Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Is Number 10 Censoring and Controlling Our News?

Not since the the Tories under Margaret Thatcher tried to introduce the poll tax, has there been such controversy over a bill, yet the Health and Social care Reforms Bill is creating massive waves and one gets the feeling that the tsunami of real protest is yet to come.

The hated NHS reforms haven't been out of the news for weeks now, so when the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley visited the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, north London last Monday and was met with stiff protest outside and inside, you would think that at least the BBC would have covered such a highly contentious news story of massive public interest, but no, strangely the BBC, ITN and Sky News, although had crews at the hospital and recorded everything, fell strangely silent.

Andrew Lansley was pursued and heckled through the hospital corridors by a GP of thirty years, who was shouting that his bill was rubbish. It would seem the majority of health care professionals agree with this doctor, it was a classic news moment (see video),

however, this film never made it to the news stations on TV, one really does have to ask why. This was Lansley's "Gillian Duffy moment" yet the nation was kept in ignorance and this is not the first time this has happened, it happened in a Newcastle hospital a couple of weeks back, see HERE.

The BBC ignored this doctor of over 30 years and his protests and serious concerns for the future of the NHS , yet last night @BBCpolitics tweeted that one nondescript caller to the heavily biased radio show BBC Radio 5 Live had  apparently told leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband that he was "uninspiring". Who at the BBC rated this as "newsworthy" and yet chose to totally ignore a doctor of 30 years making a protest directly to the man responsible for the highly controversial health and Social care reforms Bill?

This "news blackout" is getting to be a real habit lately, especially with the BBC and we have to wonder why this is. Just a couple of weeks back there was massive interest and protest over the Government's welfare reform bill and how they are affecting disabled and sick people. Protesters shut down a Tesco store and public pressure managed to get a reversal of a couple of policies in the government's "workfare" programme, but it wasn't reported by the BBC, they ignored the growing backlash until they were in a position where they were compelled to report something.

Why is the BBC so reluctant to report and anti Tory government sentiment? Has it got anything to do with the fact that BBC Chairman is former Conservative Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Chris patten?

Has it got anything to do with the fact that former BBC newsroom editor Craig Oliver is now David Cameron's Director of Communications at Downing street? Is there any truth in the "rumours" circulating the BBC and Westminster that Craig Oliver telephones his former colleagues at the BBC and controls the BBC news agenda from Downing St?

For weeks now on BBC Question Time the Tory bias has been so top heavy in the audience of the show that it is a wonder it hasn't toppled over. Often on the show there is a ratio of four right wingers and Tories to one Labour MP, resulting in the Labour MP hardly ever being able to speak and when they do speak they are constantly harangued by the show's presenter David Dimbleby and are hardly ever allowed to finish their point.

BBC Newsnight has become such a joke it may as well be renamed Tory Newsnight, last night it went from the utter ridiculous to the profoundly ludicrous when it had no less than five Tories on, absolutely no balance whatsoever.

Radio 5 Live and Nicky Campbell should receive the "joke of the year for political bias" award, morning after morning they broadcast politically biased material, they have caller after caller backing the government and hardly ever show a balance, I would not be at all surprised to learn at some point that they are stacking callers. Casting my mind back to post Gillian Duffy after Brown forgot to remove his mike, I wonder, how did the photograph of a downcast Gordon Brown in Nicky Campbell's 5 Live studio get released? How come this gets released, yet nothing untoward ever gets reported about what is happening with the present Tory-led government?

The BBC also guilty of making spurious claims, they claimed that Vince Cable's recent letter was leaked to them, however, this comment in the Telegraph proves it was covered in the Financial Times (FT) 3 weeks ago! (behind pay-wall but you can trial it for free) Once again the BBC is giving false impressions, anything that signifies a tussle in the so-called Coalition government is used repeatedly by the Tories and the Lib Dems 1).. to divert attention away from bad news days (like the NHS reforms and frustrated doctors and pensioners) and 2)..To help the Lib Dems, this way this duplicitous government can stay looking unified, when it is anything but.

It is understood that Labour party officials have monitored invitations, and time given, to senior Tory and Liberal Democrat figures on the BBC's main news outlets against that allotted to Labour counterparts and while acknowledging that the Tories and Liberal Democrats form the government, their analysis has shown that Labour has been represented less than half as often as the coalition. This is something that has been born out, ever since the coalition government took over.

These are not just isolated incidents at the BBC it is now happening with regular monotony, day after day, after day and looks as if it could be a concerted effort to conceal what is actually happening regarding this government, or give a distorted picture. This did not just happen, someone at the BBC is responsible for this, someone is making and taking these decisions - who? Is the news agenda being censored and controlled by David Cameron and his team in  Downing Street? If it is, I believe that this is in the public interest, if they are attempting to censor and control our news then we have a right to know about it.

The BBC is obliged to show impartiality - why isn't it? 


Nicky said...

Totally agree, Gracie.

This subverts democracy. If it was happening abroad, the BBC would be reporting it.

I watched the rally online last night - Lord Owen was right to describe what's happening as a 'constitutional scandal'. Twitter was ablaze with comments about the rally, and the Guardian also covered it.

I submitted a complaint to the BBC about their lack of coverage. Feel like we need to do something more pro-active - withholding the license fee on a mass scale would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Agree Gracie the BBC are a law unto there own
To get on the bbc news it's got to be dramatic it seams if the dr in the clip punched lansley then it would have been in guaranteed the same with welfare if someone set fire to themselves in a DWP office it would be top viewing with headlines like "how could this happen"

Sadly if it's not dramatic and violent then the bbc in future will not be broadcasting it

Duncan said...

But the BBC is the propaganda arm of the state. Could I recommend "Deterring Democracy" by Noam Chomsky. It will enlighten you as it did me. I am no longer surprised by media reporting. The agenda is no longer hidden.

Robert said...

You mean the Tories are using the media, thank godf labour did not do this, but hold on a minute of course they did, the welfare reforms and the press media BBC use of program like Scroungers , I think all parties will abuse the press.

What ever these days the Tories do I'm sure labour will have already done it.