Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeBBC WatchDavid Keighley's BBC Election Watch: Two thirds back Leave but let’s keep...

David Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: Two thirds back Leave but let’s keep it a secret


Since June 23, the BBC has been working with a passion to tell us why Brexit won’t work.

Any reason, every reason, will do. This frenzy was so great in the immediate aftermath that they assembled a cast of ‘experts’ to tell us that there would be rioting on the streets because of food supply problems.

With equal alacrity, the BBC comrades reported the wholly manufactured idea that the vote had been the result of ‘race hate’, had triggered a further torrent if it, and that this native English ‘racist’ venom against ‘Europeans’ was so bad that murder in Harlow was being committed as a result if it. In the BBC’s world, no pizza parlour was now safe. Nigel Farage, it was posited in one report, had blood on his hands.

During the referendum period, a central plank of the BBC’s campaign to support Remain was that the business world thought it was a very bad idea. The POTUS, the IFS, the IMF, the IoD, the CBI (almost any acronym would do!) were against it, and – as Kamal Ahmed, the BBC’s economics editor rammed down our throats – they could not be ignored.

This relentless focus on Big Business’s anti-Brexit views, as the latest News-Watch reports here and here have showed, has continued to the present day – so much so that when Lloyd’s of London announced at the beginning of April (just after Article 50 had been triggered) that they were setting up a Brussels office with ‘tens’ of staff, it was elevated to headline bulletin status.

A feature of the coverage has also been to show whenever possible that Brexit voters were tough, rough, largely inarticulate northern types from desperate economic areas such as Sunderland, Teesside, South Wales and deepest, remotest Lancashire or Yorkshire.

This overall deeply biased stereotyping has rolled over with the Brexit-related coverage during the the general election campaign.  This example, from yesterday, shows the Corporation exaggerating the problems of obtaining post-Brexit trade deals. Any obstacle will do.

So what happened at the BBC on Monday when the latest YouGov report was published on post-referendum attitudes towards Brexit – showing that as had first been noted in March – 68 per cent of Britain now wanted to get on with Brexit, and support for Remain had collapsed to 22 per cent?

Very predictably, perhaps, they have ignored it. Not a squeak – not even in the remotest regions of the website.

This bias is so blatant, so massive, that it is beyond parody. And yet the Corporation soldiers on, seemingly impervious to any criticism.

(Image: Raphaël Chekroun)

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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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