Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeBBC WatchDavid Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: ‘Impartial’ BBC website loads dice against Tories

David Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: ‘Impartial’ BBC website loads dice against Tories


This, at 16:44 yesterday afternoon, was the menu in the supposedly ‘impartial’ politics section of the BBC website. Spot a pattern?

Tory council housing plan not new money

Labour Pledge to Build 1m new homes

Labour promises ‘Robin Hood’ Tax on City

Conservative Councillor suspended over Eurovision Tweets

Labour warns bosses they will have to take a pay cut if Labour win power

Theresa May rules out vote at 16  – in contrast to most other parties 

Lib Dems pledge to boost armed forces

Davis voices concern over EU border plan

Brown: Tories ’waging war against poor’

Nurses to stage ‘summer of protests’

The analysis that follows is not strictly scientific (though with a nod towards discourse analysis), but this selection – taken at random – speaks volumes about how the BBC is covering the general election.

Labour is on a mercy mission to relieve those nasty City types of their cash through a benevolent Robin Hood Tax; is the only bulwark against the unrelenting, merciless assaults by the Tories on the undeserving poor; and is going to build one million ‘totally affordable’ new houses. Just like that.

There’s no mention, it should also be noted, of perhaps one of the biggest Labour-related stories of the day: that Jeremy Corbyn was arrested in 1986 as part of his sustained mission to support the IRA (sorry, Sinn Fein), on this occasion, connected with the ‘rights’ of the man who nearly murdered Margaret Thatcher, the Brighton bomber Patrick Magee.

Not forgotten, though, are the Liberal Democrats. Here, that nice Mr Farron – fresh from his heroic calls to legalise cannabis – is planning a boost to the armed forces. Hurrah!

The Conservative campaign is cast as rather less benevolent. Boo! Killjoy Theresa May is alone in blocking votes at 16. Hiss! A Tory councillor somewhere in the deepest shires has been suspended for making nasty (by implication, ‘ray-cist’) tweets about Eurovision.

Then, continuing the litany of gloom, the Tory plans for Brexit are in yet more disarray over issues related to the Northern Ireland border; and a scheme outlined by Sir Michael Fallon to build new social housing from a budget of £1.4bn does not count in the election because the availability of the money had already been announced.

Finally, in case anybody is rash enough to think there is anything at all positive on offer from those nasty Tories, there’s news that the NHS is still in crisis, with beleaguered nurses – understaffed by 40,000 thanks to Tory underinvestment and mismanagement – planning to strike in the summer.

(Image: Garry Knight)

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David Keighley
David Keighley
Former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am. Director of News-watch.

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