…
Auntie does spoil us…
Snooker fans tuning into the BBC’s coverage of UK Championship last night were left disappointed:
“A change to the schedule now on BBC2 means that tonight’s snooker coverage will start at 12:15am. Instead a special programme remembers Fidel Castro.”
A puff piece of a documentary with Peter Hain glossing over Castro’s crimes. Just before, Newsnight had West-hating relic Tariq Ali on to defend Castro’s “social dictatorship”.
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 28, 2016
Snooker ditched for a Castro love-in double bill. Your cue to switch off…
BBC News 24’s coverage of the death of Cuban military dictator Fidel Castro was beyond parody at some points this weekend. They had Richard Gott on as an “Expert on Cuba” without mentioning the role for which he is better known – as a KGB agent of influence and close colleague of Seumas Milne when he was at The Guardian. Dr Denise Baden was introduced as a Southampton University Professor in the Business School – viewers may have thought she was an academic expert. This was far too modest an introduction for Professor Baden…
She is also a musical impresario, writer and composer of “Fidel the Musical“. Mel Brooks, eat your heart out:
Sing-a-long “Viva Fidel Castro!, Viva la Revolucion!”
The BBC excitedly followed up this morning’s Times splash on an alleged Cabinet Office memo bemoaning Brexit chaos: “There is no plan for Brexit, leaked memo says”. Is it quite the bombshell memo gleeful Remainers are hoping? Downing Street say that in fact it wasn’t a Cabinet Office memo at all, it was an unsolicited report authored by Deloitte. In which they found the government needs 30,000 extra staff, presumably Deloitte consultants. Government sources say they told the BBC their headline and story was wrong at 7am. A Whitehall source says:
“This is about as meaty as Will Straw sending something to the letters page of the Times.”
The Beeb have now changed their headline, offering no explanation of the clarification to readers…
The BBC’s World News America presenter Katty Kay is somewhat creatively telling US television viewers that Britons regret voting for Brexit. Last night Katty said on NBC’s Meet the Press that people didn’t really want to Leave and that Remain would win a second referendum:
“We did opinion polls afterwards that showed that, actually, if we were to hold the referendum again, Remain would win. There were people who came on the BBC who said, “You know what? I voted to leave but I didn’t actually think we were going to leave. It was a protest vote.” And I think what we’ve seen during the course of this week is the kind of simple, clarion call of change crashing up against the complexity of actually governing.”
This is for the birds, as recent YouGov polls and the pollster Matthew Goodwin have explained:
“There is scant evidence of buyer’s remorse. As the tumultuous summer of 2016 drew to a close, 52 per cent of voters still said that Brexit was the “right decision”.”
The Beeboids just don’t get it.
The BBC journalist who Guido last week revealed had called the government “new Nazis” has been suspended. BBC Look North’s Danny Carpenter, a veteran reporter and lifelong leftie, posted the ill-advised rant on his personal Facebook page in breach of the Beeb’s impartiality guidelines. A spokesman says:
“We’re taking these allegations very seriously and the journalist concerned will not be reporting for the BBC pending the outcome of our investigation.”
Even the BBC realises that its perceived impartiality might be undermined by journalists ranting about the government being “new Nazis”…
When Boris criticised the BBC’s impartiality in his conference speech the Beeb’s panjandrums mumbled about how everyone complaining means they must be doing something right. Crazy Corbynistas claiming Auntie props up neo-liberal patriarchy is not quite the same as most fair-minded people recognising that on issues such as immigration and Brexit she is out of tune with mainstream Britain. Don’t take Guido’s word for it, listen to former director-general Mark Thompson, in a Media Masters interview last week he said: “journalists as a group tend in their personal politics towards the Left.” That it would help “to have Conservatives, people who tend to think from a perspective that goes with the Right rather than the Left, across your newsroom.”
The BBC has guidelines about journalists mouthing off their left-wing views on Twitter, guidelines ignored by Danny Carpenter of BBC Look North, who has rip on Facebook about the government in a comment on a post by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party:
“Hear hear! Now let’s see the Labour Party grow some proper balls and unite in the lobbies to vote out every cynical, vicious, racist and xenophobic piece of legislation these new Nazis propose and let’s start by demanding a commons debate on Brexit and voting out this utterly undemocratic and non-legally binding referendum result which was achieved by a combination of dishonest fearmongering and lies about the economy”
A view no doubt shared widely in BBC newsrooms…
Last week Corbynista mouthpiece Aaron Bastani boasted to his Facebook friends that he had been pencilled in to appear on tomorrow’s Question Time. Well, the producers have changed their minds and booked Caroline Lucas instead. Shame, Dimbers could have asked Aaron about his conviction for his role in smashing up a bank, as revealed by Guido on Monday…
Theresa May’s government will still be held to the 2015 Conservative manifesto. Here’s an update on how it’s doing.
— DailySunday Politics (@daily_politics) September 18, 2016
Back in February the Sunday Politics launched its Manifesto Tracker, recording which election promises the Tories have kept or broken.[…] Read the rest